Losing Isaiah Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Losing Isaiah script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Halle Berry and Jessica Lange movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Losing Isaiah. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Losing Isaiah Script



You ain't leaving

that baby here...



not hollering like

that, you ain't.



Yo, girl! Hey, baby!



Come on over here

and get warm.



Come on, now.



We gonna trade you

some good shit!



Come on, you can have

a little bit of this.



Come on, now.



You know, we know

what you need.



Come on, baby.



Okay, Isaiah.



There you go, okay? Shh.



I'll be right back, okay?



That's right.



Okay, okay.



Okay, there you go.






Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.



I'm telling you, man,

the Bulls are going to repeat.



Yeah, yeah, you said the same

thing after the '   Bears.



Ain't gonna happen.



The Knicks have got Pat Riley,



and he's going to make

Patrick Ewing play some ball.



Hey, you got



B.J. coming off

the bench, shooting a three.



I'm thinking about coming out of

retirement and playing myself.



Yeah, I heard that.



I know one thing...



I can stop Ewing.



I just have to deal

with Oakley's muscle



underneath the board.



I-I used to play

some great defense.



They used to call me "The Wall."



Yeah... wall-eyed Wally.



Yeah, Oakley under the boards,

my butt.



M.J. and Scottie'll

take care of the Knicks.



Pippen's bad.



The Knicks are playing

some mean D.



Hey, did you see what Jordan did

to that defense last night?



That's what

I'm talking about!



- Swoosh!

- I wouldn't trade defense...



Hey, hey, you got B.J.

Coming off...



Holy shit!



Stop the blade!



Stop the blade! Stop it!



What's he been given?



Two cc's epinephrine, I.M.



- Let's get him to the warmer.

- It's over there!



Let's roll! Get out of the way...

baby coming!



All right.



Okay, let's get

some new vitals on him.



What do we got here?



I need a half-normal saline



with glucose drip,

and get me a respirator.



- Hold it, hold it.

- Wait.



Where's the IV?



- No IV established?

- No.



- Why not?

- Not ready to get a line in.



Okay,   -gauge ampule.



I'll do it myself.



Go ahead, hold that, yeah.



Let me have a blood gas.



He's a subdermal hematoma,

Mrs. Lanelli.



He's five months old.



You didn't think he might

roll off that top bunk?



He never did it before.



Well, now you know

it's possible.



He's not Peter Pan.

He can't fly.



We need you.



You're going to have

to wait here



until the x rays get back.



At least she didn't dump him

in a pot of boiling water, huh?



Yeah, she did that last month...

said his bath was too hot.



What have we got?



This one was found

in a dumpster.






- Social Services?

- Mm-hmm?



He's not breathing on his own.



Can you sign off?



Sign off?



Yeah. No extraordinary measures.



Why don't we just dump him back

in the garbage?



All right, lady...



play God.



Anyone got the paperwork

on Mr. Romano?



It's tachycardia.



BP's down.



Respiratory's erratic.



- BP up.

- It looks like a brain bleed.



Keep the oxygen up.



This infant's having a seizure.



Uh, doctor!



Phenobarbital, stat.



Let's get him up to NICU.



What'd I tell you?



Hold the elevator!



Damn it,

hold that elevator!



Oh, my God!



Oh, my God, my baby! My baby!



- Shut up, ho!

- Where's my baby!



Had enough racket around here!



Police! Dead babies!



Get out of here!



I said get out my alley!






My baby...



I know all the tubes and wires

are frightening,



but you can hold him.






Ain't this

a cute baby?



Oh, there you go.



- Excuse me, Margaret.

- Shh. What?



That baby you asked about

last round?



- Yeah?

- He's in NICU.



- Oh. Excuse me.

- Thank you.



Just talk to him.

He'll be all right.



His prints

were on the computer.



He was born at Cook County

three days ago.



Mother and baby

both crack-addicted.



He's over there:

Isaiah Richards.






Nurse Forgen to East Wing Two.






"And he shall be called




Dr. Parks,     .



Dr. Parks,     .



- Look at her.

- Yeah.



- Just asking for it.

- Yeah.



Arrest her. The little thief.



Where's the party?






Come on.



Pay the nice man.



Get off me.



One, two, three.

Crazy. Beautiful. Maybe.



Come on...



Oh, look what we got here.



Now, see what you

made me do?



You have to use every dish in

the house, Charick Lewin-sky?



Ja, I do, but I'll clean up.



I know you will.



Is she home?



Yeah, she's in her room,



on the phone, door closed,



waiting for you to tell her

she has a French quiz



and a history paper

due tomorrow.



You have a French quiz



and a history paper

due tomorrow.



Just a minute.



I'm on the phone.



That's easy to fix.

Get off it.



Will you please get

out of my room



so I can study?



Oh, I think you might

want to phrase that



a little differently, honey.



Can I call you back?

My mother's being a jerk.



Mom, sit down,

make yourself comfortable.



Thank you.



This is gone if you don't

do well on the exam tomorrow.



...and hairline fractures



of the clavicle and cranium.



Burns and old scarring.



Maggie, what are you,



a social worker

or a war correspondent?



War correspondent.



Recommend foster care to avoid



further trauma to this child.



The old scar tissue




Uh, would you say

"multiple lacerations



to the upper torso"

one more time, please?






Patient continues

to have trauma...



"Hairline fracture."



- No. No.

- Hmm?



"Burns and old scarring"?






We continue to explore...



Charlie... would you

scratch my back?






Next case, B-  -  .

Child shows signs



of forced responsiveness

to his environment...






Cranial contusion.



How did you get this number?



I could meet you somewhere...




Show you the x rays.



Uh, oh, d-don't you have

a st-staff meeting tonight?



It's canceled.



Uh, Margaret, I can't, um...



I got a whole pile

of screwed-up wirings



got to be worked out

by tomorrow.



Oh, well.



There's a surgeon here

who's just dying to show me



some new suture-tying




Let's go!



Take all your belongings!



Let's go!



Come on, come on!



Get off me!



Move it, move it!



Get out the way!






Get off me!



Move it! Move it!



Your names are on your beds.



You'll be expected to keep

your area clean at all times.



Now, there are those of you



who elected this program

to cut your time.



Well, if that's why you're here,



you better turn around

and get back on that bus,



because you won't last a day.



This is work... hard work.



One mistake... one...



and you're out on your

base-head, pill-popping,



alcoholic asses,

back in the general population



quicker than you can

blink your eyes.






I don't know.

What do you want me to say, hmm?



I mean,

I've only been recommending



permanent foster care

for that child



for four years now.



No, no, go ahead...



send her back if that's

what the courts want.



But listen, you tell that

son-of-a-bitch judge...



that if her father

finally kills her,



not to come weeping to me.



... nothing says

I would wish it to be.



That's my grandma's song.



Yeah, she would've liked you.



You're a little fighter,

aren't you, huh?



Beans, beets, rice.



Hey, Ethel.



- There you go.

- Oh, let's see.



Give me just some rice

and veggies.



- Rice and veggies.

- Thanks.



You've been a social worker

for what,    years?






Let's say a nice,

well-meaning white lady



came into your office

and told you



she was thinking of taking

a black crack baby home,



thinking she could save it.



What would you say?



Not to.



It's insane, Margaret.



A black crack baby...

it's insane.



There's nothing wrong with him.



Well, he could have problems

that won't show up for years.



So could we.



Look, Charlie,

you haven't seen him.



I mean, there's something

so great about him.



He has... he has this spirit.



You can see it in his eyes.



And he has nothing.



He's so all alone.



You're lying,

you know you're lying.



Is you for real?






You-you really think your kids

don't know



that you turning tricks?



What are they, retarded?



Is anybody talking to you?



Where your kids think

you is right now...



on a Carnival cruise

or some shit?



Shut up, okay?



Like your kids

don't know



what you be doing

late at night?



Shut up, okay? Just shut up.



She just trying to help

your lying butt... that's all.



Yeah, I'm just trying to help

your lying ass.



Shh, shh.



Whoa, yo!



It don't do no good

to beat on each other



about shit we did when we was

bugging and drugging.






Now, come on,

let's look at this thing



from a positive place.



What kind of mother

would you like to be?



One your kids can

depend on coming up?






I don't have nothing to say.






Khaila, what about your kids?



I ain't got no kids.



Here, look where you are.



- I'll park the car.

- Okay.



That always happens, though.






Oh, my God, Mom.



Here he is.



He's so small.






C-Can I call you back? Bye.






How do you get clothes

that small?






This is your sister,

little guy.



Shh, shh...



Can I hold him?






Watch his head.



What do I do?



Just rock him a little bit,



but-but don't look

right in his face, okay?



Crack babies sometimes

have trouble with that.



Hey there, small stuff.



That's what your daddy

used to call you.



Oh... coochie coochie coo.



He doesn't like me.



It's not that, Hannah.



Of course he likes you.

It's not that.



Where are you going?



I told Jenny I'd come over.



You're not upset,

are you, Hannah?






Well, why don't you bring

her back to see the baby?



I don't think so.



Why not?



Well, be home by  :  .






Oh, I forgot the formula.



Shh, shh, shh.






What'd we learn today, buddy?

You keep your...



- Eye... eye on the ball!

- That's right, and then,



when you swing the bat,

you got to swing...



- Level!

- Level, level, right.



- Level!

- And then what do you do



when you hit the ball?



What do you got to do?

You got to...



- Run like crazy!

- Run like crazy!



You run to first base, and

then he goes to second base.



- Second base!

- Then he goes to third base.



- Then he goes to third base.

- Then he slides



all the way home!



And then he goes

all the way home!






Ooh, you giving your daddy's

hair a cream rinse?



- I hit a home run! Wham!

- Where are you going?



To Carrie's.



No, no, no, no,

wait a minute now.






No, listen,

I got this letter,



and I want to read it

to you... listen.



"It is accordingly



"therefore ordered

that Isaiah Richards,



- a minor..."

- That's me!



"Shall be, to all



"legal intents and purposes,



the child of Charles

and Margaret Lewin."



Poor kid... you're stuck

with them now.



Very funny.



No, wait, Hannah, don't go.



Don't go. We want to celebrate.



Mom, I can't.



- Yes, you...

- Not tonight.



Bye, kiddo.



Kiddo! Kiddo! Kiddo! Kiddo!






I'll call.



Kiddo, kiddo! Kiddo!



You know, just because

she's a teenager...



Kiddo, kiddo, kiddo, kiddo...






Do you want to go out?



Oh, you know he can't sit still

in a restaurant.



Take this. Ugh!



All right, let's call out

for a pizza.



Pizza, pizza, pizza.



We'll get him to bed early,

then, uh, you and I can...



- What shape is a pizza?

- A big bowl like this!



What's that called?



- Mommy.

- Excuse me.






Glad you made it.



You see who it is up there?



It's Hannah.



Mommy, look!



Isaiah, shh.



Hannah! Hannah!









No! No!



Just stop it.






Why did you even bring him?



It was my play.



You knew he would do

something like this.



He always does.



