Joel (2018) Movie Script

The cell phone you are trying to reach
is switched off or out of range.
The cell phone
you are trying to reach...
:. almastroalmastro .:
- Good morning, Vera !
- Morning, ma'am.
- And the engineer ?
- He's 200 meters to the left.
- Your wife's feeling better ?
- Yeah, she's fine. Thanks.
Diego !
What's up, Ceci ?
Nothing's up. Don't fret.
They called from the juvenile court.
They have a kid.
A kid ?
Yeah, but we gotta say
if we want him or not.
Otherwise they're calling
the next on the list.
Let me see... er...
I told them I was
gonna check with you.
So, what do we do ?
What do you mean
"what do we do", Diego ?
- What did we ever apply for ?
- I don't know... I mean, yeah...
When do we have to answer ?
Today. Yes or no.
OK, let's go home and we call them.
But what do we tell them ?
- Yes ? What do you wanna do ?
- I don't know...
Listen, I'll give the boys something
to do and we'll get going.
Diego !
Don't say anything yet.
We can think it over
if you want, Diego.
Did they tell you where
the kid was from ?
I forgot to ask.
I was sort of in shock.
They did tell me he was a little older
than we wanted.
How older ? How old is he ?
We said at the interview we wanted him
to be four or five, remember ?
Well, he's eight.
Do you think he's too old ?
No, not necessarily.
It's a trial period anyway.
Baby, a trial period... come on !
You can't have the kid living with you
for six months
and then one day,
"We just don't want you anymore".
No, no, poor thing !
You don't look so happy.
No, I mean... it's
great news, darling.
Of course I'm happy. I'm very happy.
- And you ?
- Yes, I am... Yes.
I'm happy.
- Ask them his name, Diego.
- Perfect. Where is the kid from ?
And the name.
And could you tell me the name ?
Joel ?
And when can we go get him ?
Perfect. Thursday the 24th.
10:30 a.m. Right.
Courthouse 2, Secretary N 4.
And what do we need to bring ?
Just that, our ID's and that's it ?
- OK.
- OK, fine. Thanks a lot.
- That's it ?
- That's it.
They said yes ?
Yes, we can go pick
him up next Thursday.
Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.
We should decide what to do
with the stuff in that room.
Right ?
We should pull all that stuff out
and, well, buy a bed, a mattress...
He's eight years old.
What the hell are we
getting ourselves into ?
Hey !
We are here to welcome
the new resident of these lands !
- Congratulations and blessings !
- Yummy !
And you won't be able to sleep a wink
until he gets here !
- Not tonight, that's a fact.
- And when is he arriving ?
Next week we're going to Ushuaia to get
him. That's where the juvenile court is.
And the boy is from around here ?
We don't know.
He could be from anywhere...
From Misiones, from Salta, anywhere.
Yeah, they don't say much
over the phone anyway.
- What's his name ?
- Joel !
Joel, like the prophet
of the Old Testament !
- How nice !
- Joel or Jol ?
- It's ancient, it can be both ways.
- It's the same.
Yes, I like it.
Come, I'm gonna show you Joel's room.
Now it's a mess...
I'm sorry, we are painting it.
Here we're gonna put
some nice curtains
and the little bed over here
which by the way
we still need to buy or get.
And a desk here, which Diego is going
to make, are you not ?
- Really ?
- That's right.
- You didn't use this room at all.
- No, no, it was just a storage room.
I also considered
placing some posters here
but I don't know which band he likes.
And we're gonna put a TV set.
- How cozy, I love it.
- A computer better than a TV set.
So that he spends all day
playing videogames ?
Well, let's discuss it later, Diego.
- Shall we prepare something to eat ?
- Let me help you !
Yes, the red one,
and grab some cheese too.
- Oh, yeah. This one ?
- Yeah.
You were so lucky !
Sometimes they take years to call you !
Oh, yes ! Or they don't
call you at all !
No, no, this town was
a lucky charm for us indeed.
When we moved here a year ago,
we would've never imagined.
But this is no coincidence.
The hand of God was in on this,
for sure !
We always say with Samuel
that you are such a cute couple
and it's a shame you don't have kids.
- Well, we couldn't.
- Sure.
Virginia, let me tell you something...
I'm scared too.
No, don't be scared.
A child is a blessing.
Yes, but... I mean...
it's not a baby, you know, he's eight.
What if he doesn't like me ?
He's gonna love you !
A child is a blessing !
He must have his own opinions
if he's eight.
Look, love overcomes everything.
-Do you know anything about the family?
- Nothing.
I guess they'll tell us next week
when we get there.
I don't know.
They'll give us more information.
- Have you told your mom ?
- No, she's gonna want to come.
It's OK if she comes.
But not now !
- Cecilia is happy, huh ?
- Yeah.
A kid is gonna change your life
around the house.
Can I ask you both a favor ?
When Joel gets here,
can you come by the church ?
I'd like to introduce you.
Whether you belong
to the congregation or not
what you're doing is important.
It goes beyond beliefs,
religions and churches.
OK, we'll see.
- It's just a little while.
- Well, we'll see.
I'll take that as a yes !
How are the piano lessons
coming, Cecilia ?
- Great ! I already have 5 students !
- Excellent ! Congratulations !
Samuel, we're gonna take Joel to your
place, so that you check him up, OK ?
Of course,
we're gonna give him fluorine
because all physical issues
begin by the mouth.
That sounded nice !
Let me get a piece of cloth.
It's OK.
- We also have news to tell you.
- Do you ?
Mrs. Allende donated some sheet metal
for the church roof.
- And I'm placing them right now.
- That's great !
Yes, goodbye to the old warehouse.
I keep the old warehouse
close to my heart
because our church was born there.
Yes, but now it's beautiful.
Come, Diego.
I already talked to Diego.
I want you to bring your kid
to the inauguration of the church.
- First let's see how things go.
- Yes, that's better.
You'll be in charge of persuading him.
Let's make a toast.
To Joel, and because God
will not forsake you.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
- Basquiani ?
- Yes !
- Come on in, please.
- Excuse me.
- Hello.
- Nice to meet you.
I'm Judge Parodi.
Have a seat, please.
