Wanmei xianzai shi
Gateway | Gateway
Live-streaming is hot in China. Anyone can do it: for the lucky it provides a route to (ephemeral) stardom. For others, less exceptional perhaps, it is just a way to express themselves more or less freely in a society with few other outlets. Using 800 hours of live-stream footage, Chicago-based Chinese filmmaker Zhu Shengze has crafted a fascinating glimpse into the psyches and private worlds of Chinese women and men who have never before had the means to articulate, publicly and relatively freely, their own constructions of who they want to (seem to) be.
Zhu has selected many live-streamers (aka "anchors") from the margins of society (we can easily hear enough of those well-positioned in entertainment and finance circles), and what they have to say may astonish you: several are physically challenged; a female underwear factory worker is extraordinarily expressive; a farmer is exceedingly charismatic. The seemingly banal becomes invested with a kind of wonder, a joyful specificity they create with their voices, bodies, and environments.
Zhu Shengze has crafted something magical: an acutely humane, precisely articulate, eloquent snapshot of Chinese people today: their marginal voices made vibrant, resonant, and never less than compelling.
— Shelly Kraicer
Tiger Award, Rotterdam 19