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Movie Review: Last Train Home

Alternate Title: You Can't Go Home Again

Story: Try to recall the worst travel experience you have ever had and then multiply it by one thousand. That is the plight of 130 million Chinese migrant workers as it is Government mandated that they travel to their respective homes for the Chinese New year.

Director by Lixin Fan ( a Chinese Canadian) delivers a powerful documentary about China's people and recent generational clash. He focus' on one family and follows them for three years. The family drama slowly unfolds before our eyes and it is both riveting and depressing. Parents Zhang and Chen have worked for 15 years stictching garments for export while their children have been raised by the Grandmother, far, far away. To say that there is literally no relationship other than biological between parents and children is an understatement. As the old ways fall by the wayside and new thinking of independence grows inside the minds of the children - there is no other expectation than a culture clash between tradition and modernity.

Watching millions of people labor and toil is dehumanizing but watching this one family is personal. You will feel for them. Another fine film about Chinese laborers was called 'Up the Yangtze.' Check out my review here: http://judylobo.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/movie-review-up-the-yangtze/

The film is in Mandarin, and Sichuan dialect, with English subtitles.Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STPJiR1eu_I

Acting: This is a documentary - so this category does not apply.

Trivia: Last Train Home won Best Feature-Length Documentary in the (2009) Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival and was Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize World Cinema - Documentary at the 2010Sundance Film Festival.

Predilection: I like documentary films.

Critters: All sorts of livestock including pigs and chickens and a few insects.

Food: Dare I say there was lots of Chinese food?

Sex Spectrum: None

Opening Titles: The film opens over an incredible sight of millions of Chinese swarming to try to catch a train home.

Visual Art: The landscape is spectacular.

Theater Audience: About 10 other cineastes.

Weather: Cold and rainy.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what to expect.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Perhaps this film could get a nod.

Big Screen or Rental: If you can find it go for the big screen.

Length: 90 minutes.