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THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA

Screenwriter's Statement
Above everything, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a story of friendship, a friendship that goes beyond borders, one that continues even after death. When Melquiades gives his most precious possession to Pete, it makes no sense at all … until you consider their friendship. When Pete risks his life to travel to Mexico, it makes no sense at all … until you consider his friendship with Melquiades.

This film was born out of friendship. When I first met Tommy Lee, it was not on a set or at a studio but in his home. He had seen a film I had scripted and called me in Mexico City and invited me up to Texas for dinner. All evening long we discussed my Mexico and his Texas and the ways they differ and the ways they are the same. It's a conversation we continued months later when he invited me to meet him again. Only this time it was at his ranch in West Texas, the one featured in the film. The first time I went out there I was his guest, but by my second trip I was his friend. On my third trip there we agreed to develop this idea we had into a movie. When we did so, we did it not just as filmmakers but as friends.
- Guillermo Arriaga

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