The Flowers of War 2012

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(64) IMDb 7.6/10
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An American, trapped amidst the Japanese invasion of Nanking in 1937, seeks refuge in a church with a group of schoolchildren and courtesans.

Starring:
Christian Bale,Ni Ni
Runtime:
2 hours, 22 minutes

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The Flowers of War

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Yimou Zhang
Starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni
Supporting actors Xinyi Zhang
Studio Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By robert stirling TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First let me get my gripes out of the way: my copy is marketed by Revolver Entertainment and is 136 minutes long,not 146 minutes as advertised on Amazon's product description.
The dvd jacket states subtitles are in English:yes there are English subtitles but ONLY to cover the dialogue that is in Chinese/Mandarin and/or Japanese, NOT for the English spoken for much of the film.As much as I admire the Chinese actors for their ability to speak in English I found it difficult to follow at times.It was a bit Benny Hill-esque to my ear.

The film itself is magnificent.I have seen City of Life & Death [DVD] and City Of War: The Story of John Rabe [DVD] which are extremely harrowing,with little respite from depicting the horrors of the occupation of Nanking by the Japanese.

This film manages to show some humour and compassion as well as the extradordinary horrors experienced by the Chinese.

As such it can draw a much wider audience to see this terrible event in 20th century history.Even my wife was impressed with the production watching with me.

I've always wondered how and why the Japanese have gotten away with the atrocities committed during this pre-WW2 battle and occupation; perhaps the treatment of our own prisoners of war during the larger war overshadowed Nanking's massacre.The scale of the rapes and killings have never matched the supposed justice meted out after the war against the little men behind the sun.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Truth TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Dec. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Flowers of War isn't exactly an easy watch. It tells the story of a group of convent girls trapped in a Catholic Church and held hostage by the Japanese during the Nanking massacre of 1937. Although it makes for uncomfortable viewing at times, ultimately it is a very rewarding watch.

Based on a true story it's a story of human resilience, sacrifice, ingenuity and ultimately triumph. The horrors of war and impact on the civilian population as Japan seize the Chinese capital are frankly addressed and brutally depicted; as are the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit, along with extreme examples of it at its best and it's most horrific.

Although I've given this 4 stars it is, in a lot of ways, a 5 star film. Although the war ravaged scenery isn't exactly beautiful in the conventional sense, it is stunning to see on screen. And with Bale cast in the central role there is of course plenty of superb acting throughout.

The rest of the cast don't quite live up to the same standard as Christian, but you can't help but become emotionally involved in their story and the predicament they find themselves in all the same - this is one of those stories, so intense is its nature, it crosses cultural boundaries and resonates on some deeper level of humanity.

Overall it's a very good film. I don't want to use the world enjoyable, as somehow that doesn't seem right given its contents and subject matter, but as the mixed cast play out the tale of events, it's easy to see why they're events that have gone down in Chinese folklore.

The Bluray, as a whole is very good - the picture and sound are perfect (although apparently in the wrong picture ratio, but I didn't notice this and only found out reading some reviews here) and there are a few interesting extras, such as a very revealing interview with Christian Bale which give you a small insight into some of the ways this man works to pull of off his incredible performances.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on 14 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
Christian Bale stars as John Miller, a mortician on his way to Winchester Cathedral in the middle of war torn Nanking 1937 to bury a priest. The Japanese are taking control of the city. As a westerner Miller is allowed some leeway. When he gets to the church, he discovers they have no money to pay him. There is a group of a dozen girl students who want out. While he is trying to sort things out, a group of local prostitutes arrive seeking refuge from the war.

John Miller immediately shows us his bad side. In addition to the conflict between the Japanese and Chinese, the students don't want the working girls there. The working girls want out of Nanking too and promise John "unimaginable pleasures" from all of them for safe passage.

Eventually, Miller dons a priest cloak and goes from zero to hero as he works relentlessly to save the girls. It is a story which shows how the least of us become heroes.

Much of the movie is in English, the rest has subtitles. There is some first person narration by one of the students. I thought the oriental actors did a better job than Christian Bale who reminded me too much of Jeff Bridges. Chinese actress Ni Ni as Yu Mo gave us a good performance.

There are war scenes, killing, and a few rape scenes, although this is not a grindhouse exploitation film. No nudity, some f-bombs lobbed in Chinese. The film, as expected, has its emotional ups and downs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aleksandra on 14 Dec. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Its a touching movie,really underrated,watch it before judging!A great story,thrilling performances and a beautiful cinematography!Highly recommendable,you should watch it...one of the most incredible stories ever told!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SpeccyD23 on 3 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
Loved this film! It's absolutely epic in scale and features some of the most incredible actions and war sequences I've ever seen. Christian Bale is so cool in this film, i couldn't recommend it highly enough. If you love huge war films like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down - this is totally for you!
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