Qiang is a four-year-old little rebel, possessed of a pair of luminous eyes and a precociously indomitable will. His father deposits him at a well-appointed residential kindergarten in post-1949 Beijing, since his parents are often away. Life at the kindergarten appears rich and colourful, made up of a variety of cheerfully sunny rituals and games meant to train these children to be good members of society. But it’s not so easy for Qiang to adapt to this kind of carefully organized, minutely scrutinized collective life. A fierce individualist in miniature, he tries but fails to conform to the model his teachers enforce. Yet he still craves the reward that the other students win: the little red flowers awarded each day as tokens for good behaviour. But Qiang doesn’t win any flowers: he can’t yet dress himself, and doesn’t play together with the other kids. He even dares to talk back to the strict Teacher Li and Principal Kong when they try to impose some discipline on him… –IMDb
Zhang Yuan (simplified Chinese: 张元; traditional Chinese: 張元; pinyin: Zhāng Yuán; born October 1963) is a Chinese film director who has been described by film scholars as a pioneering member of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers. He and his films have won ten awards out of seventeen nominations received at international film festivals.
Born in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, Zhang received a BA in cinematography from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. Having initially emerged onto the film scene shortly after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he is frequently referenced as an exemplar of the pioneers who are grouped into the loosely-defined Sixth Generation. Despite a diploma from the prestigious Film Academy, Zhang decided to eschew his assigned position within the People’s Liberation Army-connected August First Film Studio, choosing instead to produce his films independently. As a fledgling filmmaker, he chose to shoot in a documentary style and has referred… read more