Last Train Home

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. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

I Am Here

Lixin Fan, director of the award-winning Last Train Home, takes a very different look at contemporary China with this documentary that follows the eager young hopefuls who audition for the country’s most famous televised singing competition.