TUE JAN 25, 2022 (12:00 AM) – MON JAN 31 (11:45 PM)



Virtual Screening | Pre-recorded Q&A with filmmaker Nanfu Wang for IN THE SAME BREATH

RSVP to receive access to free virtual screenings on Eventive of Nanfu Wang’s HOOLIGAN SPARROW, ONE CHILD NATION and IN THE SAME BREATH.



Risk Taker: The Documentaries of Nanfu Wang

Award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang is one of the boldest storytellers working today. Her singular voice is instantly recognizable, and her incisive perspective sheds light on authoritarianism and pierces through propaganda to reveal shocking truths. Wang’s trio of films focusing on China are a remarkable feat: she became a target while shooting her 2016 debut HOOLIGAN SPARROW about artist and activist Ye Haiyan, who was labeled an enemy of the state; in Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner ONE CHILD NATION, she exposed the staggering human costs of the One Child Policy; and in this year’s Oscar-shortlisted IN THE SAME BREATH, she examines both China and the US’s responses to the Coronavirus. All three films are screening virtually with American Cinematheque, along with a special Q&A with Wang and Simon Kilmurry following IN THE SAME BREATH.


HOOLIGAN SPARROW, 2016, The Film Collaborative, 83 min. Dir. Nanfu Wang.

In Nanfu Wang’s directorial debut, the danger is palpable as the intrepid young filmmaker follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China, to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media. Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets.

ONE CHILD NATION, 2019, Amazon Studios, 89 min. Dir. Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang.

For more than 35 years, China enforced a radical experiment in population control, restricting couples to a single child and imposing harsh penalties on those who violated the policy.  In the 2019 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary ONE CHILD NATION, Chinese- born filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang dig fearlessly into the past with startling testimony from victims and perpetrators, including members of Wang’s own family, as well as archival footage, vintage propaganda materials and intimate first-hand accounts of the policy’s horrific consequences. A stunning, nuanced indictment of a program that prioritized a national agenda over human life, the film is a unique combination of personal and investigative filmmaking.

IN THE SAME BREATH, 2021, HBO Documentary Films, 95 min. Dir. Nanfu Wang.

IN THE SAME BREATH, directed by Nanfu Wang, recounts the origin and spread of the novel coronavirus from the earliest days of the outbreak in Wuhan to its rampage across the United States. In a deeply personal approach, Wang, who was born in China and now lives in the United States, explores the parallel campaigns of misinformation waged by leadership and the devastating impact on citizens of both countries. Emotional first-hand accounts and startling, on-the-ground footage weave a revelatory picture of cover-ups and misinformation while also highlighting the strength and resilience of the healthcare workers, activists and family members who risked everything to communicate the truth.