Past screening

Total Trust

Directed by: Jialing Zhang
Runtime: 1h 37min Certificate: 12
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Directed by: Jialing Zhang
Runtime: 1h 37min Certificate: 12
Topics: Sociopolitical
Last Screened: Thu 15th Feb 2024

The full extent of the surveillance state in China is revealed with breathtaking immediacy in this gripping film, which follows the stories of Chinese citizens who have been monitored, intimidated and manipulated by the State.

Total Trust is an unflinching look a system of unbridled state power combined with the advancing capacities of Big Data and AI technology. The most heavily monitored country in the world experiences huge infringements of privacy, (self-)censorship and control, whilst systems such as ‘social credit scoring’ are being tested and deployed.

Chinese filmmaker Jialing Zhang – now living outside the country since co-directing 2019’s One Child Nation – directed this eye-opening exposé remotely, with the support of filmmakers within China, who remain anonymous for their own safety.

Taking China as a mirror, the film sounds an alarm about the increasing use of surveillance tools around the world – even in democratically run countries. If this is the present, what does our future look like?