Zhang Yimou, the preeminent movie director working in China today. His movies commands top budgets; he produced the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony which he co-produced with Steven Spielberg. He also directed a slew of vanguard Chinese movies including 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. Movies on the scale of Nanking, as Red Cliff proved, can make their budgets back in Asia alone.
The movie stars Christian Bale as an American priest , who rather than leave Nanking, shelters a group of prostitutes as well as young schoolgirls in his church during the intense six week 1937 battle between the Chinese and Japanese.
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