The Flowers of War, the latest feature from Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou rolled into theaters in New York and Los Angeles in December. But tomorrow this entrancing war drama is set to expand, opening in select theaters across the United States. To celebrate, its U.S. distributors, Row 1 Entertainment and Wrekin Hill Entertainment, have unveiled a new poster that draws special attention to the films biggest draws: international A-lister Christian Bale—seen here with a brooding determination—and the fleet of beautiful young actresses who play flirtatious ladies of the night.

Yimou has long-established himself as a master of epic films with a massive and visually dazzling scope. Besides directing such stunning adventures as Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, he was also the mastermind behind the jaw-dropping spectacle that was the 2008 Olympic Games' opening ceremonies in Beijing. The Flowers of War is his biggest budgeted feature to date, as well as the most expensive film production ever attempted in China. Another extraordinary element of the film's creation is the involvement of Christian Bale, as the Chinese film industry is notoriously nationalistic. Simply put, it's little wonder that the film was China's selection for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category, even before it had been completed.

Courtesy of IMDB

Based on the novel The 13 Women of Nanjing by Yan Geling, The Flowers of War takes place during the heinous days of the 1937 Nanking Massacre. The drama centers on a young girl, who, along with her classmates, seeks sanctuary at the local church/convent school. As Japanese soldiers rape and pillage their way through Nanking, the city's prostitutes flee the red light district, and scale the walls surrounding the church grounds, seeking a place to hide. Bale stars as a selfish American who stumbles into the turmoil, but finds himself moved to defend these helpless girls and slinky women from the merciless Japanese soldiers. Forced to co-exist within the walls the old church, tensions and jealousies rise fast as the Japanese invaders draw ever nearer.

Of course all this complexity cannot be captured in a poster. Still, this offering is a bit uninspired with its pastel washes and crossfaded central figures. However, it does manage to present the main characters while hinting to Yimou's extraordinary ability to mix hard and soft elements to create something painful yet beautiful. So all in all, it'll do.

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