Leftover Women Review

34-year-old Qiu HuaMei wears a hopeful expression as she chats with a potential Mr. Right. She chats about the male chauvinism culture that lingers in her hometown. At first, he has an ear for her until he reveals that he is uncomfortable with the idea of a wife smarter than him. Her hopeful expression peels away to disappointment.

Directed by Shosh Shlam & Hilla Medalia, Leftover Women explores the lives of three Chinese women who live with being deemed shengnu, “Leftover Women,” a derogatory term reserved for unmarried women in or pass their late 20s: Qiu HuaMei the lawyer; 28-year-old Xu Min who works for a public radio station; and the 36-year-old Gai Qi, an assistant professor in Beijing. The three navigate marriage markets, matchmakers, government-sponsored dating festival, and parental tensions in their quest to find a potential spouse. With 30 million more men than women in China, gender imbalance prevails. Even the government sanctions comics that ridicule unmarried women as shameful outcasts.

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