Watch Letter From Masanjia
- 1 hr 15 min
Letter From Masanjia is a gripping documentary that follows the true story of a Chinese prisoner who smuggled a letter detailing the horrific conditions of a labor camp where he was being held. The film takes its viewers on a journey through the story of the letter, its recipient, and its eventual impact. The movie begins by introducing a single mother from rural Oregon, Julie Keith, who purchases a Halloween decoration from Kmart that was made in China. Julie is shocked and horrified to find a desperate plea for help written in broken English on the interior of the box. The letter describes the brutal and inhumane treatment of prisoners at the Masanjia labor camp in Northeast China, including torture, sexual abuse, and forced organ harvesting. The writer beseeches the reader to share the letter with the world in the hopes of raising awareness about the atrocities being committed. The documentary then switches its focus to the writer of the letter, a man named Sun Yi. Through interviews with Sun, we learn about his experiences as a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement labeled as a cult by the Chinese government. Sun shares that he was arrested and taken to the Masanjia labor camp where he endured torture, beatings, and humiliation. Sun tells of the harsh realities of life in the camp, where prisoners are treated as little more than commodities and are often subjected to unthinkable conditions. As the filmmakers delve deeper into the story, we learn about the challenges faced by Julie Keith in trying to share the letter with the world. Despite her best efforts, she initially struggles to gain the attention of journalists or human rights organizations. However, her persistence pays off when she eventually gains the support of a journalist named Peter Kornbluh, who helps to publicize the letter in the media. The film also explores the global impact of the letter, which sparked outrage around the world and brought international attention to the issue of human rights abuses in China. The documentary includes footage of protests and public demonstrations demanding change and action from the Chinese government. The filmmakers also provide updates on the fates of some of the key individuals in the story, including Sun Yi, who managed to escape from China, and Julie Keith, who speaks about the emotional toll of being involved in such a high-profile case. One of the strengths of Letter From Masanjia is its use of personal stories to highlight larger issues. By focusing on the experiences of an individual like Sun Yi, the film humanizes the struggles faced by those impacted by the Chinese government's policies. The movie is highly emotional, with scenes that are both heartbreaking and inspiring. The filmmakers do an excellent job of balancing the gravity of the subject matter with moments of hope and resilience. Overall, Letter From Masanjia is a powerful documentary that sheds light on one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time. The bravery of people like Sun Yi and Julie Keith, who risked everything to make their voices heard, is both humbling and inspiring. The film serves as a call to action, challenging viewers to recognize their own complicity in the global system of exploitation and to demand change. Letter From Masanjia is a must-watch for anyone interested in human rights, activism, or the power of individual action.