Yes, and you know

he cannot help it.






Hannah, he's...

he ju... Oh...



You know he adores you.



Just try not to be so angry.



I'm not angry!



Yes, you are,

and it's okay.



Oh, please.



He was so proud of you...



jumping up and down,

calling out your name.



Yeah, I know.



I heard him.



And so did everybody else.



I just wanted Mom to see it.









Can I tell you something?



Yeah, whatever, Mom.



When I heard you sing tonight...



I thought, "There's Hannah,



doing something

I can't begin to do."






It gave me such pleasure.



Good morning!



Good morning.



What you doing?






Boy, your mama ain't teach you

to knock



before you just come

barging in somebody's room?



This is my room.

Aunt Joe said.



We just lending it to you.



No, you just renting it.



You better get your little

skinny self dressed



if you're going to

go to school today.






Well, you got to be dressed

for daycare, too.



They ain't gonna take you

in no pajamas.



Josette's in the bathroom.



Don't I know it.



Josie, let's go.



You better wake up Mama, Amir.



I ain't taking you

to no daycare.



Come on, Amir.



I'll take you.






Where's my sugar?



Thank you. Go.



- Khaila.

- Hey.



Excuse me.



Got your living situation



straightened out?









I'd appreciate an answer.



I got a room.



You ever had a room

to yourself before?



Then stop complaining.



Let's get to work.



You been reading?






Some ain't good enough.



Well, the book is dumb.



How you know

if you ain't been reading it?



'Cause I am reading it.






So, tell me...



what's been happening with






and Katherine?



Kath-er-ine done gone

and got herself knocked up.



She happy?



Don't say.



Why you doing this, Khaila?



Oh, we're gonna share now?



You're wasting our time here.



Let's just forget about it,

'cause it's useless



unless you want to do it.



I already know how to read.



Well, I don't want

to read this bullshit.



Then why you busting my ass?



Look, I have my lunch

sitting at home waiting on me.



"Kath-er-ine visits the clinic.



"The doctor tells her



"to be careful

about what she eat.



"It can help...






"baby... grow strong.



"She must drink lots of milk

and eat green



"ve-ge-ta-bles if she want

to be a good mother.



The doctor..."



Khaila, what's the matter?



"...tells her

not to drink any




or take any me-di-cine.



"It could harm her...






She should get lots of sleep."






Look at me.



What's wrong?



I threw him away.



My baby.



Threw him in the garbage can.



I killed him.



Killed him.



Oh, God.



Oh, my God.



You got a book about that?



Hey, how you doing?


















Oh, my...



What happened?



They gone in the ambulance.



She was bleeding

all over the bed.



She wouldn't move.



I cooked supper,

and I went to call her,



but she wouldn't move.



Doctor say she lost a baby.



What baby?



Hey, little man.



You okay?



Y'all hungry?



- Yeah.

- Yeah.



Whoo! Whoo, yeah.



Can I give you

a hand there?



No, I got it.



You sure? I got a little cousin

about that age.



You know, they can do damage

to your back.



I said I got it.






Lord, boy, you heavy.






It's okay. Go back to sleep.



I'm going to stay

with you tonight.






You gonna have your pizza.



I'm sor...



Eddie Hughes.



You know, I didn't

meet you before.



I got to get back inside.



To your kids?



They ain't my kids,



and why you got to be lurking

up here on my floor?



I'm not lurking.



I'm just having a smoke.



Well, smoke somewhere else,

goddamn it.



I'm a working man on vacation...



up from Tampa.



You ever been to Tampa?



Oh, this look like

a vacation spot to you?



Actually, my brother lives here.



Yeah, you know,

he don't like to smoke, so...



I'm just visiting him.



We're, uh...



we're in the music business.






I was just, uh...



working on a song about, uh...






Check it out.



I got to work

on the melody a little bit.



I hope you good

at something else.



- Hello, Mama.

- Uh, Khaila.



Uh, there's some leftover pasta

in the fridge...



Bye, Khaila. So long, sweetpea.



And, uh, laundry needs

to go in the dryer.



I'm out the door, honey.






Give me a kiss. Mwa!



Oh, I might be

a few minutes late tonight,



but you can stay, huh?



Bye, girls.



The Fredericks residence.









It's Gussie.



Can we meet somewhere?



He ain't dead?



My baby ain't dead?



Well, now, where is he?



In the city,

living with a family in DePaul.






Well, I got to see him.



Slow down, Khaila.



There are a lot of issues

involved here.



He's been legally adopted.



So? I got to see my baby,




Where is he?



Okay, we're going to work

on that,



but it's going

to take some time.



- No. Come on, let's go.

- I'm on your side.



I'm going to help you,

but it's going



- No, no, no, no, no.

- To take some time,



and you're going to have

to be patient, Khaila.



I can't be patient.



- Listen.

- I need to see my baby.



Listen to me,

listen to me, Khaila.



Don't let



everything you worked

so hard for fall apart.






what are you doing in here?






Looking for Gussie.



Oh, she's in the hall.






- I'll call you tonight.

- Yeah.



Pop the hood.



See you, buddy.



- Bye.

- I'll call you tonight.



- Bye, Daddy, bye, Daddy.

- Have a good trip.



Take your ticket.



Take me, please.



You wouldn't like it, sweetie.



It's in a big city with...

it smells,



in a big room

with men with no hair.



Bye, Daddy.



Bye, Daddy.






Oh, don't be sad.



Daddy will be back

in two days.



Look who's here.



Aw... two days.



You know what two is?



One, two... that's not long.



Besides, Heidi's going

to take you to the park now.



