Caged (2021) - full transcript

An African American male is imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement after being found guilty of murdering his wife, as he's haunted by internal demons and his dead wife, and pushed to the breaking point by an abusive female guard.

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Hello? Yes,

thank you for accepting
the call.

Uh, can I speak to Greg Bernard,
please?

Mr. Reid,
Mr. Bernard isn't available.

All right, can you put me
through to his cellphone?

It's urgent that I speak to him.

There was a situation
in general population.

It wasn't my fault,
but they sent me

to solitary confinement
for it as punishment.

I apologize.
I can let Mr. Bernard know.

No, ma'am, just don't apologize.



Just listen to me, okay?

They... they've confiscated
all my belongings.

I don't have anything,
not a pencil, not a paper.

So unless Greg can help me
retrieve my things,

I won't be able to mail out
my statement

for petition to appeal.

It was supposed to go out today
for my hearing next week.

Do you understand?

I'm being informed

that your hearing
was postponed.

Okay, okay. This is... excellent.

Thank you.
When is it rescheduled for?

How long do I have
to get my statement in to Greg?

I'm sorry, but



your hearing has been
postponed indefinitely.

You said you were just informed.

By who,
one of the other partners?

Can I speak to one of them,
please?

Put them on the phone.

They... they're gonna send me
back to my cell.

Can you put one of them
on the phone, please?

That's just not possible.

I don't think you understand me.

They've given me a life sentence
and I'm innocent.

This is not a joke.

Mr. Reid, I'm sorry.

Why do you keep
apologizing to me?

Just put one of them
on the phone.

You should have
received notice in the mail.

You're being sued
in civil court.

Your assets have been frozen.

And since you're technically
unable to pay,

the firm has decided not
to move forward with your case.

Greg would not do that to me.

We have been friends
since middle school.

I'm so sorry.
We sent you the documents

so you can refile your appeal
with a public defender.

Or you can represent yourself.

I'm really very sorry.

Up against the wall.

Let's walk.

It's just a random check.

For what?

What's this?

You know,

there is nothing
that you can think of

that I haven't thought first.

Oh, what's wrong?

I thought all dogs like
the smell of their own rectum.

That's not mine.

According to who?

It's according to whom.

Oh, it's according to whom.

Really?

Yeah.

If you were smart
as you think you are,

you wouldn't be here,

would you, Dr. Reid?

I read your file.

I got a jacket on...

all the inmates here in the SHU.

I was already searched.

Oh, not by me.

You see, if I had to strip
searched you and this turned up

stashed in your cavity,

I would have shoved my boot
so far up your ass,

this razor would have
come out of your mouth.

Get up.

First offense is 90 days.

Anything like this
happens again,

I'm gonna add on a whole year.

Hey, you.

You like to hurt women?

Yeah, you know that's why Sacks
is fucking with you, right?

Hey, friend,
with all due respect,

it's been a long day.

I really don't feel like
talking right now,

so if you don't mind.

Excuse me, guard.

When do I get my belongings?

My legal papers.
It's... it's urgent.

I need them today.

This ain't
the Four Seasons, motherfucker.

Keep off the door!

Goddammit, Zeke.

Pull the mattress
off the window.

Keep this up and you will
suffer the consequences.

There's things going on
in this prison...

This ain't right.

The fucking bitches...

Don't!

Zeke!

They're never gonna
let me out of here!

- We're coming in.
- Three seconds.

No, you come in here...

Three.

Two.

One. Open the cell door.

Don't!

Zeke, Zeke!

Get that bitch
away from me!

Let go!

You're breaking my fucking arm!

You're breaking my arm!

Fuck you!

Show the warden some respect.

Let go!

Ow! You're fucking hurting me!

Excuse me, guard.

My tray, I don't think
I had a full portion.

Can I have a little bit more?

Please?

Oh, don't you look nice.

Sorry I'm late.

It's okay.

Understood.

