Jan 28, 2017

Cupertino: BlueLight Cinemas screening film that sheds light on organ harvesting allegations

The Mercury News
By KRISTI MYLLENBECK | kmyllenbeck@bayareanewsgroup.com

January 27, 2017

BlueLight Cinemas, at the Oaks Shopping Center in Cupertino, is hosting a free screening of “Hard to Believe,” a documentary about allegations of forced organ harvesting in China, on Feb. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The screening is sponsored by Friends of Falun Gong, a nonprofit group founded in 2000 by Americans “to support the freedom of belief of persons who practice Falun Gong,” the website reads.

Art Cohen, CEO of BlueLight Cinemas, said the theater welcomes films that bring about discourse.

“We believe that education and entertainment are provided though documentaries that pertain to human rights, environment and social justice matters,” he said in an email to this newspaper. “BlueLight provides a venue to help educate our community regarding these very important issues. We are happy to serve our community in providing the venue for people to learn, discuss and debate in a safe and fun environment.”

According to the Friends of Falun Gong website, the spiritual practice, which was made public in 1992 and is practiced in more than 110 countries, includes adopting the values of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance while performing gentle exercises and meditation.

“Hard to Believe” details the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999, subsequent imprisonment of practitioners and allegations that the Chinese Communist Party was killing prisoners to harvest their organs to be sold for transplant.

Shuang Ji, a Los Gatos resident and member of Friends of Falun Gong, explained the magnitude of the practice.

“The organ harvesting atrocities have been happening to Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China for more than 10 years,” he said in an email. “And it’s at a massive scale. The number of victims is estimated at hundreds of thousands, or even up to 1.5 million. Even the United States Congress passed House Resolution 343 in June last year to condemn such crimes.”

Cliff Chen, a longtime Cupertino resident and 20-year Falun Gong practitioner, said that raising awareness is key.

“It’s important to bring to people’s awareness that there are bad things going on in China,” he said. “It is a human rights issue, it’s not just a Falun Gong issue. Even if I was not a Falun Gong practitioner, if anybody did this to any religion, we would stand up to this, too. We need to do this because so few people know about it, and China covers it up so well and they’ve been doing it for so long. People here think they’re so far away, that China has nothing to do with them. But if this happened to your relative, what would you think?”

To register for the free screening of “Hard to Believe” visit h2b.eventbrite.com. The first 50 people to register will receive a free medium drink at BlueLight Cinemas.


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