In the Name of Confucius is a gripping documentary by Canadian-based producer, writer, and director Doris Liu. The one hour-long investigative documentary questions “What is the purpose and political influence of Chinese-funded Confucius Institute programs?” that are popping up all around the world.
Synopsis from In the Name of Confucius website:
“Culture. Language. Power. On average, China opens one Confucius Institute per week in partnership with school boards and academic institutions around the world, with a goal of opening 1000 by 2020.
“Yet, a growing number of schools are also starting to cut ties with the program, alarmed by concerns ranging from human rights violations, financial incentives, and censored content to national security and espionage.”
Teachers in the Confucius Institute are trained to avoid topics censored in China. So if questions about the Tiananmen Square massacre come up, the teacher might deflect and talk about the beautiful architecture there instead.
Professors who work at the university, but have nothing to do with the program, are pressured to support or censor themselves; otherwise, the university’s funding may be taken away.
The film shows a re-enactment of Sonia Zhao’s story, played by Canadian beauty-pageant title holder and activist Anastasia Lin. Zhao was a former Mandarin teacher at a Confucius Institute and a Falun Dafa practitioner. She exposed secrets about the school’s practices that led to the shutdown of a Confucius Institute in North America.
We also see scenes of the public protest at the Toronto District School Board involving those for and against the Confucius Institute.
Here are some reviews of the film:
David Kilgour, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Former Lawyer, Canadian Member of Parliament:
“Your film explains brilliantly… why the Confucius Institutes in Canada and elsewhere have virtually nothing to do with Confucius of 2,500 years ago.”
Urgyen Badheytsang, Campaigns Director, Students for a Free Tibet:
“I highly recommend this documentary because if there is anything sacred and worth saving in the Western world, it might be our education and freedom of thought.”
Here is some information from the film’s website about the filmmaker, Doris Liu:
“Doris Liu is an emerging documentary filmmaker and an award-winning journalist based in Toronto. A first generation immigrant, her passion is to tell compelling China/Chinese related stories that resonate in Canadian society and the West.
“She and the team behind the film were the only ones on the front lines of this breaking issue, capturing the first cracks in the controversial Confucius Institutes programs and the exclusive story of Mandarin teacher Sonia Zhao, who defected and exposed secrets of the CI program, leading to the first-ever closure of a Confucius Institute in North America.
“As an expert on the issues surrounding the Confucius Institute, Doris was a guest speaker at the 2014 ICCE (International Conference on Corporate Espionage and Industrial Security) held in Ottawa.”
For screenings and more information, visit the In the Name of Confucius website.
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