Careful.

Thank you.

Oh, look.

It's our guardian angel.

It's what we call pareidolia.

Our brains are wired
to perceive faces in things.

It's actually a form of
pattern recognition.

Can't I just appreciate
the view?

You don't think that that's...

Interesting?

Mm-mm.

So, you didn't bring any clothes
to work in?

I thought the whole point
of buying this boat

was so that we can relax.

We haven't even started.

Baby, it's such a beautiful day.

Why can't we just enjoy it?

Why don't we take the boat out
for a lap around the bay,

and then we'll work, I promise.

We need this.

We need what?

To fix this.

There's a passage
I'd like to share with you,

one that occurs to me
in times like this.

Let every man be subject
to the governing authorities

for there is no authority
except from God.

And those authorities
that do exist,

have been instituted by God.

Yeah.

I don't like
the segregated housing unit.

It changes people.

Every time an inmate has to be
extracted, they call me down

and I see it firsthand.

That man in the cell
next to you, Zeke,

he flooded out his cell
because he was desperate,

desperate for human contact.

I have a prison to run.

I have a responsibility
to my staff

and to the other inmates
to segregate the troublemakers.

Oh, man.

That's not mine.

You know that.

It was in your mattress.

Maybe...
I can help you help yourself.

If, for instance,
you were willing to enroll

in a behavior modification
program,

I can commute your stay
in the segregated housing unit.

You would be able to reenter

the general population
immediately.

What does one have to do
to get into this program?

Simple.

Just obey the rules,

and sign a confession.

The road to rehabilitation
starts with acceptance.

No.

I heard about you,
Harlow.

Any chance you can
move me to a new cell?

You two deserve each other.

Hey, black man.

Do you believe in God?

Hey, you, Harlow.

I know you hear me, boy.

I'm trying to save your life.

How's that?

If you got something to say,
say it.

Otherwise, just leave me alone.

Go to your cell door and
look out in the hallway.

Do you see them lights,

the long ones up there
on the ceiling?

That's where they live.

They feed on the energy
and travel through the vents.

That's how they get
into the cells.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I'm afraid whatever it is
you think you're seeing,

that's just your mind's way
of... of keeping you company.

They ain't trying
to keep me company.

They're trying to kill me!

Who's trying to kill you?

In here,
we all got victims.

Some of those victims, the ones
who ain't with us no more,

they're looking for revenge.

It sounds like you're having
a crisis of conscience.

Shut up.

You sound like a shrink.

A psychiatrist, yes.

Don't you try and
talk to me, motherfucker!

Hey, I was not passing judgment.

All right, you're the one
that said you wanted to talk.

Why don't you tell me
something then?

Like...

how'd you kill your wife?

I'm innocent!

I'm innocent.

So we're downstairs
and I hear this groaning.

So I walk down the hall

and I see this
big Mexican motherfucker.

He's holding his cock
in one hand

and squeezing his wrist with the
other,

trying to cut
the circulation off.

You know, apparently,
it feels like someone else

is jerking you fuckin' off.

I think
I'll have to try that.

The sooner we resurface
this deck,

the sooner that Amber sets sail.

What?

So,

you do still love me?

Free at last.

Free at last.

Sacks!

Uh, Sacks, Sacks,
excuse me, please.

I'm so sorry,
but can I just have, um...

can I have a sharpened pencil,
please, something that works?

You want a pencil, huh.

Yeah, if it's not too much
trouble, that'd be nice.

Thank you.

How does it feel to want?

If you keep letting
them treat you like a bitch,

I'm gonna have to
take care of myself.

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

All right, all right.

Judge McCabe,
I am an innocent man

serving a life sentence
in a federal penitentiary.

I respectfully request
an opportunity

to appeal my conviction.

Look at that!

It gives me great pleasure
to inform you

that I have discovered evidence
within my case file

that was never presented
at my original trial.

Fucking lawyers.

