In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits still and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find themselves. Among them is schoolboy Wei Bu, on the run after accidentally pushing classmate Yu Shuai down the stairs, who was bullying him previously. Wei Bu's classmate, Huang Ling, has run away from her mother and fallen for the charms of her teacher. Yu Shuai's older brother, Yu Cheng, feels responsible for the suicide of a friend. And finally, along with many other characters whose fates are inextricably bound together, there's Wang Jin, a sprightly pensioner whose son wants to offload him onto a home. In virtuoso visual compositions, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart.
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