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Hot Docs: Top 20 Audience Favorite
American Asian International Film Festival: Audience Award
Doqumenta: Grand Jury Prize for International Documentary
Atlanta Docufest: Audience Award
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival: Audience Award
Calgary International Film Festival: Audience Award for Canadian Documentary
Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival: Jury Award for International Documentary
docsMX: Jury Award for Breaking Doc
Tallgrass Film Festival: Outstanding Animated Film
Portland Film Festival: Audience Award

Letter from Masanjia

Category |Human Rights, Justice, Personal Story, Politics
Year | 2018
Country | Canada
Running time | 76’
Format | HD
Production | Flying Cloud Productions
Director | Leon Lee

When Julie Keith from Damascus, Oregon found a mysterious letter hidden in her Halloween decorations, she never imagined that it would lead to international scandal, and the closure of a notorious forced labour camp in China. The plea for help, penned by a prisoner of the Masanjia labour camp, detailed the appalling living conditions and torture practices taking place in the facility.

As news of Julie’s unusual discovery spread in the international media, a soft-spoken engineer and Falun Gong practitioner named Sun Yi came forward as the author of the letter. Although no longer imprisoned, Sun Yi still suffered from the constant fear of retaliation from the Chinese government. In spite of this, he bravely set forth on a journey to share his story with the help of Vancouver filmmaker Leon Lee.

Filmed largely in secret, and incorporating striking animated sequences, Letter from Masanjia uncovers the reality of China’s police state and the true meaning behind the ominous phrase “re-education through labour".

Documentary reveals the man behind the SOS letter from China’s notorious Masanjia labour camp
- The Globe and Mail
I found an SOS note from China in a box of decorations—and it changed how I live
- Maclean's
Some chose suicide; this man sent an SOS from inside Chinese labour camp
- The Courier
... a rare look inside China’s police state through the lens of a prisoner of conscience as he revisits his torturous past.
- The Surrey Leader
Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor
- The Oregonian
Chinese labor camp inmate tells of true horror of Halloween 'SOS'
Some chose suicide; this man sent an SOS from inside Chinese labour camp
- The New York Times
An in-depth story about Letter from Masanjia
- BBC News
"A potent documentary... It’s an important story, made more intense by its tight focus…"
- The New York Times
“Amazing film… A powerful tale of human suffering, compassion and perseverance.”
- The LA Times


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