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Christian Bale stars in 'The Flowers of War' trailer

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A new U.S. trailer for director Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War has arrived, light on details but heavy with striking images.

What we see is Christian Bale, trading in his vigilante cape and cowl for a priest’s robes, fighting to protect a group of women in 1937 war-torn China. The film’s subject matter is considerably dark, focusing on a bleak period of the Sino-Japanese War known as “The Nanking Massacre,” which saw the murder and rape of countless Chinese civilians. Watch the full trailer below.

Flowers of War was recently selected as the Chinese entrant for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards. The film will open Friday in China, with a limited release in the United States planned for later in December and into next year.