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:: The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada

After being shot by border patrolman Mike Norton (Barry Pepper), the corpse of Melquiades Estrada is quickly buried in a shallow grave. The body is discovered soon after and is transferred to a pauper’s grave in Texas. With the Texan authorities making no attempt to solve the crime, local man, Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) who is Melquiades’ best friend, makes it his mission to find the killer and to punish him accordingly. When Norton is held accountable for the crime, Perkins takes him to the grave, and at gunpoint, forces him to dig up the corpse. The two men (along with the corpse) embark on a rugged journey across the international border to provide the third and final burial for Melquiades Estrada.

This modern day western boasts a phenomenal cast who successfully portray the unique culture, customs and traditions of the inhabitants of the border country between West Texas and Northern Mexico. It also reveals an accurate account of the cultural differences and ongoing tensions that exist between the United States and Mexico as a result of the border that separates them. The movie cleverly jumps from past to present in order to enhance one of its main themes of friendship - in particular, the close relationship formed between Melquiades Estrada and Pete Perkins, and Pete’s commitment to remain loyal to his friends request after his death.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada marks the directional debut of Tommy Lee Jones. It also picked up two awards at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor (Tommy Lee Jones) and Best Screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga.