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The Secret of My Success by Jinchuan, Duan

Winner of the IDFA IDFA silver Wolf in 2002, this extraordinary film gives unique insight into China's first attempts at the politics of democracy and the realities of the one child policy. Policy meets practice in Fanshen, a rural village in northeast China. Fanshen is about to hold its village council elections. One of the leading candidates is Mr Lu's who also happens to be a birth control official. Not only his credibility but also his job is at stake when an ILLEGALLY PREGNANT woman disappears.

Social interest
The one-child policy promotes couples having only one child in rural and urban areas. However, parents with multiple births are given the same benefits as parents of one child. The limit has been strongly enforced in urban areas, but the actual implementation varies from location to location. In most rural areas, families are allowed to have two children if the first child is female or disabled. Second children are subject to birth spacing (usually 3 or 4 years). Additional children will result in large fines: families violating the policy are required to pay monetary penalties and might be denied bonuses at their workplace. Children born in overseas countries are not counted under the policy if they do not obtain Chinese citizenship. Chinese citizens returning from abroad can have a second child.

About the series
Interesting Times is a much celebrated four part series showing different aspects of modern life in China. THE WAR OF LOVE is a portrait of a marriage broker. SHAO'S LONG MARCH is about the Chinese army. THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS shows how Chinese politics are implemented in the countryside. And THIS HAPPY LIFE aims to define the concept of political education in China. The series was made as a result of a workshop at the IDFA IDFA forum

Political interest
With over 1.3 billion inhabitants, China's birth control policy plays an important role in its struggle against overpopulation. As you can see in Part I of the Interesting Times series - the secret of my sucesss, enforcing this policy is not an easy job.

With his ever present camera Director Duan Jinchuan manages to create a fine portrait of a small time roque, a politician and a birth control officer.

Jinchuan, Duan
Copyright Holder
Decameron Films
59 min.
Year of release

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