DER Documentary

Hoy Fok and the Island School

launch preview watch a preview

From the China Coast series in the Faces of Change collection
by George Chang, Richard Chen and Norman Miller
produced by Norman Miller
color, 32 min, 1974, digitally remastered 2017

AVAILABLE AS PART OF THE Faces of Change - China Coast Series 2 DVD SET

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

This film is about the life of Hoy Fok, a fourteen-year-old boy, who lives with his family on a fishing junk near a small island in the Hong Kong Territory. Hoy Fok helps his family in fishing and attends the island school. Education on this small island primarily involves teaching children basic things like simple arithmetic that would help them in selling fish.

The film also features interviews with Hoy Fok's teacher, parents and the village headman, all of whom provide their differing viewpoints on his education and his future. His teacher feels that although he joined school too late, he has a natural curiosity and should pursue higher education; however, his parents think that secondary schooling is a waste of money, something they cannot afford.

Other films in the China Coast series:
China Coast Fishing
The Island Fishpond
Island in the China Sea
Three Island Women

About the Faces of Change collection
This revolutionary series of 26 - 16mm films and videos, funded by the National Science Foundation, produced by Norman Miller and documented by some of the finest ethnographic filmmakers of our time is now available through D.E.R. The films examine 5 cultures selected for the diversity of their geographic location: starting with the China Coast at sea level and moving up to Taiwan, then to Afghanistan, Kenya and finally to the mountains of Bolivia. Each location is examined through 5 themes: Rural Society, Education, Rural Economy, Women, and Beliefs.

View more photos on

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
Join Our Mailing List
Suport DER
Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts