Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sundance Films: Last Train Home

Title: Last Train Home

Director: Lixin Fan

Website: http://www.eyesteelfilm.com/lasttrainhome

Summary: Each year in China more than 130 million migrant workers travel home for the New Year's holiday—the one time they’ll reunite with family all year. The mass exodus constitutes the world’s largest human migration. Amid this chaos, director Lixin Fan focuses on one couple, Changhua and Sugin Zhang, who embark upon a two-day journey to see their children. The Zhangs left their rural village for factory jobs when their children were just infants. Now a teenager, daughter Qin resents their continual absence. Yearning for her own freedom, she quits school to work in a factory herself. Her parents, who see education as their children’s one hope, are devastated. Through its intimate and heartbreaking observation of the Zhangs, Last Train Home places a human face on China’s ascendance as an economic power. To overwhelming effect, Fan illustrates the cost incurred by fractured families and reveals a country tragically caught between its industrial future and rural past (Sundance).

Thoughts: Last Train Home reminds me of a Wong Kar Wai film, and that's a very good thing. It looks simple, honest and full of subtle emotion that may take a few watchings to truly grasp. Though the film centers on a family in China, there could be a lot here for people of any society to relate to. This is definitely a film to keep an eye on if you are a fan of subtle cinema.

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