Can You See Us? (2022) Movie Script

[lively electric guitar music playing]
- [footsteps]
- [heavy breathing]
[in Nyanja] Ah! Watch it old man!
Hey, hey, hey!
- [knocking]
- [in English] Banda! Banda, please!
It's my wife.
Banda I need your help!
- Banda!
- Eh-eh...
Please, slow down.
No, Banda. I don't have time
for your fancy English.
It's Chama, she's due.
- [wry chuckle] You young vigor youth.
- [tuts]
Is this your first child?
- Yes.
- [in Bemba] Is it your first child?
[in English] Yes.
This is all I have.
It's all I have.
- Please.
- My son,
slow down,
slow down. That kind of money,
you see,
I am the only one in the entire
compound who can give you transport.
Here's more money. Please, Banda, time.
- Time, please.
- Young fathers.
- Breathe.
- [labored breathing]
- Breathe.
- [shuddering breath]
[third woman] But why
are you wasting your breath like that?
She's going to be fine.
Listen to your mother, Pheli.
Don't waste your singing voice on me.
Which singing voice?
[heavy breathing]
Madam modest...
I know your voice,
will take you far some day.
Well, tell that to my mother
and my brother.
You will sing for him, right?
Can you believe this guy?
- Huh-uh. Sonny.
- Huh?
Just because he has a car
he thinks he can do this.
Sonny calm down.
Huh? Where's he?
That's the thing.
He says I should wait for him.
But I told him it was an emergency,
I even showed him the money.
- No, just calm down, don't panic.
- He's full of himself, that guy.
This is nonsense.
At least sit down.
I'll be fine, Kennedy.
Are you alright?
It's you, I'm more worried about.
[gentle piano music]
[car rumbling, brakes squeal]
He's here. [chuckles]
- He's here?
- He's here, yes.
Baby, you know what they
say about big, strong, healthy boys eh?
They are trouble. [laughing]
[slow piano music playing]
[footsteps approaching]
Do they all do this hey?
Your father was just the same.
Kennedy, come sit down.
Come you sit down, Kennedy.
- Huh?
- [heavy breathing]
Everything is going to be okay.
Just relax.
Is it wrong,
to miss someone,
- you don't remember?
- No, no, no.
There's nothing wrong
with missing your father Kennedy.
In fact, he was just like you.
Running all over the place...
- [Kennedy laughs]
- Shouting at everyone who was in his way.
But the moment
that he laid his eyes on you,
all his fears went away.
He would be proud of you, that I know.
- I'm telling you, he'd be very proud.
- [chuckles]
He'd have loved Chama too, huh?
- Mama?
- What?
I thought we have
been through this before.
And yet you still bring it up.
You are going to be a grandmother.
[chuckles] I know.
- Hm?
- I know.
To my wife's child.
And I know that too.
So, sooner or later,
you have to accept her into the family.
He is Baba's legacy.
- My legacy.
- [chuckles] Kennedy,
I just think you can do better than this.
You can do better than this.
For who?
For you or for me?
I love her,
and I will continue to love her.
I love you too. [laughter]
And I will continue loving you too.
Very soon, you and baby Joseph,
are going to be playing all the time.
That's the name you're giving him?
- Yes.
- Joseph?
[laughing] Joseph.
Little Joseph.
Chama and I decided
to honor Baba's memory.
- See?
- Yeah.
She cares for you.
[dismisses Kennedy]
Just give her a chance.
- Hm Mama?
- I will try.
[crickets chirping]
[baby crying]
- [door bangs]
- [baby continues crying]
Kennedy, what's wrong?
Leave me alone!
- Kennedy is the baby okay?
- Whatever that...
Whatever that thing is, it's not my child!
- [tense music playing]
- [baby continues crying]
Nurse, bring the child.
Don't call me that!
I always knew there was
something evil about you.
But not like this.
Mama, this is your grandson.
I don't want you in my house anymore.
- Mama, please.
- Hey, you shut up.
And let's go.
[sad vocalizing music playing]
I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry.
[shuddering sigh]
[baby cooing]
[whispers] Don't cry.
Such a cute baby crying?
Don't cry baby.
Mommy's going to feed you.
Say, "Mommy feed me."
How does mommy refuse to feed
such a cute baby?
You know, if she continues refusing,
I'll have to go home with you myself.
Not now.
Please, take him away.
this is a blessing.
He is your blessing.
[in Nyanja] Joyce?
[in English] Leave that baby.
We have work to do.
Hold him for a few minutes.
[Joyce chuckles]
He's such a cute one, this one.
Everyone will love him.
You'll see.
