Book Tickets

Sat 10 Aug
Sun 18 Aug
Mon 26 Aug

Not One Less U

Part of Zhang Yimou: A Retrospective
Zhang Yimou, China, 1999, 106m.

Our screening on 10 August will be introduced by Tony Rayns and followed by a Zoom Q&A with lead actress Wei Minzhi.

Inspired by the works of Abbas Kiarostami (in particular Where is the Friend’s House?) and Vittorio De Sica, Zhang returned to similar territory to The Story of Qiu Ju (1992). Not One Less is an even purer example of neorealism, with a cast of non-professional actors mainly playing versions of themselves.

Chief amongst those is the one-in-a-lifetime performance of thirteen-year-old Wei Minzhi as a teenager who is ordered to a remote and poverty-stricken village to work as a substitute teacher. Barely older than her students, the shy girl is charged with keeping the class intact for one month, or she will not be paid. Faced with overwhelming family debt, the class troublemaker disappears into the city to find work. The stubborn teacher, however, is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school.

Not One Less was designed in part to promote China’s education reform policies (although it is arguably quite critical of the school system at the same time), which may have contributed to its controversial rejection from the main competition at Cannes. Despite this, it would go on to win the Golden Lion at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.  

Wei Minzhi, Zhang Huike, Tian Zhenda

Please arrive promptly - we do not show adverts.

Book Tickets

User Comments

To leave a comment, please login or become a member