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. Their online showrooms have become virtual gathering places for their millions of fans, from the super rich who lavish them with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them. All these characters are brought together in a series of bizarre online idol competitions, where they discover that happiness in the virtual world may be as elusive as in the real one.
A deep-dive into China’s Live-streaming industry
“I wanted to explore with this film how technology affects human relations, and how the seemingly easy riches enabled by technology change our sense of being, of happiness.”
Q&A with Hao Wu, Director, Producer, Cinematographer & Editor.
Former Alibaba and TripAdvisor China Executive