True Vision

films that make a difference

China's Stolen Children

China's Stolen Children
Back to ‘Our Films’
90 minutes
Kate Blewett and Brian Woods
Jezza Neumann

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Film Synopsis:

Ten years after the policy-changing and award-winning film, The Dying Rooms, the same team returns to a very different China where the infamous One Child Policy has had the horrific side effect of a boom in stolen children.

With extraordinary access to devastated parents desperately searching for their stolen son; a man who brokers the deals and has sold his own offspring; and prospective parents grappling with giving up their soon-to-be-born daughter through lack of options, we are brought face to face with the crisis that such a stringent government policy has created among China's poorest people.

Beautiful, haunting, deeply tragic, but impossible to ignore, this film takes us into the heart of modern China. A place where girl babies are being sold for 3,000-4,000 RMB (£200-270); detectives specialise in finding kidnapped children; and child traffickers are so relaxed about the trade they ply, that they allow the film-makers to covertly record them buying and selling tiny human lives. Tens of thousands of children are now kidnapped and traded on the black market whilst the State is more concerned with keeping the story quiet than tracing Chinas stolen children.

Narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley

  • "They’ve done a remarkable job of highlighting China’s insane bureaucracy – its one child policy...they’ve made, too, the most essential documentary of the year so far. I urge you – brace yourselves, and watch." Alison Graham, Radio Times
  • "This really is an extraordinary doc which reveals some of the realities behind China’s outwardly booming economy." Time Out
  • "'An unforgettable Dispatches.... beautifully photographed'" Nancy Banks-Smith, Guardian
  • "'Heart-breaking, secretly filmed investigation'" The Sun
  • "'An extraordinarily melancholy but riveting piece of work'" Mail on Saturday
  • "'An outstanding documentary'" Daily Express
  • "'Unmissable television, it is harrowing and yet beautifully made'" The Observer
  • "'...powerful, heartbreaking documentary'" Daily Mail
  • "'This film is immediately gripping; as beautiful images of bucolic China flash across the screen, we're led straight into a compelling narrative.'" Time Out
  • "'One of the best ducumentaries of the year... This felt like a return to C4's glory days' " Telegraph
  • "'An extremely touching piece of work'" Indie on Sunday
  • "'The devastating, wrenching despair of unexplained loss has never been put more eloquently.'" '10/10' Guardian Review of Reviews