Christian Bale run off while trying to visit Chinese activist
The Dark Knight himself isn't immune to the human rights problems in China, as Christian Bale was roughed up by villagers guarding a blind activist lawyer in a village there. Hey, this ain't Occupy Wall Street, you know.
Bale was in Dongshigu village with a CNN crew including Stan Grant and Steven Jiang to visit with Chen Guangcheng, a 40-year-old self-taught lawyer under house arrest with his wife, mother and daughter since being released from prison in September 2010. He had been sentenced to more than four years in prison for porperty damage and disrupting traffic in a protest, but the real reason is because of his work giving legal help to victims of corrupt Chinese family-planning officials.
Four men blocked Bale and the crew, eventually leading to the laying on of hands and a fairly dramatic road chase, which you can watch in the video above. Bale was in the country promoting his movie The Flowers of War, set in 1930s Nanjing and featuring the actor as a mortician protecting schoolgirls from invading Japanese soldiers, who often forced Chinese girls to work as sex slaves. He learned of Chen's plight in February and was inspired to seek him out.
"What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is," Bale said. Despite being turned away -- run off, actually -- he wasn't discouraged. "I'm not brave doing this. The local people who are standing up to the authorities, who are visiting Chen and his family and getting beaten or detained, I want to support them."