​New film examines Chinese parents' education philosophy

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 17, 2023
Adjust font size:

A new film poignantly reflects the anxieties of Chinese families about their children's education.

The cast and crew pose for a photo at the premiere of "Papa" in Beijing, Aug. 14, 2023. [Photo courtesy of Askwin]

"Papa," directed and written by Su Liang, tells the story of Lei Dali, portrayed by veteran actor Huang Bo. Lei Dali is thrust into the demanding and competitive world of "tiger parenting," hoping to ensure his son Lei Xiaomi's admission to a top elementary school. However, his son, played by young talent Shan Yuhao, prioritizes happiness above all else. This leads the father-son duo on an unwitting journey of confrontation, resulting in a series of comical and amusing tit-for-tat events.

The film explores a range of topics in the realm of education in China, including tiger parenting, highly-priced houses in prestigious school districts, homework assistance, supplementary classes, and the ethical quandaries tied to education. It is worth noting that Chinese authorities began rolling out measures in 2021 aimed at reducing the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring for students in compulsory education.

At the Beijing premiere on Monday, Su shared that he often chatted with parents in communities and around schools to gather genuine firsthand insights. He even discreetly participated in online parent chat groups to observe their discussions, commenting, "I can get closer to them from my perspective and experience how they exert all efforts for their children."

The four families depicted in the film essentially encompass the variety of parents Su encountered during his research. Through "Papa," he hopes to paint a comprehensive picture of education in China.

As the producer and lead actor, Huang Bo shared that upon first reading the script, he was drawn to its poignant narrative and real-world relevance. Yan Ni, who portrays a self-sacrificing single mother in the film, expressed her view that she couldn't really determine if the parents in this film are right or wrong. "The parents and children influence each other. The children are making progress, and the parents are also progressing and constantly reflecting."

A poster for "Papa." [Image courtesy of Hanna Pictures]

"Papa" is set to open at theaters nationwide on Aug. 18, joining a summer lineup that has featured several hit movies with true-to-life themes, including "Lost in the Stars," "One and Only," and "No More Bets."

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter