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Documentary Shines Light on Chinese Childhood over 10 Year Period
 

A five-episode documentary series following the lives of over ten Chinese adolescents for ten years started airing on China's state broadcaster on August 20.

Produced by Beijing Normal University since 2006, the documentary "Post-00s" has followed the lives of a number of children born after 2000, chronicling their experiences from kindergarten to secondary school.

"Over ten years, these children have grown up and became more independent in thinking and action," says Zhang Tongdao, director of the documentary.

The film not only documents the growth of the children, but also reflects on several social issues in modern China, such as the two-child policy, school examinations, studying overseas and the struggle of working mothers.

The documentary starts with 12-year-old Yu Xikun and his mother driving to a competitive entrance examination for a well-known Beijing secondary school. On the car window, Yu secretly writes, "I don't want the test."

"I always wanted to be a perfect mom," says Yu's mother, who stopped working years ago to take care of her son. But her rebellious boy made her reconsider her "perfect mom" strategy.

Meng Meng's parents struggle to get their 13-year-old daughter to communicate with them. They believe their two-year-old sister You You might be part of the problem.

"I never wanted a sister that much," Meng Meng says.

China allowed all married couples to have two children from 2016. This follows an earlier policy easing in 2013 that allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.

While 10 years ago Meng Meng would cry when looking for her father, now she has become distant and seldom talks to her parents.

"All these details come from real life, and every word comes from real kids. The documentary tells the stories of ordinary Chinese over ten years," Zhang says.

Yu Ming, executive director-in-chief of the production, says she hopes to continue filming until the day the adolescents become parents.

"Chinese society and education ideas might be hugely different, but the state of mind for a parent will not change," Yu says.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2017) 

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