Mississippi Chicken (2007) Movie Script

Where do you
want to put...
I don't know.
Show him.
How many do you want?
...or three. Because I can see
he has a little piece there.
He also has pigs!
I'm good for nothing.
Watch out for the blood!
Guillermina, what do you
do with the blood?
You use thyme, oregano,
mint, onions, chili...
It tastes good.
The blood and
the vegetables.
Aromatic herbs.
Are you going
to want this?
Hold on a second.
I asked if you were going to
remove the head, and you said no.
Really? I said that? No!
No. You said you
weren't going to!
OK. See you soon. Bye.
I'm celebrating my
daughter's birthday.
I'm happy, because
she is turning fourteen.
For me it is important.
Very important!
What does it mean to you
that she's here in Mississippi?
For me...
It's something...
It's a dream!
It's a dream. I have always said that
I wished she were here with me.
And now it has happened,
and I am happy!
Even though...
on the other hand,
I feel nostalgic,
because my other girls
are still in Mexico.
But the time will come
when we can be together.
What I don't want is... for her to
want to find a boyfriend,
being as young as she is.
I would like for her to
mature a bit more.
To wait a few more years...
to study...
to have a little fun.
To see new places.
Even though we
are not from here,
there are many positive
things for Hispanics.
Rosario, what do you
want for your future?
Oh, I don't know.
What do you want to
do with your life?
I don't know.
Do you want to study?
Do you want to go
back to Mexico?
Yeah. Go back to Mexico.
Tell me who in your family
is still in Mexico?
My sister... both of my sisters,
my niece,
and my whole family.
I've been here for
almost four months.
More or less.
Get inside!
Let's go, let's go, let's go!
He lives in that trailer.
Nobody lives in that trailer.
The guy lives over there.
A guy came out
with a shotgun.
What type of car was it?
An old car...
He lives right there.
Do you know what
type of car it was? No.
What did you say?
He had a gun?
Yes, he had a gun...
Did he have it in his hand?
Do you want to
report it to the police?
You don't want
to report it?
Fucking car!
Do you want
to report it?
No, I don't have insurance, I don't
have a licence, I don't have anything.
It's gonna be worse. I'll have to
pay a fine for not having insurance.
It's better to buy
a fucking door myself.
Those who can sing
the loudest, come over here!
Bite it, bite it!
I'm going over to this side.
It's going to be worse
on the other side.
Wait a second...
Who's in those photos?
They're of my niece
and the party.
Oh, these are the
ones from the party?
The small ones are.
The big ones are of my niece.
there aren't any photos of me!
No, you'll break
the camera!
More coffee?
No, I still have some.
How much do you
recommend I put in?
A spoonful?
Or more?
I don't know.
It depends on how you like it.
How long have they been
doing the Spanish Choir?
Not long.
Just a few months.
I know a lot of
church songs.
Before, I used to
sing for the church.
In the choir?
I sing badly, but...
I don't think so!
I believe the Lord
heard me anyway.
Do you want Rosario
to learn English?
I think so,
because she is young.
The only problem is that
she wants to study and work.
And are you afraid that she's
going to start working so young,
and maybe she'll
hurt herself or...
The truth is, in Mexico, she'd
have to work much harder...
in exchange for nothing.
That's what we're trying
to change a little bit...
well, for my children
and grandchildren.
Even now, I haven't
been able to get over
the death of
my grandmother.
I didn't want to
say goodbye to her,
so she wouldn't...
so she wouldn't suffer.
And I never
saw her again.
It's the worst thing that happens
to those of us who are here.
We lose a lot of
people we love.
There are some who get sick,
and you want to be with them.
But you can't be.
That's the price
we pay for...
for coming to these
places, and then...
you get mistreated by
your employers when...
when you go to work.
And on some occasions
they don't pay us anything.
These are things that
hurt a lot in the moment,
because you feel awful.
Once, I was in Jackson...
Charo, the toilet paper?
Did you leave it with me?
The toilet paper?
I was working at a hotel,
at the Quality...
The manager
was a woman...
a Colombian.
We started working
eight hours a day.
We were going to make
about $50 a day, right?
Believe me, I cried when,
after two weeks,
she gave me $200.
She always told me,
"In the next pay period,
you'll get what they took out..."
"what they
haven't paid you."
So, I went on like that, for 3 months,
without receiving anything.
I told her that I wasn't coming back,
because it wasn't worth it.
Later, I discovered
that it had been her
who had kept part of
the workers' money!
It was her? Yes.
The manager? Yes.
How much longer would
you like to stay here?
Oh, I'd like to live here.
The only thing is they won't let me!
If I brought my daughters,
I wouldn't leave.
Because here, they
would study much better.
But I can't bring them, because
they don't have papers, and...
crossing the desert
is very dangerous.
Very dangerous.
First here?
Mmm hmm.
She's learning how
to make tortillas.
It won't come off!
Oh, here it is!
No, look.
You put it here,
and with this hand,
you take off the plastic.
Like this?
But I can't get it off...
Oh, here!
You'll learn by messing up.
Don't push it so hard,
so that it's not so thin,
and then you can take it off.
After practicing, you'll be
able to make them thinner.
A little more.
no, no, no, no, no...
Put it over there.
Like that, like that. Yes.
Do you understand me?
Like that. Now...
Now pass it to
the other hand...
No, no! That's it.
That's it.
Yes. Now you've
got it, see?
Now, do it again.
She's a good American friend.
It's great to count on
somebody from this country,
to feel that you have
some kind of support,
someone who helps you
when you're in trouble.
I love her so much.
I'll give the phone to you.
Her name is Anita.
Hi, how are you doing?
I imagine that you miss
your mom a lot, right?
I've learned so much from her,
and we're good friends and...
She always talks about you,
and your daughter,
and all of your family
in Mexico.
I hope one day we can
visit you in Veracruz.
Nice to meet you.
Have a good afternoon.
Yes, a young woman.
Yes, a young woman, skinny.
She's white.
She always comes
and visits us.
Also, there's another
guy here, David.
He's from the church.
Well, I'll pass you to Charo.
They're going
to speak privately.
Well, since they're young, they're
going to tell each other secrets.
I guess.
It's always a pleasure
to talk with you.
We stayed here, as if we
were comfortable at home...
Well, you know that we're poor,
but you're always welcome here.
I feel embarrassed, because
my trailer is a little bit ugly,
but I like that you visit me.
I don't know how
my finger got caught,
but in that moment, I wanted to
pull my hand back, but I couldn't.
My finger was
pulled in like this,
and twisted through
the conveyor belt.
My finger was so tangled that
I couldn't pull it out.
It was totally stuck.
When I wanted to pull it free,
all of a sudden,
I saw a piece of my finger
and a piece of my glove
in the conveyor belt, and...
and the skin on my finger
was peeled back like this.
You could see the bone,
pure bone.
And after that,
I don't remember...
I fainted, so I don't
remember what happened.
I don't remember, because
the two people working
beside me grabbed me.
I don't know what happened.
I just saw that
my finger was like this.
Good afternoon.
Good afternoon.
How is everyone?
Good, good.
Good. Ready?
We went to see him,
and he said that he'd pay,
but right now the bank is closed,
so we should come back at 7:00 PM.
How can he do it at 7:00...
Is Kevin there right now?
He was just there.
Who knows now?
Kevin says that
he was in jail for a few days,
and this is a problem for him,
and he can't pay now
because of this.
Back home, they'll throw someone
in jail for owing 100 pesos,
let alone $6,000.
The laws are very different here.
Not in Mexico.
In Mexico, even for gossip,
they will get someone.
He says he won't pay this
coming week, but the next.
Tell him to start paying
this Friday.
It's been five weeks!
This week makes six,
and if we wait until
the week after next,
it will be eight weeks!
So how much do you want
this coming Friday?
He says $2,000
for this coming Friday.
Waiting a month is faster
than going to court.
If he can't pay $2000, would
$500 or $1000 be sufficient?
He could even give me one dollar,
as long as he's telling the truth.
Where is he going
to pay and at what time?
Have you been able to
communicate with Kevin?
Should we try to call him right
now to find out what he'll say?
I spoke with his wife,
I think,
and she said that she just got back
from the emergency room.
It appears that Kevin
just broke his arm,
and they gave him a morphine
injection, so he isn't able to talk.
I think that now that
he owes us money,
things are happening
to him... right?
Before, nothing used to
happen to him.
Everything was perfectly fine.
The other day,
he was supposedly in jail.
Today, a broken arm...
Next time,
what's it going to be?
Exactly, he always has a new story.
Yeah, but they're not true.
Therefore, I think the best
way to move forward is
to try to find a lawyer who can
take the case for free
or for a small fee.
And if you need anything,
you can call me.
You have my cell phone number.
So what do you think, Oscar, now
that you've been here a week?
It is like being...
It's like being mute.
You only understand with signs.
You all traveled
by foot, right?
We walked through
the desert.
And how long
did it take?
One night.
That's all?
Did you take food
or water with you?
Yes, water. Although we didn't
even use it, because it was raining.
Ah, it was raining?
What luck!
How great for you guys.
Well, not so good, because
the creeks got bigger,
and they were harder to cross.
The water sweeps up
branches and everything.
But we crossed.
We arrived in Arizona
at 6:00 in the morning.
Other groups joined us.
Eight people left in a car,
and fifteen left in a van.
You lack oxygen.
I was one of those on the bottom,
and there were
three people on top of me.
