After its long time in the dark, the black-and-white drama will return triumphantly to the official limelight as the closing film of the Beijing Intl. Film Festival on Sept. 10, then go on to light up Chinese theaters Oct. 15. Its star, the iconic Gong Li, is this year’s chairman of the international jury for the festival’s top Tiantan Awards.
“Saturday Film” originally debuted in competition at Venice in 2019 and was set to premiere in China soon after as the opening film of the country’s highly politicized government-run Golden Rooster Film Festival. It was yanked without warning from the line-up the night before due to unspecified “internal production problems” and replaced by a low-budget documentary about traditional bamboo flutes.