The Year of the Snake presents a shocking look at the human cost of illegal organ trafficking, much of which has come from China finding its way into the United States, and not surprisingly into a very Chinese San Francisco. Uncovered on occasion by police, painfully little has been done to stem its awful spread. We’re talking about money and about violence, since much of these organs are taken from unwilling donors violently in street crime.

Shot through the lush eye of cinematographer Nancy Baysinger and also Richard Taylor formerly of Merchant Ivory and the BBC, this powerful film tells the story of one desperate man’s search for life, and its tragedy.

The film is set in spectacular vistas of the city of San Francisco, and features Chinese-American actress and fashion model Ashley Yin along with an excellent supporting cast.

Directed by actor-writer Bruce Colbert who appeared in Fox Searchlight’s Another Earth, which won a Sundance Best Film Award, and on HBO, it joins other noir independent films he’s introduced to audiences.