The winner of the main prize at the 2019 Rotterdam Film Festival follows the users of Chinese live-streaming online platforms who broadcast their lives over the Internet almost non-stop.
Created in response to the rapid spread of digital technology and social networks into all fields of life, Zhu Shengze’s third feature, for which she edited down almost 800 hours of found footage, follows several “anchors”—Chinese vloggers that stream their lives online. For a young guy with underdeveloped limbs, an unsuccessful street dancer, and a man disfigured by a horrible burn, technology has become a key to receiving the attention they lack in daily life. A surreal portrait of contemporary Chinese society is at the same time a preview of the new world that awaits all humans—a world in which an extra online dimension changes the way we identify ourselves and communicate with others, and which we are only beginning to explore with the means of art and cinema.
Zhu Shengze (b. 1987) is a Chinese documentary maker, author of three experimental feature-length documentaries. Her films have received awards at Visions du Réel festival (main prize, 2016) and International Film Festival Rotterdam (The Tiger Award, 2019).
Director: Zhu Shengze
China Hong Kong, USA, 2019. 124 min. 18+