The Gleaners

Chinese Title: 拾穗 (Shí suì)


The Gleaners_04The Gleaners phThe Gleaners ph


Director: Ye Zuyi

Year: 2013

Length: 89′

Screenplay:Ye Zuyi

Cinematography): Ye Zuyi

Editing Ye Zuyi

Shooting Format HDV

Language Shaanxi Dialect

Subtitle Chinese & English

Genre Documentary



This is an common, rural family in Zhaixia Village, Heping County, Guangdong Province.

After my family abandoned farming the hillside fields, we only had half an acre of land. Someone wanted to buy this piece of field to build a house, but my mother refused. She still wants to farm.

My father, a very quiet man, is a bricklayer. During the slack season, he earns a living by building houses for others.

After I graduated from college, I did not want to get a job in the city like other people do. Instead, I went back to my village to interview old people about the “Three Years of Famine” of 1959-1961. My parents were very worried about me for I don’t have a job, and not get married…


Bio-filmography of Director





Ye Zuyi was born in Guangdong, 1985

He graduated from School of Public Administration of South China Normal University in 2008

In 2011 he inspired by Caochangdi Workstation, and went back to his village to interview old people about the history of three-year famine that happened from 1959 to 1961.

In 2013 he had finished his first documentary film The Gleaners. The film had been screened on CIFF 2013, and VISIONS DU REEL 2014


Director’s Statement:

The Gleaners is my first film. It doesn’t have fascinating scenarios and crisp tempo, instead, it is all about the common life of my parents and me. This film is consisted of 27 fixed lens and it tells my family’s life in the recent three years. Some friends think this film is a documentary, for all the stories in it are true; other friends think it is a feature film, because I used the techniques of “recreating” and “reenacting” in many scenes and there are performing elements in my film. But for me, I don’t want to define the specific category of my film. I only know the stories in it are what I want to shoot.