East Lake (Dong Hu) is a scenic area in the city of Wuhan, threatened by new amusement parks, high-rises and even an airport. ‘East Lake is getting smaller and smaller, but it's bigger and bigger in my memory,’ wrote a friend to the Canada-based Chinese filmmaker Li Luo as a result of the development.
In a lucid way, the film investigates how the lake is linked to the people, leading to reflection on identity and survival in today’s China. The form is varied and free. Li uses documentary as well as fictional style elements, and often an ironic mixture of both.
The film is also a portrait of a police officer who reluctantly has to trace an unstable man who has been seen around East Lake. The officer is played by the intriguing Li Wen, a cynical forty-something with a weakness for photos from the era of the Cultural Revolution, which also put in an appearance in Emperor Visits the Hell (Li's previous award-winning film).