Saint George (2016) - full transcript

An unemployed boxer turned collection agency employee deals with the deplorable methods they have to use when collecting bad debts.

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In late 2011, the troika bailout program
arrived in Portugal.

Portuguese debt levels had reached
their highest ever,

with a record number
of families and businesses

unable to repay loans.

This situation made
the market for debt collection agencies

grow quickly in Portugal.

In a fully legal manner,

they bought debts that creditors
had lost hope of recovering.

While strategies varied,

companies sought to coerce debtors
through intimidation.

Recouped money belonged to the agency.



Employees received a percentage
of collected money.

"I will go clothed and armed

"with the weapons of St George.

"Though they have feet,
my enemies will not catch me.

"Their hands will not touch me.

"Their eyes will not see me.

"Not even their thoughts can harm me.

"St George, pray for us."

SAINT GEORGE

I'll try to pay in a couple weeks.

- I can't before.
- Help me to help you.

Fine, but I need help first.

Which bills first?

I can't pay any now.



- Maybe in two weeks.
- Then I'll have to come back.

- So be it!
- That won't make me happy.

You'll have to.

Production has halted.
We don't have any purchase orders.

Trucks, machinery,
everything's at a standstill.

- Which invoice will you pay first?
- Wait a couple weeks.

- That's too long.
- I can't do better.

I'm here to help both of us
out of this situation.

Maybe in a couple weeks
I can pay something.

- The smallest sum in a week.
- One week!

Forget it.

TWO MONTHS AGO

- Good morning.
- Hi.

Get out of here.

Get out of here.

Got any cash?

Let me sleep.

Close the damn door!

You woke your dad!

Salvador!

Salvador!

Susana!

Susana!

- Your sister's here?
- She's at Walter's.

Susana!

Susana!

I'm looking for Susana.

She's not here. What's up?

Really not here?

What do you want?

It's about money. Where is she?

She's working.

- Where should she be?
- Yeah, but where?

Every day a different place.

Now she's doing overtime at Centuria.

They didn't give me that loan I needed.

Cátia, give me a hand!

Money is bought and sold.

- Nothing new.
- Bad times.

They don't arrest them.

The worst steal from the inside.

Outside, the poor grab 20 cents...

They are all uneducated
in the yellow neighborhood.

Same for both whites and blacks.

- Also gypsies in the blue neighborhood.
- All social housing.

Most don't even know what a home is!

It's the same in the pink neighborhood.

I'm not racist,
but I don't get along with them.

They keep telling us to integrate
the gypsies into our society.

I say integrate me into them!

Now my building might close.

They will try a way
so I have no means to get out.

Despite our efforts to meet with workers,

to present proposals to companies...

Time is running out.
We're in a fragile situation.

Desperate, really desperate.

Sir, you must not realize our situation.

Maybe you don't have our same troubles.

We haven't been paid in six months.

We're in a difficult situation.

The state of our current situation is

the union presented us other issues.

We workers met with the trade union.

We sort of reached an agreement.

Salaries will be cut,
as much as possible.

But we'll work an extra hour per day

to increase productivity.

This will lower costs and produce more.

We didn't get chips, Dad.

We'll come back tomorrow.

Let's call Mom when we get home.

It's late. Tomorrow.

Mom told Walter we're going to Brazil.

Will you come?

When did she say that?

Yesterday.

Go to sleep.

She said the factory closed down.

She said you're too poor to help.

Jorge!

You have waited so long.
Something will turn up.

Times are tough.
You must go to the job center.

You must look for a job.

But where?

There's no work.

All the old factories are gone.

Jorge!

Did you weigh in?

You're the champ.

You know how to fight.
He's a rookie.

You're not in the best shape,

but we believe in you.

We believe in you.

You're great.

Great.

You're the greatest.

The greatest.

The greatest, right?

Let's go.

More on the nose.

There.

Warm up well.

OK?

Punch him, Jorge!

Look alive!

Push him to the ropes.
The fucking ropes!

- Are you OK?
- Let's go.

