Coyotes (1999) - full transcript

A drifter heads to Baja with his teen daughter for a lucrative construction job. Only problem is that when he gets there, the job doesn't exist. This leads him into a job smuggling Mexicans across the border and into the inevitable trouble. This leads father and daughter into a new view of one another - the daughter seeing her father's fallibility and the father seeing his daughter's own growth as a young woman. Lina Gallegos also appears as an old friend of the father, who becomes a mother figure to the girl.

(soft music)

(gentle music)

(bright music)

- [Nora Voiceover] It had been a long,

hard winter for me and the old man

and all the other wandering souls.

But for my father, there
was always hope in movement.

(bright music)

So once again we hopped into the only home

I'd ever known and moved on.

(bright music)

The long road took us to a
place I'd never been before.

It seemed like the end of the earth,

but to my father, somewhere in the strange

and haunting land there was promise.

(gentle music)

- Maybe we'll sleep
under the stars tonight.

A lot of stars down here.

How does that sound?

- Okay.

(bright music)

- [Nora Voiceover] Geez.

Where are we?

(bright music)

- Been a long couple of days, huh?

Night, kid.

- Goodnight.

- Don't let the bedbugs bite.

- Should be so lucky.

(cricket chirping)
(coyote howling)

- [Nora Voiceover] I
remember hearing the coyotes.

Such a sad cry.

(coyotes howling)

Maybe they too were tired of the road.

But now I know they were calling to us.

Watch out, they were saying.

There's a road ahead that will
change your lives forever.

(gentle music)

- It's beautiful.

- Have I ever let you down?

Thank you.

It's called (speaks in foreign language).

The bay of souls.

When I was here, used to
work the charter boats.

Used to come down here at winters

just a little bit further down the coast.

A place called Laredo.

Used to take the rich gringos out fishing.

Who knows?

Maybe be the winter place again.

This thing with Scully works out.

- That would be cool if it does work out.

- Oh yeah.

It's solid.

Yeah, it's solid.

I can feel it.

- Thanks.

Aren't you hungry?

- Nah.

I can't eat that stuff.

You know my body's my temple.

- Well, you gotta have protein.

- I got protein to spare, Nora.

- We're busted, aren't we?

- No.

No, we're all right.

We'll be fine.

- [Nora Voiceover] There it is.

The nose scratch.

Every time he tells a lie,
he scratches his nose.

Geez, there he goes again.

We must really be broke.

(bright music)

(singing in foreign language)

- Well, I don't see Scully's boat.

- Maybe he's still out there fishing.

- Oh yeah, that's it.

- Goop time.

- It's really just as well, Nora,

because there's some people
I really need to see.

- Friends?

- Yeah.

- Old friends?

- Oh yeah.

They're the people I used to stay with

when I worked down here.

They run a small hotel for fishermen.

The Oasis.

It was kind of a second home.

Get up a little motor on that, Cheo.

- Shep, hi.


- Hey, you've had the same old engine

for what 15 years now?

- 20 years.

- It still doesn't run.

I think you were pulling
on that cord when I left.

- [Cheo] I think so, too.

- You look good, Cheo.

You haven't aged a bit.

You're a little fatter is all.

- Oh.

(speaking in a foreign language)

- [Graciela] Shep?

- [Shep] Hey old girl.

- Shame, shame, shame.

- I know, I know.

I know.

- How long has it been?

10 years?

(speaks in a foreign language) No.

It's been so much longer than that.

Bad boy.

- I do have an excuse.

I picked up a stray.

Can't wander quite as far as I used to.

- Hi, I'm Nora, the stray.

(speaking in a foreign language)

- Don't tell me she's your daughter.

- That she is.

- Hello, Nora.

I'm Graciela.

We were his family once,
but he forgot all about us.

(soft music)

- Let me get this straight.

This is Antonio and Frankie.

- No, no.

Frankie, Antonio.

(speaking in a foreign language)

Oh, speaking Spanish.

That's good.

- She picked it up in the orchards.

We used to work with a lot of Mexicans.

- Well, we know you didn't teach her.

- He speaks the worst Spanish.

- [Nora] I bet.

- It used to make my ears hurt.

- Oh well (speaks in foreign language).

- Well, at least you've given
the world a lovely daughter.

I don't know how.

- Well, I haven't quite
given her to the world yet.

- Do you always eat out here?

- Oh yes, it's so beautiful.

God painted all this.

Your father loved it out here.

This is where he used to do his writing.

- What writing?

- Oh, he was going to be a writer.

- Hemingway.

- Yeah.

Yeah, Hemingway.

- That's why he used to fish,

so he can write about
fishing like Hemingway.

The old man and the sea.

- [Nora] I didn't know
you wanted to be a writer.

- I was just scribbling things, Nora.

- There's so much we could
tell you about your father.

- I bet.

(soft music)

- Life's been good, huh?

- Growth I see.

And you, Shep?

- Fine, fine.

Things are great.

So how's the fishing anyway?

- Right now we're catching yellow tail.

We have two clients staying
with us from Canada.

We're going out tomorrow.

You can join us if you like.

- Oh no, thanks, Cheo.

Actually, I'm down here
looking for Scully.

- Scully?

He's not here anymore.

- You're kidding?

- Nah, he left.

Maybe a year ago.

- No, no.

I just saw him a couple of
months ago up in Oregon.

He said he's working charters

for some big resort down here.

Place called (speaks in
foreign language) or something.

It's a new resort.

They just built it.

Big fancy place.

- Yeah (speaks in foreign language).

But that's not in Laredo.

It's far.

It's all the way to the end of Baja.

- So I guess Scully moved
the boat down there.

- Nah.

The boat is here.

