The film explores the lives of Chinese farmers in Gansu province. It depicts their daily struggles and successes, relationships, local power dynamics and their hopes in intimate detail. It examines the lives of the poorest people in the largest country on the planet, exploring the political and psychological experiences that make up their human experiences, resulting in an up-close and tremendously moving film.
Thought-provoking with beautifully-judged performances that radiate warmth and encourage empathy. It marks Li Ruijun as a significant cinematic talent. The film has since been banned in China for its 'negative' portrayal of the hardships of life in rural China.