John Rabe

by Florian Gallenberger

Whoever saves a life saves the entire world.

Nanking, 1937. Hamburg businessman John Rabe has lived with his wife Dora in the former Chinese capital for almost thirty years. He is head of the local branch of Siemens and due to return to Berlin. But he's reluctant to leave - he has formed a real bond to the country and its people. When during his farewell party Nanking is bombed by the Japanese, the whole town is in panic. Rabe opens the doors of the company's compound to provide refuge for his workers and their families. German-Jewish diplomat Dr. Rosen suggests that a security zone be set up for Chinese civilians. John Rabe is appointed chairperson of Nanking's security zone. The Japanese army cracks down on the Chinese civilians population with astonishing brutality. However, Rabe and his comrades-in-arms succeed in wresting the planned security zone from the Japanese. Hundreds of thousands of people flee into the zone. Finally, the Japanese make use of a pretext in order to attack the zone – a race against time begins…

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German, English, Chinese, Japanese / 129 minutes
Original title
John Rabe
directed by
Florian Gallenberger (JOHN RABE, COLONIA)
produced by
Hofmann & Voges Entertainment, EOS Entertainment and Majestic Filmproduktion, in co-production withWang Zhongjun & Wang Zhonglei / Huayi Brothers and Pampa Production
  • Ulrich Tukur (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
  • Gottfried John
  • Anne Consigny
  • Steve Buscemi

Press Quotes

„Stunning! One of the year's best! “

„Handsomely mounted…packs a forceful punch!”

“Affecting! Demonstrates that however much we know about the worst of all wars, it has little-known corners that can amaze you.”

"Credible and entertaining.."
The Hollywood Reporter

"…a straightforward narrative and handsomely designed, big-scale production. Drawn from Rabe's diaries, the film is rich in telling and ironic details. A formidable actor who came to international attention in the 2005 best foreign film Oscar winner "The Lives of Others" as a staunch Stasi official, Tukur has a quietly galvanic presence — and even resembles the actual Rabe, who died in poverty in Berlin in 1950, his humanitarianism not honored in Germany until 2003.”
Kevin Thomas – Los Angeles Times