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Jan 25, 2011Lixin Fan's film retains an extraordinary relationship with it's direct subjects; a struggling family, and the tensions of some 130 million other peasants toiling in similar fashion, trying to make a living in the enormous industrial complex that is modern China. Juxtaposing the intimate, enchanting portrait of the Zhang family with the action footage of them lost in the utterly insane annual event that constitutes 'goin home for the holidays in China was a masterstroke. This, thankfully, is one of those documentary films that never feels like it intrudes, so much so that a sense of voyeurism crept up on me. I found the cinematography so fluid and captivating that the solitary occasion wherein the tension of a cameras glaring presence is brought to bare became an unforgettable scene of wrought emotion. I actually had to press pause. This film is a real achievement in CinÃ©ma vÃ©ritÃ©, from a special artist, and an important one too.… Expand
Jan 17, 2011This film is a wonderfully paced and visually stunning portrait of a cultural phenomenon - economic migration within China. The struggle of one family is shown rather than explained, with snippets of conversation as a chorus to the imagery. A sensory treat.