Two documentary films screened in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2013 depicted the lack of social justice in China. One was Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp. The other was Juvenile Laborers Detained in Dabao.
The two movies unveiled the darkness of labor camps in China. In particular, the film Above the Ghosts’ Heads touches the issue of the torture and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, which is a taboo topic in China.
Watch Above the Ghosts’ Heads: The Women of Masanjia Labor Camp (Edited version) below:
It tells the true stories of what happened to detainees in the Masanjia Female Labor Camp in Shenyang. Several witnesses recount their personal experiences of inhumane sufferings there. One witness said:
“Petitioners and Falun Gong practitioners are subject to many types of torture inside the camp. The tortures include being locked in solitary confinement, being hung up or tied in a body-tearing position, or being strapped to a bench with the hands and feet tied together. They are even sometimes required to lie down for months and are banned from taking showers!”
The movie Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao records the painful experiences of detainees in Sichuan in 1958. A total of over 4,000 juveniles, ranging in age from 10-17, were forcibly sent to a Dabao labor camp. The high intensity of the forced labor, famine, disease, and mistreatment claimed 2,600 lives.
Watch Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao (Part 1) below:
Tsai Yung-mei, editor of Hong Kong’s Open magazine, admires China’s media professionals. She thinks that Du Bin, director of Above the Ghosts’ Heads, is courageous and compassionate. She noted:
“The labor camps aim to change people’s faith.The detained petitioners are forced to give up their petitioning and the Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs. I think they were strong-willed in resisting the persecution and enduring such brutal physical torture.”
Watch Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao (Part 2) below:
Ai Xiao-ming, China’s independent documentary filmmaker, commented that Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao recorded a very important part of the history of China’s labor camps, saying:
“In my view, people like Xie Yihui and Zeng Boyan have extraordinary courage and perseverance. They have unearthed this shocking period in China’s painful history. That is a very important breakthrough and an advance from the perspective of documentaries.”
Critic Lin Zi-xu believed that after the exposure of such shocking news, China might see some big changes soon. Besides awakening, more Chinese people were now making efforts to help their fellow compatriots, so much so that Lin Zi-xu said: “I really feel that now there is real hope for China.” Perhaps the beginnings of real social justice in China are just around the corner.