- I didn't see it.

- That's because it's a submarine.

He put the anchor in the wrong place.

Along came a big chubasco, big winds,

big rains, sank like a stone.


You're not thinking of
working with him again?

Are you?


(gentle music)

- So where do you go to school, Nora?

- Oh, here, there, everywhere.

- Well, I suppose it's good
to see so many new places.

You know I was born in this house

and when I was growing up,
this garden always smelled

just as it does now.

- Like jasmine?

- Jasmine, si.

You know your plants.

- Well, we worked in a big
nursery once up in Idaho.

There was a blind lady
there named Sister Marsha.

She showed me how to tell the
plants by their fragrance.

- I wonder if I could do that.

- Okay.

Cover your eyes.

- All right.

(gentle music)

That's easy.

(speaking in foreign language)

I was right.

You know, my grandmother planted this tree

and my mother planted the jasmine

and all the cactus's were planted
by my crazy aunt Othencia.

You must've planted lots of things, Nora.

- [Shep] Hey, kid.

We gotta hit the road.

- Yeah, but we never
stick around long enough

to see anything grow.

- Ah, Shep.

- [Nora] Why do we have to go now?

- You know, time is money.

- Why don't you let her
stay with us for awhile?

Until you get settled.

I could use the female company.

- Could I?

(soft music)

Now there's two cans
of stew under the spare

and we still got some
milk left in the floor

that needs to be drunk.

Oh, I found your shades.

Put them in the glove compartment.

Some bucks in there, too.

You'll remember to put it all in, right?

- Scout's honor.

- [Nora] And don't drive too late, okay?

- I wouldn't think of it.

- [Nora] Good luck.

- Hey.

It's in the bag.

Wouldn't mind spending
a little bit of time

on a big fancy resort with you.

With a little golf, little test.


You're gonna be okay then, right?

Being on your own?

(speaking in foreign language)

(gentle music)

- There's a shower back there

and we have plenty of hot water.

Fishermen love their showers.

Thank God.

So fresh towels and I thought
you might like a nightgown.

It's my niece Bertha's
who's just about your size.

- Thank you and thanks for having me.

- No (speaks in foreign language).

(gentle music)

(soft music)

- I'm sorry.

Do you think it'll come out?

- Oh don't worry, mija.

It will all come out.

It was only a little.

So, is this your first time?

Well, it won't be your last.

You are a senorita now.

- I don't think I wanna be a senorita.

- Oh, of course you do.

It's wonderful to be a senorita.

But I don't suppose your father

has ever spoken to you about.

No, they never do.

Oh, what do men know anyway?

- I know about the facts of
life if that's what you mean.

- There are so many things.

(bright music)

♪ Rolling in the towel
with every dream you got ♪

♪ Burning with the fire
that you can't stop ♪

♪ And nothing ♪

♪ Nothing gonna slow you down ♪

♪ Hungry and cold but you can do without ♪

♪ 'Cause in your eyes are
not a trace of doubt ♪

♪ Feeling lucky ♪

♪ Never gonna turn around ♪

♪ We'll walk this road ♪

♪ Brick by brick and stone by stone ♪

♪ We'll walk this road
that you're walking on ♪

♪ You're reaching out for
something you just can't grasp ♪

♪ You're taking all the corners
just a little too fast ♪

♪ You can feel it ♪

♪ Coming up around the bin ♪

♪ Holding on tight to all your plans ♪

♪ 'Cause everything you touch
is slipping through your hands ♪

♪ And you're wondering how
all this is gonna end ♪

♪ We'll walk this road ♪

♪ Brick by brick and stone by stone ♪

♪ We'll walk this road
that you're walking on ♪

♪ We'll walk this road
that you're walking on ♪

(wind blowing)

- Hey.

You there, can I help you?


Shep, is that you?

Hey, man.

- Take one more step, Scully,

and I will knock you on your butt.

- Whoa, glad to see you, too.

- What is this, some kind of joke?

I come 3000 miles for this?

Where's the hotel, Scully?

- [Scully] They're building it.

They are.

- Where's the golf course?

Where's the swimming pools?

Where's the jacuzzis and the whirlpools?

And the restaurants?

- They're building it.

- Where's the freaking work, Scully?

- Hey man.

I never thought you'd come all the way

down here for the work.

- Stupid.




- No, you're the stupid one.

- Who do you think I'm talking about?

(soft music)

- I knew you wouldn't turn
down a little ear bud.

I'd offer you a cold
pacifico, but I'm fresh out.

Of course, get the hotel built,

there'll be a big old bar.

Plenty of imported beer I suppose.

- Shut up, Scully.

- They'll get it done someday.

After all they finished the
halls of Montezuma, didn't they?

- What are you doing down here, Scully?

- Well, 'til the marina gets
built, I'm the watchman.

Got a nice little house
over there by the hotel,

which you're welcome to share of course.

So how's the kid?

- [Shep] She's fine.

- Bet she's getting big, huh?

Must be getting harder tote
her around the way you do.

- Steady gig might've helped.

- Look, I never thought
you'd take me at my word.

Hell you never listen to
anything I ever told you before.

I mean, why listen to me now?

- Maybe I needed to.

You know.

There was a time when it all made sense.

You took a look around at people.

What they did to get ahead.

Get by.

You said forget it, right?

Forget that game.

And the years fly by and you're 40.


45 without a pot to piss in.

I guess we showed 'em,
didn't we Scully, huh?

We beat the game.

- Well, I ain't doing so bad.

- Jesus.

(soft music)

- [Graciela] I'm sorry if it hurts.

- It's okay.

(soft music)

- These were mine when I was a senorita.

Black pearls from Baja.

