Tuesday, June 05, 2012
When talking about China, we often try to fix points that help us understand the country’s seemingly strange and contradictory politics. We retell certain types of stories about China, framing the experience of Chinese people in terms Americans can easily relate to. After watching a short clip from High Tech, Low Life, I was looking forward to watching the kind of David and Goliath story that Americans so love: a story of two Chinese bloggers or “citizen journalists” who defy government censorship while reporting on issues like homelessness and corruption the government would rather keep below the radar. I wanted to walk away from the film with an “Ah, so this is the kind of stuff the Chinese government censors” and an “Oh, and these are the tricks outspoken Chinese citizens use to circumvent it.” But Stephen Maing’s film challenged my David and Goliath framing.