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Film Review of The Exchange: Account of an Interrogation—A Contest Between Good and Evil
By Xiao Xiao, the United States
People can hold conversations in many forms, and they can be done, depending on the occasion and the crowd. However, the movie The Exchange shows different conversations from the rest. They are the contests between good and evil, and help people know the difference between right and wrong. Through these conversations, people can clearly see how good prevails over evil.
The movie opens with a woman called “8523.” The story starts with this number. The audience is brought into a nervous atmosphere by the scene that the woman is tracked, monitored, listened in on, etc. As the story is going, it is hard for the audience to understand why the Christian cannot make a telephone in an open and obvious way in China. What’s hidden deep behind this secret arrest which has plotted for a long time?
The CCP police trespass on private property without a search warrant at night. They even kick the mistress of the house, an aged woman, down to the ground, and then flip all the rooms and turn them into a mess. Such things actually are done by people’s police who protect the country, which only can be done by bandits. That’s amazing. Even more unexpected is that, when a policeman searches out private money and hands it in to his captain, he puts it into his own pocket, saying, “Sure that is all?” Are these police robbing? Usually in a cops-and-robbers movie, the police should catch criminals. However, I am extremely puzzled: In this movie, the intention of the police making a great effort to set up a trap is not to catch criminals but to catch those Christians who are completely defenseless. This scene causes me to feel confused.
After the protagonist Jiang Xinyi and others are arrested and taken to the interrogation room, Jiang Xinyi begins to have a confrontation with the police face to face, which can be called a rare and hot argument about good and evil. Lang Xin, the captain of the National Security Team, came out with the fact that the CCP government has taken a series of means on believers in God in order to make China a place without God, such as monitoring and stalking them, a reward for reporting them, extraditing those in abroad back to China, and so on. At his words, I feel shivery. Next, I am even shocked to see the police using cruel tortures to question Jiang Xinyi and others about the leaders and money of the church.
After this round of cruel tortures ends, I think the police had no other strategy left to try. However, the appearance of President Yuan from a law education school gives the story a new turning point. Form this, the key part of this movie begins. President Yuan attempts to use atheism, materialism and evolutionism to remove the position God holds within the heart of Jiang Xinyi, and to make her deny God’s existence. However, Jiang Xinyi gives a strong counterattack against President Yuan, which gets him in trouble. It appears that President Yuan needs to put more effort into transforming Jiang Xinyi.
At the same time, the director cuts the shot to another one, where the two co-workers of Jiang Xinyi are undergoing a heated debate. Director Du and others ask Zhang Jingxin and Zhou Min to make an explanation. But it is easy to see, from their questions, that their aim is to find fault and make Zhang Jingxin and Zhou Min abandon God and turn to the CCP. In these conversations, not matter what sharp questions President Yuan, Director Du and others raise to brainwash Jiang Xinyi, Zhang Jingxin and Zhou Min, they all use God’s words to refute them, so that President Yuan, Director Du and others have no way to contradict at all.
Aside from its wonderfulness, this scene also has some shortcomings in acting. From the performances of the actors, it can be seen that they are a group of amateur actors. So it leaves much to be desired in the expression of character’s psychology, movements, looks, eyes, gestures, emotions, and so on. Yet as amateur actors, it is good enough for them to achieve this level. I look forward to their progress in next movie.
After plan A of brainwashing ends in failure, Pastor Feng from Three-Self Church appears on the scene, which surprise all true believers in God. As a pastor, he makes out that he has believed in God for years, yet he actually acts as a persuasive talker for the atheist government that condemns God. Moreover, he attempts to use status and influence to induce the Christian to succumb to the CCP government and betray God. Nevertheless, Pastor Feng’s sayings that, “Obeying the ruling regime is obeying God,” “How to make sure that God becomes flesh as the Son of man to appear and do work in the last days,” “Guarding against false Christs in the last days,” … are refuted one after another by God’s words Jiang Xinyi recites. This conversation again startles those who want to brainwash Jiang Xinyi.
After the conversations in the way of brainwashing result in failure, this group people, led by Chief Luo (the chief of the Public Security Bureau), makes a secret plan once again. They want to use more cruel tortures to force Jiang Xinyi and others to come to heel. Before that, the director uses an ingenious method to thoroughly sketch Chief Luo’s insidiousness and malice. When the shot closes to Chief Luo, we can notice the silk banner beside him reads, “Being clean and efficient, and upholding justice,” which shows out great sarcasm. Belief in God is of righteousness, yet Jiang Xinyi and others are attacked by them for no reason at all. On this point, I wonder how they give an explanation.
In the secret interrogation room, gloomy and dark, there are all kinds of torture instruments. Seeing the police use cruel tortures one by one, I feel deeply angry. Especially, one policeman presses Jiang Xinyi tightly and another one laughs hideously and uses needles to stick into her ten fingers—such a scene is shocking and horrible, unbearable for people to witness. It is hard to imagine that something like this actually happened in real life, which related to the police and the Christian. The CCP police’s cruel actions are appalling. Blood-curdling screams come out from the gloomy and horrible corridor, which makes people’s hair stand on end. We can imagine: What cruel means these police are using to torture Jiang Xinyi and other two!
Through these cruel and inhuman tortures that Jiang Xinyi and others suffer, the fact that the CCP government cruelly persecutes Christians is displayed before the world. This makes people tremble with fear. However, as for the powerful counterattacks from Jiang Xinyi and others, we have got to admire their fortitude and uprightness of not fearing power.
What touches people most throughout the whole movie are’s words they read. These words help the protagonist stand testimony to God when facing with cruel tortures, and moreover, make the president feel deeply ashamed and the pastor serving the Lord for many years flee with a shame. The authority and might of God’s words are seen from these facts.
At the end of the movie, Jiang Xinyi is sentenced. Her twelve years of life in prison makes people’s heart ache, but it puts an interpretation on a victorious testimony from the true Christian.
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You may be interested in this article: Film Review of The Lies of Communism: Account of the CCP’s Brainwashing