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ALL SCRIPTS




 
                                   RUST AND BONE



                                    Written by

                        Jacques Audiard & Thomas Bidegain

                  

                 Based on Craig Davidson's short story collection





                                                   16TH August 2011
                         

          1. THE CHILD
          Gradually more and more visible in the darkness, the face
          of a child, Sam. He is 6 years old, blond, pale and
          miserably thin. As we move in on his eyes, we see his lids
          quickly contracting.
          Under his eyelids: vestiges of the day's lights and
          shadows, of the day's noise.

          2. EXT. - NORTHWEST LANDSCAPES. DAY

          A grim region where the sky hangs low and the wind can
          knock a man off his feet.
          On the side of the highway, a large, muscular man with
          spiked blond hair: Ali Van Versh, 25.
          He has a big bag in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
          He talks on the phone as he continues walking:

                         ALI
          It's me. It's Ali... I left. I took the kid
          with me. She can't take care of him anymore.
          I got into a fight with the guy she's with.
          I don't know where to go. What do I do with
          the kid? I can't talk. I don't have any more
          credit... Call me back!
          He hangs up quickly and turns to Sam.

                         ALI
          Move it!
          His phone rings. He immediately answers.

                         ALI
          Yeah! Where is it? Shit! It's so far! How do
          I get there? I don't know. Today or
          tomorrow. Yeah...
          Ali lifts Sam onto his shoulders with one arm. Sam is tiny,
          he looks like a squirrel on his father's back.

                         2

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3. INT. TRAIN.DAY

          There is a map of the French rail system near the toilets
          in a regional train. While Sam pees, Ali examines it. He
          follows the lines to plot out their trip. He arrives where
          France ends, at the Mediterranean. Sam comes out of the
          bathroom, straightening his pants.

                         SAM
          I'm thirsty.

                         ALI
          We don't have any money.

                         SAM
          I'm thirsty!

          4. INT. TGV. DAY

          A different speed, different countryside.
          Ali notices a half-empty bottle of Evian water left on a
          tray. He takes it. He searches through the garbage under
          other empty seats.
          Ali and Sam eat leftover sandwiches and fruit, and finish
          off abandoned bottles of water.

          5. INT. TGV. DAY

          Another TGV. Rain evaporates off the windows. Ali has
          fallen asleep. He's too big for his seat. Sam watches the
          landscape go by and bangs his feet against his seat. Ali
          opens one eye.

                         ALI
          Stop it.
          Sam's Mickey Mouse sandals pause, then go back to their
          banging.

                         ALI
          I said to stop it.
          The sandals freeze.
          Cut.

                         3

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6. THE CHILD
          All of a sudden, Sam is asleep, his eyelids blinking
          quickly.

          7. EXT. CANNES STREET. DAY

          Ali's face is turned toward the orange heat of an afternoon
          sun.
          Ali and Sam look at the sea, the beaches and hotels. It's
          hot and beautiful. They walk by tanned people in shorts,
          short skirts, sandals...
          In their shapeless grey track pants, they look like hoboes.
          Ali drags his sport bag with one hand and Sam with the
          other.
          Ali is on the phone:

                         ALI
          I don't know. A big street that started at
          the station. Yeah, by the beach. Behind? We
          just came from there!
          Ali pulls Sam away from one of the stairways that lead to
          the beach...

                         SAM
          I'm tired.

                         ALI
          So am I. He's coming to pick us up. Come on!
          Sam is extenuated. Ali has to heave him up onto a shoulder.

          8. EXT. CANNES STREET. DAY

          A four-lane avenue near the outskirts of town.
          Ali is walking on the shoulder of the road, with Sam piggy-
          back. A horn beeps. A refrigerated truck, blinking to get
          to the side of the road. The window rolls down to reveal a
          moustache and a cap: Richard.

                         4

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9. INT. RICHARD'S TRUCK. DAY

          While driving...

