People's Republic of Desire
In a digital universe where live streamers earn up to $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? People’s Republic of Desire (2018) follows two online stars who rise from obscurity to fame and fortune in China. The film journeys through their live streaming showrooms, which become gathering places for hundreds of millions of viewers, including wealthy patrons who lavish performers with digital gifts and poor migrant workers who worship them. The two subjects 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 it is in the real one. People’s Republic of Desire is the recipient of a SXSW Grand Jury Award.
Director Hao Wu will join moderator Hangping Xu (East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.
This event is sponsored by the UCSB Confucius Institute and the Carsey-Wolf Center.