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Watch My Friend’s PBS Special Tomorrow Night!
Categories: journalism

from Marije Meerman, the wife of my friend Michael Schaap from Amsterdam:

Coming Tuesday the 12th of August, the documentary China Prep will be broadcasted by PBS – Wideangle at 9 PM (ET). The film is produced by the Dutch company Submarine ( and originally made for an European audience. A co-production with the American PBS made that a different version of the film will be presented to an American television audience. And although the American version is different than I would present it to an European audience, I am proud to announce it and hope you will have a chance to watch it. It was an enriching experience to work on the film. We had the chance to follow the daily lives of 5 very smart Chinese kids in Chongqing, Central China, during their final exam year in highschool.

Hope everything is well and I’m always curious to hear what your thoughts on the film are…

More info:

Best Marije

Press release:

WIDE ANGLE: China Prep
Tuesday, August 12 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings)

As the world’s attention turns to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, WIDE ANGLE reports on how the next generation of Chinese leaders is being molded. China Prep follows five Chinese students through their final high-pressure year at an elite high school in Sichuan Province. Eighteen hundred students vie for spots in Beijing’s top two universities. Last year only 59 made it. Studying Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, 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. Competition is fierce and the majority of high school seniors will be relegated to vocational schools. We meet Zhang Lie, who wants to study law and become a Communist Party elite like her father; Mei Jiachin, a genius mathematician from a farming family; Chen Zhibo, a misfit science student with big plans to become China’s Bill Gates; and Gao Mengjia, a dedicated student who loves money and aspires to be a hedge fund manager. Nicknamed the “I want” generation by the Chinese press, these only children – the sole focus of their parents’ and grandparents’ nurturing under China’s one-child policy – will be the new class of corporate managers, lawyers, and civil servants who are expected to propel 21st century China to surpass the United States as the largest economy in the world. How do the ambitions of these teenagers reflect the realities of today and tomorrow’s China? Who among them will be most likely to succeed – the daughter of the Party official or the farmer’s son? Who will be the boss?

At the conclusion of the film, WIDE ANGLE host Aaron Brown will speak with Vanessa Fong, author of Only Hope: Coming of Age Under China’s One-Child Policy and assistant professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

directed by Marije Meerman
interviews & research by Floris Jan van Luyn
camera by Maasja Ooms
sound by Rik Meier
edited by Gigi Wong
music by Coparck
produced by Janneke vd Kerkhof
production by Bruno Felix & Femke Wolting (Submarine)

UPDATE: Check your local listings for the TV Show called “Wide Angle”. The show is playing at different times in different markets.

2 Comments to “Watch My Friend’s PBS Special Tomorrow Night!”

  1. PattyCake, The Baker's Man says:

    Thanks for posting this, I love Wide Angle and will be watching tonight.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Richard!

    You know what: my girlie just one the dutch equivalent of the oscar for this movie! Check:

    Hope to see you soon mothervlogger! Coming over to VlogEurope?



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