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Family Planning in China

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King's College London, Lucas Theatre

King's College London, Lucas Theatre

Lucas Theatre S-2.18

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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Family Planning in China - the Legacy of the One Child Policy

Chinese Visual Festival and the Thomson Reuters Foundation present an evening exploring the legacy and impact of China’s One Child Policy, which shaped the country from its inception in 1979 until its formal phasing out in 2015. The session will consist of three short films examining the issue from different angles, and a panel discussion session featuring director Shanshan Chen, Dr. Mayling
Birney from LSE, Dr. Victor Fan from King’s College London, and others.

Invisible lives: A legacy of China's family planning rules
DIR. Shanshan Chen
Documentary
China, 2016
In Mandarin with English Subtitles
16 mins
Strict family planning measures were introduced in China in the late 70s and early 80s to slow population growth, including a “one-child policy”. The latest national census in 2010 shows that China has 13 million unregistered people and most are children born outside the family planning rules. In 2016, the family planning rules were relaxed and the one-child policy was dropped. However, it is still unclear what this means for children who were born before the changes. This film tells three personal stories: Yang Zhizhu has a second child and campaigns against the family planning rules; Li Xue, 23, has spent her entire life unregistered because she is a second child; Liu Chunyan is a single mother with a daughter born outside marriage. It is an intimate portrait of three people who have struggled with the restrictive rules.

About Shanshan Chen
Shanshan Chen is a multimedia producer and filmmaker with the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in London. Her short documentaries explore topics such as refugees and migrants, women’s rights, LGBT rights and China-related themes, and have been featured on BBC (US), TIME (US), The Atlantic (US), Aeon (US), and KCET (US).

Selected Filmography
Shanghai Tulip - breaking China's mental health taboo (2015)
Inua's Dolphins (2015)
From Aleppo to Melilla: Raed's story (2015)
DAY IN A LIFE (2013)


Life after Loss
DIR. Wu Ge
China, 2016
In Mandarin with English Subtitles
23 mins
China’s one-child policy was an effective, and perhaps necessary, means of controlling the country’s vast population, though it resulted in various societal issues. For example, in cases where some of these ‘only children’ died, long after their parents were able to have another child. The premise of Life after Loss is based around three different “ShiDu” families, which means parents who have lost their only child, each representing different attitudes towards this tragic situation. This production uses interviews to express these parents’ real ideas, using the documentary format to depict their real stories and situations. Wu Ge selected three mothers from the typical model of those families for the film – Mother 1 is the leader of a 'Shidu' group, living with her husband, who wishes she was dead. Mother 2 likes beautiful dresses and life, but has real no home, using her low pension to rent a flat to live in. Mother 3 carries out some business, but suffers from health problems, and has nobody to take care of her in hospital.

About Wu Ge
Wu Ge graduated from the University of the Arts of the University of London, studying a Masters in TV and Media. Following this, he has been active in the field of television, and now works for Netherlands Radio and Television.


One Child
DIR. Zijian Mu
China/USA, 2014
In Mandarin with English Subtitles
40 mins

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake, China’s deadliest disaster in three decades, killed 90,000 people, including more than 5,000 children. Losing a child is an immeasurable tragedy for parents anywhere, but in China the effect is compounded by the one-child policy. This means that if you lose your child, you’re often losing your one and only child – and with it the totality of your life’s emotional investment. In response to the earthquake, China’s government made an exception for those who lost their only child to conceive another. That generation of newborns became known in China as “reborn” children. But for many parents, particularly those who lost teenage children, their advancing age proved to be a significant barrier.

This film features three families from Beichuan, the city that suffered the most in the earthquake. And the city did not fare better than its inhabitants. It was torn and abandoned. The government deployed its construction machine toward building an entirely new city. Old Beichuan was dead. And a new Beichuan erected – in a different place. In just three years, residents of the old city were relocated, including the family of Yang, Jiang and Fu, and Gu, who all lost their only child in the earthquake. One Child follows the journey of these three families as they try to restore a sense of normalcy and struggle to move past the loss of their children.

About Zijian Mu
Zijian Mu is a documentary filmmaker based in New York. He is a Qiang and a native of Beichuan, China. His first documentary, One Child, explores the lives of the parents who lost their only child in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China. The film is listed as One of the Top 8 Documentary Shorts of the Year (2014) and has won the 2014 Student Academy Awards and the 2013 Sidney Gross Memorial Prize for Investigative Journalism. Mu has also contributed work for The Economist, Vice and CNN. He produced a short film that was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Hot Docs International Documentary Challenge and screened at the festival. He holds an M.A. in News and Documentary from New York University. Currently Mu is working on his next documentary project in western China.

About the Thomson Reuters Foundation
At the Thomson Reuters Foundation we act to promote socio-economic progress and the rule of law worldwide. We play a leading role in the fight against human trafficking. We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programmes that trigger real change and empower people around the world. We tackle global issues. We achieve lasting impact.

Our global editorial team covers the world’s under-reported stories through breaking news, features, interviews, and in depth analysis. We produce exclusive videos and photos. We also publish blogs and op-eds from decision makers and thought leaders. Our videographers and photo-journalists use the power of images to document how the issues that we cover have an impact on ordinary human beings and vulnerable communities. Our documentaries and photo essays introduce viewers to inspiring characters, drawing them into unfamiliar worlds.

http://www.trust.org/

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King's College London, Lucas Theatre

King's College London, Lucas Theatre

Lucas Theatre S-2.18

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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