Competition Documentary Feature
One Child Nation
Directed by: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang
USA/China, 2019, 85m
*One Child Nation talent in attendance for second screening
*Baba’s Next Chapter talent in attendance for first screening
Between 1980 and 2015, the Chinese government implemented a policy allowing most families to have only one child. A population boom had prompted fears of disaster and starvation—fears kept in place with government propaganda that incessantly praised the antidote: happy one-child families. Two-time FFF alum Nanfu Wang was a child of that era and shows that the enforcement of these policies was beyond brutal. Forced abortion and sterilization were common, and unauthorized babies were often abandoned and sold into overseas adoption, so that many adoptive families didn’t know the “orphan” they adopted wasn’t an orphan at all. Nanfu, herself a new mother, talks to officials, doctors, and others in her own former neighborhood about their role in enforcing these polices. Some feel intense guilt; some none at all. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, this is brave, visceral filmmaking that shows more than one meaning to the phrase “population control.”
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