Zhang Yimou’s World War II epic “Flowers of War,” starring Christian Bale, is China’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar.
Selection, which had been widely expected, was announced Friday by China’s Film Bureau.
“Flowers of War,” previously titled “Heroes of Nanjing” and China’s most expensive movie ever with a budget of $93 million, was the only candidate to represent China in the category. Pic deals with the Rape of Nanking, the massacre that followed the invasion of China’s wartime capital — now called Nanjing — on Dec. 13, 1937.
Based on a screenplay by Heng Liu, “Flowers” is adapted from Geling Yan’s historical novel “13 Flowers of Nanjing” and produced by Zhang Weiping.
Story centers on the Japanese invasion of Nanking with desperate civilians seeking refuge behind the nominally protective walls of a western cathedral. Bale plays an American trapped amidst the chaos of battle and the ensuing occupation taking shelter, joined by a group of innocent schoolgirls and 13 courtesans.
“Flowers” is executive produced by Chaoying Deng and David Linde. International Sales are handled by Glen Basner and FilmNation Entertainment.