A woman mourning the loss of her child demands to know the truth about his death in this realistic drama. Cidalia (Rita Blanco) is a woman born in Portugal who now lives in France and is intensely devoted to her husband and children. When her son dies while caught in the middle of a shootout between police and criminals, Cidalia is distraught and demands to know the truth about what happened. The police aren't especially helpful, telling her little more than the shot which killed him was not fired by the police, but Cidalia demands to know more. Cidalia mounts a one-woman crusade to get the police to open the files on the case involving her son's death, and despite the misgivings of her sister (Teresa Madruga), the preoccupation of her husband (Adriano Luz) with his financial woes, and the anger of many of her fellow immigrants, Cidalia refuses to back down. Ganhar A Vida was screened at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard program.