One Child Nation


Isabel Bader Theatre Wed, May 1, 2019 6:30 PM
TIFF Lightbox 1 Fri, May 3, 2019 1:00 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Premiere Status:Canadian Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2018
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:Special Presentations
Film Subjects:Families & Family Relationships
Politics & Political Intrigue
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Nanfu Wang
Jialing Zhang
Producer(s):Nanfu Wang
Jialing Zhang
Julie Goldman
Christoph Jörg
Christopher Clements
Carolyn Hepburn
Executive Producer(s):Ken Pelletier
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen
Editor(s):Nanfu Wang
Cinematography:Nanfu Wang
Yuanchen Liu
Composer:Nathan Halpern
Chris Ruggiero


In 1979, China imposed the nationwide "one-child policy" in order to curb population growth and boost economic development. The strictly enforced measure prevented an estimated 400 million births and led to a surge of state-mandated abortions and sterilizations, abandoned children and feticides. After the birth of her first child in the US, filmmaker Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) is compelled to examine her own family's conflicted past under the ban. Along with co-director Jialing Zhang, she travels back to China, juxtaposing the government's sanitization of the large-scale social experiment and the surprising reflections of those tasked with its enforcement. Through raw vérité, interviews and emotional confessions comes a searing portrait of a human rights tragedy. Winner of Sundance's US Grand Jury Prize, this fearless exposé unmasks the wrenching psychic and tangible costs millions of families continue to pay. Myrocia Watamaniuk

Content notice: Film contains some graphic imagery.

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Additional Information

  • Toronto Star - 10 movies you must see at Hot Docs 2019
  • NOW - 4 Stars, "Shocking...heatbreaking."
  • BlogTO - 10 Movies getting the biggest advance buzz at Hot Docs 2019
  • POV - "Devastatingly powerful."