Due to the negligence
of my attorney,

I've decided to act
as my own counsel

and will be filing my petition
to appeal personally.

They're gonna get the truth,
Zeke.

Soon enough.

Go thank your friend, Harlow.

I want you so bad right here.

No.

Right now.

I'm sweating.

Right now, I don't care
that you're sweating.

Besides, people are gonna see.

I don't care who sees.

No, you can wait.

This is what you get
for putting me to work.

Suit yourself.

You know what?
If you keep that up,

you might get
what you're looking for.

We got a pervert in the house!

Five inmates
up and offed themselves

in the last 24 months.

No one even bats an eye.

She ain't gonna stop.

All she has to do
is keep us here.

The SHU does all the work
for her.

You got a message.

I'll check it later.

You sure?

Yeah, whoever it is
can wait.

Who was it?

My mother.

I told her not to call me
this weekend.

What does she want?

Mm.

I'll call her later.

You sure? You can just,

you can call her now
if you want.

What did she want?

- What did she text you?
- Nothing.

Nothing.

Show me the text.

I want you to show me
the message right now.

How does it feel to want?

No.

It can't be.

I've seen your face.

What?

You had a face like an angel's.

What happened
to your beautiful face?

Who the hell
are you talking to, Zeke?

Oh, Goddammit!

Stop! Stop looking at me!

Get away from me!

Help!

Call the warden.

What?

Goddammit, Zeke,
what have you done?

What is happening?

Ezekiel!

Zeke!

What happened, man?

Hello?

Judge McCabe,
please accept my apology

for the time it's taken
to draft my personal statement

and file for an appeal.

It's become
increasingly difficult

to obtain a suitable
writing utensil

while serving time in the SHU.

Hey, Ezekiel!

Sacks!

Can I just get just
like a little bit more food?

I demand

a new pencil.

How long you been up, Harlow?

You can't stop me
from filing my appeal.

I want my pencil.

You don't look so good.

Maybe you oughta just...

lie down.

Go to sleep.

I want a pencil.

Now.

Hmm.

Maybe tomorrow.

Rule number one,
don't let nobody,

nobody disrespect you
up in here.

They don't know
what you're capable of,

but I do.

My nigga!

I think today
is my birthday.

Hey, yo, Zeke.

Ezekiel!

Is this your doing, Zeke?

Harlow.

Use the ink
that's flowing in your veins.

Yo, Zeke, is that you?

Man, man.

You gonna leave me over here
alone like this, man?

Not bad, not bad.

Judge McCabe,
I intend to prove

that unfair racial profiling
led to my arrest,

and the selection of a jury

with preconceived notions
about my character.

Requestioning key witnesses
will prove this theory.

You should also know
there's a corrections officer

here in the SHU
determined to silence me

by any means necessary.

I just wanted to talk to my mom.

I don't think there's anything
wrong with that.

It's not gonna work like this.

You are a control freak.

You still don't get that
you brought this on yourself.

Things were like this
before the affair.

Everything I say to you,
you end up using it against me.

You're constantly
looking over my shoulder

and second-guessing
everything I do.

What do you want?

I don't want anything.

You don't want anything?

Then fuck off then!

Why did you bring me here?

Do you have any idea what
kind of man they'll think I am?

I don't wanna be
analyzed by you.

I just needed to talk.

There's nothing wrong with me
talking to my own mother.

You don't think that
she's gonna tell him?

What do you care
what my father...

Because!

He gave me the money to start
my fucking practice, Amber!

So this is about money.

This is about me
not having to defend my choice

not to leave you!

I'm gonna make this
easy for you.

Hey.

To the window!

When we call you to the window,
you get up and move.

Get dressed.

Mr. Reid.

I have good news for you.

Your time in the segregated
housing unit is up.

I trust you're ready
to try again

back in the general population.

God, yes.

Thank you.

Thank God indeed.

You'll have to spend a few weeks
in the step down unit.

