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n São Paulo, Carlos leaves his wife Luciana and his son seeking a new beginning of his life. While wandering through the streets of São Paulo, Carlos recalls the period between 1957 and 1961, when he was a twenty-five year-old employee of Volkswagen in the boom of the automobile industry in Brazil working in the Quality Control of the factory. He meets the supplier Arturo, the Italian immigrant owner of an auto parts, and he accepts his gears even with defects, receiving a commission in return. Meanwhile the easy Ana becomes his mistress, and later he has an affair with the romantic nihilist intellectual Hilda. When he meets bourgeois Ana in the English class, they date and later she becomes his fiancée and wife. Along the years, the rude Carlos loses his job in Volkswagen and becomes manager of Arturo's factory; he has an existential crisis, losing his identity and becoming part of the gear of the process of industrialization of São Paulo.

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