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Inspired by real life events
EXT. OCEAN - DAY The ocean surrounds us for miles as the sun dissolves into the horizon. The CONTINUOUS THUNDER of a venting mob smothers all sound. A worn-down, 20-foot, single-engine utility boat bounces on the waves.
BOAT DAVID TORRES, 3, huddles zombie-like amidst shreds of paper, a small notepad and a soggy mound of cardboard boxes. He dons the signs of a condemned drifter; knotted hair, baked lips and blistered skin. A round metallic pendant clings to his neck, clearly too big for his bony frame. His sunken black eyes fill the screen as: DAVID (V.O.) There’s a Spanish saying that “Soñar no cuesta nada” - “To dream costs nothing.” I think it’s bullshit. Dreams come with a heavy price. You see, my life is the product of a simple dream born in complicated times. An impossible dream that survived the grimness of its surroundings. A dream worth many lives. The circling reflection of a red light shimmers in David’s eyes.
ATLANTIC OCEAN A US Coast Guard, 41-foot, coastal patrol boat hovers alongside the utility boat.
BOAT Sergeant PETER LUCAS, 30-ish, clean-shaven, jumps aboard in his agency-issued dark-blue t-shirt that hugs his bulging biceps, a dark-blue USCG cap, and orange vest. He mumbles into his radio with eyes wide open. Peter shrugs at the sight of David’s flimsy frame. He counts each step as he approaches. The two stare at each other, reluctantly. Peter offers his arms. No response. He bends and hoists David into his chest. He scans the open sea, guessing how many days the child has been out here. David too stares into the ocean, searching for something. FADE TO:
INT. LOBBY, HOTEL CLARIDGE - DAY The dismal rays of a flickering bulb provide the only light. The CONTINUOUS THUNDER of a venting mob smothers all sound. The camera moves lazily, parading past the faded, 1940s furniture. APPEARS ON SCREEN: Bogotá, Colombia, April 9, 1948. Black-ink leaflets blanket the tile floor. The caption reads: "Candidate of the People - Vote Liberal." We admire the face of a burly, beak-nosed mestizo in a three-piece suit and shinny hair -- JORGE GAITAN, 30-ish, eyes hardened, steely and hypnotic. The kind of eyes that convince with little effort. The CRY of the masses in the streets finally pierces through in an EXPLOSION. GAITANISTAS (O.S.) (continuous) GAITAN ES EL PUEBLO, EL PUEBLO ES GAITAN! UNIR! UNIR! UNIR! …
GAITANISTAS(cont'd) (Gaitan is for the people, the people are for Gaitan! Unite! Unite!)
STREET We see the source of the THUNDER. Bogotá is a city in a rebellion. Thousands march, chant, and jostle; students, labor unions, farmers, anarchists, fascists, would-be revolutionaries and communists wave flags of all shapes and colors.
HOTEL LOBBY Bodies ram the entrance, tearing the doors from their hinges. The walls TREMBLE and windows SHATTER. ROBERTO TORRES, a slim shabbily-dressed and fidgety sixteenyear-old mestizo takes it in. His eye movements are erratic -he would give anything to be out on the insurgent streets. Instead, Roberto watches over KARL TORRES (12) and MARTIN TORRES (10) as they play on the floor with miniature soldiers. They too are shabbily-dressed, and their faces overcast, if not by the disarrange of their hair, then by the smudges on their bony cheeks. Karl crumbles a leaflet and launches it. KARL Take that comunista. Roberto scurries over and WHACKS the youngster on the head. ROBERTO Stupid. He’s no comunista. Can’t you read. Candidate of the people. He’s one of us. A peasant. An ordinary man. He’s going to save us. Roberto takes the crumbled leaflet and solemnly stretches and irons it in his hands.
ROBERTO (CONT’D) For the people. This ... this will be history. The children couldn’t care less. MARTIN (to Karl) You missed ‘Yanki. Martin launches his bomb with precision as the THUNDER of the streets turns into a terrifying ROAR. We leave the boys and ascend a staircase until we are directly outside room twenty-eight. HOTEL ROOM 28 GOLDINEH prime of shirt -his neck image of MEDINA, 30-ish, curly-haired, lanky, but in the his life, smirks before a mirror, buttoning his the clammy face of a man on a mission. Clinging to we see a round metallic pendant encrusted with the lady liberty.
He steps back to consider his reflection. He likes what he sees -- gentleman’s shirt and modern sombrero -- little semblance of a peasant. The THUNDER on the streets jolts him. He hurls the sombrero on the bed. GOLDINEH Naaah. It won’t do. I’m no damn cowboy. The national daily, EL TIEMPO, is sprawled on the spotted mattress. HEADLINE reads: "9th Inter-American Conference: Imperialism or Progress?" Next to it, an tattered suitcase. SEVERAL THUMPS O.S. at the door. MAN (O.S.) Goldi. It's me. Goldineh stands unmoved.
SEVERAL MORE THUMPS O.S. but Goldineh remains motionless. Suddenly -- BANG -- the door swings open. LEO TORRES, 30-ish, hovers at the frame with a rustic yet open and pleasant complexion. His tanned face is accented by a thinly populated dark mustache. His darting eyes reveal an indomitable energy. LEO You should at least show your Goddamn-face. It’s our time. Today. Leo’s thick curly hair is coated with a streak of blood that has hardened into a gel. He carries a bloodied handkerchief in one hand and a torn sombrero in the other. Goldineh gives him a stare that both have apparently grown accustomed to. GOLDINEH A-hundred-and fifty-thousand. One peasant less ain’t gonna’ make a difference. Leo marches over -- eyes opened wide. LEO They mean business. They don’t play games. It’s now or never. Goldineh’s sudden pivot surprises Leo. GOLDINEH It is now or never. This is it. They can go to hell. I’m making my move. Leo glances over at the suitcase. LEO (enraged) You're gonna' go through this again? God-damn-you! It’s never enough is it? I told you I was out. Goldineh starers directly into Leo’s eyes.
GOLDINEH You won’t even try? We’ve planned so long. No response. GOLDINEH Damn you! Fuck you!! What have I got left? No response. GOLDINEH (CONT’D) Not a damn thing. These fellas' are a sure thing. Panama within two weeks. Two weeks Leo. Nassau’s just a hop away. It’s real this time. It’s our dream. Goldineh shuts his eyes and takes a WHIFF of air. GOLDINEH (CONT’D) America. Closer than we’ve ever been. Can’t you smell it. LEO Panama, Bamas’ .... GOLDINEH Ba-ha-mas. How may times ... LEO (interrupting) It nearly killed us twice before. SHATTERING OF GLASS O.S. LEO (CONT’D) For what? Nothing to show but bumps on our heads and a shit load of debts. Nothing. You’re damn right I won’t try. I’m through. My life is here ... out there.
GOLDINEH Stay if you’d like. Give up on our dream. Me ... I owe it to myself. A better life. Where a man’s opportunities are boundless. A blank slate. SILENCE. The naked lamp by the side of the bed SPARKS, SMOKES, and FLICKERS OUT. A cracked vase overflowing with peacock-like roses fills the screen until ... CUT TO: EXT. COLOMBIAN COUNTRYSIDE, ROSE PLANTATION - DAY We lay smack in the middle of a symmetrically aligned sea of roses: the Versalia in a delicate light pinkish peach color, the Black Magic in a dark velvety red, the Ociana in a solid pure pink, and the Circus in a bicolor yellow and red -swaying in the breeze -- extending farther than the eye can see. In the background, near a rust-colored adobe home with brick shingles, a WOMAN is outlined against the murk. She stands motionless and appears to be taking in the balmy air. The camera moves very close -- MARIA TORRES, 20-ish, elegant, stout, with not a wrinkle on her velvety face. She wears a country dress and a tightly-wrapped red bandana, rear-ended by a cascade of pitch black hair. MARIA (whispers) Now we will export roses. A FAINT EXPLOSION O.S. disrupts the calm. Maria gazes beyond the plantation to a winding dirt road that disappears into the green Andes. A plume of black smoke overcasts the sky. MARIA (CONT’D) Now we will export roses. Do you hear me God-damn-it?!
MARIA(cont'd) Now-we-will-export-roses. You squeeze and we move.
Her eyes harden. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM 28 - DAY Goldineh gathers a passport, money and a pocket knife. He kisses the passport. A DEEP and HYPNOTIC voice rushes through the open window. GAITAN (O.S.) Mi Gente! GAITANISTAS (O.S.) GAITAN! GAITAN! GAITAN! UNIR! UNIR! Leo seizes Goldineh by the shoulders and flops him on the bed. LEO Let it go. Things will change. I feel it. He will make it happen. He’s promised. Goldineh unchains himself in a violent jerk. GAITAN (O.S.) If they won't have us, we won't have them. The crowd outside ERUPTS into euphoria. LEO This nonsense is over. Fuck America. That dream was over before it began. It’s for the damn Italians and Irish. This is our home and we’ll never leave. We’ll fight for our piece of the pie.
GOLDINEH No thanks. I’ll die chasing my dream. On my own terms! They can’t take that. They can’t take it because they don’t understand it. Leo’s not wasting one more word. Goldineh reaches for the suitcase. GAITAN (O.S.) interests of the liberal masses no longer be resolved by those profess to lead them. Today we a new party. A new people.
The can who are
Leo's eyes light up even wider -- he is in his own world -the face of a man about to explode. LEO We'll storm the presidential palace if we don't get our land reform. The masses ROAR O.S. -- an incredible THUNDER. GOLDINEH Nothing will change. A disappointed Goldineh hands Leo a folded piece of paper. Leo ignores him. Goldineh takes the pendant from his neck, clutches Leo by the wrist and drops it in his open hand. They lock eyes for a second, saying goodbye. GOLDINEH It’s our dream. Don’t let it die. Not for them. Not for anyone. There a whole new world out there. GAITAN (O.S.) I am not a man, I am a people! FRENZY O.S. A single GUNSHOT rings out O.S.
SILENCE. Leo and Goldineh are frozen in fear. SHRIEKS BURST through the window. GUNFIRE -- in rapid succession O.S. A beat. MALE VOICE (O.S.) Lo mataron! Los hijueputas conservadores lo mataron! (They’ve killed him! The fucking conservatives have killed Gaitan!) A MASSIVE EXPLOSION SHATTERS THE WINDOWS -- Leo and Goldineh tumble to their knees. The SHRIEKS magnify -- HEAVY GUNFIRE O.S. Leo dashes out amidst the smoke. Goldineh reaches for his suitcase and follows. We remain in the room, drawn to the whirlwind of the shattered windows.
STREETS, BOGOTA IN QUICK SEQUENCE ... Thousands scurry in frenzy and drunkenness -- burning, looting, killing, and shouting anti-US slogans. Soldiers shoot volley after volley, point blank into machetewielding crowds. Police join the mobs and hand over their arms. Cathedrals, priests, public buildings and commercial establishments fall prey to the mob’s unwinding fury. A lifeless body is dragged and pummeled through the streets like a rag doll.
The entire city is ablaze -- the streets blanketed with the bloodletting -- buildings nothing but skeletal remains of warfare. FADE TO: EXT. COLOMBIAN COUNTRYSIDE - DAY We open on a scorched plantation, hemmed with the chalky remains of banana, mango, and guava trees. APPEARS ON SCREEN: Midvale, Colombia 1953. Three bloated corpses decompose on the side of a dirt road. We stumble upon the contorted body of a woman in a country dress. A paper sign hangs from her neck: "REPRODUCER OF ENEMY LIVES." Some distance away, a peasant BOY, no more than ten, grungy, eyes of innocence, shovels the parched earth. Vultures circle above. The Boy wipes his tears and digs. Two vultures land and make a hopping approach towards the bodies. The Boy hurls a stone and the vultures scurry. Other vultures soon arrive. The Boy SCREAMS and lunges stone after stone. He falls to his knees and WEEPS in submission. We gradually leave the Boy as the vultures encircle the bodies. In the background we catch a glimpse of a military convoy entering the plantation. CUT TO: We careen down a winding dirt road as ... DAVID (V.O.) Rural warfare reached a new high, known only as La Violencia. A rickety bus packed with murky images enters the screen chased by a thick cloud of dust.
DAVID (CONT’D) A peasant by the name of Goldineh Medina never made it home. Most believed he died along with thousands of others in the wars that followed. But one man was convinced his friend had made it to America, as they had onced dreamed. INT. BUS - DAY Fifty-plus, hard-looking peasant cane-cutters in rubber boots, white trousers, and white collarless shirts are cram the bus. Each dons a sheathed machete to the side like warriors on the eve of battle. We move amongst them. DAVID (CONT’D) In their desire to live in peace, peasants cleared and worked uninhabited lands. We pause at a pair of bare and crusted feet. They belong to Leo -- head crouched so that we can’t see his face. Karl, now in his teens, bounces next to Leo, spewing mucus from his nostrils. Something in his face tells us he’s not all there. DAVID (O.S.) But the conservative government had no intention of leaving them alone. Karl's P.O.V. - screen-filling, symmetric avenues of sugarcane swaying in the dawn breeze. HARD CUT TO: EXT. SUGARCANE PLANTATION - DAY Gaunt, machete-bearing peasants gather behind a rusted gate. A mangy mutt WOOFS nonstop while a sign dangles from the arched entrance: AZUCAR LOPEZ. The bus nears. VICTOR, a cowboy-styled guard, 30-ish, high-strung, leaps from his horse and advances towards the gate with a face that doesn’t crack a smile.
VICTOR (to crowd) Let the bus through you filthy Indians. Give way. The crowd parts. Victor unbolts the gate. The BARKING doesn’t let up. VICTOR (CONT’D) (to dog) Shut-the-fuck-up you sack of flees! He BOOTS dirt then POUNDS the side of the bus as it passes. VICTOR (CONT’D) Nice and easy Mel. Run over a few if you have to. It don’t bother me. Victor takes a swift drink from a dinky bottle of cane liquor he keeps in his back pocket. He hurls the empty bottle at the dog where it SHATTERS to pieces. The dog scampers. The bus maneuvers through. WILLIAM RIVAS, another cowboy-styled guard, 30-ish, beaknosed, eyes brimming with scorn and iron will, taps Victor on the shoulder from behind. WILLIAM If Lopez sees you treating his puppy that way, he'd have you hacked and fed to that same mutt. Victor considers the possibility. VICTOR Fuck it. The maggot’s not a fan of black meat. It'll give em' indigestion. WILLIAM A bad hangover is more like it. (to peasants) Out of the way, let the buses through. You know the drill folks.
The bus proceeds deep into the plantation.
