With the recent debate over abortions and Planned Parenthood here in America, this Amazon Studios documentary Directed by Nanfu Wang is more timely than ever.
One Child Nation explores China’s one-child policy from its inception in 1992 until as late as 2015 from the lens of a filmmaker, a mother, a wife curious as to what and how China’s legacy would affect her now.
Opening images of a tiny embryo engulfed within a formaldehyde jar mixed with footage of marching Chinese soldiers set the stage of a documentary that clearly addresses issues between the miracle of life and government interference as an attempt to control the population is hauntingly powerful. A population that in the 90’s was dangerously staggering toward a billion.
Interviews are conducted with former sterilization doctors, captains, mid-wives and Wang’s own relatives about the impact this rule had for many generations on the past, present and future. Not to mention the effect on one’s conscience and family lineage.
Many emotions washed across me. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Despair. It is absolutely mind-boggling to me that China, America and other countries are consistently challenging women with not only our reproductive rights, but rights to simply exist as a human being. It was absolutely heartbreaking listening as a former mid-wife couldn’t remember how many babies she brought into this world, but vividly recalls aborting nearly 50-60k from mothers who were in their third trimester. That same mid-wife now only takes on clients who are unable to bear children due to infertility issues. In doing so, she believes it will atone her sins of the past.
Haunting images of yellow plastic bags marked ‘medical waste’ filled with hundreds of fetuses, babies being abandoned at meat markets covered in maggots and dying from starvation, families favoring male over female simply because they are able to carrying on the family name, human trafficking or the moment Nanfu comes to the realization that she is not in possession of photos with any senior male member of her family are all memories and images I shall never erase from my mind.
Propaganda songs, commercials, billboards and literature were all used to persuade families into producing no more than one child for population control. If the families refused or broke the law, homes were demolished, children snatched and placed within orphanages with hopes of placing in an American home for a healthy fee.
With all that said and a $1500 social maintenance fee for most families in China, many interviewed concurred that they ‘had no choice.’ One ALWAYS has a choice and Nanfu made the choice to educate the world about this injustice. After all, you can’t stop history from repeating itself if you don’t acknowledge it in the first place.
Produced by Amazon Studios, One Child Nation will be available in select theatres on August 9, 2019 and it is a film I recommend ALL human beings take the opportunity to view.