The story of provincial cafe proprietor Li Xuelian (Fan Bingbing) begins as a matter of real estate. In order to acquire the apartment they desire, Xuelian and her truck-driver husband conspire to get a "fake" divorce. Once the divorce goes through, however, Xuelian is shocked to discover that her husband has moved into the apartment with another woman. Thus begins Xuelian's mission to have her extant divorce annulled so she can remarry her husband and then divorce him "for real." It is a question of principle - which is lost on the local magistrate. Xuelian travels to Beijing to take her case to a higher court, but there too she is dismissed. Years pass, and Xuelian continues to sue the state for failing to recognize her demands. She accosts justices in the streets, hurls herself in front of their cars, and even seeks accomplices to help her kill them all.
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