Dir: Wei Shujun | Yilong Zhu, Chloe Maayan, Tianlai Hou, Tong Lin Kai | China Drama 102′
Beijing born filmmaker Wei Shujun returns to Cannes three years after his award-winning Striding into the Wind (2020).
You could be forgiven for thinking Only The River Flows was actually made during the 1990s such is the vintage look of the celluloid and its grainy quality, shot by Chengma Zhiyuan (Fires on the Plain). Premiering in this year’s Un Certain Regard sidebar the thriller is set thirty years ago in rural China where a chief of police Ma The (Yilong Zhu) is investigating a series of murders that lead to an early arrest. The victims are a kindly widow, a poet and a rather sweet little boy. But the detective starts to question the decision due the increasingly unusual behaviour of the locals in this riverside backwater.