But I want that decision to be my own. I'm struck by the irony that I left a country where the government forced women to abort and I moved to another country where the governments restrict abortions. On the surface they seem like opposites, but both are about taking away women's control of their own bodies.
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Critique of the One-Child policy told through the people who lived it
To me, the One-Child policy made sense when I was younger and didn't know any better. Fix overpopulation and hearken Malthus by limiting household size. Easy, right? This wasn't America after all; individual liberties are fewer in Communist China...because...isn't it for the good of the collective and not the individual? To my understanding, most of the Chinese were just banding together and willingly sacrificing for their country.
The movie paints an entirely different picture. Yes, there were those believed they were rightful functioning as an extension of the Red policy. Yet, almost every single person that Wang interviews had to preface recollections of the forced sterilizations and abortions with four haunting words: "I had no choice."
This movie investigates the intersect between acting willfully for your country and its opposite: being forced to do what are considered "necessary evils" for the longevity of the country.
Wang is skeptical that any of this suffering needed to happen to begin with. She provides a counter-narrative to the Communist state, wondering if the mountains of abandoned girl babies were left to die in vain. In retrospect, the policy's dubious reasons point more towards a mindless allegiance to leadership than any saving grace from starvation. That's how the movie is presented, at least.
Definitely worth the watch.
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