Set in the sweltering summer of 1938 in Portugal, a country under the fascist shadow of Spain, Pereira Maintains tells a tale of reluctant heroism. An editor at a second-rate Lisbon newspaper, Dr Pereira wants nothing to do with European politics. Something of a recluse, his closest confidante is a photograph of his late wife, and he is content to lose himself in the world of books. All this changes when he meets Francesco Monteiro Rossi, an oddly charismatic young man. Pereira gives Rossi work, even after discovering that he is using the money to recruit for the anti-Franco International Brigade. Pereira Maintains chronicles Pereira's ascent to consciousness, culminating in a devastating and reckless act of rebellion.