POV: Hooligan Sparrow

POV | American Documentary

This powerful story gives new perspective to what it means to protest peacefully in China and the repercussions of such actions. First-time filmmaker Nanfu Wang visited the country in 2013 to follow the story of Ye Haiyan, aka “Hooligan Sparrow,” and a small group of women’s rights activists protesting the state of sexual assault crises in schools, specifically a case of six girls who were raped by their principal in Hainan, China. Wang captures the story by using hidden cameras and, with the activists, places herself in danger, often being harassed by government thugs. Despite having her equipment confiscated several times, Wang’s determination to document the story provides enough footage (much of it smuggled out of the country) to provide a window into a world we don’t often see. As the narrative centers around Ye Haiyan, we learn of the physical and emotional sacrifices she must make for her outspoken advocacy and resistance. For its revealing view into the challenges of both citizens and journalists attempting to report the truth in China, Hooligan Sparrow receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Justine Nagan, Chris White, Andy Cohen, Alison Klayman. Producer: Nanfu Wang. Writers: Nanfu Wang, Mark Monroe. Creative Producer: Peter Lucas. Co-Producer: Michael Shade. Director: Nanfu Wang.