Music Within

Synopsis: The True Story Of Richard Pimentel, A Brilliant Public Speaker With A Troubled Past, Who Returns From Vietnam Severely Hearing-Impaired And Finds A New Purpose In His Landmark Efforts On The Behalf Of Americans With Disabilities...
Director(s): Steven Sawalich
Production: MGM
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
94 min

All of our

earliest memories are lies,

family mythologies

handed down to us repeatedly

until they become as real

as what actually happened.

Get the door, Mama.

You may be king, you may

possess the world and it's gold

But gold won't bring you happiness

When you're growing old

The world still is the same,

you never change it

Get the damn door, Mama.

As sure as the stars shine above

No one in the family can say

exactly when my mother went crazy.

According to Grandma,

she was always that way.

Get the damn door, Mama.

Dad said it started

when she lost the babies.

Seven miscarriages in eight years

can tend to do that to a person.

That's why my arrival on the scene

came as somewhat of a surprise.

I was born with the umbilical cord

wrapped around my neck.

I've been pissed off ever since.

The world still is the same,

you never change it

The miscarriages had taken

such a toll on Mom

that she somehow got it in her head

that she'd lost me as well.

Well, you're nobody 'til somebody loves you

So find yourself somebody to love

Shortly after I was born,

my mother drove me to California

and placed me in a Catholic orphanage.

I wish I could tell you

about my earliest memories there,

but the truth is, no one knows.

Back home, she claimed I had died at birth

and couldn't tell anyone where I was.


Two years later, after another miscarriage,

she suddenly remembered

where she'd left me.

Despite all of Mom's craziness,

Dad never stopped loving her.

But they divorced,

and I was passed around

like an unwanted Christmas fruitcake.

Eventually, my mother decided

she needed to be a full-time mom again,

and that we needed a fresh start.

I disagreed.

- You'll have your own room.

- I already have my own room.

I'll get you bunk beds.

But why do I need bunk beds?

I'm an only child.

It wasn't all bad.

The best thing in my life was my dad.

His name was Dell Fong,

and he was Chinese.

I identify him as being Chinese,

because his race

is the most vibrant memory I have of him.

Richard, that's not safe.

Come on, time to work.

Maybe you can be a cook, too, someday.

I could never be a cook like my father

because I'd already made

my career choice.


As a superhero, you occasionally

have to deal with something annoying,

like Kryptonite.

My Kryptonite was called home.

My mother had this ritual.

Every year, she'd celebrate the birthday

of each of the children she miscarried

by buying them a birthday card

and taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

That happened seven times a year.

I wouldn't call her successful at suicide,

but she was punctual.

My dad's Kryptonite?

Soy sauce.

"Most people go to their graves

with their music inside them. "

What was Mr. Holmes saying?

Come on, guys, it's not that hard.

He's saying that most people die

without discovering their own genius,

without expressing the uniqueness

that makes them special.

And that's what

this little exercise is about.

I want you to give me three minutes

about something, anything that you know,

that your classmates may not know.

Mr. Pimentel, I like your spirit.

Come on up.

Butt kisser.

Funny how things happen.

Only in hindsight do you realize how

something as small as raising your hand

can change your entire life.

Well, have any of you ever eaten

chicken at the Golden Dragon,

the Rickshaw Gardens

or the Chinese Gardens?

Well, you know the restaurants

don't buy live chickens, right?

They buy dead ones.

And you know where they get those

chickens and how those chickens die?

I do, 'cause I killed them.

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Bret McKinney

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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