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. Like so many of China’s rural poor, Changhua and Sugin Zhang left behind their two infant children for grueling factory jobs. Their daughter Qin—now a restless and rebellious teenager—both bitterly resents their absence and longs for her own freedom away from school, much to the utter devastation of her parents. 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.
- Lixin Fan
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.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 09.03.2010
This is essential viewing for understanding our world.Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 09.08.2010
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.Leslie Felperin, Variety, 08.30.2010
An expert, unobtrusive observer, Fan disappears inside his own film and allows us to get completely inside his subjects' lives.Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 09.16.2010