One Child NationNanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang

When the People's Republic of China wanted to tackle the problematic population growth at the end of the 1970s, they opted for a drastic intervention: every couple could only have one child, a second child was punishable. Especially in the first few decades, the introduction of this rule caused dramatic consequences: forced sterilization, selective abortions and the neglect, sale or killing of girls. One Child Nation won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

Nanfu Wang is a name to keep in mind. Only three years ago she made her debut film Hooligan Sparrow, which immediately landed on the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary. Successor I am Another You was screened at DOCVILLE last year and her most recent documentary One Child Nation immediately won a prestigious prize. After Wang herself became a mother for the first time, she became intrigued by the One Child policy that China followed for decades. Her research into the (side) effects of the severely imposed family limitation is at times hallucinatory. She has conversations with victims, parents and children, as well as party members who have to defend, introduce and control these politics. The figures and factual data related to forced sterilization and child neglect are shocking and reveal a painful truth about the consequences of an unseen social experiment that affected and destroyed many lives.

Other cultures Politics Health Historical documentary

Vertoond op editie(s) 2019
Screened at edition(s) 2019


Directed by Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang
2019 85 min.
Engels, Chinees
Subtitles: English




Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang


Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn

Production company

Next Generation


Nanfu Wang, Yuanchen Liu


Nanfu Wang


Nathan Halpern, Chris Ruggiero

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