6 user 1 critic

Mr. Donkey (2016)

Lü de shui (original title)
1:21 | Trailer
In an effort to draw more funding from the government, faculty members of a rural Chinese school try to pass off an uneducated laborer as a qualified teacher.


Lu Liu, Shen Zhou


Lu Liu, Shen Zhou
12 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Suxi Ren Suxi Ren ... Zhang Yiman
Li Da Li Da ... Principal Sun
Shuailiang Liu Shuailiang Liu ... Tienan
Kuishan Pei Kuishan Pei ... Pei Kuishan
Alan Aruna Alan Aruna ... Coppersmith (as Alan)
Yanbo Han Yanbo Han ... Special staff
Guanjin Bu ... Sun Jia
Kun Wang Kun Wang ... Coppersmith's wife
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yang Gao ... Secretary
Haoliang Liu Haoliang Liu ... Driver
Arthur Mclarty Arthur Mclarty ... Ross (as Arthur McLarty)
Qianyue Su Qianyue Su ... Police sergeant
Feng Wang Feng Wang ... The accompanying doctor
Shen Zhou Shen Zhou ... Photographer


In order to pay for the donkey that brings them water, a countryside village registers it as a teacher at its local school. But,when the charity group that funds the school visits for an inspection, the village has to find ways to hide their secret. Written by China Lion

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

28 October 2016 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Lv de shui See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$86,931, 30 October 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Some Backgrounds for You before Watch the Film
16 April 2017 | by wittsssSee all my reviews

This is a tragedy of a 1940's Chinese feminist. And much more than that.

Since the English subtitles are trash, and lack of some key info. To help to understand this film better, here are some backgrounds you should know:

The story happened in mountainous China in the 1940s. When Chinese suffered from the Japan's invasion in WWII, in this undeveloped little village far away from the war, a group of idealists who share a dream of "educating every children in the rural China (like NCLB)" of whom each has their own problems back in the city, founded a primary school. They soon find themselves face a series of ethical dilemmas and suffer the consequences of the choices they've made. Lies between their campus and the nearest water source is an over 10 kilometers treacherous mountain road. A black donkey named "lv de shui" is essential for them to get enough water for drinking and domestic usage. The title of this film, Lv De Shui, in Chinese means the water-fetching donkey, which is the name of the donkey.

But the school's budget proposal for keeping the donkey is denied by the government. So they fabricate a fake person named "Lv De Shui", as their school's English teacher, and use that freeloading money to cover their cost on the donkey. And one day, an official from the Ministry of Education came to inspect Mr. Lv De Shui, their English teacher...

OK, that's as far as i can go without giving you any spoilers.

This film gives you a stage-play feeling in cinematography and editing. The acting is quite convincing and genuine. And hats off to the cinematographer, Mr. Jong Lin. The color use in the film is bold yet beautiful. And the theme song, I love it.

This is an ambitious film in which the directors try to raise some questions, Like, does the ends justify the means? if yes, how far is too far? Where should we draw the line? If not, should we just stop and do nothing? Or are those who do nothing better than those who are willing to do anything? Or do we have the right to judge? Or in general, are we entitled to judge others life choices at all?

Like, which is more awful? Set a very high moral standard and can't keep it or simply set a low one?

Like, how easily people are to submit when facing violence or power.

Like, how far your act of righteousness can go when the act itself will cost you financially and physically?

Like, how hurtful it could be of labeling people.

But for me personally, I think it's about being truthful and brave, be truthful to yourself and be brave to stand up for yourself.

Watch it, you'll like it.

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