Filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang provide a very personal history of China’s one-child policy and how several generations of parents and children have been affected by the enforced policy of one-child families from 1979 to 2015. This powerful and controversial documentary, in English and Mandarin, shows the policy to be a cruel and tragic experiment in big-government meddling in the composition of families by the state whose after-effects persist. Women were forced to have abortions, there were forced sterilisations, babies were abandoned, but at the same time government policy aimed to reduce population growth in a country dealing with extreme poverty among a quarter of the world’s population. ‘We are fighting a population war’ was a common slogan used by the government during that period. Part of how the policy was promoted was through a propaganda culture created around an idealised one-child family: on playing cards, stickers, posters and in travelling opera performances. Nanfu Wang returns to her natal village to interview members of her own family and neighbours about how the policy affected them personally.