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Not One Less VCD

Mandarin and/or Cantonese Chinese Movie

China Movie


 106 Minutes


What is Multi-Lingual DVDs?



Not One Less (1999)


Director: Zhang Yimou

Winner, Golden Lion for "Best Picture 1999 Venice International Film Festival"

演員 :張慧科  魏敏芝  
導演 :張藝謀  



The heart wrenching story of a rural school in China, Not One Less, was a lot more work than a 'normal' film which uses professional actors, its director Zhang Yimou tells JIMMY THOMSON at the Venice Film Festival where it won The Golden Lion.

China’s best known director, Zhang Yimou, is never one to shirk a challenge. The man revered both in his homeland and overseas for his glorious Oscar-nominated epics, Raise The Red Lantern and Ju Dou, could today be making sweeping movies with the biggest stars in the country, full of color and light and magnificent costumes.

"Won The Golden Lion"

Not One Less is a terribly touching tale of a little village school whose teacher has to be away for a month to tend to his ailing mother. The mayor finds a substitute: a 13-year-old who’s barely finished school herself, Wei Minzhi. Her task is two-fold. Of course, she has to run classes but, most importantly, she has to make sure no children drop out of the school, which is already suffering a dramatic fall in its number of pupils.

So when a ten year old disappears to the city to earn money to help his debt-ridden family, she also travels there to try and find him. It’s a heart-rending search.

The extraordinary thing about the film is that everyone who took part simply played themselves. The village mayor is a real life village mayor, the teacher is a village teacher, the kids are just country schoolchildren, and 13-year-old pupil Wei Minzhi was played by 13-year-old schoolgirl Wei Minzhi.

"It meant many takes and was very difficult to make," says Yimou, 49, a slight figure in dark grey suit jacket and pants and black T-shirt.

"No Professional Actors"

"There were no professional actors. The girl who played the lead role was chosen from tens of thousands of children. Each was given an exam. We sent collaborators to all schools in area, a process that took 3-4 months. We had to look for a brave and smart girl able to speak in public and cry and sing and who was not too shy. Each one we auditioned was given five minutes to perform."

For the very last screen test, the final candidates were made to stand in a crowded city street and yell whatever came into their heads at the top of their lungs. Some got too nervous and couldn’t do it. Wei just cut loose and shouted herself hoarse. She got the part.

After the film was finished and audiences started seeing her amazing performance, a number of acting schools wrote to Wei, asking if she wanted to take formal acting classes. She asked Yimou what she should do.

VCD: List Price: US $20.95

Sale Price: US$9.95

Language: Mandarin

Subtitle: English / Simplified Chinese

Rating: I - Suitable for all audiences (roughly equal to an MPPA rating of "G" or "PG") Films rated Category I contain nothing most parents will consider offensive for their children to see or hear. Nudity, drug use, explicit language, violence and adult situations are largely absent, and if present are seen only briefly and at a moderate level.

Qty. VCD