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The Letter

Short Films
Twelve year-old Marcela finds an airmail letter that she suspects may be from her absent father, who left Mexico to work in the United States. Now she has to convince her brother Rogelio to share its truth. Directed by Jazmin Aguilar.
Show transcript
01:17
Marcela.
01:18
What are you doing?
01:21
Come on.
01:22
I know you're in there.
01:30
Ok.
01:39
Are you kidding me?
01:40
Where have you been?
01:41
I was waiting for you at school.
01:43
It's at the library.
01:44
Marcella, expanding my knowledge, something you wouldn't
01:48
know about.
01:57
All right.
01:57
What did you take?
01:58
I didn't take anything.
02:00
Come on, Marcella, you're acting weird and locked the door
02:03
I was getting changed.
02:05
Do you want to walk in on me changing then?
02:10
Why are you still in uniform then?
02:12
Why are you suing?
02:14
Don't change the subject.
02:15
Why are you going through my stuff again?
02:17
You're lucky mom is working till 10 tonight.
02:19
Gives you time to study some more.
02:23
Maybe I will.
02:24
But did you notice mom left a note on the fridge?
02:28
I think it says she'll be home at 5 p.m. sake.
02:34
What do we have here?
02:35
Stealing yet again?
02:36
Come back back.
02:39
I should just do this until mom comes home.
02:44
What do we have here, Mola, you wouldn't.
02:57
Ok.
02:57
Fine here.
02:58
Let's hand off at the same time on three one.
03:14
No.
03:15
Oops.
03:17
What is that?
03:18
It's nothing.
03:19
Just something I found.
03:25
Don't tumble.
03:29
Did you get this from mom's room?
03:30
Oh.
03:30
Great.
03:31
You opened it too.
03:32
No, it was like that one.
03:33
I found it.
03:34
When did this come in?
03:36
It's new.
03:39
Go ahead check what it says.
03:41
I have a feeling it may be but Rogelio, this may be our trust
03:48
I really think that's the shit be from Papa Marcela.
03:54
If mom hid this from us, then it was for a good reason.
03:57
This is way beyond your mental capacity.
03:59
I'm gonna hold on to this or maybe I should give this to mom instead
04:04
Well, hell you all leave this to us adults.
04:16
I gotta show you something.
04:17
Look, I don't have time for this.
04:18
Ok?
04:18
I gotta go to the library and study with your friends or should
04:23
I say Selena?
04:27
Don't worry, I'll let mom know.
04:30
Ok.
04:30
Look, just make it quick.
04:31
Ok?
04:32
Just an inch.
04:33
Ok?
04:34
What I'm about to show you is Todd Secret.
04:36
No one can know about this especially mama.
04:40
Do you promise to keep this locked in your heart to death?
04:42
Do your part?
04:43
Yeah.
04:43
Sure.
04:44
Cross your heart.
04:50
Ok.
04:51
So I've been doing some research and I think I may know a bit
04:54
more about Papa than you remember.
04:58
Papa's first letter last summer.
05:00
He never really mentioned who he was working for but sent us
05:03
these gifts from San Diego.
05:05
He sent me this penny with a book on it and you got different
05:08
cards with cheerleaders on it.
05:10
How did you?
05:11
I found it under your bed?
05:14
So I decided to keep it in the name of research anyway.
05:18
Papa's job according to him was in Los Angeles.
05:22
But the only place that had these had to be placed down for cowboys
05:27
The cheerleaders on your cards aren't just any cheerleaders
05:30
but they're Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.
05:33
Pretty weird gifts from San Diego.
05:36
What didn't you say?
05:37
A few weeks later I snooped on grandma telling Mama that Papa
05:41
was mysterio.
05:42
Sub a very strange response.
05:46
What didn't you say?
05:47
So, I decided to dig a little deeper.
05:50
I looked into his drawers and sure enough, I found his soup
05:53
and briefcase.
05:54
Dad doesn't own a briefcase.
