Actor, human-rights activist, and Canadian beauty queen Anastasia Lin is the subject of a new documentary by Canadian director Theresa Kowall-Shipp. Anastasia Lin gained a great deal of media attention after the Chinese-born Canadian was denied entry into China to compete in the 2015 Miss World pageant.
The Chinese authorities declared her persona non grata due to her outspoken views on the repressive regime’s human rights violations, particularly on the persecution of Falun Gong and forced organ harvesting against prisoners of conscience.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice from China that follows three principles: Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. There are 4 sets of standing exercises with slow, gentle movements and a sitting meditation exercise.
In 1999, Jiang Zemin, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, gave orders to eradicate Falun Dafa from society. People practice all over the world, yet in China, it is heavily persecuted, and many of these prisoners of conscience end up as victims of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting. These gross human rights violations are something Anastasia Lin has publicly spoken out about.
Although Lin and her mother live in Canada, her father lives in China, and with every decision Lin had to make to speak out about these issues that are being silenced, she began to face the very real threat of endangering her father’s life.
Director Theresa Kowall-Shipp came across Lin’s story in a newspaper article titled “Canada’s Miss World might not be allowed to compete in China.” This got her questioning — why? And how could a country ban a beauty queen? So she set out to find out more and tell Anastasia Lin’s story in this documentary, which is just under one hour long.
Badass Beauty Queen Synopsis from Seventh Art Releasing website:
“The story behind Miss World contestant Anastasia Lin using her beauty and brass to stand up against an oppressive juggernaut — the Chinese communist government. Drama, danger, and fear follow Anastasia as she becomes the darling of the human rights community, traveling the globe to bring the world’s attention to an increasing list of China’s atrocities: the persecution of prisoners of conscience and live forced organ harvesting.
“An unlikely candidate to crusade against some of the world’s worst human rights violations, Anastasia puts everything on line to stay true to her conscience — including her father’s safety and her chance at the crown.”
The documentary premiered at Dallas VideoFest’s DocuFest and has just started doing the rounds at film festivals, so keep your eyes open for it.