Eternal Spring

As big as China is, as much as it is a world power and despite the fact that its population is reputed to be north of 1.4 billion, not a ton is known about the country. Mostly because the government there keeps a tight grip on its people. Too tight. Here is a Canadian film by director Jason Loftus (Ask No Questions) which argues for religious and political freedom for all.

The story of Falun Gong and the persecution (and worse) of their members by the Chines government is fairly well known around the world. Yet nothing has really been done to help them. A cry for justice comes out in the form of an animated doc made in Canada.

Here is a largely animated documentary about the 2002 hijacking of a television station in China by members of Falun Gong. They are a group outlawed by their own government. They did this so they could disseminate information about the spiritual group. The truth instead of the lies told by the Chines government.

To counter this move, the police raided Changchun City and that forced illustrator Daxiong to flee the city as he is a member of Falun Gong. For his own safety, Daxiong came to North America. From over here he sees how the crackdown by the government on Falun Gong becomes even harsher.

Between the animation and interviews with people who lived through all this, you get a clearer picture of what went and is going on. You cannot help but see the human rights violations going on. You also have to be impressed by these activists’ willingness to risk their own lives so people in China can choose to practice the religion of their choosing. It is quite touching at times.

The documentary was quite successful on the festival circuit. It screened at this year’s Hot Docs and won the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary as well as the Hot Docs Audience Award.