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China’s Underbelly Focus of Two Docs at Film Festival

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By Pam McLennan On October 24, 2012 @ 9:29 pm In Movies & TV |

(Courtesy DBC Productions and Area 23A)

(Courtesy DBC Productions and Area 23A)

OTTAWA—The third annual Free Thinking Film Festival will present its usual roster of outstanding documentaries Nov. 1 – 4 at Library and Archives Canada.

Two particularly noteworthy films, “Death by China” and “Free China,” reveal some disturbing facts about a country that has economic ties with Canada and most other countries around the world—China.

‘Death by China’

“Death by China, One Job at a Time” whose Ottawa premier is Nov. 2, is a sobering film based on the book “Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action” co-authored by producers Peter Navarro and Greg Autry.

The documentary exposes the connection between the U.S. jobless rate and China’s unfair trade practices and industrial policies, which are shown to be ultimately destructive as manufacturing outsourced on a large scale to China forced the closure of many factories throughout the U.S.

The situation has led to a huge trade deficit, which isn’t occurring only in the U.S. but globally as well.

Added to the economic cost of doing business with China, the film delves into consumer issues, consumer protection, and looks at how the gargantuan income from China’s globally exported goods is used to finance the country’s growing military.

Issues such as China’s unfair treatment of its workers, total disregard for the environment, and the corruption within the Chinese Communist Party are revealed one by one.

The screening starts at 7 p.m. and Autry will be on hand for a discussion after the showing.

Free China (Courtesy NTD Television)

Free China (Courtesy NTD Television)

 ‘Free China’

Directed by award-winning documentarian Michael Perlman and produced by Kean Wong of NTD Television, “Free China: The Courage to Believe” will be shown at noon on Nov. 3. The 53-minute documentary has won four international awards.

“Free China” tells the story of two prisoners of conscience and how they survived physical torture and the hardships of a forced labour camp while holding onto their beliefs.

The true experiences of Jennifer Zeng and Charles Lee reveal China’s trampling of human rights as the two become prisoners of conscience when each is arrested for practising Falun Gong.

Although not incarcerated at the same time, they describe being forced to work long hours making things like slippers, Christmas lights, and toy rabbits that are exported to the West.

Particularly poignant is Zeng’s description of the Chinese Communist Party’s brainwashing techniques used to make her renounce her beliefs. Those who recant have to malign Falun Gong in writing and then influence other practitioners to give up the practice.

Being made to “reform” others is particularly troubling to her conscience, which highlights the meaning of the subtitle “Courage to Believe.”

For more details, visit www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca

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