In 2003, United Nations’ Special Representative in Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, is a victim of a bombing and becomes trapped in the basement of the hotel where he was working in Baghdad.
Three months earlier, Sergio is married but there is no feeling of love in the marriage. Instead, he commits to being with Carolina, his girlfriend and co-worker. Against the advice of Carolina, Sergio decides to go to Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq in order to help Iraqis achieve independence and negotiate the withdrawal of American troops. He comes to a disagreement with American diplomat Paul Bremer who opposes his methods despite the pressure from the United States, and fights against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. He even insists on not having U.S. guards at the UN’s base camp in order to separate themselves from the U.S. occupiers.
Sergio is killed by a terrorist attack that takes place on the UN base camp. Later, the U.S. pulls out of Iraq leading to a long Civil War, but Sergio’s gravely injured colleague Gil survives despite having both legs amputated, and Carolina returns to her justice work in Rio.