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Set in the time between the Sichuan earthquake and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, writer/director Zheng Wei's poetic feature debut explores the shifting dynamics between a boy and his father after a mysterious woman wanders into their lives. Taciturn twenty-something Deshui lives in one of China's desert regions with his ageing father.
He doesn't dare tell his dad about his involvement with a local gang, though he quietly stashes away his substantial earnings while his father scrapes out a living from the land. One day, Deshui's father is fishing down by the river when a pretty young woman appears seemingly out of nowhere.
She doesn't talk, but the sympathetic fisherman brings her home and makes her part of the family anyway. Over time, however, her presence in their household threatens to upset the traditional values that have come to define the lives of the kindly old man and his secretive son.