So everybody had to lie on the floor
without showing through the glass.
I don't feel so
bad, because
Ms. Guillermina has given
me so much support.
But if I had to
start from scratch
or to get here by myself...
What would I do?
I mean, without knowing,
without understanding...
It was Sunday. We were
coming from a Chinese restaurant.
Suddenly, the guy who had
taken us, the driver,
wanted to pass, but there were
three cars in front of us.
There was a car coming toward
us in the opposite direction.
We thought it was just a regular car,
but it was actually the Sheriff's car.
We thought he was going to let
us go and only take the driver.
He thought that we weren't
being straight with him,
so he took out his gun
and told us to put our
hands on his patrol car.
What were you thinking when
you were sitting in the
back of the police car?
I thought to myself, "Well, maybe
they will lock me up for a month."
We're Illegals.
We are very afraid that they
will call Immigration
when they send
us to court.
Thanks to both of you,
we were successful.
Today was my first
time going to court,
in the short time that I've
been in the United States.
How long have you been here?
Not long at all.
A few months, a few years?
Only a few months. Yes.
We didn't know how much they
were going to charge us.
We had decided to pay,
because what else could we do?
And another thing,
we didn't know the language,
and therefore, they could
take advantage of us.
So what worried us was,
if we fought,
they would put us
in jail again
and send us back to Mexico.
That's why we
always doubted,
but thankfully everything turned out
alright, and we can move forward.
The work is hard,
because it's at night...
It's more tiring
than during the day.
I start work at 12:10 AM,
but I have to be
inside at 12:00 AM,
because if not,
the supervisor comes, and
at 12:00 he says, "Let's go!"
The due date for my baby
was August 19th.
But I left work
on the second of August.
I had told my supervisor
that I wanted to stop
working earlier,
because I felt tired, and my feet
were swollen, and all that.
He told me, no, not until
the clinic gave me a...
What is it called?
A doctor's note
to take to the office,
so I could rest.
Because, I couldn't leave work
just because I wanted to.
So we stay
silent sometimes,
even about the things
that harm us.
Or we work more
when the others don't.
I was 18 when I came over.
Over there I felt that something was
missing; I didn't know what,
but I felt that I had to do
something important for myself.
I don't know exactly
what I want to do,
but I would like
to be a fashion designer.
I want to have, one day...
What is it called?
My own
My own business. My own...
Yeah! That's it!
So, it's something
that I think about,
but I say,
"Oh, it's just a dream."
I start to plan it, and then I tell
myself, "Elena, wake up, wake up!"
"Stop dreaming!" But...
Yeah, I think it
all depends on me.
So what happened
to you on Sunday?
I was returning my
friend's car to him,
when a police officer
came and pulled me over.
They took me out of the car
and handcuffed me.
Then, they didn't ask me anything.
They beat me.
A tall, black man said to me,
"You were the one who crashed!
It was you!"
"No," I said, "it wasn't me."
He grabbed me by the neck
and threw me on the ground.
He put his gun to me
here, and he said,
"If you don't tell me
the truth, I'll kill you!"
A white officer came.
"No," he said, "it's not him."
They didn't ask me for anything
and just grabbed me out of the car.
The officer told me
to put my hands up.
I didn't put them up...
because they made me nervous.
But I didn't have a gun on me.
I didn't have
anything in my hands,
so they didn't have any right
to start beating me.
"What do you want?
Do you remember me?"
He was asking
if I remembered him.
"Yes," I said,
"of course I do."
"So then, do you want
another beating?" he said.
So that is why you
changed the car you use?
Yes, I change my car
every once in awhile.
I change cars with my cousin once in
awhile, so the police can't identify me.
Good morning! Come on in.
Thanks. How are you doing?
Very good, thank God.
I brought some more chicken.
Why so much chicken?
Aren't we cooking today?
I thought you said that
I didn't have to cook.
Great! I can go back to sleep!
This one is much nicer.
What did we say?
This one was from?
This one is from Tyson,
and the other...
is from Sanderson.
The chicken from
Sanderson comes clean.
The chicken from
Tyson has all of this stuff.
This creates a lot of work...
to take it off.
I don't buy from Tyson.
Well, I'm going
to go back to the church.
See ya.
OK. Bye.
Thank you.
Guille, today is a feast day
for the church, isn't it?
I don't know much about church,
because I don't go very often.
I don't go very often. Where I'm from,
I never went. I go more here.
Here I learned to...
to get closer to God,
because I didn't back home.
How I would love it if
all the languages
of the world
expressed the joy of the
Assumption of Maria.
Has everyone been served?
It doesn't work.
That's why it falls out.
It no longer has the track.
This here.
Tell him not to say
anything to the owner,
because he already told me
that if I don't like it, I can leave.
And I don't want to leave.
