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Not One Less (1999)

Yi ge dou bu neng shao (original title)
1:31 | Trailer
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 »


Yimou Zhang


Xiangsheng Shi
17 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





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


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




G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


As in the Italian neo-realism movies, director Yimou Zhang used only non-professional actors. See more »


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 »


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

User Reviews

Amateurs Present Good, Simple Story
15 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

There isn't much to this story, I but I still liked it. The lead character, played by Wei Minzhi, is supposed to be playing a 13-year-old girl and was really interesting to watch, as were the young students and some of the other people in this film.

Oddly, all these actors were amateurs, real-life students and people of varied professions. It's nicely filmed, too, despite the bleak background many times. I find the dialog of many Chinese films to be very pleasing. Yes, there is a lot of receptiveness, at least in the translations, but it's tolerable. There is very little profanity and plenty of good old-fashioned values and feelings of people, simply told. You don't find much of this is in modern-day movies of the Western World. The colors in here - the reds, yellows and oranges - are always a treat for the eyes and the Asian kids' faces are intriguing.

This film is very different from anything Western audiences are used to, but I recommend it for those who realize that fact and are okay with it.

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Release Date:

30 October 1999 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Ni uno menos See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,256, 21 February 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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