[Movie] Please Vote for Me (2007)

  • Directed by: Weijun Chen
  • Cast: Cheng Cheng, Luo Lei, Xu Xiaofei

An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China have been asked to elect a class monitor.

The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl).

To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. After a talent show and a debate, ach candidate must deliver a speech, asking their classmates for their votes.

https://itvs.org/films/please-vote-for-me

Please Vote for Me” is a 2007 documentary film, which is part of the “Why Democracy?” series. It follows an experimental election that occurred at the primary school in China. It is quite interesting and even funny to see how three candidates try to attract votes from their classmates. You can see the pressure, anger, and jealousy. At the same time, there are bribery with free trip and gifts, hostile propaganda, teasing, and fights.

Even though we are looking at micro-events of 3rd-grade students, the similarity of the election process can be easily projected to the political reality of many democratic countries.

The film seems to lie between a fiction and a documentary. Children’s intimately personal moments seem unreal but natural at the same time. Viewers are alerted and even shocked to see how the parents and even a teacher are passing the worst parts of democracy to children.

Democracy is not just the process of electing representatives. The more important aspect of democracy is you are expressing your opinions and interests in public, and we are finding the optimal points.

The last point of the movie is you can have a chance to see how middle-class urban Chinese families live in the 21st century.

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