The friendship between two immigrants amid the xenophobia of a Venetian fishing community is detailed in subtle and visually dramatic fashion in Andrea Segre’s first narrative feature. Shun Li (Jia Zhang-ke’s frequent star Zhao Tao) has come to Italy under a shady employment scheme that keeps her financially beholden to her supervisors. Transferred to a café in Chioggia, a small town just south of Venice, she is befriended by Slavic refugee Bepi (Rade Serbedzija), a sometime poet who lives on the water. As their rapport increases, local pressures aim to keep the two lonely and struggling friends apart. The sense of isolated lives barely keeping afloat is beautifully rendered in visual terms by cinematographer Luca Bigazzi’s magnificent images of a city beset by heavy rains.