Friday, January 6, 2012


Please Vote For Me
Released 10.2007

Directed by Weijun Chen

"Please Vote For Me" is a look at politics in a Chinese elementary class that opens itself up to conversation and amusement. Please see this film.

Here is a brief documentary that will make you laugh when you see children crying due to the drama going on in a third grade election for class monitor. The subject matter is compelling enough as we follow three unlikely candidates (though maybe the most likely of their class) in an experiment to practice democracy in a Chinese elementary school (apparently the first of its kind.) That right there remains the most interesting element throughout.

The dealings and campaign promises seem far too thematically convenient to be actual. While we see controlling parents train each of the kids, I wondered if the filmmakers further made puppets out of the child candidates. Far too often do these young pint-sized politicians have smiles on their faces to think there are any real consequences at stake. That said, their tears certainly seem legitimate. We get know the main characters involved mainly through the observational style. Chubby and pony-tailed Cheng Cheng is the star of the show. He waddles around trying to find out how many of his classmates' votes he has secured and further finds way to throw mud on his opponents. Luo Lei, who has been class monitor. One of my favorite scenes has Cheng Cheng labeling Luo Lei as a dictator during a debate. In between his points he turns to his classmates and yells, "Quiet!"

I've spent some time in Chinese communities and feel filmmaker Weijun Chen captures both the lifestyles and mentalities of this plentiful people. It is not to be taken too seriously, but will certainly leave you thinking about the results of this operation and, more than likely, entertained.



Galyn said...

I watched the trailer and I think I would like to watch the doc. We will try to do that this week. Then I can let you know what I think. MADLY!

Galyn said...

I did watch it and thought it was very interesting. I had more questions about Chinese culture than anything else. It was good to talk to Nancy afterwards and find out that the doc was true to life.