The story revolves around Luisa Palmeira, born in France from Portuguese immigrants. In 1979, Luisa is eight years old. Almost a grown-up in the eyes of her illiterate mother, she remains just a little girl to her hard-drinking father. One day, he trusts her with a heavy secret: he suffers from a serious illness. But she refuses to believe him and thinks instead that he is hiding something else from her…
Escaping from his criminal baptism, Reynaldo Galíndez lands in the patio of the house inhabited by Carlos Vargas, a retired security guard. Vargas proposes a deal: the young boy will repair the damage caused to his home when falling in return for not being handed over to the police. The lessons given to the teenager by the old guard will give rise to a relationship not unlike the old legends of educating a king. The agreement will start to fall apart when the loose ends of the robbery Reynaldo had participated in start wrapping themselves round them.
The human traffickers have a well-established route: from Burma into Thailand across the Mekong River at Tchilek, along quiet country roads, passing bribed police checkpoints and into Bangkok, where the illegal migrants are on their own. Lianqing is one of five illegals who travels this route one summer night in 2013; along the way a fellow migrant called Guo is kind to her, and their fates later become entwined. Once in Thailand, Lianqing finds ‘underground’ jobs, saves money and finds out where to buy fake identity papers with the hope of making it to Taiwan. But Guo has different ambitions…
An alcoholic man and his two young children barely survive in Taipei. They cross path with a lonely grocery clerk who might help them make a better life.
Tsanko Petrov, a railroad linesman, finds millions in cash on the train tracks but when he decides to turn the entire amount over to the police Tsanko’s humble reality collides with a bureaucratic and media-obsessed professional world that threatens to destroy his fragile existence.