Category Archive: Yan Geling

The story behind Chinese war epic The Flowers of War

The Chinese epic The Flowers of War failed to gain a highly-coveted Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. But as Bethan Jinkinson reports, the historical drama has resonated with Chinese audiences.

Flowers of War cover Click here to read more »

Catholic girls and ladies of the night

Yan Geling tells Ysabelle Cheung about her powerful historical novel as it hits Hong Kong in cinematic formGeling TimeOut Click here to read more »

Geling Yan — Novelist and screenwriter, Berlin


Monocle Click here to read more »

China Selects Zhang Yimou’s Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale, as Oscar Entry


Christian Bale


The backers of Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War, a tough period drama set during the horrific 1937 Nanking Massacre, are heaving sighs of relief. China has chosen the film as its official Oscar entry. It is due for December 16 release in Asia and was for sale at the recent Toronto Film Festival, where I saw a stunning 20 minutes of footage. This means that a buyer is now more likely to step up to qualify the film at year’s end for a Christian Bale Oscar campaign, knowing that The Flowers of War may wind up a foreign Oscar nominee. (There’s just enough Chinese in the English/Mandarin dialogue to qualify.) Click here to read more »

The Flowers of War – film review

The Observer

Philip French

A couple of years ago, there appeared within a week of each other two serious, sober films about one of the worst atrocities of an atrocious century, the Japanese siege and destruction of Nanking in the winter of 1937-38 that resulted in the massacre of some 300,000 civilians. Lu Chuan’s black-and-white City of Life and Death tells the story from the point of view of the Chinese victims and the Japanese invaders. Florian Gallenberger’s restrained City of War: The Story of John Rabe observes the events through the eyes of a group of European residents, among them a Schindler figure, boss of the Siemens factory (and, ironically, a Nazi party member), who created a safety zone that saved the lives of 200,000 Chinese citizens. Click here to read more »

Zhang Yimou’s Heroes of Nanking Starring Oscar Hopeful Christian Bale Wraps, Will Sell at Toronto


Christian Bale


Zhang Yimou, the premiere director in China, commands top budgets; he produced the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony and directed Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Now Zhang has erected a massive city and full-scale Cathedral in Beijing for his latest period epic, Heroes of Nanking, which recently wrapped principal photography after 164 days. The movie cost $100 million, more than John Woo’s Red Cliff, Zhang’s usual producer/financeer Zhang Weiping revealed in Cannes. Click here to read more »