High Tech, Low Life
Directed by Stephen Maing
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL BOSTON
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
China/US, 2012, 88 min, HDCam, BluRay, in Mandarin with English Subtitles
HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE follows the journey of two of China’s first citizen reporters as they travel the country - chronicling underreported news and social issues stories.
"A wonderful subject and sublime execution."
Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Maing suggests that the contrasts between [Zhou and Shihe] illustrate a fundamental rift in Chinese society, dividing those with first-hand experience of Maoist rule from those who came of age under China's transformation into a capitalist superpower.
Emily Jensen, Willamette Week
[Zhou] and Shihe are both brave souls practicing journalism in its purest, most exciting form - in a country where the truth is so scarce and powerful that it can change lives just by being told.
Paul Sbrizzi, Hammer To Nail
An inspiring look at the resilience of the human spirit.
Nathan Southern, TV Guide
A wonderful subject and sublime execution.
Sam Adams, Time Out New York
An engaging study of the disparate characters who are drawn to speak out when the authorities
Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
An intriguing window into a technological revolt.
Andrew Schenker, The Village Voice
Intrepid in pursuing the truth.
Maing displays a true documentarian's dedication in presenting a humane and at times humorous portrait of two renegade bloggers zealously seeking truth while cleverly dodging censorship in Communist China.
On The Media, NPR
Its poetry, stunning visuals and intimate encounters with the personal lives of the two traveling bloggers kept me intrigued.
Ronnie Scheib, Variety
A delightful surprise at the Tribeca Film Festival. A dynamic, highly entertaining documentary.
Stewart Nusbaumer, Filmmaker Magazine
Absorbing doc with a unique close-up of two Chinese citizen reporters engaging in the risky business of independent reporting.
Govindini Murty, Huffington Post
Through an accumulation of closely-observed detail, High Tech, Low Life creates a devastating portrait of life in an authoritarian society. What makes the documentary all the more moving is how it reveals that no matter how powerful the Chinese government may seem to be, there are always Chinese citizens willing to risk their lives to speak out for freedom.
Beth Carter, Wired
It's impossible not to feel connected with these guys and this movie. Regular people combating online censorship to tell the stories of other regular people may seem a distant topic to many, but the humanity of this story is universal.