In a Shandong village, an old peasant woman falls. Immediately, her children take advantage of it to declare her disabled, in order to sign up her in a nursing home. Waiting for a bed to be released, the old mother is brought to each of her children's home,
Somewhere in South America. Morgue-Man, in his early 70s, has an exceptional ability to recall every single detail of his past three decades, except anyone’s name. About to be retired, he’s in charge of a nearly forgotten remote morgue by the border of a huge cemetery. One day, the militias raid his morgue to hide the corpses of the civilians shot dead during public demonstrations. When the militias leave, the Morgue-Man finds the body of an unknown young girl. He wishes to give her a proper burial before the militias come back. Above the usual bureaucratic obstacles, he seeks the help of his friend, the Gravedigger, and an Old Woman who has been searching for her daughter, missing since the tragic summer of 1988.
MARIA is 28, restless, wants to have every man and proud of speaking five languages. She flies to Taipei, lives on small jobs but what she wants more than anything is to finish her novel. Seven books under way, and none of them completed. She meets OLIVIER, a young expat. He is slow-moving, shy and can speak fifteen languages. As he welcomes her, she becomes calmer.