An artist’s sculpture is burnt down, a protester is charged with a criminal case, and a democracy movement is violently attacked. Not even exile is safe.

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 violently attacked by pro-Beijing mobs.

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.

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