WASHINGTON, DC – July 22 marked the start of the 2014 Shen Zhou International Film Festival in Washington, D.C.’s Angelika Film Center. The first film shown was “Shake the World,” a movie produced for Shen Zhou Film Studios in 2006.
According to organizers, July 22 was chosen as the date for the 2014 Shen Zhou International Film Festival to express concern for Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China.
On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began its brutal suppression of Falun Gong. To this day, not only have Falun Gong practitioners been implicated in the persecution, their family members, co-workers, neighbors and all different sectors of Chinese society have also been dragged into the situation. The festival organizers said that day after day for 15 years, Falun Gong practitioners have been trying to bring Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance to the world. This is not an act carried out in a single day but perseverance in doing upright deeds. If it weren’t for their genuine, heartfelt understanding of truth, who would be so bold as to risk their lives for justice? Only with willpower, wisdom, and compassion can someone suffer persecution but still persist in awakening others’ conscience and sense of pity while rescuing those living under lies and state power. These kind Chinese people have been persecuted for 15 years now. Their true stories stir the heart. In order to give more people the chance to hear their voices, the movies use little stories from daily life to help the viewer enter the inner realms of Falun Gong practitioners. All of this year’s Shenzhou International Film Festival movies share the stories of Falun Gong practitioners: “Shake the World,” “Forever,” “Reincarnation,” and “The Story of Two Artists.”
“The CCP’s persecution is terrifying, and Falun Gong practitioners are heroes,” said Vietnamese immigrant Mr. Csi Nguyen. He saw news of the film festival in a newspaper. He didn’t know about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners before watching “Shake the World.” After watching the film, he said that the movie struck him. “I want to give support to Falun Gong practitioners,” he said. “They are all amazing people. I think that they are heroes.” He felt that the CCP’s brutal persecution of these people was terrifying: “Horrible, so horrible.”
He said that he hopes that more people can see these movies, saying that “television stations should play these movies to have more people understand [the persecution]. I hope more people can see these movies.”
The movie “really stirs one’s heart,” said computer company employee Mr. Kim Eng after watching “Shake the World.” Mr. Eng is a Falun Gong practitioner himself and said that he was struck after watching the film: “I had seen this movie once before, but I was just as struck watching it this time around; the movie really stirs one’s heart.” What was striking to Eng about the movie was how authentically it portrayed the persecution that Falun Gong practitioners face. “The movie told true stories, and it made me feel like I was experiencing it myself,” he said.
Even though Mr. Eng is Asian, he was born in America, and when the persecution of Falun Gong in China started in 1999, he saw it unfold step by step in American media reports. “While in America these years, I have always been watching the persecution and everything happening in China,” he said. “I feel like I am one of those being persecuted.” When talking about the changes in the situation over the last few years, he said, “Over these years, even though Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted, people from more and more countries all over the world are starting to practice Falun Gong, and they are helping their family and friends to understand the true story about the persecution in China.” He felt that the persecution has been going on for too long and wished to tell the CCP to stop now, saying, “Falun Gong practitioners have never given up all these years in demanding that the CCP stop the persecution and explaining the facts to them. I believe that they [the CCP] will come to understand all of this sooner or later. As for what they choose, what way out they choose for their own futures, that’s completely up to themselves.”
(By Epoch Times)