Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year’s holiday. This mass exodus is the world’s largest human migration – an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future.
Working over several years in classic verité style Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan (with the producers of the award-winning hit documentary Up the Yangtze) travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades. Like so many of China’s rural poor, Zhang Changhua and Chen Suqin left behind their two infant children for gruelling factory jobs. Their daughter Qin—now a restless and rebellious teenager—both bitterly resents their absence and longs for her own freedom away from school, much to the utter devastation of her parents.
Emotionally engaging and starkly beautiful, Last Train Home’s intimate observation of one fractured family sheds light on the human cost of China’s ascendance as an economic superpower.
Awards and Accolades
Winner – Golden Gate Award 2010 – San Francisco International Film Festival – Investigative Documentary Prize
Winner – Riverrun 2010 – Best Documentary
Winner – Idfa 2009 – Best Feature Length Documentary
Winner – Ridm 2009 – Best Canadian Film
Winner – Whistler Film Festival 2009 – Best Feature Documentary
Winner – Victoria Film Festival 2010 – Best Documentary
Winner – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2010 – Grand Jury Prize For Outstanding Documentary Feature
Winner – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2010 – Best Cinematography
Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival 2010
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