Buscemi and Bruehl Aboard John Rabe

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Steve Buscemi and Daniel Bruehl (Good Bye, Lenin) have joined the cast of John Rabe, Florian Gallenberger’s true story about a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.

Variety says the film, which began shooting in Shanghai last week, boasts an international cast that includes France’s Anne Consigny, Chinese stars Lu Huang and Zhang Jingchu; as well as Japan’s Teruyuki Kagawa and Akira Emoto.

German actor Ulrich Tukur (The Lives of Others) portrays Rabe, who, as a Nazi party member and Siemens executive, was able to create a safety zone within the city to protect civilians from Japanese atrocities, which claimed the lives of an estimated 300,000 civilians.

Buscemi plays real-life American Dr. Robert Wilson, who remained in Nanjing during the occupation to care for legions of victims.