A Jazzman's Blues (2022) - full transcript

Follows an investigation into an unsolved murder unveiling a story full of forbidden love, deceit and a secret.

We want you
to look right into this camera

and talk to the people of Georgia.

So can you tell our fellow Georgians
why they should vote for you?

My family has been in politics

and the power structure
in this town of Hopewell for generations,

and we're not about to concede

to... some man who was born in Atlanta.

Knows nothing about our ways.
How could he? He's not from around here.

He only wants to take from us
good, hardworking taxpayers

and give to the lazy,
good-for-nothing folks

that he thinks are entitled.

What do you say to all the people

that say your views are racist
and hearken back to a Jim Crow South?

Why does everybody
think that white men are racist?

I'm not a racist.
I just don't believe that this is fair.

He got here because of affirmative action.

And if I'm elected to Congress,
it'll be at the top of my agenda

to do away with it.

Another form of welfare is all it is,
if you ask me.

I had just about enough of you,
Mr. White Man.

I'm sorry, sir, but she won't go away.

What does she want?

She won't say.
She's just been sitting there for hours.

Well, I'm busy.


I'm sorry, ma'am,
but you can't just walk...

No, it's all right, Joan.

Thank you.

Something I can do for you, ma'am?
I'm fairly busy.

I want you to look into a murder
that happened here in Hopewell.

- Have you spoken to the Sheriff's Office?
- Ain't for them.

They killed him
right here in this town in 1947.

You want me to look into a murder
that happened over 40 years ago?

I'm sorry. Mrs...

Hattie Mae's my name.

I'm very sorry, but I don't think
I'll be able to help you.

Why don't you speak
to the Sheriff's Office?

I never wrote nothing down on the paper.

Life's too long.

He wrote down everything.

Everything you need to know.

It's right here.

"Leanne Harper"?

"Dear Lil Ann."

"My mama's cousin Winnie got sick,

so she asked me
to take her to Summerville yesterday,

about four hours away
from where we live now."

"Hope you got my letter
about moving to Hopewell County

with a forwarding address."

"You know, as we drove past
my mama's old house,

it's falling apart now,

but it still bring back one good memory."

"When we first met."

"I can still smell
the lavender and the moonshine."

♪ If you see my rooster ♪

♪ Please, run him on back home ♪

♪ I have found no eggs in my basket ♪

♪ Eee-eee ♪

♪ Since my rooster been gone ♪

♪ I heard my rooster crowing ♪

♪ This morning
Just about the break of day ♪

Who that there?

Well, that's Ethel Lee's daughter.
They call her Bucket.

Why do they call her that?

'Cause her mama dumped her here
like an empty bucket

when she ran off North.

She live with her grandpa.

He an evil old thing.

Why am I doing all this work?
That's what I made these boys for.

Well, one of 'em's like me anyway.

Come here, Bayou.

Come play this trumpet.

- Come on.
- Look at him.

Just play it like he showed you, baby.

Come on now.


That's right!

You get to see which one right now.

- Stop it!
- What?

Y'all like that?


I try to teach him,
but I believe the boy a little slow.

You hush that up, Buster.

She always takes
his side.

Come on, Willie.

Yeah, Willie Earl!

Come on, Willie Earl!

Now you watch this.

Yeah. Let's see what you got.

Play that horn, Willie Earl.

♪ Seen my rooster ♪

♪ Please, run him on back home ♪

Maybe you should have sang it.

What? You can't talk?

You can really sing.

Thank you.

Get it from my mama.

And as I said,
you should have sang that song.

My... my pa don't like my singing.

He want me to play.

Well, maybe playing is not for you.

Horace John Boyd's my name,
but everybody call me Bayou.

Why they call you that?

My pa says my eye's deep as the bayou
from the time I was born.

Let me see your eyes.

Your eyes are normal.

Your daddy don't seem like he know much.

You mind your manners. That's my pa.

I'm sorry, Horace John.

Bayou is what I like to be called, Bucket.

My name is Leanne Jean Harper,
and I prefer to be called by my name.

Don't you ever call me Bucket,
or I'll never speak to you again.

I best be going.

Hey. I... I'm... I'm sorry.
I ain't mean no harm.

Whoa. Whoa.


I hope my book
knocked some sense into your head.

- Will I see you again, Lil Ann?
- When you learn how to say my name.

When you feel that baby coming,
you come see me. Don't you wait.

Yes, ma'am. I won't.

I'll be right here. Take care, y'all.

Oh! Well, don't you look nice!

I take it you really like her.

You took... I mean,
you didn't leave nobody nothing...

He run. He run fast, you know.

Willie Earl caught supper.

My boy.

He can do it all.


Go on and skin 'em up.

I'll do it. Go on, Bayou.

Where you going, boy?

Leave him be now. Go on, Bayou.

Where he going?

He gonna ask that gal
if he can take her to the social.

What gal?


She ain't gonna go nowhere with him.

- Hey, Bayou!
- Leave him be now!

Hold on.

Hold on now!

You gonna ask Bucket to the social?

- Her name ain't Bucket. Leave me alone.
- What?

Oh, look at you.
Oh, you a big boy now, huh?

She ain't gonna go with you.
Look at your clothes.

I said, leave me be now.

All right.

Want me to leave you alone?
What the hell are you talking about?

- Get off!
- Why'd anybody like you?

- Willie Earl!
- Ain't nobody gonna like you.

- Okay? Why would anybody like you?
- Willie Earl!

- I told you to leave him alone!
- What?

The boy gotta learn
how to get tough at some point, Hattie.

Buster, go on in the house
and leave him be, I said.

You too, Willie Earl.

Come on, Willie.
I'm gonna teach you a new song.

We'll leave her here with this sorry boy.

Go on.

Come on.

Why him and Daddy treat me like that?

You don't worry about them.

Or nobody else.

You hear me?

You go on over there,

and you ask her.


Go on now. Hold on.
Let me get this dirt off your back.

She ain't gonna like you!

What you want, boy?

Hello, sir.

Speak up.


I want... I wanted to...

My mama's a wash woman, sir,

and I wanted to know
if you had any washing need to be done.

You think I'm stupid, boy?


You after Bucket, ain't ya?

No, sir.

Now, you get on away from around here.

You gets off my land
before I kills you!

Get on around from here!

You've been quiet.

She said yeah?


Why you gotta be so mean to this boy?

It ain't right.

I don't care.

- It ain't right.
- It's all right, Mama.

I can handle myself.

You hear that, Willie Earl?

Now, Bayou,

that's something I'd like to see.

Buster, now you stop it.

I get to say what I want
at my own damn supper table!

Come on, Willie Earl.

Willie gonna finish his supper.

Come on.

Eat your supper.

Did you read the letter?

What? I...

You don't know how to read.

It say, "Meet me at the yew tree."

Come on.

You... you shouldn't be out here.

Your grandpa gonna be mad.

He passes out drunk
every night about this time.

But if you want, I can go.

I... I don't want you to do that.

Why you come, then?

I came to ask you to the social.

That's nice, but... he won't let me do that.

He won't let me be around nobody.

Why come?

He just mean.

It's like he hates me.


I know the feeling.

I don't even know why I came to see you.

I know it ain't proper.

I hope you don't think bad of me.

No... no, I'm glad you did.

