Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Li Shaohong directed this Chinese drama about a working-class Beijing family. On a sidestreet by a railway line, Qi Hongguang (Song Dandan) awakens at 3am to go to her job at a meat-processing plant. She's married to factory foreman Liu Shijie (Wang Xueqi). His aged mother (Lu Wenzheng) lives with them, as does their tomboyish 16-year-old daughter, Mingming (Gao Jun). When Mingming's school requires her to take an army drill course, she develops a strong attraction to a young soldier (Liu Xingsheng), while her mom finds a few romantic sparks ignited by her former art teacher (Wang Bing). An immense shopping mall spells doom for Shijie's factory, but he keeps the news from his family. In sequences recalling The Full Monty, Shijie and his buddies secretly search for work, play cards, and hang out together in mutual support -- until one day Hongguang stumbles onto the secret. Shown at the 1998 East West Film Festival (London).