FESTIVALS: * Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Closing Night Film
* Whistler Film Festival
Environment, Human Interest, Social Issues
Running time |
78’ - 52'
Feature-length documentary Last Harvest follows the remarkable journey of Mr. and Mrs. Xu, an elderly farming couple on a relocation forced on them by China’s mammoth and highly controversial South-to-North Water Diversion project. Lyrical and intimate, this film brings us into the home and life of two compelling and hardworking peasants facing major disruption late in their lives. Through their experience, we see the imminent extinction of an Old China as a New China emerges.
The Xus live in Tutai, Hubei province, a small, idyllic and traditional farming village surrounded by mountains and streams. Although their families have been living there for generations, everything changes when people from the government’s Water Works Department arrive. The life of the Xu family is put on hold as they become aware that they are among the 800,000 people who will have to relocate thanks to a project that will take decades, divert several major rivers, and end up bringing 44.8 billion cubic metres of water to thirsty Northern China, particularly Beijing.
After years of preparation, the Xus leave their home in the darkness one morning, taken by bus to a townhouse complex hundreds of kilometers away. But will their new life be a better life? Will they eventually like it – or be able to afford it? What is to become of their life’s work so far? What is to become of them amid so much change?