The Flowers of War

Synopsis: In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John (Christian Bale) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor.
Director(s): Yimou Zhang
Production: Wrekin Hill Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
146 min

After twenty days of continuous bombing,

Nanking finally fell to the Japanese.

It was December the 13th, 1937.

I remember

everyone was running that day,

but no one could escape that heavy fog.

Major Li only had a few men left.

Nanking was no longer

able to put up a fight,

and those left behind, ran for their lives.

Stop counting.

Shu and two others are missing.

Let us in!

There's no room!

Find your own place to hide!

I said there's no more room!

Let's go.

Keep going!


There are people inside.

Who is there?

Come out!

Come out!


Go to hell!


Turn around!

Turn around!

Don't move!


From the refuge.



Not soldier.

John Miller.

Raise your hands!

Working at the church.

Raise your hands!

I said raise your hands!


You separated from your families?





going to...

Winchester Cathedral.

You know where it is?



Did you say...

Did you say "mister?"

Who said "mister?"

You speak English?

We are from Winchester Cathedral.

Say that again.

We are from Winchester Cathedral.

You're kidding?

We are students at the convent.

You going there?

Why do you want to go there?

I'm helping to bury your father.

Well, not your father father...

Father Ingleman.

Father Ingleman, yeah.

I'm helping burying him.

Father Ingleman, I'm sending him off...

to heaven or wherever.

You show me the way?


move to the flank,

prepare to engage.

Damn it, are you deaf?

Major Li,

we are the last ones left.

We should leave the city now.

Keep fighting.

Yes sir.

Got you!

Let's go.

Yes sir.

That way!

Up there, on the right!

On the left! Fire!

Cover them!

The Chinese army didn't

have adequate weapons

to destroy the enemy's tanks,

so they employed a tactic

from ancient warfare.

They formed a human shield

to get a bomb close to the tanks.

At the time, the Chinese people

couldn't bear the thought

of their country,

and such selfless acts were not uncommon.


Let me go!


Come on!

Father Ingleman...

fly away.

Fly away?

On here, Japanese, bomb.

- He flew away with the bomb, right.

- Yes.

Why was the deceased out here?

- Gu. All because of Gu.

- Gu?

He said, bad smell.

He moved the body here.

Who's Gu?

Gu is our cook.

He ran away.

He leaves some students here.

Some students took away by parents.

Some students nowhere to go.

So who's inside?

Just you and the girls?

Just you and the girls.

Even without a body,

you gotta pay me.


No... You gotta pay me.


That's the rule.

There's nothing I can do about it.

With what I came through,

I should raise the price.

So is the money inside?

No. No money.

Money? Inside?


Come on.

There's no money inside?


Let's look.

It's a Catholic church.

There's gotta be some cash inside.



You say anything but no?

Can you fix truck?

Help us.

Leave Nanking.

Fix this truck?

For free?


I can take parts, sell parts.

You got tools?


Let's get inside.

Zhen didn't even make a noise.

Even when they stabbed her over and over,

yet she didn't make a noise.

It's all my fault.

It's not your fault.

It is your fault.

Your father promised to take us

on a boat and leave Nanking.

Where is he?

He ran off.

We waited and waited

and now the Japanese are here.

Now the Japanese are everywhere,

and it's too late to go to the refuge.

Zhen died because of your father!

Shut up!

What are you doing?


Stop fighting!



Hey! Stop!


I'm John. Hi.

I'm American.

He's the mortician for Father's funeral.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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