DOXA 2018 review: Letter From Masanjia


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      A disquieting exposé of China’s human-rights abuses, local filmmaker Leon Lee’s Letter From Masanjia begins in Damascus, Oregon, where the discovery of a desperate note inside a box of Kmart Halloween decorations brings to light the injustices taking place at the notorious Masanjia labour camp.

      The author of the message is revealed as Sun Yi, a Falun Gong member who was wrongfully imprisoned and tortured at the facility, and is now committed to uncovering China’s corrupt police state through clandestine-camera footage.

      Lee’s decision to have the dissident tell the bulk of his story through talking-head segments—and the occasional black-and-white animation—doesn’t prove the most compelling, but the perseverance on show should leave viewers inspired to learn more.