21st Annual Foreign Film Festival
1999; 1 h 46 m; G
In the crushing poverty of rural China, a 13-year-old girl is ordered to a remote village to be their one-room schoolhouse’s substitute teacher. Barely older than her students, the shy girl is charged with keeping the class intact for one month or she won’t be paid. Faced with overwhelming family debt, her biggest little troublemaker disappears into the city to find work. The stubborn teacher, however, is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school. Directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Wei Minzhi, Huike Zhang, and Zhenda Tian, Not One Less was adapted from Shi Xiangsheng’s 1997 story “A Sun in the Sky” and went on to win the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion Award for Best Picture and Best Director from China’s prestigious Golden Rooster Awards.