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China Screen: Elder Sister

Year: 2019, 96 mins
Code: IC-CSElder

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The waiver of China's one-child policy resets the meaning of family.

I knew, since I was a small child, that I had an elder sister living in another village nearby. Of course I was very surprised by the fact that she didn't live with us. My parents told me: « This because of the one-child policy ». With the time passing by, I learned what this policy meant : as an unplanned child, I would not have been able to come to this world if my second elder sister had not been adopted.

In 2016, China fully liberalized the second child policy thus my elder sister could happily wait for her second child to come to this world. Seizing this precious moment of life, I took the camera and filmed my sister’s life and her delightful pregnancy. The film also goes in search of the family members around my sister to inquire her adoption. Along with her very natural narration of her childhood and her interaction with the world around her, the film paints a vivid portrait of a women of mixed identities : mother, teacher, daughter of four parents, wife, sister…

This unusual, personalized take on the one-child policy creates a humanist documentary that offers a deep insight into today’s notion of a Chinese family and the place of children in it. It also shows how the profound changes the country is going through affects the daily lives of Chinese people in rural areas.

Written and directed by: Long ZHENG ; Producer: Long ZHENG ; Director of Photography: Long ZHENG, Sound: Siliang CHANG ; Editing: Long ZHENG

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