Wei's difficult mission to fulfill Teacher Gao's wish and her own concern for the welfare of the children begins. Early in the month, a sports recruiter comes to take one athletic girl, Ming Xinhong, to a special training school; unwilling to let any students leave, Wei hides Ming, and when the village mayor Tian Zhenda finds her, Wei chases after their car in a futile attempt to stop them. Let's face the facts of life. In fact she seems more concerned about the 50 yuan she's supposed to get than anything else. Also, did I mention the fact that Minzhi is thirteen years old? And this, only a few years ago, in a modern, civilised European country. Rural v Urban, Poverty v Prosperity, the contrast is stark. For the characters, Wei is a substitute school teacher who would go to extremes high determination from handling a class to walking around the city looking for a missing person.
He reminds her that since the chalk is so precious, she should be careful not to waste it. 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. Since the one room school is falling apart at the seams, we understand that the teacher has no alternative. I suppose 'heart warming' are the first words that come to mind but lest that put anyone off, I have to say that it is the way Mr Zhang involves us from the very beginning that is the reason for the film's success. It gets better if you have an interest in learning more about the daily conditions of modern-day rural and urban China, delivered via a master cinematographer. However, it is a long way, and she has no money. In 1987 Zhang directed his first film, Hong gaoliang.
However, when Minzhi is offered an extra ten yuan by the old teacher if she is able to keep all of her students during the month, Minzhi becomes determined to keep all of her students in place. In Qiu Ju da guansi 1992; , Zhang the stunning cinematography and ornate settings of his earlier works for a gritty contemporary drama centring on a young woman who seeks after a village elder attacks her husband. How to find the boy in such a sea of humanity? The film might be too slow for the brain-dead Hollywood types. The story is told in quite a simple manner. It's not even clear that she wants to do the job.
His subsequent action films included Shimian mai fu 2004; House of Flying Daggers and Man cheng jin dai huangjinjia 2006; Curse of the Golden Flower. 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. Thus acclaimed Chinese film maker Zhang Yimou sets the stage for a most compelling fairy tale which illustrates how the determined spirit of a little girl might triumph over poverty, ignorance, and the hard-headed reality of the post-Maoist bureaucratic society. In the historical drama Jin ling shi san chai 2011; , he told the story of an American mortician played by who shelters a group of convent students and prostitutes during the. After earning the money, she reaches the bus station but learns that the price is higher than she thought, and she cannot afford a ticket.
Who was pulling whose leg here??? The brilliance of the film is that the film hooks the audience as a thriller would until the film ends. He won the Golden Lion in 1992 and 1999, and the Silver Lion in 1991. A film not to be missed! This is the depiction of a true story with the two lead characters performed by the actual person: Wei Minzhi, 13 year old young girl who is a substitute for the village teacher, and Zhang Huike, 11 year old young boy who left school to go to the city to find work to pay for family debt. What if it is overcast? The village's schoolmaster has been called away to his mother's deathbed, and Wei's assignment is to teach the grade school class. 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. Personally I was stunned by the deep impact this film had on me. Its better still if you have Chinese ancestry in your family.
The latter movie, centring on a school in a poor village, won the Golden Lion at the. Heck, it's like seeing a familiar situation in my country's own backyard! Wei puts the whole class to work shifting bricks for a local factory to earn the funds. Wei makes them empty their pocketbooks, and when there is not enough she takes them on a field trip to a brick-making factory and together they move bricks to raise the cash. Minzhi's stubbornness may be Huike and the village school's salvation. Yingxiong 2002; was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film, and it became the highest-grossing film in China. Shi Xiangsheng's script is a rural fable based on his own story set in remote China, Hebei - the dry high plains, an undoubtedly stiffening existence. She just knows she must find him.
Internationally, the film was generally well-received, but it also attracted criticism for its ostensibly political message; foreign critics are divided on whether the film should be read as praising or criticizing the Chinese government. This film is innovative, delicate, and harshly authentic. When the regular teacher starts to leave without paying her, she chases after him. She knows one song a Maoist propaganda song and that not very well. One day, after trying to make the troublemaker Zhang apologize for bothering another student, Wei discovers that Zhang has left to go find work in the nearby city of Zhangjiakou.
Thus teacher Gao really is teacher Gao! She is truly one track minded to find the lost student and to bring him home back to the village, and does not care if others are curt with her, or impolite; she's just very focused on achieving what she came to the city for - to get Zhang Huike back to the village school - no matter what it takes! When a boy leaves in search of work in the big city, she goes looking for him. The film ends with a series of title cards that recount the actions of the characters after the film ends, and describe the problem of poverty in rural education in China. Her arithmetic is suspect and her people skills are those of a self-centered beginner. Of course because of her age she is not only taken advantage of by her students, but the mayor as well who tries to swindle his way out of paying the young woman fifty yuan, around maybe twenty dollars for a month's work. After Wei and Zhang are reunited, the station manager arranges to have them driven back to Shuiquan village, along with a truckload of school supplies and donations that viewers had sent in.
At the end, she succeeds in holding the class together. To add to the authenticity, Zhang Yimou used real people from the Chinese countryside to play the roles although to clear up one misperception, this is not a true story. Although I would not say that this film is as good as Zhang Yimou's internationally celebrated films such as Red Sorghum 1987 his first film or Raise the Red Lantern 1991 which I think is his best film or The Story of Qiu Ju 1991 which this film resembles to some extent , it is nonetheless a fine work of art exemplifying Zhang Yimou's beautiful and graceful style and his deep love for his characters and their struggles. Teacher Gao cannot stand the thought of losing anymore students: he has already lost twelve to ever-increasing attrition, and he promises Wei an extra 10 yuan if she succeeds in ensuring that upon his return, there will be not one less. Foreign movies like this and foreign cultures are amazing because they show the real life, much different from the american or european style, and tell about real problems from their point of view. Even here in Spain, in rural villages high up in the sierras, my wife has worked in schools in little villages where either the floorboards were rotting under her feet in front of the blackboard, or the plumbing did not work, or the lights did not switch on when you wanted them to, or the wood-burning stove in the middle of the room gave off billows of smoke so that you had to open the windows with 10ºC below zero outside, or the window panes had no putty in them, and so on. It is certainly a different China than the economic superpower we hear about in the news.
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. 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 performances were so convincing I marveled at their exquisite, authentic qualities. From what I understand, this is a pretty accurate picture of the situation in many places in the Chinese countryside. After graduating in 1982, Zhang worked as a cinematographer on such films as Yige he bage 1983; One and Eight , Huang tudi 1984; Yellow Earth , and Lao jing 1986; Old Well. They try moving bricks at the local factory, the teacher turning the enterprise into a math lesson, with the students figuring how many hours it will take to earn her bus fare if they are paid so much per brick. Oh, but that's getting ahead of the story.