The film is set in the 1970’s and revolves around a newly orphaned teenage boy who also happens to stutter. Sent to an orphanage, he is teased and almost runs away, until a beautiful, androgynous boy convinces him to join the choir. The dynamic between these boys forms the overall arc of the rest of the film, with the choir itself serving as the vehicle. There is also a subplot involving the choir-master and a female from his political-activist past.
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years and the woman who comes between them during the entire political history of China in the twentieth century.