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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     101 minutes


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.

 Mandarin with subtitles

Screenings & Events


Film Credits

  •   Tang Xiaohui, Huang Xufeng, Li Chan, Shen Yang
  •   Kang Chunlei, Wei Shujun
  •   Mattieu Laclau
  •   Chengma
  •   Zhu Yilong, Chloe Maayan, Hou Tianlai, Tong Linkai
  •   Tu Duu-Chih, Tu Tse-Kang
  •   Tang Xiaohui, Dorothy Zeng, Li Chan
  •   KXKH Film


International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation