Please Vote for Me: An Experiment in Democracy by 8 year olds in China

If you read Melibee regularly, you know I’m a big fan of documentaries. I have written extensively about Crossing Borders, a film that I think should be screened everywhere!  This weekend, I watched a terrific documentary from China entitled “Please Vote for Me.” Here is the trailer:

This film chronicles 3 adorable eight year old children (Xu Xiaofei, Cheng Cheng and Luo Lei) vying for the title of “classroom monitor.”  The film, directed by Weijun Chen, claims to have documented the first democratically elected elementary school classroom monitor in the city of Wuhan (in central China.)

This film is an outstanding educational tool on many different levels.  First, I found it hysterical (and sad) that these kids were so competitive that they manipulated, bribed and tortured their competitors.  They engaged in political strategy and debates that make some very seasoned politicians look amateurish!  Perhaps most disturbing was how incredibly overly involved their parents were in the coaching of their political “campaigns.”  You had to wonder at times who was running for the position.

This film gives a bird’s eye view of a Chinese elementary school in a large city.  We see some of the opening school ceremonies, the classroom spaces and learning tools, the food eaten at lunch (which certainly looks a heck of a lot healthier than the average American classroom school lunch!) and the type of dialogue between students and their teachers.  We also see 3 different homes:  one of a married couple, one of a single mother, and one of a mother who has remarried.  Finally, we get a sense of life in a country with a one-child policy.

This film creates an excellent opportunity to explore politics, human nature (are we naturally competitive?  is feeling guilty when we wrong someone a universal feeling? etc), education and family dynamics.

The film is only an hour long and is an easy, funny and enjoyable film to watch.  (Subtitles are in English.)  You may purchase the film here:

  • Amy

    I will have to get this filem. The trailer alone is facsinating to see. Is that really what “Democracy” is? The perceptions of children shine the light on some realities. If only our polotical leaders were as remorseful and deeply apologetic when they were hurtful.

    • Amy, you will adore this film! It illustrates, through the eyes of some incredible children, how democracy can create an attitude of winning coming before anything, even your friends. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts! Cheers, Missy