The Letter Room (2020) - full transcript

When a corrections officer is transferred to the letter room, he soon finds himself enmeshed in a prisoner's deeply private life.

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How we doin', old man?

Ready to get that blood flowin'?

Who you callin' old, man?

I still have more blood in me
than the both of you combined.

You're prob'ly right,
Jackson, your prob'ly right.

Eh, speak for yourself.

Hey, you still readin' that book.

I sure am.

You were right.

It is much better than the movie.

So many more details.

It's a beautiful story.

Nice relationship with

his sister.
- All right, come on.

Come on.
- I don't know

why they mess with
- Move this fuckin'

book club along.

She was, um, sorta sexy.

Just kind of a crazy way.

She was a big woman, but
not like round, you know.

I love a round woman but,

she was, you know, like
everything was big.

Her head, her arms, her
feet, had these big gaps

between her teeth.

Oh yeah.

I love when the women have
big gaps in the teeth.

And I think was in love, man.



The warden wants you in 15.

Okay, thank you.

Wish me luck.

Last shot to tie the game.


How we doin' fellas?

So Richard.

I think we finally
found a position for you

in human relations, like you requested.

Oh, that's such great news.

A position in the
Communications Department

just became available.

Well, I'm ready.

I am so ready.

And actually, I just read this article

on animal assisted therapy technique,

which I think would be
really helpful for some

of the inmates and they're
more violent issues.

But we could take it slow.

Yes, why don't we do that.


All correspondence to and
from inmates is filtered

through you in this room.

You'll be scanning each item
for inappropriate content

to be confiscated.

Contraband, images that can
be used as tattoo templates,

drug-related images, pornography,

that kind of stuff.

You're not allowed to
read the letters in full,

but if you see indications
of orders of violence

on a particular inmate, terrorism,

uh, drug smuggling and that sort
of thing, we, of course,

wanna be made aware of that.

Last month, someone crushed up drugs,

steamed them onto the paper.

So always use these.

Make sure all mail is scanned
and saved and registered

to our system, for legal
reasons I'm not gonna

go into right now.

Here you go.

Get started with this.

Thank you.

Your new position is Director
of Prisoner Communications.

It is a very big responsibility.

And I appreciate the trust
and I will do my very best.

Good to hear.

Let's get it goin'.

So I won't be able to
send you money this week.

Things are tight.

There's nothing in there.

You found me again.

Happy birthday, Ray.

Hope it's a good one.

Your brother, Dan.


The packaging code is incorrect.

I cannot make the transfer to the bank

if the code is not correct.

Please let me know what the right code is.

Cris, my love, I think about
you every second of every day.

I feel like every part
of me is coming undone,

like I'm in 1,000 pieces,
buried in sadness alone.

Years and years of longing for you.

Today was just another day
trying to recall the smell

of your body and touch of
your hands on my naked skin.

Your Rosita.

Happy birthday, Big Ray.

Happy birthday, Ray!

Happy birthday, big boy, woo!

Shut the fuck up, you idiots.

♪ Happy birthday dear Ray ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

Happy birthday, Big Ray.

Got letters for death row.

Got it.

Cris, you got a letter.

Hey, hey, hey, man.

So, you been moved to a
job in the letter room.

Yeah, yeah, I'm the man
in charge of all the letters

at the facility.

Please do me a favor, will ya?

Hey Jackson, you know
that I can't do any favors

for anybody.
- It's the only thing

I'll ever ask you.

I promise.

Just hear me out.

Please, have a look for
letters from my daughter

in the system.

I haven't heard anything for two years,

nothin' since a birthday note.

They must be lost in there somewhere.

We had a fallin' out, you know.

She thinks I can't tell her what to do,

who to have a kid with,
that sort of thing,

but I'm still her father, right?

But I think, I think the
previous guy worked letters.

He had it out for me.

He was holdin'

No, no, no, no.
- back my letters.

Hey, we take your communication
rights very seriously.

It's truly crushing me, man.

I can't believe she just
stopped writing her old man.

You know what I'm sayin'?

Please have a look through the old stuff.

I don't wanna beg you, Richard.

Okay, okay I'll see what I can do.


Thank you.

Okay, okay.

William Hayes.

Happy birthday, Dad.

I know it's been a while, but
I hope you are well, Midia.

That's all there is.

Sorry, old man.

My love, your mom wants me to sit with her

for the execution, but I can't.

You know I can't, right?

I don't understand why
they make anyone watch.

I know you must be frightened, my love,

even though you probably won't admit it.

God knows you didn't
mean to shoot no one,

even if everyone else wants you
to be gone for what you did.

All will get better soon.

Your Rosita.

Can you hear me
calling your name at night?

I feel your touch in my sleep.

You are in my breaths of air.

You are all the beams of sunshine
that ever touched my skin.

I imagine it is your warm
hands on my body, stroking me.

I can recall your touch in seconds.

I smell your warm skin.

It tastes salty.

I feel you grow by the touch of my hands.

An ocean is released deep inside of me.

Just checkin' in.


So, are things workin' for ya?

Yeah, it's really good.

It's great, yes.

Thank you, thank you so much.

Alrighty then.

Carry on.

Ay, dios.

Got another letter.

Hey, hey, let me holler
at ya for a minute, hey.

I hear our
songs over and over and over.

I know every word,

just like I know every
little corner of your body.

I could still taste your
skin on the tip of my tongue.

The world out here is
just moving on without you

and without me.

I have stopped existing here.

We are in there together

inside of each other.

Can you feel me there?

Returning from an exoneration hearing.

Welcome home.

Hope you enjoyed the outing.


Pour me some of that, will ya?

You still live
inside of me like a tree

slowly growing stronger.

I walk by our old apartment sometimes.

I sneak up and lean against
the front door and think

about all those times we kissed

before we could lock ourselves inside.

Your Rosita.

Cris, if they don't
exonerate you, we will do

like we planned before you went in.

I think pills is the easiest way.

I could steal them at work.

I read how to do it and it's easy.

It is us against the world always.

Not even your silence will change that.

I know God has a better plan for us.

I am not scared to do it.

We will be together on the other side.

Write her back, you idiot.

Hello, Warden's office.

Hello, Ma'am, this is Mail Inspection.

I just have a question.

Yes, something come up?

Well, yes, this is my question.

Um, if a...

If we have a sense that
someone is in danger,

well, that someone might hurt themselves,

what should we-

Is an inmate
threatening to harm themselves?


What is the question?

Well, I guess it's more
of a hypothetical question, if...

What is the protocol if someone outside

might harm themselves?

We only have protocol for what happens

inside the facility, Richard.

Yeah, well, that makes sense.

Yeah, of course.

Yeah, okay, thank you for your time.

Hey fellas.


You good, bro?

- All right.

Pretty good.

Hey, so that guy on the row, Cris?

He, uh...he didn't get
his exoneration, right?

That fuckin' cop killer?

He's a weirdo.

He's declined all visitors for years.

Never says a word to anyone.

Now he's the next one up.

Probably thinks some kind of
phone call will save his ass.

Good riddance.
- I agree.

Well, you know, never know
what's goin' on inside the mind

of another man, right?

What's up his ass?


You got any outgoing mail today?

Not gonna write shit
that you guys could sit

on your fat asses and read.

Now leave me the fuck alone.


I see you.

I see you sneak around and look at me.

You like to sit at home
and fantasize about me

gaspin' for air on that
stretcher when you take me out,

don't you?

Don't you, you sick fuck!

Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Yo, yo, Richard, Richard.

Hey, there's nothing.

She didn't write you.

Let it go.

Stop bugging me.

Who is it?

Uh, it's Richard.

Hi, Rosita?

Yeah, who are you?

Uh, yes, we haven't met.

I'm a corrections officer

from the state prison's death ward.

I'm here in regards to the letters.

Now put that away, put that away.

We can't talk here.

Baby, who is it?

It's just those Jehovah's witness people

with their magazines.

Meet me at the restaurant
on the corner in an hour.

And don't ever come back here again.

What's happened to Cris?

I'm sure you're wondering
what I'm doing here.

I want to clarify, Cris does
not know that I am here.


My job is to scan and
censor all the letters

before we pass it on.

So I've I read your letters and-

Is this even legal?

You being here?


um, it's, it's...

my civil duty to
follow up when someone tries

to kill themselves.

Well, if you're such a
hero, then why do you work

at an institution that kills people?

I don't think that's the same thing.

What do you want from me?

Those letters are private.

You realize that, right?

Yes, yes I do.

I was concerned about you.

I realize now that-

I'm sorry if I overstepped any boundaries.

Please forget that I came.

I've been walkin'
around for seven years,

waitin' for people in uniforms

to kill the love of my life.

I allowed myself to be
happy again without him,

but I can't write him that, can I?

I just don't want him to be scared.

You know, he slept with
the light on every night.

He's scared of the dark.

And you know, maybe he
even thinks like I'm going

to be waiting for him on
the other side or something.

Like maybe it helps him
get through the days.

You know, I was so young
when we made that promise.

This the only thing left that
I could do for him, you know?

I obviously can't show up like this.

You write very
beautiful letters, Rosita.

Cris is very lucky to get them.

We all need someone to love us.

Like you said, it's very,
very lonely in that prison.

It's very lonely.

You deserve to be happy.

And it doesn't bother you
that he never responds?

I didn't write him to get letters back.

Jackson, you got a letter.

Looks like there was an error
in that old stupid system

we have up in the mail room.

It's from your daughter, I think.

Thanks, man.

Ah, well. We'll keep an eye out,
see if there's any more.


You do that.