                         RICHARD
          (Southern accent)... A couple miles back I
          saw a blond guy. (Imitates screeching
          brakes) I stop short! "You Ali?" I ask. He
          says "No, me Kurt". Another few hundred
          feet, another big blond guy! (Screech) I
          ask "You Ali?" again. This time I didn't
          even understand what he answered. Another
          few hundred feet... Ten of them! Ten! Every
          Kraut and Flemish guy on the coast! So I go
          call your sister...
          Ali is thrown for a loop.

                         ALI
          (uncertain) You kidding?

                         RICHARD
          A little.

                         SAM
          (to Ali) Is he a little crazy?

                         RICHARD
          (to Sam) What? You don't like my truck?

                         SAM
          Yeah I do.

                         RICHARD
          (pretending to be shocked) He doesn't like
          my truck!

                         SAM
          I do too like it!
          Worked up, Sam shrieks, holding his hands over his ears:

                         SAM
          (screaming) I like your truck!
          The road hugs the seashore. Ali watches beaches, homes, a
          railway line pass by... Voice over, we hear Richard's

                         5

                         

                         

                         

                         
          distant voice.

          10. EXT. SUBURBAN KITCHEN. DAY

          A kitchen with mismatched furnishings. China and cheesy
          wallpaper. Sam devours the cookies and Coke that Richard
          gives him.

                         RICHARD
          We all got fired after some Spanish guy
          bought out the trucking company... Eight
          truckers. I thought it over, discussed it
          with your sister and figured I could do it
          on my own. So I bought this truck with my
          severance pay...
          Ali has finished his cream cheese sandwiches. He gets up
          and opens the old fridge.

                         RICHARD
          Oops, poor man, not those! She'll kill you!
          Start with the expired ones, on the top
          shelf! They're organized by date. First the
          top shelf, then move down.... Anna brings it
          home from the supermarket where she works.
          As soon as they reach their expiration date,
          those idiots throw it all away, even if you
          can still eat it for a week! (to Sam) You
          want some more?

          11. INT. SUBURBAN HOME. DAY

          Anna empties Sam's Spiderman bag onto the table, spilling
          out old, dirty, crumpled clothes.

                         ANNA
          (with a hint of Southern accent) Is this all
          you have for him?
          Anna Van Versh, Ali's sister, is in her thirties. She is a
          huge woman, very tall with a pretty face. She wears
          leggings that make her ass look like a workhorse's and a
          pair of flip flops. At the bottom of the bag, Anna finds a
          passport and opens it. It is Sam's.

                         6

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ANNA
          She remembered his passport!

                         ALI
          She didn't remember anything. It was already
          in there. She forgot about it, that's all.
          When they went to Amsterdam, they'd use the
          kid to smuggle dope...

                         ANNA
          You got to be kidding!

                         ALI
          That's what she told me.
          Anna shakes her head in disbelief. A beat.

                         ANNA
          How will you tend to the kid? I won't be
          able to all the time. I work, and so does
          Richard... Was he in school there?

                         ALI
          I don't know.

                         ANNA
          You don't know if your kid's in school?

                         ALI
          Um, no. (turns to Sam) You in school?
          No answer. Sam is watching TV.

                         ANNA
          Back at your mom's place, did you go to
          school?

                         SAM
          Yes.

                         ANNA
          I can try to enroll him at the school. I'll
          see... We also need to get him some clothes.
          He can't go like that... I'll ask the
          neighbors.
          (gives the child her hand) Come with me to

                         7

                         

                         

                         

                         
          the backyard. I have to feed my babies.

          12. EXT. GARDEN. EVENING

          Evening is falling. At the back of the garden are a home-
          made pen and doghouse. Four puppies come running. Sam
          touches them through the chicken wire.

                         ANNA
          You want to pet them?
          She lifts Sam up over the wire mesh.

                         ANNA
          Careful. Don't step on their tiny paws.
          They're just babies.
          Anna shows him how to feed puppies, then stands back up.

                         ANNA
          (to Ali) The breeder's picking them up next
          month. Brings in some money. Otherwise,
          Richard and I were thinking 300 a month for
          you and the kid... That okay?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         ANNA
          "Yeah" what? Is that too much?

                         ALI
          It's not too much, but I don't have it. I
          had to pay for the train...

