Unmarried Chinese women of around 30 are labelled shengnu – leftover. Until they find a husband they face both the open contempt of the Chinese government and the stifling judgement of society and even their closest relatives.
Three young, educated, successful women – lawyer Qui Hua Mei, professor Gai Qi and state radio employee Xu Min – are each in their own way coming to terms with the expectations surrounding them, according to which they should have started a family years ago. Their age makes them undesirable on the Chinese marriage market. Still they try to find partners who meet their criteria. Three personal dramas play out against a backdrop of policies that rigidly define the role of women in society and the country, where looking for a happy life is a decision made collectively not individually.