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"The Flowers of War" | Movie Review


Last weekend, I finally had to time to watch “The Flowers of War”. This movie does not go without being surrounded with controversies such as Christian Bale’s attempt to visit the blind activist Chen Guangcheng in Dec 2011 in the midst of promoting this movie in China.  Many Chinese even claims that the story told in the movie is a Chinese propaganda.

I often have mixed emotions when it comes to movies Made-in-China with Hollywood actors. (Richard Gere in Red Corner, Donald Sutherland in Big Shot Funeral) In this movie, Christian Bale plays a typical drunken westerner who turned good and pretended to be a priest to save a group of young girls and prostitutes.

The movie is set in 1937 when the Japanese were invading Nanking, China.  While many people  (I for one) may not understand the amount of violence that happened during war and what the people did to survive, historian estimated that about 20,000 women were raped and 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed. Most of the victims were women and children. What happened in Nanking was a holocaust.



The Flowers of War is a great film that is beautifully filmed by Zhang Yimou; who is known for his visual that captivates the colours and mood of the scene. Unfortunately the movie flopped in the US, due to negative reviews stating that the movie was too melodramatic.

In my opinion, “The Flowers of War” is definitely a memorable movie. One of best from Zhang Yimou. Amidst  all the historical facts ,  this movie shows the human spirit  and their strength to survive, bad people turning good, and  friendships that develope in a time of difficulty. I feel that these reasons sums up as the message the movie is trying to show the audience, a different side of the Nanking Massacre.




Paul Khor




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