One Child Nation Trailer

Imagine living in a country that handles a crippling overpopulation problem by limiting families to having only one child. No, it’s not a dystopian future setting for a new sci-fi movie. That’s what actually happened in China in 1979, and the policy was only recently completely eliminated in 2015. Now, a new documentary called One Child Nation will explore the legacy of this controversial law that sparked tragedy among families, violated human rights, and resulted in countless abandoned newborns, forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Watch the One Child Nation trailer below to learn more.

One Child Nation Trailer

Reviews of One Child Nation, which won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival this year,  have been glowing, including Variety saying:

“Although countless news reports, and no shortage of documentaries, have examined the impact of this hardline population-control strategy over its 35-year span, none has demonstrated quite so compellingly the horrific consequences, revealing nothing short of a human rights atrocity — one whose victims were too young to register on the international conscience.”

Indeed, this documentary from Chinese-born co-directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang looks like quite the harrowing glimpse at how this Chinese law impacted families for decades and still resonates with many of them today. With a mix of historical documentation and personal stories, we see how real people accepted the law (whether they liked it or not) and dealt with the crushing decision to get rid of extra children by any means necessary. One woman recounts being the executioner of children who had to be given up while a girl learned that she had a twin sister who was sent away to live in the United States. This is heavy stuff.

As China attempts to erase their own history of enacting and enforcing this barbaric law, One Child Nation makes sure that no one ever forgets the atrocities that were committed here in the hope that they will never be repeated again.

China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning. From award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You) and Jialing Zhang, the sweeping One Child Nation explores the ripple effect of this devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another – from abandoned newborns, to forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members into archival propaganda material and testimony from victims and perpetrators alike, yielding a revelatory and essential record of this chilling, unprecedented moment in human civilization.

One Child Nation arrives in select theaters on August 9, 2019.

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