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Documentary Film Series Returns to Oklahoma City University: Opening Film Takes 'The Last Train Home'

The Oklahoma City University Documentary Film Series returns at 2 p.m. March 27 in the Kerr McGee Auditorium with Lixin Fan’s “Last Train Home.” The series is free to the public. The auditorium is in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

The 13th-annual documentary series is themed “Against Forgetting” and is named after a poetry anthology put together by Carolyn Forche, who is visiting OCU April 13. The collection of poems was written by people who have endured through major tragedies. Harbour Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature at OCU, said the three documentaries were selected with the purpose of shedding light on some of the most difficult problems in the modern world.

“Our situations in America might seem hard to manage under a tough economy and political bickering, but people in other parts of the world are experiencing so much worse, with mankind mostly to blame,” Winn said. “These films will show the hardships of people in heavily populated Chinese regions, military violence against a native group in Guatemala and women struggling for their rights in Liberia. Hopefully, after seeing these films the audience will be moved to ask themselves what they should do to help those in need.”

“Last Train Home” shows what life is like for millions of migrant workers in China as they try to get back home during a rare holiday vacation. Caught between tradition and the new realities of the globalized economy, the workers abandon their rural home and children to toil in an urban factory, and are only able to return home to their family once a year for the Chinese New Year. The 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.

Other dates and films in the series include April 10 with Pamela Yates and Thomas Sigel’s “When the Mountains Tremble,” and April 17 with Gini Reticker’s “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” The series is sponsored by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund.

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