“Free China: The Courage to Believe,” a documentary film released in 2013 about the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, is being broadcast into China by satellite for the first time as of Jan. 23. It will also be made widely available to Internet users in China, with the help of the popular anti-censorship software Freegate.
The film’s two protagonists are Dr. Charles Lee, a Chinese-American businessman who traveled back to China to attempt to broadcast news of the persecution over the television airwaves, and Jennifer Zeng, a former Party member and researcher at the State Council. Both were imprisoned in Chinese labor camps and forced into years of slave labor, meticulously documented by the film, because they declined to renounce their beliefs under duress.
At one memorable point in the piece, Dr. Lee holds up a cushy Homer Simpson slipper and says: “This is exactly what I was forced to make in Nanjing Prison.” The Los Angeles Times, in its movie review, remarked “Homer Simpson slippers have never been less funny.”
Those in China will be able to watch the Free China broadcast through the KoreaSat5 satellite, according to Kean Wong, producer of the film. He said that people in China have also been sharing with one another DVDs of the documentary, given that films like it are banned from public screenings due to the Chinese Communist Party’s tight controls over movie theaters and television.
The film will premiere online on Feb. 3, when it will be available to rent or purchase.