Washington DC – On July 22, the 2014 Shen Zhou International Film Festival opened at the Angelika Film Center located in Fairfax, Virginia. The event started at 12 p.m., the four movies screened are “Shake The World”, “Forever”, “Awakening”, and “The Story of Two Artists.”
The movie “Awakening” was screened at 5:30 p.m. It won the Bronze Award for Best Foreign Language Movie during the 2011 TIVA-DC Peer Awards. This movie shows the imbalance of resources between Falun Gong practitioners and the communist regime: If only practitioners had access to the media, they could counter the lies and demonization of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In March 2002, some practitioners in Changchun managed to broadcast on cable TV, for a short while, the truth regarding the atrocities that the regime perpetrated against practitioners, and the CCP’s fabrications concerning Falun Gong. The practitioners who carried out the deed were eventually caught, given very long prison sentences and tortured, in some cases to death. But the deed was inspirational and gave hope to the director, who made use of such broadcasts in the movie.
Audience member Kathleen Tang came to the film festival with her mother. After watching “Awakening”, she commented, ” It was nicely directed and executed. I really like the movie. There should be more people like him (the character), who put other people’s interest above him own.”
She recalled one detail from the movie, “I thought it was very impressive that he didn’t take the money and gave his conscience up, cause I think a lot of people would.”
The main characters deeply impressed her. “I thought it was a really unique story. The characters were relatable. But at the same time, they were people you don’t see every day. They are that kind of people you strive to be like.”
Ms. Tang also watched another movie, “Forever”. The movie gave her a bitter-sweet feeling, “I thought it was a really sweet movie, but also really sad. ”
She was again amazed by the main characters. “Both of them, they were like the ideal kind of people you look up to. It was not the normal characters you see in everyday movies.” For example, she said, “…how they dealt with everyday problems, how kind they were to everyone.”
Ms. Tang heard about the persecution of Falun Gong before. She said, ”They weren’t doing anything bad, and they were also kinder and nicer than everyday people. So I thought it was really sad the circumstances they face; it was really tragic.”
The sad ending of “Forever” surprised her. She said, ”I thought the ending was really sad. I thought it would be a happy ending, ’cause that’s how most movies are. I guess it is to makes it more real, to make it stands out more, and also make it more memorable.”
As for the persecution, she commented, ” I honestly don’t know why they persecute Falun Gong. I feel every country would prefer to have these kind people who are willing and not selfish in helping others. She continued, “You know, they would want more kinder people like that.”
Ms. Sue, a Korean American audience member from the neighborhood, came to see “Awakening” with her family. She said, “the movie was a nice treat.” She heard about the persecution of Falun Gong, and thought the movie helped her to put the pieces together, “Oh yeah, the persecution was big news a while ago, but I didn’t really know what was going on, so it was nice to see the movie.”
She thought the persecution of Falun Gong was a typical thing for the Communist Party to do. ”The persecution is like anything else the Communist government will do. I don’t even know what they saw as a threat, I guess they don’t like religions.” she said.
She was relieved to see the happy ending for the family. “The ending was nice for the whole family, but I was very sad for what they went through.”
As for the characters, she said, “I like the main characters. They were very likable because they were trying to do the right thing all the time.”
(By Epoch Times)