I Wanna Be Boss

Marije Meerman
Netherlands, USA 2008 | 58 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU

I WANNA BE BOSS… reports on how the next gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese lead­ers is being mould­ed. In this doc­u­men­tary we follow five very smart Chi­nese stu­dents through their final high pres­sure year at an elite high school in Chongqing, a mega­lopo­lis in cen­tral China. They are com­pet­ing, togeth­er with 10,5 mil­lion stu­dents all over the coun­try, for a lim­it­ed amount of spots at Bei­jing’s top two uni­ver­si­ties. Study­ing from 7.10 AM till 10.30 PM, 6 days a week, the stu­dents’ lives are reg­i­ment­ed almost every minute of the day as they pre­pare for the end-of-year exam that can deter­mine their fate. For many stu­dents from poor or rural back­grounds, a strong per­for­mance on the test is the only way to climb the social ladder and excel with­out con­nec­tions. “Strat­e­gy for the exams is more impor­tant than knowl­edge” is the advice given by one teacher at an elite high school in Chongqing, China. 

Nick­named the ‘I want’ gen­er­a­tion by the Chi­nese press, these only chil­dren will be the new class of cor­po­rate man­agers, lawyers and civil ser­vants who are expect­ed to propel China to sur­pass the United States as the largest econ­o­my in the world.