Live streaming has boomed in China and, in recent years, has become one of the most profitable industries. Alongside the myriad “Internet celebrity anchors”, it is now a popular meeting point for masses of Chinese net-citizens. These are the people that Shengze Zhu follows, people who are not searching for money or glory, but rather seeking to belong to a community that gathers together virtually, all at the same time t. Men and women who are disabled, socially marginalised or living far from urban centres. Rejected in real life, they are trying to exist and, above all, to connect with the world. So they film themselves, talk about their life, interact live, offer a word of welcome to those who come to watch them… These excluded people’s desire for contact, sharing and socialising finds an outlet in this world of a digitally connected here-and-now. Out of this moving and grotesque gallery of portraits proposed at the beginning of the film, characters gradually emerge and we find ourselves becoming part of their communities. The history and destiny of each one emerge and cross paths to the point that a spirit of fellowship is formed. Based on the story of these solitary existences, the film creates a cruel and engaged image of contemporary China, a much more desperate and dramatic image than the one each anchor creates in front of their smartphone for their “followers”.
Born in China, and now based in Chicago, Shengze Zhu is a documentary filmmaker and producer. Her second feature documentary, Another Year (2016), premiered at the Visions du Réel International Film Festival and received the Best Film Award. It also received the Grand Prix at the RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival. Present.Perfect. is her third documentary feature.
- PRODUCTION : Zhengfan Yang (Burn The Film), Yang Wang (Tender Madness Pictures)