In a move that reflects the nation’s diverse, multi-language backdrop, Canada won’t be backing the usual French-language drama but instead has favored the hybrid docu animated Mandarin language and Flee-like escape/survival tale in Jason Loftus‘ Eternal Spring. The filmmaker saw his sophomore feature premiere at the 2022 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London and it was showcased at the2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. 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.
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.