The Dying Rooms is an award winning film which was released in 1995, it is an undercover examination of Chinese state run orphanages which have seen a sharp rise in abandoned babies since 1978, this was when China introduced the “one-child policy”.
The one-child policy was put in place in an attempt to control the rapid growth in population as it meant most families could only have one child. Although if the first child was a girl or born with an illness the parents were allowed to apply for a second, of which few applications were approved. The policy is now being phased out but at the time many parents would abandon their unwanted children, leaving them to these orphanages.
The ‘orphanages’ however were hellish places where staff would leave children in rooms to die of thirst, or starvation. Denied by the government, this film made it it’s mission to uncover the truth and over the course of two years Kate Blewett, Brian Woods and Peter Woolrich all pretended to work in the orphanages whilst filming and what they found was truly shocking.