Award Winning Feature Film Screenplay: Undesirable
From award-winning screenwriter, Rodolfo Alvarado and the Acevedo Estate, comes the unbelievable true story of Anthony C. Acevedo, a World War II Mexican American medic who struggles to survive the horrors of a Nazi POW and concentration camp, as well as a death march, while haunted by the mental and physical abuses he and his younger sister suffered at the hands of their domineering father.
Award Winning (2020):
Screenplay Festival: Finalist (winner named late Oct. 2020)
Script Summit 3: Michigan Writers Award Finalist
Script Summit 3: National Official Selection
Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards: Semi-Finalist
Length: 112 pages
- Undesirable is based on the true story of a WWII Mexican American medic who struggles to survive the horrors of a Nazi POW and concentration camp, as well as a death march, while haunted by the mental and physical abuses he and his younger sister suffered at the hands of their domineering father.
- Undesirable is based on the true story of Anthony C. Acevedo, the first Mexican American to register as a Nazi concentration camp survivor. Captured after the Battle of the Bulge, Anthony is transported to a POW camp where he is tortured and deemed undesirable, a distinction that marks him for inclusion among American Jewish GIs selected to be transferred to a concentration camp.
At the concentration camp, Anthony cares for GIs who are forced to dig tunnels and is sexually assaulted by the camp’s sergeant and by American GIs who are threatened with death if they do not carry out the deed. With German defeat in sight, Anthony and the GIs who managed to survive, are forced to undertake a Death March, an event that ultimately ends with their freedom.
Throughout the course of these horrific events Anthony relives the mental and physical abuses he, and his sister, Louisa, suffered at the hands of their domineering father since childhood. Time and again, Anthony relies on a palm cross his mother, Maria, gave him as a boy for the strength to deal with the memories of his father’s hate and the horrors inflicted on him and other GIs by Nazis.
Once the war is over Anthony returns to his father’s house where his father brands him a coward for allowing himself to be taken prisoner. “It would’ve been better,” he tells his son, “if you would’ve killed yourself.” Having heard enough, Anthony walks out of his father’s office where he is met by Louisa. They embrace. Seconds later, Francisco punches Anthony in the face. He then stands over Anthony ready to fight, but Anthony does not give him the satisfaction. Instead, he stands and places the palm cross his mother gave him in his father’s hand, saying, “I forgive you.” Anthony then takes Louisa by the hand and together they walk out of their father’s house.
- UNDESIRABLE's opening locates a really assured sense of perspective. A reader can very quickly identify with Acevedo, and in few strokes, we get a good idea of the type of young man he is. These early pages do a great job of securing a reader's emotional investment in the friendship and heroics of Acevedo and Pruzan as partners in the field so that the tragedy to follow hits hard. It's one of many that Acevedo will face, but this relationship in particular is a smart early development whose dynamic carries into the many deaths to come that Acevedo must bear.
Acevedo himself is a unique protagonist of color in this genre, which works to draw common ground in the prejudices he faces back home and among his Jewish compatriots. Furthermore, he has a highly sympathetic backstory that gives Acevedo a well of strength to draw on in the face of hardship. The flashback journey compounds with his present day struggles to resolve in a powerful coda in answer to his father's abuses. In all the courage we see throughout, the most courageous personal act lands exactly as the author intends in Acevedo's forgiveness of his father. It's an extraordinarily powerful moment whose thematic implications stretch far and wide in the context of World War II. Overall, the script is a strong display of realism and visual writing in a vivid period setting.