A young girl's coming of age under the watchful eye of her caring grandfather lies at the center of the bittersweet period drama Bian Cheng (Border Town). After the death of her parents, young orphan Cuicui was sent to the small West Hunan town of Chaton to be raised by her grandfather. Now 14 years old, Cuicui has grown into an attractive, determined young woman who assists her grandfather in his job as ferryman. Though all is well for now, her grandfather worries for the future, especially as Cuicui is quite close to the marriageable age of 15. For that reason, he is quite pleased when his granddaughter catches the eye of a young man named Da Lao while attending a nearby boat race. The stubborn Cuicui rejects any idea of marriage, however, and her grandfather does not force the issue. Time passes, and Cuicui attracts the attention of another young man: Da Lao's brother, Er Lao. Er Lao, however, is being encouraged by his family to instead marry the daughter of a prominent man. Despite her grandfather's gentle probing, Cuicui refuses to take action, until an unexpected tragedy changes her life forever.
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