Education Blog

Viewing: The Nightingale (Ye Ying)

By Emily Ohara, Education Program Manager & JBFC Kids Curator 05.21.20

The Nightingale (Ye Ying/Le promeneur d'oiseau) 

101 min. 2013. China. Mandarin. NR

Recommended Age: 8+

Streaming: Kanopy (Free) Rent: Vudu, YouTube, iTunes, GooglePlay


Due to a schedule mishap, young Ren is yanked out of her comfortable city home of Beijing and left with her grandfather who is journeying to the Southern Province of China, Gaungxi, for an important mission involving his bird.

Why JBFC Kids Curator Emily Ohara (@TeachEmFilm) recommends it: 

A sweet and simple story, The Nightingale may have a slow beginning and pacing not as action packed like a lot of blockbuster films, but isn’t that life? We follow a spoiled city girl who gets stuck accompanying her grandfather on a trip to his native country village. The pair play off each other and young children will come to appreciate their own grandparents or seniors in their lives. A wonderful introduction to Chinese films, featuring the lush green landscapes of China’s great rural side, and the message that what really matters is family. The film is subtitled, so parents are encouraged to read the film for the very little ones. Reading the subtitles is also great practice for slightly older kids.

Fun Fact: 

The film was directed and written by a French director, Phillipe Muyl, who directed a similar film about a boy and a grandfather figure, but takes place in France called The Butterfly.

Take it Further:

  • Play iSpy and see if you can spot the difference between where the young Ren lives and where her grandfather grew up. Are the colors different? The homes? The pace? What place would you prefer to live? Why?
  • Draw a picture of where you live and then write what makes the town unique compared to other towns you’ve been to and why you love it.
  • Watch director Phillipe Muyl’s earlier film, The Butterfly on Kanopy HERE

JBFC Kids: At Home Viewing List 

JBFC Kids curator Emily Ohara has selected her favorite films from shorts to documentaries, animations to silent films, these engaging and meaningful stories are fun for the whole family -- And ready to stream!

For parent reviews of each film please visit Common Sense Media