731: Two Versions of Hell

This is a multi-award winning documentary about Unit 731, Japan's secret World War II biological and chemical weapons facility in the Chinese town of Harbin where biological weapons were developed during the Japanese Occupation. The film uses the same footage as seen from two points of view. The first half gives the perspective of the Chinese government and describes the horrors and atrocities that occurred during World War II at the facility. The second half, using almost the exact same footage, describes Unit 731 from the Japanese revisionist perspective which is largely supported by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan. Although its cruel experiments on living people produced thousands of casualties, this activity is still denied by a number of Japanese historians and politicians.

Generational change has contributed to the escalating history problem between Japan, China, and the two Koreas. Not only were the majority of Asians born and educated after the war, as a result of the education they received in their own countries, their memories and ideas of the war have become more divergent. Usage of the same shots in both parts of the film ironically demonstrates the potential to misuse film images for political purposes.


Association for Asian Studies, 2010

Best World Documentary Award,
International Documentary Film Festival,
Jihlava, Czech Republic, 2007.

International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2008.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2007.

Tel Aviv International Documentary Festival, 2007.

731: Two Versions of Hell


Type Price
Streaming Access (1-year) $149.00
Streaming Access (3-year) $299.00
Streaming Access (Perpetual) $499.00
DVD $195.00
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