Just watched this Zhang Yimou film in a local theatre today with a Chinese friend. It was so powerful that I had to step out about halfway through to calm myself down. The last movie that brought tears to my eyes was probably The Game, which was a completely different type of movie, but a psychological thriller none-the-less. I was speechless after that movie and I feel the same with this one.
Since my friend was a woman whose mother came from Nanjing it was extra moving for us. All I could do was give her a shoulder and a hug at the moments when we both wanted to close our eyes.
I’m sure this movie will get mixed reviews, but I would say that a movie which can twist the audience in so many directions is truly a piece of work. There are reasons to feel love, hate, sorrow, and joy in this tri-lingual film. And the subtitles are as important to the experience as the blood that is spilled on the ash-covered Nanjing city streets; as searing as the colorful church glass that shadders from a heroic snipers bullet; as garish as the bodies mutilated by acts of inhumane terror. Continue reading The Flowers of War (Nanjing War Movie)