Then after the park,



you're going to take a nap,



and drink your apple juice.



Use your sipper cup.



And Mama's going

to come home



right after work like

I always do, okay?



Good night.



Uh-huh, and you're going

to draw me a picture?






- Of what? Of an airplane?

- Yes.



With two wings,

flying up in the sky.



- Up in the sky!

- Up in the sky, yeah.



How many wings

does an airplane have?






Two! How many hands

does Isaiah have?






And how many eyes

does Isaiah have?






And how many kisses

is Mama going to get?






Oh, you're my boy.



Okay, have fun at the park.



I want to race.



Okay. Bye-bye, honey.



Bye, Mommy.






Okay, now, guess

where we're going?






To the park.



What are you going to go on

when you go in there first, huh?



The slide?



Ah, push.



Ready? One, two, three, up.



Good boy. Okay.



Heidi, over here.



How you doing?






So, can you come?



I don't know.



I'm pretty tired.



So, can you get off?



I don't know.



They're supposed to go out.



Hello, Isaiah.



I get so nervous.












Miss Richards.



You're late.



I'm sorry.



Gussie said

you was a real good lawyer.



Yeah. Now, she's explained

some of this to me,



but there's still

a lot of holes here.



She tells me you'd like to

reinstate your parental rights.



You gave your child

up for adoption.



Now you want him back.



No, I never gave my child up

for no adoption.



You left him in an alley.



You abandoned him



and made no effort

to find him again.



Legally, that's the same thing.



Well, that's 'cause

I thought he was dead.



No one ever sent you any letters



informing you

of his whereabouts?






Or of the Lewins'

intent to adopt him?






Now, Miss Richards,

you know



you couldn't read very well



before you went into

the rehab program.



You sure you didn't throw

away any official papers?



No. I ain't never got no papers.



Not even in jail?



If I would've got some papers

like that,



don't you think

I would've remembered?



You don't like me all that much,

do you?



I don't like what put you in



this situation, Miss Richards.



How do I know that when

I help you get your boy back,



you're not going to go back

to smoking rock



and leave him again?



'Cause I'm telling you

I'm through with all that.



Oh, well,

that's what you all say.



You ain't got

to talk down to me.



I can pay.



There's no fee involved here.



We take on cases

that are socially relevant.



If we win them,

they set legal precedent.



Your case fits that profile.



The fee's taken care of

by donations.



It's going to be tough.



The family he's with is white,



they treated him well.



They'll fight this.



But I'm his mother.



Well, I'm sure that white woman



feels fairly strongly

that she is,



and there are a lot of people

who'll agree with her.



Mommy, pussycat.



The owl and the pussycat...



Went to sea.



In a beautiful pea-green...






They took some...






And plenty of...






Wrapped up

in a five-pound... note.



Night-night, sweet boy.






Margaret, hello.



She wants him back.






Who? Who wants him back?



I don't know.



We got a letter

from some legal service.



She never signed away

her rights.



She's going to challenge

the adoption.



Where did she come from?



What are we going to do?



Listen, sweetheart,

it-it's going to be all right.



No, it's not.



Mommy, I want Daddy.






Mommy, I want Daddy.



Daddy's not home.



I want Daddy.



So do I.



I want him to be here.



I want Daddy.



She's claiming she never

received any notice



to terminate

parental rights.



That can't be.



You handled that yourself,




Look, this is what I do

for a living.



I followed every procedure...

the newspaper notifications,



computer checks of prisons,

the welfare rolls...



I mean, we even hired

a-a private detective



with our own money

to look for relatives,



but you can't find

somebody on the street



if they don't want to be found.



And what does it matter, anyway?



The adoption is final...

it can't be reversed.



Oh, I'm afraid it can.



The court can vacate a judgment



if it was entered

into by default,



and it will vacate

if there's a child involved.



She's going to have a right

to be heard.



We're talking about a woman

who is a junkie,



who put her kid

in a garbage can.



Someone who should be arrested,



not given back

her parental rights.



Well, that's what

you'll have to prove.



Look, I know you came to me



because you thought

it would help



to have a black attorney,



but understand this is

a difficult situation.



Is that a polite way

of saying no?



I said I'd think

about it, and I will.



This isn't a simple issue.



You might raise a black child



with the best intentions

in the world, colorblind,



but in the end,

the world is still out there.



He needs to know who he is.



A child should be

with his parents.



We agree there.



Whoo... pretty.



Again. More bubbles.



More bubbles, Hannah.






More, more!



Come on, Isaiah,

we've been doing this all day.



More bubbles, Hannah!









- Give me that.

- Isaiah.



Isaiah, look at our hands.



What's different about them?



My hand's smaller.



Bubbles, bubbles!



Hannah, come set the table

for dinner.



Stop switching channels.



I want to see some cartoons.



Give me that thing, boy.



Oh, hey.



Where's your mama?






Girl, is you crazy?



You don't just let some strange

man come walking up in here.



He gave us all this TV stuff.



Hey, little man, help me

put all these tools away



and clean this mess up,

and I'll show you



how to work

the video games, okay?






Help him put

all them tools away,



so he can get on out of here.



Look, I didn't mean nothing

by all this.



I just thought the kids

would like it.






Hey, there's a Scooby- Doo

marathon on tonight.






Well, you can Scooby-Doo

your butt on out of here.



Let's go.






No, no, you keep that,

all right?



Remember what I said:

Honorary cable man.



See you later.



Don't wait up for me.



Why are you



so mean to him?



He act kind of stupid,

but he's nice.



Yeah, real stupid...

and a little too nice.



Hey, pretty lady, how you doing?



