Leftover women

Director: Shosh Shlam & Hilla Medalia

QIU HUA MEI is 34 and a successful lawyer. XU MIN is 28 and works for a public radio station. GAI QI is 36 and an assistant professor at Normal University in Beijing. Despite their thriving careers they still live with the derogatory label sheng nu. The phrase, translated as leftover women, is an unflattering term used across China for educated, professional women over the age of 27 who have failed to find a husband. With 30 million more men than women, the social stability of China is under threat, and single women are perceived as both the source and the solution of the problem, but how do modern Chinese women balance what’s expected of them, and what they want for themselves? As each woman goes in search of “Mr. Right,” they have to struggle to stay true to their personal and professional ambitions, all the while burdened by pressures from their families, friends, and even a government that went as far as to launch a campaign to stigmatize unwed women.


About the directors

Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia, the award-winning filmmakers behind the critically

acclaimed documentary WEB JUNKIE (Sundance 2014), which brought international

attention to internet addicted teens in China, have reunited to examine another 21stcentury

Chinese phenomenon, shining a bright and unflinching light on the true stories

of these leftover women. Shosh Shlam is best known for her directing and producing

credits for award-winning documentaries such as GOOD GARBAGE (2008), LAST


Medalia is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and producer who has received three

Emmy® nominations. Her projects have garnered critical acclaim and screened

internationally in theaters and on television including HBO, MTV, and BBC. Her bestknown

film, THE OSLO DIARIES (2018) premiered at Sundance and was picked up by

HBO later that year.

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