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Caged Birds Spec

When an educated French girl ends up in a Norwegian rehabilitation prison and an American girl from a trailer park ends up at a maximum security prison in Florida, one seeks to reform while the other seeks escape.

Valeria Fuentes is a freelance artist supporting herself and her younger brother in their ramshackle trailer. In other terms, she sells feet pictures on the internet because their parents left them with nothing. Maximilienne is a French scholar on track to receive her PhD at a prestigious institution. When Valeria “borrows” a politician’s car to fetch her brother from the woods and Maximilienne gets into a fatal (not for her but the others) accident after taking advantage of the cocktails on her first class flight, both face serious time. However, Valeria is sentenced to a Maximum security prison in Florida, while Max sees the inside of what looks more like a university—a rehabilitation prison in Norway.
Ultimately, their experiences are at variance due to the other inmates, guards, and personal battles. Valeria will struggle with abuse from the guards and find her safe haven in the others around her, causing her to seek reform, while Max experiences quite the opposite. The Norwegian guards are Laissez-Faire in their attempt to keep the “prison” tame, which only allows the other inmates to act out more and form gangs. Maximilienne feels cornered and endangered and seeks to escape. Valeria tries to help everyone she comes across, which may be to her detriment when she experiences a traumatizing event. In her attempt to save her friend and evolving love interest from a rape by the guards, she, too, suffers the same fate. She spirals and is hopeless until coming up with an idea — to write a letter to the very same congressman whose car she stole to end up there. She embraces the irony in her letter, but the guards get a hold of it, and her world turns upside down.
Maximilienne befriends a nice woman, Karina, who is a slave to the most powerful prison gang and is currently being bargained for, as she is amidst a love triangle she did not want to be in. When Max witnesses the mistreatment and sexual assault of this woman by one of the two gang fighting over her, she freezes and flees the scene. She cannot look at Karina in the eye, and she ultimately uses her as a bargaining chip. This occurs when she overhears the escape plan of one of the gangs and offers enticing information about Karina to the leader in an attempt to get on board. It works. However, after selling Karina, her only friend, out, Max meets with her treatment team for their routine meetings and finds out she is getting out on early release.
While Max is getting out, the guards approach Valeria with the letter she tried to mail that sells them out for their incompetency and cruelty, and they bring her into the non-denominational church where they beat her. They continue to do so until she can no longer move, and they eventually give a knife to her love interest, Briar, and it is revealed that Briar was being pressured into feeding the guards information about Valeria, which is what made them get so close. Briar is tasked with finishing the job, and she delivers.
Ultimately, we see Maximilienne corrupted by the system even though it acted in her favor, and Valeria, who stayed true to her morals even when the system did not serve her well.

This script is filled with characters whose morality is gray, rather than black and white, classical literature analogies and parallels, as well as major good versus evil themes and religious references. I hope you are interested in it. I have done extensive research about these facilities in order to maintain accuracy, and I have consulted with a lawyer regarding the legal aspect of the script. Please contact me with any requests or questions, and let me know if I am able to submit my screenplay to you for reading. I wrote this script with the hopes of connecting with progressive audiences while still maintaining the riveting type plot that we know and love to see on the screen.

It has Orange is the New Black’s witty, dry humor and complex characters behind bars with Locked Up’s element of the plight of prison reform.