As December rolls around, we can be sure of one thing: movie theaters screening epic films dealing with historical atrocity. While the Holocaust has traditionally furnished filmmakers with sufficient award-season gravitas, this go-round finds directors beginning to branch out. While Angelina Jolie, working from her own screenplay, tackled the Bosnian War in her film In the Land of Blood and Honey, Zhang Yimou became the latest Chinese filmmaker to take on the Rape of Nanking with The Flowers of War. Both are covered in reviews linked below; neither is recommended.
In the Land of Blood and Honey (Slant)
The Flowers of War (Slant)
The Pill (Village Voice)
Addiction Incorporated (Time Out New York)