Realizing the importance of knowledge in determining her children's fate, Zhang Zhi Li decides to leave her two adolescent daughters at her home in the countryside, and with her husband, takes her son to the city in pursuit of an education.
Yang Xiu Qing has brought her only son and daughter from the countryside to the city. In order to make it possible for them to stay there, she has used her late husband's pension to buy city resident permits, known as "hukous," for her two children.
Two ordinary families from the countryside, for the fate of the next generation, have left their hometowns for the city, where they begin to seek their dream of a wandering life/begin their wandering life in pursuit of their dreams. However, things do not develop as expected.
Exorbitant school fees kept Zhang Zhi Li's child locked outside of the city's school gates, leaving her with no option other than to teach her son how to read while she works at the flea market every day. Her two daughters, left at their countryside homestead out from under the watch of their parents, find it difficult to take care of themselves. The oldest daughter has already considered stopping her studies, often skipping school and cutting classes.
In order to help them forget about their own hardships after her husband passed away in a car accident, and more so to become dignified citizens of the city, Yang Xiu Qing decides to lets her slightly older daughter leave school to work in a bar, like herself, to help earn money to support her son's studies. Yang Xiu Qing's biggest concern is not her son's present tuition, but that his school fees will become increasingly expensive. Yang Xiu Qing will have to hand over more than a few thousand yuan in fees to send him to a good high school, and then there is always college to worry about.
The tremendous gap between reality and dreams has left the two families tightly embraced by poverty. Exactly which road should they follow? Should they return to the countryside to start over, or should they take one last stand against fate and stay in the city? Neither choice seems to be very easy…
Li Junhu graduates with a degree in photography. He currently works for the International Division of Shaanxi TV Station.
His works include:
CYBER LOVE, 2004;
ACCOOMPANIED STUDY, 2005;
BORN IN 1977, 2006
Traveling a thousand li in search of Mother, 2006
Brave Father, 2007
The 20th FIPA International Festival of Audiovisual Programs
Southern Appalachian International Film Festival in Johnson City, TN, 2008
The 2nd Chinese Documentary Festival, the Best short documentary
Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2009
From the Director
There are many farmers who left their home to work in the cities. We can see them everywhere in every train station in the cities. Some of them come into the city for livelihood, some for a better life, better future. These farmers come into the cities and become fascinated with the colorful city life. They see the huge differences in the quality of life between the cities and the countryside. They see the opportunities that the cities offer. These are all the reasons why they would do anything to survive in the cities.
The urban-rural gap is on the increase, while the regional differentiation is decreasing due to the population movement. The peasants in the cities gave up everything they had. They migrated into a strange city with nothing but a dream. They worked as construction workers, milk deliveryman, food vendors on the streets, waiters, janitors, and anything else they can do. They take over the hardest, toughest, and dirtiest jobs in the city. They understand that they are poor because they have no education. Thus, they did everything possible to create an opportunity for their children to be educated. They hope their children can receive a university education and live in the cities as white collars.
This film follows two peasant families into the cities. We watch them as the city lights of modern cities slowly replace the homeland that nurtured them. We see them fight for their dreams of better future, and to be part of the city life. However, they didn't foresee that the city can't accept them. There are a difference between realities and dreams. What are their obstacles? The two families are faced with a difficult choice: to go back home or to fight for a last chance in the city?
This film will take you into these two families face to face to understand their agonies and struggles.
※ ShangHai TV Festival Screening 2011
※ Award Third Winner in Chinese Documentary Festival 2011
→ Buy 《Where Should I Go?》 DVD：http://goo.gl/4paFVV