Good luck.

Prepare the prisoner's
personal items.

Yes, sir.

Officer Sacks.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Warden.

What is it, Mr. Reid?

What happened to Zeke?

Zeke.

If I were you, I wouldn't
concern myself with him.

Come on.

Face the bars, prisoner.

You know, if...

if things were different,

I might actually have been able
to help you.

Huh/

Too bad there's not
a couch in here, huh, Harlow?

Go on.

I hope whoever cut you
got what they deserved.

Two years.

Two years in the SHU

plus the time
he'd already served.

And every night, I go home,
look in the mirror,

and think to myself

if today that sorry excuse
for a human being

just happened to,
you know, stop breathing,

I'd be doing the world
a huge favor.

And every day, I decided
I was better than that,

so I did nothing.

You did the right thing.

Piece of shit.

Eventually got out on parole.

Within a few months, he was
back to his lowlife ways,

driving around
with a truck full of drugs.

Cops pursued him
for almost 26 miles.

Finally, he lost control.

He plowed into
a 13-year-old girl

waiting for a school bus.

That's when I knew,

people like him...

...people like you...

don't deserve second chances.

You will be back in the SHU,
Harlow.

And you'll do the dirty work
for me,

just like...

the guy...

who gave me this.

I can't wait to see you
swinging from your bed sheet.

For me,

that's justice enough.

[thudding

Hey!

On your knees,
convict, now!

Don't move!

- What did she text you?
- Nothing.

Nothing.

Show me the text.

I want you to show me
the message right now.

I needed to talk.

I needed to talk to my mom

and there's nothing wrong
with that.

And every time
I try to talk to you,

you end up using
everything against me.

You're looking over my shoulder

and you're second-guessing
everything I do.

And it's not gonna work
like this.

No, you're right,
it's not gonna work this way

'cause you still don't get...

that you brought this
on yourself.

Welcome back, Harlow.

Looks like Officer Sacks

gave you more than
just a pencil.

Harlow, you hungry?

Help!

Help!

You just earned yourself
another 90 days, prisoner.

No!

No!

- Get up.
- No!

- No!
- Go get yourself cleaned up.

- We should call psych.
- No, no, no.

Pull back, prisoner!

You go ahead and get cleaned up.

I got this.
I'll take care of the trays.

Fine.

I'll be right back.

If you're gonna act
like an animal,

I'm gonna treat you
like an animal.

Please.

Eat up, Harlow.

I would rather starve.

I can wait if you can.

I tried to tell you, man.

Fuck Sacks.

Trust in God.

I can't wait to see you

swinging from your bed sheet.

Shank that bitch in the neck.

You had a face like an angel.

What happened
to your beautiful face?

Do you love me?

You know.

You know, Harlow.

You know what you did.

Sign a confession.

Thank you.

Yes.

Just the way I like it.

Bon appetit.

You're trying to bait me into
being the kind of man

that you think that you deserve.

When I spoke to my mother,
it was in a moment of weakness.

You don't get to call it
a moment of weakness

when you can't get through
an entire day

without having a breakdown.

Have you been taking the pills
that I gave you?

There's nothing wrong with me.

You don't like the way
that you feel without them.

The issue
will not resolve itself, Amber.

The issue is that I don't like
the way you treat me.

Stop!

Respect me.

I'm sorry.

I don't understand.

What is it you want?

To get outta here.

Zeke.

Zeke, yeah, Zeke.

What you want, Harlow?

If we was anywhere else
but here,

you wouldn't even give me
the time of day.

You're just one of them
fair-weathered friends,

ain't you, Harlow?

No, I'm not.

You got this, motherfucker.

Come on, Harlow.

Man the fuck up!

We gonna be in here
for the rest of our lives.

Better get used to this.

You part of the statistic now.

One in three, that's your ass.

Plus my ass.

That's two, 2.3 million
motherfuckers in jail,

behind bars!

You're one of 'em.

