One Child Nation


Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang's documentary takes a first-person look—namely, Wang's—at China's now-discontinued policy of requiring that parents only have one child. Revisiting China, Wang tracks down others who, like herself and her parents, remember what it was like to live under the decree. One Child Nation doesn't shy away from brutal realities: Xianwen Liu, a former "family planning propaganda official," clangs cymbals as he remembers the opera he wrote extolling the virtues of the one-child policy; Huaru Yuan, a now-84-year-old midwife who helped deliver Wang, estimates that in two decades of traveling to various villages, she particiapted in "between 50,000 to 60,000 sterilizations and abortions." "I counted all of this out of guilt because I aborted and killed babies," she tells Wang. "Many I induced alive and killed. My hands trembled doing it. But I had no choice: It was the government's policy."

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Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

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