War epic set during the Second Sino-Japanese War. As a devastating drought takes hold of Henan province in China, a wealthy farmer named Fan (Guoli Zhang) manages to beat the struggle and maintains enough food to feed his family and the village. But that all changes when bandits rob and burn his village to the ground, murdering his son as they do so. Fan and his family are forced to flee with some of their fellow villagers, but more troubles follow as Fan's money and food supplies are stolen by army officials. This leads the starving and helpless family to make some tough decisions in order to acquire the necessities they so desperately need. Meanwhile an American journalist (Adrien Brody) examines the Government's policy on giving aid to refugees such as Fan, with serious consequences for both parties.