In een snelgroeiende stad in Oost-China blijven migranten aankomen met de hoop op een beter leven. Ze komen echter tot de vaststelling dat ze weinig kansen krijgen en dat de lamentabele leefomstandigheden mensen, zelfs koppels, in gewelddadige en onderdrukkende relaties drijven. Xiao Min, Ling Ling en Lao Yeh zijn enkele van de belangrijkste personages in deze bittere kroniek.
“Bitter Money follows three young people leaving their Yunnan hometown to go to work for the first time in one of the busiest cities of China’s East coast, a place with the highest number of part-time workers. The camera follows each character closely, capturing the true emotions of their daily hard work and their disappointments upon receiving their wages. Money has never been more important in Chinese society. As now everyone wishes to become wealthy. However, the reality is that everyone lives in a daydream. Life’s still a barren everywhere you look. In an era filled with illusions and disappointments, we often cheat our own feelings in order to live an obedient life. “Wandering” has become the main theme in normal Chinese people’s opinion today. I used swaying of focuses, wandering from one subject to the other, with a constant stagger of camera shots and characters, in order to tell their stories.” (Wang Bing)