Centrul Astra Film



Astra Film Festival

A Student Village

| China | 1999 | 95'

High on the Hengduan Mountain Range, in the western part of the Yunnan Province, there is a school village unknown and inaccessible to outsiders. The place is called Tian Deng, and it is the location of the only school in an area of over 160 square km of steep mountains terrain and abrupt roads. Thus, it is impossible for the children living in the region to go back and forth to school, so they must live in Tian Deng permanently. Since the school cannot afford to build dorms and a canteen for its students, their parents have made small wooden cabins around the school. In time, eighty such cabins crowded the area. These cabins are home for more than 300 children between six and fourteen years of age. After classes, they have to run their little households to make a fire, cook, wash clothes, and fetch water. No matter how young they are, they have to take care of themselves. From the day they arrive in the students' village, they are invested with the responsibilities of adults.