                         ANNA
          So what are you going to do?

                         ALI
          I don't know. Find a job. Whatever.

                         ANNA
          Yeah, whatever... You think there's any work
          around here? You think there's any more here
          than there? Where has that ever been the
          case? When you told me you were coming down,

                         8

                         

                         

                         

                         
          I said we couldn't afford houseguests!

                         ALI
          What should I have done with the kid? Where
          should I have gone?

                         ANNA
          I have no idea, but if you stay here you
          have to pay your share, or else go somewhere
          else. As far as we're concerned, it's easy:
          we can't! How long were you thinking of
          staying?

                         ALI
          I don't know.
          She makes a tired gesture and goes back toward the house,
          calling Richard on the way. Ali hears Sam in the kennel,
          giggling in delight.
          He looks around: the seedy garden, a metal shed leaning to
          one side, what's left of an engine, an old, orange Special
          50 moped, plastic junk, etc.
          Overhead, a plane descends on Nice, its landing lights
          shining.

          13. INT. BASEMENT. NIGHT

          In the cluttered basement, Sam is rolled up in a sleeping
          bag arranged on a pallet and watches his father repair the
          antique Special 50 moped by the light of a flashlight.

          14. INT. ELECTRONIC GOODS SHOP. DAY

          Ali wanders through an electronic goods shop, pretending to
          be interested in cameras. Through the shop window, he can
          see Sam waiting outside in the sun.

          15. EXT. ANTIBES STREETS. DAY

          Suddenly, Sam sees his father run out of the shop, trying
          to shake a security guard hot on his tail. Sam watches them
          disappear into a tiny lane.
          Sam looks around a bit frightened.

                         9

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Farther off, in a busy shopping district…
          Ali forces his way through hordes of tourists. The security
          guard grabs him by the hood and forces him up against a
          wall. They are both dripping with sweat and out of breath.

                         SECURITY GUARD
          Unzip your jacket! Empty your pockets!
          Ali keeps his cool.

                         ALI
          Unzip it yourself!
          Ali struggles free and smiles at the guy invitingly. The
          guard tries to punch him. Ali dodges:
          The guard hesitates a moment, until Ali lets fly a right
          hook. The guard stumbles. A kick in the face sends him
          flying into a stall. Ali lifts his arms in victory for the
          benefit of the few, stunned passersby. He kisses his own
          biceps, does three steps of a moonwalk and saunters off.

          16. EXT. ANTIBES STREETS. DAY

          Sam is walking along the street by the beach amid the
          terraces and ice-cream stores, looking for his father.
          Then he sees the moped at the far side of the parking lot
          where they had left it chained up. He walks toward it. A
          voice calls out.

                         ALI
          Hey! Here I am!
          Ali crosses the street and kneels down in front of Sam who
          is sniffling, tears in his eyes.

                         ALI
          No need to cry. I wouldn't have left you all
          alone.
          Ali unlocks the moped.

                         10

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17. EXT. ALLEYWAY. DAY

          In a small side street, Sam watches Ali sell a camera for a
          few 20 Euro notes.

          18. EXT. ANTIBES - BEACH. DAY

          On the beach, Ali and Sam eat some McDonald's.

                         ALI
          Are you happy here?
          Sam nods.

                         SAM
          Mm.

                         ALI
          What do you like the most at Auntie's?

                         SAM
          The dogs.

                         ALI
          Is that all? Nothing else besides the dogs?

                         SAM
          The truck.

                         ALI
          The dogs and the truck. The house? Auntie?
          The ocean?

                         SAM
          The dogs and the truck.
          Ali nods. Sam watches his Dad's fat fingers assemble the
          plastic toy from his Happy Meal.

                         ALI
          We have it good here...
          Ali's fingers stop. Sam looks up to find his father
          watching some girls in swimsuits go by.
          They go for a swim, horsing around and making noise.

                         11

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19. INT. OFFICE - THE ALTA SECU COMPANY. DAY

          The logo is in the shape of a sheriff's badge and hangs
          over some filing cabinets on the wall of a modest office:
          "ALTA Securite".

