While walking from his small village to his uncle Li Quingsong's isolated house in Yunnan, young Niu Xiaobo suffers a strange accident. His facial muscles are damaged irreparably, leaving him completely incapable of smiling. Niu becomes a pariah in the village and Li feels deeply guilty about this. Taking the boy with him Li decides to go to the big city to look for work and start afresh. They find positions at amysterious funeral parlor. Strange, inexplicable things begin to occur.Niu is terrified, unsure if he is seeing things. On the other hanhd, Litakes his work with enthusiasm. He believes that serving the dead has just as much social vavlue as serving those who are alive. He comes out with many ways to make the funerals as perfect as possible. He aims to send the dead peacefully on their way and give their relatives peace of mind. He never considers the possibility that one of the dead bodies might actually be alive......Li and Niu encounter many bizarre things atthe funeral parlor, confronting daily the realties and mysteries of mortality. But when death finally finds them, will they have the strength to laugh?