Mao Mao's Litigation

Mao Mao's Litigation

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Mao Mao's Litigation

A true story about a woman laborer from Hunan Province
in the south of China, who comes to Shanghai
to find the man she claims is the father of
her child.

It addresses a number of economic and social
changes in contemporary China. An unwed
mother goes to court to defend her baby girl,
Mao Mao. She ignores the centuries-old social
stigma as she gains public support for her cause.

That a rural Chinese woman should file such a
case in court would have been unthinkable in
Pre-Revolutionary China. Indeed, the status of
unwed mothers in those times was equally
unthinkable. So strong was the value associated
with premarital chastity in traditional times,and
so strong the shame of premarital pregnancy,
that a woman in such a condition would have
had little recourse but suicide. That she wins
her case in court, within a short period of two
months, and without the help of lawyers, is
all the more noteworthy.

Find out more about the film:

Televised Broadcasts:
Aired over 350 PBS Stations in the U.S. and Canada 2000-2005.

The director's approach, in our view, is an excellent example of documentary filmmaking: The social context of the burgeoning cities, in-migration, and unemployment (all urban factors familiar to American viewers) provided the backdrop for the mother's odyssey. The director and crew quietly followed her and without judging, presented her case, the father's case, and the view of the courts. The sense that they could all talk to each other, that the judge did not feel remote, but connected to the situation, that a lone, young woman without influence of any kind could walk into a sprawling city and have her case heard says many wonderful things about Chinese culture and people. The courtroom process we witness in the film is characterized by simplicity and directness. No one is intimidated; the intention is to reach resolution.
-Jack Ofield, Executive Director,Production Center for Documentary & Drama, California State University, San Diego

Title #253400
Format: DVD-R