05:56
You mean his toolkit?
05:57
I'm pretty sure it's a briefcase.
05:59
That's ridiculous.
06:00
When has dad ever worked in an office job?
06:03
Sure to, at whatever point is he was missing two important
06:08
items of business, wouldn't you say at this point?
06:11
It all started to make sense.
06:13
What are you getting at?
06:19
Just imagine it always on the run.
06:24
Traveling to cool locations.
06:29
Firing henchman.
06:33
Yeah.
06:46
Knowing secrets that can destroy life.
06:53
Wow.
06:55
I knew I had something.
06:56
Yeah, you really got me there, Marcel.
06:59
I definitely thought you were going somewhere with this.
07:02
But it's true.
07:03
It's just like the movies here.
07:06
There's more proof I think I've seen enough.
07:08
This just confirms what I already know.
07:10
No.
07:11
But listen, it explains a lot.
07:12
It explains nothing.
07:13
It, it's not real.
07:16
Him not calling anymore or having time to write.
07:19
He's trying to protect us.
07:21
If he was trying to protect us, then he'd be here right now.
07:24
Stop saying it was, he's still here.
07:27
He's still trying.
07:29
I don't understand why you never missed him.
07:31
There was nothing to miss Marcela.
07:33
He was never here for us when he was here and he was never there
07:35
for mom either.
07:38
Where are you going?
07:40
Been jumping the off?
07:42
What's your damage?
07:44
If you think papa's as bad as you say he is, then you're not too
07:47
different from it.
07:48
You then look at the letter I hair.
07:50
You shut up and leave it alone.
07:51
I won't.
07:52
We're acting like a coward and admit that you care about him
07:55
He stole mom's money.
07:56
What do you want to know the truth?
07:59
Screw read in the letter?
08:00
Do you want to know why dad stopped writing to us?
08:02
Do you?
08:05
Well, if you searched hard enough, you would have realized
08:07
that dad did take his tool kit and his suit.
08:10
He also took all the money, your mom's savings back and lied
08:13
about paying it back when he got to the States.
08:16
What are you talking about?
08:17
He sent us money.
08:18
What?
08:18
Once or twice.
08:19
Everyone knows that.
08:20
When you go to the US, you don't come back.
08:22
How don't you see it?
08:23
It's not true.
08:24
Everyone knows the truth.
08:25
Mom, Abuela, the whole neighborhood, everyone but you get
08:30
it in your head.
08:31
He's gone.
08:35
He started a new life with the new American woman having the
08:42
time of his life.
08:46
You're lying missing.
08:47
Good night.
08:48
His new blonde kids, shut up.
08:52
He's a lazy coward and he forgot all about us.
08:54
Grow up.
09:58
Leave me alone with Holly.
10:00
I don't wanna see you.
10:01
He's just listen to me.
10:07
I me and act like such a and their on.
10:12
I'm sorry, Marcella.
10:14
That's because you are.
10:17
Did you just come back here to tell me more about dad having
10:20
fun with his white family?
10:22
That's not true.
10:24
What I read the letter.
10:28
I was wrong.
10:30
What did it say?
10:31
Remember how you said dad may be traveling.
10:35
Turns out you were pretty close.
10:37
Has been traveling from town to town trying to find better
10:40
paying jobs along the way.
10:43
Seems really happy and to experience and explore the US.
10:48
What?
10:51
But sometimes when you have something so good can be hard to
10:58
let go of.
11:00
Sometimes that decision can turn your whole life upside down
11:05
Dad made a dumb decision.
11:09
She was letting us know that this is gonna be the last letter
11:11
we'll ever receive says goodbye.
11:19
I don't believe you.
11:21
I don't probably when he's coming home and can't ride at the
11:24
moment.
11:26
I'm so sorry, Marcela.
12:09
Yes, we're gonna be ok.
12:13
Yes.
12:19
Yes.
12:23
How do you know you got me?