You know you have to leave
them in for at least a month.

- But we'll be gone by then.

- Oh no, they're for you.

I want you to have them.

(bell ringing)

- Hi.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Maya.


Olivia, Ariel, Giovanni.

Jasmine Mala Catalina.

- Hi.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Nora.

- Nora.

(speaking in foreign language)

(soft music)

- [Nora] When we were in the plaza,

you told everyone that
you were my madrina.

- (speaks in foreign language)
That means godmother.

This is such a small place.

People like to know how
other people are connected.

It makes it easier for them.

So, I told them a little white lie.

Hope you don't mind.

- I'd like to have you for a godmother.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Graciela] So, where
is your mother, Nora?

- She died.

I was four years old when it happened.

We were camped up by
rogue river in Oregon,

planting trees like we
always do in summer.

My mama loved the rogue, but
she hated planting trees.

On her knees all day digging in the dirt.

One day she was hot and tired,

so she just took off all her clothes

and jumped in the river.

They found her the next morning

tangled in the branches of a
tree like she was caught in it.

(soft music)

- God must have some wonderful
things in store for you, Nora

to take away from you so much so young.

(soft music)

(kids chattering)

- [Nora] Hey, how'd it go?

- Well.

- You didn't get the job, did you?

- There'll be others.

Let's just pack up, okay?

- Right now?

- [Shep] Yes, now.

(kids chattering)

- But where are we going?

- We're going back.

- [Nora] Why so soon?

- Because we got places to go.

We got things to do.

That's why.

(kids chattering)

- Why the hurry, Shep?

Why not stay here for awhile?

- And do what, Gracie?

Live off you guys?

You know I can't do that.

- If you want to work,
we have plenty of work.

You can help Cheo fix the motors.

We can pay you.

- Thank you, Gracie.

I mean it.

You don't need two extra mouths to feed.

You're gonna knock the wheels off someday.

- Good.

- Maybe next time I'll be
back as a paying customer.

You know, fat cigars.

Fat wallet.

- How will I know it's you
(speaks in foreign language)?

- Something just for you for my senorita.

- Thank you.

I'll miss you, Gracie.

- I'll miss you too, mija.

And you (speaks in foreign
language), take care of yourself.

- You too, old girl.

- Take care of my Nora.

You know she has a godmother now,

so you better or I'll put a spell on you.

- I think you already have.

- Bye (speaks in foreign language).

(gentle music)

- Hey, you got your ears pierced.

Those earrings look nice, Nora.

- Why couldn't we just stay in Laredo?

- And do what?

Shovel dung in some donkey town?

- It's not a donkey town.

It's a pretty town.

And the people there are good people.

They're real people.

When they smile, they mean it.

- I'm glad you like the place.

I mean it.


But Nora, sometimes in life
when things don't pan out,

you just gotta move on.

- Things never pan out and
we're always moving on.

- Look I couldn't say anything before

in front of Gracie and Cheo,

but I think we might have us a little gig.

Meeting some people up the coast.

- What kind of people?

- [Shep] Just some people Scully knows.

- Scully?

- Yes, Scully.

I think he owes us one.

Don't you?

It's a business connection.

Don't worry.

It's for real this time.

- How do you know?

- Because I know.

Look, I can't talk about it anymore.

I don't wanna jinx it.

- This sounds very, very stupid.

You know, sometimes I wish I had a home,

so I could be a runaway.

- It's gonna be a long drive.

(soft music)

You and the Mexicans really
seemed to hit it off.

(soft music)

You make friends easy
down here, don't you?

- Down here they treat me like a person.

Up there, I'm just trailer trash.

(soft music)

(dogs barking)

- [Shep] Let me get this straight.

This is.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Nora Voiceover] Senorita.

How did she know?

- [Shep] Nora.

All set.

- What's going on?

- Just making a delivery is all.

- [Nora] What kind of delivery?

- Just picking up a couple of kids.

Give them a ride.

That's all.

- That's all?

- Yeah, that's all.

500 bucks a head.

- Geez, why don't they take the bus?

- Bus doesn't go across the border, Nora.

Don't worry.

Scully does it all the time.

- Oh, that makes it cool.

(dog barking)

- Hey.

(speaking in foreign language)



- Jose, Jose.

- [Shep] Jose.

- Jose (speaks in foreign language).

- I was close.


- Junior.

- Junior.

How can I forget Junior?

(speaks in foreign language) Nora.

(speaking in foreign language)

Well, hop in the back.

- Are they gonna have enough room?

- Well yeah.

In Mexico, the bus is never full.


Let's go.

- [Nora] They must've saved
their whole lives for this trip.

(singing in foreign language)

- [Shep] Well it's a good investment.

Jose sings, you know.

(singing in foreign language)

Need to make some room for our passengers.

- In the trunk?

- Okay boys.

- How long they gonna be in there?

(gentle music)

- Junior.

The border's just up the road, Nora.

- They'll need water.

- Oh, good idea.

(gentle music)



(gentle music)

Hey, here's a pillow, Jose.


- Yes, gracias.


- Water.

Won't be long now, boys.

Land of opportunity here we come.

(gentle music)

- [Nora] Promise me if we get caught,

you'll give them back their money.

- [Shep] Nora, we're not gonna get caught.

- [Nora] But if we do.

- [Shep] Yes, I promise I'll
give them back their money,

but we're not gonna get caught.

You gotta learn to think positive.

(gentle music)

Oh no.

Oh man.

- Maybe we should let
them out of the trunk.

- In a minute.

We gotta cool the engine down.

Keep revving the motor.

Little more.

Keep revving the motor.

Little more.

Good, good, good.

Let me know when the light goes out.

The light still on?

