**½/**** Image A Sound A
directed by Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman
by Alex Jackson Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's 90-minute documentary on the 1937 Nanking Massacre isn't so much reductive or simplistic as it is overachieving. The film suggests several promising avenues of discussion but stops there, at the level of overview, leaving you frustrated and hungry. As I felt similarly unsatisfied by the Ken Burns mini-series The Civil War, it occurs to me that the problem is one not of brevity but of excess ambition. With several hours at his disposal, Burns tried and failed to meet the likely-futile goal of creating the definitive document of the American Civil War. Even allowing for the decrease in scale, Guttentag and Sturman shouldn't have expected to sum up the entirety of the Nanking Massacre in a scant hour-and-a-half. By trying to tell us everything about the Nanking Massacre, Nanking ultimately tells us very little.