The award-winning film, which tells the story of Chinese human rights activists fighting to inform the international community of the Chinese government’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong adherents, premiered in Sydney on 19 October and captivated Australians. .
The latest from the Chinese-Canadian director Leon Lee, silenceis based on the true story of Wang Weiyu, a student at Tsinghua University. The film tells the story of his two student couples from a prestigious university and a foreign journalist who are trying to spread the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese government to the international community.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice characterized by moral teachings and a series of meditative exercises based on three basic principles: truth, compassion, and tolerance. The practice spread rapidly in China after being introduced to the public in 1992. By 1999, according to official estimates, about 70 million to he 100 million people nationwide had started the practice.
Seeing Falun Gong’s popularity in China as a threat to the Communist Party’s regime, then-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin initiated a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in July 1999 that continues today.
The premiere was co-hosted by New South Wales Senator Reverend Fred Nile and Australia’s Epoch Times.
MP applauds China’s Brave Soul
Speaking after the film was shown, Niall applauded the courage of the Chinese people to protest against the persecution of Falun Gong adherents, and the film continues to shed light on the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. said.
“We know these atrocities are still occurring because they have been documented by the International Commission on Religious Freedom, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch International, Freedom House and many other human rights non-governmental organizations. I know,” he said.
“The Communist Party has eradicated freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, trade and free will… at the cost of the destruction of the human spirit, which will ultimately lead to the enslavement of the Chinese people.”
“I applaud the brave souls of China for actively protesting,” he said. “We need your prayers and actions to make it happen here in Australia and elsewhere. May God bless your efforts for freedom, truth and compassion.”
“Masterfully crafted…very inspiring”
Paul Foley, general manager of the Australian Foundation for the Protection of Traditions, Families and Property (TFP), praised the quality of the film and the courage of the Falun Gong practitioners to spread the truth.
“The quality of the film is top notch…it’s beautifully made,” he said. “The acting, the photography, the whole edit was fantastic.”
“The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and others in China that the Communist Party has decided to wipe out is a terrifying reminder,” he continued.
“But what impressed me most was the heroic courage of those resisting under that system, those who have maintained themselves under pressure and have not broken down.
“Their dedication is very moving…they are a symbol of all the people in China who are resisting.”
Salvatore Baboons, a sociologist and associate professor at the University of Sydney, said he was genuinely moved to discover that the film was based on a true story at the end.
“The important thing about a work of art is telling a compelling story,” he said. “If the story is not compelling, no one will read the message. It’s about making it important.”
Former deputy mayor of Ride City Council, Peter Kim, said the film shows how desperate the main character was to share the truth with the world.
“They actually gave their lives to bring truth to the world,” he said. “And it was deeply, deeply impressive.”
Richard Lu, former chairman of the Sydney National Chengchi University Alumni Association, said the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) crackdown on Falun Gong is completely unreasonable.
“The CCP just fears that more people believe in Falun Gong than they believe in the CCP,” he said.
This worries Lu, who is from Taiwan, that the Chinese Communist Party could one day threaten the autonomous island that the Communist regime has long declared a rebellious state.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “[I] I am very concerned about the safety of Taiwan. “
After the film, the organizers invited Samuel Liu, a persecuted Falun Gong practitioner in mainland China, to share his personal experiences with the audience.
Unsilenced was filmed in Taiwan and starred four up-and-coming Taiwanese actors.Screenings in the United States, Canada and Taiwan attracted mainstream media commentators and won the movie 2021 Audience Award Narrative feature at the 28th Annual Austin Film Festival in Texas.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted on Twitter, calling the film “a moving, honest, and scathing indictment against the Chinese Communist Party.”
My friend Miles Yu and I went to see Unsilenced, a moving, honest, and scathing indictment against the Chinese Communist Party. The truth of the utter depravity of President Xi and his predecessors and the horror of the power they brought is undeniable. This movie shuts up great Chinese, go see it. pic.twitter.com/Mv7ECNP1KO
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 28, 2022
Unsilenced opens at the Dendy Cinemas Canberra Center in Canberra on Tuesday 22nd November and at the Henry Carmichael Theater in Sydney on Thursday 24th November. Ticketing information link.
Wen Qingyang and NTD reporter Philippe Wang contributed to the report.