Why don't you let me

carry that for you?



I'm doing just

fine by myself.



Oh, come on, I got it.



Now, see, look, now,

was that so hard? Come on.



There you go.



Let me ask you something.



What did I do

that was so bad?



You ain't had no business



walking in on them kids

like that.



You didn't like my singing

much either, right?



What's happening?



So, what kind of

music do you like?



None of your business.



Bet you like rap, right?



Dr. Dre, Salt & Pepa, right?



See, that's why

I can't get no gigs.



These youngsters today...

they don't even know



what a bass guitar

sounds like.



You know what the key

to playing bass is?



Nope... and I really don't care.



Thank you.



Big hands.



See that?



That's pitiful.



I like you.



You don't know nothing about me.



Well, do me a favor...

tell me something.



I don't like

fast-talking brothers



who get up in my face.



Well, there you go.



I like pretty ladies

that don't like



fast-talking brothers

who get up in their face.






All right.



Sorry. Had to bring her.



Miss Fredericks is going to

kill me if she find out.



I don't think the child

will tell her.



How much does this place cost?



It's $    a month.



You crazy? I can't

afford no $    a month.



Well, how much

can you afford?



I don't know. Maybe $   .



That way.



If I stop saving.



Well, we'll get the rest

taken care of



by Aid to Dependent Children.



I ain't got no

dependent children.



Oh, you will.



All right, get it cleaned up,

find some furniture,



and fix the window.



For what?



It's just gonna get broke again.



Somebody gonna look in here



and see what I got and take it.



Fix it so the sun can shine in,

so you can look out,



watch your boy play

in the courtyard.



And get rid of your boyfriend.



I ain't got no boyfriend.



Eddie Hughes?



Oh, so, you spying on me now?



It's part of my job.



They're going to try



and make you look

like the Devil in court.



There can't be anything

you do to help them.



He's married.



He ain't married.



You asked him?



You jealous?



Don't flatter yourself.



This goes way beyond you.



Black babies belong

with black mothers.



I'm not going to let you

do anything to mess that up.



Now, you break it off

with this guy,



or I drop the case.



This is your first place,

isn't it?






Welcome home.



I'm leaving.



Not without paying



for the rest of the time

you owe, you ain't.



Why Khaila gotta go, Mom?



Shut up, boy. My head hurts.



I don't want her to go.



Don't nobody care

what you want!



Now go on out of here!



Tell Josette to comb the naps

out your head!



Do something. Go!



What you looking at?



It ain't right for you

to talk to him like that.



Well, when you get your own kid,



you talk to him the way

you want to talk to him.



This kid here is mine... mine!



Just take your funky ass



outta here if you going!






Go on. Leave!



Hello, sweetheart.



How'd you find me?



Ah. Shorty Big-head.



Gave him a pack

of Now & Laters...



he gave you up like that.



Hi, Khaila.






Come on, guys.



Ooh, your place is nice.



Yeah. All this furniture.



Why didn't you tell me

you were moving?



You know, I would've helped

or something.



This your boy's?






Where he at?



I told you that

a hundred times already.



Put that stuff down.

That ain't yours.



Check it out.



I got four tickets



to the James Brown concert




I know you think my music

is older than dirt,



but I'm going

to show you that



it can still be funky.






Dirt... that's something

you should know a lot about.



Kids, sit tight.



Would you...

outside, please?



Humor me.



Give me that.



You want to tell me




Uh-uh. Maybe you ought

to tell me something.



Okay. What do you

want to know?






Maybe about... your wife?






We're separated... all right?

We don't even talk.



Oh, you on vacation

from that, too?






you know,

it's a whole big mess, and...



I didn't want to get into...



But you still married.



It don't mean nothing.



Oh, it don't?



Don't mean nothing?



Don't mean nothing

at all, huh?



I'm not trying to run a game

on you, Khaila.



Somebody is always



trying to run a game on me.



You ain't no different.



Walking around here

carrying groceries,



singing little silly songs

and shit.



You ain't nothing.



You just like every other

sorry ass man I ever knew...






Stay the hell away from me,



and stay away from them kids!






You're letting me wear

these pearls?



Your pearls.



Just stay calm.



He's going to try his best

to get a rise out of you



any way he can.



That will only work

to his advantage.



Who's that?









don't worry about it.



Just... stay with it, okay?



All right?



And how long have you

been clean, Miss Richards?



Two years and one month.



And what made you stop?






Could you please speak up,

Miss Richards?






What about Isaiah?



How I left him.



Left him where, Miss Richards?



I just needed to get me a hit...

so bad.



He was crying.



He was screaming.



Like he was calling my name.



And that's what made you stop?






I wanted to hear my baby.



I didn't want no drugs

taking me out of my head.



I wanted to fe...

feel that pain.



I didn't want nothing

to ease that for me.



Do you have a higher power,

Miss Richards?









I'll allow it.



Please answer



the question.



Yes, ma'am, I do.



It's because of Him

that I'm here today.



Could you explain

what you mean, please?




it's because of Him...



that I have this second chance

to make it up to Isaiah.



- Oh, shit!

- Mama, I'm thirsty!



- Watch it.

- Wait-wait-wait, oh, okay.



There's broken glass everywhere.



I want apple juice.



I don't have apple,

I just have orange.



- I told him that this morning.

- Can I have apple juice?



- I can get you some lemonade.

- I want apple juice.



Sit down, Isaiah,

you're going to fall.



- I want apple juice!

- I don't have apple.



I want apple juice!



- Sit down!

- I want apple...



Sit down! Sit down! Sit down!