                         OWNER
          No criminal record? You never fucked up?

                         ALI
          No.
          The boss is in his fifties. He sits behind some files. His
          hair is short and white, it looks like he's wearing a
          helmet. He is squeezed into a cheap suit and wearing a tie.
          He stares at Ali.

                         OWNER
          Is that the truth? We'll be checking
          anyway...
          Ali nods. The owner reaches out.

                         OWNER
          Your papers...
          Ali hands him his tattered paper ID. The owner writes down
          the number. Ali is 13-14 on the picture.

                         OWNER
          What was your last job?

                         ALI
          I worked in a slaughterhouse. Not for long.
          It closed.

                         OWNER
          Ever work in security?

                         ALI
          Yeah. I was a night watchman in a stadium
          for 6 months. Working for the city. In a
          parking lot too. I did replacements.

                         12

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         OWNER
          Ever do any combat sports?

                         ALI
          Karate, for 6 years. I even won Junior
          Division. And two years of boxing. Thai.

                         OWNER
          You gave it up?

                         ALI
          It was my trainer who gave up.

                         OWNER
          Why?

                         ALI
          He died.
          A beat.

                         OWNER
          And how are you physically? You stay in
          shape?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         OWNER
          You don't smoke?

                         ALI
          No.

                         OWNER
          Drink?
          He shakes his head "no". The boss notes something in a
          file.

          20. INT. ALTA SECURITY OFFICE. DAY.

          Anna and Sam are waiting outside the office. The owner
          kisses Anna on the cheek. He asks how Richard is doing,
          then shows them to the door. Anna looks proud to know him.

                         13

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21. EXT. FEVER RAY. NIGHT

          Saturday evening. The door to the Fever Ray night club.
          Patrons wait, bouncers pick and choose. An imposing
          Caucasian maneuvers the red rope. Behind him, Ali Van
          Versch and Foued Latahoui, who looks like a lightweight
          boxer, guard the door.
          Ali wears a faded blue "ALTA Secu" jacket and stiff,
          matching pants. Looking well-groomed, Foued is wearing a
          white shirt and tie. Well-groomed.
          A group of girls passes through the security barrier. Foued
          acts like he's hesitating:

                         FOUED
          Okay, I'll let you through because I'm
          outnumbered. Four against one, I don't stand
          a chance!
          The girls smile and disappear inside. Ali watches them
          vanish.

                         FOUED
          You say something nice, anything. That way,
          when they leave, they remember you and you
          can hit on them. If they're a little
          plastered, if things didn't go too well for
          them, you're there with a nice thing to
          say...

                         ALI
          And it works?

                         FOUED
          Sometimes. But you can't be dressed like
          that. Like a parking lot attendant...
          They are interrupted by the bouncer.

                         THE CAUCASIAN
          (pointing) Fight!
          They go running. Three guys are fighting like savages. Ali
          and Foued clean house. Foued gets rid of gawkers. Ali
          delivers a few random punches, lifts one of the guys off

                         14

                         

                         

                         

                         
          his feet and grabs another by the collar.
          While Foued chases the rowdy men toward the parking lot,
          Ali helps a girl back to her feet. She's a pretty blond,
          must be about 27 or 28, who has taken a punch in the face.
          It is Stephanie.

                         ALI
          Are you okay? Breathe out of your mouth. In
          and out. Put your head back. Walk a little.
          Walk and breathe...
          He demonstrates how and takes her by the arm, forcing her
          to walk. She looks groggy.

                         STEPHANIE
          I have to go home...

                         ALI
          You have friends here?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, I came alone. I have my car in the lot.
          I'll be fine.

                         ALI
          You can't drive like that.

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm fine. I'm fine, I said. Thanks.

                         ALI
          You can't drive like that. I'll call you a
          cab.

                         STEPHANIE
          How do I get my car afterwards? Seriously,
          I'll be fine. Trust me!
          We hear a voice from the parking lot.

                         ANGRY MAN
          Bitch!
          Stephanie looks back.