He's just confused,
but once he sees baby Joseph
all of this will change.
[uneasy music playing]
[baby cooing]
Hey you, take that thing away from me.
[newspaper rattling]
Where were you, Kennedy?
Your son and I have been in the hospital...
[Kennedy tuts]
all this while.
[in Nyanja] You never came to see us.
Not even one day.
[in English] Why are you
doing this Kennedy?
[paper rattles]
[inhales sharply]
I don't expect this from you,
- but from your mother.
- Don't!
Don't, talk about my mother.
But how can I not?
When your mother,
has always been targeting me.
Always been trying to separate you and I.
[exclaims] Ah ah. Chama...
No matter how much influence
my mother has,
it's not her that brought, that ch...
that child into this house.
- It's you!
- Our child, Kennedy.
That's not my child.
- Our child.
- Ah-ah.
That is not my child.
Can't be my child.
What are you even doing here?
I want...
I want to go home...
with my son...
and with my husband.
I'm not going anywhere with you.
You on the other hand...
you have to leave.
- What?
- Yes.
- [in Nyanja] Where will I go?
- [in English] You have to leave.
Why are you doing this, my love?
- Stop it.
- My love,
What about our vows?
To love and to cherish.
- [baby cooing]
- Chama!
For better or for worse.
In sickness and in health.
- This is the worst part.
- I'll hit you.
- I need you.
- I said I'll hit you, don't do...
We need you.
Why are you doing this?
Your mother has always been
trying to separate us.
This is not my mother. This is...
My mother is not the problem.
It's you!
And that child!
What has the child done?
The child has done nothing wrong.
He is your child
and you are my husband.
I am your wife, Kennedy.
Okay look, if your mother
doesn't want us here.
You and I can leave,
- and... find somewhere. You, me and Joseph.
- I have a taxi.
I have a taxi.
- What?
- There's a taxi.
- Why?
- A taxi outside waiting for you.
- [in Nyanja] Where will I go?
- [in English] I don't care where you go!
No please!
You witch! You witch!
What are you looking at?
In fact, go and get the baby.
[Chama sobbing]
- [baby crying]
- Shh...
[somber music playing]
Okay, okay, alright.
- Okay baby. Shh...
- [Joseph cries]
Everything is going
to be fine little Joseph.
Everything is going to be fine.
I'm sorry.
[somber music continues]
[car engine starts]
[emotional humming music playing]
My fuel is running out. I have to ask...
where are you going?
I don't... know where I'm going.
I don't have anywhere to go.
[indistinct children's voices]
- Joseph?
- Yes Mom?
If you don't finish this work
that I'm teaching you,
you will not have your tea break.
- What time is daddy coming?
- Soon.
So can I go play outside
while I wait for him?
Come, sit here with me.
I already told you my boy.
You are not too well.
But when you get better,
you will go outside
and play with your friends.
But I don't feel sick.
You are not well.
How do you know?
Because I am your mother,
and mommy always knows
what's best for you.
Mommy, but why can't I go play outside?
You ask so many questions my boy.
Let my boy ask the questions.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- What's behind you?
- Nothing.
Can I see?
[chuckles] Okay.
- [chuckles]
- Thank you, Daddy.
- Now I can be a driver just like you.
- Yes.
Can I take it outside?
Why don't you go
and try it in your room first?
That's my boy.
These questions you are
encouraging the boy to be asking...
Why don't you like questions?
I really don't like questions,
I don't have answers to.
So now, I cannot ask,
how my wife's day was?
He's getting curious by the minute.
He's growing.
And that's my worry.
The more he grows,
the more dangerous it will be
for him out there.
you know,
I'm just thinking,
maybe, if he had a brother or a sister,
- they'd protect him.
- [chuckles]
- I know what you are doing, Martin.
- What?
[both laughing]
I'm not ready, Martin.
You have been saying that for years.
I know but, I'm just not ready.
At least not now.
Then when?
[tender piano music playing]
[Martin sighs]
[young boy] So...
as they wandered off into the woods...
not paying attention to their
mother's warnings...
they found a well.
- There was total silence...
- [intriguing music tones play]
and they heard footsteps.
[snapping fingers]
But there was no one.
They looked front, back, left
and right, but still no one.
Until the mad man jumped from behind them!
And he dragged them,
by their feet, into the well.
Throwing them in one by one.
As soon as he was done...
he closed the lid shut.
Off to bed now.
Yes, my boy.
Is the mad man really going to
come and get me?
Well, if you don't get to bed right away,
he's definitely going to come and get you.
I bet that stopped him from
asking too many questions.
