Birds of Passage (2018) Movie Script

This story was inspired
by true events that took place
in the Guajira region (northern Colombia),
between the decades of 1960 and 1980.
The family,
the grandmother, the mother...
the uncle, the nephew, the grandson...
are represented in the hand's fingers,
so that the Wayuu won't forget his origin.
If there's family,
there's respect.
If there's respect,
there's honor.
If there's honor,
there's word.
If there's word,
there's peace.
Look at me, Zaida.
You have fulfilled your year
in confinement with dignity and grace.
When you go out, you'll be a woman.
You must be aware of the signs.
Use them to protect your family.
Come here, Zaida.
The core of the family...
The grandmother...
The mother...
The nephew...
The uncle...
I am the shepherd,
the shepherd who sings jayeechis.
I've sung to bid farewell to the dead
and to remember the wars of the past.
To bring the winds
and recount stories of love.
My memory has started to fade and with it,
all the tales and stories that I've sung.
Before my footprints are erased,
with my singing I want to remember
the story of love,
desolation, wealth and pain
of that great family
that destroyed itself.
It is first the story of Rapayet,
who came from a lineage of warriors.
He lost everyone when he was a boy
and grew among foreigners
in this place where family
means everything.
Don't cry. Don't be afraid.
I'll be by your side.
Let's go.
I thought you weren't coming, uncle.
What did you bring?
A tuma necklace.
Come out, daughter.
I present you with my work.
Let's have a great feast now that my niece
Zaida has become a woman!
I want to dance the Yonna with you, too.
Who is he?
Rapayet, Peregrino's nephew.
Abuchaibe Uliana.
You are my woman.
Rapayet, you should've brought a goat.
Necklaces aren't appropriate.
If they accept you,
you'll have to work hard.
I got new customers for you.
The dowry is going to be expensive.
I'll get it, uncle.
Be honest when you speak to her mother.
Don't hide the situation you're in.
She's the one you have to persuade.
You have to convince her
that you'll put your family above all.
Even above your businesses
with alijunas, nephew.
Your deeds
will have to back up your words.
She was barefooted, she had a blanket.
Did she see you? Did you see her face?
I can't remember,
but she spoke to me in Spanish.
Your grandmother is showing us the way.
It's a dead end, straight into the sea.
It's calm now, but it can be turbulent.
Someone needs our help,
but they can also bring us pain.
I don't want to dream anymore.
Dreams prove the existence of the soul.
Don't be scared.
Death comes and goes.
We have to be alert.
You've always known
how to talk to the dream.
You did good in ending the confinement.
We must listen
to what your grandmother is telling us.
Let's hope death won't show up again.
If you want to have a family,
you'll have to follow our traditions.
I know.
Necklaces are very personal items,
they're used as protection,
and are given in a different occasion.
You should've brought a goat.
Have you eaten and slept well?
As always. It's a celebration
worthy of the Pushaina family.
Last time I came,
you had half the animals.
We've had a lot of rain.
My ranch has been blessed by Juy.
You've also known
how to handle business with alijunas.
rsula is known for her trading skills
around the province.
Today, I come as word messenger
to my nephew, Rapayet Abuchaibe Uliana.
He's the son
of my deceased cousin, Chay Uliana.
Rapayet wants to marry Zaida.
He's a suitor you should consider.
Peregrino, you're one of the most
respected word messengers there are.
We'll listen to you, but my sister rsula
is one of the most prestigious
Wayuus in the Wajira.
Her daughter deserves
a better family than Rapayet's.
His family had great prestige once.
Most of them died in a dispute,
but that conflict was resolved with honor.
Rapayet not only forged
a path for himself without help,
but he established a relationship
with the alijunas,
that opened the world to him.
He's a great businessman,
and his respect for traditions
is an example to be followed.
He'll make your family's prestige grow.
Do you speak Spanish, Rapayet?
Yes, but I prefer to speak wayuunaiki.
