EXT. PRISON CEMETERY -- DAY
A handful of people are gathered in an open field under a
fierce Mississippi sun. A couple of young inmates, JAKE and
LEON, lean on their shovels. They are waiting to bury two
identical CASKETS with inmate numbers stenciled on the
A GUARD rests the butt of his rifle on the ground and takes
a long, healthy pull from his canteen. He offers it to the
PRISON CHAPLAIN, who is much obliged. SUPERINTENDENT BILL
BURKE, a 40-year-old black man, glances at his watch and
loosens his tie. Sure is hot.
MARY HUMPHRIES, an elderly white woman in a nurse's uniform,
stands behind WILLIE LONG, an ancient inmate sleeping
peacefully in a wheelchair. She readjusts an umbrella to
shield the old black man from the blistering sun.
Burke dabs his forehead with a handkerchief. He gives the
nod to the chaplain, who steps forward and cracks his bible.
The men remove their hats.
In accordance with the regulations
of the State of Mississippi, we gather
here today to lay to rest the remains
of inmates R. Gibson, number 4316,
and C. Banks, number 4317. Ashes to
ashes, dust to dust. May God have
mercy on their souls.
Go ahead, fellas.
The young inmates plunge their shovels into the dirt. One by
one, the mourners head back toward a prison van parked on a
nearby dirt road.
I'll come back for you in a little
She leaves Willie alone with Jake and Leon. He rolls his
chair up to the edge of the graves and gazes at the pinewood
These two guys friends of yours, old
We spent some time together.
Why do I get the feeling when you
say some time, you mean some time.
I was already here a good many years
when they came in in 1932.
1932? That's like, that's like...
Sixty-five years ago. They always
said the farm couldn't hold 'em
forever. Looks like you're finally
Willie pulls a bottle of moonshine from his jacket and takes
a swig in their honor.
Hey, the dude's holdin'.
Come on, old-timer, hook the brothers
Willie passes the bottle to Leon, who takes a swig and winces
from the unexpected kick.