High Tech, Low Life (2012)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Drama, History  |  April 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 176 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 2 user | 6 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

A documentary that follows the journey of two of China's first citizen reporters as they travel the country chronicling under-reported news and social issues stories.


(as Stephen T. Maing)
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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Shihe Zhang ...
Tiger Temple
Shuguang Zhou ...


Inspired by a search for truth and the potential for fame, a young vegetable-seller from Hunan province challenges the boundaries of free speech by reporting on censored news stories in cities throughout China. And from the bustling streets of Beijing, a middle-aged writer sets off to make sense of his past by riding his bicycle across the mainland, documenting the struggles of villagers deep within China's countryside. Armed with laptops, cell phones and digital cameras, Zola and Tiger Temple travel the country as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China's evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution. High Tech, Low Life captures the untold story of these citizen reporters and the achievements of a fearless new digital generation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Censorship. New Media. And China's first citizen reporters.


Not Rated


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Release Date:

April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wielki chinski firewall  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,718 (USA) (11 January 2013)


$3,032 (USA) (11 January 2013)

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Edited into P.O.V.: High Tech, Low Life (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

A Great Look At the Challenges Still Facing China
9 August 2013 | by (San Diego, CA) – See all my reviews

This film chronicles the start, lives, challenges, and careers of two uncensored news bloggers in modern Communist China. Each one does not know the other at the start, but eventually dovetail nicely into awareness. The people are normal, believable, and very motivated.

The music, cinematography, editing, all of it are amazing and topnotch. I honestly am not one for owning let alone re-watching documentaries, but I've already put this on my "To Purchase Blu-Ray" list. This film inspires you, informs you, and wants you to reach through the screen and help out these individuals in their quest for helping China move into the 21st Century of media.

If you are ever interested in censorship in Communist countries, Asian modern culture, independent news blogging, or want to learn more about personal struggles with your dream and reality, watch "High Tech, Low Life" right now.

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