China Film
10 January 2020

Shiqiu Film and Television Base

The local Shiqiu town government, outside Nanjing, took on the cost of constructing a Roman Catholic cathedral for Zhang Yimou’s Flowers of War (2011) starring Christian Bale. As the Japanese army overtakes Nanjing, the church becomes a refuge and hiding place for 13 schoolgirls, 12 prostitutes, an American mortician (played by Bale), and a boy who had been adopted by the priest (now dead). Despite generous explosions and gunfire throughout the film, the church survives, and today it sits in the middle of a landscaped green lawn. The site failed to attract other large-scale productions but is still used for weddings and special events. The surrounding war-torn Nanjing streetscapes, however, have been demolished.


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