Documentary Unveils Forgotten WWII Tragedy

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.17 - 2024 12:01 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
The film delves into a long-overlooked chapter of World War II history

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The 26th Shanghai International Film Festival opened its curtains with a poignant premiere of the documentary "The Sinking of The Lisbon Maru," marking a significant moment for global cinema enthusiasts.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Fang Li, the film delves into a long-overlooked chapter of World War II history, bringing to light the tragic sinking of a Japanese transport ship carrying British POWs.

According to Global Times the premiere, attended by relatives of the survivors and featuring interviews with key figures behind the documentary, underscored the enduring impact of this harrowing event.

Rediscovering History: The Journey of "The Sinking of The Lisbon Maru"

At the heart of "The Sinking of The Lisbon Maru" lies a quest for historical truth that spans decades.

Fang Li, an expert in geophysical exploration and marine technology, discovered the sunken ship near Dongji Island in 2017. This find led to the retrieval of 828 British POWs' remains, buried at sea since 1942. The documentary meticulously reconstructs the events of that fateful day, revealing how local Chinese fishermen bravely rescued 384 POWs from the sinking vessel, amidst perilous wartime conditions.

Through painstaking research and personal accounts, the film not only memorializes the victims but also honors the courageous acts of those who risked their lives to save others.

A Call for Peace and Remembrance: Impact Beyond the Screen

"The Sinking of The Lisbon Maru" resonates beyond historical documentation; it serves as a poignant reminder of the human toll of war and the enduring bonds forged in adversity. The documentary's premiere in Shanghai brought together descendants of POWs, who expressed deep gratitude and emotional resonance with the film's portrayal of their ancestors' experiences.

As the documentary continues to tour internationally, it prompts reflection on the universal themes of sacrifice, resilience, and the pursuit of justice, urging future generations to cherish peace and honor the memory of those lost to wartime tragedies.