- May I have your ID's ?
- Yes !
So that I can check your identity.
- In a minute.
- Sure, there's no rush.
Perfect. Are you nervous ?
Anxious. Don't you have your ID ?
Yes, I'm on it.
I have so many pockets.
- Good. Cecilia, very well.
- Thank you.
Fine, first of all I'm going to read
the legal document
that is, the court ruling
through which you are granted
this pre-adoption guardianship.
If there's anything you don't
understand, feel free to ask me.
"Pursuant to the directives
set forth in Articles 611
and similar of the 26994 Act
with regard to the guardianship
intended for adoption
and having verified, on the one hand,
the situation of neglect
of the juvenile Joel Barrios
I.D. No. 49186042,
born in the Province of Buenos Aires
on June 24, 2008
and, on the other hand,
the personal conditions
the suitability to fulfill
the guardianship function
and the motivations and expectations
of the adopting candidates
with regard to the adoption
I hereby grant
the pre-adoption guardianship
to Mrs. Cecilia Mielen,
I.D. No. 30426657.
- Is this correct, Cecilia ?
- Yes.
And to Mr. Diego Alberto Bastiani,
I.D. No. 25572793.
- Is this also correct ?
- Yes, perfect.
- One thing.
- Yes ?
- If he was born on... on...
- He was born on June, 24, 2008.
- Right, so he's nine years old.
- He's nine.
- Oh, we were told he was eight.
- No, he's nine.
Do you have any issues
with regard to the minor's age ?
No, no, no, no, do we ?
No, no, no.
It was nothing, just to be aware.
Well, I don't know if
you fully understand
the conditions
of a pre- adoption guardianship,
a guardianship with intent to adopt.
If you have been instructed,
if you know what it implies.
Yes, yes, yes.
Well, here in the Province
of Tierra del Fuego
pre-adoption guardianship is granted
for a period of 6 months.
Yes, we knew that.
If you have no issues on the course
of those six months
you may apply
for the permanent adoption.
The main thing here
is the child's best interest.
- That's the rule of thumb.
- Yes.
In fact, we look for parents
for the children
and not children for the parents.
So, well, if you have any questions...
- May we inquire about the family ?
- Yes, in the file...
- They didn't tell you anything ?
- No.
Well, let me look it up.
Well, it says here he was born
in the Province of Buenos Aires
in the San Justo jurisdiction.
His mother is called Miriam Barrios,
whereabouts unknown.
He clearly hasn't had any contact
with the mother,
whether he's had a relationship with
his biological father is also unknown.
Then, in the narrative of the facts
it says that he was raised
by his maternal grandmother
and that when she passed away,
he moved in with an uncle
with whom he settled
in Comodoro Rivadavia.
- With an uncle ?
- An uncle.
Nowadays the man is serving
a five- year sentence.
The minor was left without any family
and a judge sent him
to a foster home months ago
and he's been living here until now.
And what happens
when the uncle gets out of jail ?
Can he make a legal claim
to get him back ?
No, no. You can relax about that.
The uncle has no direct bond
with the child
and the fact that he's in prison
sort of prevents him from being
a suitable candidate
for the role of guardian in this case.
So that wouldn't be advisable.
It's likely that you will have issues
during this guardianship period
but not those involving
a guardianship claim
on the part of the uncle.
So he practically has no family ?
No family at all.
No functional family at least.
So, his family as of today,
should you accept these conditions
will be you.
OK ? Fine. Excellent.
Have you had any contact
with the minor ?
We don't live here.
Well, in these cases
I generally suggest that you should
get in touch with the minor...
to see if you feel comfortable.
This is obviously to see if the minor
expresses some interest
with regard to you.
Well... would you like to meet him ?
Fine, he's in a foster home,
some blocks away.
I'm gonna make a phone call
and tell Matilde or any of the girls
to walk you there.
And he... does he know we are here ?
He arrived two days ago
and he's eager to meet his parents,
so... well...
Just two blocks and we're there !
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
They have come
to get the boy Joel Barrios.
Oh, yes, yes.
Well, I'll be waiting for you
back at the court house.
Remember, before 1:00 p.m.
The judge is leaving after that.
- Well, thank you very much.
- Thanks.
- Come in !
- Good day.
- Follow me.
- Sure.
- Did he come alone ?
- No, a social worker brought him.
Joel ? Someone's here to see you.
Come on in.
Say hello, Joel !
I am Cecilia.
And I am Diego, gimme five.
- Come on in, get comfortable.
- OK.
- That's your bag ?
- Yep.
- And what have you got in it ?
- Me stuff.
Your stuff ?
You know you can stay
at our place for a while, right ?
And if you like it, you can stay.
Well, to follow up
with the introductions
I am Diego, I work in the woods,
cutting trees.
And I am Cecilia, and
I'm a piano teacher.
- Do you wanna come with us ?
- Yep.
Even if it's for a while...
Do you know we're leaving today ?
- Are you hungry ?
- No.
You were hungry, huh ?
He must have eaten nothing at lunch.
Take your time
so that it doesn't make you sick.
Here. Do you want a napkin ?
What is this ?
- I.D.
- Let me see...
How young !
How old were you here, Joel, four ?
- Younger, I think.
- Three.
These are the vaccines...
school certificate.
He finished the second grade.
He's a bit behind, isn't he ?
What grade should he be in, fourth ?
I don't know.
We'll find out at the school.
did you like watching TV
at that place ?
Yes, sir.
No, don't "sir" me, I'm Diego.
And I'm Ceci.
What are our names ?
- And she is... ?
- Ceci.
I'm going to the toilet.
Don't you wanna go to the
toilet, Joel ? Are you sure ?
Would you like me to get you
something, a chocolate bar ?
A chocolate bar.
Do you like music ?
Oh, cause I'm a piano teacher.
Remember I told you ?
Isn't there any band
you like, a singer ?
Yes, "El Aguante".
- Which one ?
- "El Aguante".
"El Aguante" ? OK, fine.
- What is it ? Rock ?
- No.
- Come on in, Joel !
- I'm gonna heat the house up.
This is the house.
Do you like it ?
What do you think ?
- Fine.
- Well, shall we go to see your room ?
This way.
Look, this is your bed.
Those toys are all yours
and this is your desk.
You've got books, color pencils
to draw, dinosaurs...
I don't know if you like dinosaurs.
- So... do you like it ?
- Yes, sir.
- What ?
- Yes, sir.
"Yes, sir" ? Don't call me sir,
call me Diego.
- "Yes, Diego".
- Yes, Diego.
"Yes, Diego", that's it.
Hand me your bag. Let's see
what clothes you brought.
OK, trousers, trousers.
OK. Is that all your clothes ?
Tomorrow, we are gonna go shopping.
I didn't get you anything because
I didn't know your size.
And we're gonna put
a TV set right here.
I'd rather he read, Diego.
You can read, right ? Yeah ?
Fine, fine.
I prepared a super-tasty meal
for today
but first we're gonna take a bath.
And, well, we're gonna need
a haircut too.
Take all this to the washing machine.
Let's go to the bathroom.
See ? You open it upwards.
This side is hot, and if you turn it
that way, it's cold.
You must find the right spot
and if you press this thingy, it comes
from the shower, OK ?
Take off your clothes
and put them there.
But don't let them get wet, Joel !
I'm gonna get some soap.
Here's the soap.
I'm gonna get you a towel.
And ?
- How's the water, Joel ?
- Cold !
Cold ?
Turn the faucet
towards the W.C. Now ?
- Cold !
- Still cold ?
- We're gonna help you. Diego !
- What is it ?
- Look what I found, the medal...
- You can show me later.
Take this towel to him,
the water is cold, check it out.
- Seems like a good kid.
- Yes.
Don't you think it's great
I found that medal ?
Did you find anything else in the bag ?
- A photo.
- Of... ?
He and his grandmother,
I guess.
He is next to an elderly woman,
he must've been two years old.
I'll ask him if he has a photo of
his granny so he may show it to me.
Why don't you go and check
if everything's fine ?
Ceci !
What happened ? Diego ?
Nothing. Give me a piece of cloth,
we spilled some water.
- Oh, but is everything fine ?
- It's OK, yes.
Listen, bring me some dry clothes
for the kid. His clothes got wet.
There's no dry clothes,
they're in the washing machine !
Bring me something !
- Some of your clothes ?
- Anything !
- Lamb with crisp potatoes !
- Lamb, yummy !
- It's a welcome meal.
- Don't think we eat this every day !
Hand me your plate, Joel.
I'm going to serve you this.
And then you can have some more.
You can ask me.
All you want.
Let me pour some juice.
Thanks !
- Can you cut or do you want me to...
- No.
Joel, if you grab the fork like this,
it's gonna be more...
Grab it with your hand like...
No, no. Look, like a pen.
Like when you grab a pencil
to color a drawing ?
Are you left-handed ?
- No ?
- No.
Let's see.
I'm gonna throw you this, catch it.
No, he's right-handed.
- And do you go to school ?
- Not every day.
- What do you mean ?
- Sometimes.
Oh, sometimes.
- And you told me you can read ?
- More or less.
Do you like it ?
Do you wanna play ?
Are you sure ?
Come on !
I think he doesn't want his hair cut.
Fine, baby.
Maybe I'm being too hard on him ?
With the fork just now.
Today at noon when I told him
not to eat so fast.
You have to learn, right ?
Yeah, but I tend to get
sort of annoying, I guess.
If I give him a bad impression
from the get-go
how am I gonna make it better ?
Joel, whatever you need,
you let us know.
And if we are asleep,
you wake us up, OK ?
Nice dreams.
So, Joel, how does it fit you ?
- Can I see ?
- Yes.
The size is OK.
A bit long, maybe but...
Take it off. I'll fix it at home.
I'm going to empty your store.
- Did you choose everything ?
- Yes, everything.
Are you taking the jacket,
the sweater ?
- Yes, these two shirts, three T-shirts.
- Three T-shirts.
The sweater and the pair of jeans.
- Two pairs of jeans.
- Two pairs of jeans.
Fine. OK.
Do you wanna see anything else ?
- Pajamas.
- Pajamas ? OK, I'll show you.
- You like that T-shirt ?
- Yeah.
Give me the trousers.
Look, these are the pajamas.
Fine, fine. I can always
return it, right ?
Yes, you can always return it.
And we're taking that T-shirt.
You really like that T-shirt ?
I'll get it down in a second.
We're gonna check your teeth
with this, OK ?
Just a check-up. Wanna sit ?
Just for a while.
Joel, it's just a sec,
then we'll go home.
Never mind, never mind.
Look, this is a toothbrush.
Do you brush your teeth ?
Do you know how to brush them,
from top to bottom ?
I'll show you. The model, please.
I'm gonna show you how you
are supposed to brush them.
Look at this nice model !
Hey, Joel !
Put your finger there !
That's the way to brush them.
From top to bottom.
From bottom to top.
And the molars like this.
Check it out.
This is how you brush your molars.
Five minutes in the morning,
five minutes after lunch
and five minutes after dinner.
Fine, what toothpaste do I buy ?
It's the same.
The main thing is brushing up.
I'm gonna give you
a toothbrush prescription now.
The brushing is what counts,
the toothpaste is the same,
you can even use water.
-Are you coming to church on Saturday ?
- Yes, please come !
Oh, yeah, right, I'll remind Diego.
How's the new place coming along ?
- Gorgeous, right ?
- We've already put the roof.
We are going to do a symbolic opening
but for us, the fact that
you're coming is the main thing
because I want to show to the people
that kindness goes beyond rhetoric
it's real.
Yes, what you're doing
is admirable, Ceci, congratulations.
Thanks, I'll tell Diego.
What about the club ?
- We are going to sign him up.
- Super !
What about sports ?
Do you like soccer ?
No ? You don't like soccer ?
What do you like then ?
- What ?
- What do you like ?
- Taekwondo.
- Taekwondo.
Well, cocoa with a tasty pastry.
- What was your granny's name ?
- Marta.
Marta ?
Have you any photos of her ?
- Yes.
- Yes ?
And your uncle... what's his name ?
Nutcase ?
And why would they call him that ?
Because he's nuts.
Really ?
Was he good ?
And do you know where he is now ?
He's in the joint.
In the joint... you mean, in jail ?
Joel, are you happy to be here ?
Since you never laugh,
I can't tell if you're happy.
Today he told me he wanted
to take Taekwondo lessons.
I used to practice Taekwondo,
until I was 18.
I know, that's why I found it funny.
I even got the black belt.
First dan.
You're gonna have
someone to fight with.
I'll go to the club to see
if they're giving lessons.
Sure. It isn't dangerous, is it ?
No, of course not. On the contrary,
it will teach him discipline.
He'll grow up trusting himself,
sure of himself.
Look at me, I'm the
living proof of that.
I'll drop by the club to sign him up.
But first go to the school and ask
them if he can sit in, will you ?
It's important for him
to have classmates.
shouldn't I be happier ?
Aren't you happy ?
He repeated third grade, right ?
Er... I don't know.
I do know he was in third grade
two months ago, give or take.
- How old is he ?
- Nine.
He's behind at least one year.
Yes, with my wife we thought
he could sit in on the class
and at the end of the year, he could
sit for third and fourth grade.
I don't know if that's possible.
Yes, it is possible but he's going
to need some coaching.
Yes, with private lessons, and we will
help him in every possible way.
I know the right person, Miss Nancy.
She's the third grade teacher.
She might help you with the lessons.
Oh, that would be great.
What's more. Come with me.
I'll introduce you to Miss Nancy,
she's in class right now.
You haven't adopted him yet,
have you ?
No, it's a trial period. Six months.
The new act says we must have
him with us for six months
before the full adoption.
Yes, I read about it.
Wait here one second, please.
I'm gonna fetch the teacher.
- Good morning, children.
- Good morning, headmaster.
Very well, sit down please.
- Miss Nancy, one second, please.
- Sure.
- Hi.
-Let me introduce this gentleman to you.
He's the father of the pupil
who's coming tomorrow.
- Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
The kid is going through a trial
period prior to the adoption.
So we're gonna have him
until the end of the year
to see how he blends in, OK ?
Sure, fine. How old is he ?
Why, how old are the kids ?
They are seven and a half on average.
At that age, one year
and a half is a lot.
But it's OK, we'll be paying attention
so that it doesn't become an issue.
To be honest, I don't
know what skills he has
because he was living
in a foster home.
- Can he read and write ?
- Yeah, he is struggling.
Oh, that's fine.
But I told him you could give
him some private lessons.
Miss Nancy is one of the
best teachers we have here.
- I could make it in the afternoon.
- Perfect.
So there's no problem
with regard to that.
When he comes, he should
bring a copybook, a pen
so that he can take notes
and we may start working.
Is it OK for him to start tomorrow ?
- Of course you can bring him tomorrow.
- Excellent !
- Perfect. The apron ?
- If he has one, that's fine.
High up in the skies a warrior eagle.
Audacious it rises
to its triumphal flight.
Blue is a wing of
the color of the sky.
Blue is a wing of
the color of the sea.
Let me remind you, like I do everyday,
please don't run in the break
and don't push each other.
Let's take care of our classmates.
Now you may go to your classrooms
in order.
Don't run !
- Sir...
- Ferreira, this is my wife, Cecilia.
- Hi, how are you ?
- Hi, nice to meet you.
- And you are ?
- Joel.
Joel. Nice to meet you, Joel.
- Shall I walk you to the classroom ?
- Sure.
So you're in third grade ?
The new classmates
I'm about to introduce to you
are also in third grade.
- Do you like school ?
- Yeah.
- What is your favorite subject ?
- Maths.
- He's nine, right ?
- Yes.
Excuse me. I'm gonna introduce you
to the class.
- Look !
- Good morning, children.
Good morning, headmaster.
Let me introduce to you a new
classmate, his name is Joel.
He comes from far away
so I'm going to ask you to please
help him as much as you can
and try to make friends
with him quickly.
- Agreed ?
- Yes, headmaster.
Fine, you may sit down.
Miss Nancy, here's the new student.
Thank you, welcome, Joel. Look,
this is going to be your place.
Give me your backpack.
Leave your backpack here.
OK. Look at the blackboard.
Let's try to draw this line
from here to here
and now we can... you should all
try to do this exercise, OK ?
Everybody look here. That's right.
We're gonna do number 1, number 2,
are you all copying ?
Joel, how was school today ?
What teacher do you like more, this
one or the one you had before ?
The one I had before.
Forget about the past, will you ?
I was just asking, Ceci.
I know, but nothing
in front of him, Diego, please.
- OK.
- I don't want him stirring the past.
I want him to get a clean slate.
Do you remember that book I was
reading "The abandoned child"
written by the Brazilian
psychologist... what's his name ?
Well, I forgot the name.
He says that at some point, the child
is bound to confront his past
but first he needs to find stability
in his new life, you know ?
Like when you transplant a tree.
First it must settle down so that
it may later grow all the way up.
Well, this is the same.
OK, let's read from here.
- Start reading.
- I don't want to.
Shall I start ?
You're not gonna start ?
I don't want to.
- Come on, just a tiny effort.
- I don't like it.
You don't like reading ?
I don't like reading either
but at some point one must
learn to read, it's important.
Joel ?
Come on, "Our nation..."
Gimme five. How are you guys ?
Fine, how was your day ?
Good. People from the Forest
Department came for a revision...
- And ?
- Fine, we nailed it.
Joel, look what I brought for you.
- See ? He's not an ogre ?
- No.
Who says I'm an ogre ?
Oh, hello, Rodrigo ? A pleasure.
Yes, at the courthouse they told me
someone would call. Hi.
Fine, fine, he's happy.
We are all very happy.
Yes, the pentavalent vaccine.
Yes, next week.
There's a health center.
Can I call you back in five ?
To be honest, this is a bad time,
I'm a bit over the...
Sure, thanks.
When we hear the command,
we raise the flag.
Fine, first of all,
we are going to welcome Joel.
This way, please.
Very well, Joel.
You have to know that Taekwondo is the
art of hitting with your feet and hands.
But be aware ! The aim is to defend
yourself, not to attack.
What you learn here, you use it
neither at home nor at school.
