So, we visit our public library. Here in San Antonio, our main library is painted Enchilada Red and as most libraries around the nation, is a magnet for a wide variety of characters and personalities. More on that later, but for now, Lourdes takes to the DVDs and I search classic music from my youth, trying to rebuild my long lost vast vinyl collection of my teen years. I have to admit, Lourdes has a knack for finding some interesting films, most foreign in nature. I have been drawn to watch Indian films, of course, Korean, Japanese and Chinese, one Pakistani, and one Vietnamese. All fun to watch as there is tons of martial arts involved in most. But, this last visit, she pulled a film that I have been searching for for decades and would have never found on my own.
As most of you are aware I am into historical events, mostly military related, and one in particular was the Japanese invasion of China. Early in my educational career I randomly picked the 1937 invasion of Nanking to research and on which to write a report. The accounts I read were unbelievable, and since accomplishing that little assignment, I have studied and read so much more about the atrocities carried out in the name of war. So, I pop this film in for Lourdes, just glancing at the title, not reading the description, I simply walked into another room to do some straightening up. When Lourdes came in, with that look on her face, telling me what was happening in her movie, I knew immediately what she was watching.
The name of the movie is ‘City of Life and Death,’ by Luchuan and it is one of the most graphically correct films on Nanking that I have ever seen. I highly recommended it. The LA Times review simply states, "a film strong enough to change your life.” The story certainly affected my life, and in fact, I note Nanking in the Foreword to Japayuki, simply because the present day trafficking of Filipinas, Koreans, Thais to work the bars and brothels of Japan stem from this story. So again, I highly recommend the film, but do warn you, prepare yourself for a shocking historically accurate perspective of life.
As for Lourdes and the oddities that haunt the public libraries of America; she was searching her home improvement books when she noticed a man watching her. She believes he was taking pics of her, but believes he was paired up with another man. Scary stuff. We of course reported the two and their suspicious behavior, but no much you can do about those guys; I just told her, stay within sight and earshot of others always.