Jia Yi – Jiang Nengjie


Jiayi is a left-behind child who has to endure the bitter taste of separation from parents. However, she still has to forget sadness and grows up in pain and joy with her brother.


Synopsis of Jia Yi

Jiayi is a left-behind child. Her parents work outside all the year round, and each short meeting with them affects her young heart. After a long journey with grandfather to visit her working parents, Jiayi cries quietly on her father’s lap when leaving. After the Spring Festival, her mother goes out early to work. She does not say goodbye because she is secretly hiding in the bed crying.

However, life goes on and Jiayi still needs to forget the sadness after her parents leave. She happily plays with her classmates and coaxes her younger brother like an adult after mischievously teasing him to cry. Each day, Jiayi and her brother are wandering between crying and laughing, growing up between pain and joy.

On Children’s Day, Jiayi wears a red dress for dancing performance and is particularly beautiful. However, she returns home only to find her brother missing. Gasping for breath, she runs through the heavy rain to find her brother…

Jia Yi is the last documentary of The Left-Behind Children Trilogy. The other two are Children at a Village School and The Ninth Grade.

Read our blog post to see reviews about issues reflected by this film from local audience.


1 hour 15 minutes | English & Simplified Chinese subtitles | HD (1920×1080)
China | 2016
Director: Jiang Nengjie
Production Company: MianHuaSha Film Studio

Awards & Film Festivals

1. Nomination, 2016 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (The Golden Kapok Award)
2. Nomination, 2016 China Academy Awards of Documentary Film
3. Winner of Best Creative Award of Documentary, 4th Shenzhen Youth Video Festival
4. Winner of 2nd Permanent Collection Award, the Chinese National Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Highlight Endorsement

“That’s the attitude a documentary should have: true and directly hitting people’s hearts. It’s like seeing myself in the past when seeing Jiayi.”
15, Douban reviewer

“I watched this film with my kid. He loved it, and it showed him another kind of children’s life.”
old boy, Douban reviewer

Reasons for Recommendation

1. It records not only Jiayi’s left-behind life, but also the bottom farmers’ thoughts (including the preference for sons) and the status quo of life.
2. This film on left-behind children is true, anti-stereotype, and not deliberately sensational.
3. Jiayi’s character image is vivid, which makes this documentary full of emotion.

More Info

1. South China Morning Post: Documentary filmmaker chronicles lives of China’s left-behind children
2. Related blog posts

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