Beyond the Mountain: A Look Into Rural China

Travel with Japanese film director Takeuchi Ryo to the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China. Here, the mountains quietly guard a natural fort of beauty, rows of rice fields, and small Chinese farming villages. To Takeuchi, this is worth exploring. But as Takeuchi opens the rural society, it becomes evident the natural beauty and farming lifestyle carries a cumbersome burden. In Beyond the Mountain: A Look Into Rural China we’re shown how life is lived in the backdrops of China. Although supported by the Chinese government, poverty is an inherent part of their lifestyle.

The journey from Japan to Liangshan is extensive. Taking a flight, a bus, a car and then finally walking as the roads thin out and become steeper. The people who live here are desperately seeking to advance their lives, a feat which seeming only happens by leaving the mountains. Education and ‘good habits’ are the keys to a better life. These good habits entail proper bathing, brushing their teeth, cleaning their clothes and much more. For the local mountain dweller, these are things rarely taught by their parents – and usually only taught in the local schools.

As Takeuchi explores the region, he notices the real problems. With an income of around 1000 US Dollars per year, very little education, and relying on volunteer teachers, the Liangshan Yi people are stuck. Stuck to live in a circle with a hard to break barrier – where only few are lucky enough to break free.

Beyond the Mountain: A Look Into Rural China
  • Info
  • Release date2021
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Takeuchi Ryo