If I’m being honest, I don’t even know how to introduce today’s episode. Back in the Fall, my husband and I had the opportunity to screen a documentary called Letter from Masanjia, and I’ll get into the details of the documentary, and we’ll be talking about it throughout this episode. But, after I saw that documentary, it affected me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. I knew that I wanted to have the producer of that documentary on this episode, and so I reached out to him, and I asked him to come on the show, and he obliged. Today’s episode is tough. It is engaging, challenging, emotional, it’s raw, but my prayer is that it will impact you.
My guest is Leon Lee, the founder of Flying Cloud Productions and producer of the documentary, Letter from Masanjia.
BECOMING A SELF-TAUGHT DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER
Leon’s first documentary, Human Harvest, was inspired by the accusations of Chinese Organ Harvesting, not too far from his hometown in China. Alongside a team of Canadian researchers, he took 8 years to create the film. It has now been viewed by millions, broadcast in more than 25 countries, and received the 74th Annual Peabody Award for Documentary.
THE GLOBAL IMPACT OF LEON’S FILMS
While creating the films was not easy, took years of research, occasionally resulted in a small malaria outbreak in the film crews (which prompted our advised vaccinations for China every time we travelled there afterwards) and faced much opposition, Leon pressed on for all those affected by the tragedies he was documenting. After the release of his first film, governments around the world began to recognize the serious implications of China’s organ harvesting, even banning certain travelers from traveling to China for organ implantation.
LETTER FROM MASANJIA
In 2012, an Oregon woman found a cry for help in her K-mart box from a man held prisoner and tortured in Chinese labor camps. Through Leon’s connections, he was able to find the man, Sun Yi, and expose the horrific acts still happening in China today.
About Leon Lee, Flying Cloud Productions;
Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee founded Flying Cloud Productions to share intriguing stories about modern-day China that help shine a light on human rights issues.
Their debut film Human Harvest, a documentary about China’s illegal organ trade, was broadcast in over 25 countries and was the recipient of numerous accolades including the illustrious Peabody Award. Their recent feature documentary Letter from Masanjia premiered at Hot Docs 2018 and is currently playing in theatres and scooping awards at festivals worldwide.
Their aim is to create an impact by bringing true stories to life in unforgettable ways, sparking vital discussion on topics of international importance.
CONNECT WITH LEON LEE