Opens Jun 26, 2019
In 2017, more than 400 million people throughout China engaged in the live-streaming industry, in which everyday citizens broadcast their daily lives while interacting with anonymous viewers. In an apartment in Chicago, Shengze Zhu, a filmmaker who studied photojournalism at Mizzou in the early 2010s, spent countless hours watching livestreamers. She found herself attracted to those who were driven less by exhibitionism or fame and more by a desire for true connection. After narrowing down her cast, Zhu fractured the ephemeral nature of this medium and recorded more than 800 hours of material. With Present.Perfect., she synthesizes these disparate realities, finding poetry in the peculiar rhythms of each livestreamer's life while creating a cinematic language all her own. Present.Perfect. won top prize at Rotterdam, one of the world's most prestigious festivals, and also screened at MoMA and Lincoln Center's New Directors/New Films series.
"With the streams rendered in sharp black and white, the texture of Present.Perfect. takes on a fake-it-so-real quality; some scenes are so strikingly composed that they feel they can't possibly be organically occuring." (Kiva Reardon, Filmmaker Magazine)