The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
- 2 hr 1 min
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a French-American western film directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada also stars familiar actors like January Jones, country music star Dwight Yoakam, Barry Pepper and Julio Cedillo as Melquiades Estrada. This film is set in a small border town of Texas where Estrada, an illegal immigrant, is working as a cowboy. He is out tending his small flock of goats one afternoon where he shoots at a coyote that is harassing his flock. Nearby a trigger happy Border Patrol Officer Norton (Pepper) believes he is possibly being shot at and uses his rifle to shoot Estrada. When Norton realizes what he has done, he quickly buries Estrada to keep authorities from finding out what he has done. However, after other border patrol officers discover the body, Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) kidnaps Norton upon hearing that he was the one that shot Estrada. He makes Norton dig the body back up and accompany him on horseback down to Mexico where Perkins promised Estrada he would be buried. The resulting trip is tough on Norton physically, emotionally, and mentally as he is forced to confront his own demons and how he has interacted with other people. On the trip, Norton is subject to physical exhaustion and injury such as hunger, exhaustion, as well as a rattlesnake bite (which incidentally led to broken nose as the woman who treated him had previously had her nose broken at the hands of Norton). Along the way Norton learns that immigrants are people as well and gets to see firsthand what the immigrants are trying to leave. He also suffers a loss personally as well as his wife Lou Ann (played by January Jones) leaves him after he is kidnapped by Perkins. As a couple, they have been distant and after Norton tells her of his murder, Lou Ann decides that she has had enough of her husband.