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Last Train Home(归途列车)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada, China, United Kingdom · 2009
1h 25m
Director Lixin Fan
Starring Changhua Zhang, Suqin Chen, Qin Zhang, Yang Zhang
Genre Documentary, Drama

Changhua Zhang and Suquin Chen are one of many husband and wife duos journeying back to their rural village hometown for Chinese New Year. As migrant workers they only see their families once a year, with daughter Qin Zhang and son Yang Zhang both extremely resentful of that fact, as their own future prospects seem dim.

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Mr. Fan's documentary is informed by a melancholy humanism, and finds unexpected beauty in almost unbearably harsh circumstances. It 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.


Time Out by David Fear

The attention to visuals is above and beyond what most vérité is capable of; doing double duty as the film's cinematographer, Fan demonstrates a pitch-perfect photojournalistic eye.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Everything is edged with desperation. However arduous Last Train Home may have been to shoot, it was infinitely more arduous to live.


NPR by Jeannette Catsoulis

Frequently moving and quietly enlightening, Last Train Home is about love and exploitation, sacrifice and endurance.


Variety by Leslie Felperin

The picture laudably adopts an intimate, personal approach to a subject -- hardworking Chinese garment workers -- that's been covered in more hectoring fashion elsewhere.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

Sometimes the story is so much like a fiction feature-complete with explosive family arguments and pointed cross-cutting between the free-spirited Qin and her beaten-down folks-that it feels exploitative, as though Lixin were turning real people into characters.


Boxoffice Magazine by Steve Ramos

Fan finds the delicate balance between broad socio-political themes and a single family torn between centuries-old traditions and the desire to succeed in the capitalist world.

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