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As a young man, Zheng was a wild boy: he’d rather spend his time gambling and dancing than studying. But his exuberant way of life comes to an end when, during the Cultural Revolution, he is charged with counter-revolutionary behavior and sent to prison. Step by step, he looses everything, even the liberty to enjoy the life he has dreamed of. Threatened and hit by the convulsions of History and the harsh realities of the ups and downs, the rights and wrongs of the developments of his country, he faced each challenge with courage, bravery and the knowledge that Life is a never-ending journey, and that only wisdom is the food that survival is fed with.
Now, he lives in the boarding house of Shuanglin Town, and is a silent witness to the last chapter of his own, lonely Life. Unyielding to his neighbors, to his society, to its History, as well as to the omnipresent Chinese system, he realizes that he is even almost independent of himself. Very poor in resources, but immensely rich in memories, our esteem for him grows with each day we observe the little gestures and omissions that his life is now made of.
This intimate and respectful portrait of a striking 83-year-old Chinese citizen offers us an inside view into the way China treats its Seniors and gives us the opportunity, between the lines, to better understand Shanghai’s Story, as well as China’s contemporary History. But above all, it introduces us to a remarkable sensitive witness of last centuries turmoils, as remembered by a very old Chinaman, and as filmed by a very talented young Chinese director.