Letter from Masanjia


Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1:00pm
Washington U./Brown

When a woman from Oregon finds an SOS note written by a Chinese prisoner stashed in a box of Halloween decorations from Kmart, she never imagined it would eventually lead to the closure of all of China’s labor camps. When her story went viral around the world, the letter’s author, Sun Yi — a former prisoner who had been wrongly jailed for his Falun Gong beliefs — was forced into hiding for fear of the repercussions. Through an underground network of journalists and Chinese dissidents, Sun Yi was located, and in this riveting documentary, he tells his full story and exposes the human-rights violations still occurring in China. Peabody Award-winning director Leon Lee’s “Letter from Masanjia” offers a rare look inside China's horrific labor-camp system through the lens of a former prisoner of conscience — a true modern hero — as he revisits his past and is hotly pursued in the present by Chinese authorities who want to see him re-incarcerated or worse. The LA Times writes: “What begins as an unusual ‘message in a bottle’ story builds to a powerful tale of human suffering, compassion and perseverance.”

76 min.
English & Mandarin

Directed by

Leon Lee


Canada China Indonesia U.S.

Film Category

Asian Focus Chinese Spotlight Human Rights Spotlight International Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight


Human Rights Religion/Faith


With director Lee.

Film Website

Official Website