Not One Less (1999)
In her village, she was the teacher... In the city, she discovered how much she had to learn.
|This is the comic fable set in rural china, where a young woman is ordered to a remote village to be a substitute teacher. When her biggest troublemaker disappears into the city to find work, she is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school.|
Editor's NoteNOT ONE LESS is an original, extremely affecting story of a small Chinese village and the children that inhabit it. When an elementary school teacher leaves her assignment to care for her ill mother, the community leader allows a 13-year-old girl, Wei Minzhi, to take her place. After the class clown is forced to leave the village in order to find work, Wei Minzhi organizes a fundraiser that will give her enough money to track him down and return him to his rightful place in the classroom. Zhang's (RAISE THE RED LANTERN) film proves that determination and will can conquer any odds.
Cast & Crew
|Yimou Zhang - Director|
|Yong Hou - Director of Photography|
|Bao San - Musical Score|
|Yu Zhao - Producer|
|Weiping Zhang - Producer|
|Xiangsheng Shi - Writer|
Plot SummaryNOT ONE LESS is the heartwarming tale of a 13-year-old girl, Wei Minzi (Wei), who is a substitute teacher living in a poor village in rural China. She is given a month-long assignment to teach a classroom of 28 students, ages 6 through 10, with instructions to make sure that all the students, "not one less," stay in school. Wei approaches the job as any 13-year-old might--like a sullen teenager--but because she's close in age to her students, they respond to her with playful attentiveness. This film is a clear departure from director Yimou's dramatic and controversial earlier films JU DOU (1990), and RAISE THE RED LANTERN (1991). In NOT ONE LESS, Zhang uses a straightforward documentary style enriched with scenic shots of Wei walking over the dusty footpaths of her village, backed by lush, cascading mountains. The children, including Wei, are non-actors who play themselves. As the story goes, Zhang Huike (Zhang), the class troublemaker, is sent to the city to find work and pay off his parents' debts. Teacher Wei sets out to find him and bring him back. Wei puts herself on the line for her tiny school and its impoverished community, and miraculously, her message travels farther than she'd ever imagined it might.
Sao Paulo International Film Festival (1999)
|Yimou Zhang, Winner, Audience Award|
Venice Film Festival (1999)
|Yimou Zhang, Winner, Golden Lion|