One Child Nation
Launched in 1979 and ending only in 2015, China's mandatory policy was an attempt to curb the country's looming population crisis. Co-directors Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, 2016) and Jialing Zhang grew up in 1980s China. As a child, Wang recalls seeing relentless propaganda reinforcing the government's strategy. Now a first-time mother living in America, she returns to China to investigate the devastating impact of the program. In shocking interviews with journalists, officials and family members, she documents a horrendous trail of social destruction, from forced sterilisation to child abandonment (nearly all girls) and state-sponsored kidnappings. Wang and Zhang's important and uncompromising documentary challenges widespread assumptions.
Q&A: Jialing Zhang, screens in Sydney Town Hall on Friday 7 June, 4.00 pm.