One Child

About This Episode


On May 12, 2008, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan, China, killing nearly 90,000 people in one of China’s most deadly disasters. Many of the victims are children, crushed to death in shoddily-constructed schools. Under China’s strict family planning policy, almost every one is their family’s only child.

One Child follows three families from the devastated city of Beichuan: Yang lost her young daughter and yearns to adopt another girl from the countryside. Her husband doesn’t want a new child, and she needs to convince him to pay the adoption costs. Jiang and Fu had a teenage son who died alongside 1500 other students at the Beichuan Middle School. They were able to have another child, but now they're struggling financially. And Gu is left alone after her daughter and husband both die, and her son-in-law abandons her. She turns to Buddha as her only hope. Each family struggles to understand the disaster and find a way to live with their personal tragedy.