INT. BUS - DAY MEL, 40-ish, overweight and balding, is at the wheel. He arranges his thick spectacles and fans his face. MEL (into rearview mirror) Late again. Shit. Roberto, now in his twenties, sits one seat behind Mel, as fidgety as ever. ROBERTO Don't sweat it. He leans forward and reads from a brownish pocket-size note pad. ROBERTO (CONT’D) (lowers voice) Charlie Santos at Punto Alegre and Jeffrey Barrios at Santa Lucia. Charlie owns the funeral home on Santa Maria ... MEL (interrupts) No, no, Via Santa Maria. There’s a bike shop on the corner ... ROBERTO Santa Maria, Via Santa Maria, what the fuck’s the difference? Stay with me for once. Roberto scans to make sure he isn’t overheard. MEL Wait no. Santa Monica. One of the Saints ... Santa Margarita? Roberto gives Mel a piercing glare.
ROBERTO For Jeff, you said it's the red house, on the hill of 42nd and 38th, between the tire shop and the funeral home. Mel ponders. ROBERTO (CONT’D) That’s what you said. 42nd and 38th. Ask for Tiburon. Mel nods unconvincingly. ROBERTO (CONT’D) We’re counting on you. Mel stares at the crowd along the gate through the rearview mirror. The bus comes to rest in the courtyard. Roberto pats Mel on the back, hides the note pad, and exits. REAR OF THE BUS Leo wakes and rubs the fatigue from his worn and rugged face. He’s not the same vibrant man we saw a few years back. SUGARCANE PLANTATION William paces. A DISTANT EXPLOSION rattles him. He checks his watch and smirks. Another bus arrives. He checks his watch again and glances over at Victor. He spits -- he’s had enough -- lifts his rifle and FIRES. WILLIAM Move along ladies! We're losing money by the minute! Your money. Fifty days left in the season. Quotas to meet, move it. William's P.O.V. - Roberto heads towards a nearby well. William rushes to cut him off.
WILLIAM (CONT’D) I thought I made myself clear. Move your ass along. You'll get plenty later. Victor approaches -- Roberto’s face hardens as he locks eyes with William. VICTOR Any problems? Roberto is itching to react. William shakes his head, never taking his eyes off Roberto. WILLIAM The usual. If they don't like it there's plenty more outside that gate. (to all) That goes for all of you. There's guys out there who'll jump at five cents a pound. Your choice. Roberto stares stoically. Leo and Karl reach Roberto. LEO As far as I’m concerned it’s the same damn drill every morning. (to William) Don’t mind him. Either too young or too stupid. (to Roberto) What is it that you don't get? WILLIAM (to Roberto) Keep him on a short leash Torres. ROBERTO (to William) The rifle makes a man out of you. Leo’s heard enough. He yanks Roberto by the shirt until their faces are inches apart.
LEO You, me, and about a thousand others need this job, so keep your damn mouth shut. KARL (mocking) You'll learn that the hard way. LEO Both of you shut up. Do what we came to do. Leo remains stolid -- the face of a man not wanting to waste a single word. He tips his head to William and continues along.
BY THE GATE Victor points to a heavy-set MULATTO and two long haired INDIANS. VICTOR (to Indians) Take the south side. (to Mulatto) Negro, you take the north side, by the river. (to others) The rest of you, go on home. We're full this morning. The crowd disperses in disappointment.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF SUGARCANE Leo and Roberto HACK at the base of the cane with marked precision. ROBERTO I was thinking maybe by December. No response.
ROBERTO (CONT’D) If not, at least next April. After the rains have died down. Mel’s making the final .... LEO (without looking up) Not even close. And Mel’s got us running in circles. ROBERTO The last time I checked it was ... Leo looks up -- eyes opened wide -- something tells us they’ve had this conversation before. LEO There’s a war for God’s sake. Open you eyes. We’ve gotta grease every palm from here to Cartagena. Eight hundred will get us nowhere. Nowhere! Forget it for this year, or next. ROBERTO It's been four years. Everything’s checked out. LEO It may be four more. Or twenty. At around fifty a harvest. Add it up. We worry about staying alive for now. You hear. Leo extends his hand. Without saying a word Roberto hands him the note pad. LEO (CONT’D) Goldineh said two thousand a piece. Probably more by now. It's all here. Every step. Every turn. Every connection. But the time is not right.
A beat. ROBERTO You don't even know if he made it. Roberto has struck a nerve. LEO He made it you ignorant fuck! How many times do I have to tell you? He made it. Bogota, Cartagena, Panama, ‘Bamas ... so will we. That I promise. Now back to work. Roberto hesitantly obeys. CUT TO: INT. BUS - DAY The bus careens down a dirt road, hugging the mountainside. Mel HUMS to a Gardel TANGO flowing from the radio. The song fades and the DJ chimes in: DJ (V.O.) (filtered) ... and that was the memorable Gardel in Borrowed Time. We're coming upon yet another anniversary of the fateful crash. 10,30 will be honoring the great one from 12 to 8 on Saturday the 20th. Eight full hours. STATIC. DJ (CONT’D) (filtered) In local news, the banana strikers of Crescent Hill were met with bullets when the conservative forces of General Padillo were called in to quell the week-long strike.
DJ(cont'd) Several hundred strikers were gunned down. General Padillo has vowed to crush any communist uprising. The bodies were then ....
HEAVY STATIC. MEL (to radio) Then what? He reaches into his shirt pocket for a cigarette. TWO GUNSHOTS RING OUT O.S. MEL (CONT’D) What the fuck? Mel straightens his spectacles and swallows hard. A THIRD GUNSHOT BLOWS OUT the left rear tire. CUT TO: EXT. SUGARCANE PLANTATION - DAY The GUNSHOTS ECHO through the rows of cane -- apprehension fills the air. CUT TO: INT. BUS - DAY Mel maneuvers the bus to a gradual stop. CUT TO: EXT. ROADSIDE - DAY A ragtag camouflaged posse slithers out from the trees, carrying weapons that presage a major battle: .30 automatic rifles, .30 Belga rifles, M-1 carbines, Madsen pistols, and MK-II grenades. MAX is among them - 20-ish, eyes piercing with wrath, a mixture between a peasant and a soldier. He’s angry, in the prime of his life, and ready to kick ass.
He motions to Mel to exit. Mel crosses himself and whispers to the heavens. MAX There's nothing HE can do for you. Get the fuck out before I deliver you to him in pieces. Mel removes the cigarette from his mouth and motions back in awe. Max lifts his rifle and aims. Mel stares down the shinny barrel and trembles -- Max means business. He flings the cigarette out the nearest window and exits. MAX (CONT’D) Identification card. MEL I'm just a driver. I’m authorized to be in these parts. MAX ID, yes or no. It’s that simple. Mel trembles and hands Max his identification card. Max hands it to a nearby soldier. MAX (CONT’D) Liberal? Mel is puzzled. He searches for the answer that may save his life, but the ID card says it all. MAX (CONT’D) You're driving straight into conservative territory. Your kind is no longer welcomed around here. MEL I take no sides. I’m just a simple peasant. Something in his response sparks anger in Max.
MAX That's your mistake you communist idiot. Max BATTERS Mel to the ground, drunk with power and a fanatical faith. MEL I’m no Communist. They make us carry these cards. We’ve got no choice. The Soldier tears the identification card. MAX How many other communists at the plantation? No response. MAX (CONT’D) Are they armed? Max pulls a revolver from his holster and aims at Mel's head. Mel SOBS like a baby. MEL Conservative! That's what I am. Yeah, yeah, how could I forget? Idiot. You voted for, uhm, Gomez. That’s right. Laureano Gomez. Viva el Partido Conservador. Max is not impressed. MAX How many armed men at the plantation? MEL A bunch of peasants, with nothing but machetes and pitchforks. Max is itching to pull the trigger.
MAX We’re here to reclaim rebel territory in the name of the Republic. Death to the followers of Gaitan. Once and for all. Collective YEAS among the soldiers. Max BOOTS Mel in the ribs. Mel PANTS and crawls under the bus. MEL (O.S) I don't take sides. I’m just a simple peasant. FAINT GUNFIRE O.S. Max fidgets. He has a venomous look in his eye. MAX As I said, that's your mistake asshole. Max stoops and FIRES several times under the bus. The gunshots are followed by a DEAFENING ECHO, and then SILENCE. A puddle of blood flows from the underbelly of the bus, spawning a streaming river. MAX (CONT’D) That’s it boys. We go. DJ (V.O.) (filtered) I leave you now with one of my favorites. A MELANCHOLY AGUDELO BOLERO fills the void. The river of blood morphs into the Magda River as it hugs the back end of the plantation. CUT TO:
EXT. SUGARCANE PLANTATION - DAY Armed guards patrol the plantation -- a sense of danger -- a readiness for war.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF CANE Roberto and Leo are drenched in sweat. William approaches on horseback. WILLIAM It's lunchtime. You fellas' should join the others. LEO We figure we may get in a little extra. Could use it this time of year. William removes his sombrero and glances at the cutters under a mango tree in the distance. Roberto HACKS at the cane -- in his own world. WILLIAM Lopez says we'll come in short this season. Something in what William says sparks anger in Roberto. ROBERTO It's always the same shit. Meanwhile he fills his pockets year after year on our backs. Sends his children to American schools, his trophy wife to Europe and gets to call us his army. LEO Roberto!
WILLIAM Stupid fucking boy. With all the shit that's going on, at least we've got work. Did you see them at the gate? Leo is uncomfortable with that remark. LEO Lopez rejected the amnesty. That's fine, but that's his business. We're not fighting anymore. WILLIAM We're in this together. Til' the end. LEO We were. Enough fighting. Enough politics. Me and my boys are out. We’ve been out for many years. Leo HACKS at the cane. William and Roberto stare each other down.
UNDER A MANGO TREE Half-a-dozen cutters linger. A bottle of cane liquor circulates among them. HARRY, 30-ish, eyes of a warrior and undisputed leader, six-foot-two, built like a tree trunk, demands attention. HARRY They weren't about to sit back and let us proclaim a new republic. Now that Lopez thumbed his nose at the National Front, they'll be coming. Amnesty of no amnesty. SILENCE. WIL, 50-ish, toothless and grandfatherly, breaks the silence.
WIL (stuttering) We-we-we-we'll fight. Wa-wawhatever it takes. Da-da-this is our land. JAMES, 30-ish, eyes that hesitate with nervousness, responds. JAMES They're too strong. It’s suicide. We run. Crescent Hill fell on Tuesday. One by one they killed three hundred. Then they moved in and began the real cleansing. WIL Ex-x-x-exe .... HARRY That’s right you stuttering Sherlock, executions. Tortures. Eerie SILENCE.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF CANE William scans. Roberto HACKS. LEO Liberal, conservative. There was a time when that meant something. Now it’s just greed and war. That simple. They send us out to fight. For the party. We die by the thousands. What have we won? ROBERTO We work their land. We fight their wars. We vote for their candidates. Or we die. William’s heard enough.
WILLIAM Fools. Keep on chasing a lost dream, see where it will get you. We fight for a Republic of our own. He gallops away. WILLIAM (CONT’D) It’s time.
UNDER A MANGO TREE William reaches the men under the tree. HARRY Well? WILLIAM There's no getting through. Harry grips his machete. HARRY It's settled. JAMES Hold on there. Leo’s been with us from day one. HARRY If he won't swear allegiance to the liberal cause, he’s a dead man. Today. WILLIAM The idiots are following Goldineh to his grave. That goes for all of you dumb nuts. At every town from here to Bogota you'll face conservatives who can smell a liberal a mile away. A peasant no less.
WILLIAM(cont'd) They’ll skin you alive and parade your filthy hide to frighten the others.
Harry raises his machete. HARRY (CONT’D) We've gotta' be ready. For the Liberal Party! All others raise their machetes. ALL For Gaitan! The SHOUTING turns to FRENZY.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF CANE Through the cell-like rods of cane Leo and Roberto notice the commotion under the tree. ROBERTO We can't say no forever. Lopez won't stand for it. Not on his soil. Leo SIGHS. ROBERTO (CONT’D) Neither will his hired guns. A FAINT BLAST O.S. Leo and Roberto are frozen in fear. SILENCE. FAINT BLAST O.S. Leo's P.O.V. - a single bullet rips through a Guard's chest and knocks him from his horse.
UNDER A MANGO TREE CHAOS -- GUNFIRE rips through the men under the tree. Where is it coming from? No one knows.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF CANE Leo races through the rows with machete in hand, as if he were chasing the devil. Roberto, slow to react, follows.
BY THE GATE Max GUNS DOWN Victor in a HAIL OF BULLETS. A group of Soldiers FIRE at everything that moves. A GUARD frantically dashes towards the field. He notices William and is relieved to find a familiar face. GUARD Government troops are all over. Run towards the river. WILLIAM There’s nowhere to hide you stupid peasant. The Guard stands in a cold sweat. William pulls a colt revolver and FIRES. WILLIAM (CONT’D) You’ll never learn. He takes the Guard's rifle and marches through the rows, FIRING as he goes -- one after the other, the peasants fall. The Mulatto from the gate unveils a revolver and FIRES at nearby cutters -- he’s also one of them.
WITHIN THE ROWS OF CANE The rows are ripped by GUNFIRE. The MOANS of dying men and the MASSIVE EXPLOSIONS are astonishing.
SMOKE chokes any visibility. The cutters don't stand a chance against the SPRAY OF BULLETS -- no one is spared. CUT TO: EXT. ROSE PLANTATION - DAY Maria and Martin huddle within a field of long-stem roses, picking the most vibrant. This field is considerably smaller than the previous we had seen, yet equally as appealing. THE ECHOES OF FAINT BLASTS O.S. RAPID GUNFIRE O.S. RACKET OF PASSING MILITARY CONVOYS O.S. Maria grabs Martin and they scurry towards the safety of their home.
INT. TORRES HOME, LIVING ROOM - DAY On a table, cluttered with pieces of paper, sits an aluminum box, a tiny withered American flag, and a radio. In the background, Maria WHISPERS prayers in a candlelit corner flooded by roses. Martin’s P.O.V. - the military convoys proceed down the dirt road, headed for the Lopez Plantation. Martin’s eyes brim with sadness. HARD CUT TO:
EXT. SUGARCANE PLANTATION - DAY Leo races through the smokey maze ... LEO Karl! Karl! Damn boy. Karl! Where are you?
