John Rabe

Book adaptation/Drama, Germany/France 2009

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In 1937, John Rabe (ULRICHTUKUR), a merchant from Hamburg, has been living with his wife Dora (DAGMAR MANZEL) in the Chinese capital of Nanking for almost 30 years. He manages the Siemens subsidiary there. The thought of handing over the company management to his successor Fließ (MATHIAS HERRMANN) and returning to Berlin is difficult for him. He has grown fond of China and knows that he is a man of influence here, but only one of many at the Berlin headquarters. During his farewell ball, Nanking is bombed by planes of the Japanese army, which has already taken Shanghai shortly before. Panic breaks out and Rabe opens the gates of the company premises in order to bring the families of his workers seeking protection to safety. While the fires are extinguished and the damage is assessed the next morning, the foreigners remaining in the city discuss what they can do in the face of the threat. German-Jewish diplomat Dr. Rosen (DANIEL BRÜHL) reports on a safety zone for civilians that has been established in Shanghai. The director of the Girls College, Valérie Dupres (ANNE CONSIGNY), is immediately enthusiastic and proposes JohnRabe, as a German to a certain extent "ally" of the Japanese, as chairman of theInternational Safety Zone Nanking. Much to the displeasure of Dr. Wilson (STEVE BUSCEMI), chief physician of the local hospital, who has a great antipathy for the "Nazi" Rabe. Although the Japanese imperial army is acting with unprecedented brutality against the civilian population, Rabe and his comrades-in-arms manage with courage and skill to wrest the planned safety zone from the Japanese. Hundreds of thousands stream into the zone - far more than expected. But there is no end to the attacks by the Japanese and the supply situation gets worse and worse. Finally, the Japanese plan to storm the zone under a pretext - for Rabe, a race against time begins...
135 min
FSK 16
Audio language:


Bavarian Film Award 2009 Best Actor Producer Award "Best Film
Festival of German Film, London 2009 Audience Award
Munich Film Festival 2009 Bernhard Wicki Film Award

More information


Erwin Wickert (Novel)


Ulrich Tukur (John Rabe)

Daniel Brühl (Dr. Georg Rosen)

Steve Buscemi (Dr. Robert Wilson)

Anne Consigny (Valérie Duprès)

Dagmar Manzel (Dora Rabe)

Zhang Jingchu (Langshu)

Teruyuki Kagawa (Prince Asaka Yasuhiko)

Original title:

John Rabe

Original language:


Further titles:

City of War - The Story of John Rabe

John Rabe - Der gute Deutsche von Nanking


16:9 HD, Color

Age rating:

FSK 16

Audio language: