'Yang is a vagrant singer from the rural area of Henan: he earns his living by singing in the subways of urban business centers. Everyday he brings with him his temporary residency card and identification to avoid being caught and detained by local police. In order to keep his work, he bribes the security guards in charge of the subways, deals circuitously with Urban Management guys, and squeezes out other street artists. From time to time, many of his busking friends are detained by local police and repatriated back home, only to return to the city and continue their drifting life. Yang, in the 30th year of his life, considers going back to his hometown to marry his first girlfriend, while old and new lovers make his life even more chaotic. Eventually he is caught by local police while singing, detained, and finally sent back home.'
From Somewhere to Nowhere: China's Internal Migrant Workers
"High-density population centers of enormous size are springing up in China with dizzying speed, and with them comes an increased demand for migrant workers in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Through still images by Andreas Seibert and documentary footage by Villi Hermann, this program travels throughout China to vividly capture the experiences of these mingong, tens of millions on the move from the countryside to the cities in the too often misplaced hope of building a better life for themselves and their families. An intriguing angle on urbanization fueled by explosive economic growth—and a moving composite portrait of laborers who typically toil in obscurity."
Last Train Home
"Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year's holiday. This mass exodus is the world's largest human migration -- an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. Working over several years in classic verite style, Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan (with the producers of the award-winning hit documentary Up the Yangtze) travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades. Like so many of China's rural poor, Zhang Changhua and Chen Suqin left behind their two infant children for grueling factory jobs...."
The Long March
"China is already home to a fifth of the world's population. To relieve the pressure on scarce farm land and fragile topsoil, the Chinese government is building four hundred new cities over the next 20 years, each housing over half a million residents. New towns and settlements are springing up from nowhere. Others are witnessing an explosion in their populations, stretching their capacity to deliver essential services to breaking point. This film tells the story of one such town..."
Stay Or Go?
"In many remote areas of China young people have little choice but to stay on the land, and yet they may face a destitute future, with millions of farmworkers in China earning less than two dollars a day. Although there are some exceptions, farming is not generally seen as a 'sexy' career choice. The reality is that in China and around the world, young people are fleeing the countryside and moving to the big cities. Who will grow the food that feeds future generations? How can young people be convinced that farming is a good option? Californian-born Rand and his wife Sherry are the founders of Resonance China, a social media agency in Shanghai....'
When the Bough Breaks
"Growing up in a rickety hut on a garbage-filled lot, Xia, Ling, and Gang recognize that a good education is their only possible ticket to a better life. Their older sister, who left school to begin working, has disappeared, likely kidnapped and sold into prostitution. As migrants, they are prevented by China's hukou (residence permit) system from attending a free public school, and when the school that had provided them with scholarships closes, they are forced to look for new options. With very little money to their name, they place all their hopes in Gang, the older brother..."
(Last Train Home)