Twenty Three Days and “Eternal Fifty Minutes”
(Minghui.org) The recently-released movie “Eternal Fifty Minutes” was based on the true story of Falun Gong practitioners in China who risked their lives to hijack cable television signals to broadcast Falun Gong programs for 50 minutes.
I am the only survivor of that event. All the others were arrested and paid with their lives when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) retaliated.
We did it in Changchun, where Falun Gong, an ancient mind-body Buddhist practice, was first introduced. About one million people in Changchun watched the Falun Gong broadcast on March 5, 2002. Because the CCP controls all the media, hijacking the cable broadcast system was one of very few effective options for us to let the Chinese people know the truth.
Last year I was honored to help make a movie about those brave Falun Gong practitioners and what they managed to do.
Going to Canada
When New Realm Studios invited me to Canada, I was pleasantly surprised but also a bit hesitant. After debating with myself back and forth several times, I decided that I should go.
However, my online application for a visa to Canada would not go through. Even though I verified every field multiple times, the submission kept failing. I started to look within: Did I have a pure heart to go to Canada or did I want to show off?
After I found my attachments and got rid of them, my visa submission went through.
I booked the flight for September 30 to October 18, 2019.
The crew had already been filming for seven days by the time I joined them. It was a wonderful cultivation team. We did the three things that Master told us to do together: studied the Fa and did the exercises, sent forth the righteous thoughts, and clarified the truth (by making the movie).
I felt like I did when I first started to practice Falun Gong: I was inspired and energized and elevated as I kept learning.
Everyone gave it their best effort. Many days we filmed until 2:00 a.m. while the supporting team stayed up all night preparing for the next day’s shooting. Everyone collaborated well. The director and producer oversaw the quality and often filmed the same scene again and again for the best effect.
The practitioner who played Liu Chenjun told me, “However tired I was or hard things seemed to be, when I thought about those practitioners who gave their lives, it was no longer tough.”
With everyone’s efforts, we finished filming in 23 days.
My main job was to recall and provide the technical details of the real event, but the director also arranged for me to play myself in the movie. Because the crew was short of hands, I was also assigned to work on creating props.
I described how to hijack a cable TV signal and how to climb a utility pole. The director adjusted the filming based on my information to make it more realistic.
Creating the VCD broadcasting props was challenging, but with many “coincidences,” we made it.
The first thing we had to build was the cable TV signal amplifier. The props team created it based on my description.
We then needed cable wires, an old VCD player, and an electric transformer, none of which we had. I said to myself, “How come we have nothing at all?”
I realized that this showed my tendency to complain about things. After I got rid of it, a practitioner said that he would check with the recycling station where he used to work. He called but was told they didn’t have an old VCD player. I decided to go there and look anyway. The trip was fruitful. We found a transformer, wiring clips, VCD wire, and cable that was similar to the main cable.
The prop expert quickly made the main cable from the replica after I described it. He also found a replica for the extension wire from the main cable based on another practitioner’s suggestion.
We couldn’t find an old, big VCD player and used a smaller one instead. A practitioner made a prop for the electric transformer, which was much lighter to hold during filming. Another practitioner created the lineman hooks.
When we were shooting a scene in the field, I saw two insulators on abandoned electrical poles. I asked the cameraman to use his boom lift to take them down. We needed them on the electrical pole.
Creating the electrical pole took quite a bit of effort. Our carpenter built a pillar with studs. Other practitioners and I sanded it to make it round. It was a lot of work. When I finished, I was completely covered in sawdust. Then the artistic practitioner applied putty and painted it, and the pole was ready.
The next thing was the high-voltage wire on the pole. In China, the wires are bare. We couldn’t find that type of wire. I learned to be calm and decided to put it aside.
I then started on the next task of connecting VCD players to wires. I had cut a piece from the VCD wires earlier and broke it by accident. I knew there were some VCD wires left, but I just couldn’t find them in the prop boxes. The prop team lead brought me a large bundle of cable wire, but none of it worked. So I searched the prop boxes again—and found it.
I then had to solve the problem of the bare high-voltage wire. Suddenly, I saw that big bundle of cable wire. It had metal wire inside rubber insulation—all we had to do was strip off the insulation! More amazingly, it was long enough for us to make a long connection between poles. Wasn’t it a “coincidence”?
A practitioner said, “One coincidence is coincidental, two coincidences are still coincidental, but when you have many coincidences coincidentally connected, it is no longer a coincidence but, rather, arranged.”
All those coincidences in those few days of making props made me realize that Master had already arranged everything for us.