Before Night Falls (2000) Script

Man: Trees have a secret life that is only revealed to those who are willing to climb them.

I do not remember when I was born.

But, when I was three months old, my mother returned to my grandparents' home with me as the proof of her failure.

The splendour of my childhood was unique, because of its absolute poverty, and absolute freedom... out in the open, surrounded by trees, animals, and people who were indifferent toward me.

Grandmother: Reinaldo!


Child, hurry with that water, God!

Wait in this house!

My early life was surrounded by a room full of unhappy women who were all bossed around by my grandmother, the heart of the house, the only woman I ever saw who peed standing up and talked to God at the same time.

My mother was a very beautiful and very lonely woman.

She had only known one man, my father, and had enjoyed the pleasures of love for only a few months and then, gave that all up for the rest of her life, creating in her a great sense of frustration.

Her chastity was worse than that of a virgin.


Outta here!




The most extraordinary event of my childhood was provided by the heavens.

Water rushed down gutters, reverberating over the zinc roof like gunfire a massive army marching across the trees, overflowing, cascading, thundering into barrels, a concert of drums, water falling on water, drenched and whistling and out of control, and under the spell of violence, let loose that would sweep away almost everything in its path.

Trees, stones, animals, houses.

It was the mystery of destruction.

The law of life.

As I saw it, the currents were roaring my name.

Flowers have reproductive organs.

Class, can anyone tell us what the male reproductive organ is called?



A dick. A long, skinny dick.

Don't ask her where she comes from.

Can't you see she is from the garden and the most beautiful flower of them all?

Good evening, excuse me...

Señor Fuentes, I didn't mean to disturb your dinner.

What did he do?

No, he didn't do anything wrong.

I came here to tell you that Reinaldo has a special gift.

What special gift?

He has a sensitivity for poetry.

After that, my grandfather sold the farm and moved the family to Holguín, opened a grocery store, and refused to speak to any of us.

Holguín was a town of 200,000 people and one garbage truck.

The rebels are in Velasco.

We can walk it in a day.


We'll leave tonight.

Very well.

You think you can do it with her?

My name is Reinaldo. What is yours?


Would you like to dance? Sure.

What do you want? You are very young.

( radio announcer ) Join the fight.

Radio Rebelde, broadcasting from the mountains of East, from the Sierra Maestra, free territory of Cuba.

Radio Rebelde here.

Where are you going, kid?

Up the road. Up the road where?


Velasco? You are not from Velasco.

I am from Velasco. Why do you go to Velasco for?

Ah, the rebels are in Velasco.

You going to join the rebels?

Your mamá know you are going to join the rebels?



Where she is?

She's in Miami, working.

Would you like to see?

It's upside down.


You want to hit things?

Sometimes I like to hit things.

My mother, she has a store in Velasco.

Before that it was my grandmother's store, and before that, it was her mother's store.

I have six brothers.

They all want to join the rebels.

The second one, he joined the rebels.

I'm the middle one, I don't join the rebels.

( car horn honking )

Get that for me.

Go home.

The rebels are no more in Velasco.

Go on, get off.

Get off!

What? What?

Long live Fidel!

Viva Fidel!

Cuba libre!

Translator: It's all for today.

( together ) Spaziva!

As my mother smacked me, she cursed and yelled, "Maldito! Bad seed!"

She shouted at the sky, "I want to get out of here."

But I really wasn't sure that's what she wanted.

But now standing over me she looked like a huge tree trunk.

And if it didn't hurt so much, I'd get down on my knees, and ask her to smack me again, even harder.

Then she became beautiful.

How pretty she is in her skirt made out of a sack and the blouse she stole from her sister.

I wanted to get up and beg her forgiveness.

I wanted to say, "Mom, how pretty you are today.

You look like one of those women that you can only see on Christmas cards," but I said nothing because of the knot in my throat.

That was very nice. What's your name?

Reinaldo Arenas.

Who wrote this?

I did, it's my own... from my novel.

What do you call this novel?

"Singing from the Well."

Are you a student?

Yes, I'm an agricultural accountant.

Tell me, do you think you'd feel at home working in the national library?

