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Neda has just lost his father. A bookish young man of twenty, he is thrown into heading the family business when suddenly he finds himself in a slavery scheme. Under the guise of “volunteerism”, young countryside boys are forced to join the Imperial Japanese army.
They are promptly sent to the ancient capital of China, Nanking, where they are to assist the soldiers in its occupation. Neda soon finds himself surrounded by human misery and carnage. All he wants to do is go home. But war has permanently changed his future.
Once the violence reaches a feverish peak, Neda revolts against his contract and, ultimately, his country. Saving Yufei, a fiery Chinese girl, from violation, Neda runs himself into a corner. Enlisting the aid of European doctors and diplomats in the International Safety Zone, he and Yufei begin to organize the Chinese civilians.
In a story of bleak circumstances, a group of self-empowered civilians rise up and confront their oppressors. Will Neda and Yufei be able to lift the Chinese citizens of Nanking out of the occupation of their home and their minds?