REVIEW: School Library Journal Oct 2017
Hard To Believe. 56min, AVcafe. 2015. $20
Gr 9 Up
This horrifying expose of China’s practice of organs from prisoners of conscience, a practice denied by the Chinese government, is based on reporting by author Ethan Gutmann (The Slaughter). It is corroborated by global experts in human rights, medical ethics, and transplant surgery, making a convincing and compelling case.
While it occasionally mentions that this practice affects all types of prisoners of conscience, the focus is almost exclusively on members of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual practice. The transplant rate drastically increased after China’s 1999 crackdown on its practitioners, and their healthy lifestyles made them ideal donors. The film makes a credible case linking Falun Gong’s relatively low profile in the West with the lack of attention given to organ harvesting, despite the number of westerners participating in transplant tourism and thus receiving these organs. A screening and discussion guide is also available.
VERDICT A damning indictment of the cruelty behind China’s transplant system and how the rest of the world continues to ignore it.
A general purchase for public libraries and useful for lessons on medical ethics or religious freedom.
- Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington Public Library, VA