One Second

Legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou is back with a sensitive drama set during the Cultural Revolution in China. A desperate man meets an orphan girl, while the local cinema manager has one priority only: the show must go on.

In a town surrounded by desert dunes, a man walks with what seems like one goal in mind: to reach the nearby town's cinema, and to make sure he catches the next screening of the newsreel. Enters Liu, an orphan girl who is determined to steal the film reels, for reasons that are initially as mysterious as why the man needs to see them. The two get entangled in a multi-layered story that also includes Fan, known as Mr. Movie, the charismatic and powerful cinema manager. 

One Second is both a tribute to the magic of cinema mirroring Zhang Yimou's own childhood, and a reflection on the power of images and the use of cinema as propaganda. It is also a story about family ties: what are we willing to do for the ones we love? Compared to Zhang Yimou's well-known epic films, One Second sets itself apart by its heartfelt story set in the political context of the Cultural Revolution.    


Zhang Yimou is a Chinese director, born in 1951 in Xi'an. His directorial debut, Red Sorghum (1987) attracted immediate attention, and he established himself as a major director of the "Fifth Generation" in China with his 1991 masterpiece, Raise the Red Lantern. He is also known for his martial heroes (wuxia) films, amongst which Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004).



2016 The Great Wall
2006 Curse of the Golden Flower
2004 House of Flying Daggers
2002 Hero
1994 To Live
1991 Raise the Red Lantern
1987 Red Sorghum


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