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High Tech, Low Life

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PBS Premiere: July 22, 2013


High Tech, Low Life follows two of China’s first citizen-reporters as they document the underside of the country’s rapid economic development. A search for truth and fame inspires young vegetable seller “Zola” to report on censored news stories from the cities, while retired businessman “Tiger Temple” makes sense of the past by chronicling the struggles of rural villagers. Land grabs, pollution, rising poverty, local corruption and the growing willingness of ordinary people to speak out are grist for these two bloggers who navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and challenge the boundaries of free speech. An Official Selection of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). A co-presentation with CAAM.

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Film Information

High Tech, Low Life (90 min.)

Premiere Date: July 22, 2013

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Stephen Maing Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Fact Sheet | Press Release | Critical Acclaim


Stephen Maing
Stephen Maing

Film Update

Critical Acclaim

Profiling two of China’s . . . citizen reporters, Stephen Maing’s High Tech, Low Life offers an inside look at an outsider vocation.”

—Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Maing’s camera captures the busy, rich and revealing life around [the protagonists] with interested openness and visual intelligence—a consistent quality of the films presented by POV, which has been rocking my summer weekly.”

—Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

Its poetry- stunning visuals, intimate encounters with the personal lives of two traveling bloggers—Zola and Tiger Temple—kept me intrigued. . . . China is in the process of reinventing itself. And that’s precisely what makes this film so fascinating.”

—Luisa Beck, NPR “On the Media”

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