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Join us for a special advanced screening of this documentary before it airs on PBS! HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE follows the journey of two of Chinaâ€™s first citizen reporters as they travel the country â€“ chronicling underreported news and social issues stories. Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate Chinaâ€™s evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.
The film follows 57-year-old “Tiger Temple,” who earns the title of China’s first citizen reporter after he impulsively documents an unfolding murder and 27-year-old “Zola” who recognizes the opportunity to increase his fame and future prospects by reporting on sensitive news throughout China. â€¨â€¨
From the perspective of vastly different generations, Zola and Tiger Temple must both reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility and personal sacrifice. The juxtaposition of Zola’s coming-of-age journey from produce vendor to internet celebrity, and Tiger Temple’s commitment to understanding China’s tumultuous past provides an alternate portrait of China and of news-gathering in the 21st century.