It is 1975, and the Great Cultural Revolution is its final throes. Xiu Xiu, the daughter of a tailor, is ''sent down'' to the countryside to serve a movement that has long since lost its purpose. She is among the last of seven and a half million ''Intellectual Youth'' to be exiled from family, classmates, and everything that is familiar. Sent for six months to learn horse herding, Xiu Xiu is told that she will return to enjoy the honour of leading her own all-girl calvary unit.
Unbeknownst to her, such units have long since been disbanded, and no one will come to bring her back.
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