At least as critical about the moral poverty and cold relationships in modern China as in his three previous films, Zhang Miaoyan sketches a vicious portrait of a small town by the riverside, where everyone sees everything but no one says anything. At least nothing important. And in silence, because dialogues are scarce.
What does matter is to find the culprit in a series of rapes in which women were dragged at night into the shadows. But the local policeman only seems to want to act when he is paid, while the parents of one of the victims don’t seem to care. She should have got married.
Using Zhang’s typical tracking shots, which refuse to look the other way and hence seem to be a silent protest against the inhabitants looking the other way, this results in a shocking picture of a country where especially the men seem to grab what they can. Based on true events and still unsolved crimes.