The Silence of the Marsh (2019) - full transcript

A writer of crime stories discovers that reality is more criminal than the stories he writes.


You should play with a fucking steak,
not a fucking ball, useless shits.


…half an hour to go before play resumes,
a short break to recover…

Good evening.

…we're witnessing a spectacular game…

Take me to Saler Road.
I'll guide you from there.

…almighty Barça, the king of kings…

I tell you what,
if they played with a damn steak...

You want to smoke, sir?
You can smoke in this taxi.

It gets on my nerves.

This damn soccer.

Catalan team has the ball now.

Rakitić passes it
to Busquets in the midfield.

He goes for a long pass,
but Valencia recovers…

Excuse me, shouldn't we have taken
González Abarca Street?

No need. It's faster this way, sir.

It'll take much longer this way.
I've done this a thousand times.

Well, you tell me, I'm the cabman.
Imagine how many times I've done it.

Turn round and take González Abarca,

Sir, it's faster this way.


…and now Valencia
is trying to level the field.

Come on, come on, come on!

- Goal!
- Goal!


That's it! Yes!

Come on, that's it!

Goal! Fuck yeah!

Fuck yeah! Jesus!

Jesus, finally!


…what a shot from the Frenchman!

From the right side of the penalty area,

an almost impossible missile for Cillessen
who couldn't do a thing about it…

Barcelona: 0,

- Valencia: 1!
- Are you feeling all right, sir?


Sir, I'm talking to you.
Are you all right?

God damn it!

God fucking damn it!


Didn't I fucking tell you?

I told you, open the window
if you're gonna throw up!

You open the fucking window!

It's common sense!

What a fucking idiot!

Just my luck to pick up an idiot
on the last ride of the shift!

What a damn idiot!


To kill, it's essential
to strip the victim of all human:

their feelings, their happiness,
and their sadness.

I'm sure that man was a good husband,

a great father, a charming colleague
who made perfect paellas on Sundays…

I'm sure he had talents and qualities
that would be forever lost,

hopes and dreams
that would be never fulfilled.

But none of that mattered at all.


Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

- Thank you very much for coming.
- Thank you.

At last.

Thank you.

Who's it for?

María. Sorry.


Thank you for your novels. I love them.

Thank you for reading them.

Can I ask a question?

Of course. You can ask me anything.

The protagonist…

I mean, you never explained
what happened to him,

some sort of trauma
or something like that?

We don't know anything about his past.
Will you tell in one of your books?


I don't really plan on doing that.

Then will we ever know why he kills?

Because he can.

Lets go, quick!


Valencia isn't a maritime city.

Never has been.

It's a riverine city
built on top of a massive swamp…

drained for centuries so that the famous
Valencian farmland could proliferate

and make the wealth of the city possible.

Wealth enjoyed always by the same people.

The city entered the 21st century
enamored with itself.

Formula One,

the America's Cup,

the City of Arts and Sciences…

Acts of complacency for which
no one takes responsibility anymore.

Nowadays, the swamp is nowhere to be seen.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

It's still there,
just a little deeper down,

like a hastily buried corpse.

Brimming with eels and reeds.

One after another, they began to fill
the Valencian government.

The eels arrived first.

Repugnant creatures
that resembled both snake and fish,

they lived in the mud
feeding off the filth.

He knew their type well.

He was one of them not that long ago.

He watched them as they shook hands

and engaged in hugs
as fake as their smiles.

Upstart writers,

narcissistic bloggers,
cultural promoters, editors…

They were all there,

waiting for the true owners
of the swamp to show up.

The only species
that don't need fertilizer,

rich soil, or irrigation to grow…

The reeds.

Tall and strong…

but empty inside,
they were the true kings of the marsh…

the city.

They're involved in politics,
employers' organizations,

labor unions, education, sports…


For a time, he also wanted
to become one of the high and mighty.

But soon he realized
he was neither an eel nor a reed.

He was a different type of creature.

