Kiss for Joe"
A Film script
by Pedro MALLOL &
from the novel "Muriendo por la dulce patria mia" by Roberto
EXT. CITY OF IQUIQUE.
The early morning light hits the ocean calm surface,
making it shine beautifully.
A large metallic
buoy holds a Chilean flag that gently swings along with
the waves. There
is an inscription engraved over the buoy dedicated to
the Chilean sailors defeated on Iquique’s naval
combat in 1789.
A title printed over this image reads: Iquique,
A small group
of fishermen by the seashore drag a boat into the water. A bare-footed 8-year-old boy watches the
operation dressed in rags and a thick, worn out coat. It is ARTURO GODOY, who in despite of
his age and rugged appearance looks healthy and strong. One of the fishermen gives Arturo a hard
look, making a gesture for him to leave. Arturo nods his head and touches the water with his bare feet.
back, the fisherman jumps into the boat.
Go stay with
your mama.....This thing ain’t for little boys!
him a proud look.
(from a distance)
Don’t pay attention to Neque!
Next time you come with us!
wave goodbye. The
boat quickly separates from the shore.
Arturo stands still, motionless.
Suddenly he notices another kid who watches the
scene from a distance.
The boy, CHOLO, 8, has dark skin and is as raggedy
The same metallic
buoy previously seen, now silhouetted by a cloudy sky
background. The wind and the surge announce an imminent
Is now raining
at the beach, where Arturo still waits. Next to him is Cholo, the dark skinned boy. Arturo takes off his coat to cover himself
and his new friend.
Over this image we hear the strokes of a church
It is a bright
sunny day in Iquique.
Wide shot of a Spanish colonial church.
building, a PRIEST sprinkles holy water over a coffin.
A crying WOMAN
stands with a pack of five boys next to her. All boys wear barely proper, oversized clothes. The oldest and biggest kid is Arturo,
who watches his mother weeping inconsolably.
Let us prey
for the eternal rest of these men whose bodies lay at
the bottom of the sea, so their souls will be lifted up
to encounter the father, our Lord....
have been there with him!
Shame on you!
at the empty coffin.
There is more anger than sadness in his eyes.
insistently at the horizon, like waiting for something
to show up any second.
Then he sees Cholo approaching.
Cholo signals Arturo at a distance inviting him
to go swimming. Then both quickly into the water as Arturo takes a lap, sinking
A few seconds later he comes out swinging his arms
desperately. It is obvious that he doesn’t know
how to swim, but somehow he manages to keep his head above
images show Arturo swimming better and better every time. His arms become stronger, his face older.
By the end of the sequence Arturo has turned into
a young adult. Swimming
fast, he’s about to reach the old metallic buoy. When he touches it, screams exited lifting
his arms high.
Cholo, you damn wimp, I won, I won!
shortly after. He
also looks older, turned into a dark, tough Iquiquean. Playfully they try to sink one another, laughing. Cholo manages hold Arturo under for a
moment and then escapes swimming back to the beach. Breathless, Arturo comes up to the surface and follows.
mother serves a modest meal to the brothers. She looks weary and deteriorated, the BROTHERS now a few years
the room with his clothes still soaking wet. A scratchy old tango can be heard at low volume.
made it at last!
The woman recognizes
Oh, it was
touches his brothers’ heads on his way to turn up
the volume of the old record player.
Then he takes his mother from the waist bringing
her right up against his body. Arturo leads an improvised dance, she
reluctantly tags along.
Why you didn’t
you come home with your father?
not answer, just continues dancing.
Sheer insanity can be seen in her eyes.
The old man
said to me you didn’t want to go fishing with him...What’s
the matter with you?
harder to distract her with the dancing.
See? Your feet are gettin’ loose with
(to the brothers)
How do we look
The boys laugh.
Arturo makes a sudden, funny move sticking his
knee in between his mother’s legs. She slaps him across the face. Arturo just smiles and offers the other
The woman slaps
him again. Arturo
tries to hit him once again, but Arturo graciously avoids
the blow with a quick, agile movement. The brothers laugh, as she gets angrier.
Then she gives them a hard, freighting look.
They stop the mockery and start digging into their
plates. Then she points out the table to Arturo.
Sit there and
but does not eat.
Sadly, he just looks around.
I lost my appetite
sits at the table.
Tell that to
your father when he gets home.
The woman takes
Arturo’s plate and distributes the food amongst
his brothers. Arturo holds up, biting his tongue for
a moment. Then
he gets up. Before leaving the room, Arturo hits the
wall with a hard fist.
A framed portrait of his father falls breaking
a full house at the movie theater.
Cholo are entranced watching King Kong in the screen. The giant gorilla is hanging from the top of the Empire State
building, while planes fiercely attack him. The monster holds in one of his hands a terrified young girl.
Come on, get
down, duck yourself!
Not like that you stupid ape!
finally deadly wounded producing a horrid, blasting yell. Everyone in the theater scream, sympathetic
to the victimized monster.
Suddenly the screen shuts off.
The audience start to whistle in the dark. The house lights come up.
Goddammit! The movie stopped again. Shit, we’ll never get to see the
FAT MAN comes along and stands in front of the audience. Everybody is booing at him.
Please bear with me. We’re just having a slight technical
Arturo nods his head.
A blond and
fair YOUNG GIRL gets her reimbursement at the box office
window. A tall, lanky man who seems to be her
father stands next to her.
Arturo stares at her from an angle and through
the glass of the box office. She has fine features and a virginal,
innocent air. Arturo
is flabbergasted, fascinated by her.
Suddenly she looks at Arturo and playfully sticks
her tongue out at him.
Arturo blushes, she smiles.
Then the father takes her hand and both walk away.
Cholo "awakens" Arturo.
Lover boy likes
la gringa, uh?
Shut up, leave
Stop it, damn
taps Arturo’s back.
Come on, let's
get outta here.
at him annoyed.
Cholo makes a funny face making Arturo laugh.
The two friends shake hands and walk away.
A beach at
fireworks fly the dark sky.
At a distance
there is light and music coming from a large, moth-eaten
Cholo run across the beach, taking off their clothes.
I bet the ape
from the movie drops the girl and she dies!
Hell no, I
bet he saves her!
No he won’t!
very close to the water.
Whatever. Now we need to be really quiet.
Why do you
make such a big fuss
Everyone is at the fair anyway.
the buoy, don’t lose the trail. Gotta do it quick ‘cause I think bigmouth Fernandito
tipped off the coast guards.
How do you
Got my sources.
Cholo, do you
think the gringa could be at the fair?
Sure. She's probably be waiting for you.
You dying of
into the water and disappear in the darkness.
Cholo swim swiftly.
Loud water splashes can be heard.
Arturo stops frightened, Cholo laughs.
Suddenly a large wooden box emerges from the sea
bottom and almost hits Arturo.
Damn! The ship came pretty loaded today it seems.
pops nearby. Then
another and another from the ocean depths, as if propelled
by a mysterious force. The floating boxes now surround the two
Thank god for
the full moon.
When the tide
is high, spits out anything that sinks under.
a little further.
of the script