Saudade (a Portuguese word for longing and nostalgia), frames Miguel’s coming-of-age story as a 17 year-old boy that sees the future as a distant horizon. Immersed in his bubble of friends, a sketchbook with sentimental poems, and amidst a fierce sexual awakening, he has to deal with the end of high school.
When his biological mother, whom he has never met, becomes unwell, she asks Miguel’s father to visit her in the United States. He goes without a second thought, leaving Miguel behind. Seeing his world fall apart, Miguel has to invent a new one. The family crisis that this sudden voyage triggers rides alongside the 1999 economic deterioration of Ecuador, and is the scenery on which Miguel will have to process the unfolding events. As he comprehends his crumbling world, he discovers he must invent one of his own, by standing up and beginning to fend for himself.