As the Chinese government expands its efforts to police the Internet and block websites in the country, the rising tide of censorship has aroused a wave of citizen reporters committed to investigating local news stories. Two such rogue bloggers include Zola and Tiger Temple. When tech-savvy Zola noticed that local newspapers were selectively reporting the news, he took matters into his own hands, posing as a curious onlooker at crime scenes and snapping photos and videos that he posts to his site. Called upon for help by rural farmers and displaced city dwellers alike, Tiger Temple bicycles around the Chinese countryside drawing attention to societal issues in communities that otherwise would not have a voice.
Both relevant and timely, High Tech, Low Life probes the burgeoning world of anti-censorship rebels as they risk political persecution to become China's uncensored eyes and ears. As their numbers grow they've begun training the next generation of Internet journalists, ensuring that the truth will be documented—it's just up to the citizens to seek it out.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Stephen Maing
Stephen Maing is a New York-based filmmaker who co-produced and edited the award-winning documentary Lioness (TFF 2008) and directed the narrative Little Hearts. He is a Fellow of the Sundance Institute and has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca All Access, Good Pitch, and more.