This is a documentary about Chinese streaming culture and it's more topical and cyberpunk than anything mainstream western directorial visionaries have been able to come up with since Web 2.0.
Despite its localized subject matter it could just as easily be about Youtube, Twitch, pop idols, sports, anime, Letterboxd, or any competitive medium or media culture that provides parasocial interaction and tribal belonging.
The problem with detritus like Black Mirror is that it reduces complex speculative sociological problems to personal struggles of the atomized individual. More intelligent post-digital media would approach these imagined futures from a collectivist standpoint, because individuality on the internet is indistinguishable from branding, which is inherently corporate and collectivist.
The film points to a future where…