A BLAST -- Leo is pelted with flying dirt. He struggles to see through the smoke -- he falls -- he COUGHS. Further down -- Roberto stands motionless, tilting his head at every crack of a voice. LEO (CONT’D) Karl! Karl! Roberto sprints ... ROBERTO Dad! Leo! Where are you? Roberto stands motionless once again. HEAVY GUNFIRE O.S. LEO (O.S.) Roberto? Roberto! I can’t find him. Run home. Run. Save the others. Go. GUNFIRE RIPS THROUGH the leafy rows -- Roberto ducks. Soldiers close in from every direction. ROBERTO Try the river. We'll go together. He couldn't of' gone far. Leo catches a spotty glimpse of Roberto through the cane. LEO Run home Roberto. Listen to me for once. Run. Roberto sprints -- he has no intention of leaving his father behind. Bodies litter the ground. He turns -- more bodies. A beat. Roberto's P.O.V. - William coolly aims and FIRES. Further down, Leo clutches the right side of his chest and drops like a sack of potatoes.
Roberto charges William with rage in his eyes. William aims and FIRES. Roberto slumps forward, clutches his stomach and slowly bends into a fetal position. WILLIAM So much for reaching America hey. It’s death or life you see. This is our dream. William loses them in the smoke. WILLIAM (CONT’D) If you don’t kill, you’ll be dead. You two were too stupid to see it. It’s simple. William aims at anything that moves. WILLIAM (CONT’D) Me and my boy decided to fight. William begins to panic as he loses all visibility. The smoke clears. In the corner of his eye he spots the deflating image of Roberto hacking at Max with his machete. William’s face fill with horror. A MONSTROUS EXPLOSION smothers our sight. FADE TO: PLANTATION COURTYARD The plantation home SMOLDERS. Women inside SHRIEK. Soldiers FIRE into the blaze. Three pickups crammed with Soldiers arrive. William clutches Max’s lifeless hand. Leo sits nearby covered in blood, arms tied behind his back, next to Karl’s lifeless body. SOLDIER (to William) Comandante, the house and field are all clear. Not many got away.
Though he doesn’t shed a tear, William is unconsolable. WILLIAM (to Max) You’ve made the Republic proud. It’s death for life. He stares at Leo. Leo stares back. WILLIAM (CONT’D) (to Soldier) Follow them into the mountains and (MORE) finish them off. I want those mountains covered in red by nightfall. No one walks out of there alive. The Soldier moves out. The field burns in an inferno. CUT TO: EXT. WOODED AREA - DAY Harry and several wounded peasants flee through tree cover under heavy GUNFIRE. James drags Roberto’s moribund body through the stocky woods. The fleeing cutters are soon joined by other peasants. The group, now numbering in the forties, follows the tree line up the river and aim for the foggy mountains. CUT TO:
EXT. ROSE PLANTATION - DAY Leo, bloodied and arms tied behind his back, kneels within the field of roses, surrounded by William, four young soldiers, and a priest. Maria and Martin watch in horror as FATHER RAY, 30-ish, in clergy attire, well-groomed, shifting eyes, places his hand over Leo’s indomitable head. LEO That’s never done me any good father.
LEO(cont'd) I’m coming whether he welcomes me up there or not. (to William) Get to it.
Leo locks eyes with Martin for a few seconds. His eyes dwindle and the frown in his face morphs into a smile. LEO (CONT’D) Don’t forget to dream. A beat. William FIRES. Leo’s body CRUMBLES. Maria drops to her knees. Martin rushes to his father and WEEPS on his lifeless body. Bound around Leo’s neck is a round metallic pendant encrusted with the fading image of lady liberty. Martin takes it. Martin locks eyes with William. William FIRES one more bullet. CUT TO:
EXT. MIDVALE - DAY IN QUICK SEQUENCE ... In the town square, a firing squad takes aim at peasants lined up against a wall. RAPID GUNFIRE. Homes throughout burn to the ground. Sugarcane crushers and processing plants smolder. Soldiers storm into a home and drag a MAN out into the road. His WIFE and young SON SCREAM as they follow. We stay with the boy as he shuts his eyes and covers his ears. For a moment we are relieved of the dreadful sight. MUFFLED GUNFIRE O.S. Moments later, the Wife, Son, and the lifeless body of their patriarch hide amidst the dried cane field. Soldiers launch torches all around them.
Moments later, under the protection of soldiers, a new family sets up roots in the house, sporting the smiles of proud new home owners. Throughout the Magda River, military trucks dump bodies into the water, turning the water a bright red. CUT TO:
EXT. RIVERSIDE - NIGHT Somewhere between Crescent Hill and Midvale, a procession of lanterns as far as the eye can see pour into the turbid waters of the Magda River. Battle-wearied peasants fight back the fleshy currents in their attempt to cross. Some make it, some don't. INT. MOVING PICKUP TRUCK - NIGHT Several hundred yards back, GABRIEL DIAZ, 30-ish, welldressed, darting eyes, concentrates on the road ahead. ROSE DIAZ, 20-ish, striking but black and blued around the cheeks, stares into space and WEEPS. The pickup crawls in the darkness. Gabriel turns the radio dial until the reception clears. DJ (V.O.) (filtered) General Padilla has made it clear he will not let up until all insurgents have given up arms. He has vowed to fight the Communists til' the end. The rebel armies, on the other hand, have announced they have no intention of giving up until the government agrees to land reform and puts an end to all persecution ....
HEAVY STATIC. DJ (CONT’D) (filtered) ... a ... curfew ... into affect ... evening ... The reception fades entirely. Gabriel turns off the radio and attempts to roll down the window, but it doesn't budge. GABRIEL Communists my ass. Me a communist. Ha! Imagine that. He's dressing this up for the gringos. A beat. GABRIEL (CONT’D) We need to make it across before the sun comes up. Claim our prize for the years of loyalty. I told you It’d pay off. He presses the HORN and gives the window another try. It finally budges -- the dust cascades in. Grabriel stretches his head out. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Move your asses! He glances at Rose, somewhat incredulous. GABRIEL (CONT’D) There was nothing I could of' done. They dug their own graves. She looks into his eyes and we sense the hatred she feels for him. ROSE We could of' tried.
GABRIEL We're in the middle of hell. Do you want to volunteer to go back? I’m one step ahead of them and I’m not about to give that up. Not for you, and definitely not for them. She WEEPS. Gabriel notices an elderly couple directly in their path. GABRIEL (CONT’D) This isn't the Virgin Mary behind the wheel, move it. He presses the HORN. In the headlights we notice the couple glancing back in despair. GABRIEL (CONT’D) (to Rose) They only had a few good years left anyhow. Rose squirms. Grabriel is suddenly distracted by a smoke-spewing truck on the side of the road. He shines a flashlight straight at the face of a MAN.
ROADSIDE The MAN, 40-ish, thin, bloodied around his shoulder and thigh, unloads a rifle from a truck. A WOMAN, 30-ish, sickly, COUGHS in the front seat while she soothes a child, ANGEL (4).
TRUCK Gabriel swiftly pivots the light away. The Woman rushes towards the truck. Angel follows. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Shit! They saw us. That’s the last thing we need.
WOMAN (O.S.) Gabe! Gabe! Is that you? (to MAN) I think it’s Gabe. Gabe Diaz. MAN (O.S.) Help us, for God's sakes. We're gonna' die out here. The Woman COUGHS blood into her hands. Gabriel reluctantly pulls to the side -- this was obviously not part of the plan. GABRIEL (to Woman) Move away from the truck! Gabriel tosses the flashlight, reaches under the seat, and pulls a revolver. He aims at the Woman with a steady grip. Rose and Angel lock eyes in a strange affinity. GABRIEL (CONT’D) We've got no time for beggars. Get the fuck back. Beggars? WOMAN ROSE Put the gun down.
The Woman COUGHS into her hands once again. Gabriel covers his nose and mouth in disgust. GABRIEL There's nothing we can do for you. You’re halfway to hell. ROSE Norma please, he’ll do it. WOMAN Take her, take my Angel. She's not gonna' make it. The Man hobbles to the truck. Gabriel’s patience thins. THUNDERS. It
GABRIEL We've got enough water for two. I have no fucking idea what’s up ahead. I may have to dump the truck. Angel’s angelic face is shadowed by heavy tears. Gabriel isn't moved -- but Rose is. RAIN POURS DOWN. MAN We're not strangers. GABRIEL You're not friends either. Not out here. Not now. Step the fuck back! The truck proceeds forward. Rose opens her door and pulls Angel in. As the truck drives away, the Woman falls into the Man's arms and WEEPS. We stay with them as they drown in the tumult.
TRUCK Gabriel HURLS the revolver on the floor. GABRIEL (CONT’D) That's great. Now we're stuck with a God-damn-girl. Now what?! Angel WEEPS -- Gabriel rubs his incredulous face. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Start by shutting her up. ROSE (to Girl) It's alright sweetheart. You’re safe now. GABRIEL Safe!
ROSE It's gonna' be alright my Angel. It’s gonna’ be alright. A fuming Gabriel focuses on the road and MUMBLES vulgarities. FADE TO:
INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - DAY In a poorly lit, smoked-filled room, a decrepit and bushyfaced Martin sits on the table next to the radio. An empty bottle of rum spins on the floor. APPEARS ON SCREEN: Midvale, Colombia, 1963. Martin reaches for a nearby aluminum box. THE RADIO PLAYS GARDEL. DJ (V.O.) (filtered) 10,30 AM, its 3:15. This morning President Padillo announced to the nation that the municipalities of Crescent Hill, Midvale and Rio Sucio have been cleansed. Here's a little of what the President had to say: PRESIDENT PADILLO (V.O.) (filtered) Order and stability have been accomplished for the people of these regions. The rule of law is once again the victor. The inhabitants of three of our nations southern municipalities have been liberated from the hands of communist agitators .... Martin POUNDS the radio. In a single swoop it comes crashing to the ground.
MARTIN I don’t give a rat’s ass about any rebels or the rule-of-fucking-law. Martin is clearly demented. The ghost-like images of Leo and Karl stand before him backed by a surreal light. KARL So we're not going? LEO (MORE) It was nothing but a dream. I told you to forget it. Better off praying to your mother's saints. KARL We'll get there. We've gotta' be close by now. It's been four years. LEO Mel is dead. They’re all dead. Goldineh never made it. He’s a dreaming fool. Martin stares at the aluminum box and clutches his head in PAIN. He covers his ears. LEO (CONT’D) God-damn-you Goldineh. And God-damn your dream. I never wanted it. Two thousand. We go through this every week. Are you fucking deaf? Martin is about to explode. KARL (O.S.) A couple more harvests. That's all. The red house on the hill of 42nd and 38. Ask for Tiburon. LEO (O.S.) Goldineh's rottin' in some ditch. You hear me? No one's seen him since.
LEO(cont'd) Not a word, not a god-damn letter. Mel is dead. It was nothing but a dream.
In a rage, Martin turns the table on its side. Papers fly in all directions. The pendant and the note pad land near each other. A long beat. MARTIN Goldineh made it. Didn't he? Of course he did. He kept going. Bogota, Cartagena, Panama, Bahamas, Miami. He never looked back. No response. Martin seems to be looking for someone who isn’t there. MARTIN (CONT’D) Fuck you! You promised. You swore you met with the men who helped him. That everything checked out. You just needed some time, that’s all. You promised. You drunken fuck.
HALLWAY William exits an abutting bedroom. He adjusts his shirt under his pants. He catches a glimpse of Martin staring him down. Martin tightens his fist and charges William with venom in his eyes. Before he is able to reach him, two soldiers club him to the ground. William pulls a revolver. WILLIAM It ain't worth dying over. Get used to it. She's nothing but a whore saving her own ass. And yours. Be thankful. Martin makes a sudden move and is clubbed once again.
WILLIAM (CONT’D) Though I’d much rather get rid of you. William aims at Martin's face. Martin is prepared to die. MARTIN Pull the trigger you god-damcoward. WILLIAM (to soldiers) Take him. You know what to do. Maria suddenly emerges from the bedroom. MARIA You got what you wanted. Now leave. William lowers the revolver and ponders for a second. WILLIAM Can’t ever say I don't keep a deal. You grow your roses and the boy’s unharmed. One big happy family. MARTIN Deal? MARIA It's no concern of yours. (to William) Get the hell out. WILLIAM (to Martin) Do like your old man and play stupid and maybe you’ll live long enough. MARTIN If I were half the man he was you’d be dead a long time ago.
MARIA (to William) Get out or I’ll kill you myself. WILLIAM Feisty. That’s why I love you so much. The soldiers club Martin one more time and follow William to the door. Martin locks eyes with Maria. She lowers her head in shame. Martin embraces her. He obviously loves her and shares her pain.
BEDROOM Martin hovers before the aluminum box laying on the floor, surrounded by money and folded pieces of paper with names and hand-drawn maps. He unfolds one of them and reads: GOLDINEH (V.O.) A bit of advice for you my friend: Do not take a moment's rest. Dream. It is the only thing they can't take. It is the only thing that will keep you alive. Dream of the impossible and it shall be. Martin folds and places the paper back in the box -- not quite certain what to make of it. MARTIN (to space) I know he made it. Martin lifts the pendant and places it around his neck. He then reads the muddled writing in the note pad. He places everything back in the box. FADE TO:
EXT. MIDVALE, CORNER - DAY Midvale is no more than tattered, brick structures brimming with election posters, broken windows and withered homes. Soldiers march through the streets. Men are loaded onto military trucks and driven away. Women walk the streets in a trance.
APPLIANCE STORE A group of well-dressed men are glued to the display window as footage of President Kennedy's funeral procession comes through on a TV set. Among them, OSCAR, 20-ish, slim, clean-shaven, and COREY, 20ish, slim, potted face, teeth of a chain-smoker. The reception fades. The crowd rifts apart. We stay with Corey and Oscar. COREY (to TV) Piece of shit. Corey skims the copy of EL TIEMPO he’s been clutching. The Headline reads, “Rebels Wage War.” A clean-shaven Roberto approaches with fire in his eyes -- a changed man, willing to live or die. He snatches the paper from Corey’s clutch. OSCAR Still reading that conservative crap I see. They feed you what they want you to know. He hurls the paper to the ground. ROBERTO Castro finally had the balls to do it. It was about fucking time.
COREY Castro may be crazy but not stupid. He’s got nothing to do with this. Roberto pounds Oscar on the chest. ROBERTO Monday night. It's set. Oscar squirms. OSCAR Leave me out of it. COREY There he goes again with that shit. OSCAR I’m not getting mixed up in this. COREY We’re all in. ROBERTO This is no time to play neutral. They won’t take that. OSCAR So we become like them? Killers. Is that what it will take? ROBERTO Abso-fucking-lutely. An eye for an eye. That’s the only way. You’ve heard it before, it’s death for life. Oscar shakes his head and walks away. Roberto’s face hardens. ROBERTO (CONT’D) Could a' used him. COREY He’ll come around.
