Mulberry Child

Mulberry Child re-airs May 2, 2016

Witness the moving story of author Jian Ping’s coming-of-age in China.

About the Program

Premiered: April 30, 2014

Mulberry Child is the powerful, deeply moving story of author Jian Ping’s "Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China" coming of age as the daughter of a senior government official and her family’s struggle to survive China’s Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. Award-winning filmmaker Susan Morgan Cooper’s documentary film is narrated by Golden Globe Winner and actress Jacqueline Bisset. Mulberry Child, which the late Roger Ebert lauded as “a powerful and touching film,” has garnered numerous prestigious awards at international film festivals, including Palm Springs, Madrid, Bahamas and Nashville.

Mulberry Child also follows Jian’s life through her present-day relationship with her American-raised daughter, addressing universal issues between mother and daughter; triumph and adversity; and overcoming immigrant challenges.

Actors portray Nainai and Jian in this documentary that includes re-enactments.Actors portray Nainai and Jian in this documentary that includes re-enactments.WTTW Chicago

Jian Ping was born in China in 1960 during the three-year widespread famine when tens of millions starved to death. At the end of the Cultural Revolution, as China moved forward, Jian continued her education, earning an undergraduate degree in English.

She married and bore a baby girl, and shortly after came to the United States to attain two masters’ degrees. Jian's daughter joined her when she was four and a half. As Jian worked hard to provide the trappings of a middle class American life for her daughter, Lisa, ironically, a sense of disconnection began to build between them. Her eight-year odyssey to write her memoir, Mulberry Child, was an effort to tell Lisa her family history and her own past. She was saddened when Lisa showed no interest in the book.

But when Jian and Lisa return to China for a bittersweet family visit and the triumphant 2008 Beijing Olympics, Lisa agrees to read the manuscript. Tracing her family’s history, she begins to see her mother in a different light and accept her Chinese heritage.

Mulberry Child was produced by Morgan Cooper Productions
and American Dream Pictures.


Related Links

| Mulberry Child
Choose Station
When to watch

Mulberry Child

Local Station:

Choose Station

Support your local PBS station

PBS LearningMediaPBS LearningMedia