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Still Tomorrow: A Poetic Journey from Obscurity to Stardom

From obscurity to stardom, 'Still Tomorrow' explores the life of Xiuhua Yu, a woman whose personal poetry resonates with millions.

Keywords: Poetry, Disability, Social Media, Stardom, Rural China. Three words: Inspiring, Transformative, Resonant.


"Still Tomorrow," directed by Jian Fan and released in 2017, is a riveting documentary that explores the life of Xiuhua Yu, a Chinese woman with cerebral palsy who becomes an overnight sensation when one of her poems goes viral on Chinese social media. In a world increasingly interconnected by technology, this documentary underlines the power of social media as a platform for unknown talents and the transformative effects it can have on individuals' lives.


The film follows Xiuhua Yu, a farm woman with cerebral palsy whose life is drastically changed after one of her poems is shared more than a million times on Chinese social media. From a life of obscurity on her parents' farm, Yu is suddenly thrust into the limelight, her deeply personal poetry resonating with a broad audience.

More Film Analysis



"Still Tomorrow" adopts a participatory approach, with the director immersing himself in Yu's life to accurately represent her journey. The research is thorough and the exploration of the subject is deep and nuanced, successfully capturing Yu's life before and after her sudden fame. The presentation style is intimate and empathetic, offering viewers a close look at Yu's experiences.

Historical and Factual Context


The documentary provides insight into rural Chinese life and the societal attitudes towards disability, adding depth to Yu's personal story.

Key themes in the film

  • The transformative power of social media
  • The struggles and triumphs of living with a disability
  • The universality and resonance of personal narratives

Film Comparisons

Compared to other biographical documentaries on iWonder, "Still Tomorrow" stands out for its focus on a non-celebrity figure and its exploration of the societal impact of social media.

Noteworthy Moments

The moment Yu's poem goes viral is a powerful turning point in the film, highlighting the sudden shift in her life brought about by the power of her words.


"Still Tomorrow" received positive reviews for its intimate portrayal of Yu's life and the universal themes it explores. Critics lauded the documentary for its empathetic approach and insightful exploration of its subject.


"Still Tomorrow" is a powerful exploration of the transformative power of social media and the resonance of personal narratives. It's a must-watch for those interested in social media phenomena, disability rights, and the power of poetry.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.1
  • Awards and Festival summary: 4 wins & 2 nominations.



  • Xiuhua Yu: A farm woman with cerebral palsy who becomes famous after one of her poems goes viral.



  • Rural China: The location where Xiuhua Yu lives and writes her poetry.

Key questions raised by the film:

  • How does social media transform lives and society?
  • What challenges do people with disabilities face in rural China?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "To Kill a Mockingbird," for its exploration of societal attitudes and personal resilience.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Imagine" by John Lennon, for its evocative and resonant lyrics.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," for its expression of personal emotion and struggle.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Stephen Hawking, for his intellectual contributions despite living with a physical disability.
  5. A colour, it would be blue, for its calming yet profound depth.
  6. A music style, it would be folk music, for its simplicity and resonance.