Last Train Home (2009)
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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. 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.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 51
- Fresh: 51
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 8.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Tells the story of a family caught, and possibly crushed, between the past and the future--a story that, on its own, is moving, even heartbreaking. Multiplied by 130 million, it becomes a terrifying and sobering panorama of the present.
Fresh: This is essential viewing for understanding our world.
Fresh: Helmed by Fan Lixin, who also takes credits as d.p. and co-editor, the pic laudably adopts an intimate, personal approach to a subject -- hardworking Chinese garment workers -- that's been covered in more hectoring fashion elsewhere.
Fresh: An expert, unobtrusive observer, Fan disappears inside his own film and allows us to get completely inside his subjects' lives.
Shocking, brutally honest and engrossing
I watch the crap that passes for movies being put out and this is a real piece of gold. It moves anyone to tears. Remember, it's our spending that forces these people into factories. They earn pennies for labor and using middlemen we pay a fortune. It is a horrible system. However, there are still factories here. Sadly, as unions disappear, the right of workers will fade. In a way I believe that this will end, somehow, someday. I pray. Sitting here in the United States my heart reached out to the courage of the film makers of this movie/documentary and the family. Brutal emotions, and everything is repeated and the mistakes are made again. It is as though the giant boot print of industrialism is forever kicking man in the face and will for some time. I long ago gave up believing in God, and follow Buddhism. Alas, Buddha was not God, but man. One of his teachings is that nothing about man ever changes. I would tend to agree. These people are locked into a horror filled life, if they aren't sewing they are using children to construct computers so we can sit here and watch movies and do facebook. I thank itunes for having the courage to display this movie as a symbol or archetype of the brutality of industrialization and the strength of man, and yes Woman, to endure these conditions. You will think along time before buying another purse or a pair of bluejeans as to who made them and how much do they suffer. If there was a button to click on to donate to these people to help them...I'd wear it out sending them money. God help us all.
How Documentaries Should be Made
Absolutely Brilliant documentary. The filmmaker out did himself with this one. Following the journey of this family as they deal with the hardships of poverty in China, this story is unforgiving and keeps you glued til the end. Well worth watching. :)
This documentary is simply beautiful. Director did a great job at keeping quiet and allowing the camera to do all the talking. Will definitely move you to tears.