'The Flowers of War' debuts in Beijing

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Cast members promote the film "The Flowers of War" in Beijing on Sunday, December 11, 2011. [Photo: yule.sohu.com]

Chinese director Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers of War" premiered in Beijing on Sunday, December 11, 2011.

Zhang Yimou, who is to be honored at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, says he turned to his long-time friend Steven Spielberg for advice on who to cast.

One of his suggestions was Christian Bale, who had starred as a child actor in Spielberg's 1987 film "Empire of the Sun".

With a budget of 100 million US dollars, "The Flowers of War" is the most expensive ever made in China.

Zhang has however brushed off any suggestion that it put greater commercial pressure on him for the film to perform.

It will open globally on December 15.

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