Film Club presents Last Train Home, a glimpse at today’s China

Quesnel Film Club presents the documentary Last Train Home, March 17, 7 p.m. at the Carib Theatre.

This movingly beautiful but heart-wrenching story of a family torn apart by the changing economics in China leaves a lasting impression with the viewer.

The film is set in the factories of modern day China where more than 130 million Chinese try to return to their rural roots each year.

Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos, as all at once, a tidal wave of humanity attempts to return home by train.

It is the Chinese New Year.

The wave is made up of millions of migrant factory workers. The homes they seek are the rural villages and families they left behind to seek work in the booming coastal cities.

It is an epic spectacle that tells the audience much about China, a country discarding traditional ways as it hurtles towards modernity and global economic dominance.

Last Train Home, an emotionally engaging and visually beautiful debut film from Chinese-Canadian director Lixin Fan, draws the audience into the fractured lives of a single migrant family caught up in this desperate annual migration.

Sixteen years ago, the Zhangs abandoned their young children to find work in the city, consoled by the hope that their wages would lift their children into a better life.

But in a bitter irony, the Zhangs’ hopes for the future are undone by their very absence. Qin, the child they left behind, has grown into adolescence crippled by a sense of abandonment. In an act of teenage rebellion, she drops out of school. She too will become a migrant worker. The decision is a heartbreaking blow for the parents.

In classic cinema verité style, Last Train Home follows the Zhangs’ attempts to change their daughter’s course and repair their ruptured family.

Intimate and candid, the film paints a human portrait of the dramatic changes sweeping China.

The audience identifies with the Zhangs as they navigate through the stark and difficult choices of a society caught between old ways and new realities.

Can they get ahead and still undo some of the damage that has been done to their family?

Tickets are $9 (adult) and $7 (seniors) with film membership included in admission. For information call 250-747-7422 or 250-747-3979 or visit www.quesnelfilmclub.ca.

With files from the Internet.