Past Event

One Child Nation

March 30, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
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420 West 118th St, International Affairs Building, Room 918

Speaker: Nanfu Wang is a filmmaker and director of One Child Nation (2019) and Hooligan Sparrow (2016).

Moderator: Colin Jones is an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at WEAI. He is a historian of East Asia and a film producer, whose credits include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012) and a Netflix documentary feature, White Hot (2022). He will be a host on an upcoming podcast series for Crooked Media slated for later this year. He he received a doctorate from Columbia University in 2017, and was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, at Harvard's Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and a Fulbright Scholar in Japan from 2013-2015. Before graduate school, he worked in Beijing as a reporter and editor at Caijing Magazine. His writing has appeared in DissentThe Nation, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Organizer: JM Chris Chang, Asia in Action/ Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University

One Child Nation is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang about the fallout of China's one-child policy that lasted from 1979 to 2015. The documentary is made up of various interviews with former Village Chiefs, State Officials, Ex-Human Traffickers, Artists, Midwives, Journalists, Researchers, and victims of the one-child policy. In creating the film, Wang Nanfu sought to create a 360 degree view of the effects of the policy, as told through the people who carried out the policy and people who were its victims. During the film, Nanfu Wang discovers more about the ties her own family have with the one-child policy, as they unsuccessfully attempt to locate her cousin who was abandoned by her father’s sister in 1989. By the end of the film, Nanfu Wang admits that despite the horrors of the one-child policy, there is an overwhelming acceptance of the policy that remains in China, and a shared attitude that there was no other choice. 

The film is available on Amazon Prime video.

This event is sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and is part of the Asia in Action initiative.

Contact Information

Sarah Jessup