The pay won't be very much.

But I can promise you that you'll have all the books you could ever hope to read.

I would like that very much.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Oye, need a lift?

I want to go down to Guayanos.

Get in.


Driver: You like it, right?

It used to belong to Errol Flynn.

You don't believe me?

Look in the glove compartment.

Be careful, huh?

Do you want to go to the movies with me?


Do you want to go to the movies with me?

I'll get out here! Oh, Hell!

You got a flat ass anyway!

Come on boy!

You'll see him tomorrow.

Get out!


Last Saturday night I made 100 pesos for letting 10 members of the National Ballet suck me off.

Doesn't that make you a fag?

If you do it for money, you're not a fag.

You know him?



I'm sorry about the other day.

No, don't worry. Forget it.

I am Reinaldo. I am Pepe.

How about some ice cream? Yes!

Today they have only vanilla.

Bring him a banana split with pistachio.

One ice cream!


So where you from, Reinaldo?

I am a guajiro, from Oriente.

Does it matter where I'm from? No.

What do you do?

I just got a job now in the National Library, but I would like to be a writer.

You poor thing.

A country boy in Havana to serve the Revolution.

Where's your mother? En la bodega.

Give me the key.



She says it works, just one key is a little off.

How can I thank you?

What are you doing?

Who is the man?

Who's the man?

You, because you are the judo expert.

You don't kiss on the lips?

Only when I'm in love.

Patricio Lamumba Beach is only a 10 minute walk from here...

La Concha is about a mile...

This is perfect for you.

You'll have to share the bathroom with her.

Bedsheets are changed every two weeks and you are responsible for your own towel.

It is perfect, I'll take it.

Don't you want to know how much?

It doesn't matter, I can not afford it anyway.

30 pesos a month... and no visitors... nor music after 10:00pm.


Thank you.

National Book Award Contest.


I would like to submit this please.

Put it in the box.

Hey, you want a smoke?

No, thank you.

What are you reading?

This is "El Lazarillo de Tormes."

Who wrote it?

No author, he's anonymous.

No writer? That's impossible.

No, no, no, I didn't say no writer.

I said we don't know who the author is.

Okay. Do you have any other books?

Yes, I have many.

I usually read out here so I can be alone.

I like it here.

Sorry to bother you. I'll leave.

It's okay. I'm going home anyway.

You live around here?

Not far.

You want to come over and hear some music?


I have some French records.

Maybe you like...

Edith Piaf, and Jacques Brel.

Stupid idiot!

Are you out of your mind?

Take the book with you.

Hopefully you will fall the ping, fagot!

Stupid! Pussy.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at this auspicious moment.

We are happy to announce that the first prize goes to, "Living in Candonga" by Ezequiel Vieta.

And the honourable mention goes to Reinaldo Arenas for "Celestino Antes de Alba."

Thank you. Gracias.

Thank you for coming ladies and gentlemen, and another round of applause for our contestants.

Congratulations. Thank you.

You're invited to Lezama Lima's house.


He left after his brother made the film "P.M."

You've heard about it.

The brother had to leave, too.

Simple film.

Just a group of people dancing and getting drunk.

It made no judgments.

It made no judgments.

People that make art are dangerous to any dictatorship.

They create beauty.

And beauty is the enemy.

Artists are escapists.

Artists are counter- revolutionary, and so you are a counter- revolutionary, Reinaldo Arenas, and you know why?

Because there's a man that cannot govern the terrain called beauty, so he wants to eliminate it.

So, here we are, 400 years of Cuban culture about to become extinct and everybody applauds.

And what happened to your lip?

I found somebody who doesn't like French music, that's all.

Be careful. Be careful.

No, no, no. Keep it...

He would love for you to have it.

There are 150 books that contain everything that literature has to offer.

You read them and you don't have to read anything else.

So which book would be the first?

"The Bible." You have to read the Bible.

Oh, croquettes. Ooh, María Luisa.

These croquettes don't stick to the roof of your mouth.

They are delicious.

What kind are they?

In this country, you don't ask that question.

We're all being placed on an international diet.

