Unreported World: China’s Lonely Hearts

Fri Oct 18, 7.30-7.55pm, C4

Series 25, episode three
China’s policy to allow only one child per family led to the mass abortion of female foetuses. Accordingly, genders are hugely unbalanced: the country is projected to have a 24 million surplus of men by 2020. Those are the facts – behind those numbers lies a whole world of sadness.

This latest ‘Unreported World’ film sees Marcel Theroux following 39-year-old Dongmin as he searches – increasingly desperately – for a wife. The odds are stacked against him: he’s poor, without spectacular prospects, only average looking and – a deal-breaker this – not from Beijing. But none of his misfortunes are his fault – the likelihood is that his wife was simply never born. On the face of it, this looked likely to be a slightly less harrowing ‘Unreported World’ than most. These things are relative, however…

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