One Child Nation

One Child Nation

Wang Nanfu (2019)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Having rattled the Chinese authorities with Hooligan Sparrow (2016), documentary-maker Wang Nanfu joins forces with Lynn Zhang for this sobering assessment of the one-child policy introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to stem population growth and aid economic reform. As the daughter of provincial parents who were given permission to try for a son five years after her birth, Wang has personal experience of a strategy that was so strenuously promoted by the Communist regime that many are still reluctant to question its legitimacy. After performing over 50,000 sterilisations and abortions over 35 years, octogenarian midwife Yuan Huaru deeply regrets her compliance, whereas one family-planning official staunchly defends the often brutal treatment that non-conforming women had to endure. In their efforts to include repercussions of the programme such as the abandonment of unwanted girls, the separation of twins, illegal trafficking and adoption, and the emergence of Little Emperor Syndrome among pampered boys, the co-directors sell some topics short. But this is still a bold, combative and important investigation.

Cast & Crew

Brian Stuy Brian Stuy
Longlan Stuy Longlan Stuy
Director Wang Nanfu
Director Lynn Zhang

Other Information

Language: English, Mandarin +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: CurzonGuidance: Violence.Released on: 27 Sep 2019