“Safety Zone” is based on a courageous true story about George Fitch, Local Director of the YMCA, and a small band of westerners who unselfishly risk their lives to defend the Chinese civilians against a fierce Japanese attack in the capital city of Nanking in 1937. Although Fitch is pressured to protect his own life by fleeing the city, he is inwardly compelled to remain in harms way. In his efforts to protect the Chinese people, he reluctantly unites with an unlikely ally, John Rabe, a German Nazi leader. Together they establish the “Nanking Safety Zone,” a non-combat area in the city and refuge for the innocent civilians during battle.
After the Japanese military secure the city, Fitch realizes his worst nightmares become reality as the Japanese military begin a systematic rape, torture, and murder of more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers. The death toll exceeds the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined and is later infamously known as the “Rape of Nanking.”
This unforgettable story centers on a young Chinese couple, Ming Chow and Mai Lan. Ming is a Chinese officer who hates Westerners, and Mai Lan is a beautiful college student who is a family friend of Fitch. They fall in love amidst this terrible time of death and destruction, where their love for each other is paralleled only by their incredible will to survive.
Haunted by the murder of Mai Lan’s father and the guilt of surrendering Ming and his men to the Japanese, Fitch struggles mightily to protect Mai Lan and gain the respect of Ming and the Chinese citizens. Fitch and the “Safety Zone” members valiantly defy the Japanese and their wicked commanders for control of the city. They practice non-violence in stark contrast to their adversaries, who want nothing more than to steal, kill, rape, and destroy. They fight through petition, argument, and even their own flesh and blood, while secretly documenting these horrific events to show the world.
“Safety Zone” is an epic story about an unwavering battle of morals and the triumph of finding the courage to take a stand for what is right, even against an overwhelming force of evil. Despite the tremendous tragedy, there is an incredible message of hope and sacrifice that will grip the hearts of all.
SCREENPLAY BY MITCHELL IRION AND JEREMY IRION
© Copyright 2002-2006 Mitchell Irion. All rights reserved.