John Miller is an American mortician who visits the Chinese town of Nanjing in order to prepare the dead priest of a Catholic church for burial. This is soon after the city was invaded by the Japanese military, and John finds inside the church a group of young convent women terrified and hiding out in the building. He grudgingly accepts that he must be the protector of these women, and the group of prostitutes from a nearby brothel that rush into the building also looking for refuge. John poses as a priest and starts to make plans to get the girls out of the city where it is safer. Claiming sanctuary for his refugees to the Japanese armed forces, the colonel agrees to keep the church protected by placing his guards at the door; although this means that the girls cannot be raped (as are the intentions of many of the soldiers) it also means that they cannot leave. But the question remains whether the opposing forces will respect the rules of sanctuary for the Chinese or just take what they want before they leave regardless of the law.
This war drama is based on the novel '13 Flowers of Nanjing' by Geling Yan and is set during the Rape of Nanjing in 1937 in the second Sino-Japanese War. 'The Flowers of War' is directed by the extraordinarily talented Zhang Yimou ('Hero', 'House of Flying Daggers') and remains to be the biggest film production to yet take place in China. Remembering 75 years of the war this year, it is set for release in the UK from August 3rd 2012.
Directed by: Yimou Zhang
Starring: Christian Bale