The story is about a foot-binding of Chinese women named Lotus, a traditional woman with bound feet who must decide whether or not to bind her daughter Joy's feet. Her strict, but loving Mother-in-law insists that Joy's feet be bound in order to guarantee her a secure future. Lotus, for the first time in her life does not blindly obey. She is further influenced by her good friend, Coral, a colorful performer with a traveling Cantonese opera troupe who openly challenges the outlawed custom. In the end, Lotus makes a decision which will change her daughter's life forever.