I'm going for apple juice.



Hannah, don't go near this.

I'll be right back.



Sweetie, it's okay.



She's a crack addict



who left her newborn baby

in a garbage heap



in the dead of winter,

and that damn lawyer



makes her look

like Mother Teresa.






Higher powers!



Tell me he was

calling her name.



He was screaming from all

the crack she pumped into him!



Charlie, how can they think

about giving him back to her?



They're not going to.



I mean, she's

not a mother.



She doesn't even know how

to take care of him.



I mean, what,

what if he got sick?



What if he got hurt

or something?



She wouldn't know

what to do.



I'm just so afraid we're

going to lose him.



- What if we lose him?

- We're not going to lose him.



- I couldn't bear to lose him.

- We're not going to lose him.



No, but what if we do?



Margaret, we're not,

we're not going to lose him.



Charlie, did you see

how beautiful she was?



She was so beautiful.



I was never no prostitute.



You never took money for sex?



That was for drugs.



Well, that makes it okay, then.









Who's Isaiah's father?



I don't know.



So I assume that he won't be

helping you with child care.



Who will you turn to, Khaila?



Is there any kind



of support system



that you can depend on

to help you with Isaiah?



My counselor, Gussie Chestnut,



my sponsor,



my friends.



These people

you've just mentioned,



aren't they all reformed

drug addicts themselves?



They all been clean

for at least five years.



Just answer the question,

please, yes or no?






Couldn't they relapse



at any time?



I mean, there's no

real assurance



that you yourself



won't relapse,

is there?



That's not going to happen.



"That's not going to happen."



The pledge



of a drug-addicted prostitute.



Seizures, inter-cranial bleeds,

malformed kidneys.



And all these can be

the result of drug use



while the child is in utero?



Yes, and they're almost always

low-birth-weight babies,



frequently premature,

higher incidence of crib death.



And later?



They're usually

highly irritable.



Some have severe

learning disabilities,



moodiness, poor coordination.



Stress usually aggravates

these symptoms.



Can anything be done

to alleviate these problems?



We don't know for sure,



but calm, steady,

dependable parenting



is certainly in the

child's best interest.



The kind he's receiving

from the Lewins.



I would say so.






You going to let me in?






Why are you here?



Came to see you.



That ain't no reason.



Yes, it is.



And I brought you something.



That's his.






but I brought it for you.



Hey, boy,



who you talking to?



Well, well, well, if it ain't



Miss High-and-Mighty.



The rent gone way up,

all right?



Now, wait, wait,

hold on, wait up.



What, what, what, what you think

I should charge her?



What you think

I should charge her, huh?



Something high, right?



$   ?



- $   !

- Mm-hmm.



- $   .

- Make it $   .



You staying?



No, baby, I can't stay,



but I know you want me to,



but I can't.



Hey, hey! You holding up

the program, now, boy.



Come on, now,

and show your Uncle Tyrone



that dance you done for me

last week.



Come on, now.






I know things

right now seem like



it don't make sense to you,

and you don't understand,



but I've been just where you are



and it ain't gonna be easy,



but it don't mean

you can't make it.



Come on, boy, I'm waiting now.



Come on, boy, do it.



That's my boy.



Who combs his hair?






Who combs his hair?






Uh... we all do.



Who taught you how?



Or did you read that in a book?



Our black pediatrician.



So you know

an African-American.



One with a professional degree.



Have you ever had

your black pediatrician



over to dinner, Mr. Lewin?



Do you have your pediatrician

over to dinner?



Answer my question, yes or no?






When's the last time

you and your wife had dinner



with anyone of color, Mr. Lewin?



Please answer



the question, Mr. Lewin.



I'm sorry, I can't remember

the last time.



You love your wife, Mr. Lewin?



Oh, yes, very much.



How long you been married?






And you love your daughter?



- Of course.

- So this is a nice,



stable environment to bring

Isaiah into, wouldn't you say?



Yes, I would say.






Who's Suzanna Polaski,

Mr. Lewin?



Uh, she's an architect

who works in my office.



You having an affair

with Suzanna Polaski?









Be careful, Mr. Lewin,

you're under oath.



I'm not having an affair.



Have you ever had an affair

with Suzanna Polaski?



Yes or no?






I spent one evening with her.



I'm sorry.



What exactly are you sorry for?



That you threw your baby

in the trash?



That you dragged my family

through hell?



No, I just want my son back.



Your son?



What makes him your son?



That you fucked some junkie

in an alley



three years ago to get high?



Well, if you were

all of that,



your husband wouldn't have

fucked somebody else,



and maybe you'd have

a baby of your own,



and you wouldn't be trying



to take mine.



Look in the mirror.



Look at my face.



I'm his mother.



God says so.



Take yours?



I didn't have to take him.



You threw him away, remember?



Any animal can give birth.



That doesn't make it a mother.



Oh, so you calling me an animal?



If you think



you just gonna walk

up in this court



and take my baby



like you take some

puppy from a pound,



you got another

thing coming, lady,



'cause you ain't gonna

take my baby from me.



He's not a baby.



You don't even know him.



You don't know

anything about him.






Don't do this.



Don't do this to Isaiah.



Don't do what?



Tell him the truth...



that his real mama is as black

as he is?






All you people

think about is color.



You people?



You people?



Well, me and Isaiah...

we the same kind of people...



or didn't you notice?






I'm not going to talk

about this right now.



Hi, honey.



Hi, Mom.









Are they going to take Isaiah?



Are you going to be okay?



Oh, honey.



I love you, Mommy.



Oh, Hannah, Hannah,



Hannah, Hannah.



