These are Q & A between English Epoch Times and myself in 2012.
Many people seem to be particularly moved by “Free China: the Courage to Believe”. Why do you think that is?
I was often moved to tears as well, when reading the many articles by Falun Gong practitioners posted on the Minghui website, and attempting to organize a “Falun Gong Chronology” to attach to my autobiographical book, “Witnessing History: One Woman’s Fight for Freedom and Falun Gong“. I believe that things in this world often have more profound reasons beyond the surface than what we can normally see and understand. That’s why sometimes it is very difficult to explain why we are so moved.
Deep within our hearts we all long for goodness, kindness, beautiful and wonderful things; we all long to live in a better place, and be surrounded by kind-hearted people. That’s why many are drawn to Falun Gong. Through the practice, many gain wisdom and courage to abandon negative thoughts and feelings so as to become better people. This may sound simple in an everyday environment; but things are different when being confronted by a life-threatening situation. And yet Falun Gong practitioners still strive to maintain the courage to uphold their principles. I think people can easily see and be moved by kindness, as everyone has some measure of kindness within their hearts. Because of kindness, when they see that there are people who are trying continue to be truthful and compassionate even they are suffering huge pains for doing so, they are naturally moved.
The Falun Gong practitioners in China could make their life easier if they just quietly practised at home. No person or group has managed to defy the CCP’s control for so long. What makes Falun Gong practitioners able to stand up against the Chinese government’s persecution, guns and corruption?
I think it is because their faith has given them the wisdom and courage to overcome the persecution. The human spirit will always have more power than guns.
What is your dream for China and its people?
Simply to have a brighter future.
What would you like this film to accomplish?
The persecution of Falun Gong is the largest scale human rights calamity and anti-humanity crime of our times. As I stated in the preface of my book, “I appeal to all kind- hearted people around the world to take note of what is happening to the Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China. Extend your helping hands to these millions of innocent beings, save them and, at the same time, save yourselves. For this, I am prepared to sacrifice my life…With all my strength and my entire being I offer this book. I offer my heart, and the essential principles of the universe that I validate through my life.”
Your responses to off-camera questions in the film are very honest. What, for you, was the most challenging part about making this film?
Perhaps the greatest challenge was how to face and present the part of my own history that I was very ashamed of. As I had shared in the film, I wanted to give up writing my book, and had indeed stopped for some time, because I was too ashamed. As an author, I knew I had to remain absolutely truthful with my readers. However, to be absolutely truthful, I felt like I was being stripped naked, and having people form the whole world pointing their fingers at me. That was a real personal struggle.
With the making of the film, the major hardship was actually the lack of funds. When we were in discussions about planning the film, the producer initially wanted to fly the entire crew from the US to Australia to interview and film me. That would have been a considerable cost. I knew it was a low-budget, or even a no-budget project, like other projects NTDTV had been doing. So when I told Kean, the Producer of Free China, that I would fly to the US instead, and at my own expense, he was really overjoyed.
However, because the time I could stay in US was very limited, everything had to be done quickly and intensively. After completing the filming in Washington DC, I was immediately driven to New York to be interviewed. I was still attempting to get over my jet lag, having a “heavy” head. I was interviewed for 12 hours or more in a very small studio with many lights, but no windows nor air conditioner. Some of the questions, as you can imagine, were very tough. Time and again, I had to overcome my language deficiency (don’t tell me my English is good enough. It’s far from what is enough for me to express myself correctly, and with correct grammar), as well as other physical and psychological factors. I remember seeing Kean falling asleep during the interview while sitting on the floor beside Michael. Of course, he was also tired. Later, Michael told me that it was the longest interview he had ever conducted. We could have spent even more time with the interview, if not for the budget and time constraints.
I’d like to encourage more people to view and support NTD Television so as to enable the station to produce more meaningful films and TV programs to share the truth about the situation in China. There is a saying that, “The truth will set you free”. I hope all of China will soon be free!
Screenshot from Free China movie showing Jennifer doing the 5th exercise of Falun Gong, Reinforcing Supernatural Powers.