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One Child Nation

  • Documentary and factual
  • History
  • 2019
  • Wang Nanfu
  • 88 mins
  • 15

Summary

Documentary in which film-makers Wang Nanfu and Lynn Zhang look back on their own childhoods to help dissect China's one-child policy, first introduced in 1979 to curb the population and aid economic development.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Brian StuyBrian Stuy
Longlan StuyLonglan Stuy

Crew

rolename
DirectorWang Nanfu
DirectorLynn Zhang

Details

Theatrical distributor
Curzon
Released on
2019-09-27
Languages
English | Chinese
Guidance
Violence.
Formats
Colour
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