Since this is frequently touted as Men Behind the Sun 4, and though I have not seen the others as of yet, I will say that one does not need to see the prior sequels to understand this film. This movie is the story of the Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, in China, by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1937. Many war atrocities occurred during WWII, some we may never learn about, but those we do seem to be fodder for filmmakers seeking to educate, or as is more likely the case, shock the audience with untold numbers of scenes showing unspeakable brutality perpetrated with glee and reckless abandon.
Clearly, I watch very controversial movies, and I enjoy them. I sometimes do not see why or how they have become so controversial, but more often than not, I think it is because people don’t want to know the truth. The truth about mankind and what they can and will do to one another. ‘Ignorance is bliss’, they say. Well, it isn’t. I say, ‘Those who don’t remember the past will be doomed to repeat it’. Unlike the utterly ridiculous, boring and nearly comical Philosophy of a Knife, which seeks to ‘shock’ audiences, Black Sun, in my opinion, seeks to educate and inform. The bit about the two children being separated from their uncle is clearly used for dramatic and emotional effect, but I have no doubt that situations like this really did occur. None were spared – men, women, children, infants, and even unborn children. There were an estimated 300,000 people slaughtered, and approximately 80,000 women were raped, most multiple times, and eventually murdered as well. This wasn’t just war – food was destroyed, religious and innocent civilians were massacred indiscriminately, and most of the time beheaded, mutilated, or burned alive, and severed heads and other body parts were posed with and paraded around like trophies. Unborn children were even bayoneted from their mother’s wombs. Today, the Japanese government continues to deny that this ever happened, which is complete hogwash.
This movie is definitely intense, and is entirely in subtitles. I would recommend it to war buffs, or anyone interested in history really, but not so if you are squeamish, though if you were squeamish, you might not have seen any of the movies I write about. As I’ve said, in most movies, and especially ones like this, the effects are clearly and blatantly fake. However, if one really thinks about the fact that this is a true story, it is a bit more harrowing. This film is one hundred times better than Philosophy of a Knife. Though it is based on different events, I feel they are comparable because of the subject matter.It is much more than some other films out there that are made up of pure exploitation of victims with no regard for the truth. Honestly, Black Sun is much more respectful of history, the facts, and the unfortunate victims of the Nanking Massacre, as opposed to being simply a dare-you-to-watch-it movie.