One Child Nation (2019) — PICK

Spirited Away (2001) — PICK

 

One of the year’s best films is a brilliant, devastating documentary distributed in the U.S. by Amazon Studios and now available on Amazon Prime.

One Child Nation, a courageous documentary co-directed by two women, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, who grew up under China’s one-child policy, offers a devastating look at the draconian policy, its Orwellian methods and costs, and the human-rights abuses in its wake.

The film bears witness to the dignity of the unborn, especially in its attention to an artist whose work honors discarded aborted fetuses.

Newly available in a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray loaded with extras, Spirited Away is Japanese animation icon Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, a mythic fairy-tale crammed with images at once wondrous, nightmarish and awe-inspiring.

A young girl’s family takes a wrong turn, and she stumbles into a dreamlike realm of nature-spirits — a fantasy world drawing on Japanese animism, but less reflective of religious ideas than Miyazaki’s quest to re-enchant the world.

The Collector’s Edition includes hours of video extras and a 40-page book with gorgeous art and essays.

 

Caveat Spectator: One Child Nation: Frank discussion of atrocities, including forced abortions; disturbing images; brief language. Older teens and up. Spirited Away: Fantasy storytelling with pagan influences; frightening situations and characters; recurring menace to a child. Fine for mature older kids.