Chaoyan is a young wife and mother with a steady job living in a giant city. Her life is comfortable, but she increasingly finds emptiness at home with her young son Chen, her husband Mei, and his mother. Chaoyan met Mei when he was a young man with big dreams. Now, with a utilitarian focus on money, he isn’t that way anymore.
But Chaoyan discovers ancient teachings that her generation has forgotten: Confucianism. Daily she reads and recites mantras on themes of morality and harmony, and in them, she sees hope for her estranged family. She insists that Chen join her studies, so he can absorb these values from an early age.
Mei finds their studies excessive but reluctantly allows Chen to attend a classics summer camp. Chaoyan pushes him to allow their son to attend a year-round traditional school, but he firmly refuses. Split across different values, the family’s conflicts intensify, and their ties weaken. In this zealous pursuit of harmony, Chaoyan and her family instead find themselves approaching a breaking point from which they might never recover.
Director: Mijie Li
Length: 87 mins