Books and Movies Reviews

Not one Less

The movie "Not One Less" directed by Zhang Yimou is an emotional drama set in a remote Chinese village of Shuiquan.Not One Less depicts the lifestyle and condition of children in rural part of China who have very scarce access to primary education.These children are without schoolbooks, chalks and most important educated and experienced teachers; in short they are the most unfortunate children in China.
The major part of this film was very harsh and degrading.With the exceptions of a few of the schoolchildren and the original teacher Gao, the actors were motivated by self-interest, selfishness, money and distrust.Much of the conversation between characters is haggling over prices for their own good.For Example, Teacher Wei simply wrote the lessons on the blackboard and then confined the children in the classroom until they had copied their lessons down, all because she was suppose to get paid 50 Yuan to keep children in school and keep them busy.Even the mayor of the village had to bribe mischievous student Zhang Huike to find out about fast runner Ming Xinhong so that he could send her to city sports school.One thing really caught my eye was the innocence of children who were helping Teacher Wei collect enough money so that she can commute to city and bring back Zhang Huike at the same time they were learning math by trying to calculate how much money she is going to need to be able to bring him back.
Director Yimou is very sentimental and emotional, when the little boy was asked what he would remember the most about his experience in the city, the boy said quietly, "That I was forced to beg for food".This movie showed the real face of rural parts of China, the poverty and innocence in eyes of little children, who are forced to quit school and work at young age to help pay for their family debts.Not One Less is a gentle and emotional movie, which truly makes hearts cry.


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