A screening in Warsaw, Poland on January 13th was the first in a series of screenings across Poland.
A series of screenings at Universidad Mundial campuses and other sites in Mexico lead to interest and discussions.
Salt Lake Community College featured "Hard To Believe" in their "Movies That Matter" event series this week followed by a panel discussion after the screening with Dr. Weldon Gilcrease, representative of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting; Winston Liu, a former prisoner of conscience in China; and Kay Rubacek, Swoop Films producer.
Seats were scarce with around 150 students, faculty, community members, and local medical professionals attending. Majority of viewers weren't aware of the issue before watching the film and wanted to learn more and take action after watching.
One of the film's producers, Kay Rubacek, spoke earlier at the college to film students about the process of making "Hard To Believe" and the challenges and rewards of making documentaries that expose serious human rights abuse.
REVIEW: School Library Journal Oct 2017
Hard To Believe. 56min, AVcafe. 2015. $20
Gr 9 Up
This horrifying expose of China’s practice of organs from prisoners of conscience, a practice denied by the Chinese government, is based on reporting by author Ethan Gutmann (The Slaughter). It is corroborated by global experts in human rights, medical ethics, and transplant surgery, making a convincing and compelling case.
While it occasionally mentions that this practice affects all types of prisoners of conscience, the focus is almost exclusively on members of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual practice. The transplant rate drastically increased after China’s 1999 crackdown on its practitioners, and their healthy lifestyles made them ideal donors. The film makes a credible case linking Falun Gong’s relatively low profile in the West with the lack of attention given to organ harvesting, despite the number of westerners participating in transplant tourism and thus receiving these organs. A screening and discussion guide is also available.
VERDICT A damning indictment of the cruelty behind China’s transplant system and how the rest of the world continues to ignore it.
A general purchase for public libraries and useful for lessons on medical ethics or religious freedom.
- Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington Public Library, VA
Images from a private screening at Sacramento, California.
Thanks to the efforts of local presenters to provide Swedish subtitles and also some Finnish translation, a screening of HTB was well received June 10, 2017 at a local church in Finland. Before the screening:
A screening at Imperial Beach, California lead to audience comments such as
"Best to let doctors know." - Lily
"Shock to know stuff like that going on. Everyone needs to know so we can stop someday." - Kaci
"[I plan to] check with friends who host meetings [with China related topics] and ease into conversation of Hard to Believe." - Lauree
Producer Kay Rubacek addresses an audience in Flushing, N.Y.
On Friday, April 7, around 160 9th grade students attended two screenings of "Hard To Believe" at a high school in Mexico, and learned about the issue of forced organ harvesting and transplant abuse in China.
"Hard To Believe" premiered this month at the Taipei City Council Hall, with a full house event, including a very lively panel discussion after the film screening. Some attendees said:
"The fact that is “Hard to Believe” is that we'd never thought there will be such a cruel thing. I think such a genuine and stunning film should be seen by more people.”
Kevin H.J. Lee, Taiwan well-known documentary director
"This has gone far beyond the human rights issue, which is already a problem of humanity.”
Rep. Huang Kuo-chang, Taiwan legislator
"The film incontestably exposed the CCP's persecution of prisoners of conscience which should be publicized and should be prosecuted."
Rep. Chang Liao Wan-jian, Taiwan legislator
There will be a screening of the film in Bristol, England on Wednesday, the 25th of January, 2017 from 16:00 till 18:00. It is hosted by Bristol Against Forced Organ Harvesting and it will be held at:
The Conference Room, City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR, UK
Get in touch: BristolAFOH@zsr.org.uk
Speakers will be:
Ethan Gutmann, an award-winning China analyst and human-rights investigator, is the author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal. He has written widely on China issues for publications such as the Wall Street Journal Asia, Investor's Business Daily, Weekly Standard, National Review, and World Affairs journal, and he has provided testimony and briefings to the United States Congress, the Central Intelligence Agency, the European Parliament, the International Society for Human Rights in Geneva, the United Nations, and the parliaments of Ottawa, Canberra, Dublin, Edinburgh, and London. A former foreign-policy analyst at the Brookings Institution, Gutmann has appeared on PBS, CNN, BBC, and CNBC.
Benedict Rogers is the East Asia Team Leader at the human rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). He also serves as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, and recently organized their inquiry on China and authored their new report: The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016, launched in July.
The following motion to stop the organ harvesting raised by Greens Senator Janet Rice and co-sponsored by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz was passed in the Senate this afternoon. Senator Janet Rice also spoke about forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China later at 5.15pm this afternoon as part of the debate on legislation that is being considered tomorrow, on establishing a board for the organ and tissue authority.
The Senate agreed:
The movie was presented last week 7 times in two days, in two different institutions in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. In total there were more than 1500 people who attended. A lot of signatures were collected for the petition to the United Nations to stop the organ harvesting.
Thousands of public health care professionals and students descended upon the Denver Convention Center in Colorado for the 2016 annual national conference of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
Following the screening was a lively Q&A discussion with Dr. Dana Churchill of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), Winston Liu, a chemical engineer in Wyoming who was tortured and blood tested in prison in China for his belief, and Kay Rubacek, one of the producers of Hard To Believe.
Many attendees signed petition postcards addressed to the U.S. State Department asking them to help stop the crime of forced organ harvesting in China. Some comments on the postcards read:
About the Film Festival: The APHA Global Public Health Film Festival is organized by members of the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section's Health Communications Working Group and the International Health Section.
Student A said: "I have never heard anything about the persecution against Falun Gong, let alone problems around live organ harvesting. This is very disturbing truth to which we were never exposed back in mainland China."
Student B said: "This is too cruel to be true."
Student C said: "I wonder if there is a way to get around the Falun Gong issue just to get this documentary shown in China? At least it’ll help make some change."
Student D said: “The Chinese Communist Party has a history of going to great lengths to promote atheism and destroy traditional beliefs."
Student E said: "I think the government censors media, and eventually we censor ourselves, mute ourselves."
“Hard to Believe” was selected out of hundreds of film submissions to the Orlando Film festival, which is now in it’s 11th year. Since it’s release in 2015, “Hard To Believe” has won 13 film awards, broadcast over 50 times on PBS stations, is being translated into 12 languages and used in college classrooms across America.
A Q&A discussion was held in which it became clear the audience was appalled by the documentary and could not believe these atrocities are still happening in this day and age . They suggest more free screening of the film for more awareness