                         15

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ANGRY MAN
          Yeah... you, you cunt. Bitch!
          She ignores him, pretending not to see him. She then
          notices the blood stains on her T-shirt.

                         STEPHANIE
          Shit.

                         ALI
          Where's your car?

          22. INT. STEPHANIE'S CAR. NIGHT

          Ali drives. His head seems to touch the roof of the little
          Fiat and his thighs are too thick for the seat. He glances
          over at Stephanie.

                         ALI
          Still bleeding? Keep your head back. Wait...
          He manipulates the knob to push her seat back. He grimaces
          in pain.

                         ALI
          Shit!

                         STEPHANIE
          Did you hurt yourself?
          He shows her his right wrist.

                         STEPHANIE
          It's swelling up.
          He rests his hand on the wheel. After a beat:

                         ALI
          You often go to the Fever?

                         STEPHANIE
          No.

                         ALI
          Why do you go alone?
          No answer.

                         16

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          To dance?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.

                         ALI
          To find a guy?
          She turns and looks down her nose at him:

                         STEPHANIE
          Oh yeah?

                         ALI
          You're dressed like that just for dancing?

                         STEPHANIE
          How am I dressed?

                         ALI
          I don't know... Look.
          He points to her skirt, riding up her thighs.

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah, so what?

                         ALI
          You look like a hooker.

                         STEPHANIE
          Excuse me?

                         ALI
          How would you call it?

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't believe this. Pull over here!

                         ALI
          What?

                         STEPHANIE
          Stop this car on the double!

                         17

                         

                         

                         

                         
          No reaction.

                         STEPHANIE
          It's MY car! If I tell you to stop, you
          stop!
          Still no reaction, as if she hadn't said a thing. She is
          about to scream again, but remains silent, although open-
          mouthed. She finally settles back down on the back of her
          seat and looks elsewhere.
          A beat.

                         ALI
          Dressed like that, it's no surprise that...

                         STEPHANIE
          That's enough now!
          They ride in silence.

          23. EXT. SIMON & STEPHANIE'S BUILDING. NIGHT

          The Fiat stops in front of a small building in a flowery
          residential neighborhood. They climb out.

                         STEPHANIE
          How will you get back?

                         ALI
          I don't know.
          She takes out her wallet.

                         ALI
          No, stop!

                         STEPHANIE
          For a taxi.

                         ALI
          Don't worry. Got any ice at your place?
          He shows her his wrist.

                         ALI
          Ice cubes.

                         18

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          Wait, I'll go check.

                         ALI
          I can come up.

                         STEPHANIE
          No!
          Even she is surprised by the brusqueness of her response.

                         STEPHANIE
          (embarrassed) Someone's up there.

                         ALI
          So what?

                         STEPHANIE
          Wait here. I'll be right back.
          She takes a few steps, fumbling for her keys. She
          hesitates, then looks back.

                         STEPHANIE
          Okay, come on up.

          24. INT. SIMON & STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. NIGHT

          They enter the apartment. The light is on. Simon comes out
          of the bedroom in his boxer shorts and a T-shirt. He's
          thirty, blond, and there is something commanding about his
          look that could be thought to resemble Stephanie's.
          He discovers Ali and the blood stains on Stephanie's T-

                         SHIRT:

                         SIMON
          What the hell? What's going on?

                         STEPHANIE
          Nothing. A fight...

                         SIMON
          Are you okay?

                         19

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah, I'm fine.

                         SIMON
          (pointing to Ali) Who's he?

                         STEPHANIE
          The bouncer from the Fever. He drove me
          home.

                         ALI
          (introducing himself)... Ali.

                         SIMON
          The Fever? What the hell were you doing
          there?
          Ali opens the refrigerator.

                         SIMON
          What are you looking for?

                         ALI
          Ice cubes.