A much more dangerous one.





I'm sorry, man. I lost track of time.

How did it go?



Hey, aren't you a little old
for this stuff?

No way.

My kid destroys me every game,
I gotta practice.


If you're going to give me shit,
you can fuck off.

You want a beer?


…at the Valencian courthouse,
where a statement regarding the Safil case

has been made by the ex-member
of the government council,

Ferrán Carretero.

Hey, did that gig in Segorbe
work out in the end?

Yeah, two days starting tomorrow.
But it's not much and all under the table.

- Better than nothing, right?
- Sure.

Between this and the bike money,
I'm getting by.

And the bike papers?

What do I tell the cops
if they pull me over?

Well, you'll think of something,
Mr. Writer.

What party?
I don't belong to any political party.

Look, you're talking about something
that happened many, many years ago

and something that I, of course,
had nothing to do with.

I work at the University of Valencia now,

and I'd really like to get there today,
thank you very much.

Mr. Carretero?

I didn't know how to answer
the third question.

- After staying up all night…
- Yeah, this sucks.

…the general price behavior.


The GDP's value includes
only final goods and services,

i.e. goods that are ready to be consumed.

And the goods mentioned before
don't count toward its calculation.

We are speaking, of course,
of goods and services

that require further manipulation…

Intermediate goods, as I was saying…

are not included.

And only goods and services
produced in the current year…

In other words…

if goods produced in another year
get sold in the current...

Lot of heat the other day, huh?

It wouldn't kill you
to learn some manners.

Don't ever walk into my class
like that again.

- You want to lecture me on manners?
- I don't think so.

From now on, they'll call you on this.

It's a burner. Forget the other one.
And my number's on it, just in case.


What do I do with it?

I don't know, take out the SIM card,
put it in the microwave, or up your ass,

do whatever the fuck you want.

Anything else?

Is anyone there?



You know who I am.

What you don't know
is that you've made a mistake.

If you don't take me home right now,
you'll be in a big trouble.

I have protection!

People are already searching for me.

Important, influential people!

And they've already informed
the police and gendarmeries!

You have no fucking idea
how much trouble you're in!

Got nothing to say?

Me neither.

I've said it all in court
and to the press.

There's nothing more.

Nothing more!

So you saw me on TV
and thought you could make an easy buck.

Well, no!

I'm a well-known man,
and not just in Valencia!

I have connections everywhere!

And there's no reason
for me to be locked up in this place!

Who do you think you have in here?

Open the door, damn it.

I told you to get out of here.

Chill, okay?

Oh, I'm chill. I just want to have a chat.

Not a chance, kid.

Not a chance.

Shut up.

I told you to fucking shut up!

Fucking blacks.

- Now…
- No!

Nice piece.

Good Lord…

Now you're going to tell me
who's selling the drugs.

Who is it?

A cop. I swear I don't know his name.

A cop?

Let me get this straight, okay?

You blacks should stick
to selling your usual stuff.


Sunglasses, bracelets, all that shit.

But drugs is our business.



I don't get why blacks
like to smoke this cheap shit.


Don't worry, man.

Don't worry.

That won't start a fire.

If you do want to start one…

you'll have to give it a good light.


- Sansón.
- Hey.

- What's up, Toni?
- Falconetti. The usual?

Boss here?


- Everything okay, Chema?
- The money is.

Prof didn't show up.

I waited until midnight.

Phone's silent, too.

The blacks problem, that's sorted.

They won't be bothering us for a while.

Sara! Come up here.

- What is it, Grandma?
- Listen.

Sara, go see our errand boy, okay?

Ask him if the professor
went to work today.

- Okay, sweetie? Be careful.
- On my way, Grandma.

I have a bad feeling about this professor.

We must be very careful
with this sort of thing.

Whatever it takes.

- Have you seen Fran?
- Yeah, over there.



Here. Ximo couldn't pay,
but he will on Friday.

The rest is there, check it.
I'm a man of my word.

