Leftover Women


2020 Season
Amsterdam, London
- UK + Ireland tune in to watch the film along with us on Curzon Home Cinema 
- US audiences can stream on PBS' Independent Lens 
Click HERE to watch the Q&A with filmmakers Hilla Medalia & Shosh Shlam, Yaqiu Wang, China Researcher, HRW, moderated by Gali Gold, Head of Cinema, Barbican
Film descriptionIn China, unmarried women over the age of 27 are deemed “sheng nu” or “leftover”. As an effect of the now-defunct one-child policy there are 30 million more men than women, leaving single women under immense social pressures to marry, and fast, or be rejected from society. Public dating contests, “marriage markets” where city sidewalks are lined with parents advertising their children’s attributes, and government-sponsored matchmaking festivals are just some of the humiliating ordeals that single women face. This eye-opening documentary follows three women in their gruelling quest to find a husband, weighing the cost of family and society’s approval against their own chances of happiness.

UK Advisory (12A)



Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia
Country of Production: 
Mandarin, Fully subtitled in English
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Shosh Shlam

Shosh Shlam, an award winning director and producer, whose critically acclaimed documentaries have been screened internationally in theaters and on television including BBC, ARTE, ZDF, PBS. Her work combines sensitive intimate observation of human nature with a deep research and social criticism. Shosh's films include Last Journey Into Silence 2003 (Krakow Film Festival), Be Fruitful And Multiply 2007 (ZDf), Good Garbage 2010 (Shanghai Film Festival), Web Junkie 2014 (Sundance Film Festival, CPH, POV (PBS), BBC), Leftover Women 2019 ( Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs, Independent Lens (PBS).
Shosh graduated from the theatre department in Tel Aviv University, studied in the School of Visual Arts in New York and holds a Master of Comparative Literature from Bar Ilan University.

Hilla Medalia

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Hilla Medalia has received three Emmy® nominations. Her projects have garnered critical acclaim and screened internationally in theaters and on television including HBO, MTV, BBC and ARTE. Among her range of titles include To Die in Jerusalem 2007 (HBO), After the Storm 2009 (MTV), Numbered 2012 (ARTE), Dancing in Jaffa 2013 (Tribeca, IFC Sundance selects), Web Junkie 2014 (Sundance Film Festival, POV (PBS), BBC) The Go Go Boys 2014 (Cannes Film Festival), Censored Voices 2015, (Sundance Film Festival and Berlinale), Muhi – Generally Temporary 2017 (San Francisco Film Festival, HotDocs, AFI, Docaviv). Medalia holds a Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University.