The story of a young Chinese woman who sells her time online to earn money by helping strangers with their errands.
Editor’s note: This film is no longer available online.
Filmmakers: Liu Shuo and Fei Youming
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This film presents the story of Chen Xiao, an enterprising young Chinese woman. When her clothes shop went bust, she opened an online shop offering to sell her time to strangers in need of assistance with daily personal favours.
As a first step towards this new venture, she posted this message online: “Tired, I am just so tired. I sometimes want to give up my life. I don’t want to belong to myself. I just want to live online and let netizens arrange the rest of my life.”
And soon after that message went online, she started to get requests from people asking her to run errands for them – such as delivering a cake to a young man’s girlfriend.
Chen only responds to decent and uplifting requests. And she documents her assignments by taking photos when she is on the job and posts them online each night.
“I never thought I would sacrifice my own youth to experience a life totally different from anyone else. I sold my life after the age of 25. My every day is organised by their demands. I stopped making my own decisions,” says Chen.
The price for her life is $1 for 8 minutes, $3 for an hour, and $15 for a day.
Xiao lives two separate lives – one in the real world and another in the virtual world. Her venture becomes a big hit in China and she is even sought out by other enterprising entrepreneurs but she wants to stay true to herself and her own experiment. So how long can it last?