This international independent series samples the best of international documentary.
Before The Spring, After The Fall (#705) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
In 2008, a film crew began documenting a group of young heavy-metal musicians in Egypt. Oppressed by massive social forces beyond their control, the kids - sons of a jailed political dissident and the leader of the only female metal band in the Middle East - saw music as their outlet, their hopes trapped in the traffic-clogged streets of Cairo like a bull in a pen. Then one day, everything burst wide open. Filmed before, during, and after the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, Before the Spring and After the Fall tells the stories of a few remarkable young people as they seek the freedom to define themselves and shape their world. Influenced by their participation in major historic events, the young Egyptian musicians experience the political upheaval as personally transformative. With their music as a soundtrack, they share their stories, from their early struggles in Mubarak's police state, through the fever dream of a revolution, and beyond, into a strange new world where uncertainty is the only constant.
Last Train Home (#718) Duration: 1:22:59 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos, all at once, as 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 in the rural villages where they left behind family to seek work in the booming coastal cities. It is an epic spectacle that tells us much about China, a country discarding traditional ways as it hurtles towards modernity and global economic dominance.
This visually striking debut film from Chinese Canadian director Lixin Fan draws us into the fractured lives of a single migrant family caught up in this desperate annual migration. 16 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 bitterly ironic twist, the Zhangs's 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 her parents.
In classic cinema verite style, this film follows the Zhangs's attempts to change their daughter's course and repair their ruptured family. Intimate and candid, it paints a human portrait of the dramatic changes sweeping China. We identify 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?
- KQED World: Mon, Sep 12, 2016 -- 12:00am Remind me