Film poster for “DISSIDENTS”. Collage of red color, protesting people.
 Film poster for “DISSIDENTS”. Collage of red color, protesting people.
An artist's sculpture is burnt down, a protestor is charged with a criminal case, and a democracy movement is violently attacked. Not even exile is safe


Regular price $129.00

Berlinale European Film Market | Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 

Transnational Repression • Espionage • National Security •  Exiles • Chinese Dissidents • Chinese Diaspora • Chinese History • Democracy Movement • Grassroots Organizing • Tiananmen Square Protests •  Asylum Seekers • Freedom Of Expression & Speech • Authoritarianism • Hong Kong Protests • Criminal Cases • Law Enforcement • Forced Demolition • China's Petition System

Date of Completion: 2024 | Run Time: 75 minutes​​ | Language: English, Mandarin & Cantonese | Captions: No | Director & Producer: Yi Chen | Directors of Photography: Yi Chen & Bryan Chang | Editors: Yi Chen & Kristina Motwani | Composer: Ryan Blotnick | Associate Producers: Kathy & Susann Shin | Associate Editor: Susannah Smith 

In the United States, three Chinese dissidents fight for democracy against a superpower through art, petition, and grassroots organizing. At a remote sculpture park in the California desert, sculptor Weiming Chen is on a ladder, welding the finishing touches on a massive three-story sculpture made out of steel rebar. The original sculpture went up in flames a year ago. The “art collector” who commissioned the original sculpture is charged for spying on the artist and burning down the sculpture. Juntao Wang, a primary organizer of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and one of the world’s most renowned Chinese dissidents, has led the Democratic Party of China for more than a decade from the New York headquarters. While showing support for Taiwan’s democracy, his opposition party is outnumbered and violently attacked. Living outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., asylum seeker Chunyan Wang takes her protest directly to the Chinese Vice Premier during the U.S.-China trade talks, but she is arrested and charged with a criminal case, facing 10 years of imprisonment if found guilty. Combining intimate observational footage, rich archival materials and investigative approach, the film uncovers transnational repression by an authoritarian state targeting dissidents who are keeping the democratic flame alive during the darkest hours. 

Radio New Zealand
"This compelling observational documentary uses archival footage, personal interviews and an investigative style to reveal transnational repression and dangers for the three individuals."

Character Media | Jasmine Nguyen
Director Yi Chen Highlights the Dangers of Activism in ‘Dissidents’

Star News
Compelling festival documentary reveals lives of Chinese dissidents

The Yappie | Sonia Prasad
Inside one filmmaker’s push to document the stories of Chinese dissidents