Set during the waning days of China’s Cultural Revolution, the latest from revered director Zhang Yimou is a heartfelt, bittersweet ode to the power of cinema.
A giant of the “Fifth Generation” of Chinese filmmakers, Zhang Yimou has graced cinemas with some of the most iconic films of the last few decades, including Oscar nominees Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, and Hero. Zhang’s latest film is a loving tribute to his chosen medium, and a much-needed reminder of the magic and enduring power of the filmgoing experience. Set at the end of the Cultural Revolution, ONE SECOND finds an unnamed man (Zhang Yi) on the run after escaping from a labor camp. Stumbling into a remote desert in the Gobi Desert, the man is determined to view a snippet of newsreel rumored to contain footage of his daughter, who he hasn’t seen in years. The man isn’t the only one who wants this particular reel, and his determination to watch the fleeting bit of footage unexpectedly leads him to cross paths with a scrappy orphan girl (Liu Haocun) and traveling projectionist “Mr. Movie” (Fan Wei). Touched by both nostalgia for the more tactile days of projection and a strain of melancholy in its evocation of a bygone era, ONE SECOND is one of Zhang’s most personal films.
CAST: Fan Wei, Liu Haocun, Zhang Yi
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