Synopsis: In "America," Dr. Maureen Brennan, a psychiatrist at a youth treatment center, encounters her newest patient, a bi-racial boy named America. Through their sessions, Dr. Brennan helps America come to terms with his roller-coaster life, which began when he was taken by authorities from his crack-addicted mother, and placed into foster care as an infant. The short time of stability in his life occurred when America lived with Mrs. Harper, the elderly nanny to one of his foster families. Later reunited with his mother, she soon abandons America and he is again placed into foster care. Lagging behind in school and full of anger, America retreats further away from society after years of sexual abuse. After attempting suicide, America is placed in a treatment center where Dr. Brennan helps him open up about his painful past and discover the support and courage he needs to get his life back on track.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Yves Simoneau
  1 win & 9 nominations.
89 min

Kids, living on the street

Have you ever talked to one?

Most come from homes

where they're abused,

often by their parents who were

supposed to protect them, but couldn't

There's no peace

inside of these children

Pain is the quickest path to pleasure,

and they cope by hurting themselves

just so they can feel

something, anything

We now have whole

generations who are raised in

and then lose their children to

a very broken foster care system

Children who live

confused, betrayed, angry,

yet still yearning for a

home, for a family, for love

This boy is one of them His name

is America and this is his story

I love you I love you

so much You're my baby

I love you

I work at a residential

treatment facility

that's the end of the road

for way too many of these kids

This is their last stop

For me, it's where

the love has to start

Here's the boys' dorm. The

girls' are on the other side.

Don't get any ideas.

Girls' dorms are off-limits.

Only places where everybody mixes

are in the common areas downstairs,

classes, cafeterias,

rec rooms.

During the day when you're in school or

therapy, all of these rooms are locked.

No access or

unsupervised entry.

up here for quiet time.

Quiet time is for homework.

You got dinner at 5:00,

lights out at 10:00.

This is your room.

This is your bed

and your dresser.

- Any questions?

- No.

Get anything to eat yet?

Come down to cafeteria,

we'll get you some food.

I'm not hungry.

You got therapy at

And, America, meet

your new roommate, Fish.

Hi. I'm Fish.

America Vega?

America? Hi.

Come on in.

Sit right here. Either

seat's all right.

I'm Dr. Maureen Brennan.

You can call me Dr. B.

I will be your counselor

while you're here at Ridgeway.

Just so you understand,

everything that you say during

our sessions is confidential,

with a couple of exceptions.

Number one, if you tell

me someone's hurting you.

Number two, if you tell me

you're gonna hurt yourself.

Or number three, if you tell me

you're gonna hurt someone else. Okay?

Do you have any

questions, America?

Did you understand

what I just said?

- Yes?

- Yeah.

Great. Would you sign

this for me, please?

Just says that I told you what

our sessions are going to be about,

and what the rules are,

and all that mumbo jumbo

they make you do nowadays.

Thank you very much.

I cannot believe that I am almost blind

without these glasses. Did you know that?

I turn 42, totally

went downhill.

I can't read without them

So what's on your

mind, America? Anything?

Anything on your

mind you wanna share,

or something that might help me

get to know you a little bit better?

I read in your file that you've

done this a couple of times,

this whole therapy thing,

so I'm sure you remember, the

first session's always the toughest.

So, why don't we just

end early for today

and start off tomorrow with

a bang, what do you say?

- Is that good for you?

- Fine.

Okay, great. You can go.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Thank you. Nice to meet

you. Have a good day.

- Come on, you're gonna let me go through?

- No.

No? I'll tickle you!

Got a problem, man?

America! America!

What a sweet baby

Where's that boy?

Easy Where's that boy?

Where is my sweet baby?

Where's that boy? America.

I see you, mister. I see you.

I found you! I found you!

You like that ring?

I had it when I

was a little girl.

You know what? One

day it'll be yours.

And if you rub it, it'll

bring you good luck every day.

Good luck every day

Good luck

Yes, we're trying to

work together as a team.

- You're supposed to talk to each other.

- That's right, communicate!

We're gonna get this ball going

as fast as we can around the room.

Hold up. Heads up, heads up. Hold up!

Come on, get it around, get it around.

I like this, I like what I'm

seeing! Come on! Good job! Good job!

Good tossing, good

tossing, good tossing!

Get it around here. Right.

Come on, come on, come on.

Team work! Team work! Come

on. Good job, good job!

Hot potato, hot potato,

hot potato, two. One to you!

- Get the ball over here.

- Right here.

- Yo, man, what's up?

- Yo, you all right?

You just gonna

leave? Just like that?

All right. Well,

don't forget to write.

- All right, hot potato back in!

- Come on, guys.

Let's go! Let's go! Let's

go! Let's go! Let's go!

Shut up!

You know, we've been here a long time.

You think you're ever gonna talk to me?

You got my file. Read it.

I read it. It's full

of facts, not feelings.

I'd much rather talk to

you than read about you.

I'm too tired.

You know, I'm kind

of tired myself.

How about we just end today a little bit

early and start again tomorrow morning?

- Okay.

- Okay.

I'll see you tomorrow.

- Got nowhere to go?

- What?

I don't know. Seem lonely

sitting here by yourself,

so I figured you had nowhere

to go for the weekend.

Fish is one of the lucky ones. He

always has places to go on the weekends.

It's hard at first, you know,

adjusting and everything,

but trust me, it'll be fine.

You know, you kind

of look all mixed up,

like you have a little

bit of everything in you.

Your name fits you, America.

I'm in America, I'm in America

I'm in America and America is me!

And we live in

Michigan, in America.

- I'm America.

- Hot dog! Yes, you are.

Yes! America is a place where

we live, and it's also your name.

- I'm in America, and America is me.

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Joyce Eliason

Joyce Eliason (born May 14, 1934) is an American television writer and producer. She is best known for writing TV miniseries including Titanic and The Last Don, and for the TV film The Jacksons: An American Dream. Eliason was one of the writers for the hit television series Love, American Style and wrote her first screenplay Tell Me a Riddle in 1980.Eliason wrote two books before becoming a screenwriter, Fresh Meat/Warm Weather in 1974 and Laid Out in 1976. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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