6.7/10
1,362
15 user 17 critic

Little Red Flowers (2006)

Kan shang qu hen mei (original title)
A young boy starting school for the first time struggles to fit in to a strictly regimented society in in post-revolutionary China.

Director:

Yuan Zhang

Writers:

Shuo Wang (novel), Dai Ning | 1 more credit »
Reviews
8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bowen Dong Bowen Dong ... Fang Qiangqiang
Yuanyuan Ning Yuanyuan Ning ... Yang Nanyan
Manyuan Chen Manyuan Chen ... Yang Beiyan
Zhao Rui Zhao Rui ... Ms. Li
Xinyun Li ... Ms. Tang (as Xiaofeng Li)
Yujia Sun Yujia Sun ... Dou
Ma Du Ma Du ... Fa
Runqiu Liu Runqiu Liu ... Pang
Ziye Wang Ziye Wang ... Mao
Yanghao Zhang Yanghao Zhang ... Jin
Jiani Kang Jiani Kang ... Jia
Jiaheng Zhao Jiaheng Zhao ... Hai
Lian Liu Lian Liu ... Qian
Qing Yao Qing Yao ... Ning
Huacheng Li Huacheng Li ... Long
Edit

Storyline

Qiang is a four-year-old little rebel, possessed of a pair of luminous eyes and a precociously indomitable will. His father deposits him at a well-appointed residential kindergarten in post-1949 Beijing, since his parents are often away. Life at the kindergarten appears rich and colourful, made up of a variety of cheerfully sunny rituals and games meant to train these children to be good members of society. But it's not so easy for Qiang to adapt to this kind of carefully organized, minutely scrutinized collective life. A fierce individualist in miniature, he tries but fails to conform to the model his teachers enforce. Yet he still craves the reward that the other students win: the little red flowers awarded each day as tokens for good behaviour. But Qiang doesn't win any flowers: he can't yet dress himself, and doesn't play together with the other kids. He even dares to talk back to the strict Teacher Li and Principal Kong when they try to impose some discipline on him. Gradually, ... Written by the producers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

China | Italy

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

12 January 2007 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Pequenas Flores Vermelhas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing.
10 August 2007 | by danfrangoSee all my reviews

I'm disappointed by all of the previous comments on this film. This film seemed to me to be far more deeply layered and textured than previous writers have given it credit for.

Having studied Chinese film (particulary the work of the 5th generation, which this film isn't part of), it's my understanding that Chinese films can't be 'read' in the same way as Western films. Due to censorship in China Chinese directors find different ways of telling stories, more often than not by dressing them up as something else. Therefore I don't believe that this film can be taken at face value. I don't believe this is a film about a small boy being sent to a kindergarten by his father and trying to earn Little Red Flowers. I think an important thing to notice is the way the boy changes. He starts off hating the regime of the school but wanting to fit in, wanting to earn a red flower, but he never does, so he deliberately alienates himself. There are many scenes where he sets himself apart from the group, and he becomes a rebel - he stirs up unrest amongst the other children. He challenges the authority. This seems to me to be deeply allegorical.

I was hoping to read some comments here that would help me understand this film, because I'm finding it puzzling. I found it a very hard film to watch, and I can't say I really enjoyed it. I found it slow and repetitive with far too much emphasis on 'peeing and pooping'. However, I'm finding it a very interesting film to think about and try to decipher. I would very much like to read other readers comments on this. What, for example, is the significance of the hospital? And the children's names? There are many many questions to be answered, and many more to be asked. By my own admission I'm not very good at reading films, but I am aware of what needs to be read!


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