For the dowry, we are requesting
30 goats, 20 cows, five necklaces,
two of them made
from mountain tuma stones
and two decorative mules.
That's the dowry
if you want to marry Zaida.
Do you know why I'm respected?
Because you know how to treat alijunas.
And you can talk to the dreams.
Because I'm capable of anything
for my family and my clan.
This is our family's talisman.
I guard it.
From plagues and people trying to fool us.
Even if you get the dowry,
the spirits will warn me about you.
- Have you been waiting long?
- A while.
Are you Peregrino's nephew?
Did you bring all the merchandise?
One, two, three...
Are you going somewhere?
My ride is here.
Give my regards to your uncle.
Count it, Moncho.
We'll lose all our costumers that way.
To women, my friend.
The most beautiful thing.
We have an early start, Moncho.
We need to go get the coffee, tomorrow.
Hi, Csar.
How's it going, Rafa?
All good.
Those Americans over there
are from something called the Peace Corps.
They say they're rallying
against Communism,
but what they're desperately trying
to find is marijuana.
Do you have any to sell them?
Moncho, I have no more money.
Take it easy.
It's on me. We made some money
Hi, Csar.
Two packs of cigarettes, please.
- Twenty pesos.
- Like this?
Have you found what I'm looking
When are the gringos leaving?
I don't know.
We can get them the marijuana
they're looking for, Moncho.
Is that so?
Where are you hiding it?
Underneath that little skirt
you wear?
Introduce me, Csar.
Hi, Peter. I think I found
what you're looking for.
Bill is going to be happy with
Thank you.
- See you soon.
- Ok, Peter.
Remember, say no to Communism.
No Communism, Peter.
Long live Capitalism!
Are you crazy?
Where will we find 50 kilos?
Two hundred pesos a pound.
We couldn't have done the deal
for less.
How are we gonna pay?
We're gonna reinvest
the money from the coffee.
Long live Capitalism, my friend.
- Straight ahead?
- Yes.
It's all I have.
He wants to be paid more.
Tell him we'll pay him when we
get back.
We'll pay you when we come back.
In his language.
Do you think we speak the same
This is worth more
than your donkey ride.
Calm down!
Who are you?
Take it easy, cousin.
Cousin Rapayet.
Long time, no see!
Come in.
I thought the Sierra was not
a place worthy of a Wayuu.
This is my friend Moiss.
We brought you a goat.
Why are you still speaking indian?
We're not in the desert.
Offer them something to drink.
How much for a pound of coffee?
I'll give you 50 for the weed.
It's a great business, cousin.
It'll be good for both families.
Give me 60.
I don't do business with
You're negotiating with me,
Help me get the dowry.
But Anbal, how much ointment
are you going to make?
Your cousins are a riot.
My contribution, for the dowry.
Thank you, cousin.
See you, partner.
I didn't think they would get
Yes, mister.
Here we are.
We bring you joy.
Did you get the money?
Of course.
Do you want to take a look?
I'll go get the money.
Look at them, Rafa.
This is a fantastic business.
Weed is the world's happiness.
Their happiness.
Hey. What's up?
My name is Bill.
We work in the exports business.
I am very interested
in this product of yours.
Can we talk about it?
May I sit down?
Of course.
What are you doing, Rapayet?
I brought the dowry.
Did you bring the necklaces?
Where did you get all this?
I'm in business with the
Being among alijunas has made
you forget about our traditions.
You have to send word
before delivering the dowry.
Go get Peregrino.
Or you will unleash the
spirits' fury.
Wayu, you are now sharing a hammock.
Your path is joyful and simple.
rsula has taken you into her family,
you are with the Pushainas now.
You'll have to prove yourself.
You'll learn it's not hard having a
family or making it grow.
You'll learn that what's hard,
is keeping it together.
What's going on?
Does my brother's wife like
vallenato music?
What's the name of my godson?
Miguel Dionisio Pushaina
Just so you won't say
I don't respect your traditions,
I brought a gift.