- Promise me you won't tell nobody.
- No, I won't.

He would kill me if he knew.

I won't. I won't.

How old are you?


I'm 16.

Why you don't know how to read?

Well, my pa and my brother say
I'm too slow to learn.

Don't you listen to that. You can.

You looked so beautiful
in that night light.

I'll show you.

Ain't never known nobody
to encourage me but my mama.

And she ain't make me feel like you did.

Thank you.

That first night we stood there
at that tree for hours, just talking,

almost till the sun come up.

I sure appreciate it.

And every night after that,

I couldn't wait for that airplane
to come through my window.

It was so innocent, so pure.

It were...

We did something
we both needed real bad.

We laughed. We laughed a lot.

Sound it out!

And you bought a book,
and you taught me to read.

- "It was a long hot summer."
- That's right! That's right!

Mama wondered
what was wrong with me.

But she was so happy that I was reading,
she ain't ask much.

Couldn't tell her. She'd be mad
that I was sneaking out the house at night

and because you asked me
not to tell nobody.

But I sure wanted the world to know.

But I didn't understand the shaking.

Always felt like
there was so much you wanted to say,

but for some reason... you never did.

You'd just shake like a leaf in the wind.

All right. If you look here...

Sometimes I thought,
even on a hot night, you would just shake.

You all right?

Like your soul
was trying to shake something out.

All summer long we met in that tree.

I was worried about what would happen
when the season rains come.

But you know what?

There you were.

I thought you was crazy, gal.

Truth is... we was both starting
be crazy about each other.

Like we know what was being said,

and we wasn't even talking.

Can you stay a little longer?


My mama will be getting up soon.


And that was our first kiss.

Ain't nothing felt that good
in all my life.

I walked home floating,
like my feet didn't even touch the ground.

But that ain't last long.

Come on!

- Just come here.
- Get away from me!

I said come here.

You put your hands on me again,
I swear, I'll kill you dead.

Where you been, boy? Come here.

You touch him,
I'll meet your soul at the gates of hell.

You ain't shit.

Just like your black ass daddy.


Willie Earl,

that's my boy.

He make me proud.

Get on out of here, now.

I'm gonna go on up to Chicago. Hmm?

And... and I'mma play

at the Capitol Royale.

You all gonna see.

This is my money, Buster.

- You ain't taking it. You ain't, Buster.
- My money too. No!

How else am I supposed to get there?

Buster, that's all we got.

Hey, Daddy, Daddy.

Dad, I wanna go with you.

No, son.

The road ain't...
It ain't the place for you.

- You's too young.
- No, Daddy, please!

Willie Earl, come here.

- It's your fault. It's your fault too!
- Willie Earl, stop it.

He told me!

I will slap the taste out your mouth.

Where you been?

My daddy walked out on us.

I'm sorry, Bayou.

That's all right.

It's for the best, I guess.

I'm gonna have to help my mama
with more of her washing.

And she'll be up late doing it.

You can't come here no more.

No, I... I can.

I can. I'mma just be late. That's all.

You look sad.

Don't be.

I need you to be happy
because we can't be sad together.

You hear me?


Every gal in town
looked at me and laughed

'cause of what my brother
had said to them about me.

Not you.

You made me feel like a man.

You made me feel good.

You made me...

I'm in love with you.

I best be going.


- Lil Ann...
- No, no, I...

I gotta go.

I hated that night.

I was so confused.

Maybe I shouldn't have told you
I loved you.


Boy! Boy, you done lost your mind.

Mama, I'm leaving.

I'm leaving. You don't need me here.

Here, that's my dream.
But you got this nothing.

- He can help you.
- Don't you call him that!

I'm 19 now, Mama. You can't stop me.

I'mma going to Chicago. I'mma find Daddy.
I'mma play in the band with him.

Willie Earl!

He don't know nothing about Chicago!

Let him go, Mama.

My mama cried all night.

Come on, come on in the house.

I'd have given anything
to not see her sad.

Every night, I waited for her
to cry herself to sleep.

And I lay there waiting
for a paper airplane...

...or waiting at that tree for you.

We went from talking every night,
all summer long,

to you not coming at all.

I got so worried.

So I went to your house that night.

No. No!

I never told you, but I saw it.

I hated every day
I didn't come in there and kill him.

What kind of...
What kind of man I'm is that I didn't.

Maybe my brother and daddy're right.

Maybe I am weak.

Such a beautiful letter.

I'm so glad to see you.

You all right?

Maybe I shouldn't have told you
that I love you, but I do.

That's how I feel.

- But if you stop coming to see me...
- No, it ain't that. I...

I love you too.

Then marry me.


I'm not a pure girl.

I don't care. I love you.

I love you.

We can run away.

Anywhere. We'll be all right.

Just marry me.

- He won't let me.
- Hey.

- He won't let me.
- Hey, hey.

I'll deal with him.

You just say, "Yeah."

- Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?
- Yeah.



Ain't nothing holding you here.

You should move to Hopewell County.

It's where all the business is
for colored folk.

You could open you up a proper juke joint.


What's keeping you here, huh?

Buster gone, and Willie Earl gone.

I'm moving over there too.

My cousin said she might be able
to give me a job. I'm going.

I don't know.

It ain't big like Atlanta.
I know you don't like the big city.

I'm telling you, you gonna like it.

You should come too. Tell her, Bayou.

Come on!

- How far away that is from here?
- About four hours by train.

- Uh, Hopewell County, you say?
- Yeah.

Yeah, the Negroes are doing
so good over there.

- Come on.
- Maybe we should leave, Mama.

You want to leave here?

Yeah, well, yeah.
I wanted to tell you something.

- Me and Leanne been courting for a while.
- Bucket?

No, don't... don't call her that.

I knew something was going on.

You sneak out of here at night.

You know?


Just didn't know it was her.

Yeah, well, I asked her to marry me,
and her grandpa say no.

But he a bad man,
and I want to get her, take her with us.

Baby, Bucket leaving.

- Say what?
- They leaving now.

They tell me Ethel's here
to take her up north with her.


- Now why you tell him that?
- He done missed her.

I'm sure they'd gone by now.

Leanne, don't go. Don't go.

Please. No. Don't, don't.

My father told me what you did to her.

You better thank heavens
I'm not calling the sheriff.

- Get out of here, and you leave her alone.
- Don't...

- Get in the car right now.
- Leanne, don't.

- Now!
- Don't go.

- I have to.
- Don't go, Leanne.

- I love you.
- Get out!

I love you.
Leanne, I love you. Don't go.

- I'm sorry.
- Don't go, don't go.

Don't you... I love you.

- I'm sorry.
- Please don't go. Come on, don't go!

Come on, Leanne. Get out the car. Don't...

Leanne, don't go!
Don't... don't go! Don't go!

Leanne, don't go. Don't...

I told you
to leave her alone, didn't I?

"Dear Leanne."

"Been writing to you
every day for a year now."

Left, right, left. Left...

"Been sending letters to everybody
in Boston with your last name,

hoping that
one of these letters finds you."

"I wanted to tell you
I got drafted to the army."

"I'm here at Fort McPherson in Georgia."

"Although they probably
won't let colored soldiers fight here."

"But if I do ship out,
and I don't come back,

I want you to know
that I love you so much,

and I miss you every day."

