Our first offering, Please Vote for Me, was selected by the University of Winnipeg Politics Students’ Society to be shown in advance of our provincial election. The screening will take place in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall on Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Is democracy a universal value that suits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead to manipulation? Please Vote for Me, directed by Weijun Chen (China, 2007), is a portrait of a society and a town seen through a school, its children and its families. Wuhan is a city about the size of London located in central China. It is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment in democracy. A Grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents. Elections in China take place only within the Communist Party, but recently millions of Chinese voted in their version of Pop Idol. The purpose of Weijun Chen's experiment is to determine how democracy would be received if it came to China. Please Vote for Me is one of ten films selected as part of the Why Democracy? project, which saw interpretations of democracy by 10 film makers from around the world broadcast on 42 television networks in October, 2007, to audiences of more than 300 million people in nearly every country in the world.
Please stay for discussion after the film screening facilitated by Dr. Allen Mills, Professor, Department of Politics, The University of Winnipeg.
For more information about Please Vote for Me, visit: http://www.cinemapolitica.org/screening/uofw/please-vote-me.
For more information about the Cinema Politica network, please visit www.cinemapolitica.org.
All screenings will be open to all audiences – everyone is welcome. Admission is free, but donations to offset the costs of screening the film are welcome. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall is located on the third floor of Centennial Hall at The University of Winnipeg.
Gallery 1C03 and the UWSA wish to thank Cinema Politica for making it possible for us to participate in this network. We are grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for generously supporting this initiative.
Image: Scene from Please Vote for Me by Weijun Chen.