What is it?
We're too big for goats now,
It's yours, my friend!
This car costs more than a
That's why we have
to make them bigger now.
That's what money is for,
to spend it!
You can't drink liquor.
You must get ready.
Now that your uncle Ministro is dead,
it's your right to be head of the family.
If he's a boy, we could name him
Peregrino, like you.
Us Peregrinos, we are restless.
This family needs a stronger name,
worthy of an heir.
Peregrino is a nice name.
But it will be a girl, and she must
have a prosperous and luminous name.
There's a plague coming.
You've become
too superstitious, mother.
These alijunas
have no respect for anything.
I've been looking everywhere for
you. Where were you?
Turn down the music, Moncho.
This is not a party.
If this is not a party, I wouldn't
want to miss a real one.
Turn it off.
Relax, my friend.
I talked to Bill.
- He told me we need 2200 pounds...
- Why did you talk to him?
We need 2200 pounds for next
With what they've sowed,
we can collect 1300 pounds.
We need more.
Anbal is coming here, Moncho.
Let's buy from someone else.
Anbal is family. We've always done
business with him.
We'll deliver 1300 pounds.
That's it.
And I'm the middleman, is that
Hello, cousin.
Pure Santa Marta Gold.
From the seeds of the Americans?
What do you say, Moncho?
What's up, Ramrez?
Getting fatter.
And you, uglier.
And Rafa,
charming as usual.
Be serious, Moncho.
What's wrong?
Two planes can carry 1300 pounds.
Fifty pounds in five.
Why are there three planes?
Bill said there was no problem.
Are you doing business with other people?
It's full of weed!
Tell Bill business is done with us only.
I'll hold on to the planes
until he makes up for this.
Hell no!
What did you do?
They betrayed us!
That's what the word is for.
So send a word messenger
to the United States.
If you kill him, I'll kill you.
Don't you wanna keep
the money and the weed?
You have no respect for anything.
Tell Bill business is done with us.
Us Wayu can't touch murdered men.
You'll have to bury them.
What shall we do with the planes?
You can't do business with alijunas.
And gringos? What are they?
Or do you know any Wayu
that'll buy weed from us?
Moiss is out of control.
He made a mistake.
He's staining our name.
Disobeyed you in front of your men.
It won't happen again.
Ask yourself,
where does your loyalty lie?
With the alijunas or your family?
My word and honor lie with my people.
He's right. Who do you choose?
I already said it.
Say it again.
My family.
So get rid of Moiss.
How will you carry on
doing business after this?
How will you ease the gringos?
You must compensate them.
Don't put your family at risk.
You've been
with the alijunas for too long.
A true Wayu wouldn't hesitate, Rapayet.
The alijuna spilled blood, Rapayet.
He must pay with blood.
Come, listen to the song
they wrote for us, my friend.
I'm glad you came, my friend.
Is this how you spend the money?
What's wrong?
We have the money, the weed...
It's the best deal, Rafa.
Let's party.
Get up!
What's the matter?
Are you not gonna celebrate?
It's over.
You spilled blood in Wayu territory.
The foreigners' blood must be compensated.
Shut the fuck up!
The Pushaina family
advised Rapayet
to kill you.
But it won't happen,
because Rapayet is fond of you.
But you have to leave the business.
Everyone leave!
Get out!
This shit is over!
You can't do this, Rafa.
For every deal, you'll get a commission
to give the police their cut.
But if you do any business
behind Rapayet's back,
he'll have to follow his clan's advice.
You can't do this to me, Rafa.
You would be nothing without me.
Aren't we friends?
Aren't we brothers, Rafa?
Get down, Leonidas.
You drive too fast.
We're leaving.
Where are you going?
To make a delivery.
Can I go?
Be careful, Rapayet.
The iishcoo bird has been coming for days.
He's asking for payback.
It's been too long.
Something's not right.
Are we leaving?