"It'd mean the world to me
to hear from you and to know you're safe."

Mr. Waters.

Yes, ma'am?

Would you...

...be so kind as to return this to sender?

I sure will.

Also, return any more
that come from that address.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Thank you kindly.

I hurt my leg
from a blast in a practice drill.

Nothing to worry about.

I should be fine in a few months.

Going home to my mama,
and you know she can make anybody better

with all the things she know
and all the babies she done delivered,

but because of it, I got discharged.

Got to tell you,

I was shocked when I got
to Hopewell for the first time.

Hopewell County!

My mama and Citsy
had moved over to Hopewell County,

and they was doing pretty good.

So good to see you.

Easy. Watch my leg now.

My mama never ceased to amaze me.

She opened a real juke joint.

When I tell you, seemed like
all the colored folk in the county

came near every weekend.

I sure wish you could see
how good she doing.

She doing washing in the morning,
that I help her with.

She birth a baby here and there.

And she sang the blues all night long.

Oh, no, no, no.

Yeah, girl!


♪ Hey, everybody ♪

♪ Let's have some fun ♪

♪ You only live once
And when you're dead, you're done ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Hey, baby
Let 'em roll ♪

♪ Don't care
If you're young or old ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ Don't sit there mumbling ♪

- ♪ Hey ♪
- ♪ And talking trash ♪

♪ If you want to have a ball ♪

♪ You gotta go out and spend some cash ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Don't care if you're young or old ♪

♪ Get together
And let the good times roll ♪

♪ Hey, Mr. Landlord ♪

♪ Lock up all the doors ♪

♪ When the police come around ♪

♪ Just tell 'em that the joint is closed ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Don't care if you're young or old ♪

♪ Go on and let the good times roll ♪

♪ Hey, y'all
Tell everybody ♪

- My boy!
- ♪ Willie Earl's in town ♪

♪ I got a dollar and a quarter
And I'm just rarin' to clown ♪

♪ But don't let nobody ♪

♪ Play me cheap ♪

♪ I got 50 cents more
That I'm gonna keep ♪

♪ Let the good times roll ♪

♪ Don't care if you're young or old ♪

♪ Get together
And let the good times roll ♪

♪ No matter whether ♪

♪ It's rainy weather ♪

♪ Birds of a feather
Gotta stick together ♪

♪ So get yourself under control ♪

♪ Go out and get together ♪

♪ And let the good times roll ♪

Y'all all right?

My boy here!

My brother come back
with all his big-time stories as usual.

So much like my daddy.

Couldn't tell
what was the lie from the truth.

...who the best ones is out there.

Heard my daddy died up there.

Don't say Willie Earl.
I ain't all the way up there.

Willie Earl ain't mention it.

Oh. This is Ira.

He's my manager.


Ira from Europe.

He been to Paris and London.


Why are you so fidgety?

I'm just happy to see my mama. That's all.

- Hmm.
- That's all. That's all.

I'll be right back.

I need water.

What you doing?

No, I'm fine. Just...

He still write to Bucket?

Got a stack of them at my house.

- And all the gal that come through here?
- Hmm.

You hungry?


Who that man
and where you find him? Don't lie to me.

I ain't finna lie.

He's a big-time manager
out there in Europe.

I met him in Chicago... a few years back.

He said... he said he wanted me
to come play in Europe.

Now, I lost touch with him for a while.

Till one day, he showed up
out of nowhere looking bad.

He said he will return the favor
if I help him get better.

So I brung him down here to you.

- What's wrong with him?
- Hell if I know.

Come on, Mama,
everybody come to you when they sick

or having a baby. I know you can help him.

- I don't like it, I tell you.
- Just help him!

Where this one going, Mama?

That big sack.

Go down to the Clayton Place.

Big white house off 22. You can't miss it.
Citsy just started working there.

- She'll be around back.
- All right now.

If that man die here,
we gonna be in a world of trouble.

You just make sure he don't.

- Hey, Bayou.
- Hey.

Glad you're here. Set it down there.
I made you some lemonade.

Come on, sit a spell.

I ain't knowed you
to do this kind of work.

Oh, well,
the sheriff here's named Jackson.

He asked me to look after
his... baby brother

'cause he coming back home.
So I said, "Okay," and here I am.

- Mm.
- And Jackson nice to me so...


Yes, sir, Sheriff Jackson.

Get up from there.

We don't allow colored
to sit at the table.

Oh, I'm sorry, Sheriff Jackson.
He brung the wash, and I made him sit.

Get up and get out of here.
My brother's here.

This is my brother John
and his beautiful wife...


This is Citsy. I asked her
to get this place ready for you.

Well, Sheriff Jackson said
you had a long drive.

Can I get you something?

This house is beautiful.

It's been sitting empty
since my father died.

He left it to John here.

- Left me most of the money though.
- Well, it's lovely.

Get on out of here, boy.

Yessir. Sorry, sir.

What is wrong
with the Negroes down here?

Oh, we keep them in line.

Come on.
I'll show you where you'll be staying

since you're the sweetest mother-in-law
on this side of heaven.

You all right, darling?
You're white as a ghost.

Oh, she's fine.
Maybe tired from the drive.

Your brother drives
like a madman.

Can I get you something, ma'am?

No. No, thank you.

Shall we?

Come on.

We go this way past it.

I need some milk
and some more castor oil for him.

Go in that box,
get a pen and write this down for me.

Who are all these letter for?

Bayou writing to this girl.

What girl? Bucket?


That fool's still writing her

after all of these
been returned to sender?

Put flour on that paper.
And sugar.

- You get it all done before the rain come?
- Yep.

- "Dear Lil Ann. I love you so much."
- Give me that.

- "I miss you."
- Give me that.

- "Will you write me soon?"
- Give me that, you son of a bitch!

- That's mine!
- "Please." Okay.

- I'm joking around.
- Give me all of 'em!

Come on, Willie Earl.
Take me to the store.

I need to check my mail
and get a few things.

Why Bayou can't do it?

He been helping me all day.
Come on.

And do you know what to do
with that sick man in there? Bayou do.

Now come on.

We'll be back.

I can't do this.

What do you mean?

We are in the South.

Just a few hours
from where we were both born.

Someone will recognize us.

- No, they won't. Look at us.
- They will. They will.

So what do you propose we do?

- Go back to Boston?
- Yeah.

With nothing?

That man left me with nothing.

So you sure came

and made me your cash cow, didn't you?

Don't you dare talk to me that way.

After all I've done for you.

Now you get yourself together, girl.
This family is well-off.

I saw Bayou.

That washerwoman's boy?


When we were driving.

I think it was him.

You're imagining things.

Come on.

Hey, whoa.

Whoa. Hey now.


Where am I?

At Mama's house.


Whoa, whoa.
You... you should lay down. You ain't well.

No, I... I am fine.

I am fine. I am alive.


Here, here, drink this.

It'll make you feel better.

All right now.

Where... where is your brother?

He went to town with Mama.

You should... you should eat something.

I'll be right back.

Leanne, that is a lovely dress.

Thank you.

You better be glad my brother here
is gonna be the new mayor in this town,

so he can afford to keep you
in those nice dresses.

Oh, Jackson, stop bragging on your family.

