XINHUA, GLOBAL TIMES (China), AFP
WUXI – Zhang Yimou, one of China’s top film directors is being investigated over claims he has fathered seven children, the Chinese media reported on Thursday.
The Wuxi City Population and Family Planning Commission, in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, is investigating the Xi'an-born director, after it has come to light that Zhang had at least seven children – a violation of China’s family planning policy reports the Global Times.
Zhang, 61, could be fined up to 160 million yuan ($26 million) for these violations.
China’s one-child policy limits urban couples to one child, and to two children for rural families when the first child is a girl.
Zhang, one of China’s most respected directors, according to Xinhua, has won several awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
His most famous films include Red Sorghum (1987), Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004). His last movie, in 2011, was The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale.
Many of his early films were banned in China, reports the AFP, but he has since become a favorite. He was chosen to direct the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and was a runner-up for the Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2008.