Essay on The Documentary ' We Are Not Beggars '

1900 Words Apr 2nd, 2015 8 Pages
The documentary film We Are Not Beggars depicts the life of several children as street performers in a modern Chinese city, Chengdun in 1995. Nana and her siblings, the oldest is 14 and the youngest is 7 years old, have been wandering the country as street performers for four years to earn money. As Nana’s brother, Sihai said that their family is really poor and their mother is sick. Moreover, Nana’s mother has mentioned that there are seven children in their family despite the Single Child Policy. Therefore, the financial situation of the family becomes extremely severe. As a result, Nana and her siblings have to drop school and find a method to solve the family’s financial difficulty. The camera of director Wen-jie Qin follows them in their daily rounds of the streets, performing acrobatic tricks, such as lying on glass fragment and using face to touch the ground backward, to beg money from audiences. It captures their daily struggles for survival and their dreams to return home and go to school. They are “virtual untouchables” (Wen) to most Chinese because of their terrible smelling and dirty clothes. Under the camera, it’s obvious that their living condition is very tough and arduous: they leave home and wander to unknown cities all over China at young ages; they perform bravely in front of hundreds of people from early morning to late night; they need to endure the hunger if they can’t beg for any food to eat; they eat the customers’ leftover from restaurants; they…

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