She and her mother
have only been here for a few hours,

and she already knows you're the sheriff

and your father was the mayor
till he died.

And John here will be the next mayor.

I do declare, Leanne, be grateful
you didn't grow up in this town.

These boys were a terror.

- Were they now?
- Oh, absolutely.

Especially my Jackson.
He stayed in trouble.

Yeah, well, I got the trouble gene,

and my brother here
got the book smarts gene.

I'm proud of you, little brother.

I wish Mama and Daddy
had lived long enough to see you marry.

I know they would have been proud.

Proud of everything except you two eloping
up there in Yankeetown.

Well, Leanne insisted
she didn't want a big spectacle.

Why not?
It should have been in all the papers.

Well, all she wanted was him.
Right, Leanne?

How did you two meet?

Oh, at college.

I was working in the library.

It was love at first sight if you ask me.

I remember the first time she came home
to tell me about him.

I knew he was the one.

I knew it.

And they've been married
three months now.

I'd like to make a toast.

To your parents

and my George. May they rest in peace.

Hear, hear!



Hmm, it's very good. Very good. Very good.

Hey, what day... is it?
I need to make a telephone call.

Oh, well, ain't no telephone around here.

Can you take me to one?

The store closed.

Willie Earl can take you tomorrow,
but, you know, you ain't well, though.

No. I promised your brother
I would get him booked

into the Capitol Royale in Chicago. That...

I need to call them
to see if there is an opening.

Yeah, you can't do that now, so...

Eat your soup.

♪ Make me down a pallet ♪

♪ On your floor ♪

♪ Come on, make me down a pallet ♪

♪ On your floor ♪

♪ Make me down a pallet... ♪

You told me you had connections.
You said that if I helped you,

you'd help me get into the Capitol Royale.

You know how many colored stars
that place done make?

I will get you in.
I will call him tomorrow,

but I think they need something different.

- Something special.
- No, I'm all the different they need.

Bayou! Come sing with me.

All right.

Come on, baby.

♪ Make me down a pallet on your floor ♪

♪ Make me down a pallet on your floor ♪

♪ Make me down a pallet ♪

♪ Soft and low ♪

♪ When I'm broke ♪

♪ And I got nowhere else to go ♪

♪ Going up to country ♪

♪ Twenty miles or more ♪

♪ Said I'm going up to country ♪

♪ Twenty miles or more ♪

♪ Going up to country ♪

♪ Where the cold, sleet, and snow ♪

♪ No telling how much further ♪

♪ I might go ♪

How things going, Hattie?

They fine.

Nobody's bothering you, right?

Nobody at all, Sheriff.

Well, I'll keep it that way.

You just keep this money coming.



Get in.

Anybody see me in that car, I'm dead.

You ain't from around here.
You shouldn't be in this part of town.

- It's for coloreds.
- Bayou, please?


There's an old mill up the road.

Park behind it.

Turn your lights off when you get there.

How have you been?

Now, Miss Leanne,

you know it ain't right for no white woman
to care how some darkie's doing.

- You do think you're white, don't you?
- Let me explain.

Yeah, I was saving enough money
to go to Boston to look for you.

Thought you had got yourself
in some kind of trouble.

- I'm fit to be tied with you.
- I sent you letters.

I never got no letter from you.

But I wrote you every week.

Anybody with your last name.

- Sometimes five times a week.
- I never got 'em.

I thought you moved on
and married some girl.

How could I do that
when my heart only beat for you?

Why didn't you leave with me?

My mother.

She told me she would go to the sheriff
and tell him you did things to me

if I didn't leave with her
and never talk to you again.

They were gonna kill you
and burn down your mother's house.

She would do it. I know she would.

What was I to do?

I didn't want you hurt.

You have to leave here.

If they know,
they'll kill you and your mama.

I told her that.

She said she rather die here
in that big house

than poor and destitute in Boston.

And she wanted me to marry

a rich... white man.

I don't even know
how I got into this. I just...

I just want out.

I was 17.

You love him?

Do you?

Not... like I love you.

That ain't a no.

He doesn't make me feel the way you do.

Since we've been here,
he's been different.

- He's been mean...
- Yeah. I... I... I don't know you.

The gal I loved only had eyes for me.

- What... what'd you come down here for?
- Don't do this.

- You know this is hard for me.
- How you think I feel?

Seeing you up there
with that son of a bitch hugging you. Huh?

That's Citsy coming to get me.
She gonna go up and come back down,

know I ain't there.
I got to go. I got to go.

Citsy? My Citsy?

You're starting to sound like one of 'em.

Whoa now.

Whoa, whoa. Come on. Come on.

Stop the car, Citsy. Come on now.


- You drive.
- Huh?

Make me?
Get off of me, gal. Get off of me.

Man, just come on now.
Get off of me and get in the car.

Tell me where you coming from.

I had to pee.
That all right with you? So nosy.

One day you're gonna thank me for nosing.

- Why you late?
- Oh, hey.

None of your business.

- Lord...
- What?

I'll drive by. We'll stop.
You tell him she was coming to get you.

- What you talking about?
- Please, Citsy.

Tell Jackson
she was coming to pick you up.

Who that is?

What's she... what's she doing down here?


Hey, Miss Leanne.

I'm sorry I didn't tell you
I had a ride home.

And you came all this way.
But I'mma have your breakfast ready

bright and early.

Hey, Sheriff.


Aw, she was coming to pick me up.
Now, you ain't gonna tell John, are you?


Now you and me both know
what you doing down here, don't we?

You watch who you talking to, gal.

Now don't let me see you down here again,
Leanne, or I will have to tell John.

Yessir, Mr. Sheriff.

Let the colored take care of their own.

My, my, my.

Yeah, no, no. No, this is great.
No. This is great.

Okay, okay. I... Thank you. Yeah, yeah. No.

Uh, I... I understand.
Yeah, we will, uh... we will.

Thank you. Yeah, no, thank you.

I, um... Yeah. Thank you.

Yeah. Um, we...


- We got it.
- Come on!

Yeah. It is just... an audition.

- That's all I need.
- Get out of the way!

Come on.

Miss Leanne,
what are you doing up this late?

Where do you think you're going?

You know I work nights at Hattie Mae's.

I need you to help me clean this floor.

I mopped this floor an hour ago, ma'am.

It's not good enough.

Why are you just standing there?
Help me get this stain up.

I don't... I don't see no stain, ma'am.

You do as I say.

Yes, ma'am.

Where do you think you're going?

To change my dress, ma'am.

I said, clean this now.

Miss Leanne,
this is my one good dress.

How dare you?

I'm sorry,

Miss Bucket.

what are you doing up so late?

Is it the heat?

She said she can't sleep,
Mr. Clayton.

Now sit right here, Miss Leanne.

I'mma make you something
to help you sleep.

And I'mma get up this stain.

Soon as I change my dress.

You all right?

It's the heat?

You've been getting out of bed
every night now.

You'll get used to being here.

I mean, this is my home.

It's ours now.

This is not my home.

I'm going back to Boston.

Well, uh...

darling, if you left...

you know how much embarrassment
that would cause me?

What would I say to everyone?



To defend my good Clayton name,

I would just tell everybody
that we went for a swim

in the Chattahoochee River

and the current was too strong.

Took you under.

