Walking into Tradition

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China’s rapid modernization has left many Chinese parents questioning what toll this massive societal upheaval takes on their children. What is lost in the increasing emphasis on excelling academically so as to compete for high-paying jobs? Do Chinese schools teach children be good students instead of good people?
Today, thousands of parents across the country have joined a growing Confucian revivalist movement, sending their children to special schools to learn ancient teachings in the hopes that children will learn to put their character and relationships before their test scores.
Hanyu is the mother of 13 year-old Keke, a typical teenager who directs most of his attention to a computer or phone screen. Worried about her son’s future, Hanyu sends Keke to a tradition Confucian summer camp. There, he learns about etiquette, morality, harmony, and the art of self-reflection. At camp, Keke memorizes Confucian verses, but will he take those lessons to heart once Summer is over? Hanyu and Keke’s journey will test whether an older style of education can meet the grueling demands of a new China.

Director Mijie Li
Location China
Duration 28 min.
Genre Family / Education / Life
Air Date (JST) Mon., Jun. 19, 2017
Mon., Aug. 28 2017 *rerun

On Demand


Mijie Li

Mijie Li


Originally from Hunan, China, Mijie studied film in both Shanghai and in New York. She has worked on television and feature-length documentaries with award-winning filmmakers, such as Lixin Fan, Jessica Yu, and Julia Reichert. As a shooter and director, Mijie primarily makes observational documentaries. She is currently in post-production on her first feature film, which won the Best Asian Pitch at 2015 Docs Port Incheon, and was then selected for the 2016 IDFAcademy Summer School. Her previous four short films have screened at festivals.


2013 – 2015 CONFUCIAN DREAM|China|70-90 min (In Post-production)
2013 HOLLYWOOD BOB|New York|9 min
2011 SMALL POTATO|Taiwan|26 min
2011 SHANGHAI MOTHER|Shanghai |32 min

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