ROBERTO He’s nothing but a statistic now. Borrowed time. A bus approaches. Corey and Roberto sprint towards it. A spray-painted message on its side reads: “UNASE AL EJERCITO DEL PUEBLO” (”Join the People’s Army”). CUT TO: INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - DAY Martin places money in the aluminum box. He reads from the tattered pages of the note pad -- puzzled by the meaningless scribble. CUT TO: EXT. MOVING TRUCK, DIRTROAD - DAY Martin clings to the underbelly of a cattle truck as it halts at a countryside checkpoint. The Driver hands William his identification car. William waves him through. A beat. The cattle fidget. The truck suddenly stops. We close in on Martin's terrified face as William points in his direction. GUNFIRE. Several Soldiers rush towards the truck. Martin’s been spotted. He jumps and bolts towards the trees. The Soldiers FIRE, barely missing their target. Martin escapes. CUT TO:
EXT. MARKETPLACE, MIDVALE - DAY We are somewhere in the FLY-INFESTED marketplace. Bloodcoated stalls, claustrophobically lined up against each other, overflow with bovine skulls, livers, intestines, pigfeet, ox tails, tongues, eyes and kidneys.
The THUMPS of knives, axes, and machetes echo as they STRIKE the cutting blocks. Hogs WAIL and zombie-like drunks, beggars, and mangy mutts line the ground.
STALL In her own smug and depressed world we find Maria, surrounded by hundreds of red, pink and yellow roses. She fills a rectangular cardboard box with an arrangement of red, yellow, and pink roses. She reads the classifieds from an American newspaper opened on the stall. She writes on a piece of paper: MARIA (V.O.) (writing) Mr. Williams, I give to you the most exquisite set of specimens in the world: the Versalia, the Black Magic, the Ociana, and the Circus. They represent life, death, and our dreams. She repeats the process, this time for a Mr. Johnson. The following for a Mrs. Luke. Martin’s hand surprises Maria as he takes a red rose and places a coin on the stall. MARTIN Still at it? He takes a whiff of the rose. MARIA As long as I can muster it. Those four are ready. I’ll have more by noon. Take them. She gulps a shot of cane liquor and shrugs and returns her attention to the classifieds.
MARTIN Stubborn woman. MARIA The last time I checked I was still your mother. MARTIN Here we are in country’s sugar bowl and your bright idea is harvesting roses. We should be selling cane to the processors like everyone else. And making a bundle. MARIA Blood money. They’ll own us. The roses represent life. MARTIN Up to fifty cents a pound worth of it. Martin reaches for the nearby boxes. MARTIN (CONT’D) Laredo Texas. Miami Florida. You’ve been doing this for years and nothing. Do you even know where any of these places are? Not a single response. And I sure as hell don’t see them lining up for the Ociana in this shit hole. Only that aristocratic whore Mrs. Rivas. (mocking) The most exquisite specimen the earth gives. MARIA That’s all it takes. They want the sugar, I’ll give them roses. They want you, I’ll give them me.
Martin shakes his head, takes the boxes, and walks away. CUT TO: INT. DIAZ HOME, LIVING ROOM - DAY Something in the dismal room with curtained off windows hints of paranoia. Gabriel, now a shattered man, roams in a drunken stupor with a belt bound tightly around his hand. Rose chases him with dread in her eyes.
BEDROOM ANGEL DIAZ, now in her teens, bold eyes, beautiful but badly bruised face, WEEPS and quivers in a dim corner.
LIVING ROOM GABRIEL You won’t talk me out of it this time. ROSE I don’t understand why you hate her so much. She’s your daughter. GABRIEL My daughter? You would say that bitch. From day one she's been nothing but trouble and bad luck. An omen from day one. ROSE You never gave her a chance. A beat. ROSE (CONT’D) You might as well have left her to die.
GABRIEL I tried you God-damn-goodSamaritan. I tried. He peeks through the curtain and covers every inkling of the outside world. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Where’s the land they promised. The high post. The years of loyalty, and this is what I get. A fucking hut. ROSE I much more prefer this to a blood soaked acre full of ghosts. He pivots and stammers in her direction. Rose cowers. GABRIEL You would, wouldn’t you? You didn’t cultivate the relationships, you didn’t surrender your oath. You women are useless. Nothing but trouble. ROSE What about Sam? You said he offered you something. Something in her inquiry springs fear in his face. He SMACKS her and SWINGS the belt, barely missing. He peeks through a slight opening in the curtains. GABRIEL Your tongue’s gonna' get us killed bitch. (lowers voice) Shut your fucking mouth. CUT TO:
EXT. MARKETPLACE, MIDVALE - DAY TONY, a teenage, rumpled, homeless boy with a mischievous aura to his face, lurks through a crowd of shoppers. Two gaudy women parade by, lost in their chitchat. MARTHA RIVAS, 30-ish and aristocratic, holds a gorgeous arrangement of roses in her hands. Tony gives chase, like a wolf on a scent. Martha takes in the scent of the roses. MARTHA Sublime. There’s nothing in the world that compares. WOMAN 1 Maria’s an angel. No one know’s how she does it. MARTHA It’s her faith. They won’t grow on any other soil but hers. Others have tried. WOMAN 1 They say she’s a sorceress. That she prays to strange Gods out in that field. That she buried her husband smack in the middle so that hers is the only soil that never dries. MARTHA Nonsense. Beauty such as this is not the product of sorcery or strange Gods. It’s love and faith. The Ociana comes from heaven. Worthy of adorning the feet of saints. Tony slithers his hand into the handbag dangling from Martha’s shoulder -- he’s a master.
WOMAN 1 Well, lucky you. What’s the use of being the general’s wife if you can’t enjoy certain things? Lord knows these people give me the spooks. MARTHA You’re too judging Fran. They’re innocent victims. Take Maria. She’s lost her husband, most of her land, her children. Yet every morning her hands put together an arrangement only God himself could match. Buenos dias, she says, can I have your American newspaper madame. Every morning. Innocent victims. Tony feels and clamps a batch of bills. He places them into his pocket and grins. He stops in his tracks as Martha and her friend continue on, lost in the crowd. Tony WHISTLES forcefully towards someone. Some distance away, Martin, carrying the boxes, WHISTLES back. They meet. TONY I got something to show you. They stroll down the sidewalk. TONY (CONT’D) This is what I call a good day. Tony flashes the bills stashed in his pocket. MARTIN Shit! There's gotta' be over ... Is that a five? Tony ruffles the bill in the air.
TONY I'd been waiting for her all day. You've gotta' know how to pick em' out. The general’s wife. Tony places some bills in Martin’s pocket. TONY (CONT’D) For your dream. They strut along. MARTIN Member’ what they did to the last pick-pocket. Tony considers the possibility for a second and grins. TONY Are you kidding? It’s never been better. They ain't catching Slick Tony. I’m practically a legend around here. Let the conservatives come. It’s good business. Tony places his arm over Martin's shoulders with the strut of a confident man. TONY (CONT’D) Work's for the poor Martin. Like you. The down-and-out poor. They CHUCKLE. Martin places the boxes on the ground and lifts Tony's right arm -- two fingers are missing. TONY (CONT’D) Twice in ten years. Not a bad average I’d say. Eight more left. Can do as much with eight as I did with ten. MARTIN How’s five? Or three?
Tony pokes his pinky in his nose. TONY In the end, all I need is one. Tony hastens -- Martin grabs the boxes and follows. CUT TO: EXT. RIVERSIDE DOCK - DAY A storm of activity brews the Magda River. Peasants cotton onto idling trucks circumspect eyes of armed counted and recounted. within a steely warehouse abutting load sacks of sugar and bundles of and river boats, under the government soldiers. Each pile is
WAREHOUSE Martin enters, carrying the boxes of roses. He heads towards James who treads frantically with a clipboard in hand. JAMES (yelling) Zero Sixty-three’s all set. Move out. Five-hundred sugar headed for Cartagena. Fifty cotton straight through to Panama. No more than five stops. Truck after truck drives off. JAMES (CONT’D) Sixty-four’s nice and full. Threefifty for Bogota. All sweet. Fiftyeight to Miami, through Cartagena. James catches a glimpse of Martin from the corner of his eye. JAMES (CONT’D) Not now.
MARTIN It’s the usual four. Same places it seems. You know her. JAMES (ignoring) Twenty-two straight through to Veracruz. Four-hundred Lopez black. (to Martin) She doesn’t give up. It’s my ass. (MORE) She knows that? No response. JAMES (CONT’D) If it weren’t for your father .... James pauses to takes a drink from a nearby bottle of cane liquor and shrugs. JAMES (CONT’D) Set em’ down over there. We’re all going to die anyhow. It’s just a matter of time. Martin sets the boxes near a towering pile of sugar. MARTIN What if she’s right? James stands confused. MARTIN (CONT’D) What if some day roses will be worth more than the sugar? JAMES Then we’ll kill ourselves over roses I suppose. Nothing’ll change. Sugar’s gold. If it weren’t cause Mrs. Rivas is thrown to ecstasy by the scent of the Ociana, she’d be dead by now. And you with her.
JAMES(cont'd) They say the Ociana drives the general’s wife crazy. Transforms her into a fucking machine. And the general’s buying every bit of it. He’s not complaining and Maria knows it.
James SIGHS. JAMES (CONT’D) Your father was no different. He was never gonna’ let them run his life. He fought it. Had his own agenda. MARTIN Either way we end up dead. Dream or no dream. JAMES He died with a clean conscience. Not as a liberals, nor conservative. MARTIN Some good that did him. As Martin strolls away, James reflects on what he has become and for a moment the tumult of the warehouse is nothing but a faint murmur. CUT TO: INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - DAY Martin places money in the aluminum box. He reads Goldineh's note. He lights a candle and reads the note pad. He doesn’t get very far as he struggles to make sense of it. CUT TO:
EXT. RIVERSIDE DOCK - NIGHT It’s a starlit night. The activity at the dock has quieted down, yet not entirely idle. Martin is buried among the bundles of sugar, careful not to make a sound. Martin’s P.O.V. - several peasants board a utility boat under cover of darkness. Martin heads towards them. A high pitched WHISTLE RINGS OUT. Martin takes cover before he is seen. GUNFIRE -- William and half-a-dozen Soldiers FIRE at the boat from the dock. Most of the peasants are killed instantly, their bodies falling into the murky waters. WILLIAM I want them all dead. All. The surviving peasants stare death in the face and squirm. William casually pulls the pin from a hand grenade and counts. He throws it long, arching into the boat, perfectly aimed. A THUNDEROUS EXPLOSION. Martin darts away. CUT TO: EXT. ALLEY, MIDVALE - NIGHT MARK and JOSEPH, two teenage, grimy boys, wrangle near a porous brick wall. Mark, clearly the oldest, wins out -- face reeling with mischief. Joseph, in his homemade milk-jug spectacles and beady eyes, pouts. He squats and INHALES deeply from a can. MARK What a rack. You’ve gotta’ see this. Oh mami.
JOSEPH Hurry your ass. MARK Hold your dick. She ain't going nowhere. Not until she gets her money. Joseph RUMMAGES through a nearby garbage heap and finds an orange peel. He chews it and squirms. MARK (CONT’D) That's right. Make yourself useful. Remember, vegetarian. Joseph shrugs as if to say “fuck you”. Mark backs away from the hole and points at the bulge thumping through his zipper. MARK (CONT’D) (salutes) Atten-hut! The one-eyed monkey is ready for battle. As Mark GIGGLES, Joseph gladly takes his turn -- this is what he’s been waiting for. He removes his spectacles and squints. JOSEPH I’ve died an gone to heaven. MARK Hell boy. You won’t be seeing her in heaven. Mark HEARS SOMETHING -- he pivots. He pulls a knife -whoever or whatever it is, he’s ready. Martin and Tony approach. Mark blocks their way. MARK (CONT’D) (mocking) Today's show features, the always talented, pimply-ass, Margarita.
MARTIN Margarita? Tony looks down at his hands. TONY She's giving me calluses already. MARK It gets better. Making his debut is none-other-than (mocking) you-boys-are-going-straight to-hell Ray. Tony is puzzled. MARTIN (to Tony) The preacher you idiot. Father Ray. Raymond. TONY What-do-ya'-know? The pastor tending to his lamb. MARTIN Mr. Morals. (mocking) This country needs more churches, blah, blah, blah. The conservatives are the party of God. TONY Churches my ass. MARK More whorehouses is what we need. Besides, Margarita is much better at confessions than he’ll ever be. Martin pushes Joseph away from the hole and peeps deep into the hole.
MARK Your peter's had enough excitement for the day. TONY It's payback boys. No one responds. Martin senses trouble and backs away from the hole. MARTIN Don't do anything stupid. We've got a job to do in the morning. Joseph takes his turn at the hole. Martin frets. Mark loves the sense of adventure. MARK What is it? (to Martin) Quit your preaching. TONY You're about to get your money's worth. Tony points at the hole in the wall and dashes away. No one blinks an eyelash. Moments later, Martin peers through the hole. A reddened eyeball from the other side peers back -- Martin drops on his ass. MARTIN Holy shit! Martin’s face pales, like he’s seen the devil. MARK What? What is it? What'd you see? Mark takes his turn at the hole.
JOSEPH What’s going on? What’s he doin’ to her? I’m missing it again. Not fair. MARK It can't be. That son-of-a-bitch. MARTIN We're gonna' be in deep shit. Mark moves aside with a wolfish grin on his face. Martin is uneasy about the whole thing. CUT TO: INT. WHOREHOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT Tony tiptoes in the dark -- he’s a master. The couple is by now fast asleep. Tony dances and sticks out his tongue, savoring the rush of it all. ALLEY MARTIN It’s the fumes. He’s mad. A NERVOUS CHUCKLE. WHOREHOUSE, BEDROOM Tony yanks several bills from a pair of slacks on a nearby chair. He then pulls a rosary from one of the pockets and after taking a moment to reflect on the irony, lays it on top of Margarita’s red underwear. He takes a pack of cigarettes for himself.
WHOREHOUSE, HALLWAY TANGO MUSIC O.S. RUM-DUM MALE VOICES O.S. Tony waltzes into a nearby storage room.
ALLEY Joseph’s eyes light up in a double take. JOSEPH Show's not over by a long shot. Mark pushes Joseph aside. A beat. MARK We better get out of here. Martin takes his turn at the hole -- he can’t get the words out. The boys scamper up the alley. WHOREHOUSE, BEDROOM Tony SWINGS a bucket with all his might. TONY This all' teach ya’, you fucking perverts. The water hits like a bolt of lightning. Tony runs out ...
