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Please Vote for Me

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(Aug 19, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two males and a female vie for office, indulging in low blows and spin, character assassination and gestures of goodwill, all the while guaging their standing with voters. The setting is not the Democratic presidential campaign, but a third-grade class at an elementary school in the city of Wuhan in central China. "Please Vote For Me", which is on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences documentary feature shortlist, packs its fleet hour with keen observations. Chroniciling a public school's first open elections - at stake is the position of class monitor - filmmaker Weijun Chen has crafted a witty, engaging macro-lens view of human nature, China's one-child policy and the democratic electorial process as the ultimate exercise in marketing. (Excerpted from Sheri Linden's review in the Hollywood Reporter)

Review

Equal parts charmer and expose.....part AMERICAN IDOL and part SURVIVOR --The Washington Post

Must-see! Thought-provoking and achingly hilarious. --Ronnie Schieb, Variety

Brilliant and utterly enjoyable. --Documentary Film Magazine (DOX)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Luo Lei, Cheng Cheng, Xu Xiaofei
  • Directors: Wiejun Chen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019Z3P5W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,081 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Director Weijun Chen did a great job in this documentary. The film was about the democracy experiment in a third grade class of one primary school in WuHan, China. I don't know the reasons for Chen to pick WuHan for this documentary. I was told by Chinese friends, WuHan is a relatively conservative city comparing to Bejing or Shanghai. This documentary has quite a few interesting aspects. First, the film truly recorded this democracy experiment did not educate kids about the value of democracy, but was about the process to win the voting. Second, the kids' voting soon became parent's battle. I was amazed to see those tricks that parents taught to their kids. For example, one kid's mother told her kid to boo his competitors after their speeches. Third, debate became personal attacks. I was shocked to see class teacher let these personal attacks go on as normal. The scene seemed like a mini version of culture revolution happened to those kids. At last, bribe. One kids' father is supervisor of police department. He treated the entire class for a city trip. He also prepared gifts for the entire class just before the voting. The film helped me understand today's China better. And, the film was also very entertaining.
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I came across this film on netflix and watched it on my computer for the first time. I lived in China teaching English for a year so the film caught my attention. I was absolutely captivated. It's an interesting insight into Chinese education. But also, we see the result of the one child policy - a nation of "little emperors." I had to have this film to share with my students here in America. I only wish it were longer than an hour.
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Format: DVD
PLEASE VOTE FOR ME is a short but compelling documentary that looks at a "first-of-its-kind" democratic election at the Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China. The class of eight-year old pupils is given the opportunity to vote for one of three teacher-chosen candidates. Two boys and one girl are selected, including current class monitor Luo Lei ("the dictator"), the confident Cheng Cheng ("the manager") and the shy Xu Xiafei ("the gentle one"). There are debates, speeches, even a talent show to help the voters decide. Along the way, there are smear campaigns and backroom dealings galore. The children's parents get heavily involved and we see that Luo and Cheng have some built-in advantages. Cheng's mom is a TV producer who seems well equipped to help her son with his stump speeches. Luo's dad is the police chief who can finagle free class trips on the town's state-of-the-art monorail to benefit his candidate. Meanwhile, Xu is frequently reduced to tears and has only her divorced mom to guide her. Despite mom's sound advice, Xu seems to be a longshot candidate (unless, of course, she can corner the female vote). All of the parents become speechwriters and campaign advisers for their kids. And each of the candidates has two "assistants" he or she can use to take the pulse of the electorate. At the center of it all, the class teacher is a beaming and beatific presence who seems delighted to be given the chance to bring this experiment in democracy into her classroom. Come election day, two candidates, their assistants and their most fervent supporters will, of course, be disappointed. But that's democracy. If you have an hour to spare, you'll be investing it well with PLEASE VOTE FOR ME. You'll be surprised to see how quickly three 8-year-old Communists can learn all the tricks and chicanery we are used to seeing play out within America's supposedly sophisticated political system.
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Format: DVD
I found this film disturbing, because it illustrates starkly how foreign a concept democracy has become to the chinese. This film follows an election campaign for class monitors/prefects in a chinese primary school, and there is a scene where the teacher struggles to explain what a democracy is, and the children at first struggle to understand the concept of voting for their leaders. Once they get into their stride however, the insults and backstabbing really take off amongst the candidates! So, much like any british general election! This is a very inciteful documentary into the difficulties the chinese may face in moving towards a democratic future, but there are moments of sheer joy for the viewer.
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The funny thing about China lately is how many decisions are governed by a voting process. This movie is short, interesting, has excellent characters, and shows this process thriving right at the interface with government. I notice that all the Chinese reality singing shows are featuring voting too. Hopefully it is legitimate. They press a button on their voting tablet and results appear. Who knows what happens between the source and the destination. Nevertheless, this is a healthy development.
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Format: DVD
The vocabulary, enthusiasm, politicking (including dirty tricks), and focus of all the students in this third-grade class, from the three nine/ten-year old Class Monitor candidates to all the non-candidates, was incredible. Each candidate participated in a talent show and a debate, as well as giving a prepared speech (mostly without notes). The action took place in 2007 Wuhan (about 420 miles West of Shanghai), the most populous city (about 10 million) in Central China. The film covers what was supposedly the first election of its type in a Chinese school. (Traditionally the Class Monitor was appointed by the teacher.)

If these children are anywhere near typical, American education is in worse shape than we think! The film also evidenced very strong parental involvement, as well as the large class size (about 40 pupils).
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