The pupils from the third class of Middle School #2 in Chongqing, the best school in central China, are being honed to fill important positions in the new global economy. The pupils are ... See full summary »

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The pupils from the third class of Middle School #2 in Chongqing, the best school in central China, are being honed to fill important positions in the new global economy. The pupils are children of the new Chinese middle class. Often their parents have lived through hunger and their children must now succeed where they did not. The members of China's youngest generation have the eyes of the world pinned upon them. Will these representatives of the "I want-generation" live up to their promise? Is our fear for these smart, hard working children justified? Most of the children at school in Chongqing have been raised to be competitive, they now have to live up to the high expectations of their parents and school. In I wanna be boss... we follow a number of pupils through the final part of their third class. Their results at the end of this third school year will determine who will and who will not be part of the dreamed future. This is the time when it becomes clear how much chance the ... Written by Submarine

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25 November 2008 (Netherlands)  »

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A beautifully composed documentary of the last year high school life of Chinese youngsters
25 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

Just came back from the world premiere at IDFA. This carefully structured documentary really touched me as a Chinese who have been through that year for the highly competitive college entrance exam. I can't help to compare this piece to the episode on the same topic in the BBC series of Chinese School. This one is more compact but with a very good rhythm of the emotional development in just 55 mins. I am again amazed by the closeness of the camera(maybe even "closer" then BBC), which contributes a lot to the connection between the life of those 5 students and the audience. The "main" character's poetic narration in the end brings the story to my heart. People may find funny or pathetic for the life like this, but as showed in the film, we are proud that we went through and grew up. Ironic or not, that is how we celebrate the end of our adolescence with overwhelming pressure and hope from parents and the society at the same time. Actually, as we looked back, it was just the start of our struggles to find the true love from our heart. Peking University or Tsinghua, though absolutely top as they are in China, can't guarantee the beautiful future for you. Life is to be enjoyed or spoiled which can't be determined so easily. Anyway, they have to fight to have an equal starting line again.

This documentary may sound not critical enough but on the other hand it warms your heart by true stories. Maybe to be critical is not its purpose, just as the director put it. The team went through many troubles, especially this year at the most important moment of "gao kao" while eventful torch rally affected the entrance to China for journalists. It is worth mentioning that the camera work is just brilliant with subtle clever/beautiful frames. Refreshing and touching, well done!


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