HALLWAY Through the hallway ...
BAR Past the waiting patrons -- knocking over tables -- chuckling as he goes ... STREET And into the street -- GASPING. He reaches the others.
MARTIN He saw your face. Tony shrugs. MARTIN (CONT’D) Did he see your face? TONY You should a' seen his. It was fucking worth it. Some distance away, a soaked and half-dressed Father Ray HOWLS profanities. Tony hands Martin several bills and winks as the GIGGLING intensifies. CUT TO: INT. HOME, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT A modest adobe home surrounded by roses on all sides. At the far end, an angelic BOY lies in a coffin, the life drained from his face, hands across his chest, drowning in rainbowlike arrangement of roses. A paper sign hangs from the boy's neck: "LEAVE NOT EVEN THE SEED." A bottle of cane liquor circulates among the dozen or so paying their respects. An elderly WOMAN WEEPS as she passes by the coffin. She rips the sign in defiance. Maria stands at the far end, staring into space. Roberto surreptitiously approaches from behind. ROBERTO You outdid yourself this time. MARIA Another innocent life taken.
ROBERTO What's the point? When are we gonna' learn? Maria hardens her jaw but doesn’t turn to face him. MARIA Wiped out by animals like you. You shouldn’t be here. ROBERTO I’d much prefer son. No response. ROBERTO (CONT’D) I wish I had been there for him. For you. Now it's nothing but rage inside. Animal. That’s right. He turns to leave. She turns to face him. MARIA This is not what he wanted. ROBERTO It's not what I want. MARIA So many years of dreaming so that you'd end up one of them. ROBERTO He died chasing a hopeless dream. I'd rather die fighting. MARIA And that makes you a better man. ROBERTO It makes me a feared man. And keeps me alive. No response.
MARIA You call this alive? ROBERTO I’m here about Martin. Maria’s eyes choke with anger. MARIA Stay away from him. He's not like you. He’s got your father’s spirit. ROBERTO It doesn't take long to crave vengeance. Those hoodlums he runs around with are up to no good. MARIA Nothing but wounded boys trying to make sense of all this. Wondering what they did wrong. What their folks did to deserve such deaths. ROBERTO They'll end up floating in the river. Martin has to understand that. Things are gonna' get out of control. Keep him away from that meeting in Rio Negro. She’s confused. He turns to walk away. MARIA (CONT’D) One morning I overheard a man at the market say he had spotted Goldineh in the capital selling silver fishies. Drunk out of his mind. Sputtering about his adventures in Panama. Roberto stares into his mother’s eyes. His face changes and his eyes fill with tears.
MARIA (CONT’D) A bum, that's what he called him. Can you believe it? Pedro, his cousin, swore to me that Goldineh had returned home penniless. With nothing to show but the knots in his head and strange coins. I never gathered the courage to share that with your father. It would’ve destroyed him. GUNFIRE O.S. Roberto startles. ROBERTO Make sure he stays away. He slithers through the crowd and out the door. STREET A military convoy of young soldiers approaches. William is among them in his usual fiendish face. The crowd forms a semicircle around the trucks. WILLIAM Hear up now. We're here for Fred Gomez and Saul Flores. We know they're here. You couldn’t resist another communist funeral. The Soldiers aim into the crowd. We close in on MAN 1 blending in. He clutches his young, frightened DAUGHTER. He hesitates and places his hand on her shoulder. DAUGHTER Daddy, don't. MAN 1 I've done nothing wrong. He crouches down, kisses her and steps forward. We now close in on MAN 2 -- in a cold sweat. He too steps forward.
MAN 1 (CONT’D) I'm here to pay my respects. Nothing more. William hands a nearby William a sledgehammer next. William shoots a turn shoots a soothing SOLDIER his rifle. The Soldier hands -- we can only imagine what’s coming poisonous glance at Man 1. Man 1 in glance at his Daughter.
MAN 1 (CONT’D) Not in front of her. (MORE) WILLIAM She won't make the same mistake her father made that’s for sure. A bit of loyalty, no. We close in on the Daughter as she covers her eyes. MAN 1 (O.S.) Your father is no communist. He was killed for his land. No more. Run. Hide. WILLIAM (O.S.) Give my regards to your friends. A THUMP. The Daughter opens her eyes -- Man 1 is stretched out, head smashed in. The young girl SCREAMS and darts away. Man 2 drops to his knees. WILLIAM (CONT’D) Get up you communist peasant. MAN 2 Take it. That’s what you want. Take the land. I never wanted it. WILLIAM (to all) Whoever so much as communicates with any rebel will die a similar death. No questions asked.
WILLIAM(cont'd) We've been given orders. And we will follow them to the T. You give a rebel food and shelter, you’re one of them.
Man 2's hands are roped MAN 2 Take the land. Let me live. The rope is tied to the back of an idling truck. We close in on Maria as she peels away from the crowd. The crowd HOWLS at the Soldiers. The Soldiers prepare to fire. CLOSE UP - Maria -- cringes. MAN 2 (CONT’D) Fight back. Join the rebels. They are your sons. They fight for you. Viva Gaitan. The crowds is emboldened. WILLIAM Enough. MAN 2 Fight back. ENGINE REVS O.S. SHRIEKS. Maria cringes. CUT TO: EXT. COUNTRY ROADSIDE - NIGHT Pitch black. FAINT BARKING O.S. CRICKETS CHIRP ad nauseam O.S.
At the outskirts of a plantation, Martin, Tony and Mark huddle behind a mango tree. Next to them, an emaciated but restless horse. They grip daggers as they observe a herd of cattle grazing. Tony points. TONY There it is. That's our baby. MARK That thing? TONY He'll do for now. If all goes well, we'll strike again next week. Joseph joins them, GASPING. He arranges his spectacles. JOSEPH It's all clear, they’re at the other end partying away. MARTIN It’s gotta' be perfect. JOSEPH It's now or never. MARK Never gonna' be perfect. TONY Alright ladies, it’s payday. (to Martin and Mark) Any sign of trouble, run. We'll meet back at Sam’s. (to Joseph) Stay here with the horse. Don’t fuck up. (to Martin) You sure about this? No response, but we get the feeling the answer is NO.
Joseph double-checks the flashlight. Mark, Tony and Martin slither under barbed wire and crawl towards an unsuspecting calf.
GRAZING FIELD A cattle truck creeps under cover of darkness. Nearby cattle scatter. MARTIN (to space) They run at night? Of course. The boys tackle the calf with repeated stabs. Blood splatters like water from a rasping hose. Martin wraps his arms around its head but the calf BELLOWS. MARK Shut her up damn it. Martin struggles. TONY Martin! The calf BELLOWS. Martin THRUSTS his dagger under its jaw with all his might. The animal twitches and falls. SILENCE. Martin smears the blood from his face. TONY (CONT’D) We gotta' get to the horse quickly. MARK They must have heard us. TONY No one heard, hurry. Give me a hand. MARK (to Martin) If you can't handle it ....
TONY Shut up and give me a hand. FAINT BARKS O.S. -- something’s closing in on them. MARK He can take care of himself. TONY (to Mark) Drop it. You've got a job to do. Now do it. (to Martin) Get to it! Martin hardens his jaw. The boys drag the lifeless calf towards the tree where Joseph has been flicking the light on and off. Tony crawls under the wire and pulls. Mark and Martin push from the opposite end. Out of nowhere, a husky dog lunges onto Mark's back with a THUNDEROUS GROWL. The others are motionless -- the dog RIPS him apart -- trained for this very purpose. MARK Get him off. (to Martin) What the fuck are you waiting for? Get him off now. Marks twists and turns. TONY Do something Martin. Whether out of fear or apathy, Martin remains motionless. Another dog zooms towards them, foaming from the mouth. Martin reacts and jabs the dog in its neck. The beast WAILS and lets go for a second. Mark’s arms are badly torn. Martin drags him out. JOSEPH They'll be coming.
The boys hearts pound out of their chest as they struggle to lift the calf onto the horse. MARTIN (to Joseph) Go on ahead. TONY (to Joseph) Follow the trail. Don’t fuck up. Joseph rides into the darkness. Mark wraps his shirt around his arm. He shivers uncontrollably. The dogs BARK and FOAM. Mark reaches into his hip and pulls out a revolver. The others are stunned. TONY (CONT’D) Mark! Martin pivots towards Tony. TONY Don't ruin it. We made it. Lets get the fuck out. Mark pivots and aims the gun directly at Martin. TONY (CONT’D) Put that down. MARK (to Martin) I'm sick of your half-ass bullshit and your preaching. You don't belong here. You’re not like us. Martin stands defiant. Tony jumps between them. TONY If you're gonna' shoot, shoot me. It was my fault. That’s right. It’s my job. Mark doesn’t flinch -- neither does Tony.
MARK If that's what you'd like, stay right where you are. TONY Pull the trigger then. Mark strengthens his grip on the revolver and slowly presses the trigger. Tony stands defiant -- a man willing to live or die. FAINT GALLOPS O.S. Closer and closer. MARK I'll do it. I don’t give a fuck. Mark FIRES -- the dog WAILS. GUNFIRE O.S. Mark smiles. MARK (CONT’D) Run Boys! Mark FIRES again, this time into the darkness. PLANTATION Half-dozen men carrying torches round the corner of the field on horseback, FIRING into the darkness. ROADSIDE The bullets SWISH by. The boys bolt into the darkness. TONY Split up! The men zero in on Martin. Martin scampers with the THUNDEROUS GALLOP on his heels. He falls. He darts towards the trees. The bullets SWISH by, too close for comfort, striking the trees around him.
MAN 1 (O.S) Over there. By the trees. MAN 2 (O.S) Get that son-of-a-bitch. We'll hang him by the balls. They FIRE repeatedly. Martin falls -- they close in. He's motionless. He’s doomed. They close in. The GALLOPING REVERBERATES as he crawls for his life. Martin tumbles into a ditch filled with rotting corpses. The gaseous stench makes him retch with nausea. Martin buries among them. GALLOPING O.S. One of the men halts by the edge -- repulsed. He FIRES three shots into the ditch and rides away. CUT TO:
EXT. MARKETPLACE, MIDVALE - DAY The following morning, Martin, Tony and Mark linger into the market, slowly heading towards a commotion. A crowd behind them heads in the same direction, murmuring. They reach the town square. Soldiers hold back the testy crowd. A young boy, barely identifiable, dangles from a tree. A pair of milk-jug spectacles lay on the ground bellow his body. Not a single word is uttered but we know its Joseph. SAM (O.S.) A fine piece of veal gone to waste. You boys fucked up good this time. The General’s plantation. What were you thinking? SAM, 50-ish, stout and balding, eyes of a weasel, stands directly behind them.
MARK (shivers) All on your behalf. SAM Leave me out of this. You know how it works. I only pay for what you bring in. Where you get it is none of my business. I don’t lead, I inspire.
(MORE) Sam takes a wad of bills from his pocket and counts.
SAM (CONT’D) Here's ten. Take Mark to see Bolivar. He's gotta' have some type of shot for that. That quack's got a shot for everything. You go in with a stomachache, he gives you a shot. Toothache, shot. The boys back away speechless. SAM (CONT’D) You boys do what you want. (to Mark) You don't want to die of rabies. It's not pretty. Tony takes the money. Sam rubs Martin's head and grins. SAM (CONT’D) How bout’ you Torres? Would you like to make an extra buck? No response, but rather a look of scorn. MARTIN I’m done with you. SAM I’ve got a basket of groceries in my shop. Daily delivery to a Gabe Diaz on forty-first. Simple.
SAM(cont'd) No questions. No danger. Number thirty-two up the hill.
Martin wonders. MARTIN Gabe Diaz? SAM It's Gabriel to you. A protected man. It’s normally there by ten. So if you’re interested get moving. Easy money. Martin can’t take his eyes off of Joseph’s lifeless body dangling from the tree. His eyes fill with guilt. CUT TO: EXT. SUGARCANE PLANTATION - DAY APPEARS ON SCREEN: Rio Negro, Colombia
A drunken throng of armed peasants gathers in a field while cowboy-styled armed men patrol. Sprawled on the other side of a rectangular table, puffing at a fat cigar, hands across his overfed belly, exuding arrogance, is DON SERIANO, 50-ish, shifting eyes and grayish lips. To his right, in an expensive Italian suit and snakeskin boots, is PEDRO LOPEZ, 50-ish, distrusting glare, sipping Lopez Rum. To his left, Harry, machete to one side and Winchester over his shoulder -- no longer a peasant but a hardened soldier willing to fight the world if it comes to that, with plenty of scars on his face to prove it. HARRY Gentlemen. Listen up. The crowd is restless.
HARRY (CONT’D) This is the only way. We must band together. Or we die a slow death. Peasants up and down the valley are fighting for their rights. The parties have played us against each other long enough. The bandas to the north have pledged their full support. An older and grandfatherly Wil points at Don Seriano and Pedro Lopez. WIL Wa-wa-why should wwwe fa-fa-fight their wars? I'mmm not da-da-dying for those bastards. Some distance away, Roberto fidgets. He pushes through the men, putting himself in front of Don Seriano and Pedro Lopez. ROBERTO This time we fight for us. For our dignity. We destroy ties to the party. All ties to the landowners. The crowd does not take to his enthusiasm. ROBERTO (CONT’D) For land reform. Some in the crowd CHEER. HARRY That's right! For land reform. For justice. For equality. (to Roberto) For your father. Don Seriano nervously removes his cigar from his mouth and spits.
DON SERIANO We're in this together. They come in and shoot us up, take our lands, rape our wives and daughters. I've lost plenty like the rest of you. The crowd isn’t fully convinced. James yells out of nowhere. JAMES (to Roberto) Your fathers died cause' of these men. It was never for the party. I can see it all over again. HARRY Not this time. JAMES What’s different this time. Let’s live in peace. ROBERTO The last time our fathers put down their weapons they were slaughtered. It was all a lie. We must fight. JAMES Pedro Lopez was a liberal. The National Front threatened his power. And so we fought and died. Instead of three thousand acres, today he lays claim to five thousand. And what do we have? (to Harry) We've lost so much. Lets go home and die old men. With what's left of our families. Collective YEAH! Tension mounts.