You a slave.

They took away the chains,
put them shits back on

'cause you fucked up!

No.

This is your fault.

It was an accident
and you know that.

You,

you bad.

You know.

No.

You know.

You know.

Harlow, you guilty as hell.

You might as well cop to it.

Zeke?

Zeke?

Talk to me, Zeke.

You're all that I have.

What?

I didn't do it.

I didn't do it.

I didn't do it.

No, I didn't...

What's happening to me?

Did I fucking do it?

I didn't do it.

I didn't do it.

What?

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

I didn't do it.

I... no.

What?

What?

Respect...

- me.
- Stop it.

Are you okay?

Are you okay?

I did it.

I did it.

I killed my wife.

I wanna do the program.

You killed your wife and
now you wanna make a deal?

Yeah.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Thank you, yes.

Please.

Get me outta here.

Not on my watch.

Get the fuck away from me.

Wait, wait, wait, no, no.

Don't touch me.

No! No, no, no.

Warden!

I'm ready to do the program!

Come get me!

I'm ready!

Come get me!

I'm ready to do the program!

I'm ready to accept
responsibility for my actions!

Come on!

Come on and get me!

Come get me!

Let me out!

Let me out!

Let me out!

Let me out!

Please.

Come on!

Warden!

Yes!

Come get me!

Come on!

I wanna see the warden!

Help!

I need help!

Get me out of here!

I'm done!

I'm done!

Lord Jesus Christ,
please have mercy on us.

Stop, stop.

Stop it.

I'll never let you go.

Stand up, prisoner.

Please.

I'll sign whatever you want,
please.

Just get me Perez.

Get him cleaned up.

Go!

Right away, sir.

We need to fix this.

Why did you bring me here?

You're making
the right decision.

We'll be able to get you
into a program

within a couple of weeks.

Get away from me, please.

Mr. Reid.

Stop wasting everyone's time.

Uncuff the prisoner.

Respect...

- me.
- Stop it.

If you are not going to sign
the document,

you need to go back
to your cell.

I'm walking away.

Mr. Reid?

No!

Take the prisoner
back to the SHU.

Stop this at once!

Let her go.

Drop the weapon.

Remove the pen from
Officer Sacks's throat.

She's trying
to make me kill myself.

No idea how crazy you sound.

Officer Sacks, not another word!

She's torturing me.

She's torturing Zeke.

I'm not the only one.

Harlow, Zeke is dead.

Just listen to me, okay?

Just watch the security tapes!

She's trying
to turn my mind against me!

I'm not going back there
with her.

I will look into this.

- Trust God.
- If you're a man of God,

then check
the damn security tapes.

I'm begging you.

You have my word.

Just let go.

I can't.

Let go.

Let go, Harlow.

Let go.

Let go.

Sacks!

Stand down!

Get out.

I'll take the prisoner
back to his cell, sir.

Last chance.

I might be guilty
of a lot of things,

but I know I am not guilty
of killing my wife.

While serving hard time

for a crime that never was,

my memories of the past
have been stolen from me,

replaced with
violent delusions,

delusions that better serve
a new version of me,

the version of me
writing this letter,

spawned by the SHU.

Without human contact,

my mind calls upon
corrupted memories

to convince itself the man
I once was never existed

and the animal I fight
every day

not to become is who I am.

I will never stop fighting
to remain the man I truly am,

a loving husband,

an esteemed doctor,

a free man.

Judge McCabe,
I beg the court to allow me

the opportunity
to appeal my conviction,

present a new case,

and prove my innocence
once and for all.

I'll mail the letter personally.

Dr. Reid.

What's wrong, Harlow?

You don't wanna talk to me
no more?

Shh.

Shh.

Shh.

Look at you.
I'm so proud of you, man.

Only way
you're going to survive this

is with me.

You got a long road
ahead of you.

Are you ready for court?

Psst.

Guess who.

Dr. Reid.