Let's go back to the Bible, it's far more interesting.

Now, I don't mean to convert you.

Just read it like a novel.

I tell you what, I'm going to give you five books...

Correction, I'm going to lend you five books.

You return them, then I'll give you five more.

"Moby Dick," Melville, Robert Lewis Stevenson's "Treasure Island,"

Proust's, "Remembrance of Things Past"

Kafka's "Metamorphosis,"

Flaubert's, "Sentimental Education."

María Luisa, coffee please.

One, two, three... four, five.

Reinaldo, I don't mean to be presumptuous, but we've read your book.

We both think it's far superior to the one that won first prize.

They robbed you of the first prize.

But, to be frank, there's always room for improvement.

If you'll allow, Virgilio would like to help you clean it up.

Right now it's good, but it's too good not to be great.

Let's fix it.

Second prize gets published too.

That's the real prize.

We both think that you were born to write.

( police radio )

You can't be too careful.

This is the only possession that you really need.

Of life.

The lizards are very large here.

If you saw them! Lizards... come in various types...

Where's Pepe?

He's getting supplies.

I don't have to work today.

Let's pick up Nicolas and Juan.


Look, look, Tomás. "Celestino Antes de Alba."

Now, you are really a writer.

You like that cover? I like it, it's beautiful.

I thank Virgilio for this book.

He gave me a lesson in literature and editing.

My brothers Juan and Nicholas are writers too.

Oh, come on.

Pepe, we've got the Bronte sisters in the back-seat.

Look at them.

Lezama is a Catholic; Virgilio is an atheist.

So what do they have in common besides being faggots?

Lezama doesn't type, he writes everything by hand.

Something you wouldn't understand It's called intellectual honesty.

I don't understand!

Well, if you took the time to actually read their books, maybe you'd have something intelligent to say about it.

Oye, look at this.

Give him the cigarettes.

Hey, handsome!


Mariquita! ¡Mariquita!

Make him eat pillar of the horse!

( gunshots )

Pussy! What is that?

What happens now?

Oye, welcome to our picnic, compañero.

Quiet, do not move from there.

What do you want? Shut up.

What do I want?

I want Carlos first to frisk this guy.

Why him?

See if he's got a weapon.

He's not even dressed.

What's your name?

My name?

Franz Kafka.

Franz Kafka.

You're funny.

You think I'm ignorant?

Let's see how ignorant you are.

Ever heard of a summer camp called La Isla de la Juventud?

No, then maybe you can tell me... when was the last time you took it up your ass?

The last time?

Oh, I don't remember.

You don't remember?

But, I remember the last time you did.

When was that?

Maybe the last time you bent over to tie your boots?

Okay, you see, does not?

Okay, okay.

Do you have a cigarette?

Yes, I have a cigarette.

There was also a sexual revolution going on that came along with excitement of the official revolution...

but the drums of militarism were still trying to beat down the rhythm of poetry and life.

When I wasn't at my job at the library, or guard duty, or attending rallies, there were three wonderful things that I enjoyed in the 60's: my typewriter, at which I sat like a dedicated performer sitting at his piano; the youth of those days, when everyone was ready to break free; and lastly, the full discovery of the sea.

Did you ever notice there are four categories of gays?



Which are they?

Well, the first one is the dog collar gay...

He's loud, shows off that he's gay, there's no limit to his sexual voracity, therefore he's constantly being arrested.

The system has created a permanent collar around his neck, so they can hook him up and take him to a rehabilitation camp like a Valparaíso.

Two is the common gay.

He's made his commitments with other gays, has a job, film clubs, likes to sip tea with his friends, writes a poem now and then, only has relations with other gays, never takes a risk, and never gets to know a real man.

The third one, the closet gay, okay, nobody knows he is gay.

He's married, has children, hides on his way to the bathroom, still wearing the ring that his wife gave him.

They're hard to spot, but I've got one here.

Most of the time they're the ones who censor other gays.

And fourth, the royal gay, a unique product of our country, a communist country.

Because of his closeness to our Maximum Leader or special work with the State Security, he can afford to be openly gay, travel freely in this country and abroad, cover himself with jewels, clothes...

