In the Mood for Chinese Cinema
People's Republic of Desire
Director: Hao Wu
China, 2018; 95, color
Mandarin with Turkish subtitles
In a digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? People’s Republic of Desire tells the stories of two such online stars who've risen from isolation to fame and fortune in China. The film takes us on a vérité journey through their live streaming showrooms, which have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions -from the super rich who lavish performers with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them. The characters are brought together in a series of bizarre online idol competitions, where they discover that happiness in their virtual world may be as elusive as in the real one. A real-life Black Mirror story about searching for fame, fortune and human connection online.