No, go back.
You never let me do anything!
You're here because they forced me
to bring you along. Do as I say!
Don't get out!
Go tell Anbal.
Tell him to bring the women.
I'll stay here.
I go alone.
Get dressed.
You don't have to turn me in, Rafa.
I have your share. I kept it for you.
We can keep going, you and I.
Just like before.
So, what are you going to do?
Are you going to kill me?
You can't kill me, my friend.
I'll kill you like the Wayu do,
face to face.
We've always been together, Rafa.
You're my brother.
I knew you didn't have it in you.
Don't come inside!
His blood is all over you.
The yoluja is with you!
It's your fault, Mom.
Your daughter has just been born!
Stay away!
You brought the ghost
of a dead man with you.
You can't touch her.
How's Zaida?
She's fine.
I want to go in.
You have touched him.
If you don't clean yourself,
it will stick to her.
I'll go take a bath.
Anbal must see the blood.
I've come to talk to you.
I don't want anything to do with Rapayet.
It's not about Rapayet.
I come on behalf of rsula Pushaina.
Will you not receive her word?
Over the last two years,
the wealth of both families
has increased like never before.
Prosperity can only bloom
if there's peace.
Moiss killed my brother.
Rapayet didn't stop him on time.
You're right, Anbal.
But he's done it now.
Peace is guaranteed.
I don't want to do business
with Rapayet anymore.
When you talk to Rapayet,
you talk to the Pushaina clan.
What's your answer?
I want 100 pesos per pound.
Very well, Anbal.
You were great.
You rode like a true Wayu.
I almost finished last.
It doesn't matter.
None of them rode at your age.
I want to learn
how to fly a plane, not ride a horse.
Leonidas, give me the gun.
Don't bother me.
Give me the gun, son.
Give me the gun.
The sacrifice has been made,
but there's sadness.
Gabriel is announcing his second burial.
The dead are coming to the house.
Miguel is in danger.
Rapayet and Leonidas were there.
Did you see them?
Request the talisman's protection.
You're not alone, Rapayet.
Have you seen a yoluja?
Hi, nephew.
Hi, uncle.
Anbal invited us
to his brother's second wake.
Zaida saw Gabriel in a dream.
Maybe he was announcing himself too,
like he did to his family.
We must go, Rapayet.
Anbal is not just family,
he's our partner.
We shouldn't go.
If we don't, he will take it
as an offense to his family.
Do you want that?
Zaida also saw Miguel. He was covered.
There's too much death around.
Thank you for inviting us, cousin.
What is it that you got there?
The Pushaina family wants to celebrate
its friendship with your family.
It's a gift for the wake.
Ten cows and 30 goats.
Thank you.
Each gun has its own license.
A bit too much, don't you think?
Thank you for coming, rsula.
Join me.
Let's get out of here, Rapayet.
Now is the time when the dead come back.
The time to understand what happened.
Why they are gone and what is
the message they're bringing us.
The time for us to listen
to what they are teaching us
through their senseless death,
caused by blind ambition.
Now that we are exhuming you
and taking you
to your final resting place,
let us be still.
Let us listen and understand
why you had to leave like this.
Let us not be blind.
Let us not be deaf.
Let no gold shine brighter
than our spirit.
Let no voice or gunshot
be louder than your voice.
What on earth are you doing? Come with me!
Burials are so boring.
Why did you come, then?
Because I was forced.
Look what I can do.
For you,
I'd eat a lemon and its skin.
Come with me to Aruba.
I'll give you anything you want.
Sigifredo, take this drunkard away.
Let's dance.
Come dance with me.
- Leave!
- Don't touch her!
No one can touch her.
Mister Leonidas.
Let's go, sir. You're drunk.
Bring the money from the truck.
- No, Leonidas.
- Bring the money from the fucking truck!
This man wants to become
some kind of a lawyer.
Look how generous I am.
I'll pay for his degree and his trip,
but only if he eats that dog's shit.
