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Last Train Home

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Encore Broadcast Date: August 5, 2013

PBS Premiere: September 27, 2011


Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work. As the Zhangs navigate their new world, Last Train Home paints a rich, human portrait of China’s rush to economic development. An EyeSteelFilm production in association with ITVS International. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media. An Official Selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Winner of Best Feature-Length Documentary Award, 2009 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. (90 minutes)

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TAGS: asia, asian, china, chinese new year, economics, factory, factory worker, family, globalization, migration, workers

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Film Information

Last Train Home (90 min.)

Premiere Date: September 27, 2011

Encore Broadcast Date: Aug. 5, 2013

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Lixin Fan Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Critical Acclaim | Fact Sheet | 2012 Emmy Winner Press Release


Lixin Fan
Lixin Fan

Remarkable... Fan has visual panache — Last Train Home has some gorgeously composed shots — but he also has something that can’t be taught: The patience and understanding to allow a family to tell their heartbreaking story in their own way...”

— G. Allen Johnson,
San Francisco Chronicle


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

It's one of those extraordinary films, like 'Hoop Dreams,' that tells a story the makers could not possibly have anticipated in advance. It works like stunning, grieving fiction.”

— Roger Ebert,
Chicago Sun Times

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....”

— A.O. Scott,
The New York Times

A miniature masterpiece of documentary observation....”

— Ty Burr,
The Boston Globe

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Logo: ITVS

A Co-Presentation with

Logo: CAAM