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Wednesday 9th March

10am, 2:30pm, 5pm, 7:30pm

Director Zhang Yimou



104 m

Towards the end of the Cultural Revolution, when movies were one of the few cultural experiences available to China’s masses, the film’s nameless hero (Zhang Yi) is sent to a remote labour camp for taking part in a fight. He escapes, but instead of returning to crime, his one aim is to see a screening of a newsreel where his daughter has been captured briefly on screen, immortalized as a model student and worker.

In this journey towards a fleeting, cinematic reunion with his beloved daughter, his unexpected companions include a scruffy orphan girl named Liu (Liu Haocun) — pursuing her own secret search for celluloid — and Fan (Fan Wei), who goes by Mr. Movie and is widely known as the best projectionist around. In one standout sequence, a reel of film has been damaged in the mud and Fan recruits an entire village to clean the long, precious spool and restore it to its former glory.

Zhang draws on the specific customs of moviegoing from China in the 1970s to craft an enduring, universal celebration of the transformative power of film.

A beautifully photographed gem that is both a touching ode to cinema and a caustic backhander to Communism…One Second easily ranks as one of Zhang Yimou’s most humane and touching films. – Jim Schembri

Despite censorship, Zhang Yimou’s tale of the power of cinema has a gorgeous eye, a droll sense of humour and a big, full celluloid heart. – Jessica Kiang, Variety

Irrespective of what initially led the film to be withdrawn for “technical reasons”, a euphemistic catch-all term generally understood to mean a run-in with the censors, One Second retains the power to provoke and enchant in equal measure. – James Marsh, South China Morning Post