Shakings behind the movie<< shake the world>>

After having worked one year and eight months, in the evening of July 13, 2006, a special premiere was held in the American University in Washington DC for the first movie published by Shen Zhou Film Studios << shake the world>>, which is starting the touring around the world.

The movie tells a story about a Falun Gong practitioner, Ding Yan, who was murdered by brutal torture because of her refusal to give up her belief in “Truthfulness Compassion and Tolerance.“ The compassion and peacefulness that she and her companions demonstrated in this ordeal are extremely emotional and brings tears to ones eyes. “History will restore our reputation. At that time,I will return,” She said with calmness and fortitude that moved people’s hearts.

Epoch Times interviewed Jinwei Wang, the playwriter, director and head of the Shen Zhou File Studio, Lilian Hong, personator of the main character Yan Ding, Shenli Lin, personator of Yan Ding’s father, Rongtian Qi, personator of Zaorui Jiang, Xiongjun Qu, the music director, and Dong Chen, the musician.

Jinwei Wang said that a real story reappeared in this film << shake the world>> in an artistic manner. As a historic film with a serious theme, it’s a confession of compassionate tears from tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, who dominated this great film. The performers were not professional actors or actresses; however, with their hearts rather than skill, they devotedly presented the audience with their personal experiences and real feelings. The wholehearted performance of the staff moved many people to tears during the premiere.

She said, the reason they presented this film against all kinds of hardships at that time, was to let the world pay urgent attention to the persecution of Falun Gong, instead of mere retrospect after the event, which will leave them with many pities.

Jinwei Wang is pursuing a doctoral degree of film in an American University. She also hosts a children’s program in the New Tang Dynasty Television. The film that she directed won second prize in the category of short documentary films in American Vision Film Festival held by American University of 2003; her another film << Wish>> won DC student award by International Television Association, and Excellent award in the category of medium-long film in American Vision Film Festival of American University of 2005; << Hope>> won first-prize in 2005 American Vision Film Festival held by American University, and in March 2006, had its premiere at Delray Beach Film Festival in Florida.

Director: Origin of the composition

At the beginning of the film, there are captions stating: “This is a true story that occurred in 1999 in Shijiazhuang City of Hebei province, China. It is a tragic story, in which Falun Gong practitioners, people who believe in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, are being brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime. It is a story of compassionate deeds and noble convictions.

Jinwei Wang stated that the main character,Yan Din, is a Falun Gong practitioner of Shijiazhuang of Hebei province。 She is 31 years old, and a hair stylist. On October 17, 1999, she was captured when she practiced exercises on Tiananmen Square. She did not give in even when she was tortured, and was released later. On October 28, along with more than 30 other practitioners, they organized a news release conference in the suburbs of Beijing, giving the world the first opportunity to obtain a positive understanding of Falun Dafa practitioners in mainland China. After the press conference, overseas news reported that it was a big slap in Jiang Zemin’s face.

Yan Ding was interviewed by many media during the press release. One month later, she, Zaohui Jiang and about 100 other practitioners went to Guangzhou to prepare for an experience sharing conference. On November 25, they were captured by raiding policemen. Later, Yan Ding was detained and locked into the Shijiangzhuang labor camp and Chengde jail, where she was beaten while being hung, shocked by electric batons, put into a water dungeon, and more, and was finally tortured to death.

Wang said, “Early in 1999, I read the story of Yan Ding, and a lot of stories of other practitioners, and each time I ended up in tears. In 2003, when I was in a scenario class, the professor asked us to write a scenario, especially a comedy. I asked the professor whether I could write a tragedy. The professor answered that it is hard to write a tragedy, and only when the audiences were moved to tears could it be identified as being successful. I knew that each practitioner had deeply moving stories. The common miserable experience and their reaction to the persecution can move the heavens, let alone the people in the world. So I began to write << shake the world>>. As I was writing, I was also in tears. After reading it, the professor highly praised it, saying that the roles were perfectly depicted.

In January 2005, I tried to shoot a film, and that scenario came into my mind. My original intention was that, by the story of Yan Ding, two historic events, the world-shaking press conference, which was organized by Falun Gong practitioners of mainland China in October 1999, and the Guangzhou Fa-conference in November, could bring out the normal life of Falun Gong practitioners in a truthful way. Thus showing their great compassion and tolerance in a dignified and upright way, helping the audience see the beauty of life and feel the heartaches that Falun Gong practitioners endure during this brutal persecution.

Director: The toughest time

Reporter: What’s the toughest part during the shooting?

Jinwei Wang: We had the right time, right place, and harmonious human relations. For example, the performers were not only performers, but also stewards, going to wherever they were needed, quietly reinforcing the team. I was filled by inspiration and appreciation.

