‘A second’, by veteran Zhang Yimou, elevates the inauguration of San Sebastián

‘A second’, by veteran Zhang Yimou, elevates the inauguration of San Sebastián

‘A second’, by veteran Zhang Yimou, elevates the inauguration of San Sebastián

El director Zhang Yimou.

The movie ‘One Second’, by veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou, author of masterpieces such as ‘The Red Lantern’ (1991) or ‘The House of Flying Daggers’ (2004), opens this Friday the competition for the Concha de Oro in the 69th edition of San Sebastián Festival, with the clamorous absence of its director.

The director was scheduled to go online this Friday to chat about the film with accredited journalists, since his current job shooting the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing from February 4 to 20, 2022, prevented him from traveling. to Spain.

a plan that had to be canceled due to technical difficulties to make a connection with guarantees, since at the moment it is in an area of ​​difficult access.

This setback does not prevent us from celebrating that ‘One Second’, which, according to some experts in Yimou’s work, is his best film, inaugurate a complicated edition at a health and social level (In fact, the Basque Government can change the conditions and opening hours today due to the pandemic) but impressive in the cinematographic.

‘One second’ is the long enough to understand love at cinema, to fulfill a hope and to cement an unbreakable friendship. It is an engine that can move a life. And it is the most precious asset of a man, a convict serving a long wrongful sentence, to escape and capture that second.

Yimou returns in ‘A second’ to the years of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, this time recreating, just beginning, in the incredible desert landscapes that link small Chinese populations isolated from everything and everyone.

Places whose maximum expectation is the arrival of a motorcyclist with film reels that, once a month, (as happened in Spain with NO-DO) allows them to connect with the news of the world and watch a movie later, almost always the same tearful stories of Chinese heroes at war.

‘A second’, by veteran Zhang Yimou, elevates the inauguration of San Sebastián

Marion Cotillard opens the San Sebastian star parade

A man walks steadily through the desert dunes in the desolate northwest China. He just wants to get to the first town where ‘Don Films’, the only businessman who watches over the care of the reels and the projections, projected the newscast, to see his daughter who had been filmed in a report.

But a homeless girl anticipates his intentions and steals one of the reels of the film.

From that moment, the girl’s desperation to keep the coil and the man’s imperious need to see it projected opens an unexpected and inevitable rapprochement which reveals to the viewer, in extremely delicate doses, a swarm of fascinating and simple stories, woven together by unforgettable scenes.

Like the one that brings together all the people – finally, only the women – to carry out a titanic task whose sole purpose is that they can all sit together to watch a movie. A symbolic full-fledged defense of the usual cinema, of cinema as a social gathering, and also of shared screenings in a room specially prepared for it.

Yimou has a career spanning three decades, with titles such as ‘Red Sorghum’ (1988), ‘Live’ (1994), ‘Love under the hawthorn’ (2011) or the last one, ‘Shadow’ (2018).

The teacher, born in X’ian in 1951, was powerfully marked by adolescence lived in one of the worst times in China; As he has told repeatedly, he was forced to live for three years in the countryside and seven more years, working in a factory, an experience that has “lent” some of his characters, such as those who star in the love story of hawthorn. White.

Yimou is convinced that such “personal and national” memories are never erased. And although his first sensation is that of anger, reproach or anger, in his films he has always dressed the pain of beauty and covered the wounds.


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