Wukan is a fishing village in Guangdong province in South China that became international news in 2011, when local people rose up en masse against local administrators who were involved in the illegal sale of land in communal ownership. For this, her debut film, Jill Li won the trust of protesters from the village. She followed them closely as they fought for justice for six years, during which time the hope they placed in a new, fair village council, and their loyalty to the central government in Beijing, ultimately made way for disillusionment.
The director focuses on a small number of key figures in the uprising. One of them is Lin, who becomes chair of the new village council after an election organized by local citizens. In the years that follow, however, the mood turns. The new council proves unable to regain the confiscated land, and the illegal land transactions continue as before. Are the new administrators just as corrupt as their predecessors? Arrests are made, and the council loses the confidence of the people. It turns out that the path to true democracy is a rocky one.