Last Train Home | Chicago Reader

Last Train Home

Rated NR 87 minutes 2010

Chinese-Canadian director Lixin Fan considers the social upheavals wrought by China's economic miracle in this 2009 documentary, which records the annual migration of nearly 130 million urban factory workers back to their native villages to celebrate the New Year. Fan focuses on a couple from the Sichuan province who, more than a decade ago, left their children with a grandmother and moved roughly two thousand miles away to become textile workers in Guangzhou (formerly Canton). Their teenage daughter resents having been abandoned in a community all the other young people have fled, and she drops out of school for a factory job herself. Disappointment, inhuman work schedules, sluggish exports, and the crush of a two-day rail journey ratchet up the familial tensions, which finally explode over a holiday dinner. In Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Lixin Fan

Producer: Mila Aung-Thwin, Christi Collier, Daniel Cross and Zhao Qi

Cast: Suqin Chen, Yang Zhang, Changhua Zhan and Qin Zhang

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