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. Many parents suffered the loss of their only child, and with it the totality of their 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 most devastated by the earthquake’s aftershocks. 80% of the city’s buildings collapsed and the city was left in rubble. The government deployed its construction machine toward building an entirely new city. Old Beichuan was dead and a new Beichuan was 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.
2014 Shortlist, 87th Academy Awards, Best Documentary Short Subject
2014 Winner, 41st Student Academy Awards
2014 Grand Jury Award, Best Documentary Feature, Lighthouse International Film Festival
2014 Best Short Documentary, Asians on Film Festival
2013 Winner, Sidney Gross Memorial Prize for Investigative Journalism
"This moving program...puts a face on the tragedy and gives viewers insight into Chinese culture." - Candace Smith, Booklist
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