A new documentary project, High Tech/Low Life, profiles Zuola (Zola) and Tiger Temple, two of China’s most prominent and earlier citizen reporters. Using footage filmed since 2008, the filmmaker follows them as they travel around China “documenting the forgotten villages and urban struggles of a rapidly developing country.” The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this month. The filmmakers are currently running a fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter.
From the film’s synopsis:
As the Chinese government expands its efforts to police the Internet and block websites in the country, the rising tide of censorship has aroused a wave of citizen reporters committed to investigating local news stories. Two such rogue bloggers include Zola and Tiger Temple. When tech-savvy Zola noticed that local newspapers were selectively reporting the news, he took matters into his own hands, posing as a curious onlooker at crime scenes and snapping photos and videos that he posts to his site. Called upon for help by rural farmers and displaced city dwellers alike, Tiger Temple bicycles around the Chinese countryside drawing attention to societal issues in communities that otherwise would not have a voice.
And the trailer on Kickstarter:
Read more about Zuola and Tiger Temple via CDT, including a 2007 profile of Tiger Temple (Laohu Miao) and translations of his dispatches from a bicycle trip across China.