In some cases a movie is so great it passes by the censors.
That is why it is so surprising that the very anti-totalitarian, anti-communist “Eternal Spring” is this year’s Canadian Oscar candidate in an unusual 3 classifications– finest worldwide movie, finest animation, and best documentary.
The film is that excellent. Having simply seen it, I would presume as to say it is the most compelling political movie because “The Lives of Others” about life under the East German Stasi that won multiple awards throughout the world in 2007. That motion picture, however, was fiction, albeit based on the personal experiences of the film writer.
“Eternal Spring” mixes 3D animation, live interviews, and archival video footage to inform the tale of the hacking of the television news in Changchun, China, in 2002 by a small group of Falun Gong professionals who wanted the general public to know the fact about their spiritual beliefs instead of the communist propaganda being fed to them.
Directed by Jason Loftus and animated by the definitely amazing Daxiong, who figures himself in the story, the movie has you on the proverbial edge of your seat throughout, even though you know– this being China under the brutal CCP rule of then-leader Jiang Zemin– that our heroes will (primarily) not survive.
Yes, there is violence in the movie (primarily animated, thankfully) as you would expect provided what we know of the treatment of spiritual minorities and political dissidents in today’s China. And yet the general sensation of the movie is strangely enough optimistic, earning the title “Eternal Spring.”
The film harkens back to a different China of other ages– Daxiong’s animations here are exceptional as are his representations of the actual participants– in a manner that makes you wish to believe those days will return.
That respect for much older and spiritually much deeper Chinese customs can be found in the book Zhuan Falun by Hongzhi Li, Falun Gong founder, that I also just recently checked out.
I discover Western resemblances to these beliefs– fact, empathy, and tolerance– in elements of evangelical Christianity and the rapidly-growing Chabad movement in Judaism.
All three advocate for what amounts to a peaceful transformation through the enhancement of one’s own character, by living a virtuous life that others may seek to emulate.
There may be no better recommendations in these parlous times.
To see “Eternal Spring,” examine their website. Screenings are coming up soon in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Rafael and Palm Springs, California; Middletown and Rochester, New York City; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Hopefully, more will be included quickly.
And if you feel as I do about the film, please pass it on. I have actually already called some like-minded buddies of mine in the Motion Picture Academy who likewise vote in the Oscars as I do. It’s an uphill battle there versus the frustrating “woke” majority, however as they state in the Zen tradition, “You can’t arrive by attempting, but you will not get there if you don’t attempt.”
Views revealed in this short article are the opinions of the author and do not always reflect the views of The Date Times.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated film writer, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His newest books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Damaging Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Currently” (nonfiction). He can be discovered on GETTR and Fact Social @rogerlsimon.