The mysterious closing of a Beijing school sends hundreds of migrant children on a desperate struggle to reclaim their right to an education.
The Yuanhai Migrants Children's School, which serves children of migrant laborers in Beijing, is shut down by city officials for reasons never made clear. The students and teachers manage to continue class, first by sneaking into the shuttered campus, then moving inside a ruined factory, and even setting up class on the street. One after another, these makeshift classrooms fail. Over the course of the semester, attendance drops from 720 to 16. Due to the dedication of the school staff and parents, the students persist in taking lessons, whether inside a decrepit minibus or in their teacher's tiny apartment.
Filmmaker and activist Cui Zi'en spent months depicting a social plight that threatens the tens of millions of migrant workers' children in China. These students face both social and administrative prejudice due to their families' marginalized status. They are typically relegated to makeshift schools for migrants, with poor facilities and sporadic shutdowns by local officials. Following the personal journeys of students as they battle bureaucratic corruption for their right to learn, Cui exposes a crisis of social values in the wake of China's economic reforms.
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