King of the Children

Watch King of the Children

  • NR
  • 1989
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 7.1  (641)

King of the Children is a Chinese movie directed by Chen Kaige, released in 1988. The film follows a young teacher, Wei Minzhi, who is sent to teach at a small village school in rural China. Wei Minzhi is being sent there as a substitute teacher because the current teacher has to leave for a few months to handle some personal problems. The villagers are aware of this and affectionately refer to Wei as "Teacher Wei."

Upon her arrival, Wei is confronted with a class of poorly behaved and undisciplined children. The children are hostile towards Wei and refuse to take their studies seriously. Wei desperately tries to connect with them and impart knowledge, but the students are unmoved. Their disinterest only grows and Wei struggles to maintain control of the classroom. In a moment of desperation, Wei makes a promise to the class: if they can bring their grades up, she will take them to the regional school in the city to attend a competition that will test their knowledge.

Wei begins to work diligently with the children and goes above and beyond to ensure that they are receiving a quality education. She creates lesson plans that cater to each child to help them learn in the best way possible. Wei also takes an active interest in their personal lives – from their home situations to their hobbies – to help gain their trust and establish a deeper connection.

The plot of the film is how Wei manages to bring about a transformation in the children of the village school. While the movie is essentially about education and children, it also deals with larger societal issues in China. The film highlights the difficulty of rural life and how hard it is for people living in the countryside to get even the most basic of necessities.

One recurring theme is the pressure students face in China's highly competitive educational environment. It is not uncommon for teachers to either pressure or even beat students in a bid to force them to excel academically. Wei, however, is different. She values education but realizes that simply studying and doing well academically is not enough. Her approach is caring, compassionate, and emphasizes a well-rounded education that includes empathy, critical thinking, and creativity.

The character of Wei, played brilliantly by Yuan Xie, is a nuanced and complex character. She is not simply a heroic figure who comes in and saves the day; she is a flawed human being who is learning about herself and the world around her. Wei is not afraid to admit when she is wrong or to ask for help when she needs it. She is a fighter, trying to make the best of the situation she finds herself in, and over time she starts getting through to the children.

The film boasts an impressive cast of young actors who bring a lot of personality and humor to their respective roles. The interactions between the children and Wei are incredibly heartwarming and will have you rooting for them through the film's climax.

Chen Kaige's direction is exquisite, capturing both the beauty and the starkness of rural China. The cinematography is breathtaking and captures the pure emotions of the characters, making the film a visually stunning experience.

King of the Children is a powerful film that explores the importance of education while also addressing the societal pressures and challenges that students and teachers face. The characters are realistic, and the central relationship between Wei and her students is heartwarming and incredibly engaging. The film has an excellent score that adds to the overall narrative and enhances the emotional impact of the scenes.

Overall, King of the Children delivers an unforgettable experience and leaves a profound impression. The film is an example of the power of education, seen through the eyes of children, and a deep questioning of the current education system that prioritizes merely the academic achievements over holistic development. The movie is a must-watch for anyone who values education and empathy in today's competitive world.

King of the Children
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (641)