Source: Janet Levy
Some films are chilling because their fiction penetrates the agonizing core of reality. The soon-to-be-released Unsilenced, from award-winning Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee, is a prime example. It brings into sharp focus the oppression unleashed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Falun Gong, a movement that emphasizes ethical conduct, qigong exercises, and meditation. Fearing that Falun Gong would overtake it in popularity, the party has since 1999 been persecuting practitioners with arrest, torture, forced labor, menticide, and execution. But an underground resistance has established itself, led by ordinary Falun Gong practitioners pushed by extraordinary circumstances into heroic acts.
The film’s lead character, Wang (played by Ting Wu), is based on Wang Weiyu, a survivor of China’s prisons and labor camps. Wang and his friends pay a heavy price for fighting back. But with the help of journalist Daniel Davis (played by Sam Trammell), they succeed in getting the word out on the plight of the Falun Gong. Leading the crackdown against them is the sadistic Secretary Yang (played by Tzu-Chiang Wang).