A True Masterwork

Next to UMBERTO D - this is my favourite movie of all time.

Using non-actors only works if you have a really good director. If done right non-actors can achieve a natural quality that cannot be "acted". There are lots of examples of this in this movie. The young pupils reaction to having her diary read by another to the class. The young teachers inability to express herself when interviewed first on TV.

The film was very succesfull in Europe and Asia - but most American critics did not bite. Even the Leonard Maltin TV Guide, which usually triumphs such films, gives it a very negative review. Maybe the passage of time will allow it to be discovered by a wider audience.

Be advised this is as emotionally devastating movie as you will find - so be prepared to feel drained by the end.

"Don't laugh! This ain't reality TV!


Yeah, I always wondering how can Zhang Yimou direct a non-actors. Especially a class full with small non-actors kids.

Anyway all scene in the class was memorable for me :) Love that mathematics scene :)


Children are natural actors. It's really easy to get them to perform.


this is film making as its highest level

so many movies, so little time