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Last Train Home (2009)
"Gui tu lie che" (original title)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,323 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 31 user | 62 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.

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Title: Last Train Home (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Changhua Zhan ...
Himself
Suqin Chen ...
Herself
Qin Zhang ...
Herself
Yang Zhang ...
Himself
Tingsui Tang ...
Himself
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Storyline

A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.

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Genres:

Documentary | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

23 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gui tu lie che  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,207 (USA) (3 September 2010)

Gross:

$285,848 (USA) (17 December 2010)
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Xiaotu Guaiguai
Lyrics by Zebing Hua
Recorded and Performed by Lijun Zheng
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User Reviews

 
Powerful and poignant documentary
27 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Last Train Home is heartbreaking, incredibly moving, and documentary film-making at its best. Director Lixin Fan forces no comment, political otherwise, as he follows the lives of two Chinese migrant workers over a period of two years. The camera is purely an observer- it's this kind of focused observational film-making that makes this film so moving and poignant.

Reality is bleak for some 130 million Chinese migrant workers who work for long hours sewing clothes in derelict factories and travel huge distances home to their families just once a year during Chinese New Year. The journey is chaotic, brutal, and the physical and emotional toll is high - but the damage it does to families is even greater. Changhua Zhang and Suqin Chen work hard to provide for a more promising future for their children. Their daughter Qin is a lonely and unfulfilled teenager who harbours much resentment towards the parents that have been largely absent from her life. She decides to quit school and become a migrant worker herself, treading that same path that her parents have worked so tirelessly to prevent.

To witness the estrangement and disconnect within the family is heart- wrenching. The camera captures expressions and scenes of humanity that speak volumes of the lifelong ordeal of China's migrant workers. While the country has reaped many benefits from its export-driven economy, it is questionable as to whether the workers, the very engine of this rising prosperity, have seen any margin of fortune themselves.

This is a human story so mercilessly gripping that it should resonate with all. How we live in the western hemisphere is directly interwoven with the lives of people halfway across the world. Last Train Home is a sharp reminder of that. This is a superbly crafted film that you need to watch.


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