Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Letter from Masanjia

2018, Leon Lee, Canada, 76 min.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Nov 16th 4:30pm
  • Fri, Nov 16th 6:15pm
  • Sat, Nov 17th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Nov 18th 3:15pm
  • Mon, Nov 19th 8:30pm
  • Tue, Nov 20th 6:00pm
  • Wed, Nov 21st 8:30pm
Chicago premiere!

"A powerful tale of human suffering, compassion and perseverance…a gripping saga." - Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

"A potent documentary…an important story made more intense by its tight focus." - Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times

A letter, a newspaper story, and the making of this very documentary function as the instruments for change on a global scale as a shocking story of Chinese slave labor unfolds. In 2012, an Oregon woman opened a box containing a Halloween decoration - ironically, a Styrofoam tombstone - and discovered a plea for help from Sun Yi, a political prisoner half a world away. The letter, written in Chinese and English, detailed the suffering of thousands held in China's notorious Masanjia labor camp, where prisoners were tortured, starved, and forced to manufacture cheap goods for the world market. Filmmaker Lee (HUMAN HARVEST) recreates the sequence of events, teaming up with now ex-prisoner Sun to film a clandestine exposé that serves to blow the lid off the secrets of China's slave-labor system. Sun's evocative illustrations in the manner of a graphic novel detail the inner workings of the camp and his own harrowing torture sessions, while interviews with two shamefaced and repentant former guards underline the horrifying veracity of the tale. In English and Mandarin with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)

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