As part of Chairman Mao's call for 'a classroom in every field', Jing (Zhou Dongyu) is brought to a village in Hubei to be educated by peasants, the favoured class at the time.
Jing's imprisoned father has been branded a 'rightest' - considered a bad thing in China - so every move she makes is under heavy scrutiny by the government. Even her chances of becoming a teacher hinge on 'good behaviour'. But when she meets Sun (Shawn Dou), a young man from a military family, a forbidden yet hopeful romance ensues.
It's hard to believe Zhou has no prior acting experience - she was at high school, preparing for university before landing the role - and it's refreshing to see a teen play a teen. Her rustic naivety really comes through on screen - much of it is not an act, as in real life she is that pure innocent - and her chid-like looks help.
The film's light moments arouse a nostalgic teenage innocence which is liberating for older viewers and inspiring to younger ones. Sun's advances and Jing's attempts to repress her feelings will make you tingle.