The dirt-town setting and non-pro cast mean that Wang Chao's debut stands somewhat in the shadow of Xiao Wu, a beacon for an entire generation of underground directors in China. Middle-aged, unmarried and now unemployed, Yu Dagang comes upon an abandoned baby with a note from its mother promising a stipend to anyone willing to raise it. The mother turns out to be ex-nightclub hostess Yanli; they meet and eventually start living together, he repairing bicycles and she working as a hooker. But then another prospective parent shows up: gang-boss Side (probably the biological father), terminally ill and looking for an heir. It all ends badly, but Wang sweetens the pill with a closing wish-fulfilment fantasy. The numerous sequence-shots evidence a good cinematic eye: two extended fixed-angle shots of Yanli in a noodle shop show exactly how less can yield more.