Web Junkie

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – 7:30pm
Israel/USA 2013. Dirs: Hilla Medalia, Shosh Shlam. 74 min. Blu-ray Disc

In 2008, China became the first county in the world to declare “internet addiction” a formal clinical disorder — one it now considers the greatest threat to the health of its young people. The Daxing boot camp in suburban Beijing is one of more than 400 rehabilitation centres in that country designed to treat the disorder. It admits children aged 13 to 18, usually boys; sometimes kids arrive in the middle of the night after being drugged by their desperate parents. The film follows three teenagers confined to Daxing, documenting the harsh military-inspired physical training, monitored sleep, food, medication regimens, and group-therapy sessions experienced by the boys, who still speak boastfully of 24-hour marathon World of Warcraft sessions when the adults aren’t around.

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Post-screening discussion with Dr. Susan Baer, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic of B.C. Children’s Hospital, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include video-gaming and internet use in children and youth with mental health disorders.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Trailer | Website


“Persuasive and chilling. Internet addiction is real.”

Village Voice | full review

“A bizarre and entertaining documentary.”

Variety | full review