Set in China in the 1980s or 1990s, the film tells the story of, Li Ming, a young orphan of Tangshan earthquake, who leaves to study at the home of a renowned botanist. A secretive man and commanding father, he lives on an island that he has transformed into a luxurious garden. Anxious to share this solitary life, his daughter, An, welcomes with joy the arrival of the female student. Soon their friendship develops into a sensual, but forbidden attraction. Incapable of separating themselves, Ming and An create a dangerous arrangement to be able to continue spending their lives together: Ming marries An's brother, who is a PLA soldier and cannot bring his wife with him. However, An and Ming's relationship is observed by the botanist who thus gets a heart attack. Before he dies, he tells police that it's his daughter and daughter-in-law's homosexuality "disease" that kills him. Thus, An and Ming are sentenced to death by a court and executed.