Having no other option, Li Xuelian, a poorly educated villager, and her husband Qin Yuhe agree to fake a divorce. However, during the couple’s separation, Qin falls in love with another woman–and as if his divorce with Li was real–he decides to move on with his life, leaving the jilted former spouse out in the cold. Under those circumstances and in the dreadful position of being denounced as a Pan Jinlian–a 17th-century Chinese adulteress who conspired with her partner to kill her husband–Li sets off on a legal crusade to clear her name. But even though Li is undoubtedly determined, on the other hand, she is nothing but a small nuisance in a sluggish and bureaucratic system where, sometimes, ants can become elephants. In the end, how long can a single woman hold on against an entire government?