Today, I want to put the spotlight on an amazing movie for children, produced in China, 2004, called „The Story of Xiao Yan„. I saw it last week at the Children’s Movie Festival here in Stuttgart and if you get the chance to see it somewhere, take it (especially if you are interested in China or chinese culture).
The film tells the story of a 13-year-old girl, that cannot go back to school after summer vacation, because it is too expensive. The privilege of going to school is only for her two spoiled and annoying little brothers, because „girls marry anyway“, says her Mum. However, Xiao Yan has a strong will and the absolute desire to continue her education, so she makes a deal with her mother: if she is able to come up with the money during the summer, she will be allowed to go to school for another year. In the whole process of gaining the money (which she does), Xiao Yan gets to know herself and the world around her a lot better and starts to grow up.
The director Fang Gangliang takes the audience to the foreign and unknown world of a small chinese village, where children live differently, learn differently and grow up a lot sooner than in the western world. The beautiful landscape glows and shines in strong colors, the camera takes you right into the world of Xiao Yan. Watching the movie is an emotional and touching experience and I would recommend it to anyone from age eight and up.