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Watch People's Republic of Desire

As an entire generation has come of age on social media, virtual relationships are slowly replacing real-life human connections. And China has taken it to an extreme. Here, live streaming has become the most popular online entertainment for hundreds of millions. People's Republic of Desire provides a vérité journey into this digital universe, where young performers earn as much as US$150,000 a month singing, dancing or doing talk shows to live, interactive audiences of tens of thousands. Their fans include China's super rich, who each night lavish virtual gifts on their favorite performers (40% of the money paid for these gifts go to the performers), and the dirt poor, many of them migrant workers in urban areas searching for a cheap way to be entertained, to feel connected. The film follows three young characters - a singer, a comedian, and a migrant worker - as they search for fame, fortune and human connection in live streaming. We also meet their families, those managing the online talents, and those with money who control the fate of these talents, behind the scenes much like the Wizard of Oz. The story culminates in the bizarre annual online idol competition, in which the rich can buy unlimited amount of votes for their favorite performers. There our characters realize that money alone pulls the strings in this virtual universe, and human connection and personal happiness remain as illusive online as-perhaps even more so than- in our real and broken world.

Hao Wu

All Systems Operational

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Saturday, 06 Jun 2020 19:06

There is something very real about this film, about the ability of some of the young men who lived through the same kind of history to be able to recount their memories of a country that is gone. What it is, is a fascinating look at what happened in this country, and what happened during the war. The young men who lived through the war, they were largely ignored by the media. There were very few stories about them, and they went about their lives, mostly living in the shadows, with no name recognition. The story of this film, and the very interesting interviews with the veterans and their families, is that this was a time when the media had a field day with glorifying the war. The media, led by the Associated Press, took full advantage of the opportunity to sensationalize the war. This film shows the remarkable change that took place in this country, and the impact that the war had on the country. Many of the young men, who had the courage to tell their stories, had no one to turn to. There were no other people willing to help them. They didn't have an advocate, but they had someone to turn to. They had a hero in FDR, but he didn't have the media to help them. They had their families, but the media didn't have any female voices. They had their peers, but they were afraid to talk about their problems, fearing that they would be ostracized by the men around them. And there were few people, and most of them were on the outside, so there was no one to tell them how to cope. This film, gives the audience an opportunity to see the entire spectrum of life in this country. It's not a movie, it's a living history, and it is interesting, fascinating, and deeply moving.

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