First-time mother and filmmaker Nanfu Wang uncovers the untold history of China's One-Child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment. 

One Child Nation+-+Dogwoof


In order to expose rampant human-rights abuses, filmmaker Nanfu Wang fearlessly confronted Chinese government agents in her 2016 Sundance Film Festival documentary, Hooligan Sparrow. Her goal in One Child Nation is no less daunting: unmask the tightly held secrets of China’s one-child policy and, in so doing, free the voices of millions irreparably harmed by the practice.

For Wang, now a first-time mother, investigating the policy of forcibly restricting family size spawns traumatic recollections from her own family’s recent past. These stories, in turn, unleash a dizzying number of revelations from journalists, officials, parents, and activists about the widespread enforcement of sterilization, child abandonment, and state-sponsored kidnappings.

With chilling clarity, Wang’s new documentary reveals how relentless propaganda brainwashed and terrorized countless Chinese citizens into committing unspeakable crimes against fellow villagers and family members. Through interviews with both victims and instigators, along with revelatory data regarding the sheer number of abandoned children (nearly all of them infant girls), One Child Nation breaks open decades of silence on a vast, unprecedented social experiment that shaped—and destroyed—countless lives.


“Utterly compelling” - Screen Daily

"Startling account of collective trauma” - The Hollywood Reporter


Nanfu Wang is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker based in New York. Wang’s feature debut, Hooligan Sparrow (2016 Sundance Film Festival), was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award for best documentary feature. It also won a Film Independent Spirit Award, an IDA Documentary Award, a Peabody Award, a Cinema Eye Honors Award, and the George Polk Award. Her second feature documentary, I Am Another You, won two special jury awards.

Jialing Zhang is a filmmaker based in Beijing and Massachusetts. She co-directed and edited Complicit, a feature documentary that premiered at the 2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Zhang's work as a producer has appeared on VICE, HBO, Fusion TV, and the New York Times.


Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

Producers: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn

Executive Producers: Ken Pelletier, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen

Cinematography: Nanfu Wang, Yuanchen Liu

Edited By: Nanfu Wang

Additional Editors: Jialing Zhang, Michael Shade

Additional Camera: Michael Shade, Jia Li, Ji Song, Jialing Zhang, Mi Shen


Filmmakers: Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang
Country: China, USA
Year: 2019
Runtime: 85'
Format: HD



Grand Jury Prize Winner U.S. Documentary - Sundance International Film Festival 2018

Nominated- Best Documentary Feature- Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Nominated- Best Director- Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Nominated- Best Editing- Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Nominated- Best Narration- Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Nominated- Best Political Documentary- Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards


Festival highlights

Sundance International Film Festival 2019

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019

CPH:DOX 2019

Tribeca Film Festival 2019

Hot Docs 2019

Melbourne International Film Festival 2019