He said that they
have some materials...
that maybe they can find some
materials to fix this trailer.
I thank God for all of you who...
who have visited me.
For all the favors I've received,
and for everything.
It's good to know there are Americans
who care about people like me.
There are good people here,
and I thank God for this.
It's a pleasure to have met you.
Take good care of yourself.
You too.
I will.
May God bless you.
May God bless you.
Thank you for everything, Guille.
Thank you.
She likes the music!
So... tell me,
how'd it go yesterday?
I missed the bus,
but my day went well.
A boy at school
gave me a note.
And it had his name on it.
It said... there
were a lot of words,
but I didn't understand it.
It said, "I love you Maria."
And do you still
have the note?
No, they took it
away from me,
and then the boy and
the others began to play,
and then the note was
taken away from them.
I wrote down his name.
It's in my backpack.
Wait for me for a second?
Ah, it's with a "y".
It's not with a "y".
It's with a "j".
It's Josaline.
And so, what do
you think now?
Do you think you'll
stay here or...
Yes, we're going to stay here.
We're going to keep going.
We'll figure out something
to do here with our people.
We'll make them lunch...
Maybe we'll try
to make tamales...
And you've always worked
for your daughters, right?
Yes, I've always worked,
since I was in Mexico.
Look! There's something
that one has to learn as a woman.
When you're growing up,
I think that your
parents tell you,
if you're thinking about
having a child,
you're going to be
responsible for this child.
And let's suppose
that you marry.
You don't know what will
happen with your husband.
You don't know until later
what type of husband you'll have.
Here in this trailer park, there are
women whose husbands say to them,
"Give me your check, so I can send
money to build the house."
Although, in the end they don't build
anything. Each goes their own way.
they took away their money.
That's not my situation,
because I will never give
the money I earn to any man.
Not even if I love him a lot.
I don't lose the notion of time
for any man.
For me, my daughters come first,
and they will always come first.
What do you have to eat today?
He wants a meal.
We're creating a center,
called the "Workers' Center."
The goal is to give people in
the community more information
about their rights at work.
And also to help in situations,
for example, like your situation,
where the employer
has not paid the workers.
Or also, when there are
problems of discrimination,
or when someone
has been hurt,
we help find lawyers,
and translate, and all that.
So, there's a lot
that we do.
There are good employers
and bad employers.
Please excuse me.
Sure. Nice to meet you.
See you later.
Yes. See you in a bit.
I'll be right back. I have to
look for that information...
OK! We'll be here.
Ah, thank you!
I wanted to know what you
thought about the chicken plant
and if Oscar is thinking,
if he can't find work,
of trying to get a job there?
Or, are you all trying to avoid
working at the plant?
Yes, he's thinking about
working at the chicken plant.
But there they won't hire you
unless you pay $100.
One hundred dollars!
To get a job?
It's not the
employer's fault.
It's not the
employer's fault?
No. It's an Hispanic person.
Who's charging people?
He works there?
How ridiculous.
They pay something
like $7.75.
The pay is good.
And are there a lot of
injuries or accidents?
Well, yes.
Surely, because the line moves
so quickly, you get tense.
That's why.
And when you first start...
Those people aren't
accustomed to it yet.
So, what happened
to you exactly?
Did you faint at work?
All of a sudden,
I felt like my
body was weak.
I felt very faint.
I felt like my left arm
had no strength.
I felt a lot of
pressure in my chest.
And I hurt.
We went, and the doctor
checked me out.
He immediately
called an ambulance.
The ambulance
came quickly.
And you never
went back?
I imagine that you hope
Rosario never has to work there.
I don't want
that for her.
But you know that I'm leaving.
I go back to Texas this weekend.
I'm going to miss
you so much!
Oh goodness!
It's been wonderful this summer,
spending so much time here and...
Well, yeah, but I'm
going to miss you more.
I'm going to miss
you more.
Ah, no!
Now I'm used to
having you around.
No one visits me here.
No one!
But I'm going to come back
around the 15th of September.
So, two more weeks.
That's it!
But... I want you to promise
me that if you move,
you will call and let me
know where you are.
Of course, Anita.
I don't want to lose you...
I don't want to lose you
as a good friend.
Even though you'll be
in another place,
I'll stay in
touch with you.
Thanks. And I will
do the same.
I don't want to
lose your friendship.
Not even if I
go back to Mexico!
Well, the day you go back...
When we go,
you'll have to go with us!
I'd be delighted to!
I'll tell my mom to prepare us some
mole and wait with it for us.
Imagine it is dusk...
like a beautiful evening,
that's how it is back home.
Oh, how lovely.
Yes, very pretty.
It's not too cold or
too hot. It is mild.
There are many things.
There are many great things,
but we don't have land to farm on.
Yes. That's how it is.
Yes. This is the reason
why we're all here.