Present.Perfect. (Wan Mei Xian Zai Shi), Dir. Zhu Shengze, USA / Hong Kong 2019, 124 min., Mandarin with English subtitles
The explosion of live-streaming platforms in China and the ensuing government crackdown provides the context for Shengze Zhu’s Present.Perfect. (Wan Mei Xian Zai Shi), a work comprising intimate footage shared by twelve Chinese online streamers. Regardless of class, sexuality or physical ability, these personal broadcasters open themselves to an anonymous audience in search of connection. Through a diverse collage of videos, Present.Perfect. encourages us to consider the ways in which we expose ourselves online in pursuit of affirmation, and to confront how, for better or worse, our identities and relationships have become entangled with network technologies.