- Yes.

- Must be leaking water somewhere.

Kill the engine.

- Shep.

We got company.

- Oh hell.

Now we're in it.

(speaking in foreign language)

But it's leaking.

Leaking out.

(speaking in foreign language)

(soft music)

(speaking in foreign language)

- He says we need a tow truck.

- Yeah, I heard him, Nora.

(speaking in foreign language)

(soft music)

- He said they'll be back in five minutes.

- Open the trunk, Nora.

Let 'em out.

(gentle music)

(speaking in foreign language)

(soft music)

- Hey, wake up.

Please wake up.


(soft music)

They won't wake up.

(soft music)

- Oh Jesus.

- What happened?

- Nora, go get your pack and
throw in a bottle of water.

- What about them?

- They're dead, Nora.

- We can't just leave 'em.

- Do it now.

(soft music)


(soft music)

(gentle music)

Jesus Christ.

How did this happen?

Must've been that crack
in the engine blocked.

The fumes probably seeped out

and carried back into the trunk somehow.

Sun's going down there so that way's east.

Towards the sea.

If we could just make it to
the sea, we'll be all right.

Find a fisherman.

Pay him to take us down the coast.

Okay, that'll work.

We'll be all right.

- How can you keep saying that?

Two people are dead and we killed them,

so we're not all right.

- Nora, we did not kill anybody.

It was an accident.

How was I supposed to
know there was a crack

in the engine block spewing
fumes all over the place?

- They trusted us.

- Nora.

There's nothing we can do about it.


We just gotta keep going.

We gotta keep going.

- Two good people never
to see their homes.

Their families.

Nothing ever again.

- [Shep] Hey.

- Leave me alone.

(singing in foreign language)

- [Nora] The sky turned red that night

and so did the mountains.

All red.

Blood red.

(dog barking)

- This is stealing, you know.

- You wanna freeze tonight?

- You gotta leave them something.

- Leave them what?

- Money.

It's all blood money anyway.

(soft music)

How do you know which way we're going?

- The hour hand to the sun
makes 12 o'clock south.

That's south and that's east to the sea.

(soft music)

- [Nora] If we didn't do anything wrong,

why are we running away?

- [Shep] The police
don't know that, do they?

- [Nora] We can just tell them the truth.

- Oh yeah, right.

Doesn't work that way, Nora.

Down here money talks.

And you know where that
leaves us, don't you?


It's a Mexican jail.

Damn loafers.

I don't know why I started wearing 'em.

- 'Cause they were cheap.

You get 'em at the Goodwill.

- I know where I got 'em.

- Geez, Shep.

- At least we know it isn't frostbite.

It looks worse than it feels.

- [Nora] Maybe we should
slow down a little.

- I like to make those
hills there by day's end.

- [Nora] You gotta get
off your feet awhile.

(gentle music)

- Not bad.

Put a nice little bounce in your step.

So how long you been using these things?

- Just started.

- I see.

I see.

So it's still going on?

- No.

- Oh, well that's good.

I suppose that's good.

So how'd it go?

- I don't know.

All right, I guess.

- Good.


- We don't have to talk about it.

- What do you mean?

- I mean, we don't have to talk about it.

- All right.

So, where'd you get
these shoe pads anyway?

- Graciela.

- Oh.

So I guess she told you
what you needed to know.

Gave you instructions and all.

- It's not that complicated.

- Well, that's good.

I don't know why I always
had the feeling that it was.

Guess you'll be going through
all kinds of changes now huh?

Physical changes.

All kinds of changes.

I wish I knew more.

- I'll figure it out.

- I do know one thing.

It's a good thing we're not in New Guinea.

- Why?

- Well then I'd have to lock
you up in a hut every month

to ward off the evil
spirits and all, you know,

since we don't even have a hut.

- Oh you.

(gentle music)

I haven't had to pee in a long time.

- Just a little dehydrated.

See those trees?

Where there's trees, there's water.

- Is it real?

(soft music)

- Relatively speaking,
none of this is real.

(soft music)

Hey, come on, kid.

Come on.

Let me help you.

- You go on.

I'll just wait here for the bus.

(soft music)

- Okay.

Here comes the bus.

(soft music)

(gentle music)

Everything comes from fire, Nora.


Iron age.

Bronze age.

Civilization itself all from fire.

Industrial revolution.

The atomic age.

From fire.

Global warming.

Greenhouse effect.

The end of the earth.

All from fire.

(soft music)

- Why'd you stop writing?

- I wasn't very good at it.

- I think you're real good with words.

- Well, there's more to writing

than being good with words, Nora.

It's more about using words
to share some sort of insight.

And there was a time there where I guess.

I guess I didn't feel like
I had much insight to offer.

- You just gave up, didn't you?

- Oh hell, it was inside work anyway.

You know I can't handle inside work.

- Why didn't you write for yourself?

You know, short stories
or poetry or something.

- Your mother was the poet.

- Really?

Do you have anything that she wrote?

- No.

- [Nora] You hardly ever
talk about her, you know.

- Well she's been gone awhile now.

- So you don't even think about her?

- I think about her.

I think about her a lot.

I see a lot of her in you, you know.

She had beautiful eyes like yours.

And she could be pretty bullheaded.

Like you.

But she never quite had
your resilience, you know.


She just let things get to her.

- Cousin Becky said she did it on purpose.

- Did what?

- [Nora] Drowned herself on purpose.

- Jesus, Nora.

You don't believe that, do you?

- Sometimes.

Becky said she was tired of dirt.

Tired of trees and teepees
and tents and trailers.

- How long you been carrying that around?

- Long time.

So it's not true?

- Of course it isn't true.

