Movie Review of the Cover-up: Unmasking the Truth of the Implausible Death

By Lin Xue

On the Spring Festival in 2015, the 28-year-old Christian Song Xiaolan (alias) strangely died in the grounds of a rental apartment block. She was lying face up in a pool of blood, with a big dent in her head. The CCP police give conflicting accounts of the cause of Song Xiaolan’s death: For a while, they say she jumped to her death; for another while, they say she was killed. This makes the cause of Song Xiaolan’s death become even more complicated.


In the two previous cases, it is not hard for audience to discover that the CCP has a usual trick after persecuting Christians to death. The CCP is highly skilled at covering up the truth, creating distractions, and misleading people. It either says that they hanged themselves, or fabricates an illness, saying that they died from a sudden heart attack. Strictly based on the truth, the director, by using some styles and narrative structure of features and narration interspersed with flashbacks, cleverly links up the disordered fragments through the art of film editing, and restores the truth for audience by making a painstaking investigation.

Song Xiaolan’s father is a serious person in real life. In order to find out the cause of his daughter’s death, he actively asked for an autopsy on her body, and he also repeatedly returned to the crime scene to observe. In the movie, every time when the CCP police tell a lie, the Song family will go for a verification. This makes the movie move along at a spanking pace, and the conflicts within happen frequently. In docudrama the featured characters and the plots have dramatic tension, and the shots crisscrossing time and space are even more gripping, making people have an immersed sense. Meanwhile, audience also follow the steps of Mr. Song to discover the truth behind this case.

A month later after this case happened, in order to lie about lying, the CCP police go to extremes and create a fake video from the scene. As a result, the more they attempt to cover up the truth, the more the truth is exposed. They just lift up a rock and drop it on their own feet. And their evil trick causes the stronger doubt and resentment of the Song family. The news that a relative of the Song family inquired from the CCP police proves the Song family’s inference: The CCP police indeed beat Song Xiaolan to death and then created the fake impression that she had thrown herself to her death. However, out of various pressures, the Song family has no way to seek justice for Song Xiaolan who died unjustly; they have to swallow the pain.

The movie ends with the unsent letter of Song Xiaolan, aiming to make clear Song Xiaolan’s persistence in faith, and further displaying the image of Christian Song Xiaolan who pursues the truth and longs for the light. This makes audience even more sympathize with the sad story of Song Xiaolan and her family, and also makes the world see through the CCP’s true face of hypocrisy.

Full movie: Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China | “The Cover-up”

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