North of the National Stadium, the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing is Dong Xiao Kou, a place where 30 thousand Henan residents migrated. They earn a living by scavenging for worn-out recyclables, trying to find a shelter in this city.
In 2002, Lao Xu from Henan rented a wasteland of a hundred acres in Dong Xiao Kou, removed the weeds, paved the roads, built houses, and began to bring along his family and fellow townsmen.
In 2003, Lao Liu’s restaurant closed down. Carrying 3000 RMN, he took his family from Guangshan, Henan to live in Beijing, collecting and selling worn-out wood. For a decade, they’ve lived there in this so-called “waste city,” which is also known as the largest waste disposal and recycling station in Beijing.
12-year-old Wang Qin and her sister, Wang Yun, also grew up in this dilapidated part of the city where they call home, despite the fact that it will soon be demolished and redeveloped, and that they will be forced to move back to their estranged hometown in Henan.
The film records in prose style how families, clans, and villagers move collectively and relocate in Beijing, searching for a livable place and coping with the sense of marginalization and instability in the process of nationwide modernization.