In a mysterious red room, a young Chinese mother must choose between her heart and her soul when she falls into the clutches of a sadistic doctor.
Based on true events, Ravage delves into the dark reality of China’s murderous human rights record and reveals an unthinkable crime.
Writer/director/producer: Leon Lee
The subject of forced organ harvesting in China is something I have covered before in my Peabody-winning feature documentary Human Harvest, but this time I wanted to put a totally different spin on it. A short narrative film can be an emotional vehicle in a different way than a documentary. Ravage transports the audience into a surreal world in order to make the horrific truth easier to swallow.
The main idea came from the fact that, when people examine China’s illegal transplants, they often talk about organs such as hearts and livers. I wanted to show that behind each organ there is a life.
I also wanted to take viewers to the crime scene and feel the violence, without making it too graphic. Seeing a wall get sawed open is easier to stomach than seeing someone’s chest cut open, but the parallel is chilling.
The film was shot in only two days and the main set was built from scratch in a warehouse. We had only one chance to saw through the walls which added to the pressure. Luckily we had a great dedicated team who allowed us to successfully pull off a tricky shoot in a short amount of time.
The film stars former Miss World Canada, Anastasia Lin, who is a well-known spokesperson for this cause, and who gave an incredible performance under such duress.
The criminal acts in the film are all based on an eyewitness account so my hope is that Ravage sparks awareness of the human rights violations happening in China and helps end such abuse.
About Leon Lee
Leon Lee is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker who explores stories related to modern China. His films aim to illuminate human rights issues in both documentary and narrative filmmaking, bringing true stories to life in a creative and compelling fashion.
Lee’s latest feature documentary Letter from Masanjia, about an SOS note from a Chinese prisoner of conscience, had its world premiere at the 2018 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, where it placed in the Top 20 Audience Favourites among 247 films.
His documentary Human Harvest, on the subject of illegal organ harvesting, has been viewed by over 10 million people, broadcast in 25 countries worldwide and received the highly coveted Peabody Award for Documentary.
His narrative feature The Bleeding Edge stars activist and former Miss World Canada, Anastasia Lin, who plays the lead in his short films Ravage and Reunion. Ravage opened at the San Diego International Film Festival in 2017 and won Best Sound Design at the Global Impact Festival in Washington, DC.