Canada has made its selection for the Oscars.
Documentary “Eternal Spring (長春)” has been chosen as the country’s submission to the Best International Feature Film category (formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film) at the 95th Academy Awards. The Mandarin-language film was selected by a committee of 20 members representing key government agencies and national film industry associations.
A hybrid live-action and animated story, “Eternal Spring” retraces the events of a 2002 incident in which a state-run TV station was hacked by members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. According to the synopsis, “In the aftermath, police raids sweep Changchun City, and comic book illustrator Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars), a Falun Gong practitioner, is forced to flee. He arrives in North America, blaming the hijacking for worsening a violent repression. But his views are challenged when he meets the lone surviving participant to have escaped China, now living in Seoul, South Korea.
“Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, ‘Eternal Spring’ retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance, harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution, and an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.”
Each year, countries select one film to be considered for the prestigious award; the Academy eventually releases a shortlist of contenders before the official nominees are announced.
In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have gone on to become official nominees. Only one Canadian film, Denys Arcand’s 2004 film “The Barbarian Invasions”, has taken home the Oscar in this category. Recent winners in this category include Japan’s “Drive My Car”, Denmark’s “Another Round”, South Korea’s “Parasite”, and Mexico’s “Roma”.
“Eternal Spring” will be released in Canada on September 23.