Watch Last Train Home
- 1 hr 25 min
Last Train Home is a documentary film directed by Chinese Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan. The film follows the story of a family living in China who are getting ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The family consists of a mother and father who work in a factory in Guangzhou and their two teenage children who are left in their hometown to attend school. The family decides to travel to their hometown to celebrate the Lunar New Year. They plan to take the train from Guangzhou to their hometown, which is a journey of over 1,500 miles.
Through the film, we learn about the challenges that the family faces as they prepare to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The mother and father work long hours in difficult factory jobs to provide for their family. The children are left to live with their grandparents in their hometown and only return to Guangzhou to work during their school breaks. The family struggles to maintain a sense of connection despite the distance between them and the demanding work schedules of the parents.
In addition to exploring the family's personal journey, the film also examines the impact of China's rapid economic growth. The family's hometown is a rural area where farming used to be the primary source of income. However, as China modernizes, many people are moving to the cities to work in factories. The parents in this family are part of that migration trend, leaving their children behind to be raised by their grandparents. Last Train Home shows the toll that this phenomenon takes on families.
Throughout the documentary, we see the family's journey from Guangzhou to their hometown during the Lunar New Year. The train is packed with people, making the trip long and arduous. The family is particularly concerned about the well-being of their daughter, who is making the trip alone for the first time. The film captures the chaos and frenzy of the trip as people try to get on and off the train at different stops.
One of the most striking aspects of Last Train Home is how it captures the emotional complexity of the family dynamic. The parents have a strained relationship with their daughter, who resents them for leaving her behind to be raised by her grandparents. The grandparents, in turn, feel neglected by their children, who they see as abandoning the family's rural roots. The film shows how the family is struggling to hold on to its traditions and connection amidst the pressures of modernization.
The stunning cinematography of the film adds to its impact. The images of the crowded train and the vast, barren landscape outside the window give a sense of the enormity of China's population and geography. The film's depiction of the family's struggle to hold on to their place in a rapidly changing society is both heartbreaking and poignant.
Last Train Home is a moving portrait of a family struggling to maintain its sense of self in a rapidly evolving China. The film offers a compelling glimpse into the social and cultural forces that are shaping the country's future. Its focus on a single family allows for a deep exploration of the emotional and psychological toll of China's economic growth. Through its careful and deeply affecting portrayal of a family struggling to stay connected in the face of immense change, Last Train Home offers a powerful commentary on the human cost of progress.
Last Train Home is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 86.