Coño, he even has a private chauffeur.

Hey, hey. Stop!


Hey, Reinaldo!

Come on. We'll give you a ride.

Where are you going?

Don't worry. Take a seat.


How are you?

Now, we're going to take a little shortcut and show you a beautiful part of Havana that not many visitors get to see.

The crackdown began in earnest.

The horror and ugliness advanced day by day at an ever increasing pace, but the oppression only acted as a stimulus and sex became a way of fighting it... a weapon to use against the regimen.

Needless to say, the Revolution wasn't for everybody.

Mr. Heberto Zorrilla Ochoa, are you aware of Article 243 in the Penal Code?


And what does Article 243 of the Penal Code state?

It states that no assembly of over three people is allowed.

And yet, you had an assembly of over 20 people at your home on the night of July 10th.

What were you doing?

It was a poetry reading.

Whose poetry?

My own... others.

And are you sure that this was a poetry reading and not just an opportunity to recite counterrevolutionary propaganda?

Yes, I'm sure.

Mr. Correa, is poetry ever propaganda?

I suppose it could be.

But not your poetry.


Mr. Correa, who else was present at this so-called poetry reading?

Some friends, other writers.

Tell me, does the name José Lezama Lima ring a bell?

Virgilio Piñera?

Your wife, Fina?


Were they there?

Yes, they were there.

Are you aware that Lezama Lima and Virgilio Piñera are homosexuals?


I am aware of my errors.

That are unpardonable, errors that demand to be severely punished.

But I must confess that I see before me in this room, the faces of many comrades who like me, have lost their way, whose ideology has wavered, who have committed similar errors... errors that also demand to be severely punished.

( crowd screams )

I'm sorry. I'm late.

We got a call about an hour ago.

They said they would be at the Hotel Nacional and they're leaving today at 4:00 p.m.

That's all they said?

They're friends of Lezama Lima.

Reinaldo? Yes.

I'm Jorge Camacho.

This is my wife, Margarita. Hi.

Have a seat.

We live in Paris.

Jorge is in a show at the Salón De Mayo.

He's a painter.

We are big fans of your work.

My work?

We bought your book in a bookstore and Jorge stayed up all night reading it.

He said it was the greatest novel he ever read about childhood.

Would you put the book away, please.

Yes, of course.

Of course.


Margarita went ahead.

I thought you were gone.

I went to the hotel... I didn't know.

But, I knew you were here.

This is a friend of ours, who works at the French Embassy.

If you ever need anything you can give her a call.

She'll get in touch with us.

It's a small present from Margarita and me.

Thank you very much, Jorge.

You have to go.

What do your paintings look like?

Because I didn't ask you before.

You'll have to see them in person.


Who knows?

Maybe you could write something about them someday.

Hey Mister, can I have my kite, please?

Get lost.

You almost killed me.

Come on, give him the kite.

You want to give him the kite?

Give him the kite?

Forget it!

Come on, give him the kite!


You want to give him back the kite?

Okay, I'll give him the kite.

What are you doing, Pepe?

What are you doing, Pepe?

Get out of here!

Get away from here!


Excuse me. Excuse me.

I was on the beach and these boys stole my flippers and my clothes.

Could you identify them?

No, but it's okay.

Get in the car.

No, it's okay.

Get in the car.

There! That's them!

Come over here.

You have something belonging to this man?

Look at him.

Give me your ID cards.

I was going to return this stuff to the police station.

That faggot and his friend, tried to touch our pricks.

Yeah, we beat them up and they ran off, so, we were going to bring this to the station.

They molested us.

They molested you? Yeah.

You're sure? Yes.

You're under arrest.


Because I said so.

Lugando Barnes!

What are you doing here?

I live right over here.

I need a towel, t-shirt, anything you have.


Thank you.

I need a place to hide.

I don't know, I have to get out of here.

Why, what did you do?

They said I molested these kids.

You should see these kids.

They were all bigger than me.

Have you heard from Tomás?

I was told that he was in a work camp in Oriente and he was killed while trying to escape.

