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Please Vote for Me (Sub)
Please Vote for Me
Actors: Luo Lei, Cheng Cheng, Xu Xiaofei
Director: Wiejun Chen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
NR     2008     0hr 55min

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 cam...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Luo Lei, Cheng Cheng, Xu Xiaofei
Director: Wiejun Chen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Politics
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/19/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 0hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Mandarin Chinese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Help Know Today's China Better
Shiuan-haur Lu | N. Potomac, MD USA | 05/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
An Experiment in Democracy
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 08/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Please Vote For Me"

An Experiment in Democracy

Amos Lassen

"Please Vote For Me" (First Run Features) is a superb new documentary about a Chinese experiment in democracy. It asks the questions, "Is democracy a universal value that suits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead to manipulation?" This film is a portrait of society and a town as shown through a school, its children, and its families/
Wuhan, a city in central China, is about the size of London is where the film takes place. A third grade class at Evergreen Primary School has its first experience with the democratic process by holding an election to choose a class monitor. Eight year old students compete for the position and they are aided by their parents and teachers. We see that there is very little difference between an experimental election and the real thing.
The step-by-step process includes the processes of nomination, campaigning, debating and voting and it is all very exciting. The action, drama and raw emotions are fresh and real and in reality it is a story of how parents affect their children. Some parents teach their children some dirty tricks and sneaky tactics that work. We watch as children turn from naiveté and benevolence to manipulation and under-handedness. We see as both clean and dirty campaigns lose to the wealthiest candidate who has the most money with which to buy votes. Intelligence, ability and friendliness take a back seat to money and gifts. The students did not make a choice for their own personal betterment.
This is both an honest and an intimate documentary and it shows some of the truth of China. The film makes cases for both pro-democracy and anti-democracy arguments. It shows how fearful it is to have uneducated voters and an unregulated voting process in a democracy and it shows that without real democracy, an imitation can be cruel and crude.
Filmed in a country that has no democracy, the children are given the freedom to make a democratic decision. Here is a wonderful look at what happens within the democratic process and will make you reconsider your own thoughts of what a democracy really means.
Politics isn't that different for Chinese as it is for Ameri
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 07/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Politics isn't that different for Chinese as it is for Americans - at least in Grade 3

Talk about timing! 2008 is the Olympics in China and the Presidential election in the US. Combining both the fascination with Chinese culture, especially how it is moving into more democracy and western culture, with the concept of a "last man wins" election, Chinese Director Weijun Chen has created a real "nail biter". Which of the three candidates will win in their run for office? Who will bribe the most voters? And who will cheat? Oh, and let's not forget: Who will cry when they are called names.

Yes, this is the story of a real election, but it's not a Presidential one. This is the first free election in Wuhan province and it is for ....... the class monitor of the third grade class at Wuhan Elementary School. With two boys and one girl - chosen by their teacher as candidates - Chen captures the events in real time. We she the parents (or "parent" in the case of the single-parent child) guiding them. But it's interesting to see the tactics that the candidates develop for themselves.

The film is a short 58 minutes and there are no extras (except for the "Trailer" which is nothing more than a compilation of scenes from the film). It's in Mandarin with easy to read English subtitles.

Personally, I'd like to know the "backstory" of this film and how Chen chose to make it but, on its own, this short film will definitely hold your attention and show you that, though we think we're different from other cultures, when it comes to politics we're not that much different, some candidates are just older!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
Election Fever
Richard Hine | 10/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."