Zhu Huaxiang, the grandmother of the Huang family in the rural Southeastern Chinese village of YingPanXu, cries outside of the family home during her husbands funeral. Friends and relatives try to move her inside and away from the funeral guests to mourn.
In the wake of China’s rapid industrialization, many young people are moving to the city for greater opportunities, or as migrant workers to support their families back home. This phenomenon has created a generation of elderly and very young children who are left behind in the village to live their lives in rural China, alone. Seen through the eyes of the Huang family, ‘Left Behind’ explores how globalization and the exodus of young people to the city for work affects the families they have left behind. The story exposes the life, death and daily struggles of the Huang family and asks the question: what does it mean to be left behind?