No, sir.
No, sir.
Too proud for a shitty bodyguard.
Put it there.
It's all yours.
You can pay for whores
and anything you want.
You're the man, boss.
I come on behalf of mister Anbal.
Word must be brought by a word messenger.
I'm the word messenger now.
I won't receive the word from an alijuna.
What does Anbal want?
This is not the way we do things.
Mister Anbal wants to be compensated.
With two trucks,
ten mules,
and two rifles.
We won't compensate him
until he sends a word messenger!
What else?
And two weeks of mister Leonidas,
working as a peasant in his fields.
Say that again and I'll kill you!
Put the gun down!
Let Leonidas kill him!
- Anbal knows no Wayu would accept that.
- Shut up!
Shut up!
Leonidas, go.
By sending the alijuna,
Anbal is humiliating you.
You can't accept anything.
We have offended his family many times.
If you don't agree,
there will be a war, Rapayet.
You can't let that happen.
Do you need a minute?
A little work won't harm him.
Leonidas will fulfill
his part of the compensation.
What's wrong?
Did you see it again?
It'll go away.
Close your eyes.
Welcome, mister Leonidas.
What do we have here?
Here's your compensation.
You offended my daughter.
Apologize and you can go home.
Go to work then.
The satchel is like the Wayu.
Round like the mother's womb.
This rope, it's umbilical cord.
It's late.
We haven't finished.
You can finish tomorrow.
It's important.
You can finish tomorrow.
I'll stay here until you fall asleep.
What were you dreaming?
Nothing. It felt as if I was falling.
What else?
You don't talk to the dream anymore.
I killed you because
you had no respect for the word.
And now,
no one respects anything, my friend.
I can't lose my family again.
I can't lose them in another war.
What does the yoluja tell you?
He's just there.
Bring Leonidas back.
This won't end here.
Did the dream tell you that?
The spirits are offended.
The dream hasn't talked to me
since we went to Anbal's.
We've lost the soul.
Nothing protects us anymore.
Bring my son back.
You should've never agreed
to send him away.
Now that one.
I'll be safe if I'm surrounded by men.
Those shitty necklaces are useless!
Don't let him out.
If someone comes, tell them
your daughter is in confinement.
In a dispute, it isn't common for the
offending party to send a word messenger.
But I've come to bring you the word.
Rapayet wants to avoid war at all cost.
He wants to compensate you.
What Leonidas did is unforgivable.
He's a bad seed
who doesn't represent his family.
There's nothing to talk about.
He dishonored my daughter.
He's a Pushaina.
There's more at stake.
Your relationship with Rapayet and
his family goes well beyond this dispute.
You shouldn't have come, Peregrino.
We're living
violent, uncertain times, Anbal.
You can't turn down Rapayet's offer
without even listening.
What is he offering?
His trucks, planes,
landing spots, everything.
Even his American connections.
You can't kill a word messenger.
If you kill the word, you'll be offending
the most sacred law of the Wayu.
You will not only go to war
with the Pushaina clan,
but also with the Uliana clan,
your own clan.
Do you still want peace?
Let's go, Rapayet.
You know what happens to a family
in a war.
Let's go.
Wherever they won't find us.
It doesn't matter.
Moiss will follow me wherever I go.
It doesn't matter, Rapayet.
Miguel is in danger.
I saw it in the dream.
Don't come back until you've found them.
Are they Anbal's people?
They're the word messengers
and the clans' elders.
Anbal Abuchaibe, from the Uliana clan,
committed the unrepairable
and murdered a word messenger.
He has become a threat to our clan
and to the region's peace.
It's our duty to keep him
from spreading chaos.
Ever since he started trading weed,
Peregrino fell like the bird Utta,
whose necklaces were so heavy
from being so wealthy.
He stopped being a word messenger
and died as an alijuna.
He was a remarkable Wayu
and we shouldn't mention his name.
Let's not forget no one
had ever killed a word messenger.
