Movie Review: The Flowers Of War

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Wikipedia image

Can't believe this movie just started showing on South African cinemas recently.
A friend lent me a copy of this movie a few months ago, knowing that I loved watching fascinating Chinese-themed movies. The film top-billed an English actor, Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises), so it perked my interest.
The Flowers of War is a historical drama war film set in 1937 during the height of the second Sino-Japanese War. It follows the story of John Miller, a mortician sent to Nanjing (Nanking) to bury the head father of a school convent there, but then is caught amidst the war. He seeks refuge at the convent, pretending to be the dead priest. Together with a group of innocent schoolgirls and flamboyant prostitutes, they formulate an escape plan. And although the ending seems hopeful, it leaves a very bitter aftermath.

To say I was moved would be an understatement. After watching the movie, I researched and found that The Flowers of War was directed by the renowned Chinese director, Zhang Yimou. He was also the same director who made other thought-provoking movies like Raise The Red Lantern, Hero and House Of Flying Daggers.

I spent another 4 hours surfing Wikipedia for anything I could find about the "Rape of Nanjing" (or Nanking). I don't know if most of the articles I've read were factually true or false, but it brought me to my core. The hardship that the Chinese people suffered during the wars with Japan was undeniable.

So if you're sorta in the mood for a dark-themed movie, try this one out.

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