Surveillance reaches new levels of invasiveness in China, where advances in technology allow the state increasing control over public, private and political life.
A woman seeks the release of her husband, who was jailed on charges of subverting state power. A couple seek to expose human rights abuses, while a journalist writes about them. In all three cases, these activists are victims as a result of physical intimidation and the violation of their privacy. Combining hidden camera footage with interviews, Jialing Zhang’s film highlights how these cases represent a wider and worrying increase of state intervention in citizens’ lives through the development of increasingly complex technology. Its aim is to reduce peoples’ rights and freedoms – surveillance and propaganda are employed to eliminate individual thought, to misinform and, ultimately, to enslave. Total Trust
is a disturbing portrait of one country today that plays out like a dystopian vision of a future world.