Directed by Shosh Shlam & Hilla Medalia | China/Israel/USA | 2013 | 74 min.
Saturday, March 22 | 7:15pm | McConomy Auditorium, CMU's University Center
5000 Forbes Avenue
Event Includes: Post-screening Q&A with Director Shosh Shlam, moderated by William Alba, Director of the Science and Humanities Scholars Program
Presented in Conjunction with: the Victor M. Bearg Science and Humanities Scholars Speaker Series of Carnegie Mellon University
"I think that our identity as human beings is damaged in a way. What is your identity? If you are all the time connected to somebody, who are you?" —Director Shosh Shlam
In a social landscape characterized by constant screen staring, where do we draw the line at "too much"? Where exactly is that border between reasonably indulgent and dangerously unhealthy? Web Junkie takes us behind the barbed wire fences of a Beijing Military facility where incessant Internet use is treated as a disease. Patients are teenagers who have given up on school, family, and friends for life in a desk chair; gaming is their heroin. With boot camp drills and therapy sessions, advisors attempt to alleviate this life-debilitating problem that can compel people to refuse food or bathroom breaks. We hear the perspectives of several "addicts," teenage boys who find more pleasure in the virtual world than in the real world. Their accounts are at times humorous, dismal, and often quite alarming--one even describes a suicide attempt. Web Junkie is a darkly disturbing and amusingly weird portrait of delinquency—a unique account of the work that goes into "fixing" a human mind.