MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,160 this week

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

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,095 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 71 user | 70 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 »

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 30 Apr 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 02 May 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Jun 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 03 Aug 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 5 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Not One Less" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Not One Less (1999)

Not One Less (1999) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Not One Less.

User Polls

17 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The owner of a Chinese noodle shop's scheme to murder his adulterous wife and her lover goes awry.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Dahong Ni, Ni Yan, Xiao Shen-Yang
Coming Home (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Chinese man is forced into marriage and flees to America, but when he returns home, he is sent to a labor camp.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Daoming Chen, Tao Guo
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou
Shower (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family's bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da's ... See full summary »

Director: Yang Zhang
Stars: Jiayi Du, Bing He, Wu Jiang
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau
Kikujiro (1999)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way.

Director: Takeshi Kitano
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Kayoko Kishimoto
Hero (2002)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung
Yellow Earth (1984)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Peiqi Liu, Liuchun Yang
The Road Home (1999)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng
Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Jan Peter Balkenende, Barbara Bush, George Bush
Zhong Guo tie lu (TV Movie 2011)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
Director: Yimou Zhang
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

city | village | teacher | promise | mountain | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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

References The Story of Qiu Ju (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A gentle and involving film that touches the heart
23 September 2002 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Not One Less (1999), directed by Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad) is a bittersweet drama set in a poor public school in the remote Chinese village of Shuiquan in Hebei province. Based on a book by screenwriter Shi Xiangsheng, who worked as a schoolteacher in Xinjiang, Not One Less illuminates the conditions of children in rural China who have little access to education and are without schoolbooks or teachers with drive or experience.

As the film opens, the regular teacher (Gao Enman) must leave the school to take care of his sick mother and a 13-year old peasant girl (Wei Minzhi) with no previous teaching experience is hired by the Mayor to become the substitute teacher for one month. Teacher Gao, already upset by the number of students who have left the school, tells Wei that when he comes back the number of students must be "not one less". Wei, concerned about receiving her pay of 50 yuan, promises that no student will leave while she is there. The young teacher must control and teach 28 students, most just a few years younger than her. With little resources other than a few boxes of chalk, Wei can do little else than have the children copy an assignment from the blackboard while she sits outside the door to prevent them from leaving.

Teacher Wei runs into difficulty in keeping her promise to Gao when one student is recruited to go to a special sports school. Another student, a bright but mischievous 11-year old, Zhang Huike, is also taken out of school to find work in the city of Jiangjiaou to help his family's finances. The story takes a sharp turn when Wei, determined not to lose any more students, makes plans to raise money to go to the city to find Zhang and bring him back to school. The process of finding the money to allow her to take the bus to the city enables Wei to teach the eager students by constructing real-life problems in simple mathematics.

When Zhang gets lost in the city and lives on the streets, scavenging for food, Wei must summon all her inner resources to try to find him. The scenes in the city use hidden cameras during Wei's interactions with crowds to create a semi-documentary style that reminded me of recent Iranian films that blend fact and fiction. In the process of looking for Zhang, the naive girl from the countryside encounters bewildering obstacles and bureaucratic bungling that are reminiscent of an earlier Zhang Yimou film, "The Story of Qui Ju". At first, Wei's motives in finding Zhang are to make sure she gets paid when Gao returns. However, she soon develops a true affection for Zhang and the result is a desperate search that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride.

While Not One Less is specifically about economic conditions in rural China, the appealing innocence of the nonprofessional actors (who used their real names to add authenticity to their performance) gives the film a direct emotional appeal that is universal. It may lack the scope and dramatics of earlier Yimou works, but Not One Less is a gentle and involving film that truly touches the heart.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
She was a little bit dumb MovieLuvaMatt
Wei Min zhi - update on her current life Lingyi
Score xthetexaschainsawmassacrex
Real story? fromthesecondplanet
DVD out of print? TyGB
Couple of questions arts_bandit
Discuss Not One Less (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?