This film is unbearable to watch. There was no actual scenes of torture but the finer details described by a former labor camp detainee were too much for me. The worst of human cruelty is on full display in the Masanjia Women Labor Camp. Besides the long hours of work, detainees were beaten, tied up to a chair or iron bed for days (no food or bathroom breaks), given very little food if any to survive, asked to pay huge sum to gain early release, in addition to paying for daily necessities out of their own pocket. The Masanjia camp had even paid to acquire detainees from other provinces. It sounds so remote, so unreal but I have reason to believe it’s all true. The filmmaker Du Bin was taken away by plainclothes police on May 31 and no one has heard from him since. The family has not been informed of his whereabouts.

There is so much to admire China from the surface. But deep inside, what happened to moral values, respect, and empathy? The Cultural Revolution has more than destroyed traditional Chinese manners. The ripple effects are carrying on today with a vengeance.

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