Writer: Ken Mask, MD
The story of current US Southern border immigration prisons is told from the perspective of a young girl.
INT. MODEST, SPARSE BUT CLEAN HOME 1 IN CENTRAL AMERICA 1
CLOSE UP. The brown hands of an eager, bright eyes 12 yo Hispanic GIRL set against the black and white keys of an old upright piano. She is attentively searching for the correct keys in an attempt to play an arrangement of “Here Comes the Sun.” Her motions are slow, steady and intense.
Music. The mother, ANNA, 30 yo neat modestly dressed and worn eyes glance enters with two other children in the background
It’s time Maria.
This interrupts her song. We follow the hands, arms and scan the neck and face of the girl who is both scared and confused. She frowns and half smiles.
EXT. CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRYSIDE
Plains, hills, mountains and beaches are brilliantly lit and colorfully display a tropical paradise filled with an array of flowers, trees, bushes.
3 INT. DETENTION CAMP, SOUTHWESTERN BORDER SETTING, PRISON CELL
CLOSE UP: Brown frowning face of the girl. Then to her hands writing notes in an old papayas (note pad) DIARY, while crouched on a dirt floor; kneeling to write on an antique wooden TABLE, she is intense yet serene.
The heat was different: dry and calm, stale without character. The tropical climates two hours by eagle's flight south had similar mercury rising, but the palms, banana and ferns and cross breezes were infinitely more pleasant.
"Tax-us" the PATRONA repeated, with a proud heavy, unpretentious Spanish accent. Only to be corrected by her 18 year old DAUGHTER, "it is Tex us."
The only laughter at that time would typically come from JUAN- the elder in the den of hundreds, at 88 he had the sense of humor which comes from years of ignoring small things.
"Can't Text us; don't have signal."
All shoulder-hopped giggled with uncomfortable breathing through gapped mouths. Respirie profundo.
It was a canned skit which we'd all heard many times and always brought laughter.
Most of the time my fellow encampment detainees sat on makeshift cots and borrowed stories to make the time pass. All had body odor and were wasting; defined cheek bones and skinny arms were obvious over just a few weeks. Not many smiled.
I'm 12 years old. My name is MARIA. Maria Gonzalez and I write for peace of mind and for my family and for my life. For the past three years my parents, two sisters and brother, all three younger have traveled from Honduras to make it here. The land of the free and the home(s) of the brave. We have seen the movies of and about America the Northern America states which are united. Land of free English Speech as guaranteed by a first statement on the almighty Constitution. This land is your land this land is my land; the red white and blue amber waves of grain and mountains which fit like edges of a soup bowl.
Why diary, why empty pages do we have this interruption in the travel and the dream? Why diary whose pages are to comfort the writer, to allow expression provide me with only misery of memory; of pain of hopes; hopes which have been abruptly crushed on the rocky shores of our GULF….
NOW, COLOR FOOTAGE
EXT. IMAGES OF THE 4 MIDWESTERN PLAINS 4
HONDURAS. IMAGES OF POOR HOMES WITH TIN ROOFS COVERING WOODEN SHACKS. LOS FLORES, SANDY BAY
MIXED BLACK AND WHITE FOOTAGE, PEOPLE ARE COLORS
INT. DETENTION CAMP. DIFFERENT ROOM
Maria sits as a makeshift table. A writing pad, yellowed and rough rests on the floor. She bends over to write, at first upright then crouched on knees and elbows.