Set in the People's Republic of China during the 1990s, the film centers on a 13-year-old substitute teacher, Wei Minzhi, in the Chinese countryside. Called in to substitute for a village teacher for one month, Wei is told not to lose any students. When one of the boys takes off in search of work in the big city, she goes looking for him. The film addresses education reform in China, the economic gap between urban and rural populations, and the prevalence of bureaucracy and authority figures in everyday life. It is filmed in a neorealist/documentary style with a troupe of non-professional actors who play characters with the same names and occupations as the actors have in real life, blurring the boundaries between drama and reality. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Underlying message of the film Is importance of primary education. I was amazed by it's realism when I started the movie. Setup is genuine, no need to check I can tell by seeing it. Heartbreaking conditions, ruined building, no facilities, poverty. It's 100% authentic portrayal of rural schooling, sufferings of rural students and people. It demonstrates how hard life is in a developing country. Everything is almost the same like the place from where I come; from village life to school.
With this kind of storyline it's obvious that it's very moving. Story may look depressing but it's full of extremely happy moments throughout the movie. A little girl writing a diary and caring about her teacher's views, when they were trying to solve the bus problem and they actually applied education in practical use, when they were using chalks and writing characters on the board...many scenes that can easily make you cry!
I read on the web & IMDB boards...many people got the feelings of movie and many didn't. I won't say more about the real feelings of movie because it may spoil you. Over analysing a movie is never good so don't try to over analyse the story and character's actions. Just follow the lead girl and you'll get what she was feeling, what she was doing and why. If you're from a developing country and especially from rural area you'll probably catch it in an instant and won't question character's decisions. Note that I'm not saying others won't get it easily. Be patient and you'll get the meaning.
Most amazing fact about this movie is it's rookie cast. None of the actors are professional actors. They all are just ordinary civilians; and on top of that the role of everyone is same as what they do in real world!! Every character has same name of the actor playing respective character...Like Teacher Gao was really teacher Gao, Mayor Tian is really Mayor Tian, TV show host was actually TV show host, TV station manager was deputy manager of TV station...you can see each person's real world work and their role on Wikipedia page of the movie. Wei Meizhi...the lead girl of the movie, is a village girl of China. With help of her brilliant performance she became famous. It's sad that after such strong start of her career she left acting career because she doesn't have beautiful face and body.
I came across this movie after watching 'The Road Home'. I was amazed by the movie and it's soundtrack. So I picked this movie because of the composer and it was a great choice...music is just like I expected! However, it's not filled with music but whatever there is...it's top quality!
Who should avoid this?
-You felt "eeeww" while reading this. Even if you felt it once avoid movie...
-Impatient, who don't prefer slow movies
-People who want to only pass the time
Who should watch this?
-Someone looking for a moving film
-Someone looking for realistic material
-If you're still reading this...