THE FLOWERS OF WAR
JIN LING SHI SAN CHAI
2011, Wrekin Hill/Row 1, 145 min, China, Dir: Zhang Yimou

Based on the novel 'The 13 Women Of Nanjing,' this epic war drama is set in 1937 during the second Sino-Japanese War. Oscar-winner Christian Bale plays John Haufman, an American missionary at a Catholic church in Nanjing, China. When the Japanese invade, a group of schoolgirls and local prostitutes seek sanctuary on the church grounds and Haufman becomes their protector. One of the most expensive productions ever mounted in China, THE FLOWERS OF WAR expertly balances terrifying battle sequences with intimate personal moments as the world closes in on these young women and their priest. In Mandarin and English.


THE DARK KNIGHT
2008, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must protect Gotham City from the Joker (Heath Ledger, in an Oscar-winning performance), whose path of destruction turns Batman’s potential successor, district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), into the disfigured villain Two-Face. The all-star cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. While the bravura action sequences come fast and furious, Nolan’s exploration of the characters’ psyches - and the issue of vigilantism - is equally skilled.


BATMAN BEGINS
2005, Warner Bros., 140 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan and BLADE scribe David S. Goyer reinvent the BATMAN franchise, with the help of the best cast ever assembled for a comic book film. Christian Bale infuses the Caped Crusader with emotional gravity, an approach that’s underscored by Nolan’s effectively realistic approach to the material. Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson and many other noteworthy character actors provide solid support in this adventure film that’s as smart as it is rousing.


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