Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia • Israel • 2014 • An inside look at a clinic for Internet addiction.
At the Daxing Boot Camp in Beijing, patients are treated for a newly-categorized but hardly rare clinical disorder. Majority adolescent and male, these individuals suffer from internet addiction. The program admits children between the ages of 13 and 18, and forces them to undergo military-inspired physical training and comply with monitored sleep and food standards. But as these young teens struggle with online withdrawal and a controversial treatment, questions about the nature of addiction, emotional attachments and cure come to the fore.
Embracing a voyeuristic aesthetic that closely mirrors the twenty-first century disorder at its core, Web Junkie delves into both a microcosm of modern Chinese life and the macrocosm of the Internet age. Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia’s documentary premiered at Sundance, Moscow, Sheffield and Hong Kong.