Total Trust

Jialing Zhang

Total Trust takes a visceral look at digital control in China where unprecedented levels of state surveillance prevail through trust, fear, obedience and resistance. It aims to explore the changes of social behaviors caused by an all-seeing society and finds its lasting power in the people who are fighting against the abuse of state power.

In recent years, the Chinese government has felt its control threatened as activism and public outrage increase over a slowing economy and growing social issues. To counteract these events, China has started extending a sophisticated digital system across the country. Aimed at tracking and monitoring citizens, collecting, analyzing their data and categorizing behaviors as either punishable or commendable, this system hopes to predict political resistance within society before it happens. And since COVID the pandemic is abused to install a gapless digital control net. The citizens are monitored 24/7 as never imagined before. 

We learn how this complex digital monitoring works through the people living under this surveillance - from ordinary people to people who have been particularly targeted by the government because of their critical thinking. Like lawyers and journalists.


Jialing Zhang
Knut Jager, Michael Grotenhoff, Saskia Kress
Country of production
Germany, Netherlands, The
97 minutes
Spoken language
Chinese (Mandarin)
Production company
Filmtank, Witfilm
World Sales