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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary Last Train Home and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

Last Train Home: Discussion Guide

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Like so many of China’s rural poor, Zhang Changhua and Chen Suqin left behind their infant children for grueling factory jobs in the city. Every spring, 130 million Chinese migrant workers compete for train tickets that will enable them to spend the New Year’s holiday with the families they left behind in their home villages. Last Train Home documents their journey — a mass exodus that is the world’s largest human migration. The epic spectacle reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. As an outreach tool, the film forces viewers to look at the human cost of China’s ascendance as an economic superpower and confront the ways in which poverty and policy fracture families.

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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

Filmmaker

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

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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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