He's been quiet the whole day today,
scared that the mad man will
actually come and get him.
Can you believe that?
Sooner or later,
he's going to outgrow that.
What lie will I tell him then?
The greatest truths
are the simplest ones, Chama.
There is nothing simple,
about Joseph's condition.
But you can't home school him forever.
It's safer that way.
[pensive guitar music playing]
So how's my brother doing?
Martin? Martin is fine, busy as ever.
Business is going well?
But you know, not too many people,
here have money for a taxi,
but it's okay.
Martin is a good man.
He really treats Joseph just like his own.
He does.
He does.
It's not like Joseph to be this quiet?
[curious music playing]
[boy exclaims]
What's that?
- It's a ghost.
- Out in the day?
[in Nyanja] Guys,
where has this come from?
[in English] It's a mwabi.
A disgusting creature.
Hi, I'm Joseph.
[in Nyanja] Let's run before it bites us.
[Joseph Whimpering]
[kids laughing]
[Chama] Joseph!
[intense music playing]
Are you okay?
[in English] I just wanted to play.
I know my boy. I know.
Off to bed now.
I don't understand.
How can people be so cruel?
It's the way they were raised.
Nobody is born with hate,
but it is taught.
Then talk to their parents.
If Kennedy, Joseph's
biological father rejected him,
do you think that the neighbors
will welcome him just like that?
Not everybody is like Kennedy, Chama.
Look at Martin.
Well Martin is an exception.
But he's your exception.
You can't...
You can't keep treating everyone the same.
And what happened today?
Doesn't that count for anything?
This is more than that.
You know he is your husband, right?
I know he is.
And that at some point...
he's going to want children of his own.
Chama, I know we are friends.
But we both know,
there's going to come a time when
he's going to want a child of his own.
I can't risk it.
What if history repeats itself, Brenda?
Even if it does,
he won't mind.
- Just look at the way he treats your son.
- My son.
Brenda, my son.
If tables turn,
he will not be so welcoming.
Joseph my boy, why aren't you sleeping?
I lost my toy.
I can't sleep without it.
Well that's okay,
we'll just ask daddy to buy you
another one.
No. No. Please don't tell daddy.
Don't tell daddy what?
I will go to those children's parents
and give them a piece of my mind.
- Martin, there's really no point.
- No point?
They bullied our son.
But that's what people do
- to children like him.
- And you're okay with that?
You know what?
I think the problem is they are
not used to seeing him outside.
What do you mean?
He's always inside.
And they don't know anything about him.
Are you saying this is my fault?
I'm saying if he wasn't stuck in here
day in and day out, they would accept him.
Look at how they treated him.
They treated him like a ghost.
How can he not be treated like ghost
when he never leaves the house.
My love, for how long?
For how long will you and him,
hide yourselves from the world? Hmm?
Hey my boy.
- Daddy...
- Hm?
are you angry that I lost my toy?
No, no, no.
Daddy is not upset.
Daddy is just upset about what
the boys did to you.
Off to bed now.
- Daddy?
- Yes?
- Can I ask you a question?
- Yes, sure.
What's a mwabi?
Where did you hear that?
The boys.
They called me mwabi.
What does it mean?
Off to bed now. Go to sleep.
What does it mean?
Go to sleep, you ask too many questions.
[laughs wryly]
Only mama says that.
Son mama is right.
You are too, too smart. [chuckles]
You see your hand and my hand?
Mine is white and yours is brown.
You have a condition with your skin.
And a lot of people are not used
to seeing people like you,
so they end up doing bad things.
Because that's the way people are.
But you, mama and aunty Brenda
don't think like that.
No, no we don't.
But a lot of people still do.
Then I will teach them, I will show
them that I'm not dangerous.
That's the spirit.
Let me tell you what my
grandfather used to tell me.
He would say,
"They told you they could
never understand you.
And what they don't understand, they fear.
And what they fear,
they seek to destroy."
So, when I'm older
I'm going to be brown just like you?
Off to bed now.
Go to sleep.
I'm going out.
Aunty Brenda will be home soon.
Don't go out, okay?
That's a nice car.
- [boy] Look, the mwabi has come.
- [children exclaim]
Didn't I tell you that we don't
play with people like you?
I want back my toy.
This one?
[in Nyanja] Here, get it.
[in English] It's not funny, give it back.
[in Nyanja] Get it. Take!
This kid is crazy, eh?
[in English] You go get the toy.
[in Nyanja] You go and get it.
[in English] No, I'm not going there.
That's where the mad man lives.
- [man in English] What are you doing here?
- [Joseph gaps]
I... I was running away.
Please, don't throw me into the well.
Why would I put you in there?
That's what they said you do.
- [chuckles]
- [panting]
Come, let's fix this toy.
Where did you get this toy?
My daddy bought it for me.
And why would you want to damage...
something that your daddy got for you?
They took my toy.
Oh, you mean those foolish boys?
There you go.
It's good as new.
Thank you.
Let me just get something.
Where are you going?
Don't throw me into the well.
The well? [laughs]
Why are you laughing?
I'm laughing because my well
has been dry for years.
I just went to get this to show you.
So, you don't throw children
into the well?
No, I don't.
Let's see what this thing can do.
Shall we?
[strums guitar]
Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see
Look deep look close can you see
What's underneath is a mad man
I'm sure you only see a mad man
But if you look into my heart
And tell me what you see
Look deep look close all
You see is really me just a sad man
I bet you only see a sad man
It's true I don't got much
I got nothing to eat
But what I got
Are these two happy feet
I'll dance until the sun goes down
And watch my luck turn around eh
See I don't got much
No I don't got money
I got a sweet voice
Ooh it's sweet like honey
I'll sing until the sun goes down
Yes I'll sing this song out real loud
[in Nyanja] Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Life is great
Yeah hear me now
[in English] Wow.
You like that?
I started writing music when
I was your age.
You could play at my age?
Yes, that's when I started learning.
They lied about you.
Because they don't know you.
And because of that,
they treat you differently.
Wise statement...
Mad man.
You are okay with being called that?
I mean, that's what you kids call me.
Isn't it?
Okay. Let's do that again.
Without the titles.
Nice meeting you.
Nice to meet you too.
[school bell rings]
[indistinct chattering]
[teacher] Good morning class.
Good morning, Madam.
We have a new student with us today.
His name is Joseph.
- [student] It's a mwabi.
- Joseph...
go sit next to Bernard.
- Sorry Ma'm, this seat is taken.
- By who?
My bag.
Can your bag make room for Joseph here?
I'm sorry, it's too heavy.
You can come sit next to me.
There you go Joseph. Thank you, Sharon.
We can all learn something
from Sharon's kindness.
Take out your books,
today we are learning geography.
[beautiful piano music]
[Sharon] How was school today?
It was fine, but mathematics... mmm...
it's hard.
Why was it so rough?
There were some boys
who were fighting with me.
They were just jealous that I
passed mathematics. [chuckles]
So, anyway...
what do you want to do when you grow up?
I think, a lawyer,
and I want to punish all the bad guys.
[Joseph chuckles]
And you?
I don't know,
but I think I like singing.
You want to be a musician?
Hey what...?
We're late.
Just wait.
Well, you can learn from this.
"Mu... sic...
where did you get this from?
My mom got it for me,
but you can have it if you want.
- Really?
- Yeah.
- That's what friends are for, right?
- Right.
[indistinct muffled chatter]
[in Nyanja] You know...
You're a very good boss.
You like straight points.
You're a cool boss.
- Boss?
- What?
Diamond outside.
What diamond?
- [in English] The maggot.
- [uneasy music playing]
[in Nyanja] The White person born
from a Black, can't you see him?
That's a lot of money, my guy.
It's a lot of money,
especially to people like you.
That's right.
We need to work on it.
So, how much for that one?
[in English] Mommy, I'm back. [chuckles]
Hello, my little prince.
I have a new book.
Let me see.
"Music theory."
Are you not a little too young for this?
No, Mum.
No one is too young or too old
for anything.
Not even you.
So, can I go play outside?
But with whom, will you go play outside?
With my friend,
the one who gave me the book.
Oh, okay.
What is his name?
Her name.
- And it's Sharon.
- Oh.
I just want to know if my
little boy has a little crush.
She's just a friend.
Okay, but carry your cap.
I take it your first day was good?
It was bad at first,
but then I met this girl.
I don't know if she will like me back.
- How do I make her like me?
- [laughs]
I'm serious.
Back in my day,
the way to a woman's
heart was through her ears.
- Her ears?
- Yes.
Can you teach me?
How to play the guitar?
But only after school.
- Agreed?
- Agreed.
[hopeful instrumental music playing]
[teacher] Class is over. You are dismissed
[indistinct talking]
Leave me alone.
Where is your Sharon now?
Where's your guardian angel?
You really think you're going
to get away that easy?
Oh, you want to cry?
Please just let me go.
- Cry.
- He's going to cry.
- Cry baby. Oh...
- He's crying.
[plucks guitar strings]
That's a wrong chord.
Joseph, that's...
that's a wrong chord.
What's wrong with you today?
I'm tired.
You're not tired.
You're uninspired.
What happened today?
They bullied me.
At school?
Is it why you're not playing well?
Answer me.
Let me tell you something.
All my life,
I have been bullied,
by people, young and small.
They've called me names.
They've made rumors about me.
But you never see me put that guitar away.
What's that thing,
you told me,
that they didn't understand you?
And what they don't understand,
they fear.
And what they fear?
They seek to destroy.
You and I might not be the same, Joseph.
But we suffer,
a similar story.
We shouldn't lose hope.
Let me teach you an exercise
that will help you in life.
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in.
And say this...
I am powerful.
I am powerful.
I am strong.
I am strong.
I am worthy.
I am worthy.
I belong.
I belong.
Now open your eyes.
Now let's play.
[water running]
- Hello?
- Hi.
Where were you, Joseph?
I was at school.
If you were at school,
how come I saw Sharon
walk home alone today?
Where have you been going all
these days after school?
To the mad man's house.
But why would you go there?
You know that man is dangerous.
No, he is not.
He is very kind.
Weren't you the one who was scared
of being thrown into the well
just a few days ago?
That was a lie.
They all lied about him.
Just like they lied about me.
But he's teaching me how
to play the guitar.
He says that I'm so good,
that one day I can become a star.
Since when do you know
how to play the guitar?
Since when he started teaching me.
You remind me so much of your aunty.
Which aunt?
No one.
I just want you to be safe, okay?
- [peaceful music playing]
- [insects chirping]
[tense music playing]
[in Nyanja] Hey,
come back here.
Get away from there, fast.
They shouldn't see you.
Get away from there, fast.
Are you ready?
[in English] But what about the girl?
[in Nyanja] We are not
interested in the girl.
- It's the boy we want.
- Chisomo...
[in English] I don't think this is right.
[in Nyanja] That's just a kid
and I'm also just a kid.
What did you say?
Are you a fool?
This fear of yours,
will make you lose.
Do you want to continue being poor?
Do you? You have no money.
And you have got no family.
- So, choose between your future...
- [heavy breathing]
or that boy's future.
[in English] You can do this.
- [crickets chirping]
- [tense music continues]
- [Joseph screaming]
- Leave that one! Come here.
- [tense music building]
- [Joseph continues screaming]
[fierce music playing]
- Help me!
- What?
- My friend is being attacked.
- Where?
That side!
[fierce music continues]
[urgent knocking]
Sharon, what's wrong?
It's Joseph.
Stay down!
[Joseph groaning]
[in Nyanja] Cut it!
Chisomo, I said cut him!
We don't have time!
- No!
- Cut!
I said do it!
Do it fast!
[Joseph screaming]
[Joseph screaming]
[heavy breathing]
[Joseph wailing]
[dramatic music playing]
- [slow soft heart beat]
- [birds chirping]
[morose music playing]
[morose music continues playing]
[soft tender music playing]
[in English] Hello my little prince.
Hey my boy. How are you?
- Daddy.
- [Martin sighs]
What happened?
Some bad people tried to hurt you.
Daddy it hurts so much.
I'm sorry.
I told you, they could
never understand you...
and what they don't understand,
they fear.
And what they fear...
They seek to destroy.
That's my boy.
Daddy loves you, okay?
[water running]
[plates clattering]
Are you okay?
I'm not okay.
How can anyone be okay like this?
I'm sorry.
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine Joseph hung
out with that mad man?
I mean...
come to think of it.
What if,
that mad man is the one who
sent those men to harm him?
But I warned him,
I warned him to stay away
from my boy, Joseph.
And that guy,
I really hope he rots in jail.
At some point,
you have to forgive.
[in Nyanja] Can you hear
what you're saying?
I can't forgive someone
who tried to kill my child.
[in English] He's underage.
I'm sure he was doing that
under the influence of,
some bad people.
That boy is 17 years old.
A full blown man.
And as such he must be treated
just like any other man.
Do you just not like kids?
- What do you mean?
- Kids.
You despise anyone who's not Joseph.
- I don't hate kids.
- Yes, you do.
Which makes me understand why you
don't want to have more children.
Is this where this
conversation is heading to?
Our son,
is on crutches.
- And all you can talk about is this?
- Your son.
Your son, Chama.
As much as I want to be part of the
boy's life he'll always be your son.
[crickets chirping]
I'm scared, Martin.
Scared of what?
[melancholic music playing]
I'm scared...
that if we try for another,
he'll turn out to be just like Joseph.
What if history repeats itself?
I don't want this for you or for myself.
[whispers] It's okay.
- I understand.
- It's not safe here.
It's dangerous here.
It's too violent for him.
It's okay.
[Martin sighs]
I understand.
We can move to the city.
Taxi business is better that side.
Our son will be safe.
And we are going to be happy.
I will do anything for us.
- [Chama whimpers]
- It's okay.
Joseph needs to apply this cream,
three times a day.
- Chama.
- Okay?
Can you go, you're going to be late.
I'm just a phone call away. Huh?
- In case of anything.
- Don't worry.
He's safe with me.
My boy,
mommy's off, okay?
I'll see you
and I love you so much, alright?
Okay. [kiss]
[voice over TV] You wanna do what?
Okay Brenda, I'll see you.
Who is she?
Looks like it's just you and me buddy.
[TV] ...I can explain.
- Who is she?
- Don't know.
I'm sorry.
What are you sorry for?
- But I love you.
- What is she doing in my house?
I thought you said you were done with her?
I'm sorry.
I can explain.
Then explain now.
- Not right now.
- Now!
Who is she?
[door opening]
You're not supposed to be here Joseph.
They are not here right now.
Go back, child.
But you have to teach me the new song.
There's nothing to teach you.
[man sighs]
From now on, you teach yourself.
I thought you were the only person
who can understand me.
So much for that.
Just leave...
and be safe.
- [sad piano music playing]
- [door closes]
[Joseph Sniffs]
[door opens]
Your aunty Brenda is here.
[moving violin music playing]
[moving music continues]
[Joseph hums beautifully]
[Joseph continues humming]
[in Nyanja] Death comes to take away
Our loved ones
Death comes to take away
Our loved ones
Death does not delay
To get the ones we love
Death does not delay
To get the ones we love
My prayer is that
We shall see each other again
- [moving music playing]
- [congregation sobbing]
That's what it is.
- [in English] You lie.
- Why would I lie?
[in Nyanja] They say Martin
is not the real father.
[in English] Apparently,
the real father is somewhere out there.
Mm, really?
I'm telling you.
They have money, huh?
[in Nyanja] They have a lot of money.
Tons and tons of money.
You know?
I wouldn't mind being their child.
[in English] Trust me,
you wouldn't want to be their child.
[in Nyanja] Just imagine, you're
suffering but your father is alive.
[in English] Somewhere out there,
living the life.
[in Nyanja] No.
[in English] I'm being gentle.
- Okay.
- [Joseph whimpering]
I'm sorry, my child.
You're now bandage free.
So, the doctor said we apply
this cream for two more weeks,
and you're good to go.
Aunty Brenda.
Can I ask you a question?
Yes, you can ask me anything.
Who is my real father?
What do you mean?
Before mommy and daddy died,
I heard daddy talking about
having a child of his own.
And at the funeral,
there were some ladies
who said something like that.
Is it true?
Everything is going to be okay.
[man] I would like to thank
each one of you,
for your contributions.
We've had a very successful meeting.
Before I close, is there any other item?
Now that we've discussed
the issue of property.
I think it's important that we
discuss the fate of the child.
What is there to discuss about?
- The boy has a father.
- True.
Who is well and capable
of taking care of him.
What is the problem, Brenda?
Permission to speak.
Go ahead.
I understand the situation at hand.
But Joseph doesn't know who Kennedy is.
We just can't send him to a man
that abandoned his wife and child
in the hospital.
Then you give us a better
proposal to work with.
So you would rather your
own sister's child
go into such an environment?
I'm not surprised.
You were never there for her anyway.
The fact that she's my sister,
means that I know what is good for her.
Even if she's not here to say it herself.
I agree with Fridah.
Look, this might be the
only option that we have.
No one is abandoning the child
- Brenda.
- Exactly.
But we all know that this is
the best solution we have.
You want to abandon me?
No, child no.
[heartbroken piano music playing]
What if he hates me?
He won't hate you.
I promise.
Then why did he leave
me in the first place?
So, you'll be staying in the city?
I heard it's really big.
I don't care about that.
I don't want to go.
- I don't want to leave you.
- I promise that we'll meet again.
[car engine starts]
[sad piano music playing]
[muffled traffic noises]
You are welcome.
Thank you very much, Madam.
I can see the maid, let you in.
[both laugh wryly]
You are here for Kennedy?
He will be here in a few minutes.
We'll wait.
Is there something maybe,
you can discuss with me?
We'd rather wait for Kennedy to come.
Oh, okay.
Long time.
Uhm... dinner everyone?
[chuckles] Thank you.
[belches] Sorry.
Be a dear and pass me the toothpicks.
Excuse me?
[scoffs] You're the kind of family
that spoil their children, hey?
At least, we taught you manners
before we brought you here.
And what is that supposed to mean?
You haven't told her?
- Told me what?
- [uneasy music playing]
What's going on?
Just wait.
You haven't heard about Chama?
She died.
Who is Chama?
Your husband's ex-wife.
[delicate music playing]
Say something.
Please tell me this is not true.
And this boy,
is your son.
The one you abandoned.
[exclaims] Excuse me Sir!
I don't know what you came to look for,
- but...
- [Kennedy] Jennifer calm down.
You don't come in my house
and make such demands.
Please sit down.
I'll not sit through this.
[tense music playing]
Please excuse me.
Aunty Brenda.
I don't want to live here.
You'll be fine.
But you have to be here.
[door opening]
12 years.
12 years.
Why didn't you tell me?
[clears throat]
I uhm...
I didn't think it was important.
You didn't think it was this important?!
- I'm sorry.
- Sorry?
[whimpers] You're sorry.
Sorry? Kennedy.
Is that all you can say?
What else do you want me to say?
What do you want me to say?
You can start by telling me,
that you're taking that boy back
where he came from.
- What?
- Why would I do that?
I can't.
Please don't tell me you're
going to allow that boy,
to live in this house with us...
Jennifer, but he's my son.
Your son?
He's your son now?
I know...
that I was not a good father,
to him back then.
I was young,
but, that doesn't mean that...
I'm not a changed person now.
Kennedy please.
Please don't let those people
guilt-trip you
- just so that you can take that boy in.
- He has no one!
No one!
Why wait for all these
years for his mother to die
just so you can be a real man in his life?
[sobbing] Why?
I thought we said...
For better,
or worse.
This is the worse.
[Jennifer scoffs]
that is not the worse I was expecting.
It's not the worse I was
expecting Kennedy.
Why now?
Why now?
[sobbing] Why now?
I can't do this.
[sad piano music playing]
[TV playing in the background]
go and get your brother
something to drink.
No, I can not give anything to this mwabi.
that is your brother.
And you'll do what you're told.
I'm going out for a bit.
This is your home.
Feel free.
Go and get the drink.
Hurry up, go and get the drink!
[sad piano music continues]
[breathing heavily]
What's wrong?
- There's money missing from my bag.
- [Kennedy chuckles]
Babe, you've got so many handbags,
are you sure you've checked all of them?
I'm not stupid.
I searched everywhere,
there's nothing.
- Yes.
- Did you,
take any money?
No. I didn't.
[Jennifer sighs]
- Look what I found.
- [uneasy music playing]
I promise you,
I did not do anything.
[Jennifer Scoffs]
Why are you allowing this boy
to lie to your face like that?
I'm telling you I did not take your money.
Young man.
You better watch your tone
with your mother.
You hear me?
She is not my mother!
I said apologize to your mother!
I won't apologize
for something I did not do.
[whimpering] Daddy please don't do this.
I'm not the one who stole the money.
- [Joseph crying]
- [smacking]
[Joseph crying]
I'm sorry, Joseph.
[in Nyanja] It was your step mother who
made me do that.
It was your step mother who made me do it.
[in English] I'm sorry.
[in Nyanja] Otherwise,
I didn't want to do it.
Do you hear me, Joseph?
[birds chirping]
[in English] Oh hey.
You must be my new roommate.
I'm Chimwemwe.
Nice to meet you.
You're, not what I expected.
Because I'm an albino?
No, it's...
just that you're shorter than
most Bemba boys.
- Is this your guitar?
- Yes.
Can I show you something?
Okay, sure.
[Joseph plays the guitar]
[beautiful classical
guitar music continues]
[indistinct soft chatter]
[Joseph singing]
There are days I hurt the most
When I'm uncomfortable
With being me
There are days I feel alone
And don't know which way to go
Because there's no one here
The days I'll rise the days I'll fall
I'll pick myself and face it all
I'll be invincible and strong
The days I'll stand
The days I'll crawl
They'll push me down and crush
My hope but I know days
Dark days won't last long
[in Nyanja] The sun will shine again
The sun will shine again
Sometimes I get tired
The sun will shine again
The sun will shine again
The sun will shine again
[bell ringing]
- [Sharon gasps]
- [Joseph sighs]
- Joseph?
- [Joseph chuckles]
[in English] No way.
What are you doing here?
I just...
I just transferred to this
school and I think I'm lost.
Where are you supposed to be?
Room nine.
I can show you.
Oh, thank you.
You look so different.
I would like to welcome all the
new girls that we have here.
And just to show them how
special they are to us,
our veteran performer,
will sing for them.
