Zhang Yimou Under Fire In China
Zhang Yimou, one of China's best-known directors -- he staged the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 -- is under investigation for violating China's strict one-child-per-family rule and could face a fine of more than $26 million, according to state media news reports published today (Thursday). China's People's Daily said that Zhang had relationships with four women resulting in seven children. Zhang has been something of a human bridge between Hollywood and China in recent years. His most recent film, The Flowers of War, which reportedly cost $100 million -- the most expensive movie ever produced in China -- starred Christian Bale as an American witness of the Japanese rape of Nanking (1937-38). His 1991 film Raise the Red Lantern won numerous awards in the West. He reportedly has developed close personal ties to numerous Hollywood directors. But Zhang has also managed to raise the hackles of Chinese authorities over the years and several of his films have been banned.