I've heard you've had some trouble with the police.

No, it was a mistake, they had me mixed up with somebody else.

The way I see it, you have two choices:

You can try to make it to the U .S. Navy Base in Guantánamo; or you can try to float your way to Florida.

It's about 90 miles.

You can make it in a few days if the current is good.

I have an inner tube I was saving.

It's yours.

( knocking on door )

Who is it?

It's me, Pepe.

I'm sorry about today.

What do you want now?

Where are you going?

I don't know.

H uh, where have you been?

I'm leaving right now.


How? Inner tube.

You're crazy, you're going to drown.

Listen, do you want to help me?

Yes, I want to help you.

Then give me all the money you have on you.

You can have the gold, clothes... you can sell it everywhere.

Please, give me all the money you have on you.

You have money in here?

Give me the money. Give me the money!

You can take... you can take everything, You can stay here if you want.

Reinaldo, I have some friends that can solve this problem.

What kind of friends do you have?

You know what kind of friends.

Why kind of friends do you have?

Don't go away.

Reinaldo. I'm leaving.

I'm leaving...

I-I'll keep in touch with you, alright?



I have to hide you somewhere, because we are surrounded by police.

A photo of you just in case you forget what you look like, and last, "La Iliada."

"La Ilíada," Juan, "La Ilíada."

Here are the pills you asked for.

What are they?

I don't know, but they make you happy.

Will they kill me?

I suppose if you took enough of them.



Can I have two croquetas, please?


Yes, and a drink.

Do you have a light?

Yes. Sure.

Do you have a cigarette?

What is your name?

Adriano Faustino Sotolongo.

When did you get that name, Reinaldo?

You are Reinaldo Arenas, aren't you?

Good job.

Officer: We need to look this package.

This is Reinaldo Arenas, catch a bird there in the park.

Dale! Dale!

Dale, coño! Dale!

And you will see what is good.

You see what is good there.

I arrived at El Morro not as a political prisoner or writer, but with an infamous reputation as a rapist, a murderer, and a CIA agent.

A supernatural air of nonchalance and gave me an aura of danger and respectability among the real murderers, real rapists, and common criminals who would kill each other for the slightest reason.

Skies lit by bolts of lightning were replaced by electric lights that blinked on and off with regularity, killing the possibility or chance that I might dream or forget where I was.

I thought here I could go unnoticed.

But prisoners are those beings that know everything, especially about other prisoners.

Soon they knew, maybe from the guards, or the warden himself, or a killer named Torre, that I was a writer.

Say, you think you could write a letter for me?


Not for nothing, I give you two cigarettes.

Carlota... tell her that I miss her so much.

Your words or mine?

I'm sorry.

My fame as "The Writer" spread all over the prison.


From the 17 cells of El Morro, and for those who couldn't see me directly, petitions came in the form of hundreds of balls of soap, tied to long strings, that the prisoners could pass on to my cell.

It was called "The Mail."

I never wrote so much.

I accumulated a small fortune of cigarettes that provided me with enough paper and pencils for my own novel, which I wrote in the middle, of all the screaming and crying.

Cubans are defined by noise, it's their nature.

They need to bother others.

They can neither enjoy, nor suffer in silence.

Even the sun was rationed, but once a month the gay inmates turned El Morro into a nightclub.

Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual, so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Shakespeare, and almost every other figure that has formed what we have come to understand as beauty.

Bon Bon, the heartthrob of El Morro, was no different.

She was so glamorous, that when she walked by, she made everybody feel like they were in the movies.

Bon Bon was also famous for another quality.

He was one of those transporters, who by the grace of countless activity, could carry unfathomable quantities in the deepness of his rectum, even if given a thorough ass check.

Excuse me, I heard that you can get things in and out of here.

Could you carry a package for me?

Of course, he denied it.

I don't know what you're talking about.

But every ass has his price.

It took me a thousand cigarettes and Bon Bon five trips to smuggle my novel to the other side of El Morro.


Please do not put me there! Walk!

Please! Why?

I did not do anything to anyone, man!


Open the door!

Open the door, my God! It's me!

Open the door!

Why I do this?