There's never been

anybody like you.



Is this policy



unique to your agency?






Most if not all

agencies prefer



to place a child with a family

of the same racial background.






Given the facts in this case

as you understand them,



what would be

your recommendation?



That the child

should be returned



to his birth mother.



Thank you.



No further questions.



Dr. Goldfein, you've stated



that your organization

is opposed



to interracial adoptions.



Does that mean you never

place black infants



with white couples?



Oh, no. We do this all the time,

but these are temporary.



These children stay temporarily

in the white home



until a suitable black family

comes along?



That's right.



How long does that take?



It can take years.



And the child is then



wrenched from the only family

they've ever known...



and turned over to strangers

because of the color



of their skin?



It's the long-term

interest of the child



we are trying to protect.



Well, wouldn't

you say



you were putting

political policy



above the emotional

health of these children?






All things being equal,



the black child is better off

with black parents.



All things being equal.



Well, what if all things

are not equal?



Miss Jones, I am sick and tired



of the attitude that says



that taking poor

black children out



of their environment

and placing them



in an affluent household



is better for the child.



What kind of values

does that suggest?



- How much time do you got?

- Not much.



How about lunch?






Look, no strings

or nothing.



Would you leave me alone?



I can't give them nothing



to use against me in there,

or I'll lose my boy.



I don't want to do nothing



to hurt your chances.



Why didn't you

answer my letters?



'Cause I didn't open them.



I cannot talk to you.



I want you to know something.



I filed for a divorce...



and I'm coming back

when I get it.



Okay, I just wanted to say that.



You said it.



Mrs. Lewin,



does Isaiah play with dolls?






Any of them black?






And some of them are green,

and some of them are purple,



and some of them are orange.



It doesn't seem



to matter to him.



He plays with all of them.



As you know, Mrs. Lewin,



people don't have green

or purple or orange faces.



When you and Isaiah read




do any of the books you read

have African-American characters



or pertain to African-American

history or culture?



We read Isaiah all sorts

of books in our home.



Oh, I'm sure you do,



but is there a black face

in any of them?



For instance,



have you read

The Planet of Junior Brown,



or The People Could Fly,



or Many Thousand Gone

by Virginia Hamilton?



Not yet.



Well, how about The Red

Dancing Shoes by Denise Patrick



or Faith Ringgold's Aunt

Harriet's Underground Railroad



in the Sky?



Not yet.



Or maybe your husband

has read him Fathers and Sons,



or Uncle Jed's Barbershop

by Margeree King Mitchell.



No, I don't think so.



Well, who do you think

he identifies with, Mrs. Lewin?



The orange-faced muppet?



Does he share

its muppet history?



You ever stop to think

how Isaiah must feel



living in a world



where he never sees

anyone like himself?



Might be kind of troubling,

don't you think?



Well, what's your point,

Mr. Lewis?



That our skin isn't

the right color?



That we're incapable

of teaching this child



what he needs to learn?



That I can't raise Isaiah up

to be an honorable man



because my skin is white?



What about love?



You haven't even spoken

that word here.



Or doesn't that fit

into your equation



of black and white?



And what about Isaiah?



How does he fit

into all of this?



Or is it more important

that we be



politically correct?



What we should be thinking

about here...



is what is going to happen...



to the spirit

of this little boy...



if he's...



taken away from us.



So, what you're saying is,



you're his only hope.



What I'm saying is,



we are all he knows,



and if you take him away

from us, it'll kill him.






So only you can save him.



You're the great white hope.






But I am his mother.



Are you?






Thank you.



You're welcome.



Higher, higher up. Faster.



Vroom, vroom!



- Vroom!

- I'm going to tickle you.



I'm going to tickle you!






Make it go really high.



Mom, is that you?



Hi, honey.



Mommy, Mommy!



Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!






Oh... there's my boy!



There's my boy.



Oh, little boy-o.









See you later, Mom.



Gonna tickle you!









Khaila, the judge has asked us



to be at the court at   :  .



Okay. Bye.



All rise.



This branch of the Circuit Court

of Cook County



is now in session,



the Honorable Renata Silbowitz




Be seated.



This was not an easy decision.



I have decided to return

the child, Isaiah,



to his biological mother.



When the mother is capable...



and I believe Miss Richards

is functioning well enough



to parent this child...



it is usually

in the child's best interest



to be with his natural mother,



especially when there

is a racial issue involved.



This may cause

some initial trauma,



but Isaiah is young...



We're just going

to take him away.



...and should be able

to deal with this...



Out of the state,

out of the country.



...if the adults conduct

themselves thoughtfully.



- No.

- Oh, why not?



Our jobs can move.



We'll go to California.



You always wanted

to go there.



No, Charles.



Well, we're going

to appeal.






It's over!



What you doing?



I said, "Nothing."



You a dinosaur?



I'm coming.



What you doing?









Come on, honey, it's time to go.



Let's get your jacket on, okay?



You're going to see

Khaila now... remember?



I told you about her.



You're going to live

with her, Isaiah.



And then I'm coming back.



No, honey, you're

not coming back.



I coming back.



No, Isaiah, wait, wait!



Wait a minute.









This is Mama's.



I want you to keep it, okay?



No matter what happens.



I want you to know that

we're always together...



that I'm always with you...



inside you, in here...



just like you're

always with me...



in here, all right?



And nobody...



can ever change that.



You promise you won't forget?



Hey, kiddo.












Isaiah, this is the lady



that's going to take you

to Khaila's house, okay?



Hi, Isaiah, you want

to come with me?



It's going to be all right,




Let me just take

him, all right?



