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A man watches in front of him as a light shines from the projector beside him.

Only the River Flows
(He Bian De Cuo Wu)

  •   Wei Shujun
  •   China

1990s small town China. A woman’s body washes up in the local river. The chief of police, Ma Zhe, is tasked with heading up the investigation. An obvious perp leads to a hasty arrest, though the mystery lingers in Ma Zhe’s mind. What kind of darkness is truly at play here?

In director Wei Shujun’s murky throwback film noir, gritty, textured film grain captures the pulpy proceedings, Torrents of rain envelop the characters as they descend into madness in pursuit of the truth. Equal parts atmospheric tour-de-force and beguiling puzzler, Only the River Flows is at once a masterfully styled ode to a bygone cinematic era and a sharp-edged portrait of provincial paranoia.

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International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Event Information

Saturday, October 14, 2023

  •   101 minutes
1500 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 United States



Cinema/Chicago is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment at all our programs and events. All event venues are fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step entrances or ramp access and elevators. All venues offer wheelchair-designated spaces, companion seating, easy-access theater seating, and accessible restrooms. For accommodation requests, please email us at access@chicagofilmfestival.com, call us at 312-683-0121, x108, or complete our Accommodation Request Form.

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