A Decade of Courage

The largest and most influential Chinese spiritual movement in history has endured a two decades of repression. Millions of adherents remain devoted to the ideals of "Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance" after 20 years of slander in the state-run media, abuse in prisons and psychiatric wards, and uncertainty.

Falun Gong spread by word of mouth, and after a few years, tens of millions of people practiced all over China. People’s lives were changed; Chinese society itself was changing: But then came the sudden ban, the brutal crackdown. And a decade of survival, against the odds.

Published in 2009, this is the story of Falun Gong through the first 10 years of the suppression in China, told in four parts:

Part 1: April 25th, 1999 The Protest that Changed China

Ten years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside China’s central leadership compound in Beijing. They had come to appeal at China’s central appeals office–to appeal for practitioners who had been abused in the city of Tianjin, for their books, which had been banned, and for practitioners all over the country who were being harassed and investigated by the police.

They were met by the Chinese premier, and the arrested practitioners were released. It seemed like the appeal had been successful, But in reality, time was running out, and the brutal crackdown was getting closer and closer.

Part 2: May 13th Soul of a Nation

After ten years of often-brutal persecution by China’s Communist authorities, the Chinese spiritual practice Falun Gong remains a visible presence worldwide. It’s still practiced, although often in secret, by millions in the Mainland. What makes these people so committed to their beliefs?

In “A Decade of Courage: Soul of a Nation” we look at the rapidly changing, post-Cultural Revolution China in which the practice emerged. We hear the stories of people who came to Falun Gong for various reasons, but who say their lives have been changed as a result. And, ten years after the Communist ban, on the tenth year that practitioners worldwide celebrate May 13th as “World Falun Dafa Day”, and 17 years after the practice was first spread on May 13th, 1992, we ask what this practice has meant for today’s China, and what it will mean for China’s future.

Part 3: June 10th, 1999 — China’s Hidden Holocaust

Thursday, June 10th, 1999. To most of us, it’s like any other day. But ten years ago today, the Chinese communist regime created a Gestapo-style secret police agency, with the mission to destroy Falun Gong–by any means necessary.

With the tools of torture and the resources of the world?s most populous nation, then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin thought he could crush Falun Gong in three months. But as history played out, many Falun Gong practitioners were able to not only endure the brutality of the persecution, but turn the tables on the Chinese government by exposing their persecution around the world. This is their story.

Part 4: July 20th — China’s Deadly Harvest

Numbers are symbols; they represent anything and everything. But they also hide what they represent, like a mask. In ten years, the names of over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been collected; they are the names of people who have been killed through torture by Chinese authorities. But, how many more people simply disappeared after the persecution began? And what is the connection to China’s booming organ transplant industry? Though the truth is still unknown, the evidence points to a disturbing conclusion about the new China, and of what the rest of the world is willing to ignore. In this original investigation, NTD attempts to discover: ‘what happened to the people who disappeared?’

By New Tang Dynasty Television
102 min | Documentary, History | 2009 | USA