Now, you could have a good life here.

Or no life at all.

We gonna be leaving tomorrow.

I'm going up to Chicago.

Gonna play at the Capitol Royale.

So y'all got it?

Just an audition.

I am worried.

We need... more than him.

Come on over here, Mama.

You don't want to come, do you?

Not on your life.

Uh, Bayou,

get that off the stove for me, please.

Where's Citsy?

Late again.

♪ You told me, baby ♪

♪ Once upon a time ♪

♪ You said if I would be yours ♪

♪ You would sure be mine ♪

♪ That's all right ♪

♪ I know you don't love me no more, baby ♪

♪ But that's all right ♪

♪ Every night and day I wonder ♪

♪ Who is loving you tonight? ♪

So he told you.

Bayou ain't said a word.

And I wasn't sure it was you.

The floor is clean.

I know.

Why you acting like this with me?

You been nice to me.


Tell me.

I saw you with him.

Jumping on his back at the truck.

And you're jealous of that?

That boy love you like breathing.

He ain't even talked to another girl
the whole time you've been gone.

He been sick about you.

Miss Leanne, look at me.

It's a dangerous game y'all playing.

Now, you can't do this.
Y'all can't do this.

You made your choice.

A colored woman's life is hard.

And it makes me wonder if...

I could pass, would I?

So part of me don't blame you.

But most of me is scared for you.

Citsy, wait.

Can you do me a favor?

- Can you give this to him?
- I won't help you with this.


You're gonna get him killed.



Excuse me.

Why are you so late?

Be sure you know what you're doing.

Just like old times.

Nowhere near the same.

Do you still want to take me away?

With all my heart.

I think he'll let me go
if I tell him I'm a Negro.

Oh no, don't... don't do that.

Don't do that.

Everybody in this town knows
them boys' pride bigger than all Georgia.

Promise me you ain't gonna do that.

You'll make it hard
for every colored person in Georgia

if them boys know they've been fooled.

And if something happen to you,
they gonna have to kill me.

- No.
- Then don't tell them.

I can't, um...

I can't see you no more.

Not like this.

Bayou, you're all I've got.

You are the only person
that makes me feel safe.

This ain't safe.

I can't... I... I can't see you like this.

And we go run away, you gonna...
you need to let me save some money.

Then we run off.

So we gotta stop this till I have enough.

What's going, kids?
Let's sing a good one. Now, here we go.

♪ Oh, every day you'll meet a friend ♪

♪ But do you know how to greet a friend? ♪

♪ Well, if you don't
I'll tell you how, just yell... ♪

Howdy Doody!

- You expecting anyone?
- ♪ Every day you'll see a pal ♪

- No.
- ♪ But do you know how to greet a pal? ♪

♪ Well, if you don't
I'll tell you how, just yell... ♪

- Howdy Doody!
- Good!

♪ Oh, work will be easy
And life will be breezy ♪

♪ You'll find you can sing
Like the birds ♪

♪ And the day with be lighter
Your heart will be brighter if you... ♪

Jackson, what's going on?

That washerwoman's boy.

Somebody said he whistled at your wife
when he was here today.

N... That's not true.

Citsy and I were the only ones here.

- Who could have said that?
- I did.

I saw him.

- Hattie Mae's boy.
- That's the one.

Come on, brother.
We're gonna round up the boys.

That's not so. He did not do that.

- What, you saying your mama lying?
- Yes. Yes, she is.


My wife's always been
protective of the Negroes.

Come on.

Come on, darling. I'll drop you home.

It's all right.

These coloreds have lost their minds.

- Stop them. Margaret...
- Oh honey.

There's no power on this Earth
that can stop a proper Southern gentleman

from defending his wife's honor.

What did you do?

What did you do?

I saw you.

I followed you to that mill.

You letting that monkey lay on top of you.

I warned you before.

You will not ruin this life for us.

- Where do you think you're going?
- I'm telling them everything.

- Leanne.
- Everything!

No! No!

Where are the keys?

Where are the keys?

Don't you know that that boy will kill us?

Look at the hate in his eyes
when he sees coloreds. He will do it.

You... are... evil.

Get into the house.

Get into the house.


You be sure and write me
when you get there. Okay?

Yes, ma'am.

And Willie,

you lay off that something, ya hear?

I'm fine, Mama.

I'm fine.

Goodbye, Miss Hattie Mae.

And thank you.


I'll see y'all.

Go! Go. Go!

What's wrong with her?

- You gotta go!
- Citsy, what's the matter?

- What?
- They're coming for ya.

Who coming?

- What's going on?
- Her mama.

Her mama said you whistled at her.

- Leanne and...
- Go!

- Where is she?
- Just go!

- Where she at?
- She fine.

They don't know. They're coming after you.

What about you?

You know I pay that sheriff.
I'll be fine. Get in the car.

- Go!
- They don't know...

Oh! Go.


- And that's what happened.
- Lord.

Oh Lord!

That'll get them killed dead.

I know, I know, I know. I know.

There they is.

- Where is he?
- Where's who?

Don't you play with me. Your boy.

Well, they ain't here.
What you want with them?

Are you lying to us?

No, sir, Sheriff.
They left here this morning.

Went out west or something, to California.

- Let's burn it down. Burn it down!
- Yeah!

You won't let them
burn down my house, Sheriff.

After all the money
we done made at my place.

You watch your mouth.

- Where they at?
- He's not here.

Let's burn it down.

He ain't here.

Let's check the train station
or the county line.

He can't be too far away.

- Let's go, boys.
- All right, let's go!

Please, God, please.


Ain't no cars here,
so I guess they still looking for him,

but he got away.

Thank God.

Thank God. I was praying.

If they did something to him,

I would have stayed here
for the rest of my life... in misery.

And it would be what I deserve.

I quit.


Look, ain't no way I can stay here.


Now, I'm sorry, Miss Leanne.

- I wish you well in this struggle.
- Please. Please.

If you leave, I've got nobody.

Citsy, don't go, please.
Don't leave me here all by myself, please.

Are you hungry?

Can't eat nothing.

I wanna go back.

I just left like a coward.

I left them there.

- Stop... stop the car.
- What?




Wait. Wait.

When I was in Germany not long ago,

my family and I were sent to live
in what was called a ghetto

by the German Army because...

because we were Jews.

The conditions were

terrible. Everything we had was stolen.

There was no food. Everyone was starving.

Early one morning, we were awakened
to the sound of the Nazis screaming,

"Wake up, Jews.
Wake up, you stinking Jews."

We did not know it at the time,
but they had been given orders.

Every Jew who was unable to work
was to be killed.

And so

they promised us

that we were to be moved

to better conditions.

And we all boarded
these... train cattle cars.

Many people.

Many people.

For days.

In one little car.

My wife and child were with me,
and we were sent

to these... camps.

And we had to be... tested

to see if we were... fit to work.

Of course, my wife, Franca,

could not be tested
while holding our daughter,

so they shot her and my little girl

right before my eyes.

Uh, this ain't making me feel no better.

I'm telling you this.

Sometimes you have to just go on
so that you can come back to help.

I couldn't help... my family.

But I helped...

I helped many people.

Your mother, she is a smart woman.
She knows how to survive.

And once you learn that too,

how to survive...

then you will be able to help her.

Let us go on.

