In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they
say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world.
Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a
longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find
themselves. Among them is schoolboy Bu, on the run after pushing Shuai
down the stairs, who was bullying him previously. Bu's classmate Ling
has run away from her mother and fallen for the charms of her teacher.
Shuai's older brother Cheng feels responsible for the suicide of a
friend. And finally, along with many other characters whose fates are
inextricably bound together, there's Mr. Wang, a sprightly pensioner
whose son wants to offload him onto a home. In virtuoso visual
compositions, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day
from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart.