The story provides an insight into the life of four miners in the suburbs of Beijing. Hailing from a remote village in the northeast of China, Old Cao, Little Cao, Yu and Zhang make a living by mining granite. Life is dull and hard: work from dawn to dusk. Every day they mine stones in the mountain, digging, chiseling and carrying. Their daily work seems simple but full of danger. After work, they play mahjong, chat or crack some jokes for fun.
At the end of the year before they were leaving for their hometown, Little Cao and his new bride went to the Tian'anmen Square paying a visit to Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. The others finished work later and sent money home. The Spring Festival is coming, while it's hard to tell whether they are happy of not. They seem to have become inuredto the hardness of life.
After the Spring Festival, they returned to work. Soon they are informed that the hill has been purchased by real estate developers and will be turned into a holiday resort. They are on the verge of getting laid-off. Finally an agreement is reached between their boss and the developers, which says they are permitted to work here until next year. <br><br>
With a good wish for a better life, they pray to the God of the Mountain, for good fortune and a smooth life. While over half a year has passed, their income is even less than it was the previous year. Meanwhile, Old Yu's wife, who just arrived here, cooking for them, is suffering from the tumor of uterus. They have to pay a lot for the operation. What should their future be?
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