Dear Mama.

We made it to Chicago.

This place is like downtown everywhere.

Ain't never seen
nothing like this in all my life.

Ira was so nervous for this thing

he called an "audition" to get this job.

Wait here.

- Ira, you're a persistent man.
- Yes. Thank you.

- Those are your boys?
- Yes.

- They are here, and they are excellent.
- Uh, yes, well...

We have rehearsal here,
so, uh, call my office next week.

Yes, okay, but I was hoping... Uh...

- Yes, but we... They...
- Call me. I'm busy. I'm in a rehearsal!

Can you believe that?

Where are you going? Willie!

- Where is Willie? Where did he go?
- I don't know.

Okay, you come. You sing.

What? I can't sing here.
This ain't no juke joint.

Listen to me.
You want to help your mother?

Leanne? Then you sing.

You think of her, and you sing. Okay.


What song?


Anything that makes you think of her.

Just sing.

- That's it. Take five. Great work.
- Come on.

Come on. It's okay.

Watch your step.


♪ The poets say ♪

♪ That all who love are blind ♪

♪ But I'm in love ♪

♪ And I know what time it is ♪

♪ The good book say ♪

♪ Go seek, and ye shall find ♪

♪ Well, I have sought ♪

♪ And my, what a climb it is ♪

Y'all know this song? All right.

♪ My life is just like the weather ♪

♪ It changes with the hours ♪

♪ When she near, I'm fair and warmer ♪

♪ When she gone ♪

♪ I'm cloudy with showers ♪

♪ Never treat me ♪

♪ Sweet and gentle ♪

♪ The way she should ♪

♪ I got it bad ♪

♪ And that ain't good ♪

♪ My poor heart ♪

♪ Is sentimental ♪

♪ Not made of wood ♪

♪ I got it bad ♪

♪ And that ain't good ♪

- I was scared to death, Ira.
- Oh, you were great.

Been singing here for weeks,
and I'm still shaking.

Shaking like...

Like what?

Uh, yeah...

You get any letters from my mama?

I've been writing.


Why didn't you say nothing?

"Dear Bayou, your mama asked me
to write you this letter."

"She wanted you to know
that she doing fine,

and she loves you and misses you."

"Everything seems
to have calmed down here,

and life is kind of back to normal."

"And she say, don't worry about her.
You just take care of you,

and she hope
you and Willie Earl is doing good."

"And we miss you, and we love you. Citsy."

- Yeah, she... she doing all right.
- Yes.

Yeah, thank God.

She... she ain't mention
nothing about Leanne.

I am sure she is fine.

I am sure of it.

Yeah, I need... I need
to send Mama some... some money.

Need to write her a letter.

Ira. What the hell is this, now?

How the hell they gonna put his name
out there on the marquee?

That's supposed to say "Willie Earl Boyd,"
not "Bayou."

The people,
they are coming to see your brother.

Mr. Carney said that business
is up over 30% since he started singing.

You said they like us,
and they wanted us for Capitol Royale.

No. They said they liked Bayou,
and they wanted him for Capitol Royale.

You walked out, or do you not remember?

It wasn't easy.
I managed to get us a package deal.

Okay. Then I'm just going
to have a talk with them then.

You'll not speak with them.

How in the hell you gonna tell me
who I ain't gonna talk to?

I do not care who you speak with,
but you will not speak with Mr. Carney.

You will not ruin this opportunity for us.


Hey, hey, don't you be gettin' mad at me.
I ain't done you nothing.

No, you trying to take over.

You's trying to be
the good house nigger.

You know Ira got a mind of his own.

Oh, yeah, Ira the one that got Mama
in all that trouble back home too.

Willie Earl...

See, now she was doing just fine

till you came around there
messing with that damn whore.

You call her that again,

I'm gonna kick your ass all over...

Who the hell you think you is, huh?

- This here was my gig.
- You better not say that shit again!

You hear me?

Ain't nobody trying to take over your gig.

What the hell you trying to do then, huh?

See, I done worked my ass off to get here.

Now finally,

where my name's supposed to be,

my own damn brother done gonna put his.

If anybody took your name,

it's that mess you're pushing up your arm.

The Negro race be a whole lot better off

if you just went on back to... Georgia.

Let 'em

hang your black ass.

Dear Mama.

We doing all right up here in Chicago.

Every chance I get,
I been sending you a letter.

Hope you've been getting them.

Ira helped me get an apartment.

I wish you could see it.

It's really nice.
Nicer than what we had down there.

Every night, the line getting
longer and longer at the Capitol Royale.

People coming
from all over the world, Mama.

You should see all these white folk.

Kinda remind me of the time I saw
all the colored people come to your place.

It's something to see.

Oh, it is something to see.

I really hope you've been getting
the money I've been sending to you.

I'mma keep sending it.

I really wish you all would tell me
how Leanne doing.

Ain't heard nothing
from nobody about nothing.

Hope she doing all right
and that she's safe.

Ira and Mr. Carney even had me
make a record called "Paper Airplane."

Mama, I gotta tell you,
can't wait for you to hear it.

He tell me it's doing pretty well too.

Willie Earl, Mama,

we still fighting all the time.

Make me even miss you so much more.

And Mama,

he got it real, real bad.

I gotta go. They just knocked on the door
to say five minutes.

- Come back tomorrow.
- Sold out again tonight, Mama.

That's right. Sold out again tonight.

- We'll add more shows. Thank you.
- Can't wait to see you.

- Thank you! Thank you!
- I miss you, and I love you.

- Your son, Bayou.
- Sold out.

♪ What good is melody ♪

♪ What good is music ♪

♪ If it ain't possessing
Something sweet? ♪

♪ It ain't the melody ♪

♪ It ain't the music ♪

♪ There's something else ♪

♪ That make the tune complete ♪

♪ Oh, it don't mean a thing ♪

♪ If it ain't got that swing ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ It don't mean a thing ♪

♪ All you gotta do is sing ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ It make no difference
If it's sweet or hot ♪

♪ Just give that rhythm
Everything you've got ♪

♪ Oh, it don't mean a thing ♪

♪ If it ain't got that swing ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ It makes no difference
If it's sweet or hot ♪

♪ Just give that rhythm
Everything you've got ♪

♪ It don't mean a thing ♪

♪ If it ain't got that swing ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ It don't mean a thing ♪

♪ Everybody gotta sing ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah
Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ Doo-ah, doo-ah ♪

♪ Doo-ah ♪

Appreciate it, thank you.

Will you please welcome Miss Laura Brazel
with her African tribal dance?

Who dat? Who dat, I say?

Open the door.

Citsy? Citsy! What are you doing
down here this late?

We need some help.

What you bring her here for?

You need to carry her
to the white folks' doctor.

- Please help me. The baby's coming.
- Citsy, why'd you bring her here?

She come down to the kitchen to get me,

didn't want me
to wake John or her mama up,

and don't wanna go to the doctor.

Come on. Bring her over here.

- Just breathe.
- I'm in so much pain.

Something's not right. I know it.

Citsy, run and get John
to carry her to the doctor.

Hattie, you gotta help her.


Hattie Mae!

Breathe! Breathe!

All right. Give me one more.
Give me one more good one.

One more good one!

Come on.

One, two, three.
Give me one good push.

