Re-discovered wartime documentary returns China

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A documentary movie about China's resistance against the Japanese during World War II is set to greet Chinese audiences more than 70 years after it was made.

The Oscar winner, 'Kukan': The Battle Cry of China, was filmed by American correspondent Rey Scott in the 1930s. The research and collaborative innovation center of Chongqing has acquired the right of using it for 20 years in China, including the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, said Zhou Bo, deputy head of the publicity department of the southwestern municipality on Wednesday.

The 85-minute movie is available for mass media and research institutes, and the Chongqing TV has decided to give it a run later this year.

Sponsored by Chinese American filmmaker Li Ling-Ai, Scott visited China four times since 1937, where he recorded the destruction of Japanese invaders and the hardship of ordinary people in the war-torn China.

The movie premiered in the United States in 1941 and was watched by late U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Scott took the Academy Honorary Award for producing the film "with a 16mm camera under the most difficult and dangerous conditions".

In film contains 18 minutes of footage of a two-day air attack starting on August 18, 1940 by the Japanese in the Chongqing city, China's wartime capital after the Japanese invasion. Scott managed to record the scenes from the roof of the U.S. embassy. He also filmed the debris and blaze after the bombing.

Zhou Yong, director of the research and collaborative innovation center in Chongqing, said it was his first time to see such vivid and close depiction of the blaze and the entire process of the bombing.

"It was shocking," he said. "Rather than filming the battlefield, the movie focused on the struggle of ordinary people, on how unyielding they were during the wartime."

The movie has never been screened in China and was considered lost after the World War II.

It was re-discovered by Chinese American filmmaker Robin Lung, who spent six years searching for the complete copy of the film and another three years repairing it.

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