The documentary “Unsilenced” reveals in a true story the ruthless crimes committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the shadows 20 years ago against Falun Gong and the courage with which the innocent victims resist, and despite the danger, come out and tell the truth. An unprecedented evil that, when revealed to the world, will bring down the ruthless CCP.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Its director, Leon Lee, talks about the cruel persecution of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) and why it is so vital that the world wakes up to the evil of the CCP. It is not just a Chinese issue but represents “the biggest threat the West faces.”
Lee mentions that the film is based on actual events and tells the story of a small group of students who risk their lives to oppose the CCP propaganda and use wise ways to defend their beliefs and freedom.
Mr. Wang, one of the people depicted in the film, was a prominent student who was expelled from the university after the persecution of Falun Gong began. He later spent eight and a half years in a Chinese prison.
Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline of the Buddha school, began to be taught in China in 1992 and quickly became popular, with some 100 million people practicing its exercises in parks.
This discipline revived the traditional Chinese culture that believes in the divine. Its profound teachings have the purpose of raising the moral quality of those who practice it and follow its principles of Truth, Benevolence, and Tolerance.
But in 1999, the atheist CCP considered it a threat. The number of practitioners was more significant than those affiliated with the CCP, so it was banned.
From then on, practitioners began to face ruthless persecution that continues to this day, risking their lives to defend their beliefs.
Leon Lee told journalist Virginia Allen that he left China in 2016 and settled in Canada. There, he first learned about the true face of the CCP after a friend showed him footage of the Tiananmen massacre.
“I was very angry after seeing the footage, not toward the Chinese regime, but toward my friend,” he said and asked him why he was betraying his homeland. “Why do you betray our motherland like this? Why do you believe this propaganda fabricated by the CIA?” asserting that this was the narrative he was taught.
After his friend encouraged him to investigate for himself, he learned the truth. “The whole world opened up in front of me,” Lee said.
“I was the typical student in China who really loves the country, loves the people, and loves the Communist Party. We were told that to love the party is to love the people, that the party is more important even than your parents,” Lee commented in the interview.
When asked by the reporter why he believed that people like Wang were willing to risk everything, to put their lives on the line to defend the practice of Falun Gong, Lee said he had asked several people he interviewed. The answers were simple, “like people felt it was the right thing to do.”
Furthermore, they said that this persecution is not only directed at Falun Gong practitioners but all people in China. They are forced to turn in practitioners they know, husbands are forced to divorce their wives, and students are expelled from school. In addition, workers are fired from their workplaces.
The director also talked about his 2014 film “Human Harvest,” which exposed the illegal organ trade in China and won a Peabody Award.
Researching further into the Chinese regime’s true crime history, Lee came across an article about illegal organ harvesting in China and contacted Canadians David Matas and David Kilgour, who was investigating the issue. “And eight years later, we had the film done.”
Lee commented that at first, Chinese people watching his films accused him, saying, “How come I don’t make films to promote Chinese culture? Why do I want to help the Western anti-China forces to defame our country?” but now that is changing.
“For example, I had a screening of my documentary in Vancouver and three young girls from China came, they waited until everybody left and they approached me. They said they were on an exchange program from China. They’ve been in Canada for two months, but the last two hours was the highlight of their two months in Canada. They had no idea that this is happening in China. And they promised me when they go back, they will tell everybody they know what they’ve learned here,” Lee recounted.
“So that’s giving me hope,” he added.
When asked by the reporter what steps the U.S. should take that they are not taking now, Lee replied, “One is to really recognize that the CCP is not representing the Chinese people. So when the U.S. administration uses terms like “China,” now the CCP can hide behind 1.4 billion people and say something like, “Oh, you are hurting the feelings of 1.4 billion people.”
And as for people in general, Lee said, “If enough people realize what’s going on, if they know what’s going on in China, if you know that what happens in China has a direct impact on our lives here in America, I think that will be the most powerful thing. The politicians will be forced to take action.”
Finally, the journalist encouraged watching the moving story told in the documentary, “I certainly recommend to anyone, if you watch it, bring some tissues. It’s a really, really powerful film, very, very well done,” she said.