Your mother loved you too much, Nora.


She'd never just.

Just leave us like that.

(soft music)

(coyote howling)

Old friends.

- They've been following us.

- Yeah, that's 'cause they know

who's gonna lead 'em to the good times.

- Shep.

Sorry I been ragging you lately.

- It's all right.

I deserved it.

- I know.

But I'm sorry anyway.

- You know, Nora.

I've been thinking.

I think you should be the writer.

- Maybe I will.

I could write about all our adventures.

- As long as you don't have
to live them anymore right?

(gentle music)

Fishing camp.

Still warm.

They were here this morning.

- Think they'll be back?

- It's a good chance.

They usually work out of
the same camp for weeks.

If we're lucky, they'll be back.

- Then what?

- Well, then we'll offer them some money.

Maybe they'll take us down the coast.

I mean, who knows?

Their fishing stinks,
maybe they'll take us

all the way to the ramp.

- Then what?

- Then what?


There's a lot of rich
gringo yachts down there.

We'll hitch a ride home.

- Where is that?

- Yeah, I know.

Well, at least we know we
won't be sleeping in the car

since we no longer own one.

Hey, maybe we'll try something
different this time, Nora.

You know, we'll get a real place.

Get an apartment or something.

- You know you hate apartments.

You'll go stir crazy.

- Well maybe I'll just have
to learn to meditate, won't I?

- How we gonna pay for it?

Can't sign a lease without a job.

- I know that.

Maybe I'll get me a steady gig this time.

- [Nora] Where?

- I don't know.

They're always hiring at the canary.


- [Nora] Nothing.

- Come on, spit it out.

- You wouldn't last a week.

- And how do you know?

And how did you get me
started on this anyway, Nora?


You got me worried about things
that are 3000 miles away.

I think we got enough to
worry about right here.

Don't you?

- Just trying to think ahead.

- [Shep] Yeah well,
don't think so far ahead.

- One of us has to.

One of us has to grow up.

(seagulls squawking)

Don't look like Mexicans to me.

- Hey.

Catch anything?

- Nope, no luck.

- What are you after, the yellowtail?

- Yeah.

- Heading down again tomorrow, huh?

- Think you got our spot here.

- Oh no.

We're camped further up the beach.

I used to work charter boats down here.

I know these waters pretty well.

- Is that so?

- Maybe you could use a guide.

Wouldn't cost you anything.

When the fishing's done, just
give us a ride down the coast.

First village we get to.

- What about your girl there?

- Oh, she'd come along.

She's a good hand.

Beat your lines, clean your catch.

She does it all.

- I bet.

We're just gonna kick it around a bit.

Where you camped?

- Other side of the cove.

- How far?

- It's a hike.

I'll tell you what.

We'll just swing by in the morning.

If you want us, that's fine.

If not.

That's fine, too.

- Like I said, we're kicking around.

(soft music)

(dramatic music)

- Yup.

Other side of the cove.

- We shouldn't have let them go.

(soft music)

- We are not getting in a
boat with those lizards.

- I don't think they're
even gonna ask us anyway.

I doubt they're even fishing.

- So what are they doing here?

- I don't know.

Waiting for a drop off.

Little dope maybe.

I'm sure they rather we weren't even here.

- [Nora] Geez, Shep.

(suspenseful music)

- Come on, kid, let's go.

- [Nora] Oh no.

Shep, this is crazy.

- Nora, come on.

- What if they come back?

- Will you quit thinking
about peace for Christ sake?

- [Nora] Crazy, crazy.

- It's a crazy world.

(dramatic music)

- Checked the gas?

- Yes, I checked the gas.

(dramatic music)

- Don't forget the choke.

- Thank you.

- Don't flood it.

(dramatic music)

It's flooded.

- Dammit.

(dramatic music)

Okay, now I'm just gonna
untie the bow line.

Give it a push.

Want you to go out with the tide, okay.

(dramatic music)

- They're coming.

(suspenseful music)

(coyote growling)

(coyote howling)

(coyote growling)

- They're close.

(coyote growling)

(coyote howling)

- See 'em?

- Where?

(suspenseful music)

(coyote howling)

- They must want something.

(coyote growling)

They definitely want something.

(soft music)
(coyote howling)

(bright music)

- Took the boat about
50 miles north of here

and we hitched the rest of the way.

Any big yachts in port?

- Just one that arrived a few days ago.

Gringos from San Francisco or San Diego.

Somewhere up north.

(soft music)

- I know.

What the hell was I thinking?

- She's not a kid anymore, Shep.

A girl at that age needs
(speaks in foreign language).

That business with those poor
(speaks in foreign language).

Next time you get a crazy idea,

just go off by yourself and
do it and leave Nora with us

because I'm her godmother, you know.

- Well hell, maybe you'd
like to be my godmother, too.

Sure I could use one.

Gracie, even if we make it back north,

I don't know what's
there for me or for her.

(soft music)

Especially for Nora.

- She could stay here in Laredo.

(soft music)

You both should.

That way I could keep my eye on you.

Keep you out of trouble.

(soft music)

- [Shep] Thought you'd
be out like a light.

- Just thinking.

- Better get some sleep, Nora.

- I was thinking about Jose and Junior.

I was thinking we should've warned them.

Probably saw some stupid American movies.

Thought everybody up there is rich.

- All they had to do was
take one look at us, right?

- [Nora] And the good they left behind.

- Bells.

- What do you mean?

- Every town and village
in Mexico has its bells

and they ring for you when you're born

and when you marry and when you die.

They announce to the
world that you matter.

That you belong.

(soft music)

- It's gonna be like 80
people that are there.

- Wow.

Who's gonna be there?

- [Girl] Kids from school.

- Hey (speaks in foreign language).

(speaking in foreign language)

These are my friends, Yvette and Marisol.

- Oh.

(speaking in foreign language)

Not bad, huh?

- Are we gonna be here awhile?

- I don't know yet.


- Well, there's gonna be a
dance at sunset in the plaza.

They just invited me to go.

- A dance, huh?

- Like a school dance.

- There's not gonna be
any boys there I hope.

- [Nora] Oh you.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Well that's good.

Yeah sure, we can stick around for that.

- Really?

(seagulls squawking)

- Yeah, yeah.

We'll stick around.

(speaking in foreign language)

You know Cheo, out of all
the jobs I've ever had,

I think the only one I ever
really loved was fishing.

- There, you see.

That's why you should
stay right here with us.

- You want this little line doubled?

- Stay there.

- Yeah, I fished 'em
all one time or another.

I even used to take the kid
along with me sometimes,

even when she was just a little toddler.

She had this little yellow slicker.

Big floppy hat on her head.


She looked liked the Morton salt girl.

She'd be barking orders at the crew.

God, they ate it up.

They ate it up.

God, they loved her.

You got any clippers?

(speaking in foreign language)

- You have to ask Graciela for another.

Why don't you ask her?

She wouldn't yell at you.

(soft music)

- When we used to go to
the dance in the school,

the teachers would watch us like hawks,

and if a boy touched
you in the wrong place,

they would pull him by the
dance floor by the ear.

Cheo could tell you.

They pulled his ear so many times,

I thought it would fall off.

(hand knocking)

(speaking in foreign language)

- No gentlemen allowed.

- I just wanna borrow some nail clippers.

- Did Cheo send you (speaks
in foreign language)?

He loses them all.

- Oh, I see you're all dressed up, too.

- Of course.

I'm the chaperone.

It's not like in the states, you know.

Down here we watch out for the boys.

They have many tricks, but
believe me, I know them all.

- I bet you do.

- If he loses these, tell
him I'll pull his little ear.

(soft music)

(speaking in foreign language)

(soft music)

- They found the brochure

of (speaks in foreign
language) in your car.

- And they got to Scully.

(speaking in foreign language)

- And he must've told them about us.

I'm sorry, my friend.

There's a big powerboat leaving tonight.

I hear they're shorthanded.

- (speaks in foreign language) Awaits you.

What happened?

(speaking in foreign language)

- Well.

What do you think?

Oh I look really ridiculous, don't I?

- [Shep] No, no.

- I knew it.

- [Shep] No, you look beautiful.

- This dress just hangs on me like a sack

'cause there's nothing to hold it up.

- [Shep] You look smashing.

- I mean nothing.

- [Shep] You do.

- You're just saying that
'cause you're my old man.

- Nora.

You look just like I
always imagined you would.

- These shoes are killing me.

I don't know how you're
supposed to dance with them.

Guess it doesn't matter
since I can't dance anyway.

- Sure you can.

It's in your genes.

Did I ever tell you that I was once

a very famous flamingo dancer?

- [Nora] Yeah right.

- Really.

I was known as (speaks
in foreign language).

(speaking in foreign language)

- Pumpkin?

- Yeah well.

Something like that.

- Will you wait up for me?

- Yeah.

Yeah, I'll be right here.

Don't worry.

You'll do fine.

Just follow the rhythm.

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

- [Nora] Show me.

Dance with me.

- Oh Nora, I'm not exactly dressed.

- [Nora] You'll never be exactly dressed.

- No, I guess I never will be.

(soft music)

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

(gentle music)

We've had some times, haven't we, kid?

- [Nora] Yeah, we have.

(gentle music)

(bell ringing)
(gentle music)

- [Nora Voiceover] When I
heard the evening bells,

I remembered my father's words.

They announced to the world
that someone mattered.

Someone belonged.

But I would never need
the bells to ring for me

for I'd hear them always in the
memory of my father's voice.

(gentle music)

(soft music)

(gentle music)

(soft music)

- This was my first feature film

and we produced it ourselves
with the help of our friends

and as such, you know, I
was free to make the film

the way I wanted to make it.

And you know that's a rare experience.

(soft music)

I was directing a documentary
for National Geographic

down in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

It was called sea monsters
and we had a research boat

and we were looking for a place to dock

and I came upon this
shell of a resort area.

I mean, there was absolutely nothing there

in this amazing Baja landscape.

The watchman.

The night watchman came out

and he was like this
throwback from the 60s.

This old derelict, you know.

And I asked him about the resort

and he acted as if it was complete.

To him it was the most
wonderful place in the world.

And I thought got a deluded
character like that.

What a wonderful character.

And the father daughter.

They came from a time
when I lived in Oregon

and there were like these gypsy families

that used to work
picking apples or fishing

or kind of just doing odd jobs.

Moving up and down the pacific coast.

And I thought what would happen

if a father and daughter pair of gypsies

went down into Baja with a dream

of working in this fantastic resort?

What would happen to their dreams?

What would happen to their hopes?

How would it change their
relationship, you know,

when it didn't pan out?

And I guess that was the
inspiration for the story.

Mexico offered such an
amazing and beautiful

and incredible landscape
that it was like adding

this incredible production
value to our film.

The other thing with
we're shooting in Mexico

was working with the Mexican people.

I mean, they were absolutely wonderful.

They helped us not only in
terms of with the production,

but they were many of the actors,

the bit players in the film.

When you see a Mexican
policeman in the film,

that's a real Mexican policeman.

When you see the townsfolk,

those are the real townsfolk from Laredo.

