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Real China Revealed in Doc

by John on 04/07/2013


Try to see this documentary.  High Tech Low Life shows off the China no one ever sees.

I just viewed it at the National Conference for Media Reform in Denver.  It is not in full distribution, but there are some showings at film festivals.

The film follows two very popular investigative bloggers – Zola, a young man, and Temple Tiger, a middle-aged muckraker.  Separately, they reveal the untold stories and the corruption in China – through the eyes of the people from the hinterlands and some inside Beijing.

It’s very moving.  You meet the people in China subjected to the local government’s ineptitude and the national government’s intransigence.  They face the danger of a repressive regime and the ignored environment.

You see a community outraged by the rape and murder of a young girl by a family member of local official.  You will see a farming village wiped out by floods and the sewage allowed to run into and destroy their homes.

Despite these horrible news stories, you feel a kinship with the people and the journalists.  These common Chinese folk are no different than many of us.  They struggle to survive in this changing economic world.  They have frustrations with their government leaders.  There is also great joy and passion for life and those in their community.

You really get to know the Zola and Temple Tiger who stand for justice while facing harassment or detention from the government.  Zola is young and idealistic who faces the hopes of his parents to have him raise a family.  Temple Tiger is a middle-aged muckraker whose marriage fell apart, but believes his life is not long so he wants to tell the truth in the short time remaining.

Don’t worry, both are reportedly alive and well.  Here is Zola’s site.  Here’s a story on Temple Tiger.

The film is also revealing for citizen journalists all over the world.  Zola and Temple Tiger use today’s communication technology like a newsroom in a backpack.  And they show us how they avoid the government security both in person and online.

It’s easy to find fault and suspicion of the Chinese government.  But it is hard to hate these people whom many think are our enemy when you see this documentary.



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