Last train home film review


The last train home intimately captures the plight of migratoryChinese workers and earns praises as an extraordinary film. China ishome to more than 130m migratory workers who are each year forced toleave their relatives and go search for work elsewhere. As the yearcloses, they travel back home to reunite and celebrate New Yearfestivals with their relatives. This annual exodus is termed as thelargest human movement in the globe reveals the tragedy thatsurrounds the struggling lower class in China. Like many of thosepoor families, the film narrates Zhang’s family story as they leavetheir native village of Huilong in Sichuan and their newborn daughterto go work in Guangzou in a garment family. For 16 years, Suqin andChangua only manage to see their children Qin and Yang once in a yearduring the spring festival as they have to work in the gruelingsewing factory. This film captures heart-wretching themes as parentsare torn between work and spending time with their families. Theabsence of the parent’s results to a disconnect in the families asother issues like cultural concerns arise.

Work vs. family time

Families are caught in the dilemma of economic revolution andsacrificing time spent with their families as they go to work far.The economic story of China and glitzy headlines about its growingGDP are all attributed to human elements and sacrifices. Families aresplit in the middle of economic revolution and adjusting to lifewithout their children. A display of the smoggy urban areasdeveloping and the Chinese countryside is one of the unique cameraworks captured in the film speaking millions. The elegantlyhighlighted motif shows contrast between the countryside and cityjuxtaposing the tranquil beauty of China. The picture also speaksfor ecological impact of the fast growing smoggy industries in thecity. The expense at which the society is being exploited foreconomic development, is massive.

Male preference

The Chinese culture has always placed more value and emphasis on themale child and thus it is no wonder that Qin’s grandmother has morehopes on Yang’s educational future. Male preference is part of thehard to die culture leaving the female child feeling unwanted in thesociety. Old traditions of male superiority are obvious in thisscene.

Qin’s choices

Despite the fact that Yang is younger to Qin, more hopes for hisstudies are evident. As a result, Qin feels left out and notappreciated. This ultimately affects her studies leading her to dropout of school and become a rebellious child. Her decision to go outand work in nightclubs is a sign that she is looking for acceptanceelsewhere. It is obvious that she does need feel needed as a femalechild and the absence of her parents does not make things better. Herfeelings of resistance towards her parents are justified as she doesnot even know them. She only sees them once in a year and they havelittle impact on her upbringing and growing up.

Other themes in the film include regret, having lived in hardshipand coming to age. As much as the parents wanted to see theirchildren grow up and be there for them, their work did not allowthem. They are regretful about how their daughter turned out to be, arebellious teenager who even dropped out of school. It is because ofhardships that the parents of Qin had to leave for work. This depictshow much the lower class is willing to sacrifice for a good life.Coming to age is a theme that comes up with the generational gapbetween Qin and her parents. China’s internal dilemma is bringingup children without their parents as they are busy working. The lasttrain home is an emotionally provocative and visually captivatingfilm. It is effective in communicating a family fractured by itsneeds to survive.