                         STEPHANIE
          He hurt his hand...
          Simon pulls Stephanie into the bedroom.
          Ice cubes in a Plexiglas salad bowl. Ali's hand in the
          bowl. He looks around.
          There are photos on the wall: Stephanie surfing on the back
          of a killer whale, Stephanie posing with a group of young
          people in diving suits in front of the Marineland logo,
          Stephanie rising out of the water on Niska's rostrum, etc.
          From the nearby bedroom, he hears snatches of Simon's

                         REPROACHES:

                         SIMON (OFF)
          If you decide to go out, call me. That's
          all! Who were you with there?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Philippe and Christine.

                         20

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         SIMON (OFF)
          I thought you went out to dinner.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          We decided to go out for a drink after.

                         SIMON (OFF)
          You get my text messages? Why didn't you
          answer me?
          Stephanie comes back into the kitchen. She has changed her
          T-shirt. She seems tense.

                         STEPHANIE
          Feeling better?

                         ALI
          Is that you in the picture with the orcas?

                         STEPHANIE
          Not orcas. Just one orca. Her name is Niska.

                         ALI
          Is that your job?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yep...
          Ali nods vaguely admiringly.

                         ALI
          Fuck... I didn't think that...

                         STEPHANIE
          That what? A whore could train whales? Well,
          you see...
          Simon is at the door. He is wearing a jean.

                         SIMON
          (To Ali) Okay, are you done now? Can you
          leave us alone?
          Ali stares him down.

                         21

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          You talking to me?
          It's as if Ali's calm, peremptory tone suddenly let Simon
          know who he was dealing with.

                         SIMON
          Yes, but...

                         ALI
          But what?

                         SIMON
          Nothing, forget it...
          In one second, Stephanie sees Simon's face undergo a
          metamorphosis, his nervous authority suddenly disappear.
          She glances at Ali as if to say ‘Please go now.'
          He gets up and wipes his hands on a dish rag.

                         ALI
          Okay, I'm going. So long. (pointing to a
          piece of paper on the table) I left you my
          number if ever you need it...

          25. INT. SIMON & STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - NIGHT

          She dissolves an aspirin in a toothbrush glass. She checks
          her lip in the medicine chest mirror. She notices Simon
          watching her from the bathroom doorway.

                         SIMON
          Are you okay? Are you upset?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, I'm not upset.
          She drinks the aspirin.

                         STEPHANIE
          I saw your face before...

                         SIMON
          Before?

                         22

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          With that guy who dropped me off. I saw your
          face. I saw how you piped down.

                         SIMON
          I piped down? Me?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes, you piped down... (pause) Don't tell me
          what I should do, how I should live my life.
          Don't give me any more orders, Simon.

                         SIMON
          What does that mean?

                         STEPHANIE
          Don't give me any more orders, that's all.
          She turns on the faucet and runs her lips under the water.

                         CUT TO:

          26. INT. MARINELAND. TRAINERS' OFFICE. DAY

          Two rooms adjoining the locker room. Two desks, and on the
          walls pictures of the trainers with their orcas, laminated
          posters of various training methods, files for each animal.
          Stephanie is in her diving suit, sitting in front of
          Louise, a 23-year-old woman who is reading a document about
          her internship.
          A trainer leaves the locker room, his backpack slung over
          his shoulder.

                         TRAINER
          Coming?
          No answer. Tension. He leaves without a word.
          Louise looks up. She has been crying. Stephanie looks at
          her, impassive. Louise swallows her tears.

                         LOUISE
          Really... this isn't fair.

                         23

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          No, Louise, there are lots of things you can
          say but not that. The pools are my
          responsibility and all I care about are the
          animals. I have to see to their environment
          and that starts with their trainers. Do you
          understand?

                         LOUISE
          What are you trying to make me believe, that
          I wasn't up to par?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, listen.

                         LOUISE
          Lacking in maturity? Skills?

                         STEPHANIE
          You're not consistent. We've already
          discussed that. The foundation of the
          relationship with the orcas is stability.
          During your internship you've had your ups
          and downs. It's not your competence that...

                         LOUISE
          You know this has nothing to do with my
          internship. You couldn't care less if I was
          competent or not! It has to do with that I
          fucked Michael. Just say so.

                         STEPHANIE
          Oh, please...