Nevertheless, during this one year and eight months, we did have a tough time, which occurred during the preparation when we remarkably changed our plan three times; each time it was a question of whether we could continue. The earliest plan was for two months. The schedule, the list of stage properties, were planed for two months. But somehow we had to reduce the time to one and a half month, and rearrange everything. After the rearrangement, the shooting field was undetermined. Shortly before we started, the manager of the stage said that the stage was available only if we could finish in half a month. This was the only chance for the staging, and I had to accept it. That meant that we had to reschedule in an extremely short period of several days and start from scratch to compress the original two months schedule into 15 days.

At 2 pm on May 15,2005, we finally started to shoot in Taiwan as scheduled. But somehow, the leading actress, cameraman, and others were not ready, and had to be replaced. We really felt the pressure, and could only sleep 2-3 hours every day. Once the scenes were shot they needed to be checked to make sure that nothing was missing, and we also had to be prepared for the next day. No missed scenes were allowed, no errors were tolerated because we had no second chance to shoot again.

The toughest part was the final compilation. Because of the dramatic reduction of shooting time, the real scene was different from the original scenario, bringing difficulties to the compilation. After seeing the draft, even the cameraman said that the film may end up to be aborted. Under that pressure, we did not give up, for we were convinced that the great history must reappear in the world. No matter how hard it was, we must finish this historic film. It might have been this sincerity that had moved the God, so eventually an expert instructed us, and that was beneficial for me for my whole life. I felt extremely grateful. In the end, this historic film was completed.

Reporter: It has been mentioned that this movie is an art of pity. Do you have any regrets?

Jinwei Wang: Although we had limited resources and limited technical skills, we all are telling the same story that comes from our hearts, such as “pure laughs and pure cries”! The creators of this film are from all over the world: USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, England, etc. We were working wholeheartedly without pursuing anything else, we just wanted to tell the public about this urgent event. So from this point of view, we have no regrets.”

“Yan Ding”: Not playing an act, but a manifestation

Lilian Hong, the personator of Yan Ding, said: “I never played any roles, this was a chance for a special experience, which is actually shaking to myself.”

Reporter: You never played any roles, nor did you experience persecution in China, how could your performance be so natural and real?

Lilian Hong: “Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China are being persecuted, while overseas practitioners are doing everything to counteract this persecution, such as appealing to the world‘s people, expressing their support, etc. Because we are cultivating in the same way, “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance”, so we often have the same feelings, regardless of the difference in career, age, educational background, personal character, etc. Practitioners from overseas and the mainland can understand each other.”

As a result, although I am not being persecuted in China, I was guided by empathy. To some degree, I was not only personating Yan Ding, but also demonstrating myself, demonstrating the experience of more Falun Gong practitioners. In fact, I was not playing a role, but manifesting the cultivation, mood, and realm of Falun Gong practitioners.

Reporter: What’s your the most remarkable experience during the shooting of the film? I understand that the scenes are as close to reality as possible. When you were tortured, how did you feel? Did you feel the hardship?

Lilian Hong:I experienced lots of feelings during the shooting. When I returned to Canada, I felt as if I had become another person. The shooting field featured rough facilities and ghostly environments. Suspended for hours, shocked by electric batons, crying and dangling all over, and gnawing cotton to relieve the pain. I often felt very pained, I was suffering so much that the even the “policemen” that beat me felt sympathy and had fear…… In the scene with the water dungeon, I was in a dirty pond for hours, too…… Hot weather, haunted by mosquitoes, being stung everywhere, etc。 I never experienced anything like this before. I really felt the ordeal and got emaciated.

Although it was painstaking work, it is incomparable to the real persecution that Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China suffer from. At that time, no matter how painful it was, I felt that it was nothing when the ordeal of those practitioners came to my mind.

Zhenzhen,the little actress, naive and lovely is a highlight. The way of pursuit that she looked when she quietly enjoyed Yan Ding’s flute, when she was expelled from school because she thought that “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance” were good, when she lonely played with the cold pebble, when she woke up from her dream and cried: ” I want to go home, I want to go to school”, when she carefully held the bird with Yan Ding and sent it back to the blue sky…… she was so natural, so lovable.

Jinwei Wang said that, Fa Du, the personator of little Zhenzhen, cried sadly in every crying scene. A professor, who had been awarded an Oscar, found it incredible: “How can a child’s performance be so perfect, so real!

“Actually, Fa Du is not performing, but really crying. When the director stopped the shooting, she could not stop crying. Because, before she could remember things, this 5-year old actress has lost her father, who refused to give up the belief in “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance” and was thus tortured to death by the Chinese Communist Regime.

