The Flowers of War is a 2011 Chinese historical drama war film directed by Zhang Yimou. Based on Yan Geling’s novel, “13 Flowers of Nanjing,” the movie is a story of the heartbreaks and struggles of a group of escapees during the “Rape of Nanking” – a mass murder and war rape during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Main cast of the movie consists of Christian Bale, breakout artist Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi, Tong Dawei, Atsuro Watabe, Shigeo Kobayashi, Han Xiting, and Cao Kefan.
Plot. The movie opens with chaos all over Nanking, China’s capital city during that time. It is December 1937 and the Japanese Imperial Army is bombing and invading the city. Desperate civilians are running everywhere, dodging the war bullets and looking for safety in the torn buildings. Amidst the turmoil, American mortician John Miller (played by Bale) arrives in Nanking as he is commissioned to bury the foreign head priest of a convent for Catholic Chinese girls. He meets two of the girls along the way, and with their guidance, he arrives at the convent only to discover that the priest’s body was flown away by a bomb.