Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries in present-day Vancouver, finds herself haunted by events in her parents' past in war-torn Malaysia, a past which remains a mystery that fiercely grips her imagination. Gail's father, Matthew, grew up under the terrifying shadow of war in Japanese-occupied Sanddakan where he witnessed his father being shot by the soldiers with whom he had collaborated. He and his friend Ani wander the Leila Road and the jungle fringe trying to put the horror out of their minds. Eventually the war shatters their families and Matthew and Ani are separated. Years later they meet briefly, only to be torn apart again, but the legacy of their powerful connection and the life-changing secrets they shared, affects Matthew's wife, Clara, in unexpected ways.