Last Train Home (Gui Tu lie Che) is a full feature documentary in chinese directed by Lixin Fan as he tells the story of a family of workers who are among the 130 million chinese migrant workforce who have left their native villages to find better life in the sprawling industrial cities.
The story follows the spring time travel of this large migrant force to their native villages for the chinese new year. That is the only time in the year that most of them go home.
Lost between the traditional past and the industrial future this is said to be one of the biggest exodus of migrant workforce anywhere in the world.
The film follows the life of the Zang Family who have travelled all the way from their village in Sichuan to find work in a Garment Factory in Guangzhou and they are making their yearly trip back home. They have been working in Guangzhou for the past 16 years and came there first when their first bay was still new born.
Just like many other chinese workers they too live along in the city so their kids back in the village can afford a good education and life. Now after 16 years as their eldest daughter turns 16 they get caught between their want to see their daughter finish education and her dreams to go and work and be on her own.
The movie is a must see because when we go to store and buy something and look at it and see Made in China we rarely know what went through the life of the people who made them. What went on in their lives when they sowed that button on your shirt or stitched the pants you wear and stand in front of the mirror.
This is a part of how the economy and trade works, but every thing we use is in one way or other indebted to the lives of many others in another part of the world. We only see the brand that is in the advertisements, the logo on the front and never the commitment made by someone to make it possible for us to buy it.