Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are two crucial pillars upholding democracy and are critical defences against tyranny and abuse.
Today in China, tens of millions of people who practice Falun Gong face imprisonment, torture, or even death at the hands of the Chinese regime. While the abuses against Falun Gong were more frequently in the news in the early days of the government’s repression of the group, the detention and abuses against those who persist in Falun Gong continue today.
Reports suggest that persecution of religious groups has intensified in recent years, particularly during the global pandemic (Falun Info). Falun Info documented 34,000 incidents of arrest or harassment between January 2020 and March 2022.
Eternal Spring brings ideas of political and religious freedom to the forefront and reveals the consequences faced by everyday citizens when these freedoms are taken away.
DIRECTED BY JASON LOFTUS | ANIMATED DOCUMENTARY | 86 MINUTES | 2022
In March 2002, a state TV signal in China is hacked by members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Their goal is to counter the government narrative about their practice.
In the aftermath, police raids sweep Changchun City, and comic book illustrator Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars), a Falun Gong practitioner, is forced to flee. He arrives in North America, blaming the hijacking for worsening a violent repression. But his views are challenged when he meets the lone surviving participant to have escaped China, now living in Seoul, South Korea.
Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, Eternal Spring retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance, harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution, and an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.