IRIS CHANG: POWER OF ONE explores the intriguing life, unexpected suicide and lasting legacy of Iris Chang, the Chinese American activist and best-selling author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, illustrating the ripple effect one person can have and raising critical questions about achievement, self-care and mental wellness in modern society.
IRIS CHANG: POWER OF ONE reveals the gripping story of Iris Chang, the New York Times bestselling author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, which introduced the Western world to the Nanjing Massacre, one of the most horrific atrocities of human history. Seven years after her groundbreaking book, Iris fell into a severe depression and died by suicide in 2004 at the age of 36.
While Iris’s influential work made her a household name among Chinese and Chinese Americans, this is the first film to go beyond her polished public persona to reveal a complex woman who wanted it all—fame, fortune and family—and who achieved it all but whose extraordinary drive coupled with mental illness took the ultimate toll.
Featuring Iris’s personal letters and writings, the film traces her journey as a lonely child in the American Midwest and later as a journalist, writer, political activist, wife and mother. It also dives into the last months of her life, examining the mystery around her death.
Through Iris’s story, the film shows how one person can spark incredible change, which reverberates today. But it also raises provoking questions about ambition, identity, trauma and the importance of mental wellness.