Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”

In the process of teaching about East Asia during World War II (and the road to that conflict, whose origins in Asia are still controversial), I have frequently made use of Bertolucci’s Oscar-winning film, “The Last Emperor.”  Much of the film was shot on location in the Forbidden City in Beijing and in various palaces and government buildings which are still existent in Changchun dating from the Manchukuo era. To my delight, the film was made available in good definition not too long ago on YouTube.

Much of the film was shot on location in Fushun at the old center for Japanese war criminals “reform.”  My own work on this site can be referenced at:

Adam Cathcart. “War Criminals and the Road to Sino-Japanese Normalization: Zhou Enlai and the Shenyang Trials, 1954-1956,” with Patricia Nash, Twentieth-Century China 34:2 (April, 2009): 89-111.

Reprinted in Caroline Rose, ed., Sino-Japanese Relations : History, Politics, Economy, Security : Volume II: History Revisited, Critical Concepts in Asian Studies (London: Routledge, June 2011): 49-70.

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