HARRY Go home to what? Nothing's left. They took everything. Killed everyone. James heads for the road. Wil follows and others trickle behind. PEDRO LOPEZ Any of you would've done no different. And you sit here and judge. Go to hell peasants. He rises and flops on his sombrero. HARRY Sit down Pedro. Horses agitate as HEAVY WINDS invade from the east. Pedro obeys. HARRY (CONT’D) Most of you will not see the end of this month. Seriano and Lopez give each other a quick glance. HARRY (CONT’D) A final offensive has been ordered to rid this region of all those who refuse to submit. All lands in the hands of liberals are to be confiscated. No one is to be spared. This time we fight for survival. The throng parts to reveal two men hacking at each other. The crowd CHEERS them on. We stay with Seriano and Lopez. DON SERIANO These animals will never learn.
PEDRO LOPEZ Animals or not, it's the only army we have to get back what we’ve lost. Peasants. DON SERIANO For now at least. Just go along with the promise of land reform. Harry lifts his riffle and FIRES into the clouds. HARRY Family by family. I’ve seen it. Unless we unite, we don’t stand a chance. A truck enters the plantation and slithers through the crowd. Many panic and scurry. HARRY (CONT’D) Wait! Don't run! All eyes fixate on the truck as it comes to rest in front of the table. The DRIVER is a young peasant and next to him sits a slender and frightened MAN in a suit. DRIVER Comandante. A liberal, as you ordered. HARRY Well done comrade. Harry strolls towards the back of the truck. He lifts a red cover to reveal revolvers, submachine guns, carbines, hand grenades, shotguns and machetes. HARRY (CONT’D) It's now or never. Harry methodically loads his revolver. He drags the passenger out and looks him in the eyes.
HARRY (CONT’D) An acre for every five liberal campesinos. The Man trembles but remains silent. HARRY (CONT’D) Five acres so far. (to all) Today we break all ties to the party. Harry aims -- FIRES. The Man falls to the ground. A collective AWE. HARRY (CONT’D) (to Roberto) And if we want our land reform, we have to dispose of all those who oppose it. He pivots and PUMPS a bullet into Don Seriano. Pedro Lopez cringes in his seat. He realizes what’s coming next. He goes to run but falls. PEDRO LOPEZ You son-of-a-bitch. They'll eat you alive without us! You need me. HARRY This time, we fight for us! PEDRO LOPEZ Damn you fucking peasants! Rot in hell. Harry FIRES. His show of defiance comforts the peasants and fills them with an evil spirit. Moments later, one by one, they line up. Harry hands each a weapon. Mark and Tony proudly stand in line, like boys awaiting a rite of passage.
HARRY This is no place for you boys. MARK Our mothers and sisters were raped. Our fathers taken from their lands and gutted. TONY We’ve got as much right as you. Harry hands Mark and Tony a rifle. HARRY Make yourselves whole boys. The boys become men -- there is no turning back. CUT TO: EXT. DIAZ HOME - DAY Martin KNOCKS -- no answer. He KNOCKS again. GABRIEL (O.S.) Who the hell is it? MARTIN Groceries. From Sam. GABRIEL (O.S.) Leave them by the door and get the hell off my property. Martin complies. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Wait. The door opens ever so slightly. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Who the hell are you? Where's the boy with the funny eye?
MARTIN Don't know what boy you're talking about. GABRIEL Tell that idiot Sam he can't do shit like this without first warning me. Gabriel swings the door wide open. Martin notices Angel sweeping behind Gabriel. She notices him -- an instant attraction. GABRIEL (CONT’D) What'd he tell you? Martin can’t take his eye off Angel. MARTIN Bout' what? To be here by ten. Gabriel glances back to find Angel standing behind him. GABRIEL Something you like? There is an empty stare in Angel’s eyes. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Get back to work. (to Martin) Tell him I'm gonna' need plenty more. And soon. He's getting' sloppy and I don’t like it. Martin and Angel lock eyes. GABRIEL (CONT’D) You can’t afford her boy. No response. Gabriel SLAMS the door. CUT TO:
INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY Martin enters the warehouse with another set of four boxes. As usual he sets them aside for James. CUT TO: EXT. MIDVALE - DAY IN QUICK SEQUENCE In the town square a firing squad, headed by William, aims their weapons at peasants lined up against a wall. RAPID GUNFIRE. Homes burn. Women are raped and men slaughtered in cold blood. Townspeople watch in horror as military convoys teeming with newly minted country soldiers storm into town. MOUNTAINSIDE William and government troops clash with Harry and the rebels -- the rebels identified by red arm bands and machetes. They clash in the fields, the wooded areas, and in the town. The rebels take more casualties but they fight with a fiery passion. ROADSIDE - NIGHT A cane-filled truck sloughs along. A log blocks its path. The unsuspecting DRIVER jumps out. Roberto and Corey spring from the trees and GUN HIM DOWN. They drive off with the truck and disappear into the night.
DIRT ROAD - NIGHT A military convoy heads into Midvale. They are ambushed by a group of rebels headed by Harry. This time the rebels take many casualties. CUT TO:
INT. DIAZ HOME, LIVING ROOM - DAY
(MORE) Gabriel secretly hands Roberto a folded piece of paper. Roberto unfolds the paper and we see that it contains the following names: Sibil Ramirez, Omar Finca, Noah Caleta.
ROBERTO Good enough. GABRIEL The traitors voted conservative. Give em’ what they deserve. ROBERTO Rest assured. Keep it coming. Roberto furtively ambles out. CUT TO:
INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - DAY Martin rummages through the aluminum box teeming with money. He can’t find what he’s looking for and loses his patience. MARIA (O.S.) Heard about that meeting. Maria holds a letter in her hand. MARTIN (space) I was sure the cattle trucks only ran during the day. It said in dad’s notes.
MARTIN(cont'd) (to Maria) Don't know what meeting you're talking about.
MARIA And don't think the conservatives aren’t aware of it. They've got spies all around. MARTIN (to space) It’ll be easier at night. Why (MORE) didn’t I think of that. Head north for about two hours. East for about five. Martin ignores Maria. He’s found what he’s been looking for. He takes the note pad and writes. Maria inches closer. When she’s close enough, she unfolds the letter. MARIA This arrived this morning. Martin ignores her once again. MARIA (CONT’D) From Miami. This finally catches his attention. Maria’s face lights up with a smile. MARIA (CONT’D) They’ll take as much as I can send. There’s been some type of bug that’s hit the Dutch crop. Plus they’ve never seen anything like the Circus. Read for yourself. She hands Martin the letter. He remains incredulous, but reads. MARTIN (reading) We will take as much as you can output.
MARTIN(cont'd) No negotiating on freshness. Dethorned. Long stems only. Golden Dream Imports, Miami, Florida.
A long smile replaces the disbelief on Martin’s face. Maria approaches even closer. MARIA Martha Rivas says she’ll make it all happen. The trucks, the workers, the safe routes, distribution. But I can’t do it without you. Martin considers the proposition. He’s stunned. MARTIN I wouldn’t think of letting you do it alone. MARIA We survive at all costs. That’s what your father wanted. One step ahead of them. Until we reach our dream. Martin turns to count the money in the box. He stares at Goldineh’s note. MARIA (CONT’D) I believe you’re gonna’ make it to America. The way your father always wanted. Don’t give it up. Don’t let em’ rot your soul. They embrace. MARIA (CONT’D) Don’t you stop dreaming, you hear me. Never stop dreaming. You’re not like them. They remain in a long embrace. FADE TO:
EXT. ROSE PLANTATION - DAY A few months later, to the right of a winding dirt road lies acres of roses symmetrically aligned: the Versalia in a delicate light pinkish peach color, the Black Magic in a dark velvety red, the Ociana in a solid pure pink, and the Circus in a bicolor yellow and red -- swaying in the breeze -extending in all directions, farther than the eye can see. Farm workers pick the fields, trucks come and go, boxes are counted, long-stem roses carefully wrapped and packed. The trucks head for the docks. There’s a dizzying amount of activity and Maria is smack in the middle of it, counting, negotiating, and planning. The house has been renovated. Roses adorn every nook and cranny. A boat-like white Cadilac halts by the door. The chauffeur opens the passenger door. Martha Rivas exits in her Jackie-O hat and sunglasses. Maria is waiting at the door with a heavenly arrangement. CUT TO:
INT. USA, MIAMI, WAREHOUSE - DAY At the behemoth warehouse of the Golden Dream Imports Company, crates of Potatoes from Puerto Rico, Sugar from Haiti, Corn from Mexico, Bananas from Ecuador, Grapes from Chile, and chilled styrofoam boxes of roses from Colombia are unloaded from cargo trucks.
INTERSTATE HIGHWAY 95 The trucks head north.
NEW YORK CITY, STREET Outside the posh Isadore Flower Boutique, exotic arrangements adorn the window display: from Colombia, the Versalia in a delicate light pinkish peach color, the Black Magic in a dark velvety red, the Ociana in a solid pure pink, and the Circus in a bicolor yellow and red. Through the glass and past the displays we observe the inside choking in foot-traffic. The patrons can’t get past the beauty. CUT TO:
EXT. MIDVALE - DAY The streets of Midvale appear in a new light. The city is transformed. Roses adorn every window, every sidewalk and street lamp, every patio. Procession of rose arrangements make their way to the markets. The town chapel and school glows in the colors of the rainbow. CUT TO:
INT. TORRES HOME, HALLWAY - DAY William exits an abutting bedroom. He adjusts his shirt under his pants. An envelope waits for him on a nearby table. He shoves it into his shirt and adjusts his revolver. Two soldiers stand guard by the entrance. Maria exits the bedroom and heads to a corner where statutes of saints drown in roses. She prays. CUT TO:
INT. BUTCHER SHOP - DAY Sam clandestinely scribbles onto a piece of paper the following: “SUNDAY AT THE CEDAR PATH.”
Martin storms past the entrance. Sam hides the paper in a grocery basket and hands the basket to Martin. CUT TO: EXT. RIVERSIDE LEDGE - DAY DRIZZLE, FAINT WINDS. Angel stands near the edge, drenched, listening to the currents calling her from below. She steps forward, ready to jump. Martin approaches out of nowhere, also drenched. ANGEL Grocery boy. MARTIN Martin. ANGEL The roses. MARTIN That’s us. What are you doing here? ANGEL What's it to you? Do what you came to do. MARTIN To see my father. Silence. MARTIN (CONT’D) I’m here to see my father. Martin approaches and points into the barren valley abutting the river. The RAIN INTENSIFIES. MARTIN (CONT’D) You see that mound over by the large red rock, covered in yellow roses. Shaped like a V. The best roses reserved for him.
Angel nods -- not quite sure where he’s going with this. MARTIN (CONT’D) My father's there. Martin get closer to the edge. MARTIN (CONT’D) Mom says one day this river will rise up. So high it all' wash the earth away. All the way to the ocean. Then America. And my father with it. That’s the only way. Martin stares out into the river -- in his own world. ANGEL I wonder why the current didn't wash me away fifteen years ago. Why my father pleads that I come here and end his torment once and for all. Why I can’t simply close my eyes and die without anyone noticing. MARTIN Dream. ANGEL Dream? MARTIN Of getting out. That’s what I do. It’s the only way. ANGEL No one ever leaves. Not alive. MARTIN Goldineh made it. Angel’s face reveals her confusion.
MARTIN (CONT’D) He believed it was better to dream the impossible than to watch everything around you being taken away, with no power to stop it. So he followed his dream. Angel considers what she is hearing. When she realizes how drenched she is, she rushes past Martin. ANGEL That’s a myth. Martin watches her disappear into the rain. He lays on the ground in a trance with the rain pelting his face. INT. TORRES BEDROOM FLASHBACK ... Leo sits on the bed. Karl and Martin cling to his every limb as they GIGGLE. LEO Alright, alright, one more time. He lines them up, with the oldest to his right. LEO (CONT’D) Kids, we're going to America! CHILDREN Yeah! Leo gives them an expression of disappointment. LEO You guys can do better. This is no trip to the river. Here we go. Kids, we're going to America! CHILDREN Yeah!!!
The children hurl themselves onto Leo and wrestle him down. Maria walks in with a basket of roses to place before her saints. MARIA Boys leave your father alone, he’s exhausted. Go on. Get to your chores. Roberto walks in, clearly exhausted, takes off his shirt, and sits in an adjacent bed. Everyone hushes. LEO (to Roberto) Well? Roberto first looks at Maria and then at Leo. ROBERTO Apparently there’s a group of merchants in the capital with some connections in Cartagena. Word has it these guys are Panamanian. Black fellows. They deliver the cargo to some guys with island connections. The people are taken as far as Nassau. Doesn’t seem like something Goldineh could have gotten away with. But it’s being done. Anyway, no one remembers a fellow by that name. LEO Did you describe him? ROBERTO Tall, skinny, curly hair, could have been wearing glasses. No one's seen him dad. It’s nothing but bullshit. Leo locks eyes with Maria.
LEO He probably changed his name or shaved his mustache. Maria nods her head. LEO (CONT’D) Maybe even straighten his hair. He always wanted straight hair. Roberto gives an unconvincing nod. ROBERTO Probably. Leo turns his attention once again to the children. LEO You Karl. What's the first thing you're gonna' get? Maria stares at Roberto with uncertainty. KARL Roller skates. Those shinny ones. With red wheels. The GIGGLING slowly fades ... RIVERSIDE - DAY BACK TO SCENE ... Martin, by the edge, eyes closed, wide grin, soaking wet. CUT TO: EXT. MIDVALE - NIGHT We pan a row of homes lined on either side of a dirt road. Women bring in the wash from the line -- all is quiet. Animals are hoarded. Children play about. FAINT CELEBRATORY MUSIC O.S. FAINT GALLOPS O.S.
Suddenly, THUNDEROUS GALLOPS. The rebels attack. They FIRE indiscriminately. Harry, Roberto, Mark and Tony are among them. Women and children are mowed down. Fields are burned to the ground. FIELD A group of families celebrate on an open field abutting a narrow path. Candles and roses adorn the master table. Oscar is among them. From here we can see Maria’s rose plantation off in the distance. A piñata dangles from a tree. A young girl in a white communion dress clutches a rainbow-like arrangement of roses. The rebels approach -- the music stops. The families huddle. Harry dismounts and approaches. His face reveals his resolve. WOODED AREA Nearby, Mark and Tony attack a young peasant girl with lust in their eyes. They PUNCH and POUND on her, ripping her clothes. Father Ray slithers among the trees unnoticed, witnessing the boy's atrocity. FIELD The rebels line up the Men. Harry holds a piece of paper. He reads. HARRY Sibil Ramirez, Omar Finca, Noah Caleta, and Oscar Montes. Step forward. MAN 1 steps forward. MAN 2 darts towards the trees. GUNFIRE - O.S. His body is dragged towards the others. Oscar is the last to step forward. He stares at Roberto and Corey, presumably his friends. They stare back with frigid eyes -- he’s on the outside.
