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This chapter examines three recent documentaries that focus on the children of migrant workers and their access to education. These documentaries include Jocelyn Ford’s Nowhere to Call Home, Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home, and Ji Dan’s When the Bough Breaks. These films dramatize conflicts between the parents’ objectives and their children’s desires, while raising the possibility that the filmmakers’ interests may diverge from those of the families they are documenting. In this way, the documentaries examine and problematize issues of education, futurity, and the ethics of observation and representation, as they coalesce around the figure of the...

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