FEMINIST FRIDAY: Watch Nanfu Wang And Jialing Zhang’s ‘One Child Nation’ Trailer

Welcome to another Feminist Friday! Our weekly column where we share our favorite videos, trailers, short films, documentaries and other pieces of content that we can’t get enough of. This week’s round up are all centered around social and political issues that have impacted and are affecting people globally. 

First up is the trailer to filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s ‘One Child Nation’ documentary, which has been wowing critical audiences and earned the film the Grand Jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. 

From the website description: “China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning…’One Child Nation’ explores the ripple effect of this devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another – from abandoned newborns, to forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members into archival propaganda material and testimony from victims and perpetrators alike, yielding a revelatory and essential record of this chilling, unprecedented moment in human civilization.”

In select theaters from August 9 and out on Amazon thereafter. Be sure to check out the trailer below and keep an eye out for listings in your local area. 

The second video is a 26 minute discussion documentary from the Catholics for Choice organization, whose film ‘Why Trust Women?’ is a timely video especially here in the US, given the recent and shocking news about abortion bans in Southern states. Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Louisiana have all signed into law, or are about to sign into law, the most extreme bans this country has ever seen – 6 week abortion bans – some without any exception for rape or incest. Punishments are directed at those getting the abortion (and in some cases, miscarriages may also be prosecuted) as well as the doctors providing this. 

As we watch with horror, there are a number of people who are happy about this. Catholics for Choice are an organization that brings together faith leaders to champion and discuss matters of health with a nuanced, compassionate and historical perspective. While the media, politics and the most outspoken conservative religious leaders across America right now are happy to use black and white, clickbait slogans and sayings to demonize an issue that is so complex, the video below brings together the following people who talk about conscience, religious texts, morality, freedom of choice, compassion, and how we can reconcile with what we are seeing in regard to abortion across America: 

“What does it mean to trust women and value individual conscience? World-renowned experts agree: Catholics – and many people of faith – all over the world are prochoice, and always have been. Featuring:
• Dan Dombrowski, professor of philosophy
• Miriam Duignan, campaigner for women’s equality
• Frank Furedi, professor of sociology and author
• Dr. Willie Parker, physician and author
• Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, physician and women’s health expert

Our final trailer this week comes from television presenter and filmmaker Arzu Qaderi, whose film ‘My Afghan Diary’ explores female empowerment as she returns to Afghanistan for the first time since childhood for confidential and controversial interviews with women. In a statement about her project, the filmmaker talks about the mission behind the film and why she felt it was important to share the stories of women from her home country. 

“The vibrant city of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan is my birthplace. Just after the civil war began, my family and I left Kabul and settled in Germany. In the September of 2017, I travelled for the first time since childhood to Afghanistan, to begin filming my first documentary film ‘My Afghan Diary’. My film seeks to understand the perspective of a marginalized audience: Afghan women, who work successfully within the media sector, despite many challenges, and continue to follow their dreams with such strong spirit. [These] talented women speak openly about the hardships they have faced while trying to balance their home life, careers and passions. I feel that the balancing act between family and work is a struggle we can all relate to. The women I have spoken to pursue their dreams with equal passion as we do in the Western world. Afghanistan is a war-torn country and the society that they live within places its own limitations on womanhood so I wanted to ask: how do they keep their dreams alive?”

“Obtaining the footage was incredibly difficult as filming is banned in Afghanistan and it was a secret project because the topic of female empowerment is still so taboo within their society. By putting myself in a position of danger, I only experienced a fraction of what these women put themselves through everyday. For instance, Soosan Firooz, Afghanistan’s first female rapper tells me of death threats faced through social media and the brave way she dealt with it, ensuring future generations of females would never have to go through the same experience. This is one of many stories I explore during ‘My Afghan Diary’,” she continued. Watch the trailer below and stay tuned for the September 2019 release by checking updates on Arzu’s Facebook Page and website.

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