Last Train Home (2009)

28 Jan

Last Train Home review

Just imagine 130 million people having to move from one place to another. In only a couple of weeks. That’s the entire population of France and Great Britain having to move somewhere. It seems that it would be something that is impossible, but it’s something that happens every year in China. All the people working for the big factories go back to their families to celebrate Chinese New Year. This documentary looks at one of the families that are part of this big migration.

The parents of this family work in a clothing factory while their children (a young boy and a girl who’s almost 16) have stayed in their village and are looked after my their grandmother. I really can’t imagine having to leave the rest of your family behind and only being able to see them once a year, but it’s a reality that people live in. As this documentary makes clear it has lots of impact on the family. First of all getting home is hard as the trains are packed, you sometimes have to wait for days and almost have to fight to get on one. Once the parents are back they give their son a nice present, but he almost immediately hears how he should try harder at school. The daughter doesn’t really care much for her parents because she basically doesn’t know them. It’s just impossible for her to feel much for them and being a teenager she rebels against them (which results in the father physically attacking his daughter). Her parents want her to study hard, but she ends up heading to the city doing the same thing as her parents.

It’s sad that in order for these families to survive they have to be torn apart. There is not much money to be made in the villages, so parent have to move to the big cities. It was very worrying and painful to see why these people live the lives they live and it’s a documentary that stays in the back of your mind especially when you see that label on a product that says “Made in China”.

Score: 8


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