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Documentary Screening and Meet with the Director: Story Line of the Village Elementary
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Title: Story Line of the Village Elementary
Genre: documentary
Directed by Huang Mei
Length: 105 minutes
Language: Chinese with English subtitle
The director will be on hand for questions after the screening


Half month after the Wenchuan Earthquake, 30 children of the Chuangchuan Elementary school are still attending classes in the shabby classrooms. With cracks on the walls from years back, the school buildings here are reinforced by tree trunks and bags of sand. The severe earthquake in nearby province Sichuan finally pushed this little village school into the Government's reconstruction plan.

After years of teaching, substitute teacher Li still has no clue how much his wage is supposed to be or who is paying him. With the Government's planned dismissal of substitute teachers happening anytime soon, Li starts to worry about how much money for food he would have to spend each day if he was to do hard labour work in nearby towns. Yet, he is dreaming of saving enough money so he can send one of his three children to college someday. County Hired teacher Yan has repeatedly petitioned to higher authorities about the low wages teachers like him were getting. After 16 years of teaching in this impoverished village, he starts to reconsider what "making great contribution" truly means to him. Yan's father, a poor farmer, is proud of the fact he had supported all his four children to finish high school, although none of the four children is making enough for surviving nowadays. For all his life, he has been living in the isolated old house left by his ancestors, and kept the hobby of listening to news on the radio.

After her father was killed in a motor accident, fourth grader Zhaoxia has been taken care of by her uncle and aunt. It takes her an hour of walking in the mountains to school every day. And after school she would water the farm with water from the cellar. With droughts happening so often in the northwest areas of China, the weather is the eternal topic for the people here.

The nearby village is holding a ritual ceremony for the dragon boat festival. And it is then, divination seems to be the only chance for them to find out about their future and fortune.

About Director Huang Mei:

1993-1997 Franklin and Marshall College, US, Auditing and Visual Art
1997-1999 New York City, Auditor
1999-2007 Tibet, Thangka painting
Teaching at Tibet Mountain Guide School
2005 "Lamo" 15min. DV
2008-now Laoluo English Training School, Teacher

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