A story as seen through the very human eyes of a doctor who worked at the Sao Paulo House of Detention. The doctor's encounters with his patients become a window onto the everyday life of the criminal underworld.
His efforts start to pay off and, over time, he earns the respect of the prison community. Visits with ailing prisoners become the context for lively and touching personal stories and respect leads to the sharing of greater and greater confidences.
These narratives, set both inside and outside the prison, culminate in the infamous October 1992 Pavilion 9 massacre, in which 111 unarmed inmates were killed. The tragic event unfolds through the stories of the inmates, who, by film's end, emerge as survivors.