Viral Video of Disabled Chinese Carpenter: Inspirational or Idealized?

Erjiu, a 60-something-year-old man with a physical disability, is the subject of a short documentary that has taken the Chinese internet by storm. 

The short film explores how Erjiu came to accept his fate as a disabled man, learned to fend for himself, and picked up the profession of carpentry.

Some netizens sympathize with Erjiu’s situation, while others criticize the rise of ‘poverty porn’ on the Chinese internet. 

Scholar Huang Xiaoxie has suggested the recent rise in popularity of rural content among internet users is a reaction to a “decade-long domination of online narratives by elites.”