In March 2002, a state TV signal in China gets 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 an already violent repression. But his views are challenged when he meets the lone surviving participant to have escaped China, now living in Seoul, South Korea.
Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, ETERNAL SPRING (長春) retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance told through harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution and incredible artistry. ETERNAL SPRING is an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.
ETERNAL SPRING director Jason Loftus is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and four-time Canadian Screen Award nominee whose work spans documentary, docuseries, virtual reality, narrative games, and animation. His directorial debut in a documentary feature, ASK NO QUESTIONS, premiered in competition at Slamdance in 2020. ETERNAL SPRING is Jason’s follow-up feature film, and in 2022, won the top audience award for best Canadian feature and the Hot Docs Audience Award when it screened at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, and has the distinguished honour of being Canada’s Best International Feature submission to next year’s Oscars.
“A thrilling, all-consuming film that challenges traditional documentary tropes and finds a way to tell a winding, difficult story with brilliant ease.” (Globe and Mail)
“An original, moving tour de force, which deserves to be widely seen.” (National Post)
“Canada’s submission to next year’s Oscars is a stirring portrait of how Falun Gong hijacked Chinese TV and were martyred by the government. But the film is hampered by a jumbled structure and unnecessarily rosy view of the movement’s politics.” (Original Cin)
Monday, October 10
Doors 3:30 pm | Movie 4:00 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE
Wednesday, October 12
Doors 5:45 pm | Movie 6:15 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE
*Online ticket sales end an hour before any given showtime. Unless noted otherwise, tickets are also available at the door.
*Minors permitted. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service.
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ETERNAL SPRING (Jason Loftus, 2022 / 86 mins / G / Mandarin with English subtitles) Based around the animation of Chinese artist Daxiong, the film centres on Falun Gong‘s 2002 hijacking of broadcast television stations in Changchun, and China’s continued repression of ethnic and religious minority groups.
Voted the #1 Independent Theatre in Vancouver, the Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue featuring arthouse, mainstream and cult-classic cinemas as well as live entertainment. Built in 1938, the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage and 420 luxurious seats.1660 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC
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