You can give it to Toni at the bar.
I'm not about that.

No? What's it about?

Grandma wants you to go see the professor.

But I went yesterday.
I'll go after the game.

You have to go now.

Why now? I saw him yesterday.
Don't be lame, girl.

Stay and watch me finish the game,
then I'll go, but don't make me go now.

You can't stay. Go and talk
to the professor, then call me.

Or talk to Grandma.

Why the fuck now?

- What happened?
- Nothing. Here.

Give me my bike, please.




You can cover your faces if you want,
but please open the door.


Say something, you son of a bitch!

I know you're there. Answer me!

I know someone's there.

Listen to me.

Tell me what you want, please.

- You can borrow it whenever you want.
- That's real nice of you. Thanks a lot.

I just kind of miss it
sometimes, you know?

I have an offer.

Some guy I worked for.

He only wants the land.

- You know the house isn't worth shit.
- It's not that bad. It can be fixed.

It can't be, it's only fit to sell.
I've told you that many times.

I don't even know how you still go there.

I get depressed every time I see this bog.

It helps me write.

I can concentrate.

Helps you write.

And concentrate. Good for you.

You'll concentrate, write a book,
get tons of money, and I go fuck myself?

- Nacho, listen, if you need money...
- No, you listen!

I don't need money, okay?
I need us to sell the house.

You take your share,
I take mine. That's it.

What should I tell him?

I'm sorry, Nacho.

I'm sorry.

You son of a bitch.

What do you want me to say?

That I regret everything?

I won't say a word.

To anyone. About anything.

About this or anything else,
I swear to God.

They have no damn clue
about what matters.

There's no trace.

I work.

I always did what they asked.
Inside and outside the party.

Even after all the trials
and the fucking cameras…

Even after you assholes
left me on my own…

Abandoned like a dog…

to deal with the consequences.
And I had to.

Just like now.

Who the fuck are you?

He was Ferrán Carretero,

a professor of Applied Economics
at the University of Valencia.

Before that, he was a council member
in three different positions,

as well as a congressman.

But above all,
Carretero was one of those assholes

who went from a corduroy jacket
and a Fiat 600

to tailor-made suits and an Audi A8.

One of those who never lost
no matter who won.

The chaotic fury unleashed
on the cab driver never repeated itself.

After that, everything became methodical.

It took him no more than 48 hours
to prepare Carretero's body.

Those precautions
would be more than enough.

Once he disposed of the personal effects,
his work would be done.

All would be over.

But it was the very moment…

when it all began.

Pull up, Juan. It's ready.

When do you need it?

Tomorrow, torn apart.
Make sure you don't lose any parts.

Let's see what you find.

Bring it downstairs,
see it's taken to the storage.

Send a photo of this one to his father.
Let him know it's here.


Am I expecting you?


We must be one step ahead
when this inevitably reaches the press

and blows up in our faces.

What we know so far is that Mr. Carretero
was last seen on Wednesday

at around 10:30 p.m.

He held a class that day
and then played a game of squash

at the university gym
for about an hour and a half

with a colleague from his department.

When was he reported missing?


A week later?


His secretary reported it.

On Thursdays and Fridays, Mr. Carretero
has some office and tutoring work,

so she wasn't surprised
that he skipped these days.

She assumed he was sick on Monday,
but when he didn't show up on Tuesday

and since he wasn't answering his phones,
she decided to alert the emergencies.

When they didn't find him at home,
they started the case.

So where do we go from here?

Well, that depends
on the resources available to us.

The first 48 hours
are usually the most crucial...

The thing is that, in cases like this,
the help of the general public is vital.

Until we make his disappearance known...

We don't know for sure if it is one.

Madam Secretary, everything points to...

In any case, we'll have to discuss
the next step with the Minister.

We're talking
about a major political figure.

We can't allow politicians to disappear.

We can't allow anyone to disappear,
Madam Secretary.

Of course not.

Like I said, you'll be able to proceed
after I've discussed this matter.


we wait for further instructions?

Exactly. I'll let you know
as soon as I know something.

I have one just like that in my office.

The painting.

Arrived two days ago.

Pretty, aren't they?

It's been a while
since anyone came through here.

Get to the point, boy. Time is money.

What happened?

Madam Secretary wants to know
what happened to Mr. Carretero.

If I knew that,
you think I'd be here talking to you?

We're afraid
Mr. Carretero may be on the run.

His statement went well,
but there's a solid case against him.

If he talks…

If he talks, we're all screwed.

The problem is that we can't delay
the investigation any longer.

The police is on standby.

You managed to keep a lid
on what happened at the blacks' house.

Because that looked like a bonfire
and there wasn't a single cop in sight.

Madam Secretary asked me
to thank you for your efforts.

Tell her she's welcome. It's my pleasure.

But the construction site…

won't be touched
until we know where Mr. Carretero is.

What? Do you even believe
your own nonsence?

We've invested a lot of money in that.

It has to be up and running soon.
Do you understand?

I'm just relaying the message, ma'am.

If within a week...

Don't "ma'am" me!

We'll take care of Carretero.

You take care of counting the money.

And make sure the cops stay out of it.

Relay that message.

This morning, a presentation took place
in the Department of Economics

of the book titled
Highs and Lows of Economic Liberalism.

The author was accompanied
by the current councillor for the Economy

and the Rector
of the University of Valencia.

Not according to plans, however,
was the absence

of the the ex-councillor
and economics professor, Ferrán Carretero,

due to work-related reasons,
as we've been told by the university.

Attending in his place was the vice-dean
of the Economics Department…

Good morning. Can you put me through
to Mr. Carretero's office, please?

Thank you.

Good morning.

I'd like to speak
to Mr. Carretero, please.

I'm sorry, he's away at the moment.
He's attending a seminar abroad.

That's not possible. He's supervising
my thesis and said I should call today.

It was a last-minute trip.
He's standing in for someone.

How can I contact him?

- It's very...
- He said he'll return any calls once back,

so if you could give me
your name and number…

No. That won't be necessary. Thank you.


Not a screw out of place.
We'd have noticed anything strange.

Damn it.

You sure you don't want to sell it?

What did you even do to it?

Keep whatever you get for it,
but sell it the way it is.

Only the parts.

Leave the chassis and the bodywork there.

Ten folders, one for each year
starting from 2009.

Each folder contains 67 subfolders,
one for each business.

Bars, restaurants,
hair salons, beauty salons…

Always the same number, year by year.

Dozens of spreadsheets,
files and document copies.

At first glance, it looked like
Carretero had a part-time job

as a manager for small businesses.

All seemed normal…

but not for an ex-councillor,

and a professor
with a €14,000 watch and a luxury car.

Something didn't add up.

Unless the politician's whims
had a dirtier origin.

After all, there's only one reason
reeds grow tall and straight…

By feeding off the mudbanks.


Where's my six-three?

- I pass.
- Me too.


- Hello.
- Hello.


Six-five, come on.

- Wild card.
- Nice play.


I'll pass.

Hello. What can I get you?


Can I see the menu, please?

No menu here.

Maybe coffee?

All 67 business establishments
were those standing in plain sight

and for which going out of business
would never seem strange.


Empty bars, hair salons with no customers,

or restaurants with menus so awful
no one wants to eat in them.

Short-lived businesses
living long enough to serve their purpose:

drug money laundering.

Individually, they don't stand out.

Put them together, manage them well,
and they can move millions of euros.

And what better manager
than an economics professor?

Get back here.

- Hey, Woodworm. What's up?
- Oh, Falco. How's it going, man?

Something to warm you up.

It'll last a while if you dose it.
Don't do it in one go.

Thanks, man.

What did you see?

Right. No sign of professor.

But a strange guy came by
on a motorcycle today

and stared at the parking spot
for a while.

I got his license plate.

A cop?

No way, no uniform or anything.

He never got off the bike
or took off his helmet,

he just stood there looking at the spot.

Looked weird.

- Are you sure?
- Yeah, I swear.

It looked like a guy,
but you never know with those jackets…

if there are boobs underneath.

Good job, man.

When are you going to tell me
about your face?

Every time I ask,
you say you'll tell another day.

My fucking father.

With a bottle.

He loved beating my mother.

Poor woman.

Until one day I had enough

and punched him back.

The bastard… slashed my face
with a one-liter glass bottle.

Fucked up my eye, too.

No shit. What did you do?

Pushed him off the balcony.

Got sent away for seven years.

Got seven more for raising hell inside.

I was never one for talking.

You talk to me.

You never wronged me.


If nothing else happens in a few days, go.

- Okay?
- Okay.

The cops are all restless by now.

Fermín, put some tables together
and get the kids some sodas.

But no snacks, it'll spoil their appetite.

- And bring me an ashtray.
- Yes, Mrs. Puri.

What are we having? Paella?

It's Niki's birthday.
We're going to L'Estimat.

L'Estimat? Better get your wallet ready,
'cause they've raised prices.

What's wrong, Chema?

Woodworm told me some creep on a bike
was checking out the parking spot.

I have the license plate.

Check it out with Castaño.
Find out who he is and if he's connected.

We must find the bastard
one way or another.

Don't you worry.

Do you know the worst part, Chema?

I'm getting a bad feeling about this.

And when I get a bad feeling,
you know things are about to go south.

Chema, this is life-and-death. Find him.

Find him or shit is going down real quick.


Yes, fill in your name,
your phone number, your ID and...

See you at the bar.

You need the phone number too?

- My e-mail.
- Oh, yeah.


Hey. What do you want this time?

First, you speak my language
or I'll rip your damn head off.

Second, I want to know
who this bike belongs to.

His name, his address, his tickets…

His everything.

I'll be back at 11.

Yes, of course.


How's that expensive boat of yours?


Your boat. Don't tell me
you have more than one.

No. It's good, very good.

The boss said
it's not needed anymore, right?

I was just thinking
you could take me for a cruise.

- To show off maybe?
- Any time, man.

Bring your wife along.

You pay.

I have no cash.

Put it on your tab.

Charge me.

Bye, sweetie.

See you.


Stay calm, man.

Take whatever you want.

Where is Carretero?


Ferrán Carretero. What did you do to him?

I don't know any Ferrán Carretero.

- You don't?
- No.

I don't know him.

I swear, I don't...

What were you doing at the parking lot?

Parking lot?

- Parking lot. You don't know which one?
- No, I don't...


Listen, you clown.

If you don't tell me everything…

I had enough of this shit.

I'll take this little thing with me
and guess who I'm picking up from school?

Your daughter, asshole.

Your daughter!

You fucking…

Get the hell out of here!

Open up! It's me.


- Do you want a drink or...
- You know how much money is in that land?

How the fuck would you even know?

All you know is how to bash heads in.


how do you live like this, son?

Where does your money go?

I'm saving up.

I'm going to Morocco. When I get old.

I'll buy a house there
so I can fuck off and die in piece.

You're supposed to die
surrounded by family.

Family, right.

Not like a dog.

The only time I went to prison…

was when I was 28 years old.

I was two months pregnant.

The first night I was in,

I thought I was dying.

I was dying, Chema.

What a terrible night that was.

My God, did I then think
nothing could be worse than that.

Was I ever so wrong.

My two sons were stabbed
in El Puerto de Santa María.

Then five years later…

they beat my husband Isidro to death.

You know who I have left?

I have two daughters…

six grandchildren…

and four fucking daughters-in-law.

Four fucking daughters-in-law…

who act like I owe them something,
these goddamn bitches.

God only knows…

that all I have went through was for them.

So that they won't have
to go through that too.

I've done business
with the meanest sons of bitches…

the biggest thieves in this city…

for them to have that.


Whatever needs be done, I'm here for you.

I'm here.

No, Chema.

You've done enough.

You've done all you had to.

It's their turn now.

It's been years
since I came to see the Savior.

I hope the Lord can forgive me for that.

This isn't the time or place,

Then He'll have to forgive me
for that too.

We had an accident.

We killed a worker from Orriols
while looking for Carretero.

A dead man in the press.
That's the last thing we need.

A dead white man.

I wonder if you'd be this worried
about a dead gypsy or a dead black.

We can delay the investigation
for two weeks.

After that,
the police will be looking into it.

We'll have to give them something by then.

I'm not turning my men in.
I've turned in more than my fair share.

If you want him, there he is.
Arrest him yourself.

I'm sure you can make a few phone calls
and get me a name.

What are you going to do?

Since when do you care
how we take care of things?

All you ever cared about
was getting your share.

This Orriols incident is too much.

What you're asking now…

is very serious.

It'll be worse
if we don't find the professor.

All good?


Carretero's probably in Brazil by now.

Drinking caipirinhas
and fucking with mulattas.


Or the Caymans.

That's no longer our concern.
Our hands are clean.

If she wants to keep looking for him,
let her look.

You'll need to take some files to the bar.

And after that?

After that…

the game is up for that fucking gypsy.

That's it. Fuck this.

I'm going home.

- Damn. Wish I could do that.
- Shouldn't have dropped out then.

I'm listening.




H-50, this is Detective Alberto Muñoz.

There's been an Assault With Dead Body
at Pere Cabanes Street, 4.

I repeat, Pere Cabanes Street, 4.

After receiving an anonymous call,
I arrived at the scene.

Requesting backup. Over and out.

Where's the girl?

With my parents.

She doesn't know yet.

I don't know how I will tell her.

Fuck this.

Excuse me?

You're his brother, right?

- Yes.
- Right.

I'm very sorry.

What happened?

Looks like a robbery.

We think your brother
took the thief by surprise

as he was leaving through the garage.

The thief didn't take the van?


He could have taken it if he wanted.
My brother always left the keys inside.

Ah, yes. Well, no. We think
they took the motorbike, the one…

Ducati Monster.

He had one, but he sold it.

Okay. Who did he sell it to?

Why would that matter now?

It might be important.

To me.


Police! Hands where I can see them!

Look everywhere.

Search the drawers.

Police! Don't move!

- José María Cortés!
- Where is he?

Excuse me, chief. Can you come with me?

I hope the dog bites you, asshole.

Why don't you put a bullet in that dog
and then in your head?

Put your back into it, asshole.


What you looking at?

The hell you looking at?

You found your money.

I'm sure you'll "misplace" half of it.

You know the same woman
pays all three of us, right?

We live surrounded by a wall of reeds
that dig their roots into swamp.

On the surface, it's tall…

slender, beautiful even.

But beneath,
lies part of what's rotting in the mire.

Anyone who's ever tried to eradicate
a reedbed that's invaded a crop field

knows well what's to come.

You can cut out the reeds,
burn them, and salt the earth.

It's all in vain.

Son of a bitch.

Big guy!

It's just the two of us here.

What did you do to the professor?

Suit yourself.

Suit yourself.

You know how this ends.

It's up to you how we do this.

Just like your first day in prison.

You know what's going to happen.

July 9th, 1989.

As soon as I went inside,

there were two assholes
beating the shit out of each other.

A fight to death,
like there was no tomorrow.

Blood everywhere.

Until one of them says
he can't take it any more.

Son of a bitch was done for.

So they shook hands and that was it.
Friends like nothing ever happened.

I couldn't believe it.

I said, "What's going on?"

You know what they said?

Why they were going at it?

To see who fucks whom.

That's how life works, big guy.

You fuck…

or you get fucked.

Let's end this bullshit.