Brazilian teenager Vera (Ana Beatriz Nogueria) is released from the orphanage where she has spent most of her life. Her brutal experiences while a ward of the State have caused her to adopt masculine dress and manneris...展开ms--a successful effort to wield power over her fellow orphans. On the outside, Vera finds shelter and a job through the auspices of a benevolent professor (Raul Cortez). While still in male garb, Vera develops a chaste relationship with a female coworker (Aida Leiner). Unable to consummate the relationship, Vera undergoes a great deal of inner torment, at one point considering a sex change. The end of this provocative but non-sensational film finds Vera coming to grips with her femininity, even though her future happiness is still up in the air. 18-year-old Ana Beatriz Nogueria won a Berlin Film Festival best actress award for her astonishingly mature performance in Vera.