It was a strange ad in a Brazilian newspaper: an audition for a documentary. And yet a total of 83 women responded, though only a few of them ended up in the documentary itself. While being filmed, they tell their painful life stories, about unsuccessful relationships, the loss of a child or their complicated rapport with their parents. But Playing isn't about the tragic stories themselves. Documentary filmmaker Eduardo Coutinho examines how the way a story is told can begin to overshadow actual events. All the women are driven by the burning desire to express themselves about past traumas or by the ambition to become an actress – otherwise, they wouldn't have auditioned. To make the line between reality and acting even thinner, Coutinho films all conversations on a stage and five well-known actresses, including Marília Pêra, Fernanda Torres and Mary Sheyla, act out the life stories of a number of women. In this way, Playing is also about acting. Coutinho discusses the choices the actresses make, such as breaking into tears on account of a son's death, while the "real" mother, shown shortly before, did not.