Last train home

Last train home

Gui tu lie che

DVD - 2011 | Chinese
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Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as an astonishing 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year's holiday. This mass exodus is the largest human migration on the planet, an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. Working over several years in classic verite, Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades.


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May 03, 2018

This is an interesting but sad documentary about the lives of the Chinese migrant laborers. The film also described one family, the parents left their rural hometown and worked in the city far away leaving their two children to the grandma for 16 years. It was the first time in 13 years that they went home for the Chinese New Year, their aim was to earn a better living and more education for their children.

ArapahoeStaff15 Sep 03, 2017

Devastating look at extreme poverty and labor exploitation through the lives of Chinese migrant workers, who can only return home from their factory jobs once a year.

May 17, 2016

Filmed with patience and an unerring attention for the smallest of details—a half-formed tear glistens in the corner of granny’s eye, a family shrine reflects the light of hastily lit votive candles—Fan nevertheless manages to capture the bigger realities, both economic and social, buffeting his chosen subjects as fellow migrants (many of whom stood in line for days in order to purchase a coveted ticket home) talk about finances, family pressures, and the wasteful ways of Westerners. But despite some gruelling factory footage nowhere is the hardship of these workers more apparent than in the many rail sequences where we witness sweating men and women packed into rickety trains like sardines, lost in thought as they lumber obliviously past scenes of majestic mountains and smog-choked cities.

Feb 14, 2016

A good Chinese documentary. It is easy to understand their life when we have some Chinese background.

Feb 03, 2016

Fairly well done but leaves you hanging. Gives great insight into China's economy, enormous family sacrifices & overall way of life for the poor. Makes me very happy & feel fortunate tobe Canadian.

Oct 15, 2015

This is a 2009 documentary directed by Lixin Fan.
Like many of China's rural poor, the Zhangs left their native village of Huilong in Sichuan province and their newborn daughter to find work in Guangzhou in a garment factory for 16 years.
They see their daughter Qin only once a year during the Spring Festival.
Now the restless and rebellious teenaged daughter resents her parents and longs for her own freedom away from school and her rural hometown, much to the dismay of her parents.
She eventually leaves school, against the wishes of her parents, to work in the city.
The film shows one family's struggle to a better life.
This family is just one of the millions of the struggling families despite China's economic success.

Aug 16, 2012

Instead of obsessing over training Olympic athletes, China needs to spend more money improving the daily lives, human rights and working conditions of its citizens. The cattle-like herding scenes at the train station were dehumanizing and humiliating. Also shame on any western companies that exploit Chinese factory, migrant workers for cheap labour, while reaping multi million dollar profits..

May 25, 2012

This is an excellent docurmentary by Chinese-Canadian director Fan Lixin on the sacrifice that two mirgrant works made for the betterment of their children. It also underscores the problems in modern day China - a growing generation gap and the loss of traditional family virtues.

You would think Fan's camera was not visible to the participants of this documentary - they were not acting but just themselves.

I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in knowing not just a small story from China, but the world we now live in.

Apr 26, 2012

A heart breaking documentary about one Chinese family: Grandma raising two grandchildren in a rural village while her son and daughter-in-law worked in the city 2000KM away. Story unfolded when the parents were in the train station desperate for scarce train tickets to go home for Chinese New Year, first time in 13 years ... circa 2007 to 2009.

Interesting follow-up of the family from wiki:

Apr 20, 2012

A rare documentary that actually goes out of it's way to remain objective (till the end) which I appreciate. Some messages are strong enough without requiring a cattle prod from the director, and this is one. A detailed intimate look into a single Chinese family that will tug at your heartstrings (especially if you are Chinese, like I am). The issues range from the personal to the international stage, and irregardless of where you stand, this show will make you question all of them. There are no clear winners or losers here, and I say that is a good thing. For those who are not Chinese, this here is a brillant window to getting some insights into our quiet and painful lives.

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