Leftover Women

In China, career-focused women who haven’t married by their late-twenties are often referred to as “sheng nu” or “leftover women”, a derogatory term to begin with, and especially so when one considers that many have achieved tremendous professional success in highly competitive sectors.

Returning to China after making an impact with their internet addiction treatment documentary Web Junkie (2013), Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia follow three “leftover women” who are trying to reconcile the outmoded yet still firmly held expectations of their parents with more individualistic goals. The result is an emotionally complex piece of personal portraiture that intimately reveals the extent to which traditional attitudes still dominate Chinese society regardless of its globalised surface.

As with Web Junkie, Shlam and Medalia operate in observational mode, which enables them to capture devastating parental tirades or Gai Qi’s quiet acceptance as she prepares for her wedding ceremony.

John Berra, Screen Daily

Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English

  • Name in Original Language: Leftover Women
  • Director: Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia
  • Country: Israel
  • Year: 2019
  • Length: 84
  • Cinematography: Shen Mi, Fan Jian
  • Editing: Joelle Alexis
  • Production: Medalia Productions


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