CANADA 2018 I 75 MINS I CHINESE W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
LETTER FROM MASANJIA
“It was like a Message in a Bottle”. A Chinese national in a labour camp hides a cry for help in a Halloween decoration. His SOS makes it all the way to middle America changing the lives of an Oregon family forever. A powerfully suspenseful film revealing the true cost of whistleblowing as the Chinese national attempts to gather concrete covert evidence of oppressive labour conditions from within the camp. A documentary about individual determination that rivals any dramatic narrative feature. A must-watch. It will make you rethink where you buy your products and how they were made.
When a woman in Oregon opens a box of Halloween decorations and finds a distressing letter written by a political prisoner from inside a Chinese labour camp, her discovery makes waves across major news outlets worldwide. Meanwhile, the author of the letter, Sun Yi, breaks through internet firewalls to learn about the attention his letter has received and joins forces with an underground network of journalists and Chinese dissidents to reveal his entire story. From Peabody Award–winning director Leon Lee, Letter From Masanjia takes us deep into the horrific realities of China's labour camps through the eyes of Sun Yi, who's determined to expose these unthinkable human rights violations. Despite being hotly pursued by local authorities, he stops at nothing to find justice, ultimately leading to large-scale reform of China's labour camp system.
Leon Lee is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker who tells stories about modern China. His documentary Human Harvest, about illegal organ harvesting, has been viewed by millions and broadcast in over 25 countries worldwide. Human Harvest also received the 74th Annual Peabody Award for Documentary, the Association of International Broadcasters Award for Investigative Documentary, and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Lee’s recent documentary Avenues of Escape (2016) aired on the CBC Doc Channel and was the recipient of four Leo Awards including Best Feature Documentary. His Vancouver-based company Flying Cloud Productions is dedicated to bringing issues of human rights violations to light in both documentary and narrative filmmaking, using creative storytelling to make a positive impact.
Producers: Leon Lee, Caylan Ford & Melissa James
Editor: Patrick Carroll