More than two years after the world premiere of Zhang Yimou’s One Second was canceled mere days before its scheduled gala screening at the Berlinale on account of a “technical problem” – the insultingly transparent wording of a censorship bureau grown smug about its power – the renowned Chinese filmmaker’s most intimate movie since the days of Hero and House of Flying Daggers is finally here.
David Ehrlich, Indiewire
One Second is not just about the magic of the movies, it’s about their resilience, and so it’s fitting – even moving – that despite the omissions and additions that have been mandated by the Chinese censors since it was yanked from the 2019 Berlinale competition, the film survives so soulfully. It’s been reedited and partially reshot, but its essence is intact, and anyway, despite the heavy hand of censorship inking out some of the more ardent passages, and a two-and-a-half-year delay in the love-letter’s delivery, if you hold it up to the light, you can still read what was originally written there.
Jessica Kiang, Variety