A mother tries everything to coerce her family to let her young son fulfill her Confucian dream but in the end she realizes that she needs to change herself.
Feeling that China’s modern schools fail to develop students’ moral conscience, a young mother joins a movement to revive traditional education. Despite the reservations from her husband and parents-in-law, she guides her 4-year-old son to recite the Sayings of Confucius morning, noon and night. But when she decides to send him to a rural classics boarding school, her family members protest. They don’t want the boy sent so far away for the sake of an unaccredited education. After trying everything to convince and coerce her family, she realizes that she needs to first teach through example. Changing her attitude to focus on her own spiritual growth, she gains a deeper understanding of Confucius’ teachings.
As a student at Tongji University, Shanghai, Mijie Li’s student films were finalists in several festivals, including the 12th Beijing College Student Film Festival. Upon graduation, she worked with Lixin Fan as the production manager for his short film Free Lunch, and with Jessica Yu as the production assistant for Misconception. LI studied Social Documentary at the School of Visual Arts in New York City before returning to China to work on Confucian Dream.
After studying a philosophy and classics at Florida State University, Nathan Duddles graduated from Fudan University with a master’s degree in Chinese philosophy in 2014. His interests in documentary filmmaking and Chinese classical education led him to begin working with Mijie Li on Confucian Dream in 2013.