How filmmaker Nanfu Wang exposed the global repercussions of China’s “one child” policy

August 13, 2019

A still from One Child Nation showing a photograph of a young Chinese girl.

From One Child Nation. | Dogwoof

The One Child Nation director talks about the risks of her work and the power of propaganda.

Documentarian Nanfu Wang grew up in rural China under the country’s “one child” policy, which lasted from 1979 to 2015. Her own parents had two children, since the law made an exception for families living in rural areas, as long as the children were at least five years apart — but not until after her mother narrowly escaped involuntary sterilization. Many other women were not so lucky. The policy’s mental, physical, and emotional toll on the country, especially its women, was tremendous.

To enforce such an invasive policy on a population as large as China’s required more than just strict policing — it required self-policing, especially in rural areas, far away from more densely populated urban centers. So, as One Child Nation shows, the Chinese government blanketed the country with propaganda intended to convince citizens to keep their family sizes within the allowed limit, and to report on their neighbors if they suspected anyone wasn’t following the rules. Along with forced abortions and sterilizations, the propaganda effort ensured that most of the population would abide by the policy, seeing it as a necessary and good measure for the health of their families and their future.

One Child Nation is Wang’s personal and journalistic exploration of the ramifications of the One Child era, both in China and around the world. She speaks with a midwife in China who had to perform abortions on thousands of women; an artist who depicts the grisly results of the policy; and a couple in the US who help adopted Chinese children try to reunite with their biological families, many of whom sold children to orphanages for adoption abroad because they already had a …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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