Last train home

Last Train Home

A documentary focusing on one family of migrant workers, mainly around Chinese New Year. It reveals the conditions they live and work in, and the strain it has on the family, which comes out the only time they can see each other over the Spring Festival holiday.

Last Train Home is a wonderfully made and very honest documentary from 2009. The family it focuses on seem very uninhibited by the camera's presence, leading them to be very open in the way they talk and act. It just seems to capture something that most documentaries fail to.

This is quite a relevant film at the moment as it is currently Spring Festival. For the last week in my town it has been so quiet. The factories are closed along with 90% of the shops and restaurants. They are only just starting to open up again. The migrant population can only realistically visit their family at this time of year and that means the very undeveloped national transport infrastructure of China is overloaded.

I've been to the main train station that is in the this film on a normal week at peak times and its not very comfortable. My own personal experience of Guangzhou as a city is very claustrophobic, especially around the train station. The scenes in this show just how bad it gets at this time of year.

The film basically shows the results of how the massive manufacturing boom has changed life for the rural Chinese people, who are the backbone of its development. It is hard to comprehend how they can live such hard lives, and even with the rise in workers struggles in the last few years, watching this surprises how they aren't happening even more.

For those in the UK you can watch it on 4OD, if not then there is the first part of it below

Comments

JoeMaguire
Jul 16 2012 07:24

An exceptional film. Not only is it about the migrant experience, it hints at the strain put on families and the fracture that's happening between the generations.