Zhigen, an old Chinese farmer, has lived alone in Beijing for over 20 years after moving to the city to allow his son Chongyi to attend university. He decides to make the long journey from Beijing to Yangshuo to honour the promise he made to his wife to bring back the bird that has been his only companion in the city. His daughter-in-law Qianying, a beautiful rich career woman, asks him to take along his granddaughter Renxing, an only child brought up in the lap of luxury. While grandfather and granddaughter set out on their journey – one travelling back in time, the other discovering her roots – Chongyi and Qianying, ponder the meaning of the life they have led in the sole pursuit of success and money.
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