“In one scene, in which Fa Du said to the bird, ‘this cage is made by father’. She kept on crying ‘I have no father……’. We all felt sympathy for her, and were unwilling to make her sad. So we had to skip this scene, because she would cry whenever she thought of her father.

Jinwei Wang said, when Fa Du saw her father in the film, she jumped about and called out to him affectionately. The more she called out to him, the more sympathy we felt for her. Because we knew that she had no father and the picture would be dismissed after the film.

Playing with the heart, feeling empathy

Rongtian Qi, personator of the leading role Zaorui Jiang, said that this film was the most real art; “We all come from real life, we practitioners all grew up in this persecution. During the shooting, I felt empathy, as if walking hand in hand with those in mainland China.”

He said, “In my opinion, ‘shake’ is the shaking by Falun Dafa toward life, a shaking to the heart of people by the behavior of Falun Dafa practitioners. When someone understands how wonderful Dafa is, compassion will well up in his or her mind.”

Shenli Lin, the personator of Yan Ding’s father, was tortured in China and rescued to Canada. He said, “I never played any role in any film, nor do I have the skills, but I played with my heart. I didn’t feel like I was playing, but to demonstrate the fact of the persecution and the true feelings in my heart.

“In one of the scenes, at the moment were I saw the urn of Yan Ding, I felt great pain, which was not a feeling of sadness or happiness at the sight of something, but a prick from my heart. My heart collided against the scene and sparked, making it a real scene, because the torture and persecution in jails and labor camps of the Chinese Communist Regime is unimaginable to outsiders. That’s an inhuman torture, intolerable for average people, with each second, I felt as if being fried between life and death.”

Music: Classical appeal, western development

The music of the film is another highlight. With realistic tones, it is soul-stirring and pulse-pounding. The length of the music is half an hour while the whole film lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Jun Xiong and Dong Chen, the musical director, said that all the melodies, incidental music and songs are original. The rhythms are Chinese style, and are being played by a symphony orchestra. It has a Chinese classical appeal and western development.

Dong Chen said that he had been moved by the scenario and the lyrics were exceptionally good, so the music had been composed quickly. After he became familiar with the film, he applied different skills during different scenes, actors, and themes, reflecting the theme and the scenario. There is a theme song for each main actor or actress, making them brilliant and vivid.

Director: Grandeur

Jinwei Wang said that, in this film, although tragic and inhuman persecution is manifested, peaceful and artless Chinese traditional ethics are employed in the design. Big and wide scenes are adopted to give an open feeling, showing the generosity, great compassion and tolerance of Falun Gong practitioners, thus helping the audience to feel their grandeur of great wisdom and braveness.

Reporter: The word ‘shake’ contains a lot of meaning. As a director, what kind of ‘shake’ has been depicted in the film?

Jinwei Wang: “Each person has a different experience, and will feel his or her own shake in the film, so just leave this question to audience.”

Feedback from the audience

Jinwei Wang stated that during the premiere in the American University, a professor, who worked in the Department of State in the USA for 30 years, and worked as a teacher in the Politics Department of the American University for 25 years, told the director that he had to leave early to attend another event, and emphasized that he came to express his support. But the film attracted him so much that he continued to stay until the end. And the end of the screening he said: “It is great, really great. I could not leave! The issue (the Chinese Communist Party‘s persecution of Falun Gong) is too severe. More people must see this film”.

A tutor from the Film Department said, “This is a far-reaching story, astonishing. I am totally moved by it, totally devoted! It’s a powerful and tragic story, making me feel as if I were the actress in a leading role, experiencing the brutal persecution.

A student from the International Relations Department said, “I think this story is very influencing. It’s vividly depicted. Actually it’s the first time that I have experienced something so deeply, so I began to care more about it(the Chinese Communist regime‘s persecution of Falun Gong). I really appreciated it.”

Lucy, a Chinese lady, said: “I think this is the reappearance of real history, so I find it incomparably precious, really heart-shaking. This film should be screened around the world to let people, especially those in mainland China see it. Because in China all mass media are under strict censorship, so people can hardly know or believe this brutal persecution without seeing this film. More fellow Chinese people should see this film to understand the real event and restore the truth of our history.”

Shen Zhou File Studio: Watching this focus event, exhibiting eternal inspiration of life

Jinwei Wang said that, through multi-culture, the mission of the Shen Zhou Film Studio is to observe our society from different perspectives and reflect daily life from a deeper level. Based on traditional ethics, our studio aims to bridge eastern and western culture. By pure artistic technique and professional commitment, we work to depict the most beautiful moments in life, opening a cinematic window into a world of kindness and tolerance.

To help those from mainland China to see the first film from the Shen Zhou film Studio, << shake the world>>, the following free downloads are provided:

or 2008-10-9 16:04