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Movie: The Flowers of War (2011)

The Flowers of War (2011), directed by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou, is an epic Chinese drama war movie set in 1937 during the "Nanjing Massacre".

Synopsis: An American mortician John Miller (Christian Bale) arrives at a cathedral in Nanjing to help bury the deceased priest, only to find himself being among a group of convent girl students and also a troupe of prostitutes from a nearby brothel led by Yu Mo (Ni Ni). He soon realizes that he is their sole protector from the invading Japanese forces. Unwilling at first, he soon discovers the meaning of true sacrifice and honor. 

Here's a very good introduction: The Flowers of War is a big movie in every sense of the word, from its kinetic battle scenes to the beautiful photography and impressive performances from a mostly young and inexperienced cast. Any new project from Zhang Yimou is a big deal. He is China's most internationally-renowned filmmaker, praised for both for his bold visual style in films such as Hero and Curse of the Golden Flower, but also for his earlier, more character-driven films, like Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, which detail the plights of young women in oppressive, male-centric societies. [via]

Also, here's Zhang Yimou's message about the movie: No matter what wars or disasters happen in history, what surrounds these times is life, love, salvation and humanity. I hope those things are felt in this story. The human side of the story was more important to me than the background of the Nanjing massacre. Human nature, love and sacrifice - these are the things that are truly eternal. For me, the event is the historical background of the film. But the enduring question of the story is how the human spirit is expressed in wartime.

This is a very thought-provoking and emotional movie. It may stir up unnecessary negative emotional reactions towards a certain nation. So, do watch with utmost discretion.

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