Okay... okay.

By God!

Open the door for God's sake!

Open the door!

Wait, my God, wait!

I felt an indescribable sadness to see my mother with that white shirt, demanding that I come home and telling me that I had no other choice.

I gathered all the strength I had.

After two years of prison, you think my only choice is to go home with you?!

I turned my back on my mother and ran away.

I will always remember her standing there like that.

I wanted to go back and hug her.

But instead, I ran towards these gigantic black men playing volleyball.

I wake up.

I wake up with this dream, what a nightmare, what a nightmare...

Come on out!

The truth is that there is no possibility of rehabilitating a faggot.

How many times have we confiscated this... counterrevolutionary poop?

Don't you realize... that this can cost you your life?

We can make you disappear, or you could be free tomorrow.

It's up to you.

But, if you keep writing this, you're not going to get very far.

I'm going to give you five minutes to make up your mind.

It might take a queer more than five minutes to make up his mind while watching this handsome lieutenant stroke his magnificent organ.

What do you say?

Can I have some paper and a pen?

All the work I've done until now is garbage.

I quickly accused myself of being a villain, a traitor, a depraved counter revolutionary, and while fixating on his generous projectile, I thanked the government for the largeness, and about the grandness of Lt. Victor.

I deny my homosexual condition.

And I am converted into a man illuminated by this Revolution.


Very good.

This is how a man behaves.

I almost fainted when I felt his member near my face.

Your five minutes is up.

You got a lot of publicity, but friends, where are they now?

Pepe Malas is your friend?

He's someone you can trust?

Why isn't he here with you?

You recognize this book, Reinaldo?

That book was the only proof to me that I was alive.

No. I've never seen it.

This book was published in France without permission of the Writer's Union.

Therefore, you must have had someone to smuggle it out.

You didn't go to France did you?

Maybe I should be discussing this book with the Writer's Union and not here in State Security.

Open your mouth.




Así, Reinaldo...

I will close my eyes now and you will be gone.

You're gone.

The revolution will find a way to use your talent.

We could fit you in somewhere, some speeches, a letter to your friends, publisher, telling them how well you're being treated and that's a good beginning.

You thought it was me who turned you in.

I thought it was...


Can you really blame him?

Yes, I can.

And, I will blame him for the rest of my life.

Look at this.

This book... won best foreign novel in France...

and I don't even have a place to live.

What am I going to do?

What are you going to do?

You're in luck.

I'm in luck?

Remember Blanca Romero, the painter?

She lives in the Hotel Clarita, next to the convent of Santa Clara.

Hey, Blanca wanted a window.

We thought it went to the street.

We're selling this stuff on the black market.

So, this is the surprise.

Something else... making a fortune.

We got a hold of these parachutes and we're going to sail them to Miami.

You're kidding, right?

No, I'm not kidding.

This is my friend, Armando He's an expert with the blowtorch.

He can fix anything, even steal electricity from the street.

He's an engineer.

I knew him in jail.

We figure that the balloon will take three passengers.

So, we are going to draw lots to see who goes.

I'm definitely going.

Blanca's definitely going.

You are not going to be on a diet now.

The rest of us will draw lots.

We need some help, there's only six of us.

I can help.

Who's the guy? Reinaldo.

Someone is here.

Someone is here.

She's such a bitch.

She hates me just like my mother.

Why do you think your mother hates you?

She put me in an asylum so she didn't have to feed me.


She put me in Mazorra so she wouldn't have to feed me.

Her own son.

She's just like her.

You can sleep here anytime you want.

Just friends, okay, just friends.

A pillow, you have a blanket... and I don't have anything to offer you... but a book... that you asked me for a long time ago, you remember that?

It's your... It's your book?

Yes, it's my book, now it's yours.


Why do you write?


Could you teach me how to write?

I don't know, Lázaro. I don't know.

I want to die at the end of the day, in the high seas, with my face towards the sky when it seems like agony is just a dream and the soul, a bird ascending in flight.

Who is that?

Manuel Guitérrez Nájera. Mexicano.

I mean, you're a writer even if you don't write.

You know what I mean?