Where's the kid?

What fucking kid?

Put all the gear in the truck!

- Luis, the kid?
- He's not with you?

I left the kid with you, asshole!

Nelson!

Nelson!

Nelson!

Hey, dummy!
I was calling you.

Your grandpa was looking. Me, too.
You messing with me?

Hurry, let's go.

Move it!

What's up?

Nothing.

He was punching you.

It's called boxing.

Right?

Were you afraid he would bite me?

We don't eat each other.

No.

Say it.

- Humans don't eat humans.
- And?

Hit my arm.

No, no.

Hit my arm.

Hard.

Harder.

Like a man, go on.

Now in the face.

Hard.

Like this.

Think it hurts me?

So what the shit?

I need money, you need money.
Everybody does.

But being a punching bag isn't cool.

He doesn't train enough.

It's not worth going on.

He really needs to train more.

He'll give us and the gym
a bad reputation.

What I said in the corner is my opinion.

It's my opinion, but...

When he really boxed, yes.
Not now.

You guys don't know him.

You know, the other day
I was leaving the factory.

I saw two Brazilian mongrels.

One says to the other,
the one with the messy hair:

"I was filthy rich in Brazil.

"I had a 1000-acre estate,
a cook, a chauffeur..."

That guy said I looked like
his dead brother.

He showed me a photo
and we were identical.

The guy kept talking and crying,
tears streamed down his face.

He showed me the photo,
and I said: "That's me."

I never saw that stuff before.
It was weird.

I was curious, and he broke off a piece
and offered it to me.

It's good stuff, he said.

- He made you pay?
- No, he gave it like a friend.

- For free?
- Yes, so I could try.

- To make you happy?
- We're friends, he said.

Enjoy, he said!

Without asking for money?

Not at all!
They wanted us to enjoy.

But normally people pay for a hit.

Of course, people buy it.

It costs a lot of money.

We get started for free,
then need more and more.

Even for a minimum wage of 500,
I wouldn't go to work.

I wouldn't go!

Most only make 130, 140 euros.

And they won't work for 500!

Too much salary goes to taxes.

It's not worth it.

You wouldn't work, Fátima,
for a salary of 500 euros.

Not you, not anyone.

I work, but it's worthless after taxes.

It's not worth it,
if you look at it closely.

Minimum wage is 505 euros.

That's 422 take-home after taxes.

419 euros from unemployment
and you don't have to work.

A few euros more? You wouldn't work!

You know how the minimum income
should be allocated in Portugal?

You know how?

If you want to eat, you want stuff...

Take the paper and go.

Susana.

Susana!

Here's the money.

It's not all there.
I'll gel more from the factory tomorrow.

Count it.

Where did you get it?

You took a beating for it?

Forget it.

For that, you shouldn't.

And Nelson?

Susana!

I'm coming!

And Nelson?

Asleep at home.

Is he OK?

Yes.

I fed him well.

Luis is feeling good today!

That Spain story, Calaborra or whatever.

You took money to the Brazilian?

Admit it.

You went and gave her your cut.

What more does she want?

You gave her a son, her papers...
Now what?

Whore alimony?

She's not a whore.

It's enough I feed the kid.

She left. Let her be.
I don't want her here.

Back to Brazil, if we're lucky.
Good times there now.

You pay back everyone.
But help your father?

No way!

I wear 5-euro sneakers.
You give everything to that black bitch.

Think about your own life.

The factory won't start up again.
I'm broke.

Unfortunately, payment is long overdue.

You can pay or you can pay.

Your income is 5,000 euros
and your debt is 6,000 euros.

You decide how to pay.

We have a 6-month plan.

But it's a good deal.

The interest is around 20 per month.

You have a guarantor?

Yes, that's changeable.

I need your son's ID reference.

National ID card.

And his bank details

and authorization.

The interest rate will be higher,
of course.

You need a guarantor.

This is your last chance.
Decide how to pay.

This is what we'll do, sir.

My colleagues will visit you.

I won't be able to help you anymore.

Thank you for your time.
Sorry to hear your decision.

Will you deal with this?

No.

No?

You should.

ID?

We can't wait anymore.

Wait inside.

Easy job: the more you collect,
the more you earn.

People need to be persuaded to pay.

So what do we do?

My whole fleet of trucks is on standby.

- Business isn't easy.
- Jobs went dry a while back.

The staff hasn't been paid in six months.

I'm trying to sell

a truck or two
to raise money to pay you.

You're top of the list.
But I have to pay my workers.

I want to pay my debt off.
I don't want trouble.

We want to help.

I'm trying to sell a truck
to pay my workers.

I can't pay you right now.

Leave my father and son out of this.

They did nothing.
You shouldn't contact them.

It's my debt, not theirs.

Give me a date.

I need a date and I need money.

Listen, listen.

We're not children here.

No more games.

We already gave you dates to pay up.

Many dates.

What do we do now?

It's hard for you, but harder for us
to not get paid back.

Help me help you.

We'll set up some terms.

Help me by paying back.

We both need results.
It's time for action.

Help us to help you.

Work with us
and everything will be fine.

I swear to you, I'm dealing with it.

I'm going to sell
my beach house in Algarve.

I can sell other things, my car...

This will all be settled
in a couple weeks.

All settled.

If the tax people get involved,
you'll never see any money, right?

I don't think another visit
will be necessary.

I'll sell the house to pay back.

Open the door!

- Good evening.
- How are you?

Sorry to bother you so late, ma'am.

What is it?

We're here about a matter
with your husband.

What matter?

A debt he owes to Eurocreditos.

A debt?

He's not home.

You're not allowed
to come at this late hour.

And your husband shouldn't be allowed
to break his promise.

That's why we come at this hour.

We want to resolve the problem
in the best possible way for everyone.

Sorry.

Hold on, hold on.

It's better if we speak.
Let us help you.

That's why we're here.

Call your husband to speak with us.

We came here to speak to him.

- Seems he's hiding back there.
- My husband isn't home!

I can't know if he's here or not.
Kids usually aren't home alone.

Keep calm and let us help you.
Call your husband.

He's at work. Now, please!

Hey!

What if she calls the police?

Call the police when they're in debt?

Chef Cardoso was called away
unexpectedly.

Unexpectedly? Whatever for?

A personal matter, but it's his pleasure
to buy you dinner.

All paid for?

All paid for.

Show them to their table.

I'm not impressed.

It's good. The wine, too.

The wine is good.

The bastards owe money everywhere
but live the high life!

Tomorrow...

Buy yourself a suit.

We can't look like welders.

Hey.

Why are you here, Jorge?

To talk to you.
I have something to say.

Are you stalking me?

Come on!

Walter told me where you work.

I'll take you home.

Let's go.

Give me my uniform.

Give me my uniform.

What did you want to tell me?

Why don't you come back home?

You're always broke.

You work like a dog.

Come and live with me at my father's.

Our kid is always there.

You hardly see him.

Did you hear me?

You came to tell me that or fuck me?

This is crazy.

I need to go home.

You don't have a pot to piss in.

Don't stop, don't stop.
Keep punching!

Change!
Keep Punching!

Lower, lower!

Come on! A real workout!

More!

Come on!

Come on!

One, two, one, two!

Faster!

Come on!

Faster!

Till you drop dead! That's it!

You ever ate papayas, Dad?

No.

Mom said it's a good fruit
they eat in Brazil.

What?

Papayas.

You want to live where they eat papayas
in the burning hot sun?

Fold it right.

You think we'll really go?

She talks about it?

Yes.

Fold it good.

And Jorge?
He works with my father.

Since age 15 or 16.

I was 16.

I worked there 30 years.

I used my grandfather's own tools
when I apprenticed.

He made the molds.

I'm still young at 42.
I need to do something.

So do something!

What will the old folks do?

I'll study.

At 42? Study what?

You must be joking! Study!

Some course to become a politician!

Let's do it!

You were 16.

Me and Jorge are the youngest.

