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 ...
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Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.
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
I was moved not only by the cultural value and socio-economic perspective of the movie, but also by the themes of compassion, hope, and diligence. As a middle school teacher, I also like how it brings out the idea that meaningful learning (in the classroom and beyond) takes place through real-life commitments, situations and applications.
As a note aside, notice the credits; although this movie is based on a Chinese novel, the director selected actors and actresses from the real world to play their real-life partscomplete with their real names and titles. Thus teacher Gao really is teacher Gao! Mayor Tien really is mayor Tien, and the kids, together with Minzhi Wei, really are village children, who have no acting experience. Thus the movie really is "realistic" in a true and meaningful way. Don't miss this one!
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