[students clapping]
[guitar playing]
[Joseph vocalizing]
You can come sit next to me.
Something about her eyes
That pull me in
Something about her smile that
Makes me young again
I think I'm falling for her
Something about her laugh
I can not explain
But she gets so close man
She's up my brain
I have fallen so hard
See I know I'm not her type
She probably wants some other guy
All I want is a chance
To love you well
A chance to prove I'll be your
Man I will never kiss and tell
I'll make your dreams come true
Oh yes I will be your wishing well
Ooo girl
Just give me a chance to love you well
Just a shot at loving you
Just a shot at loving you
Where one plus one equals me and you
Just a shot at loving you
Give me a chance at loving you
- Hey.
- [Sharon giggles]
You, were amazing.
Was it better than... when I was a kid?
- Your younger self was better.
- [Joseph laughs]
But I'm serious Joseph.
You can make something
great of yourself, Joseph.
There's this guy,
he lives, close to where I stay.
He's a producer.
And I've heard he's good.
You guys could do something together.
Make music.
Who knows where it can take you?
He's good, right?
Yeah yeah, he is.
You can't imagine the love
That I have for you
Girl you got that something
That something unique you do
I will cross seas and oceans
So I can get to you
I could search every nation
I won't find a love so true
[radio presenter] So word on the street
is that we have a new artist on the scene.
His name is Joseph.
Have you seen him? Have you heard him?
Let's talk about him.
Tomorrow will come I'll be there
I promise to stand by you
[in Nyanja] This is a nice song.
Have you heard this song?
- [music playing]
- [indistinct chattering]
[in English] I don't know, maybe he's shy.
Stop loving you
[in Nyanja] I can't stop
[in English] Stop loving you
[radio presenter] We just played you
a new hit single by Joseph.
[DJ] It's 14 hours and you're kicking
it with your girl Diddy K,
here on Juice box radio.
There's been a lot of noise
about this gentleman Joseph
and we just wanna know,
hey Joseph, where are you?
[man] By far, this is the biggest
concert this year.
Lines are open to win tickets.
[radio searching signal]
[presenter] Big news people, Joseph's
tickets for his show are sold out.
So if you missed out you need to
keep listening to this station,
listen to his music and who knows.
[music fades]
- Baby.
- Hey.
What's wrong?
Are you okay? What's the matter?
I can't perform in front of this big crowd
without Jona.
- Baby.
- No.
We didn't come this far,
for you to quit now.
Look at me, Joseph.
We didn't.
Aunty Brenda. [whimpers]
I'm so proud.
- Sharon?
- Yes Aunty.
I've got someone who's here to see you.
I'll give you two a moment.
What are you doing here?
My son.
Don't call me that.
So proud of you.
Proud of me?
Where were you?
When I needed you to be
proud of me, back then?
No answer me.
Where were you,
when I needed you to be proud of me,
before all this?
Before all this fame?
- I wasn't there.
- You were not there.
And now you think, you can just,
show up?
Feed off my glory?
My achievements?
I'm sorry.
I'm not perfect.
I never needed you to be perfect.
All I ever wanted was a father...
and you couldn't do that for me.
Enjoy the show Dad.
hurt me...
and you hurt my mother.
She wouldn't want me to do this.
I loved your mother.
I loved your mother so much.
And I was a coward.
I was a coward for not protecting you.
But give me this chance.
Give me this chance.
And we try.
We try again.
[delicate music playing]
[Kennedy sighs]
I forgive you.
- [tender music playing]
- [muffled cheering]
- [guitar playing]
- [crowd cheering]
God please can you just
Take all of this pain
All of these heavy feelings
Can you erase all my mistakes
Can you help me find healing
Because each time I find myself
I don't want to be someone else
This time I'll be myself
I'll let go of everything
So I can be free free
No chains holding me nothing
So I can be free free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free yes I'm free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free yes I'm free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free free to be me
Free to be my own person
This life we live with all I've
Seen here's one true lesson
- That you've got to be yourself
- Be yourself
You don't have to be someone else
Yes I'm gonna be myself
I'll let go of everything
So I can be free free
No chains holding me nothing
So I can be free free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free yes I'm free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free yes I'm free
No chains holding me nothing
I am free
Yes I'm free
I am free
Yes I'm free
[cheering and applause]
[music fades]
This is for you.
Thank you...
for not giving up on me,
You are powerful.
I am powerful.
I am strong.
I am strong.
I am worthy.
I am worthy.
I belong.
I belong.
And you belong.
You remembered.
How can I forget?
[emotional orchestral music playing]
Subtitle translation by: Antoinette Smit