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Not One Less (1999)
"Yi ge dou bu neng shao" (original title)

G  |   |  Drama  |  30 October 1999 (South Korea)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,324 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 72 user | 69 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Minzhi Wei ...
Huike Zhang ...
Zhang Huike
Zhenda Tian ...
Village Chief
Enman Gao ...
Teacher Gao
Zhimei Sun ...
Sun Zhimei
Yuying Feng ...
TV Receptionist
Fanfan Li ...
TV Host
Yichang Zhang ...
Mr Zhang, instructor
Zhanqing Xu ...
Brick factory owner
Hanzhi Liu ...
Zhang Huike's mother
Ma Guolin ...
Bus station man
Wu Wanlu ...
TV station manager
Liu Ru ...
Train station announcer
Wang Shulan ...
Stationery store clerk
Fu Xinmin ...
TV station director
Edit

Storyline

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there's not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi's stubbornness may be Huike and the village school's salvation. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1999 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Ni uno menos  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$50,256 (USA) (18 February 2000)

Gross:

$589,114 (USA) (7 July 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yimou insisted on capturing natural reactions from the amateur actors. To achieve this, he often used hidden cameras and microphones. This resulted in a film-shot to film-used ratio of 35 to 1. Normally, because of cost, the ratio should be 3.5 to 1. However, because the film was shot on 16mm (an later blown up to 35mm), the price was about the same because of the cheaper film stock. See more »

Quotes

TV Host: Do you like the city?
Zhang Huike: Yes.
TV Host: What is good about it?
Zhang Huike: The city is beautiful and prosperous. Much better than the country.
TV Host: What's the most lasting impression?
Zhang Huike: That I had to beg for food. I will always remember that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

A definite MUST-SEE or NOT-TO-SEE, depending on...
13 June 2001 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

At the moment this art house gem of a film rates an IMDB 7.9, so obviously many of us film buffs love it. This film is innovative, delicate, and harshly authentic. If you enjoy international film festival flicks, you MUST see this film. Actually I believe this film should be required viewing for film students who aspire to be directors, cinematographers, etc.

However, if you prefer action, Hollywood formula flicks, car chases or even complex plots, then avoid this film. You will probably fall asleep or just be irritated.

If you watch this film with your heart, with a good dose of patience, you you will then understand the message. If tears do not come to you during the main character's emotional appeal, then you are probably not aligned with the spirit of this film.

Personally I was stunned by the deep impact this film had on me. Yes, it was indeed 'slow', but this allowed for the genuine portrayal of common hope and suffering. I have been a film buff for over 4 decades and this film stands out as refreshingly different. By the way, it is supposed to be a true story, and this added significantly to the film's realism. Also, it does seem that none of the people in the film were professional actors, which is amazing in spite of a sort of documentary feel at times. If you have an open heart and mind, see it!


31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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