Segments in this Video

China, In The Mood For life: Introduction (02:23)


An artist hides his artwork in the Beijing Province countryside; his paintings denounce family planning. Women in China must have the government's permission to become pregnant or they cannot keep the baby. (Credits)

Family Planning (02:00)

China is the world's most populous country and powerful economy. Pregnancy restrictions include: no more than two children; no pregnancies under the age of 20; and no pregnancies outside of marriage.

Forced Sterilization (04:00)

Liao and his wife Xia recall Xia's sterilization in 2012. She suffers from pelvic congestion syndrome and infections as a result of the surgery.

Power of Family Planning (03:19)

Xia's daughter worries about her mother. Officially, forced sterilization is banned, but Family Planning agents encourage women to volunteer; some agents forge signatures on consent forms. Family Planning propaganda lines city and village walls; the one child policy was enacted in 1979.

Inside Family Planning (01:56)

The birth rate fell from 4.7 to 1.4 after the one child policy implementation. Every village has a Family Planning agency. An ex-agent discusses how the system works.

Violent Encounters (02:45)

The ex-agent recalls some of the practices he participated in, explains why he resigned, and reveals a video of Family Planning Officials forcing a woman to go to the Family Planning office to pay a fine and be sterilized.

Illegal Pregnancy (02:47)

"May Lee" leaves her home and family to protect her unborn baby; she does not have the right to have a second child.

Four Months in Hiding (03:09)

"May Lee" divorced her husband as a security measure and is staying with friends until after the birth of the baby.

Abortion Consultations (03:43)

Most Chinese women acquiesce to the birth control protocol; approximately 30,000 abortions occur every day. A doctor describes the quickness of the procedure and becomes careful about her language when questioned about abortion policies. The film crew is told to leave.

Violating Family Planning Authority (04:59)

Once an "illegal baby" is born, parents can pay a €40,000 fine to have the child legalized. Mothers unable to pay the fine are forced to hide their children; several women share their stories. In 2002, China officially banned the use of force in applying the birth control policy; the ex-agent explains how agents are pushed to break the law.

Plea to the Tribunal (04:35)

Xia's health continues to deteriorate. She and Liao file a complaint against force sterilization; Lu Niao Ching will represent Xia.

Abuse of Power Complaint (02:45)

The tribunal refuses to bring Liao and Xia's case to court; Lu Niao Ching will write a new complaint to file within Liao and Xia's district. She discusses the court's unwillingness to try cases against Family Planning.

"Cradle Policemen" (05:06)

Family Planning is testing a new program to help improve its image. Li Bo refers to his notes and reads a story about a boy who is punished for disobedience. He explains what would happen if he sees a pregnant woman on the street.

Secret Pregnancy (03:59)

"May Lee" has been in hiding for a month. She traveled 200 km for a prenatal checkup and changed hiding places; she considered an abortion before going in to hiding. On October 29, 2015, President Xi Jinping announces a change in the population policy beginning January 2016.

Two Child Policy (02:23)

The Family Planning deputy minister addresses the media regarding changes in the one child policy. Reporters question the future of the agency.

"May Lee" Remains Cautious (02:02)

"May Lee" changed her hiding place again. She reflects on the end of the one child policy; her pregnancy remains illegal.

Human Rights (02:16)

The ex-agent believes Family Planning agents will fight to keep birth control in effect and surveillance will continue. Lu Niao Ching continues to defend Xia; lawyers have been arrested for representing human rights cases.

No Legal Recourse (03:02)

Tribunals refuse to take Liao and Xia's legal case. The couple appeals to the Court of Justice but it denies the appeal. Hundreds of human rights defenders were questioned by police in the past few months.

Birth of Deng Deng (00:44)

See a picture of "May Lee" and her baby. She reflects on one day telling her son about his birth.

Credits: China, In The Mood For life: the Human Cost of China’s Family Planning Policies (01:02)

Credits: China, In The Mood For life: the Human Cost of China’s Family Planning Policies

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China, in the Mood for Life: The Human Cost of China’s Family Planning Policies

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China’s controversial one child policy may have been abandoned but the forced abortions and sterilizations and harsh punishments for unauthorized pregnancies continue. It remains illegal to have a child outside wedlock, become pregnant under the age of 20 or have more than two children. China holds the world record in abortions with more than 30,000 carried out every day. This unique investigation, filmed over two years, reveals the human cost of China’s strict family planning policies. We follow three women who try and resist and witness on camera the brutality of the system. Meili decides to go into hiding, leaving her village and family, to carry her ‘illegal’ pregnancy to term. Xia, abducted from her home at 6 am and forcibly sterilized, is bringing a historic legal case to hold the state accountable while lawyer Lu Miaoqing is prepared to risk prison to defend the victims of state-enforced birth control.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL128002

ISBN: 978-1-64023-048-4

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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