People's Republic of Desire

(Hao Wu, 2018, China/United States, 94 minutes)
Director Hao Wu has a knack for getting in on timely documentary subjects very quickly—his newest film, 76 Days, was one of the first made on the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we look at his earlier breakthrough People’s Republic of Desire, which won the Best Documentary Feature prize at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival. In it we examine the rising culture of gamified livestreaming and celebrity-making, here exemplified by brash comedians, karaoke singers, etc. All the more timely after much of the world has spent a year trying to forge connections to people online, People’s Republic of Desire has a lot to offer—including a number of warnings—to today’s audience.

People’s Republic of Desire is available to watch through the subscription-based streaming service Amazon Prime (subject to change) or can be rented digitally on most platforms for $4-5. 

Watch the film in advance and then join us for a free post-film discussion on April 22 at 4:00 p.m. from Dr. Yuqian Yan, Postdoctoral teaching fellow of Chinese cinema and performing culture at Washington University.

This event is co-organized by the Webster Film Series and the Confucius Institute at Webster University. Register for the event here.

Thursday, April 22 at 4:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Art & Performances, Film Series


School of Communications


film, film series


Webster University Film Series


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