Oh my God!

I'mma cut this cord, and you carry her
to the white folks' hospital.

- Tell them she had the baby there.
- Okay.

Leroy? Leroy!

- Hey, hey, man!
- Hey!

What you doing here?

Hey, man. Good to see you.

Yeah. I come to Chicago
to visit my cousin,

and I heard on the radio
y'all was appearing nightly.

That's how they say it.

Appearing nightly at the Capitol Royale.

Y'all done made it, huh?


We doing all right. Sit down, man.

- Sure.
- Sit down. You looking good.

Man, not as good as you.

Wish I could come see the show,
but they don't allow us in there, huh?

No. No.

Uh, Willie coming down soon?

Yeah, as soon as he finish that set.

Yeah. Hey, you see
my mama before you left?

Nah, folks don't go by her place no more.

Don't nobody go by there?

After that mess... they was all too scared.

She be getting the money I sent?

Bayou, you know they checking her mail.

Last I heard, she took to growing a garden
just to be able to feed herself.

Can you get some money to her?

Now, Bayou...

...you know
I won't be responsible for no money.

You know I love wine and women too much.

And you know,
I hear Leanne just had a baby.

Yeah, yeah? Come on.

Oh, excuse me.
I did not know you had a guest.

It's all right.

What's the matter?

Would you excuse us for a moment?


Uh, Bayou,
tell Willie I'mma be around back.

Wait for me. I'm gonna get you a letter
to send to her and Citsy, okay?

Okay, then.

Evening, sir.

Ira, I... I need to take
some time off from here.


My mama in trouble in Georgia.
I need to go see about her.

Uh, are you insane?
Those people tried to kill you.

I already know what you're gonna say.

But I done spent my whole life running.

I'm gonna see about her.


Look, I done that to her.
My mama a proud woman.

What if we, uh...

What if we play one night at her place?
Just one night.

That'd get the folk to coming back out.
She'd get back on her feet.

We'd be out of there before you know it.

I will go and bring her here.

She don't want to come here.
I have to go there.

I do not think that is a good idea.

You said yourself, I don't look like
that poor little colored boy that left.

And what if they know?

You know well as me
white folk don't care nothing

about no Negro singing
in no juke joint down there.

- No?
- No.

I'm gonna see about my mama.

Whether you with me or not.

Is this about your mother

or Leanne?


Ira, it's gonna be all right.
It's gonna be all right.

Now you go on and make the arrangements.

Just one night.

Just one night.

Here's your mail.

Why are all my letters open?

They come that way.

Gonna buy something, Hattie?

That was Bayou Boyd
with his new hit, "Paper Airplane."

Hello, Miss Leanne. How you doing?

- I'm fine, Mr. Lincoln.
- How's that baby?

- Strong as ever.
- Good, good.

That all?

Hey, I can't give you no more credit.

Well, I always paid you on time.

Not in the last few months. Cash only.

Let me pay for it.

You can't be nice to those people,
I tell you.

- What can I get for you, Miss Leanne?
- Just this.

I bought you groceries.
It's the least I can do.

I also... brought a load of laundry for you.

Ain't you heard? White folks
don't bring me their washings no more.

If you need work...

I ain't never in my life
working in no white folks' kitchen.

I just wanted to tell you

thank you for all of your help
with the birth of my child.

I got business to attend to.

I understand.

How's your son?

He fine.

How your'n?

He's fine.

He got his daddy eyes.


I didn't mean for any of this to happen.

I can't stop thinking about Bayou.

I pray every day that he's okay.
Have you heard from him?


How about a letter?

If I write him a letter,
will you mail it for me?

Gal, is you crazy?

My boy almost got killed behind you.

I love... your son.

Then let him be.

All you think about is yourself.

You need to start thinking
about the folk you hurt.

What you would have done
if that baby looked colored?

What's wrong with you?

Get on away from round here!

And take your bag with you.

♪ I got a gal who's always late ♪

♪ Anytime we have a date ♪

♪ But I love her ♪

♪ Yes, I love her ♪

♪ I'm gonna walk up to her gate ♪

♪ And see if I can get it straight ♪

♪ 'Cause I want her ♪

♪ I'm gonna ask her ♪

♪ Is you is or is you ain't my baby? ♪

Let's hear it for my brother.

♪ The way you acting lately ♪

♪ Makes me down... ♪

- What's that look for?
- What do you think it is for?

Mr. Carney is very unhappy
with your brother.

He does not like
that he takes over the songs.

- He is always late and so on.
- You ought to talk with him about that.

He's been getting cash advances
on his pay every night.

He owes the club... quite a lot of money.

It's that stuff.

I just... I... I...
I just gotta help him get off that stuff.

If it were that easy,

I would've done it a long time ago.


Isn't my brother amazing?

♪ A woman is a creature ♪

♪ That has always been strange ♪

♪ Just when you're sure of one ♪

♪ You find she's gone and made a change ♪

♪ Is you is or is you ain't my baby? ♪

♪ Maybe baby's found somebody new ♪

♪ Or is my baby still... ♪

- I need to speak with you.
- Not now. Not right now.

Hey, Willie.

I'm going home for a day

to get the people
to coming back out to Mama's place.

You coming?

Yeah, uh, Leroy told me about the troubles
she been having. I'm gonna go.


Yeah, we're leaving in two days.


You looking for this?

- What you doing with my shit?
- All right, hold up.

Nigga, I said what you doing with my shit.
It ain't none of your damn business.

- Ira said you gotta lay off.
- You talk to Ira?

- I'm trying to help!
- I don't need no help.

Give me my shit.


Give me my shit.

You better give it to me, okay?
I'm gonna count to three.


Open the door!

I'm gonna kill you.

- Give me my shit, man.
- Hey!

Willie, Willie!

- Bayou, Bayou, Bayou.
- No, he got my shit.

Okay, Bayou, give it to him now, please.

Willie, Willie, please. Willie, please.

Okay, okay!

- Okay.
- What in the hell is this?

Are you insane?

Ira. I can't take any more of this.

You are fired.

- Wait. What? No, no, no.
- You heard me.

- He started it.
- Get out of here.

- You don't know...
- Ira.

Hey, hey.

Ira. Ira.

How you gonna let him fire me
over this nigga now?

Hey, we've been together
since long before this boy came along.

- Come on, you know. Come on, we go...
- Hey...

I cannot help you.

- But I helped your ass, didn't I?
- Yes.

Didn't I help your ass,
and now you gonna let him do this to me?

Okay, okay.

You set me up.

Stop them. No!

- Stop!
- No, no! You set me up.

And you been doing this
since we were children.

No, no, no, no.

You be damn sure
of one thing, motherfucker.

This shit ain't over.

I hate your black ass.

Good morning.

- Citsy, look at him.
- What is it?

I think he's getting darker.

Oh, he look the same to me.

Same as yesterday
and... the day before that.

- And the day before that.
- No, Citsy. I think he's getting darker.

Calm down.

Can I get you something?

No, I can't eat anything.

Read this, give it back to me.

"Dear Leanne."

"I'll be there Saturday after next."

"Be ready to leave with me."

"I ain't gonna argue with you about this,

but you're coming with me."

"Citsy will tell you where to meet."

He's coming to get me.

He's coming to get us, baby.