I swear it'll be all right.



- It's going to be all right.

- No.



Why don't you just

let me take him?



It'll be better,

and you'll get used to it.



Why don't you just let me

take him, Mrs. Lewin, okay?



I promise you

it'll be all right.



- Let me just take him.

- No!



Mr. Lewin, this isn't helping.



And you are?!



Let me have him.



- Just a minute.

- Mommy!



Just a minute!

Just a minute!



Just a minute!



Well, what about his things?



They're not his things now.



Tell her he has to have

a light on to sleep.



Hi, Isaiah.



You scared? Don't be scared.



I'm your mama...

and I ain't gonna hurt you.



I know what it's like

to be scared.



That's why I'm gonna give you

all the time you need.



All the time in the world.



This is where

you gonna live, you and me.



I fixed this whole place up

just for you.



And your toys that

you brought with you



are right over there in a box.



That your boy?






What's his name?






Hey, Isaiah.



He's deaf.



Nah, he ain't deaf.



Just a little tired right now.



Come back tomorrow.



He'll play with you then.



Something's wrong with him.



Hi. Who's this?






Oh, hi.



You know where class  B is?



I think...

Do you know where  B is?



Up the stairs and to your left.



So, you're new here, huh?



Yep. First day.






Come on, sweetie,

don't be slow.



Come on.



Everyone pick up a piece

of paper when you come in.



Okay, I got to go to work,



so I'm gonna leave

you here, okay?



Now, all these kids here,

you can play with them...



and have fun, okay?



I'll be back

to get you later.



Go on and play.






Leave it there.






Yeah, let's just

leave everything



exactly the way it

is, shall we?



You can just sit right

there, and I'll, uh...



I'll sit...



right here.



And Hannah can lock herself

in her room,



and we don't ever have

to talk to her again, do we?



Remember her? Hannah?

Your daughter!?



Let go of me.



I'm not going to,

Margaret. I can't.



- Get out of my way!

- Margaret,



what happened here

is as bad as it gets,



but you got to get over it.



"Get over it"?



Oh, oh, I'm sorry.



Oh, I forgot, we're supposed



to feel sorry

for poor Margaret



because she lives

in an unjust world,



and she's just going

to have to live there.



Hmm? What's the matter?



Can't you fix

this one, Maggie?



You son of a bitch!



No! No! No, no!



No, no, no, no, no,

no, no, no, no, no!






Margaret, maybe he's better off

where he is.



Maybe, just maybe,

that lawyer was right.



I know he isn't ours.



I just...



didn't know

I'd miss him this much.



Neither did I.



I didn't know.



Thought you might

like to read to him.



He don't even talk to me.



It's only been two weeks.



It's a tough thing for a child

to understand all at once.



He'll come around.



And if he don't?



It happened to me.



I remember I used to sit

under a chair



when they used

to come try to get me...



take me from one

foster place to another.



I know what it's like...



to want to get

inside yourself...



and just disappear.



But you didn't.



Okay, got you a hamburger

and some French fries.



Look, they gave you

a car. Look.



Vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom.



Okay. Want a French fry?



Here, try a French fry.

Go ahead.



Okay, wait a minute.



Here, here, try another one.



Come on, it's good.



Come on, Isaiah, please?



Come on, look,



now you going to have

to eat something,



'cause if you don't eat,

you're going to get sick.



Now, look-look at Mama,

I'm gonna eat.



Mmm, good. Good.



Come on, try your hamburger.



- Isaiah.

- No. No.



Take a bite of your hamburger.



- No. No!

- Come on, please?



- Isaiah.

- No, go away!






Please, come on, turn around.



- No, no, no, no.

- Eat the hamburger.



Come on, please?



Isaiah, eat the...






I want my mommy!



Isaiah! Isaiah, no!



I want my mommy!



Isaiah, not the chair.

No, Isaiah!



Please, Isaiah, come here.



Isaiah, no!



Oh, don't do this.



Don't do this.



No. Don't do this.









Isaiah! Isaiah!



Stop playing games!









Isaiah! Isaiah!






Shit. Isaiah!









Isaiah, are you in here?



Isaiah! Isaiah!












Why do I always have

to get the phone?



'Cause it's always for you.









Thank you for coming.



Is he all right?






I guess I just wanted him so bad

that I wasn't thinking.



Maybe I was just hoping.



I wanted him to know who he was

and where he came from,



and that I never

would've given him up



if I'd have been clean and

hadn't been all messed up,



and that I was going to

always be there for him.



And I want him to stay

in school, right here,



with these kids just like him.



Khaila, what are you talking




I want you to go in there,



and hold him till he

ain't scared no more.



I'm not saying I'm

giving him back to you.



I'm just saying he's going



to come live with you

for a little while



till he can understand

all this.



Now, some people

are going to think



that I'm crazy,

but I don't care.



All that matters

to me is Isaiah.



And you may not like me,



but you're going to

have to deal with me.



I'm doing this

because I love him.



I really, really love him.



I love him, too.






- Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

- Oh, Isaiah!



Mommy! Mommy!






Oh, my boy!



Oh, Isaiah!






Oh, I've missed you,

I've missed you.






Thank you.



Isaiah, this is a nice

school you have here, hmm?



Can you show me and Khaila

what you like to do?






He likes to play with blocks.



Do you want to play

with some blocks?



Do you want to build something?



Oh, look.

Khaila's got the blocks.



Show me, Isaiah.



Put that... oop...

put that big one there.



A house?



Is that a house?



Which house

is Khaila's house?



This one and this is yours.



Isaiah's tower.



You can have that room

at the very top, huh?



All right.



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