One Child Nation

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One Child Nation
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Nanfu Wang
  • Jialing Zhang
  • Christoph Jorg
  • Julie Goldman
  • Christopher Clements
  • Carolyn Hepburn
Music by
  • Nathan Halpern
  • Chris Ruggiero
  • Nanfu Wang
  • Yuanchen Liu
Edited byNanfu Wang
  • Next Generation
  • ITVS
  • WDR/Arte
  • Motto Pictures
  • Pumpernickel Films
Distributed byAmazon Studios
Release date
  • January 26, 2019 (2019-01-26) (Sundance)
  • August 9, 2019 (2019-08-09) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$271,841[1]

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 film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019 where it was awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Award, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 9, 2019, by Amazon Studios. It received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary.


Both directors Wang and Zhang were born under the one-child policy in China during the 1980s, but knew little of its effects as it was second nature among the country's populace. After moving to the United States and getting pregnant with her first child in 2017, Wang returned to China in an effort to "explore the direct effects of the 'population war' on her family... acquaintances from her rural village, midwives, family planning officials, journalists and artists".[2]


Box office[edit]

The film opened at one theater in New York City and one in Los Angeles and grossed $22,244 in its opening weekend, with Amazon reporting "sold-out shows throughout the weekend".[3]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 98% based on 90 reviews, with an average rating of 8.39/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "As illuminating as it is accessible, One Child Nation probes a painful chapter in Chinese history with piercing clarity."[4] Metacritic surveyed 25 critics and assigned the film an average weighted score of 85 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a valuable record and a sober but frightening illustration of the dark side of this government-controlled experiment" and praised the editing and musical score.[2]. Ram Venkat Srikar of Cinema Sentries called the film "an unapologetic description of the unpleasant aftermath of China's One-Child Policy".[6]


  1. ^ "One Child Nation". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b David Rooney (January 26, 2019). "'One Child Nation': Film Review - Sundance 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Brooks, Brian (August 11, 2019). "'The Peanut Butter Falcon' Leads Mixed Weekend; Music Doc 'Bring The Soul' Croons; 'The Farewell' Salutes $10M: Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "One Child Nation (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "One Child Nation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Ram Venkat Srikar (December 19, 2019). "'One Child Nation': Film Review - MAMI 2019". Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]