Peregrino allowed rsula's family
to desecrate our traditions.
Our word messenger died trying
to prevent this war.
We must stop Anbal before
his war spreads throughout the Wajira.
We can do it if we unite.
Where is Rapayet?
He ran away.
rsula and Rapayet
use their sacred cemetery
to hide money and weapons.
Anbal, rsula and Rapayet
have stained our clan's name.
They no longer act as Wayus.
They act as alijunas.
Us Wayus are not what they have become.
I won't order my family to lend
their lives for a dispute of alijunas.
My family will not be a part
of this vengeance either.
This has always been our territory.
We've always protected it
with honor and bravery
when it has been necessary.
Our ancestors defended it from pirates,
from Englishmen, from Spaniards.
And from the governments that tried
to take it away and tell us how to live.
This ain't alijunas' territory,
it's our ancestors'.
We won't allow these new weed sellers
to fill it with violence.
Punishment for Anbal and his family!
This has to stop.
Violence against the word
is unprecedented.
It has to be punished.
But before we punish Anbal,
rsula's family has to compensate us.
They must give up this cemetery
and exhume their dead.
rsula must give back the talisman that
protects her family, and her necklaces.
Give it back.
The Arpushana family agrees
on the punishment,
if rsula gives back
the talisman and necklaces.
The Juusay family will send men
to help with Anbal's punishment.
The Epieyu family joins the punishment
for the Pushaina and Abuchaibe families.
Goyo, Goyo, Goyo.
Clean everything up. We're coming over.
Pick up, pick up. Over.
Pick up, Goyo. We're coming.
Go inside!
I've come for you and my grandchildren.
You belong with me, daughter.
You can't live as a Wayu
if you're away from your family.
What's the use
of being a Wayu if we die.
Come with me and Rapayet won't be hurt.
Don't take them away. Please.
Don't do this.
If you come looking for them,
I'll kill you.
How many did they kill?
You don't want to know.
What about the sown fields?
Mister Anbal,
it's a miracle
those Indians didn't kill us.
I've had it. I'm going back to Medelln.
There's nothing left to do here.
Bring me men from Medelln.
You can have what's left of the crops.
They burned everything down.
There's nothing left.
I have 2800 pounds left.
Only I know where they are.
You can have the house, the cars,
the hidden money, everything.
Are you willing to give up everything
just to have your revenge?
How soon can you bring them?
There's money in the satchel.
Go find Leonidas.
Go and never come back!
Uncle Leonidas!
And so?
We have nothing left
in this world, Anbal.
But have some respect for the dead.
Give me my grandson back.
I'll give him back on two conditions.
Hand over your businesses,
the weed you have left, your planes,
- your landing strips...
- I came to talk to you, not to him.
He's the one you need to talk to now.
Arrange one more delivery
with your connection.
What's the other thing?
Bring me Rapayet.
And Leonidas.
Leonidas is dead.
- Then tell me where Rapayet is.
- I want Leonidas as well.
Shut the fuck up!
You'll do what I say.
Settle for Rapayet.
I'll give you Rapayet.
You can kill me.
Let Indira live.
You're not even worth the bullet, ma'am.
Where is Leonidas?
I won't stop until I kill him.
We're all dead already.
Take them.
And so, when I saw this Wayu girl
who didn't know how to herd,
who had forgotten her ancestor's knowledge
and was left alone to wander
in the desert and in the dark,
is how I learned about this story.
A story about a wild grass that came
as a savior, but destroyed like locusts.
This grass took other shapes
and it was always joined by greed.
And so a great wanul beast was awakened,
and its shadow darkened the whole world.
If we had only listened to the dreams,
if we had only heard the dead's voices.
Strong winds are coming now.
They'll erase our footprints on the sand,
that's why I sing on this day.
So Wayus and alijunas won't forget
what the summer winds erase.
So that the birds can sing this story,
so it can remain forever,
in the place of dreams and memory.