Not One Less (1999) Chinese Movie Information
Title in Chinese – 一个都不能少
Title in Pinyin – Yi Ge Dou Bu Neng Shao
Genre – Drama
Subject/theme – A 13 year old substitute teacher is put on charge of a small country school for a month and told not to lose even one student
Language – Mandarin
Region – China
China – April 1999
Italy – 30th October 1999
France – 3rd November 1999
Hong Kong – 2nd December 1999
USA – 21st January 2000
Movie runtime – 106 minutes
Cast & Role Played
Wei Minzhi – Wei Minzhi, substitute teacher
Zhang Hui-ke – Zhang Hui-ke, class trouble maker and drop out
Tian Zhenda – Mayor Tian
Gao Enman – Teacher Gao
Teacher Gao must leave his small country school for one month on family business and the only substitute teacher he can find is 13 year old Wei who is not high school educated and has no special talents. His school is so poor that he can only leave her with one piece of chalk to use a day. Gao’s last instructions to Wei is she would receive a bonus of 10 RMB if there was not one student missing on his return.
Once classes start, Wei has difficulty controlling her students and one student in particular, Zhang, makes a lot of trouble. She resorts to locking the students in the class room until they finish the work she sets for them. One day she arrives at the school and discovers Zhang has dropped out and gone to the nearby city to find a job. Wei is determined to go to the city to find him but has no money for a bus ticket. Together with her students, she finds a way to work for the bus fare and turns the work in a maths lesson that helps her bond with her students.
Discovering that her money is not enough for the bus fare, Wei walks most of the way to the city. Once in the city, Wei finds out that Zhang has been lost and frantically sets out to find him.
Editor’s Review of Not One Less – Score 8/10
Not One Less is a delightful movie to watch that provides a tantalising look into the lives of China’s country people and the struggles they face. The sheer determination of Wei and her refusal to accept defeat in her search for Zhang is touching, compelling and believable. The pragmatism and spirit of the country people shown in the movie and their struggle against poverty and harsh conditions is both compelling and inspirational.
One of the key points that makes Not One Less such a great movie is that all of the actors were acting roles that were the same or similar to their real life roles and are not professional actors. For example Wei is a high school student, Gao is a country teacher and Mayor Tian is a real mayor.
Not One Less Links