THE PLOT THUS FAR
A Westerner finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan’s rape of Nanking in 1937. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Flowers of War” spotlights American mortician John Miller who was sent to a Catholic church/convent in Nanking to prepare the body of the priest for burial, who was then under siege by the Japanese. When he gets there, he found he also needed to take care of a group of convent girls led by the spirited Shu, a young caretaker boy George, and later, a gaggle of exotic prostitutes led by the classy beauty Yu Mo. Everyone will go through a touching life-changing story arc that will show how even the most unlikely of people can become heroes in extreme adversity.
Director Zhang Yimou returns to form in this movie. He was relentless in the first half we are taken through a continuous barbaric carnage perpetrated by the Japanese soldiers. These parts are reminiscent of the frankly violent blood-spurting “Saving Private Ryan” beach scene. The terror is very palpable. While the scenes of soldiers being shot and killed were hard to watch, the several minutes of violence to children was even harder to bear for weak American sensibilities.
The Blu-Ray comes with five featurettes that cover every aspect of the production. The 1080p transfer is pretty sharp, even though the footage jumps around based on source material. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track is sharp enough for what’s available. Still, it works. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!