Flash Movie Review: Last Train Home
There was a time when I fantasized about running for public office. My platform would have been based on every single citizen getting a decent education. For families that were poor and needed their children to drop out of school to find employment, I wanted to create a fund that would pay the parents to keep their children in school. I have witnessed hateful incidents, where if the opposing parties had a stronger educational foundation, they could have avoided their misconstrued conflict. No matter what type of background a person came from, I felt an education would benefit their life. In this startling documentary a family’s sacrifices had a bigger impact on their children then they realized. In the single largest human migration on the planet, China’s factory workers were able to go home once a year during the Chinese New Year. This film focused on the Zhang family. Married couple Changhua and Suqin Chen were poor, uneducated, from a small rural town. Trying to make a better life for their children, the parents could only find factory work far away from home. The children had to be raised by grandparents since Changhua and Suqin Chen could only come back home once a year. The couple’s yearly trip back home was spent encouraging their children to study hard to get good school grades, so they could have a better life. But how could the children believe two people they barely knew? The first thing that produced a powerful impact on me was watching the hell workers went through in their attempts to travel home. Seeing over 100 million factory workers struggling through an antiquated train system, that could easily collapse from the sheer volume of humanity pressing against it, was mind blowing to me. This doesn’t even include the shock of seeing the workers’ living conditions at the factories. Another aspect of this movie had to do with the cultural changes that were taking place across China. The Zhang’s children were a preview of a more modern China. This film festival and Emmy winning film had an incredible story to tell about sacrifice and hope. Mandarin with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars — DVD