Hot Docs review: Leftover Women

Intimate doc about Chinese women pressured to find life partners dissolves cultural and linguistic barriers

LEFTOVER WOMEN (Hilla Medalia, Shosh Shlam, Israel). 82 minutes. Rating: NNNN

A woman in China, no matter how educated and successful in her career, is still considered worthless in society if she can’t find a husband by the age of 30. Leftover Women explores this frustratingly misogynistic dilemma as it effects three women in Beijing.

Min and HuaMei are both under immense pressure from overbearing and uncompromising parents, and attend national matchmaking events to please their families. Meanwhile Qi’s mother is more excited about her wedding than she is.

A lot of what these women go through will shock progressive, western audiences, but the film never seeks to judge or undermine their situations. Instead, Medalia and Shlam are able to establish an intimacy with their subjects that dissolves cultural and linguistic barriers.

Apr 29, 8:15 pm, Scotiabank 3 Apr 30, 10 am, TBLB 1 May 5, 1 pm, Isabel Bader

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