I Wanna Be Boss

“In the past pressure was only at the work place, but now the pressure starts at school.” — Zhang Lie, student
Director:
Year: 2008
Running time: 58 mins

Producers: Bruno Felix, Femke Wolting
Photography: Maasja Ooms
Editors: Job ter Burg, Gigi Wong
Music: Coparck
In Mandarin with English subtitles
DigiBeta

With: Zhang Lie, Mei Jiacheng, Chen Zhibo, Gao Mengjia, Peng Kun

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2008

Following the fortunes of five Chinese high school students through their final, high-stress year as they compete for the few coveted spots available at China’s top universities, Marije Meerman’s documentary offers a compelling insight into the ambitions of China’s young generation. We meet Zhang Lie, who wants to study law and become a Communist Party member like her father; Mei Jiacheng, a maths genius from a poor rural family; Chen Zhibo, who dreams of becoming China’s answer to Bill Gates; Gao Mengjia, who has lofty ideals to be involved in high finance; and Peng Kun, who displays a rebellious streak and is more interested in travelling and boys. With China’s single-child policy these teenagers are the sole focus of their parents’ attention, and many make extreme sacrifices for the sake of their child’s schooling. When the time for final exams comes along the pressure is high for positive results. These students may reflect the China of tomorrow, but who will be the boss: the daughter of the Party official or the farmer’s son? — MM

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