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A Form of Dialogue With Heavy Sarcasm: A Film Review of The Exchange: Account of an Interrogation
By Qin Mo, United States
To tell the truth, at first glance the name of the film The Exchange seemed plain and not attractive to me. But I watched it carefully at my friends’ insistence. Only after looking back and savoring its name did I find that the title has a special flavor of literature, and that we cannot simply understand it through the letter of the word. I am glad that I haven’t missed this good film.
We usually think that dialogues are interpersonal talks. The dialogue between friends is kind; the dispute between ourselves and the enemy is hot and sharp. There is very little difference between the dialogues like that. “The Exchange,” are there any other forms? What kind of dialogue is such dialogue?
At the beginning of the film appears a character, “8523.” This code name arrests my attention most. Who is she? Why have the CCP police closely monitored her for as long as three months by moving a lot of police and huge material resources? Predictably, “8523” was caught in a meeting by the CCP police finally. It was only that she was just a Christian, which exceeds my expectations. The series of numbers, 8523, is the last digits of her cellphone number that has been monitored and traced by the police. What has the Christian called Jiang Xinyi done to make the CCP police mobilize too many troops?
When seeing what a band of people’s police have done, I felt extremely astonished: Without a search warrant, they, like bandits, break down the door of the gathering and rummage the drawers in rooms. Finally, they not only pocket the personal money seized, but kick the owner down to the ground. From this, I can see that it isn’t a common film but an actual record of religious persecution. With the story moving forward here, it makes us puzzled: Does it break the law to believe in God and attend meetings in China? China’s constitution expressly stipulates that citizens have freedom of religion. Believing in God is reasonable and legal. But this adapted film based on the real experience shows us that the Christians living in China are monitored and captured by the government. And it is indeed a fact that people with religious beliefs suffer persecution from the CCP and the Chinese people don’t have human rights at all. After Jiang Xinyi and the others are captured, what has happened to them?
The Brainwashing Dialogue
Longchao Hotel located in the suburb of the city, even in the dead of night, is still seen its size clearly. It is not hard to imagine its luxury. But what I cannot imagine is that it is actually a secret base of the CCP police for trial. Just here, the CCP police not only torture Jiang Xinyi and the others, but also arrange the teacher of brainwashing class and the religious priest to transform their thought one round after another.
Lang Xin, the captain of the National Security Team, said, “Although belief in God in China is in accordance with the constitution, it goes against the policy of the Communist Party.” His word is thought-provoking and I can’t help confusing: Since it is in accord with the constitution to believe in God, why is it contrary to the policy of the Communist Party? What policy does the CCP have, besides the constitution? How can this policy surpass the constitution? If a country also has some unwritten policies besides the constitution and these policies surpass the constitution, then It is hard to imagine what situation the people of the country will live in? A dialogue between the deputy head, Ma Zhijun, and Jiang Xinyi manifests directly and thoroughly the repression and persecution brought to the people by the policy. It can be seen that not only the people ruled by the CCP have no human rights at all, but also Christians are even deprived of the basic right to live. In the film, that the police monitor Jiang Xinyi, take photos of her and listen to her cellphone and that she calls others with passwords all evidently show it.
President Yuan of the law education school and Priest Feng of the Three-Self Church start a conversation with the heroine about some issues concerning atheism, the theory of evolution, materialism and science, and concerning whether some religious views on believing in the Lord people hold on to are true or not, and concerning the correct view of pursuit one should have when believing in God, and also concerning the return of the Lord Jesus, which brings the story to a climax. During the whole of this conversation, the heroine shows boldness, wisdom, firmness and unyieldingness, which are admired by me. The hot disputes between both sides even bring me into the issues that mankind have sought for long. The God’s words that the heroine recites and her knowledge of God’s words seem to give me answers. Although this part of this film seems uninteresting, when we use our hearts to savor and experience it, we will have a great harvest.
The Cruel Dialogue
With the failure of the transformation work, the CCP police and the personnel who brainwash believers discuss their plan to change the way of the conversation. At that time, President Yuan finally shows his insidious and malicious nature. He advised to use diabolic means, like carrying out “wheel combat” on Jiang Xinyi and the others and adopting tough and soft means, seeking to destroy them both spiritually and physically.
The inhuman torture and cruel treatment are also a way of the conversation. When the CCP police don’t get the whereabouts of the church’s money and the name list of the leaders and co-workers of the church from Jiang Xinyi and the other two, they begin to “talk to them” with cruel torture. As soon as Jiang Xinyi and the other two sisters disagree with the police on a single word, the police will start hitting and kicking them. The torture is so cruel that I cannot imagine that it is from the hand of the government. In the secret base for trial, the walls are covered with terrifying instruments of torture, some of which there are dark blood on. And a grim laugh of the CCP police even makes the interrogation room more gloomy and terrifying, and it is like the hell.
Among the various tortures, what impresses me most is that the police deeply insert 2-inch steel needles into Jiang Xinyi’s ten fingers. She screams heartrendingly with the pain. That scene makes me deeply angry. The nerves of the fingertips are linked with heart. How can the police work that out? From this, they are truly the same as what they say, “We’re the ghosts specially resisting God!” Believing in God and worshiping Him is reasonable and legal and it is the law of heaven and earth. But in order to ban the religion and belief in God, the atheistic CCP government actually is inhuman to such an extent.
Reviving from her coma, Jiang Xinyi cannot bear the great pain and can only call out to God again and again in her heart. A passage of God’s word enlightens and guides her in time and moves her to tears. So she is determined to follow God to the death and firmly rebel against Satan. That passage of God’s word makes me think of what the Lord, “For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). Facing death, Jiang Xinyi and the other two sisters are ready to sacrifice themselves to satisfy God. It is no exaggeration to say that through them I see generations of saints rise from the dead.
The Tempting Dialogue
After the CCP police don’t get the information they want by a transformation of brainwashing, both threats and inducements, the cruel torture, and so on, they use affection to tempt Jiang Xinyi again. When the child cries out and runs up to the mother, any mother besides her will give in at that time. A child is a mother’s treasure and life; which mother is willing to let her child suffer hardships? Obviously, in order to let Jiang Xinyi betray God, the CCP worries out and tries all ways possible to seize her weakness to allow her to give in. But Jiang Xinyi speaks solemnly with justice her reason and determination that she will never submit to and give in to the forces of darkness.
Finally, the CCP government sentences Jiang Xinyi to 12 years’ imprisonment on a trumped-up charge. But a hymn titled “Song of the Overcomers” shows the fact that God has already defeated Satan while Satan has failed shamefully.
The Exchange portrays the battle between justice and evil, and the message the film conveys stimulates deep thought and is pregnant with meaning. Regarding the matters many people can’t understand all their lives, the film has given us the answers. It is a film that is worth seeing!
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