Sure is good of Bayou
to come do this for you, ain't it?

Yeah, but I don't like it.

I want him out of here
as soon as it's over.

You sure them Clayton boys don't know?


them boys busy trying to run this town.
They ain't thinking about us.

You ain't tell her Bayou coming, did you?

- I'm sorry, Hattie.
- Now how come you do that?

He got a right to know that it's his baby.

She best keep her mouth shut.

Willie Earl here?

Willie, wake up.
Willie, Willie, Willie, wake up. Wake up.

What you doing in my house?

Come on. Come on now. Come on.

Where are we going?

We going to see Mama. Come on.

- But...
- Get up. Get up, get up.

Mama here?

No, she in Georgia.

We're going to see her.

Come on now.

- Come on, Willie. Put these on.
- They gonna kill you.

- Put these here.
- They gonna kill you.

How... how I'm gonna be glad
when they do too.

I hate your black ass.

Ah, you got me fired, didn't you?

No. That shit you're using
got you fired, Willie.

Now sit up, sit up.

Sit up now, sit up. Get up.

You been jealous of me.
I went all the way up to Chicago with him.

You had to stay home with Mama.


You... you half-breed.

All right? You...
My... my daddy ain't your daddy.

My daddy showed me everything.

He showed me how to play.

- He showed me how...
- Get...

How to get high.

Stand up, stand up.

They shot him right in front of me.

His brains was all over me.

You know, I wish I ain't seen
all I saw with him sometimes.

See, Mama... Mama might have loved you more.

My... my daddy...

My daddy sure loved me more
than he loved you.

All right, now.

- Come on.
- Hold on now.

- I can't leave here without my shit.
- I'll get you some more.

I need enough.

Where my... where my horn at?

All right. It's right there.
Come on, come on. Just come on.

- Mama. Hey, Mama!
- Bayou!

Look at you!

Oh, I missed you so much, Mama.

- I missed you too, baby.
- I missed you so much


Willie Earl.

Hey, Mama.

Oh, my word.
You look fine as ever. You look rich!

Come on now.

It's so good to see you, Citsy.

Paper airplane, 12:30 at the bus.

- All right?
- Mm-hmm.



Miss Hattie Mae.

- This here my band.
- Ma'am.

- Ira put them together for me.
- How you doing?

Y'all go on and set up.

We only here a little while.
It's gonna be dark soon.

- Where you going, Willie?
- I need some air.

Excuse me, sir.

What do you want, boy?

Uh, I'mma... I'mma here to tell you, uh...

You been looking for a Negro
they call Bayou, sir?

I want to thank you all
for being here tonight. Truly.

I know y'all wanna know
what a big surprise

we all been talking about is.

Well, here it is.

My sons are here, y'all.

Bayou and Willie Earl.


Thank y'all.

Thank... thank y'all so much.

It's so good to see all y'all
back here at Hattie Mae's.

Come on, Mama, let's sing.
Let's sing. Come on, band.

♪ My heart is heavy as lead ♪

♪ Because the blues have spread ♪

♪ Rocks in my bed ♪


No. Hi, Jackson.

♪ Of all the people I see ♪

♪ Why do they pick on poor me ♪

♪ And put rocks in my bed ♪

♪ All night long, I weep ♪

♪ So how can I sleep ♪

♪ With rocks in my bed? ♪

Take it y'all. Take it, Mama.

♪ My heart is heavy ♪

♪ It's heavy as lead ♪

♪ Because the blues... ♪

Are you going somewhere?

To the outhouse.

The body men are waiting by the car.
They will go with you.

Yeah, I think I know how to hold it, Ira.

They will go with you,

and when you come back, we leave.


All right.

♪ All night long... ♪

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa now.
Just going to the bus is all.

It's all right. It's all right.
Go on. It's all right.

Lil Ann... Lil Ann.


- I missed you. I missed you so much.
- I missed you.

I missed you so much.

You have a son.

- Stay here as long as you can.
- No.

- No. Stay.
- Stay here as long as you can.

I got to go.
I can't let 'em do my mama no harm.

- I can't let 'em do my mama no harm.
- Please, no.


- Please stay. Please stay.
- Shh. I can't run no more.

No, don't go. Don't go. Don't go.

- I'll be back.
- No.

No, no, no. Please, please, please.

No, no, no, no, no.


- There he is!
- Whoa.

- Get him!
- Hear me out now.

Now this is something...
Whoa, wait, wait! Wait!

Wait! Whoa, whoa! Hey, hey!



Willie Earl.

Wait, wait, wait! Wait, wait!

They took him to the field!

What? Oh God! What?

Cut him down! Cut him down!

Cut him down! Cut him down!

Where have you been?

I'm sorry. I got delayed.

Well, your mother's been here
for a couple of hours.

And listening to that same old song.

♪ You are the song ♪

♪ That I long to hear once more ♪

♪ You are the light ♪

♪ That I keep looking for... ♪

She's not talking much today,
Mr. Johnathan.

Miss Leanne?

♪ Me and you ♪

Your son is here.

- ♪ I gotta see, see this thing through... ♪
- Miss Leanne?

♪ And I'll spend my lifetime ♪

It's Johnathan.

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Praying they get to you ♪

♪ And I'll spend the rest of my days ♪

♪ Lost in this craze for you ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Love so divine ♪

♪ All our memories intertwined ♪

♪ I found the truth ♪

♪ In your honey eyes ♪

♪ And even though it's been a while ♪

♪ I still think about your smile ♪

♪ Every night before I fall asleep ♪

♪ I find you in my dreams ♪

♪ Somewhere in the trees ♪

♪ And I'll spend my lifetime ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Praying they get to you ♪

♪ And I'll spend the rest of my days ♪

♪ Lost in this craze for you ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ You are the song ♪

♪ That I long to hear once more ♪

♪ You are the light ♪

♪ That I keep looking for ♪

♪ Roses are blue ♪

♪ If it isn't me and you ♪

♪ I gotta see ♪

♪ See this thing through ♪

♪ And I'll spend my lifetime ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Praying they get to you ♪

♪ And I'll spend the rest of my days ♪

♪ Lost in this craze for you ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Love so divine ♪

♪ All our memories intertwined ♪

♪ I found the truth ♪

♪ In your honey eyes ♪

♪ And even though it's been a while ♪

♪ I still think about your smile ♪

♪ Every night before I fall asleep ♪

♪ I find you in my dreams ♪

♪ Somewhere in the trees ♪

♪ And I'll spend my lifetime ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Praying they get to you ♪

♪ And I'll spend the rest of my days ♪

♪ Lost in this craze for you ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ And if the world stops spinning ♪

♪ Even then I'll be singing ♪

♪ Of you ♪

♪ Of you ♪

♪ And when my heart stops beating ♪

♪ Even then I'll be dreaming ♪

♪ Of you ♪

♪ Of you ♪

♪ And if the birds stop singing
And the rain stops falling ♪

♪ And the sun won't shine on you ♪

♪ Even then I won't be through ♪

♪ Through with loving you ♪

♪ And I'll spend my lifetime ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Praying they get to you ♪

♪ And I'll spend the rest of my days ♪

♪ Lost in this craze for you ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪

♪ Moon ♪

♪ Sending paper airplanes ♪

♪ To the moon ♪