Yeah, I know what you mean.

Hey. Hello. How are you?

You know what I mean?

ICoño! But look...

and if you need anything else, just let me know. I can find it for you.

What is this pig doing here?

He's the one who got the propane.

Grab his leg, come on.

Psst, psst!

Oh, no, no, no.

If you let me out of here, it's yours.

Untie the ropes, and I'll bring you to Miami with me.

Come! Come! Wake up!

The balloon goes! Low!

See you in Times Square, faggots!

Lázaro, take this, sell it and try to get me some lemons, and tea...

and some paper, please.


That's all you need?

Yes, and whatever you want.

Have you seen Lázaro? No.

He hasn't come home in two weeks.

He's probably in the Peruvian Embassy.

You heard about the bus crashing through the gate?

Yes, of course I've heard about that.

Fidel said that anybody who wants to leave can.

There's 10,000 people there.

Now, he's mixing the dissidents with the criminals, homosexuals, and mentally ill.

That's a great idea.

All you have to do is go to the local police station for your exit permit.

You tell them that you have a criminal record or that you're a homosexual, or that you're mentally ill.

I don't believe that.

It's a trap.



What's your name?

Reinaldo Arenas.

State your reason for wanting to leave.

I am homosexual.

Where do you go to pick up men.

At the Plaza Hotel, "El Prado" in "La Sortija".

What position do you like in bed?

I like it from behind, and on my knees.


Walk! Walk! Walk.

Report to Abreu Fontan.

What are they doing?

They got a list of everyone they don't want to let out.

Like who?

I don't know.

Do you have a pen? No.

Do you have a pen? No, sir.

Move, move, move!

I don't care where I sleep.

Just promise me you won't bring any of your friends here.

I can cook. It's no problem.

How much is it?

$350 per month, plus utilities.

The difference between the communist system, and the capitalist system, is that when they give you a kick in the ass in the communist system, you have to applaud; in the capitalist system, you can scream.

Hello, Mr. Greenberg. Thanks.

Happy holiday.

Thank you. Here let me help you.

The doorman...

Hey, let's go. I've got a break.

You're writing a novel!


What happened?

Oh, I broke a glass. Hey, you're bleeding.

Leave it alone. Laz! Laz!

I'm trying to help.

What's the matter, Rey?

You are like a milk cow that gives milk all the time and then kicks over the bucket.

There's the door, doorman.

Walk through it. Walk through it.

I don't want to see you again.

I'm tired of living with a moron.

You are a moron, Laz.

Please, leave the keys on the table.

The moon bathes Death in a light that makes him look like a white star twinkling in the middle of the backyard.

That used to be my bicycle.

( knocking on the door )


Open the door!


Reinaldo. Hey, Reinaldo.

How ya doing? Come on, get up.

It's time to go.


It's time to go home.


No, I think you should go to your apartment first.

Come on, I'll give you a hand.

Here we go.

Are these your things here?

How are you feeling? You feeling alright?

I can't believe they're sending you home.

Do you have any insurance?

Yes, I do. I don't.

Don't forget the plant. I won't.


You got everything?


Give me a glass...

and a straw.

Where is the straw?

What? Where is the straw?

The straw, yeah.

You do it.


I have something to show you.


Here's "The Doorman."

"For Lazaro, his novel."

It just came out.

You can have all the money.

The money?

It's my book, Rey, you took it and now you're going to insult me by paying me for it?

Okay, sorry. Thanks.

Don't say nothing. Okay.

Give me a glass with a...

This bag is important, Laz.

You can take it.

You're going to need it more than me.

Take it.

I want you to promise me something, Lázaro.

I don't want to wake up in the hospital.

Promise me.

I promise.





I'm sorry.


Give me the glass, please.

I want you to mail these.

This is for...

This is for my mother.

This is for "The New York Times,"

Margarita and Jorge Camacho.

"Miami Herald."

And, this is for you, but, don't open it.

Mail this to yourself, and then you open in your house.

I have never met a boy as authentic as you, Lázaro.


Read me something.

Oh, not that one.

Not that one, where's the glass?

Not that one.