Pros: Touching story regarding perseverance.
Cons: The story moves along at a very slow pace.
The director gives a touching view of life in rural China and the day-to-day struggles of the people there. He even uses the people from the villages to star in the movie instead of the usual group of actors circling the Hong Kong movie scene.
The story revolves around a young girl who is reluctantly put in charge of a small school in rural China because the current instructor needs to take a leave of absence to care for his family.
Upon leaving, he instructs the girl that she is not allow a single child to drop out of school or else she will not get paid for her services, hence the title "Not One Less." The girl takes this to heart and is put to the test when one student leaves and heads off into the city to find work to care for his sick mother back home.
The most memorable moments for me occurred when the focus was on such mundane items like chalk. Such a simple thing as chalk becomes such a prized possession at a school where there is no money for books or for supplies. The instructor would use what little he has and write his last word with the remaining chalk dust left on his fingertips. Toward the conclusion of the movie, my most eagerly awaited moment was to have the instructor return to classroom to find boxes and boxes of white and colored pieces of chalk and to see all his students gleefully writing on the chalkboard. Unfortunately, I'll just have to keep waiting as the moment never arrived.
Though this is a rather slow moving story, I thoroughly enjoyed the glimpse into the people and the lifestyle of the little rural Chinese village. The subtitles were well translated and the overall movie I would term as a success.