Where despair prevails, hope lives.
In South Africa, Clara (Chloë Sevigny) is a young, inexperienced but optimistic nun living among the Pondo tribe on the Wild Coast. While her mission is to save the souls of the rapidly dying Africans, Clara becomes embroiled in a futile struggle to help a family of orphans.
When Jin Ping (Lucy Liu) sets up her mobile blood collection service in the tiny Chinese village of Tonghu, the local peasants rejoice and prosper. One farmer, Tong Sam, barred from selling his blood because he has the flu, lies about his daughter’s age so she can sell blood in his stead. After his wife and daughter have both mysteriously died, Sam sets out on a journey to find out why.
North American, Denny (Shawn Ashmore) is a second rate porn actor who passes his monthly blood tests by stealing samples from his geriatric father. When Denny gets caught, his poverty-stricken family is thrown into turmoil. Facing the prospect of long-term care for her son, his mother Olive (Stockard Channing) develops a plan to escape the luckless hardship that has been her life.