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It's 1948 and the Cold War has reached Chile. In congress, Senator (and renowned poet) Pablo Neruda (Gnecco) accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is swiftly impeached by the president. Police Prefect Oscar Peluchonneau (Bernal) is assigned to arrest the poet. Neruda tries to flee the country with his wife, the painter Delia del Carril, but they are forced into hiding, where Neruda writes his epic collection of poems, "Canto General". In Europe, the legend of the poet hounded by the policeman grows, and artists led by Pablo Picasso clamor for Neruda's freedom. Neruda sees this struggle with his nemesis Peluchonneau as an opportunity to reinvent himself, and he sets about playing games with the inspector, leaving clues designed to make their conflict more dangerous, and more intimate. In this story of a persecuted poet and his implacable adversary, Neruda recognizes his own heroic possibilities: a chance to become both a symbol for liberty and a literary legend.