HARRY (CONT’D) For the cowardly votes you cast in favor of the National Front and for turning your backs on the Peasant Self Defense Army, you are hereby sentenced to death by the people. Women and children SCREECH. HARRY (CONT’D) May your children make better choices. The rebels take aim ... WOODED AREA The young girl lies dead in a puddle of blood -- her clothes torn. Tony and Mark have gone from boys to men -- from men to murderers. HOME WRITTEN IN BLOOD on the wall of an unknown adobe home -"ARMY OF THE PEOPLE, JOIN OR DIE." CUT TO: INT. TORRES HOME, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT William paces. Two SOLDIERS stand guard near the door. The activity outside has quieted yet not idle. Maria enters the screen with a machete in hand. MARIA What is it this time? William holds a picture of Leo and his children. WILLIAM Lovely family. What a shame. He places the picture down.
MARIA You’ve got your take for the week. You're not welcomed here. I’ll send for Mrs. Rivas. WILLIAM Didn't figure I was welcomed, so I didn't bother knocking. He notices a picture of Leo siting on a horse.
(MORE) (CONT’D) WILLIAM Fool. Mrs. Rivas no longer runs things around here.
Maria tightens her grip on the machete. WILLIAM (CONT’D) Though I have to admit, he got what he wanted. Died on his own terms. More than any of these poor bastards can hope for. That was his dream wasn’t it? He crushes the picture in his hand. MARIA You know nothing of dreams. If it’s money, come back tomorrow. WILLIAM In a war like this, women have it real bad. Won’t you say? He inches closer. She stands defiant -- ready to chop his head off. WILLIAM (CONT’D) Difficult choices. Take Mrs. Rivas. Wonderful woman, no. Educated, a wonderful fuck. Her father’s the biggest caudillo in the valley that fat fuck. I couldn’t have won the election with out his support.
WILLIAM(cont'd) Difficult choices. Now what’s she good for I wonder? You, you've become too important. They love you. The town, the Misses, the church. People wonder. What’s a woman doing with all that land, with all that power? A liberal peasant no less. Add to that an outlaw son and another about to join him. I’m running out of options for you. Help me out here.
She lifts her machete -- intent on going out fighting. He stands motionless -- flashing his killer smile. WILLIAM (CONT’D) You don't really think I'd come unarmed, if I didn't have a proposition for you. MARIA Got no interest in what you have to say. Kill me or get out. WILLIAM It’s not that easy. I can’t just take it from you. They love you. Its trouble for me. In any case, I'm here for that boy of yours. Martin. Someone wants his neck in a tight noose. MARIA He's done nothing. WILLIAM That boy's got conservative blood on his hands. Or should I say, on his dick. MARIA Horse shit.
WILLIAM I've got a ... how should I say this ... a most divine witness who says otherwise. Says him and a couple of his boys did quite a job on a caudillo’s daughter. A beat. WILLIAM (CONT’D) What a mess. Someone’s gotta’ clean it up. My hands are tied. They lock eyes. WILLIAM (CONT’D) They’re paying a hefty price for the fucker’s head. Try me. Your boy ill' end up like his father. Only this time, on my terms. MARIA What is it that you want? William sits and Maria drops her machete in submission. CUT TO:
EXT. DIAZ HOME - DAY SEVERAL SEQUENCES Martin delivers groceries to Gabriel. Angel opens the door. They smile and wink at each other. Later, Gabriel clandestinely meets with Roberto. Roberto offers money. Gabriel offers more names. CUT TO: EXT. RIVERSIDE - NIGHT Martin and Angel GIGGLE by the edge of the river where they first met.
They walk home in the darkness. ANGEL Teach me how to dream Martin. MARTIN Dream? ANGEL You know, the way you see yourself in America. Martin hesitates but notes the sadness in her eyes. MARTIN Here's how my father taught me. Close your eyes and think of something you want real bad. Something others swear you can't have. She hesitates. MARTIN (CONT’D) Go on, close them. She shuts her eyes. MARTIN (CONT’D) Don't open them. Can you see it? ANGEL What? MARTIN Your dream. She tightens her eyes. ANGEL Where should I be looking? What does it look like? Martin takes the pendant from his neck and gently places it around her’s.
MARTIN Only you know that. Forget everything around you. There in the darkness. That's called the soul. The place where all dreams are born. The place no other man can touch. A beat. ANGEL I see it. MARTIN Now, reach out and touch it. Don't open your eyes. Touch it. No matter how far it seems. Touch it. She extends her arms and swivels her fingers. MARTIN (CONT’D) Now, smell it. Walk through it. Run through it. Live it. She obliges and smiles. She opens her eyes and notices the pendant. MARTIN (CONT’D) No matter how impossible it seems, how much others tell you it can't be done, none of it matters. Because you've been there. SILENCE. She runs into the woods and Martin follows. They disappear into the darkness. CUT TO:
INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT Maria hands James a box. James opens it. Rather than roses, it overflows with money. James points to a glossy, 20-foot, single engine utility boat on the dock. Maria nods. CUT TO:
EXT. ROSE PLANTATION - DAY Maria’s rose plantation is awash with activity. More farm workers than before. Women assemble exotic arrangements. Nearly one-hundred workers pick and dethorn roses. Trucks come and go. Martin and Angel pick at the section reserved for the Circus. CUT TO: INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY Roberto and Corey stroll into the warehouse, dressed in pale overalls, blending in with the workers. JAMES Back to work. James startles when he sees their faces. He takes a drink of cane liquor and shrugs. He gains his composure. JAMES (CONT’D) Leave now. I'm not involved. There’s troops past that gate. They’ll be here in no time. Roberto takes a drink and wipes his mouth. He offers Corey. COREY Indeed. I believe they’re swimming in their blood right about now. ROBERTO We could use your help.
JAMES I've made my peace with you guys. I'm not interested. James sighs. Corey hands James an envelope. ROBERTO I’m not asking. Special delivery old man. Consider yourself lucky. Inside the envelope there’s a letter and three shinny bullets. James reads: HARRY (V.O.) I address myself to you most attentively, to request that you, as a humane and Liberal man, and since everyone must recognize our situation, give us a little help, which I expect to have as soon as possible. The help I am demanding from you is a good revolver, five hundred pesos, and a boat for ten men. I need this to arrive in my hands on the 23rd day of this month. No comments or explanations necessary. Your friend, Harry. A beat. JAMES (to space) God-damn-you Harry. I want no part of this. I want to live in peace. We lost. He looks up with eyes of despair. ROBERTO So what do you say old man?
COREY We've got several other stops on the way. See you ... say ... in about nine days. James hesitantly nods -- he’s been left with no choice. ROBERTO Good day. Oh, and uh, keep the bullets as a reminder. Roberto and Corey walk out as casually as they walked in. CUT TO: INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - NIGHT Martin places several bills in the aluminum box. He has trouble closing it -- it's too full. He jots notes in the note pad and plans the route in his mind. He draws maps, scribbles names and drops it in. CUT TO: EXT. STREET, BOGOTA - DAY Martin stands before a red house perched on a hill. His eyes follow a stout Man as he exits. Martin gives chase down the street, through the town square, and into a crowd. Martin loses sight of him. He spots him in a saloon -- he gives chase. Like a wolf stalking his prey. Martin enters the saloon.
INT. SALOON The Man, TIBURON, 50-ish, cold eyes and a face that can only mean bad news, takes hold of Martin from behind and shoves a gun to his back.
TIBURON The witches tell me it's gonna' take a smarter man to do me in. Tiburon signals -- the Patron shuts the doors and curtains. MARTIN Jeffrey. Tiburon is incensed -- ready to pull the trigger. TIBURON The last fellow who called me by that name is still giving his children nightmares. He strikes Martin on the head. MARTIN Tiburon. I meant Tiburon. I'm no danger to you sir. I’ve come far to see you. Several other MEN surround Martin with knives and guns. They pat him down. Martin is at their mercy. MARTIN (CONT’D) I mean no harm. Someone told my father many years ago you can get federal plates. For a boat. That you're the man. TIBURON Unfortunately for you, someone lied to your father. The Men LAUGH. Martin yanks a folded piece of paper from his shirt. The Men ready their weapons. MARTIN I swear to you sir, here .... Tiburon yanks the paper from Martin’s hand and reads.
TIBURON Goldineh Medina? Tiburon reflects. TIBURON (CONT’D) You know this man? Goldineh. Martin nods. Tiburon lowers his gun, but not all the way. TIBURON (CONT’D) (to Men) The fool came by many years ago. I got him as far as Cartagena. Paid triple what it was worth. His life’s savings. What did I care. (to Martin) Last I heard, it took him another two years just to get out of Panama. MARTIN So he made it. TIBURON How the hell do I know? No one’s seen him since. Gave my word that if a fellow named Leo something came by, I'd get him what he needed. MARTIN Leo Torres. TIBURON That’s right, Torres. It’s been many years but I don’t forget a name. Torres. MARTIN That was my father.
TIBURON You people don’t get it. Even if you’re lucky enough to get out of Colombia alive, you gotta’ deal with the monkey-eatin’ Panamanians waiting to feast on whatever’s left of you. Hundreds of miles of open sea, scorching sun and thieves on every port waiting to give you an Island welcome. Save your money. Learn to make lemonade. Martin yanks an envelope from his pocket. MARTIN It’s all I’ve got. It’s all there. Tiburon shakes his head. TIBURON I gave my word. I'll be leaving for Cartagena in two days. I’ll have it by then. Suit yourself and wait if you’d like. If you’ve gotten this far, you must not be as stupid as you sound. Martin nods and relaxes. The Men back off. CUT TO: INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM - NIGHT Maria SOBS in bed. She POUNDS the mattress -- we see in her eyes something we haven’t see before -- she’s lost her will to live. CUT TO: INT. DIAZ HOME, LIVING ROOM - DAY Gabriel sits, ankle crossed over knee. William, now in a shinny suit and sombrero, sits directly across.
GABRIEL Great things you’ve done for Midvale. Never been safer. From general to governor. Congratulations. WILLIAM What happened the other day came from inside. I assure you, we'll find them. Rose brings in two cups of coffee. William sips. GABRIEL Have they no respect for our sacraments anymore? WILLIAM They’re communists. Don’t expect civility. And for God’s sake don’t expect piousness. It was about the elections. Angel enters the room in a lovely country dress, her bruises overed by a cheap blush. Gabriel and William stare, admiring a trophy. Rose lowers her head. GABRIEL Here she is. Just as I said. Isn't she a beauty? Everything I promised. I’m a man of my word. WILLIAM She most certainly is. It’s one thing to admire a rose from afar, but it’s quite another to smell it’s fragrance up close. They rise and approach her. GABRIEL I knew you'd like her. I’ve heard you had your eye on her. That’s why I called sir.
WILLIAM Very rare to find such beauty in a place like this. William kisses her hand. She stands motionless. Gabriel gestures to Angel to play along. William strokes her face. WILLIAM (CONT’D) She's a bit more bruised than I hoped. Though I like them tamed. A politician’s wife. Gabriel puts his arm around her. Angel stares into the eyes of a hypocrite. GABRIEL She's very good around the house. (to Angel) Right honey? (to William) Makes a wonderful chicken stew. Plus, she’s a virgin. You’ll be the first. WILLIAM How do you like roses Mr. Diaz? GABRIEL Gabe. Gabriel is not quite sure what to respond. WILLIAM Roses. For your loyalty. A field of roses. Quite a reward I’d say. The current tenant is about up for eviction. Learn what she does and it’s yours. Gabriel grins -- not quite sure what William means, but the sale has been made. Angel knows too well what William means.
WILLIAM (CONT’D) I'll be coming around to claim my prize Gabriel. After I take care of a few things. Keep her pure in the meantime. GABRIEL Gabe. William tips his sombrero and exits -- Gabriel shuts the door. GABRIEL (CONT’D) (to Angel) I hope you didn't ruin it. (to Rose) Did he make a face? I couldn’t tell. Rose WEEPS and dashes out. GABRIEL It'll be good for you. He's a good man. A conservative with power. A general, now governor. ANGEL Then you marry him. I'd rather die. GABRIEL You selfish bitch. It's always about you. He'll take good care of us. We’ll be provided for for many years. ANGEL I'm in love with Martin. GABRIEL Martin? Do you even know what he's up to? Hiding behind his mother’s roses. Selling his own people. You don’t know what you’re saying.
Gabriel ponders. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Roses? ANGEL He's got more heart than you have hatred. GABRIEL He'll give you nothing but dick. He’s a peasant. I’m trying to help you. ANGEL I didn’t need your help then, and I sure as hell don’t need it now. Nor will your grandchild in a few months. Gabriel’s eyes expand. He can’t believe his ears. He clutches his chest and wobbles. GABRIEL You’ve ruined everything. You whore. (to Rose) The pills. Quickly. (to Angel) You're gonna' kill me. Is that what you want? But not before I kill you. He falls -- BREATHES PROFOUNDLY. Angel runs out WEEPING. A beat. Rose returns with the pills. GABRIEL (CONT’D) Quickly. I'm dying. Quickly bitch. Rose stands over him and opens the container. She pauses -then pours the pills over his head like rain drops.
ROSE I guess I am useless after all. GABRIEL Are you crazy? You’re both crazy. You’re both dead. Gabriel crawls. He GASPS. He reaches a pill and puts it in his mouth. CUT TO: EXT. WOODED AREA - DAY RAIN PELTS THE GROUND IN HEAVY DROPS. Tony and Mark huddle under a plastic covering. Mark inhales glue from a can as he shivers. Tony's mind is miles away. MARTIN (O.S.) Tony! No response. Mark and Tony lock eyes. MARK Don’t go. He’s gonna’ fuck with your head. Mark inhales from a can. Tony goes out. Martin stands in the rain. A beat. MARTIN They think I had something to do with it. I’ve been hiding like a criminal. Tony lowers his head. TONY Kill or be killed, right? The reason we all do it. Survival. MARTIN It's a choice.
TONY Wake up Martin. What do you think they'd eventually do to a homeless, glue-sniffing pickpocket? A beat. TONY (CONT’D) You have your dream of America. That's great. Go for it. You wanna' know what my dream is? To kill the bastard who murdered my parents. If there is a God, that is the least he can give me before I die. To see him die. MARTIN You can do better. TONY Can I? Here it is. I want to slice his fucking throat. How's that? Better? I wanna' taste his blood on my tongue as I stab him through his heart. MARTIN That's not you. TONY It is me. I'm Slick Tony remember. It's all about the thrill. And I’m lovin’ it. MARTIN I know the real Tony. TONY Get out of here. Now you’ve got no choice. Follow your dream. They’ll be coming for us, and you. Tony strolls away. Martin remains in the rain. We stay with Tony as he heads under the plastic covering, teary-eyed.
