(Xi Wang Zhi Lu )

Ning Ying
China 2001 | 55 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU

Every year during August and Sep­tem­ber, sev­er­al thou­sand agri­cul­tur­al work­ers travel more than 1800 miles across China, from Szech­wan to the Xin­jiang Autonomous Region. There, end­less cotton fields await the har­vest. For many, it is the first time away from the home vil­lage, and the first time on a train. In fas­ci­nat­ing detail and nuance, RAILROAD OF HOPE casts a light on the rel­a­tive­ly new phe­nom­e­non of inter­nal migra­tions across China, fea­tur­ing the scores of work­ers trav­el­ling by rail. During the jour­ney, the camera crew wan­ders the train, film­ing pas­sen­gers as they eat or sleep, and asking them such ques­tions as “Is this your first trip?” “What are your ideals?” “What is impor­tant to you in your life?” The result is a rare and won­der­ful pre­sen­ta­tion of the thoughts, hopes, and dreams of ordi­nary Chinese.