Split by the State is a short film about a 17-year-old refugee boy living in Australia who becomes hopeful after learning Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will visit China.
He writes and hand delivers a powerful letter to him, sharing his story and pleading for the government to intervene in the case of his father — a man who is being wrongfully persecuted in China for practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
It has been 15 years since Eric last saw his father. He and his mother managed to escape China, but sadly his father was not so fortunate and has been brutally tortured in prison and sent to solitary confinement — not for committing any crimes — purely for wishing to have the freedom to believe in a spiritual practice the Chinese Communist Party persecutes.
The Chinese regime confiscated his father’s passport to ensure he can’t reunite with his family now living in Australia. Eric hopes this letter will find its way to the Australian Prime Minister’s heart, and that his family will finally reunite.
The film was written by Eric and based on his true-life story. It is just under 6 minutes and is shot as a documentary-style short film that follows his journey from Sydney to Canberra as he writes and delivers his letter.
Synopsis from Split by the State website:
Facing persecution by the Chinese communist regime for their faith, Eric and his mother manage to escape to Australia by joining a tour group to the country. However, Eric’s father is not so fortunate. He is locked up in China’s notorious prison system, where he is brutally tortured and abused in solitary confinement.
His only ‘crime’ being his faith in Falun Gong — an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline consisting of moral teachings and gentle health exercises, including meditation. The news that Australia’s Prime Minister will visit China offers Eric hope, and he pleads for government intervention in his father’s case. After 15 years apart, will they finally reunite?
The film is directed and produced by Gina Shakespeare, with cinematography by Alexander Nilsen, and music by A.Taylor and Tony Anderson. The film was shot in Sydney and Canberra, and uses archive footage of China.
Please watch the whole film, featured at the beginning of this article, to learn Eric’s story, and hear the powerful letter he wrote to Malcolm Turnbull.
If you have been touched by Eric’s story, please visit www.splitbythestate.org to learn more. Eric is now 19 years old and hasn’t given up trying to find a way to be reunited with his Father. The latest news is that his Father has been arrested again and is being held in a brainwashing center in China.
If you want to help, please Take Action: Sign the petition and share on social media.