Jorge was 15 and me 16
when we started.

Like a family.

Our children, parents...
We all worked there.

I put the factory before my family.

You did, we all did.

A real marriage.

A 50-year marriage.
What will they do now?

- The factory will re-open later.
- We'll study!

- Training courses.
- In what?

The government's advice: more training!
For tailors?

Then the media tells us

official statistics for unemployment
are down.

But the number of unemployed
remains the same.

The factory will re-open.

The Chinese or Japanese or Thai
will come in to start it up.

Then we'll be out on the street.

- Out on the street.
- So many empty promises...

Hey.

Are you staying here tonight?

I can.

Will you watch my kid?

No problem. What are you up to?

I got things to do.

You're not staying with the guys?

Not today, Dad.

Yeah, like in my days.
Fuck, I'm from Aveiro!

Gypsies don't give work to anyone.

Going to world

Yeah.

You look good.

I look alright?

Three weeks, alright?

Three weeks.

Carlos!

I'll manage.

But not in a week.

Just give me another month.
One month, only a month.

This is a small business.

I only need three weeks.

I'll do it.

You pay it all in three weeks.

- I'm selling the business.
- Payment in full?

Everything.

Go away, or I'll call the police!

- Open the fuck up!
- I'll call the police.

Who are you kidding? Open up!

Go away! I have children here.

Open the fucking door!

Go away, leave me alone!

Open the door, lady!
Let's fix this. Open up!

What's going on out there?

Nothing! Go back inside.

You can't make noise this late!

Your neighbor's fault!
He spends more than he can afford.

Get lost, asshole!

Stop fooling around. Open up!

Ricardo.

Go get three men to unload.

- I don't have time for you.
- You need to make time.

- You see I'm working.
- But you're past due.

- Problem, Mr Sousa?
- No, I'm fine.

Let me work.

You don't get it, Sousa.

You're behind on your payments.

Stop bothering my family.
They don't owe you nothing.

It's not to me.
This is just my job.

How many times must we drop by
your house before you pay?

It's not my family's fault.
It was a bank error.

I'll pay it.

Hey, asshole, it's about when!
When will you pay?

Same song every time.

I'll pay. I didn't cancel anything.

- Was the food good?
- It was.

Listen.

Scallops, right?

With black truffles, cheese puffs
and celery foam.

Maybe I'll get a star.

What star?

20 missing.

Cardoso...

My employee says there's 20 missing.

20 thousand!

You're a good guy.

But I'm sick of your cooking.

Sorry for the delay,
but it's been a tough year.

Sales tax, slow business,
expensive products...

So what!

Well...

Well, what?

Talk to your parents,
your soccer player customers...

your brothers...

You need help, friend.

I'm going through a divorce.

The kids, the wife, the alimony...
It's complicated.

Makes sense if you fuck as bad
as you pay your debts.

Go back to your kitchen.

When you're making your truffles
or whatever the fuck you do,

think to yourself "I must pay up."

Or I'll send Jorge to help you out
in the kitchen.

I know, I know.

Don't think it, do it.

I know.

You must do these things right,
or those guys won't believe it.

When you mess up, the best thing is
to be up front about it.

How long did you collect Social Security
without checking in with them?

I got money for five years.

Five years.

- Five years?
- Exactly five years!

Shit, I thought it was less.
What did you say to get that?

Well, I told a lot of stories
to one or two doctors.

I had to see a nurse, too.

- You saw two doctors?
- And two nurses.

You should stay clear of the nurses.

It was complicated. I couldn't sleep.
They were always around me.

So how many years have you been
cheating on Social Security?

- Can I say?
- Tell me.

Two years ago, some lady told me
to go back to school.

Me and another guy, we never went.

- Let me carry it.
- I'll help you upstairs.

What?

Don't pick me up at work anymore.

I'm going to Brazil with Walter.
I'll lake Nelson with me.

A family with two kids lived here.
They left last month.

150 euros.

Four months in advance.

That asshole!

Forcing us to come back.

He's wearing out the soles of my shoes.

