An audacious attempt to briefly take control of China’s airwaves in 2002 is the starting point of Jason Loftus’ Oscar-longlisted animated documentary.
On 5 March 2002, a group of Falung Gong activists, dispirited by what they saw as a disinformation campaign by the Chinese government against their belief system, attempted an extraordinary coup. They successfully tapped into the official airwaves long enough to show a film that portrayed Falung Gong in a positive light. Loftus follows comic-book artist – and Falun Gong acolyte – Daxiong as he talks to the individuals involved and contemplates his own conflicted feelings about the defiance he was involved in.
With animation inspired by Daxiong’s drawings, Loftus successfully details the campaign the authorities carried out in response – a brutal act of coercion that involved hunting down all those involved. At the same time, Daxiong looks back on his life and how his beliefs changed it.