Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the musician couple Elisabeth and Theodor Weisberg and the young actress Hilde Braun manage to escape from Germany to Shanghai. At the time, this city is a place of extremes: fairytale wealth exists alongside the most striking misery, terrible suffering alongside exuberant pleasure. The Jewish refugees must either starve or come to terms with an improvised life beyond glamour and glory. Housed in a mass dormitory, Elisabeth Weisberg almost loses her mind. Hilde Braun, on the other hand, because she looks “Aryan”, becomes a secretary at the German embassy. When she passes on secret information from Berlin to the resistance, she puts her life in danger.