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China’s Zhang says Bale to star in Nanjing project

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Christian Bale will star in Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s new project about 13 young prostitutes who help save compatriots from Japanese troops rampaging Nanjing.

Bale, currently co-starring in the boxing drama “The Fighter,” will portray an American priest in the movie, which is expected to start filming in Nanjing on Jan. 10.

The film is an adaptation of a Chinese-language novel by contemporary writer Yan Geling about 13 sex workers in Nanjing who volunteered to replace university students as escorts for invading Japanese soldiers. In the novel, the American priest presides over a Catholic church that shelters a group of prostitutes and young female students during the invasion.

“We’ve made many, many Nanjing movies … but they are mostly like we’re talking to ourselves. A lot of young people in Western countries might not know about it,” Zhang said. “So I think that perhaps by doing it this way… could let maybe 100 or 200 million young audiences watch this film and maybe then they’ll know what happened in Nanjing in 1937.”

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via The Associated Press

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