Taekwondo is based on 5 principles:
courtesy, integrity, perseverance,
self-control and indomitable spirit.
You are going to realize the dominance
that you can have over your body.
OK, Joel. Welcome !
A round of applause for Joel !
To your place.
The phone is local, the numbers
are local, the calls are local.
It has no pictures.
No, it has no camera, no internet.
What if I call this number, "Dad Work"
to find out who the owner is ?
No, no, no.
- It's very easy to find out...
- No, give it to me.
Let me talk to him first.
I found it in the school's toilets.
I'm sure it belonged to a classmate.
Why didn't you return it ?
Because they're gonna blame me.
- Blame you for what ?
- For stealing it.
Let's do this.
On Monday,
you're gonna take it to school
you enter the toilets unseen
and you drop it on the same spot
where you found it, OK ?
- What did you study today ?
- The provinces.
The provinces ?
- Did they give you any homework ?
- Yes, a map.
- Any notes ?
- Yep.
Yes ?
Let me see the copybook.
The headmaster wants to see me ?
- Joel, something happened ?
- No.
- You got into a fight ?
- No.
- Excuse me...
- Yes ?
- Hi.
- Come on in, please, how are you ?
- Have a seat.
- Thanks.
- I sent you a note.
- Yes, I read it, that's why I came.
Where shall I start ? Let's see.
We have two issues to deal with.
Number one, we've noticed Joel
has a hard time reading and writing.
Yes, I noticed it myself.
At home we practise dictation,
I'm prompting him to read,
I'm aware of this.
That sounds fine, keep it up.
Otherwise, in fourth grade things are
gonna get much harder for him, right ?
- Yes, yes, I know.
- Concerning the other topic...
We've noticed
he has a hard time making friends,
getting along with the group,
so, in order to improve his adaptation
it'd be best for him to come twice
a week for a couple of hours
and that's gonna give him
a nice adaptation, trust me
and he's gonna feel a lot better.
Of course we'd also
set him up with private lessons
taught by the third grade teacher,
Miss Nancy
and needless to say, the school
will cover all those expenses.
Now if you'll excuse me...
if Joel only comes to school
twice a week, right ?
Isn't it gonna be harder for him
to adjust and make friends ?
Because... he would be
more of a stranger...
No, trust me. The teachers are gonna
see to it that he comes to class
during that period.
You must also take into account that
he comes from a very different place.
Yes, indeed.
Well, I don't know, this kind
of took me by surprise but...
I'll discuss it with my husband.
Trust me, this is all in
Joel's best interests.
- Yeah, yeah, sure. OK.
- We're here to help you.
Don't you think it's odd
that they teach him for free ?
Why ?
I don't know. I mean... it's like
way too generous, isn't it ?
What makes you say so ?
On the contrary, it sounds like
a very responsible attitude
on behalf of the school.
But how come is he gonna improve
his situation
by going to school
only twice a week ?
Who knows, darling, maybe they'll be
able to keep a better track of him.
Thanks !
You think this is all
a figment of my imagination ?
Baby, the kid comes
from a whole different environment,
he practically had no family,
he lived in a reformatory.
Not a reformatory, Diego,
he lived in a foster home.
Whatever, a foster home.
What I mean is... there have been
too many changes for him.
It's only natural
that these things should happen.
I don't know.
Something doesn't add up anyway.
What is it ?
Bye, thanks !
Maybe I'm imagining things.
- Excuse me, Miss Nancy ?
- She's in her classroom.
You move the one to the next column
and add it to the four.
- May I ?
- Hey ! Look who's here. Your mom !
Come on in, we were learning
to add by moving numbers.
- Well, we're gonna practice at home.
- Yeah, that'd be great !
- May I speak with you for a moment ?
- Sure.
Do this one, it's a bit easier, OK ?
Tell me.
No... I mean... the headmaster
talked to me yesterday.
He told me there were
some integration issues,
that some classmates
are discriminating Joel.
Yes, come with me, this way, please.
Look, there is that,
but you shouldn't worry
because it happens every time
a new kid comes from another place,
you know ?
Right. But is it that bad that
he can only come twice a week ?
Besides, he told me you were going
to give him private lessons for free.
Yes, that would be my pleasure
and don't worry about it, the school
will be taking care of the expenses.
The main thing here is that Joel
doesn't miss the rest of the year.
No, no, of course.
But I don't know, I sort of baffled.
Didn't Ferreira say
anything more to you ?
- No.
- Well, I'll tell you then.
Some parents have been complaining.
They say Joel is too old,
that he belongs in a higher grade.
But he's not that old,
he's only a year older.
You know what some parents are like.
- Did they speak with you ?
- No, with Ferreira.
I can't believe they're so upset
by the slight age difference.
You know how these things are.
One of them gets up on the wrong side
of the bed, he complains
and the rest simply tag along.
Fucking people !
How much older is he ?
One year, one year and half ?
It's not the age.
What is it then ?
They must've said, "I don't want my
son in the company of that slum kid".
I don't know who they think they are.
Some big shit !
The Queen of England's
children, the fucking nobility !
Darling, the school is full of kids
from impoverished families.
I don't believe that's the problem.
- Whatever ! Motherfuckers !
- OK, OK, that's enough !
- Side with me, Diego !
- I am on your side !
- No, you're not.
- I'm won't side against the town.
I'm not saying that.
Baby, we live here, these are our
neighbors. So... tough luck !
I'm gonna tell them we refuse.
Hey ! Listen,
I'm leaving just for two days.
Can you wait for me to come back
and then we'll make up our minds ?
Do you agree that we should say no ?
Maybe. Maybe !
But not just yet, not now.
We'll talk it over when I come back.
There it comes.
Take it easy, will you ?
Call me when you get there.
Third finger on E, fifth finger on G.
Let's hear it.
Great, but since it's a chord
and the notes go together
we're gonna play them together,
all three of them.
All three, OK ?
Excuse me.
- Is it time already ?
- Yes, it just flew away.
Come in, we are finishing.
So what was it like ? C, E, G ?
Great ! The other hand ? C, E, G.
Fine. All three now ?
Fine, very well.
Well done, Jazmin.
Well, next class we'll study
other major chords.
- This one and this one. OK ?
- Yes, miss.
- Bye.
- Jaz, baby...
Let me help you
with the jacket.
- Do you have a minute to talk ?
- Yes, yes, yes.
Wait for me in the car, OK ?
I'll be right out. Just wait in there.
- Sit down.
- No, that's fine.
I don't wanna
leave her alone for so long.
Sure, right.
Your son and my son
are classmates, you know ?
You told me, yes.
There have been issues
in class, you know ?
They told me some parents complained
because of Joel's age.
No, this is not about the age.
They told you that
just to deny the real issue.
This is about the things
he's apparently telling other kids.
What things ?
Stuff about drugs.
He said he tried cocaine paste,
that he smoked it... I don't know.
But the parents are alarmed
and they're saying they don't wanna
have any bad influences.
I mean, not all the parents, just
some, but the rest follow through.
My husband and I, we don't.
We believe that with a good family,
there is no bad influence whatsoever.
But I had to tell you, you know ?
We meet here.
The school should've told you.
Not me.
But we can't play
hide-and-seek with this.
No, no, of course not.
Well, you can call me any time,
I'm here for you.
I'm sorry for this but...
Sorry ! See you.
Joel, Joel, get inside,
do your homework !
- Can't hear you !
- I mean it, Joel !
Get inside !
Get inside ! No !
Inside !
Come here !
Open the door, Joel !
Open the door !
Joel, open the door
or you're leaving this house.
Forgive me, Joel, I don't know
why I said that, it was a joke.
I have to go out for a moment.
Can I get a kiss ?
I'll be right back.
Do your homework, OK ?
Hi, Ferreira isn't here, is he ?
- No, not on Saturdays.
- Right.
- Could you give his home address ?
- Hold on.
- You're a mom, aren't you ?
- Yeah.
334 Las Lengas, in Aldea Nevada.
- Thanks a lot.
- You're welcome.
- Hi, how are you ?
- Hi, is Ferreira home ?
Yes, come on in.
Excuse me.
Make yourself at home.
- Ferreira is coming, sit down.
- OK.
- Would you like a "mate" ?
- No, thanks.
Did you see the nice drawings
Joel did in his copybook ?
Yes, I did.
- He's very skilled at drawing.
- Yeah, he is.
- Cecilia, what a surprise !
- Hi.
How's it going ?
Have a seat, please.
Give me the jacket,
make yourself comfortable.
Sorry, but since it was Saturday,
I didn't want to wait until Monday.
- Of course, no problem.
- Excuse me.
Well... I'm all ears, Cecilia.
What's up with Joel ?
I heard some rumors.
Nancy, come here please !
You're the teacher !
Well, some parents
are kind of... concerned.
By the things he says ?
By the things he says
during the breaks, right, Nancy ?
Yes, some things he's been telling
his classmates at break time
and some of those things
have reached their parents.
What things ?
Facundo woke up,
I have to breastfeed him.
Excuse me, Ceci.
What things is he saying ?
It seems that... well...
he said that...
he was part of a gang of friends
who were dedicated to mischief.
But we're not talking about mischief,
are we ?
Small thefts, robberies.
He said that once he pulled a knife
on someone to...
He threatened someone with a knife ?
Yes, Cecilia, but I'm sure
it wasn't like that.
Kids love bragging in front
of their classmates, you know that.
But, unfortunately,
that's what the parents heard.
- And something about drugs too ?
- Yes, some of that too.
That's why it was a good idea
for him to attend class less hours
and have Nancy teach him
private lessons.
It was a way
to ease the parents' minds.
But now they're threatening
to stop sending their kids to school.
They're gonna have a meeting,
an assembly.
Honestly I have no idea
what they want.
A "mate" ?
Well. I can imagine
how you must be feeling, Cecilia.
I'd feel the same way
if I were in your position.
What's more, I'd be considering
a formal accusation to the Ministry.
But this isn't a good time
to make accusations, Cecilia.
They'd take over
the school's management
and that would help no one.
Can you imagine such a thing
and in my first year as headmaster ?
what are you telling your
classmates at school ?
- You're not telling them anything ?
- No.
- Things you used to do ?
- No.
You sure ?
You're not lying to me ?
Did you tell them you once
threatened someone with a knife ?
- It wasn't me.
- No ? And who was it ?
My uncle.
But at school you said it was you.
This is not a laughing
matter, Joel, who was it ?
It was my uncle.
Are you sure ?
- You're not lying ?
- No.
Why don't you talk to the parents ?
I don't think I can talk them
into anything right now.
Try talking to the hard-liners
so to speak.
But I can't deny Joel's
past to them, Samuel.
That's not what this is about !
Who said anything
about denying Joel's past ?
It's a whole different point.
You adopted a nine-year-old child.
At the age of nine, nobody adopts
them anymore, that's the truth
and they spend all their life
in a state-chartered institution
until they are eighteen
when they are released without having
known affection, family, love.
They get out
and they become criminals.
That's the truth, an announced ending.
Why don't you talk to the parents ?
Look, people aren't mean.
They're scared,
scared of the unknown, you know ?
Yeah, I don't think people are mean.
I don't know. It's something else.
What else ?
I don't really know. I don't.
At times I have like the image
of the human body.
Like when something strange
shows up... I don't know,
an infection, something bad,
the body encapsulates it, expels it,
pushes it away.
It's a natural process.
The laws of physiology are one thing
the laws of morality
are a different thing.
- Hi.
- Hey ! I dropped by your house.
Yeah, I'm on my way to the post
office, something came for Diego.
Beto, say hello, she's Cecilia,
Joel's mother.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Isn't it true that Joel
behaves very well in class ?
- Yeah, very well.
- See ?
Listen, here, I brought this.
This is the list with all the names
of the parents,
addresses and phone numbers.
The ones I marked with three exes
these three are the hardest ones.
- The ones with more leverage.
- Sure, OK. Thanks, Marta.
Listen, don't call them on the phone.
I mean, just show up,
take them by surprise, you know.
To have the upper hand,
you know what I mean ?
If things go fine with them, I have
no problem in calling the others.
- Or help you in anything you need.
- Thanks, Marta.
No, no, don't thank me,
you know my opinion about this
and make it today or tomorrow,
no later than that.
OK, when is the assembly ?
- On Saturday, that's why.
- On Saturday.
And something else, if you can talk
to the mothers, even better,
because they should be more sensitive
about it, I mean,
they should, I don't know.
- It's true.
- Good luck.
She's not home, seems she took
her kids to soccer lessons.
- To the club ?
- Yes.
OK, let's go.
Ceci !
Sure you don't want me to go with you ?
No, no, no.
Hi, good morning.
I'm going to the court.
Go ahead.
Excuse me,
any of you is Rodrigo's mom ?
I am Rodrigo's mom.
Hello, I'm Cecilia,
Joel's mother, the new kid.
- May I talk to you for a sec ?
- Sure. Be right back.
- Can we sit down over there ?
- OK.
Look, before you say anything
I want you to know that
my husband and I are good Catholics.
We're OK with adopting and all that.
We even have a friend, he's an
engineer, and he was adopted.
But there are other issues,
for example
my son comes home and speaks
as if Joel was some kind of hero
that Joel had a gang
when he was living in Buenos Aires
and they did who knows what.
My son tells me all that as if...
I mean, that's not the kind of example
we want for our boy.
What if my son comes and tells me
he wants to smoke cocaine paste,
that he's curious about it ?
Can you put yourself in my shoes ?
I would die.
And the school... I don't know
what's going on with the institution.
I mean, all the parents have peace
of mind knowing we leave our kids
in good hands, in a place where things
should work differently
and now with this whole
"Joel and his super adventures" thing
no one's at peace anymore.
We don't feel our children
are safe at school anymore.
How did it go ?
- This makes no sense.
- But what happened ?
I'm running out of arguments.
- Would you like me to try ?
- No, no, no, let's go home.
One more, let's try
with one more. Come on.
The last one.
- Hi.
- Hi, are you Felix's mom ?
- Yeah.
- How are you ?
I'm Cecilia. I'm the mom
of the kid who's sitting in. Joel.
- Oh, yes, sure.
- Can we have a quick word ?
I'd rather you talked to my husand.
He deals with all those issues.
But could I talk to you before ?
It'd be just a second.
To be honest,
I'd rather you talked to him
because he's going to go
to the meeting, not me.
- So that's the best way, you know ?
- Sure, where can I find him ?
Three blocks to your left,
he has a butcher's shop.
- You'll find him there, OK ?
- Sure. Thanks. Bye.
Hold on.
Look, I don't agree
with everything he says
but, well, I don't want to trample
on his decisions.
I understand. Sure.
Here, tell your mom
I'll add it to her account.
Look, lady, so that neither of us
wastes our time
let me be absolutely clear.
Whatever agreement is reached
at the parents meeting
I'm not sending my son
to that school anymore.
Not anymore !
You can call the governor and she may
come here and knock on my door
but I'm still not sending him.
Felix is asking me what cocaine
paste is, what marihuana is.
What answer can I give him ?
I have nothing against your boy,
but Felix is six years old.
- Do you understand me ?
- Absolutely.
You know we are poor, I didn't even
finish the elementary school.
I'm a peasant.
I'm kind of ignorant
as you've probably noticed
but I want to be a responsible father.
Yes, indeed. Of course, yes.
Good morning, everyone.
Good morning.
Very well, I'd like to
introduce you to Ana Belz.
- Good morning.
- Good morning, ma'am.
She's the supervisor in
charge of inclusive policies
of the provincial government.
I want to clarify that
she's here unofficially.
Since Ana is an old friend of
mine and a family member as well
I asked her to come and cooperate
with us in this predicament.
- Ana ?
- Thanks.
Well, to begin with, Ferreira
updated me on your decision
not to send the children to school
due to the conflicts
you're all experiencing
and it was my intention to
somehow convey a few ideas
with regard to educational legislation
so that we're all in possession
of the same information.
Absenteeism, in this case
provoked by the parents decision
may even have legal- criminal
type of consequences.
I mean, there is a law in effect,
an educational law we must enforce
and there are procedures to
penalize those who fail to comply.
What you're saying sounds like
a threat. Don't you think ?
No, no, I'm sorry, maybe
I wasn't clear enough.
This is no threat.
But we must be clear
in that there is a law
and the infringement of
this law has consequences.
The Ministry must take action,
the school could be taken over
and endure unwanted situations
because this whole thing involves
the faculty, the school, the child,
the pupils in general,
and also the population.
Not to mention that, should the
parents decide to file a complaint
for example on the grounds
of discrimination...
They aren't the parents ! The
kid hasn't been adopted yet !
The validity is the name.
They are the legal guardians.
And guardians have the same
rights and obligations
with regard to the minors.
But given this situation,
our children are lost.
Why not homeschooling ?
Please ! Please ! One at a time !
No, but she's saying that
there are possibilities
and the problems of
the kids are serious.
It's not just possible that they
use drugs, it's very likely.
You're bringing drugs to
school, can you see that ?
No, forgive me. Drugs are
within the society...
Drugs are not present in this society !
This is a small community
and this kid comes in... I don't know
and compromises the
innocence of our children.
These are pure kids who
live in a nice town.
Why do they have to
put up with this boy ?
This had never existed before,
it had never happened.
We're on the brink of
taking this facility
to a situation nobody
really wants, right ?
A legal take-over
from the educational authorities.
In my opinion, this is
an institutional problem
because this institution is the one
that decided to admit this kid.
He's not even a regular student,
then I wonder, from the
educational psychologist's office,
you, madam inspector, you mention
professionals and whatnot,
but what did the
inter-directional team do
precisely from this educational
psychology service,
which this institution should have,
to guarantee a certain
degree of security
first to the kids but
also to us, the parents ?
It is your duty to also
look after the safety,
not only psychological
but also physical,
of our children who
attend this school.
Who protects our children ?
How is this ?
Besides, we don't know
if he's still using.
Excuse me ! Excuse me !
Motion to order !
Go ahead, Christian.
First of all, for us the parents
it's awkward to have this lady
present in the classroom.
Yes, I'm OK with that.
With all due respect, ma'am. Please.
Yeah, because her son
isn't a regular student
whereas our children are, our
children are regular students.
Cecilia, if you could please wait in
my office. Let me walk you there.
Some of them speak nonsense. I
believe we're going to find a solution.
I'd like to take a walk.
How long do you think this will last ?
- I'd say no more than a half hour.
- OK, I'll be back in half an hour.
What are you doing here ?
I'm waiting for my husband
who's in the meeting.
He's my son. Say hello.
Hi !
Bring a dozen.
Any idea how long this
meeting will last ?
I guess it must be
about to finish now.
Good, we're travelling to Ushuaia,
it's my father-in-law's birthday.
You're not going in ?
No, I didn't want to leave Felix
alone in here.
Besides, I disagree
with some things so I'd rather...
- You told me, yeah.
- Yes.
Anyway, I respect other people's views
even if I disagree.
And why do you disagree,
if I may ask ?
Because this whole thing
affects me personally, I...
I was adopted
and I found out being a grown-up
after my parents died.
And it kind of embarrasses me
to talk about it
because it was something
socially frowned upon, you know.
All those things were sort of
hush-hush, sort of underground.
So... anyway...
If they hadn't adopted me, I don't
know what would've happened to me.
I have no idea how much they
paid for me but... well...
I'm gonna check
how things are going in there.
Good luck !
Cecilia, please !
You should've waited in my office !
I just got back.
Come on in, please.
We've got great news for you.
Excuse me.
Let's sit around my desk, shall we ?
- Ana, take my place. Cecilia.
- OK. Thanks.
That's it.
- Ana ?
- Well, Cecilia, very good news.
The kid can attend a rural school,
a small school, with very few pupils
which is nearby,
10, 12 kilometers from here.
Yes, a bit less, it's
in Lago Escondido.
Yes, a farming area, very nice people
and since there are fewer students
the teacher will be able
to have more dedication
and I will personally commit
to a follow- up
with psychological reports
to accompany this
reintegration process.
It's a reasonable solution,
isn't it Cecilia ?
I'd really like to discuss it
with my husband.
- But of course !
- Indeed !
- I can talk to him if you want.
- Or I can, no problem at all.
It's four months, Cecilia.
Next year,
he'll be a regular student here.
Cecilia !
Did they tell you about
the rural school ?
Yes, Ferreira told me just now.
Oh, it really got heavy in there
for a moment, you know ?
The parents started to argue
with one another
and it just came to my mind
I really pulled the rural school thing
from the hat
because a lady who used to work in
my house lives in Lago Escondido
and her son used to
attend that school.
You have no idea,
it was like the sun
shining after the storm,
everyone voting unanimously
and Ferreira's expression of relief...
well, I had never seen it.
- It's OK, isn't it ?
- Yes, yes, yes.
It's just for a few months, right ?
- I don't know... I mean...
- Yes, yes, sure.
How did it go ?
They are a bunch of motherfuckers !
What happened ?
They wanna send him to a rural school
to Lago-What-The-Fuck.
Lago Escondido ?
What the fuck do I know ?
Yeah, Lago Escondido.
- For the rest of the year ?
- Yeah.
But next year it's gonna be
the same thing all over again.
History is gonna repeat itself.
I'm gonna report them.
Ceci, it's just four months,
let's take it easy.
They're about to know who I am.
Baby, we're on a trial period.
Joel, go get changed and
start doing your homework.
I'll give you a hand later.
If it was a private school, OK.
But it's a public school.
So it's like fighting against
the state.
The same State who's granting
us the guardianship.
What if the judge finds out ?
She's bound to think we're
not the right people,
that this isn't the right place.
Ceci, I promise I'll take
him twice a week at least.
That's not the point, Diego.
Whatever ! Still... I can take him
twice a week.
Now, if next year they won't take
him, that's a whole new ball game.
Next year, they're gonna behave
in the same motherfucking way.
In that case, we'll bust their asses
but the whole trial period
will have expired by then.
Who's gonna tell him ?
I'm gonna tell him. It's OK.
Joel, I wanna tell you something.
You're gonna have to
change schools, you know ?
- I don't wanna change schools.
- What ?
I don't wanna change schools.
But this is a nice school, you know ?
It's just for the last part of
the year, just four months.
Why do I have to change schools ?
So that they get you well-prepared
for the exams.
You'll come back next year.
Since it's a small school,
there are fewer pupils.
They're gonna be able to help you
a lot more. The teacher, you know ?
We're gonna see it on Monday, OK ?
We'll see.
Baby, go tomorrow.
You meet the teacher, you know
the school, see how you like it
and if you don't like it,
we can do something else
but at least we gave
it a shot, right ?
I understand how you feel,
I'm outraged as well.
I don't feel outraged.
- I felt outraged at first.
- And now ?
I don't know.
- Call me if anything happens.
- Yes.
- You know the way.
- Yes, yes, yes.
You get to the gates
and the road goes on from there.
I know, Diego, I know the way.
Bye, love.
Champ, gimme five !
Check the school out, it's very nice.
And you'll tell me all about
it tonight, OK ? Gimme five !
Diego, I don't want to take him !
Can we discuss it tonight at home ?
No, I mean we have to fight this
one out. I don't wanna take him !
You wanna turn the whole
damn town against us ?
- That's not what I'm saying !
- We all know each other !
It's a small town !
Can you listen to me ?
- But I don't...
- It's four months !
I work here, I live here, I get
along with everyone, and so do you !
You wanna get into a fight with the
whole town for four months ? Huh ?
Do you know who's one of
the kid's classmates ?
Liberti's nephew !
Do you want me to argue with Liberti ?
Do you want me to become
my employer's enemy ?
Think about it for a minute !
Baby, take him today and tonight
we'll discuss it at home.
I know where you're going,
I know the school, it's cute.
Go. Maybe you'll like it,
maybe the kid will like it
and you'll have a fresh
outlook tonight.
OK ?
Darling, everything's gonna be OK.
- Good morning, mister !
- Good morning !
The Lago Escondido School ?
Drive 4 kilometers that way,
past the sawmill to your left.
- Thanks !
- You're welcome.
:. almastroalmastro .: