Synopsis: A short film that evokes the early years of Ellis Island through the experience of one immigrant.
Genre: Drama, Short
Director(s): JR
Production: Emerson Collective
  1 win.
15 min


I remember the sound of the wind

as I was falling asleep.

The tree branches scraping the roof

like people whispering...

I arrived here one winter morning,

or maybe it was spring.

I can't remember anymore...

The mind plays tricks...

Papa had just died two weeks before...

The ground was frozen

where they dug his grave...

Mama left a note in my suitcase,

telling me to do something

that would make her proud...

To be a good man...

There were so many winters...

I came here because I wanted a home...

Where I can find peace...

Where I can be treated like anyone else.

Where I can be anyone I want to be.

It wasn't always empty.

They all had to come down here.

People would line up here

holding their suitcases,

and their children holding on

to them for dear life.

There were young people and old

people, families...

But lots of them...

they were completely alone.

They waited their turn to reach the guard

at the end of the hall.

The guard would stamp your book and say:

"Go over there"...



I was one of them.

When I got here,

I went into a huge room.

Doctors... asking these quick questions.

A doctor comes to me and tells me:

"You got to go back."

I say:
"Back where?"

He says:
"Back where you came from."

I said:
"I got to go to New York!

I come for a new life."

He says:

"You can't"

"You go to..."

"Back home."

And I fight him. He doesn't listen.

He says:
"Five minutes"

and walks away

I grabbed my suitcase,

and... I went and hid in a closet

behind all these dressing gowns.

And when it was dark,

I went and hid somewhere else,

and somewhere else

I stayed where nobody could find me.

And a week became a month.

I had only one thing in mind.

One place to be.

Like you could fly if you had

the wings.

You could swim there if the current

wasn't so hard.

Lots of people triedTo get there.

I even tried to swim once

but I only made it a little way.

One night,

I met somebody else.

She was hiding too.

So we hid together.

Living at night.

And we talked about what we would

be when we got to the shore.

What our life was going to be like.

And one day she didn't wake up.

So I took her body and

put it into the water and...

watched it float to where she wanted to go.

And I was alone again.

"I'm sorry. We were so close."

There were all these millions of people

who come through here,

and I see them all.

People of every color, shape and size.

And I think about all

those people who did...

All of those that made it...

Made it to some distant shore

where when they come up the beach

or over a bridge or onto a road

They start to walk...

Then they start walking faster and faster,

faster and faster...

Then they're running...

They made it.

They were at last... Home.

But don't get me wrong.

I'm the ghost of all those

who never got to get there.

And the ghost of those who

will never get there.

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Eric Roth

Eric Roth (born March 22, 1945) is an American screenwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Forrest Gump (1994). He also co-wrote the screenplays for several Oscar-nominated films: The Insider (1999), Munich (2005), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Ellis" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/ellis_7585>.

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