Zhang Lijia

Zhang Yimou‘s movie ‘Flowers of War’ plays strongly on the nationalistic feelings in China, but is no classic propaganda movie, tells author Zhang Lijia to the BBC. But she did like the novel more than the movie.


Lijia Zhang, a commentator based in Nanjing  [Beijing], says that when she went to see the film, the audience reaction was “very powerful”.

The book was originally called 13 Flowers of Nanjing

“I wouldn’t call it a propaganda film but I think it passed the censorship very easily,” she said.

“It’s a positive story… and it puts the Chinese in a good light. It’s part of history and for understandable reasons, China wants the world to understand it.”…

Lijia Zhang – who is also a friend of [the author of the novel] Geling Yan – says she thinks the film had much potential that was unfortunately not quite realised.

“The original novel is I think more interesting, it focuses very much on the women’s story.

“But in the film I think too much emphasis has been placed on the Hollywood star.”

More at the BBC.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

More about Zhang Lijia and China’s moral crisis at Storify.

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