Film 'Taste of Rice Flower' Tackles Issue of 'Left-behind' Children in Rural Areas

May 10, 2018  Editor: Xie Wen
The poster of Taste of Rice Flower []


The recently-released movie Taste of Rice Flower reflects on the lives of so-called "left behind" children, and the cultural collisions found between tradition and modernity, in urban and rural areas.

Before its nationwide release on April 20, the film was featured in the Venice Day International Competition at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.

It also won the Most Popular New-Generation Film Award at the first Pingyao International Film Festival, held in north China's Shanxi Province, the same year.

This film tells the story of migrant worker mother Ye Nan and her daughter Nan Hang, and the series of emotional changes that they face from alienation to understanding between them.

Song Pengfei, the film’s director, explained that before the film was shot, the cast and crew all went to experience life in a village in Cangyuan County, southwest China's Yunnan province, where they lived together with the locals for one year.

They applied what they had saw and heard there into the film, and attempted to portray real stories to audiences.

Song hoped to express a series of stories told in a relaxed tone to trigger deep thinking in regards to the issues tackled.

Many people were already aware of the serious social problems encountered by rural women and children who live without parental supervision.

In the film, Ye returns home from being a migrant laborer to find that Nan had formed some bad habits such as lying, opposing her teachers and classmates, skipping school and stealing.

Ye tries to make up for it, whilst Nan, who has grown up without restrain for many years, refuses to make amends.

Ying Ze, who plays Ye in the film, said, "Even modern women have achieved self-reliance, they are still in a dilemma of balancing between career and families."

Ying was not familiar with rural life before she began the film. However, she grew up without her parents' close companionship, which endowed her with more desire to explore the social issues involved.

"In fact, these children need both basic necessities and spiritual care, as well as proper guidance and education," said Ying.

The film tells a true story of Li Xiaofei, a social worker from Lianxin Community Care Service Center in Yunnan, who tried to raise money to help Nan Xianglu, a left-behind child in the film who suffers from liver failure.

Song said he was touched by the humanistic care of social workers. "They did not treat the villagers with a condescending attitude; they accompanied them when they needed help, and led the villagers to embark on a better development path."

This film has been highly praised by Gong Puguang, President of China Association of Social Workers. Gong said, "The film shows how social organizations and workers are deeply rooted in the local area and assist villagers to overcome difficulties and rebuild confidence through professional knowledge and skills.

"I believe this is a movie worthy of reflection," Gong added.

(Source: and edited by Women of China)

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