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Matchmaking is big business at an outdoor Shanghai dating market

Every day in People’s Square in the heart of Shanghai, parents of marriage-aged single children trawl through handwritten personal advertisements and consult the professional matchmakers who ply their trade in what has become a vibrant if unofficial marriage market. The matchmakers’ questions are terse and practical – Has your daughter been married before? Does your son own a home? The parents answer in hopes of finding love for their children – or, at the very least, respectable, suitable partners. While these parent-arranged dates are mostly tolerated by China’s younger generation – who nonetheless rarely accompany their parents on these match-seeking missions – some old attitudes seem to be shifting amid the tide of urbanisation and Westernisation. Combining observational footage and revealing interviews with parents and matchmakers at the park, the Australian director Kate Lefoe’s Age, Height, Education offers a charming and incisive glimpse into the changing culture of courtship in modern China.

Director: Kate Lefoe

Producer: Xu Chuan Nan

16 April 2018

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