I'd have to say my
favorite scene is the scene

that inspired making the whole
film right from the get go,

which is when Shep goes
to the resort area,

finds out it's nothing
but a shell of a resort

and encounters Scully who
had lured him down there

with this ridiculous prowess.

And the chemistry between the
two of them is so wonderful.

They really nailed it.

The humor is delightful.

And it's a bittersweet moment,

but for me it worked very much.

I guess there's a place in
my heart for lovable losers

and here you had two lovable losers

trying to make amends.

So it was a good scene.

For me the most pleasant surprise

was the performance of our
young actress, Kirsten Carmody.

She came to the set so prepared.

She was a real trooper.

It was her first time out of the country.

Never been in a feature film before.

She was in Mexico.

She had to speak some Spanish in the film

and she never studied Spanish

and yet she did beautifully.

She did fine.

She also had this wonderful
bubbly positive energy

that really helped out on the set

and I would say that her performance

in many way inspired everybody else

to give their best in the film.

She also had a beautiful voice

and she sang one of our theme songs

about halfway through the film

and we use it on the soundtrack
and it's really lovely.

(singing in foreign language)

We actually shot "Coyotes" in only 12 days

and besides rehearsal time,
which helped us cut down

on the number of takes that we needed.

One of the keys was our location.

We shot about 40% of the film
in the hotel we stayed in.

The hotel had everything.

It had a beach.

It had fishing boats.

It had an oasis.

It had, you know, rooms that would serve

as our characters room
but would also serve

as other locations, too.

And it looked like we
were all over the map,

but in fact we never
left the hotel grounds.

You know it's a cliche.

Everybody says we were
like a family on the set

and I'd have to say that in this case,

there were so few of us.

We had so much work to do.

We were thrown in together,
you know, for only two weeks

and there was a real
nice sense of teamwork

and there truly was a sense of family.

The most satisfying
thing for me was the fact

that when we had our
premiere, everyone showed up.

They all came on their own dime

and even the Mexicans flew up
from Baja for the premiere.

And to have everyone there

experiencing the premiere together

was just absolutely wonderful.

It was almost the true
reward for making the film.

- Shep, the character that I portrayed

was primarily a fisherman,
so he did a lot of fishing,

but more importantly I
think most of the work

went into Shep's biography,

which is usually what I do
any time I tackle a role

is try to create the character.

Who he is, where he came from.

Does he have a cat?

You know, what his parents were like.

Just create a whole story so
that when it comes time to film

he's not as much of a stranger to me then.

Shep plays the father to
an only child daughter

and I am a father to an
only child who's a daughter,

so that was like a no
brainer as far as that goes.

Also Shep is a bit of a wandering soul

and I've spent quite a bit of time

in different areas of the
country over the past 20 years,

25 years in a lot of different places

and I'm comfortable in
that field running around,

checking out new things.

My relationship with my costars

began obviously at the
very beginning of shooting.

Kirsten came to LA from Florida
and I came from New York

and we met at Kevin, the
director's apartment,

and after a few hours discussing
a little about the script,

Kevin said look here's the $30.

You guys go to Salvation Army
and go get your wardrobe.

We spent two or three hours
at least I think that day,

maybe more at the Salvation Army

just sort of poking
around through the stuff.

And we had a lot of fun really

kind of getting to know each other

and trying to decide what
Shep and Nora might wear

and the kind of people they were.

So we had a lot of fun and it
kind of broke the ice for us,

so that we were able to perhaps

realistically portray father and daughter.

By the end of the film and we
shot mostly chronologically

as I recall so that some
of the more intense scenes

towards the end we had
known each other pretty well

and had developed a real
affection for one another by then

and I think probably that
helped towards the end.

Most difficult scene for me I think,

coincidentally may have been also

one of the most difficult times for Shep

when he realizes that he can't
keep toting around this kid.

She's 12 years old.

She's a grown woman now almost.

The decision that he has to make

as a result of that realization,

that was a pretty difficult scene.

My favorite scene if I
could pick a favorite

was probably maybe two of 'em,

but one of 'em was the fireside scene

where Shep and Nora talk a
little bit about Nora's mom

and that also coincidentally was the scene

that Kevin, the director, sent to me

to do as my audition tape
and I like that scene so much

at that point I became pretty excited

about the possibilities
of getting this role

just based on that scene
and I love doing that scene.

I think we only shot that once.

I mean, I wish we could've
shot it five times.

It was really fun to do it.

But there was another scene, too,

where the car breaks down and
the Mexican police show up,

which was also kind of a scary scene

and I had never seen those police before.

I had heard there was
gonna be some policemen

that were gonna show up
but that was a little bit.

They were real Mexican police.

We were in the middle of Baja
and it was a little scary.

(speaking in foreign language)

The challenges of working on
a low budget feature I guess

really are aside from the
fact that there's no money

and there's no time and there's no film.

Or if we're shot on
film and we're gonna get

some film FedEx'd in from LA tomorrow

and you know that kind of stuff.

I guess it's continuity, you know,

and everyone sort of has to work together

because we don't have a lot of people

handling the different facets of the film

and we're making script changes on the fly

and every night we're
having script meetings

because we have to make some adjustments

for tomorrow's shoot
because maybe we can't shoot

where we thought we were gonna shoot

or the weather's not right.

So a lot of changes like that.

I mean, sometimes if you're
shooting a big budget film

and the weather's not right,
maybe you don't shoot that day,

but we didn't have that luxury.

So and continuity, too.

I mean, did I have on the black shirt

or the blue shirt in that scene?

I think it was the blue shirt.

Hey Joe, was that the blue shirt?

I think the film was.

Considering all the
things that went into it,

there's a couple of
scenes that perhaps I wish

I had done something differently

or you know maybe I had another take

or we had done something a little.

