Cui Er faces what no son ever wants to face – the death of his mother. With money tight and doctors unable to properly diagnose her, Cui must face an unpredictable future, the implications of which play havoc with his emotions and cause him to struggle to balance his family duties with his love life. A cold hospital setting sets the sombre tone of this slowly-evolving emotional story. Laboured breathing throughout the hospital scenes forms an almost-constant reminder of the fragility of life, juxtaposed with hospital staff and visitors struggling with their own demons. Visions of Cui's younger self and his thoughtful actions towards his mother depict a very loving relationship, while Cui's private life reveals bizarre mask-wearing habits, potentially interpreted as a way of separating his troubles from his future happiness. Cui must come to terms with losing his mother and allow himself to move on. Xu Bing dedicates this beautiful portrayal of the fragility of relationships to his own mother. Raw and truthful, his portrayal of love is relatable and his expression of the frustrations and guilt surrounding one's lot in life is ever-present.