Christian Bale has an activist attack
In what appeared to be a scripted visit to see the Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), “Batman” actor Christian Bale was reportedly punched by security guards.
He made the trip to Donshigu Village, Shandong province, at the same time as his movie The Flowers of War (金陵十三钗), with director Zhang Yimou (张艺谋) is about to be released (unlike Guangcheng).
Christian has been criticized for jumping on the China propaganda bandwagon for agreeing to star in the film about the Nanjing Massacre.
This will no doubt restore his credibility in the West.
The 40-year-old Guangcheng is a blind, self-taught lawyer who has criticized the authorities on issues such as the country’s family planning, or one-child policy. He has been on house arrest since September 2010.
According to CNN reporters who accompanied Bale on his visit, the guards told him to “Go away!” when he said he wanted to see Guangcheng:
Amid the scuffling and yelling, dozens more guards in olive-green, military-style overcoats — and two gray minivans — emerged from the other side of the checkpoint, all coming toward us.
“Why can I not visit this free man?” Bale asked repeatedly, only to receive punches from guards aiming for his small camera as they tried to drag him away from the rest of us.
As we retreated, I recognized the ringleader — the same burly man who had hurled rocks at the CNN team 10 months earlier to force us out of the same location.
A precarious scene ensued Thursday as one of the gray minivans chased our car at high speed on bumpy country roads for some 40 minutes.
When the dust settled, we counted a broken car, a damaged camera — and a Batman star disappointed at — but not shocked by — his failure to see a personal hero.
“What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is,” Bale said.
CNN claimed Bale had been alerted to Guangcheng’s plight by news reports. It’s easy to see in the picture that he has been mic’d up by the American broadcaster for the visit.
Chinese citizens have also previously been attacked trying to visit Guangcheng.