"Eternal Spring" is a real-life animated thriller
Animated documentary about a Falun Gong protest in China with wide-reaching ramifications. Directed by Jason Loftus. Now playing at Varsity Cinemas. Mandarin language with subtitles. 86 minutes. PG
⭐️⭐️⭐½ (out of 4 stars)
Canada's Oscar submission for Best International Feature is a real-life animated thriller set in China, where "truth" is determined by government officials and state-owned media. This is all the more so when it comes to the banned spiritual movement known as Falun Gong. Long persecuted in their homeland, Falun Gong practitioners were beaten and jailed in 2002 after hijacking a government TV signal to broadcast facts about their beliefs, which centre on meditation, exercise, truthful expression and benevolent behaviour. Jason Loftus and illustrator Daxiong (who was part of the protest, now living in Toronto) combine potent recollections with gorgeous animation, in this #HotDocs22 audience winner.