8 hours from Beijing, Christian Bale, along with a CNN camera crew, attempted to visit a Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, who is currently under house arrest. Bale and company were chased away and manhandled by guards.
Much of the incident is on tape and is now available online.
Bale was in China for the premiere of his new film, "Flowers of War," which is set in China and funded in part by the Bank of China. The film is set in the 1930's and revolves around the story of a mortician who protects young girls during the invasion of Nanking by Japan. If this Chinese-backed film is part of an effort to develop a more sympathetic image in the West, that effort has backfired somewhat thanks to Bale's unfortunate conflict with Chinese guards outside Chen's home.
Previously, Bale has been criticized for participating in propaganda for the Chinese government. Was his attempted visit to Chen an effort to prove his awareness and concern about human rights abuses in China?
Could the Chinese gov't punish Bale and set an example for all by putting Chen behind bars again?