Segments in this Video

Images of Modernization (00:53)


We see a natural landscape and old-fashioned rural lifestyle, along with trains and telephone wires running through the region. A person looks on, contemplatively.

Chinese Factory (01:33)

The Cixi Industrial Zone south of Shanghai is crowded with factories. Inside one, assembly-line workers pack boxes of bathroom items.

Changing Way of Life (02:27)

Peasants have left the countryside for factory work, fueling China's growth. Declining food prices drive people out of the countryside, with its traditional, laid-back lifestyle.

Ambivalence about Leaving Village (03:04)

Factory work provides reliable pay, a Chinese couple explains, after failed ventures and debts back in the village. They miss country life, and their children.

Factories' Economic Importance (01:52)

Cixi was an agricultural region of China, but migrant worker based industry has taken over. Factories building goods for export provides an outlet for an excessive population.

Life at Chinese Factory (02:21)

Workers at a Chinese factory eat together at tables and head home to their dorm. Hours are long, a shock for people coming to factories.

New Year's Celebration at Factory (02:12)

A boss instructs Chinese workers to behave in orderly fashion as they line up for a New Year's celebration put on to thank them for hard work.

Visiting Family in Village (03:32)

A migrant worker couple travels back to their Chinese village to celebrate New Year's with their family, taking a 48 hour train ride.

Migrant Workers Return Home to Visit (01:39)

Chinese migrant workers return home to their village and greet their children. We see their stone dwelling.

Catching Up (01:25)

Chinese migrant workers who have returned to the village share a meal with family and friends. They ask questions and he describes his life at the factory.

Village Family Life (02:48)

Chinese villagers are shown doing daily activities. They live in small stone houses. The migrant worker talks to his daughter while chopping wood.

Hardship in Rural China (03:32)

The migrant worker tends to tree that became diseased in his absence. A hospital stay put him in debt, driving him to factory work; he negotiates with a man over repayment.

Glorifying Communist Party (02:41)

At a New Year's Eve celebration, a migrant Chinese worker thanks village officials for welcoming him back. A speech by the Communist Party secretary produces cheers for the Party.

Scraping By (01:48)

In rural China, a migrant worker scrubs her clothes in a small basin and talks about how many have left the village. Life is improving for her family, but it remains on the edge of disaster.

Ceremony (01:45)

A Chinese man hangs posters outside his wall. People of the village honor their ancestors through ceremony.

Strains on Family (02:08)

A migrant Chinese worker says her daughter is following her around and unable to sleep since her return, fearing she will leave again. Villagers have a feast and light fireworks.

Conversation with Daughter (01:59)

A migrant Chinese worker talks to her daughter about what the city is like, and about her daughter's school work. She will not be back for three years.

Saying Goodbye (02:55)

The migrant Chinese workers say a sorrowful goodbye to family and get in the van to return to their factory town.

Building New Factory (02:11)

A business owner talks about plans to build a new factory on land requisitioned from Chinese peasants. Right now, peasants work the land; the owner talks to a peasant.

Indoctrination at Factory (02:56)

At a factory, Chinese workers are instructed in patriotism and duties to the company.

Letter to Children (01:36)

Activity on the streets of a Chinese factory town is shown. A migrant worker writes a letter to her children instructing them to behave.

Chinese School (01:54)

Children at a Chinese village school march to a whistle and drill to music. Back in classrooms, Lenin and Mao stare down at them; a slogan is written on the blackboard.

Peasants' Struggles (01:45)

A Chinese child helps her grandfather till the land. The grandfather talks about the plight of a peasant and his hope for better life for his grandchildren.

Hard Life for Rural Chinese (03:11)

A grandfather reads children a letter from their migrant worker parents. He works hard despite a bad leg; when his grandson is in high school, he will be on his own.

Children Pick Fruit (01:23)

In rural China, kids pick fruit from trees with long sticks. A girl looks longingly from a hill at a train.

Credits: Made in China (00:60)

Credits: Made in China

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Made in China

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Heqing and Heping Fan are responsible for China’s economic miracle—they and millions like them who reluctantly left their homes in the countryside for steady wages in the Cixi Industrial Zone. This program follows the Fans during their seven-day workweek and a rare, difficult trip home to visit the children they had to leave behind. The impact of what is essentially an instant industrial revolution has China coping with social and psychological issues that took hundreds of years for the West to work out, in just one generation. The video also examines the role of the Chinese Communist Party in the country’s financial boom and its clash with capitalist realities. (52 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL49784

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“In a profoundly moving way, this beautifully photographed film captures the rhythms of work and home life in one of China’s new factory towns and an ancient village, and the links between them.... Simultaneously stimulates your mind and your heart.” —Thomas Gold, Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley  


“Opens a window into the difficult lives and many sacrifices of the migrant laborers who are powering that country’s economic boom...” —Martin K. Whyte, Professor, Department of Sociology & Chinese Studies, Harvard University 


“A film well worth seeing.”—Thomas Bernstein, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University  

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