Beijing, the present day. Xiao Likun manages a stud farm on the outskirts of the city. One day, his ex-wife Jiang Yue'e turns up, demanding her right to see their three-year-old son Xiao Lei whom Likun has custody of. Likun refuses, and says their son doesn't want to meet her. (Strains in their relationship had started to appear when they visited his family of pork butchers in a Hebei village three months after their marriage. She'd immediately left, appalled at the rural conditions.) Yue'e then turns up at Likun's flat, again demanding to know where Likun has hidden their son. They argue, and Likun writes some words to her on a newspaper. Yue'e subsequently takes him to court, demanding custody of their child on the grounds that Likun is an unfit parent. She cites as evidence the words on the newspaper which said he'd hidden their child away from her and he would like to kill her. (While Xiao Lei was still a baby, Likun had started to suffer from depression and became more and more suspicious that she was seeing other men. She also made him feel socially inadequate because of his rural background.) Meanwhile, at work Likun is also feeling pressured by the stud farm's new head, Wang, as the business tries to develop internationally. (Likun had first been introduced to Yue'e by one of his staff, Wang Xiaojuan). She had explained to him that Yue'e, who was from an educated family and taught music at a kindergarten, had just been dumped by her rich boyfriend, Bai Xizhuang, and was in need of emotional support. Likun had romanced her with poetry, they'd quickly married, and she'd immediately become pregnant.) Likun's behaviour at work becomes more and more unpredictable, even rowing with his friend Zhao Jingfeng. As the custody hearing continues, he's tipped over the edge by a sudden revelation.