<b></b>1980s, China. <b></b>
Dizzying reforms are sweeping across its Central Plain as the nation is told that to get rich is glorious. Swept up in the hope of a better tomorrow, Li Delin, a brilliant scientist of humble background, and his fellow villager, the flower seller Liu Jinding, share an ambition to rise from their unassuming rural origins.
In this new age of excess, few care for the old values. Li’s honest talent and hard graft earn him power in provincial politics, from which Liu extracts his own profitable empire. Neither are ready when they become surrounded by feigned friends selling false assurances.
Exploited and betrayed by those he used to confide in, Li’s career is soon enveloped in corruption and tragedy. Attempts at a resolution simply dig him deeper into crisis. As the walls start to close in, who can he count on? He was never prepared for this fight.