The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Imagery

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Imagery

In the Barn

Pete is introduced to Melquiades and Tommy Lee Jones shoots the introduction with Melquiades framed by a barn entrance. At the top of the frame we see a rope hanging down like a noose. It foreshadows the tragedy that will come to Melquiades.

Unmarked Grave

We see a backhoe patting down Melquiades' grave. It's unmarked and no one is there to pay their respects or say goodbye. The image shows us the lack of respect and care for a human life that the sheriff and these men have as they bury him.

Boxed In

After killing Melquiades we see Norton sitting on the stairs leading up to his home. Jones shoots him with clothes hanging from a line in the foreground. They look like death shrouds closing in on the man who's tormented by the sin he's committed in taking another's life.

Two Stories

Pete is sitting at his kitchen table staring out two windows. One has the fire of the sunset still in it while the other has lost it. Rachel comes shortly after to tell him that she knows who killed Melquiades. The imagery shows us that there are two stories being told here. The lie that the sheriff is telling him, and the truth that he knows about what happened to his friend.

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