But for the most part, there's
five or six scenes there

that are much stronger than I ever thought

that there would be.

They came off the page really well

and I mean I can't take
too much credit for that.

I'll be happy too but
really the cinematographer

and the director really had to take

most of the credit for that
because I think the film

is really a great little film
showcasing a lot of talented,

a lot of work of the talented
people that were there.

- When I was preparing to play Nora,

I rehearsed with Leo at Kevin's apartment

and we would go through the script

and just talk about the characters,

and kind of create a character past,

and we did that once
we got to Mexico, too.

We talked about.

Leo and I talked about Nora and Shep

and the past that they
had and the memories

that they shared together.

I definitely brought elements
from my own life to Nora

of being a Navy brat.

I had moved around the country

and I'd gotten used to the starting over

and each new place and making new friends

and joining a new school
and a new community

every couple of years.

So I kind of had that in common with Nora.

As far as challenging goes,

the shower scene was
definitely awkward for me

because I was about 14 years old

and I was in the shower with
several people in there.

I was wearing more clothes
than I wear at the beach.

You know, I was completely covered,

but it was still very awkward

to have more than one person, you know,

in the shower at one time, you know,

directing you to grab the soap

and put the shampoo in your hair

and it's just it's kind of strange.

Oh, my favorite scene in
"Coyotes" would have to be

sort of a bittersweet scene.

The one at the very end
where I'm dancing with Leo.

I'm dancing with my father.

And it's kind of bittersweet

because we did film in
sequence pretty much

and it was sort of our goodbye dance

because it was the last scene

that Leo and I filmed together.

So it was sort of sad but
it's definitely something

I'm always gonna remember.

I loved working in Mexico.

It was beautiful.

Baja is such an amazing place.

It's gorgeous and the people
are just so welcoming.

That's what amazed me.

Just the community of
people that were just

so welcoming towards Americans

and just happy to have us
there and just so kind.

I learned a lot from "Coyotes".

I observed a lot on set.

Just how things are done on set

in a professional environment like that.

And it was just the whole thing
was a learning experience.

If I got the chance to meet up again

with the whole cast and crew,

I would probably say something like,

you guys wanna make another film?

'Cause it was a lot of fun and
I think everybody enjoyed it.

I think everybody had fun.

- Well the story was very moving

and I knew that there were
a lot of things about it

that would appeal to different audiences.

So that's why it's an attractive
way to go for our producer.

The budget was truly a
low to no budget film

and I think the key for the producer

is to get as much preproduction
done as you possibly can

before you ever go to location.

I think the best tool for a producer

on a low budget film is the script.

If you have a script that inspires people,

then you've got that to
work with from A to Z

because everybody wants to
see those scenes being made.

It's important for the director
to communicate with them

and to express what he wants
or she wants in their vision

and to welcome input from the crew

and that was done everyday on the set

and it was a great team.

Working with the Mexicans
was wonderful in Laredo.

The town of Laredo is a fishing village

and they really seemed
interested in what we were doing

and they wanted to be involved

and they were so helpful and so warm

and it was great to work with them.

The biggest success for me as a producer

is that it's a great film.

I'm really happy with it.

And I also I think that everyone

who worked on the film feels the same way.

My favorite scene they
added was the campfire scene

where Nora and Shep are
sitting at the campfire

and it's a long scene.

It's five minutes and very few shots.

But their acting and
their timing is just great

and it was just so much fun to work with

because they gave me the timing

and they gave me the pacing

and their expressions were
just so great to work with

and it's a kind of it's
a subtle editing job,

so that most people wouldn't notice it,

but for me it was the most satisfying.

We had a good run for the film festivals.

We entered several.

We were an audience
favorite in Palm Springs

and we won best feature in Savannah.

We also got our
distributor in Palm Springs

and you know the film festivals
are what you make out of 'em

and you just find out what
you want to do with them.

We used the film festivals
to get our films shown

and I feel great about it.

- [Narrator] For as long
as she can remember,

Nora has always called the road home.

From city to city.

Nora and her devoted
father struggle to survive.

(coyote howling)
(soft music)

Trying to find a better life.

- You didn't get the job, did you?

- [Shep] Have I ever let you down?

(soft music)

- [Narrator] For Nora, life
is just about to begin.

- There's gonna be a dance
at sunset in the plaza.

- There's not gonna be
any boys there I hope.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Narrator] Just as Nora
starts to connect with others,

she is forced to break away.

- But where are we going?

Why so soon?

- Because we got places to go.

We got things to do.

That's why.

- Why don't you let her stay with us

for awhile until you get settled?

- [Narrator] The more things change,

the more they stay the same.

And Nora is quickly losing faith

in the one person who promises hope.

- Leave me alone.

- You're the stupid one.

- Who do you think I'm talking about?

But Nora, sometimes in life
when things don't pan out,

you just gotta move on.

- Things never pan out and
we're always moving on.

- [Narrator] No matter
how far they travel,

they can never leave
their troubles behind.

- [Nora] We got company.

- [Graciela] Next time
you get a crazy idea,

just go off by yourself and
do it and leave Nora with us.

- You know, sometimes I wish I had a home,

so I could be a runaway.

- [Narrator] Porchlight
Entertainment proudly presents.

- [Shep Voiceover] Even
if we make it back north,

I don't know what's there for me.

Or for her.

- Down here they treat me like a person.

Up there.

I'm just trailer trash.

(gentle music)

- [Narrator] A heartwarming film

about one girl's search for belonging.

- Nora, you look just like
I always imagined you would.

- [Narrator] "Coyotes".

Eventually all roads lead back to home.

Available exclusively from
Porchlight Entertainment.