A powerful, well-made and challenging film about Falun Gong.
In 1999 the meditation movement Falun Gong was banned in China. This happened after the movement gathered 10 000 people to a demonstration outside the government appeals office near Zhongnanhai, appealing to the government leaders to cease harassment and detention of adherents of Falun Gong. The movement’s leader, Li Hongzhi, was accused of having political ambitions. In 2002 they planned to siege a Chinese TV station to send out a message to the Chinese people that Falun Gong is not a subversive organization.
In this partly animated documentary, which is Canada’s Oscar submission, illustrator Daxiong draws the events in 2002 and what happened in the aftermath. The story is powerful and well-made and paints a challenging picture of how the Chinese government prosecutes organizations and inhabitants that do not adhere to the country’s official ideology. At the same time, Falun Gong has been accused of supporting right-wing politics in the West, a characterization the Falun Gong community itself rejects as inaccurate. This film is a rare opportunity for audiences to get closer to a poorly understood religious community and encounter a story with much larger ramifications for China and beyond.
Jason Lofthus is a Canadian director and producer who is the CEO of the production company Lofty Sky Entertainment. As producer he is behind several films, among them Human Harvest (2014), which has won and been nominated for several awards. His directorial debut, Ask No Questions (2020), premiered at Slamdance Film Festival, and his second film Eternal Spring is the Canadian Oscar submission for 2023.
This film is part of
Original title 长春
Country Canada, China
Director Jason Loftus
Cinematography John M. Tran
Producer Kevin Koo, Jason Lofthus, Yvan Pinard
Production Company Lofty Sky Pictures, Téléfilm Canada
Runtime 1h 26m
Age limit 12
This film is in competition for the Audience Award.