This is a documentary that uncovers a supposed conspiracy theory about Falun Gong religious cult practitioners. The documentary suggests that the events following the Tienanmen Square massacre were staged, including the acts of self-immolation, violence, and police brutality. Overall, the director presents this topic in a captivating way, though the pace seems quite slow and lingers on the staged idea. The film leaves me quite uncertain as to the legitimacy of the research, and without access to the sources, I have more questions now than I started with.
The documentary maintains that the PRC put on a show to villanize the Falun Gong practitioners, including staging acts of self-immolation and the subsequent propagation of Chinese propaganda. The message here seems clear that the PRC will go to any means necessary to suppress free speech and to demonize cult members -- even to the extent of imprisoning innocent people in concentration ("re-education") camps. Ask No Questions falls short in the fact-checking department, as it becomes very difficult to verify that the evidence stacks up here. With such a controversial claim, and with the PRC having control of almost all sources of information, the fact-checking game becomes a game of "he said, she said". Even if the facts do check out here, would people really speak out against the PRC, risking their lives, endangering their families, and risking imprisonment? If anything, the documentary leaves viewers more concerned and helpless than with a proactive way to address the rampant corruption in the PRC.
Having travelled extensively through mainland China, I had first heard of these cultist practitioners when I visited Hong Kong (not China). I can verify that the level of obstruction of justice and corruption does occur in the CCP -- and especially outside, like in Hong Kong. There, you find evangelists canvassing their cult and asking you to devote yourself to their cause. As I write this review, our two Michael's of Canada remain imprisoned in undisclosed Chinese concentration camps, forced to stay awake for days on end, forced to listen to Chinese propaganda. Furthermore, a new extradition bill jepordizes Hong Kongers' ability for free speech, making documentaries like this one a rare gem. Whether or not our two Michaels make it out alive or in a sane state, the crossed ethical and political lines, the measures the PRC will take to frame innocent people -- they all contribute to a very relevant exploration of a controversial topic. The director here deserves praise for risking his life, his family, and his career in the name of free speech.
In the end, Ask No Questions ironically leaves us asking more questions, and that probably says more about the rampant corruption of the CCP than it does about this documentary. If only we had a way to fact-check and verify this information (a "smoking gun", as the director puts it), then we may have a way forward. But as it stands, the film leaves us with more of a sense of helplessness -- a sense that we undeniably feel very strongly here in Canada for our two Michaels.
Ask No Questions
Ask No Questions
When Chinese state television blames his faith for a fiery public suicide, Chen Ruichang is detained in a Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing facility and forced to accept the government's account.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 30, 2020 at 08:08 PM