MARTIN (O.S.) That's not you. I know the real Tony. He’s no killer. He’s my best friend. He’s no killer. Tony reflects, but for him there’s no turning back. CUT TO: INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY Martin marches in, drenched and somber. JAMES There looking all over for you. You’ve gotta’ get out of here. They’ve been here three times. Hide. No response. JAMES (CONT’D) What's on your mind? Martin hands James a license plate that he pulls from under his shirt. MARTIN Here it is. Genuine federal. JAMES You’re still five hundred short for the boat. My hands are tied. Martin lowers his head. MARTIN We need more time. JAMES Haven’t you heard a word? You’ve got no time. MARTIN So close.
JAMES Your mother’s strong. She’s survived this long. She’ll find a way. Stick with her. Martin dashes out. James heads for a makeshift office in the back of the warehouse.
WAREHOUSE OFFICE James takes a seat by a cluttered table. He pulls back a rag to reveal a shiny colt revolver. The barrel sparkles with three bullets. He takes a drink of cane liquor and waits. CUT TO: INT. BUTCHER SHOP - DAY Rain SOARS down. The door is opened wide. Soldiers RUMMAGE, taking everything of value. Sam's bloodied body lies on the floor. Martin swoops by with a lowered head. He pauses and joins the gathering crowd outside. In a basket of groceries a SOLDIER finds a piece of paper. He stares at it, crumbles it, and throws it in disgust. SOLDIER Let's go, there's more of these traitors to take care of. The Soldiers head out with resolve. Martin picks up the paper. It's a list of names. Martin reflects on his many deliveries. He takes off ... EXT. TORRES HOME Martin approaches his house through the back. As usual, trucks come and go and farmhands pick. A group of about ten soldiers parade around the field. Two other soldiers stand guard outside the entrance to the house.
Martin scurries past the first set of soldiers unnoticed and heads towards the door.
INT. TORRES HOME, LIVING ROOM Martin stands smack in the middle. MARTIN Mom! It's Martin. Sam’s dead. I think I had something to do with it. We have to go now. No response. William exits the bedroom. Martin's P.O.V. - William adjusts his shirt under his pants and stuffs a document under this shirt. Maria exits the bedroom. Martin tightens his fist -the face of a man about to explode. MARIA It’s over. Maria grabs Martin's arm. William points his index finger at Martin and shapes his hand like a gun. WILLIAM Bang. I got you. We stay with William as he heads for the door and ...
OUTSIDE THE DOOR William walks past two Soldiers standing guard. He turns to face them and gestures, as if to pose a question. WILLIAM Never mind. He SHOOTS Soldier 1.
WILLIAM (CONT’D) (to space) These fucking peasants will never learn. You’ve got to protect your governor. Soldier 2 trembles -- he’s next. Everything has ground to a halt. WILLIAM (CONT’D) (to Soldier 2) He’s inside you idiot. Do as you’d like with the woman. Bring me the boy alive. I want to look him in the eyes as he dies. Soldier 2 takes a step. William grabs his arm. WILLIAM (CONT’D) Don’t make a mess. Someone all’ be moving in by tomorrow. Soldier 2 strolls in to claim his prize. INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM Martin and Maria embrace. MARTIN Do like my old man and play stupid. Is that any way to live? MARIA We're still alive. After so many years. That’s all that matters. We do whatever we can to stay alive long enough. Grow roses rather than cane, fuck the local caudillo, and yes, even play stupid. MARTIN No! It ends today.
MARIA And then what? Until there’s nothing left of you? You're different Martin. Haven't kept you alive all these years to simply give you up. No. Go. It’s time. Mrs. Rivas is dead, the plantation is his. Your dream awaits. He’ll be back. Soldier 2 enters the room. Maria's P.O.V. - Soldier 2 takes aim. MARTIN Our dream. MARIA No, your dream. I’ve accomplished mine. Maria drives Martin aside. MARIA Martin!!! Soldier 2 FIRES. MARTIN No!!! The bullet strikes Maria in the chest. Martin, his furious passion redoubled, attacks Soldier 2 with every ounce of fury in him. Martin’s eyes flash with something we have never seen before, scorn. Martin strikes hard -- Soldier 2 barely blocks the blow. Martin strikes harder. He strikes with everything he's got. Soldier 2 lays in a puddle of blood, clinging to life. Martin hovers over Maria. He’s been injured -- bleeding from his head.
GUNFIRE ERUPTS O.S. HORSES GALLOP IN A FRENZY O.S. MARTIN No. Our dream. Let’s go. It’s all set. Don't leave me now. I can't do this alone. We go together, like dad always wanted. Maria is alive, barely. She GASPS. MARTIN (CONT’D) Save your strength. I’ll get you out of here. He covers her mouth. She bleeds profusely. The GUN BATTLE outside intensifies. MARTIN (CONT’D) I'll get help. Hold on. Don’t leave me. He SOBS. She opens her mouth and presses his arm. MARIA I’ll be fine Martin. I’ve made it. Save your father's dream. Don't let them win. I’ll be fine. Now I’m fine, forever. She EXHALES -- her eyes close. The candles sorrouding the saints drowning in roses by the corner burn out. Martin SOBS. William enters the room, wounded at the shoulder. He takes aim at Martin and FIRES. Martin grabs his shoulder and falls in agony. WILLIAM I’m taking you to hell with me Torres. Let’s pay your father a visit. Martin’s eyes flash with even more scorn. William FIRES again, but misses.
121. Martin charges and strikes hard -- William barely blocks the blows. Martin strikes with everything he's got. He flips the table and smashes it over William. He reaches for the aluminum box and HURLS it on William. Money flies -papers float in all directions. The dream is over. Martin stands over William with a machete in hand. William, barely alive, hardens his face. The gunfire outside suddenly ceases. To Martin’s surprise, Tony, Mark and several rebel fighters storm in. TONY (O.S.) Don’t do it Martin. Martin PANTS and GASPS. TONY (CONT’D) You’re not like us. Don’t cross that line. There’s no turning back. Martin lowers his machete and locks eyes with Tony. No response. Mark FIRES and kills Soldier 2. In a mad rush, Martin collects the money and the pieces of paper from the floor. Later the note pad and the maps, until the floor is wiped clean. He places a Circus rose in Maria’s hand and heads for the door. He locks eyes with Tony and exits. Tony walks over and stands before a bloodied William, who now sits against the wall. They lock eyes. Something in William clicks. TONY I was nothing but a boy. Maybe you remember my father. William twitches his hand, his revolver is nearby and he can see it.
TONY (CONT’D) An honest man if there ever was one. You cut his throat in front of his children. Then you fed him to your dogs. Mark kicks him. TONY Maybe you remember my mother. As beautiful as the dawn. You and your men raped her for over two hours. She begged for a bullet. William wipes the blood from his mouth. WILLIAM Ah yeah, quite a feast. The goodold days. Mark kicks him. Tony clutches his hands -- eyes water. Not from fear or pain, but anger. TONY (to Mark) You know what the beauty of vengeance is? William stares intently. His hand moves slightly closer to his revolver. He’s not about to go down without a fight.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY FLASHBACK ... We see the decomposing body of the Woman in the red dress. The vultures are having a feast. The grungy boy (Tony) WEEPS to one side -- he’s lost the battle. The shovel rests beside him.
INT. TORRES HOME, BEDROOM BACK TO SCENE ... Neither Tony nor William budge an eyelash. Tony's eyes burn with a zealous fire. Mark kicks William in the face.
TONY The longer you wait, the more you can taste it. William reaches for his revolver, but Tony and Mark are faster. They point and FIRE. TONY (CONT’D) And the greater the satisfaction when it makes you whole. Tony and Mark PUMPS bullet after bullet into William. William twitches with each bullet. Tony hovers over him. William glares up at him. Tony takes a tattered piece of paper from his pocket that reads: “REPRODUCER OF ENEMY LIVES.” He crumbles it and shoves it into William's lifeless mouth. CUT TO:
INT. WAREHOUSE OFFICE - DAY James waits, eyes dazed -- the bottle is empty. Roberto and Corey stroll in. ROBERTO You really should give that up old man. They inch closer. James reveals the revolver. ROBERTO Nice. He'll really enjoy that. COREY A colt. Like the gringo Eastwood movies. Must of' cost a fortune. ROBERTO The money? No response.
COREY The boat? No response. A beat. JAMES You tell that son-of-a-bitch, tell him I donated it to a worthier cause. James CHUCKLES, lifts the revolver and aims directly at them. He’s never been more sure about anything in his life. JAMES (CONT’D) As for this. I've actually been saving it for a rainy day. Roberto and Corey give each other a swift glance -- they’ve caught on. JAMES (CONT’D) And I do believe it's pouring outside boys. James FIRES two shots. The last one is reserved for himself. CUT TO:
EXT. RIVERSIDE DOCK - DAY We notice the glossy, 20-foot, single engine utility boat in the water, almost out of place among the beat-up cargo boats and nearby trucks. It has a federal license place and is packed with boxes of roses. CUT TO: EXT. RIVERSIDE - DAY The rain CRASHES down and river OVERFLOWS. Angel stands at the edge. She moves forward. There's no stopping her.
MARTIN (O.S.) (faint voice) Angel! Angel! She takes another step forward. MARTIN (CONT’D) (louder) Angel! Stop! Don’t do it. She spots Martin and steps back. He approaches. They embrace. They kiss. MARTIN Come with me. It’s gotta’ be now. There’s no time. ANGEL What about? MARTIN There's nothing left. No one. She looks down and rubs her belly. ANGEL No matter how far it seems right. Take me. Wherever you want. To your dream. MARTIN We don’t have much time. Come on. He pulls her. ANGEL Wait. She pulls him back towards the edge -- the river covers the entire span of the mounds. Martin smiles. MARTIN Dad, I'll see you in America.
They dart away. CUT TO: INT. DIAZ HOME, LIVING ROOM - DAY Soldiers BURST through the door. Gabriel rises from the sofa. GABRIEL What's this all about? The Soldiers scan the room -- the same Soldiers who were at Sam’s shop. GABRIEL I'll have your heads for this. What are your names? I'll report you to the man himself. I'm under his protection. Practically family now. SOLDIER 1 He sent us. GABRIEL That's a damn lie. He was here not too long ago. Drank my coffee, sat in that chair. SOLDIER 1 That's right. Says he forgot to tell you, that today the groceries are on him you rat. Gabriel's eyes light up -- he’s been discovered. The Soldiers aim directly at him. GABRIEL Sam. SOLDIER 1 It wasn't Sam who turned you in you fucking communist.
Gabriel stares back -- Rose stands directly behind him -motionless, resolute. LIGHTNING O.S. CUT TO:
EXT. RIVER, FISHING BOAT - DAY Martin and Angel head up the Magda River in the 20-foot, single engine utility boat teeming with boxes of roses. A group of soldiers prepare to fire. They catch a glimpse of the federal plate and wave the boat through. The boat makes its way up river and into ...
OCEAN Martin and Angel glare past the wide open ocean and into the horizon in disbelief. A long beat. DAVID (V.O.) It’s death for life. Those were the last words written in the note pad. Death for life. FADE TO:
EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN - NIGHT Years later, between the islands of the Bahamas and the southern tip of Florida, as the sun melts into the horizon, a worn-down, 20-foot, single engine utility boat bounces on the waves. The dim lights of a distant city loom on the horizon. Martin, Angel, and a child, David, no more than three, pallid and bleary, sit amidst invading water, hidden by a soggy mound of rectangular cardboard boxes.
In David’s unsettled eyes we notice the circling reflection of a red light. Angel gently removes the pendant from her neck. She and Martin grasp it tightly for a few seconds. DAVID (V.O.) America lay out in the horizon. The same way he always pictured it in his dreams. Together they place the pendant encrusted with the fading image of lady liberty around David’s neck. DAVID (CONT’D) Somehow they knew, if I made it, they too would make it. CUT TO: INT. NEW JERSEY, AUDITORIUM - DAY The 2,300-seat Prudential Auditorium EXPLODES in chatter -- a commencement ceremony -- filled to capacity. APPEARS ON SCREEN: Newark, New Jersey, May 25, 2001. The graduates, in black gowns with red trimming, anxiously wait. Senator RICHARD CORBITZ wraps up his speech. SENATOR CORBITZ ... and so remember, as you go out into the world, your work has just begun. Countless social issues in our remain ablaze. Put out the fires and go to work. The audience APPLAUDS. SENATOR CORBITZ (CONT’D) As representatives of our legal system, it is your responsibility to step up and do whatever you can. Graduates, it's time to go to work.
CHEERS. SENATOR CORBITZ (CONT’D) Congratulations on this fine day an enjoy your success. The hall ERUPTS. We close in on DAVID LUCAS, a graduate, 20-ish, rustic yet open and pleasant complexion, face accented by a thinly populated mustache. His darting eyes and sweaty forehead reveal an unquenchable excitement -- he’s a dreamer. He fidgets with anticipation. A fellow GRADUATE to his left leans over. GRADUATE I thought he'd never shut up. DAVID Over forty minutes on affirmative action. The school president takes the podium. PRESIDENT Graduates, you may rise. The hall ERUPTS with CHEERS. PRESIDENT (CONT’D) The moment you've all been waiting for. We close in on David as he glances up, over his left shoulder. A much older Officer Peter Lucas (from the opening scene) is on his feet, applauding and holding back the tears. PRESIDENT (CONT’D) Rodney Abbetamarco, John Abrams, Samuel Beringer, Supti Bhattacharya ...
A MELANCHOLY BOLERO fills the void as all natural sound fades out ... CUT TO: EXT. CEMETERY, MIAMI - DAY The BOLERO FADES into the scene. We are perched on a hill of dried grasses, surrounded by cracked tombstones. David stands before one of them, holding a tattered piece of paper in his hand. Bound around his neck is a round metallic pendant encrusted with the shinny image of lady liberty. DAVID (V.O.) The product of a simple dream born in complicated times. As I reflect on my life, I can’t help but wonder how many died so that I could stand here. So that I could continue to dream. Was it worth it? That’s not for me to decide. David places the piece of paper on the headstone. DAVID (CONT’D) One day I decided to search for Goldineh Medina, not knowing what I would find. The search led me to a small cemetery perched on a hilltop near Miami. We close in on the encryption: "Here lies Goldineh Medina: Loving Father, Loyal Friend, and Founder of Golden Dream Imports. He will be missed." The BOLERO moves along as we: FADE OUT:
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