Christian Bale fights for Nanjing in THE FLOWERS OF WAR trailer

Asian Editor; Hong Kong, China (@Marshy00)
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Christian Bale fights for Nanjing in THE FLOWERS OF WAR trailer
China's most expensive film to-date, Zhang Yimou's epic depicting the Nanking Massacre of 1937 has already been selected as the country's official contender at next year's Oscars. The project grabbed headlines around the world when Christian Bale was cast in the lead role as John Magee, a Jesuit priest who helps protect a group of Chinese women from the invading Japanese troops. 

The film is set for a 16 December release in China, with a large international release already in the works. Apparently up to 40% of the film will play out in English, with the rest in Mandarin and Japanese. The first trailer for the film has just landed online and is not only very international-friendly, but also promises plenty of bang for its buck. Check it out below and thanks to @TheGoldenRock for the heads-up.
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Yimou ZhangHeng LiuGeling YanChristian BaleNi NiXinyi ZhangTianyuan HuangDramaHistoryRomance

More about The Flowers of War

J HurtadoOctober 20, 2011 1:05 PM

Oooooh, Christian Charles Philip Bale!

James MarshOctober 20, 2011 1:11 PM

That's right. They got ALL of him!

krakarOctober 20, 2011 6:19 PM

That looks like a brutally well made war film. And some pretty sexy temptresses for the priest too.

mrhibbertOctober 21, 2011 7:56 AM

People should check out City of Life and Death if they haven't already.

Ard VijnOctober 21, 2011 8:25 AM

Interestingly, John Magee was a filmmaker himself. When he, Rabe and several other people had helped set up the Civilian Safety Zone he patrolled Nanjing with his 16mm camera on a daily basis and documented the Japanese atrocities. His films and testimonies were invaluable during the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunals held after world war two.

In 2010 the International Film Festival Rotterdam showed one of Magee's Nanjing films, "Civilian Casualties of Military Brutality" as part of a program on life after war, and it was the harshest and most shocking film they had. Brrrr...
And yes, everyone go check out "City of Life and death" as well. The character John Magee is in there for like three seconds, but do not let that stop you.

timholm84October 21, 2011 4:50 PM

Interesting that Christian Bale's first great role was in 'Empire of the Sun' another film set in China during a Japanese invasion. I wonder if this is him coming full circle?
Unfortunately, though, there have already been several films made about the Nanking massacre in recent years ('City of Life and Death' being the best of them). It's hard to see this film can add anything new without resorting to more Japan-bashing from the Chinese.

timholm84October 21, 2011 4:52 PM

I'm also slightly concerned that this may be no more than a Chinese version of Schindler's List with the white hero saving the helpless innocents. Kind of confused about why Zhang Yimou would make this movie if not to somehow please the Communists.

lightrongerOctober 25, 2011 4:37 PM

Could you double check his casting as John Magee? From most of the news sources I've read, and the original book, the priest should be a fictional character (especially since in the film, he is a mercenary turned temporary priest)?

lightrongerOctober 25, 2011 4:43 PM

Unfortunately, all of the films made about Nanking (and there are about four of them, all released within the past few years, and only two of them are by Chinese companies) have sucked, except for the American documentary.
Contrary to your assumption, it is precisely the government who does not want such films to be filmed in fear of anti-Japanese sentiments from the Chinese public or anti-Chinese sentiments from Japanese right-wings. The government is far more pro peace with its neighbors than the public is.

Also, the film's title is "Flowers of Nanking." In both the book and from what I've heard about in the movie, it is the flowers (ie. the thirteen courtesans) who save the innocents, not Christian Bale.

James MarshOctober 26, 2011 8:04 AM

To suggest that the Chinese government doesn't want to make this film is nonsense. Government-run or subsidized companies are the primary sources of funds for the production - China's most expensive ever. Nobody is suggesting that the Chinese Government is attempting to actively incite anti-Japanese sentiments amongst its people, but to suggest they are against portraying the Japanese as "the enemy" in films of this period is just ridiculous and suggests you haven't been watching much commercial cinema to have come out of China in the past few years. The film's title was at one stage Flowers of Nanjing, referring to the courtesans whom Bale's character saves by harbouring them in his Church, but the film is now called The Flowers of War.

James MarshOctober 26, 2011 8:17 AM

Also, if the Chinese Government was against the making of this film SARFT simply wouldn't allow it to be released and they most certainly wouldn't submit it as China's official entry for next year's Academy Awards.

lightrongerOctober 27, 2011 9:49 PM

Of course SARFT was not against making this film, hence why it was made. But there's a big difference between Zhang YImou requesting to make it film and it being approved, and the government promoting this subject matter.

And again, Bale's character is not the ultimate savior, but the courtesans.

James MarshOctober 27, 2011 9:54 PM

Now you're heading into Spoiler territory, which should probably be avoided when commenting on a film nobody has seen yet, regardless of whether you deem the story to be true or well-known fiction.