the colonial theatre marquee

People’s Republic of Desire

Directed by Hao Wu. China. 2018. NR. 1 hour 35 minutes. Digital. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
Sun., December 2, 2018 thru Wed., December 5, 2018
December 5, 2018
7:00 pm
December 2, 2018
1:00 pm

Join us on Wed, Dec 5 at 7PM when director Hao Wu will introduce the film and stay for a post-screening Q&A. 

Philadelphia-area premiere!

In a digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? People’s Republic of Desire tells the stories of two such online stars who’ve risen from isolation to fame and fortune in China. The film takes us on a vérité journey through their live streaming showrooms, which have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions – from the super rich who lavish performers with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them. The characters are brought together in a series of bizarre online idol competitions, where they discover that happiness in their virtual world may be as elusive as in the real one.

“Hypercharged…a contemplation of internet fame and social isolation.” – Ken Joworowsky, The New York Times

“Tragic and terrifying in equal measure, Wu’s intimate portrait of China’s live-streaming culture uses one country’s recent past as a dark portal into our collective future, sketching a world in which even the most basic pleasures of human connection can only be experienced vicariously.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire Critic’s Pick

Access reviews at Metacritic.

Best Writing Award Nominee – International Documentary Association
Grand Jury Winner – Documentary Feature, SXSW
Grand Jury Winner – International Documentary, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Best Cinematography, CAAMFest
Best International Director, Doc Edge