Hu Yang and Zhang Dongcui
Release year: 2019
Run time: 87 mins
Film type: Documentary
In the summer of 2009, Hu Yang, a non-Beijing parent working in Beijing, encountered a headache: her daughter could not enroll in school in Beijing because her household registration was not in Beijing. Do they leave their children behind in their hometown? This stark reality has made education for non-Beijing children a serious social issue. Hu Yang gradually awakens to his rights as a parent and joins the group's campaign for educational equity, showing the awakening of the underclass during a period of time.
Hu Yang and Zhang Dongcui met at an important point in their lives because of equal rights in education, and they campaigned in Beijing for the removal of discriminatory education policies and the abolition of household registration for the college entrance examinations. They went door-to-door in public places, to underground stations, to many shops, to collect 10,000 signatures from citizens, and to the Ministry of Education every Thursday, and in 2014 they collected 100,000 signatures. Hu Yang and Zhang Dongcui sought a hearing, justice, and transparency in this fight for equal rights in education, defying the powerful and unleashing a more moral and rational image of good citizens and superhuman citizens.
Chen Jiaping is a poet and documentary director from China. He started filming migrants in Beijing in 2003. From 2010 to 2014 he documented the “rights defence” movements of migrant students’ parents. From 2016, he has been engaged in the Toxic/Independent (duli, 毒立) Cinema Movement, of which he is one of the initiators. In October 2017, he completed the documentary film The Orphans, which was collected by the Institute of Chinese Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2019.