Get in the car!

The guy's inside.

What guy?

We'll wait here.

Make the guy understand
you didn't come to eat.

Go on!

Something wrong?

Those assholes from Torres Vedras!
I don't know what to do.

Call and find out if they'll pick up
that load of fruit today.

They put in orders,
but don't know how to pick up.

Forget it. I'll call myself.

Bye.

Yes...

Yes, yes...

How much time?

That's too much.

Let's go.

Let's go.

So?

Did he pay?

Son of a bitch!

Not even a beating makes them pay.

I didn't hit him.

I couldn't. I can't hit that guy.

Get out of the car.

Get out of the car, jerk!

Why you think I hired you?

Don't go.

Did you hear me?

Stay with me.

Don't go.

Stay with me.

Stay, come and live with me.

Come on!

"That black bitch,
that Brazilian bitch...

"Stay away from her, little Jorge.
She only wants to get a passport.

"She got pregnant to control you.

"She only wants your money, Jorge.
That black bitch...

"Don't bring her to the gym.

"Don't trust her. Don't marry her."

My dad mistreats everyone.

He treats me bad, too.

One day, when I was pregnant
with Nelson,

your father came into our bedroom.

I was sitting on the bed,
with my back turned.

I only noticed when he sat next to me.

He offered me money
to get rid of our son.

He threw money on the bed.

Close up before security arrives.

Susana!

Susana!

I'll find a place for us.

For me, you and Nelson.

A big house, living room and everything.

You'll never have to look
at that son of a bitch again.

With what money?

Stop worrying about money.

Will you live with me or not?

Stop here, Mr Pereira.

- Stay with me.
- Stop here, Mr Pereira.

Will you live with me or not?

I don't know.

Get out.

Get out!

He wants money.

That's normal.

Listen...

We could get what we want
if we had a little cash.

By tomorrow, we'll check a bar
to find that stuff like before.

That stuff could poison you.

- You alright, Jorge?
- Hey.

Hey kid, everything alright?

Yeah.

We can set up a 6-month plan.

You choose how much you pay back.

There's no other solution but to pay now.

Let's go!

Chef!

Chef!

Give me money and I'll go.

I don't have any!

Animal!

And the car?
The restaurant and the fishtank?

- They belong to the bank.
- The bank, my ass!

Your fish live better than me, asshole!

The bank!

Fuck!

The guys I work for don't give a shit
about all your crap!

Banks and shit. Fuck!

Chef!

Pay your debt.

No, no!

I swear I won't hurt you.

I'll leave now.

You shouldn't have used that number.

What number should I use?

Was it an accident?

Yes, an accident.

Then you're clear.

A lot of guys in debt kill themselves
everyday, right?

What's important is no one saw.

Someone saw you?

Leave the car here.

You shouldn't drive.

- I'm fine.
- Leave the car here!

A quick trip to the toilet.

Hey, champ!

No worries.

Susana's not at world

- She said she wasn't coming in.
- Who did she tell?

I don't know, not me.

Susana!

- Is your sister here?
- Upstairs.

Upstairs?

Susana.

Come here.

Is everything alright?

- Yes, fine.
- You didn't go to world

I've been calling you all day.
You didn't answer.

I was working. Are you OK?

Yeah.

I left Walter's.

I brought all my stuff here.

Why the long face?

- What is it?
- Nothing.

Want to dance?

Let's go. Come on!

I'm coming.

- Come on.
- I'm coming.

Hey.

Know what I ate yesterday?

No.

Papaya.

Did it taste bad?

No.

It was really good.

I think it's better than bananas.

Does the sun always burn?

Sometimes it rains.

Sometimes rain and sunshine together.

Cool, huh?

Is that for me?

Portugal exited the troika bailout plan
on May 17, 2014.

Over 60 collection agencies
were handling some 1,876,000 cases.

Despite constant complaints
about violent and illegal acts,

these firms continue to operate freely.

Adaptation: Richard Lormand,
Inês Ferreira

Subtitles: TITRAFILM