Letter from Masanjia, by Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee, will open the 23rd edition of DocsBarcelona with a very special screening and in prime time in the Sense Ficció program on TV3, on May 19th. For the first time in its two decades of history, the inaugural film of the International Documentary Film Festival reaches the homes of viewers through the small screen, in an edition affected by Covid-19 that has forced the contest to reinvent itself. The film will also be available to Filmin for 24 hours (only in Spain).
The daily life of a human rights defender in China In the U.S., Julie Keith and her family found a distressed message hidden in a box of Halloween Made in China decorations. The desperate note was written by a Chinese political prisoner named Sun Yi from the Masanjia labor camp, more than 5,000 kilometers away. The discovery of that note, in which he claimed to be imprisoned for his spiritual beliefs and subjected to torture tactics by the Chinese authorities, went globally viral and led to the closure of the labor camp. Once released, Sun Yi claimed to be the author of that letter and went on to live under the Chinese government's spotlight.
Leon Lee, a Canadian filmmaker, was fascinated by this story; he contacted the prisoner and taught him how to use recording equipment and cameras via Skype. For over a year, Sun Yi secretly captured images of his daily life as a human rights defender, creating a strained relationship with the Chinese authorities. An inspiring and emotional story that reveals a wonderful triangle of unlikely unknown heroes who have dared to expose and condemn the Chinese government’s ongoing persecution of millions of dissidents.