One Child Nation
Photo by Trina Borelli/The Ball Out

Los Angeles, CA — ‘One Child Nation’, an Amazon Studios documentary, directed and produced by Nanfu Wang, was a groundbreaking and informative experience to be able to watch. Following the MoMa Contender screening, the audience then was able to discuss afterwards with Nanfu herself.

I’ve always been curious about the one child policy that used to exist in China but never actually knew the specifics of the law, the horrific things done within that time, and the lasting effects it has put on all the families within the country.

The policy also has affected people in other countries due to a lot of the babies towards the end of the law’s time frame being abducted or given to orphanages that eventually put them up for adoption which sent many to the United States. This outcome, even though considered illegal in China, was actually the best thing that happened during that time. Other families who gave birth to additional babies had their babies killed by the government or were forced to kill them themselves.

China’s way to enforce the one child policy before this was to sterilize women or force them to abort their child before he or she was born. China’s one child policy was taught as a great thing to individuals back then.

One Child Nation
Filmmaker Nanfu Wang discussing ‘One Child Nation’ with the audience. Photo by Trina Borelli/The Ball Out

The film shows past propaganda footage displaying women and children singing about how amazing the law is and how much better their lives would be.

The documentary does an amazing job painting the picture of how the law affected lives and what the people thought of it. The interviews within the film were the most interesting to see, especially because many were with the filmmaker’s family members in China. 

Being able to listen to Nanfu Wang speak about her personal experience with the policy and creating the documaentary. After watching ‘One Child Nation’ it was a great way to end the experience by personally hearing from Nanfu. She explained how tough it was due to how closely it was a part of many of her family members’ lives and was traumatic to them, too.

Nanfu also discussed how creating this political film might cause her to have a tough relationship with China due to how controlling the country still is in so many ways.

I believe that ‘One Child Nation’ creates awareness on the topic for the people around the world who are able to see it, and hopefully it will become more accessible in China. 

By Trina Borelli


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