                         LOUISE
          And in fact what really bothers you is not
          that we fucked, but that he told me about
          you. How you think you're so... How you've
          become such a bitch. That's why you're
          firing me. That's what you should write in
          your report.

                         STEPHANIE
          Okay, are you done? We can stop here. No
          need to spoil the rest of your internship.
          Louise stands up.

                         24

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27. EXT. MARINELAND. POOL - DAY

          The empty stadium above the pool. The trainers walk along
          the gangplanks busily.
          In her diving suit, Stephanie leans over the "beach" of
          pool 3. She taps on the surface of the water. A wave
          forms, whirling around the pool.
          The whale washes up on the "beach" beside her. She performs
          what looks like a daily ritual. She examines the whale,
          caresses it. The whale responds with uncanny gurgles.

          28. EXT. MARINELAND. DAY

          Stock shots of a show at Marineland, or images which we
          will film to resemble stock shots: wide-angle shots from
          the stadium.
          The sound equipment blares "Jump" by Van Halen, orcas shoot
          out of the water, the audience applauds… Little kids clutch
          electric-blue dolphin balloons, getting splashed by the
          orcas… Images of the show are relayed on giant video
          screens, orcas shoot by like torpedoes behind the plastic
          protective wall in front of the main pool, etc…

                         CUT TO:

          29. INT. MARINELAND POOL. DAY

          All at once, silence. Then surface noise, but muted by the
          cubic meters of water…
          Underwater shots from pool number 3.
          Overhead, the surface shines like a mirror. In pool number
          3, a five-ton black shadow bides its time: it is Niska.
          Behind the grate in pool number 3, Niska watches her mates
          diving and surfacing in a spray of bubbles.
          A mechanical creak, then the grate slowly begins to lift.
          It's about to be her turn.

                         25

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Niska swims into the big pool, slowly at first, but then
          picks up speed. She surfaces, disappears for a long beat,
          then again reappears, churning up a whirlpool of bubbles.
          On the other side of the mirror, the music blares and the
          crowd cheers.
          What looks like a small black and white arrow dives into
          the pool. We recognize Stephanie. She caresses Niska's
          rostrum, then kisses it, hanging onto her fins, waltzing
          with her up to the surface. Her hands look ridiculously
          tiny on the huge black fins. We see her face mirrored in
          one of the orca's huge black, gentle eyes. A liquid world
          of greens and blues whirls around them.
          Now, with her legs slightly arched on the rostrum,
          Stephanie has Niska swim around the pool, accelerating the
          water pressure and speed. The plastic wall rushes by, a
          rush of adrenaline… clouds of sediment are lifted as if by
          a gust of wind.
          A young male, Tom, joins Niska in pool number 1. Niska
          immediately rushes him, as if riled by the intrusion, and
          flattens him against the plastic wall.
          In the shifting reflections at the water's surface, we can
          make out Stephanie and two other trainers' faces on the
          ‘beach'. Their palms beat on the water, summoning the orcas
          for their next number.
          Tom gathers some momentum, then shoots around Niska to jump
          into first place. He disappears a moment, then is back into
          the water after a dozen meters of aquaplaning.
          Niska then gets into place and takes a running start, but
          just as she is about to shoot out of the water, Tom appears
          out of nowhere and forces the huge female to leap over him.
          We sense chaos up above. Then we see Niska crash back into
          the water, with, one after the other, a piece of the huge
          video screen that towered over the stage, bits of scenery,
          and all kinds of random objects, as if Niska had carried
          away half the platform in her wake… It all seems to fall
          in slow motion, like flecks of snow in a snow globe.
          Something sinks toward us… a body, floating weightless and
          disjointed in a cloud of red.

                         26

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30. EXT. MARINELAND - WHALE POOL. DAY

          Stephanie is on the rim of the pool. All around her: the
          audience panics, a loudspeaker orders evacuation, Louise
          leans over her.

                         STEPHANIE
          What... What happened?

                         LOUISE
          Tom and Niska... They got in each other's
          way.
          Then Louise sees blood spurting from the rips in her diving
          suit. She tries to find a pressure point.
          Stephanie sees Louise's face wet with tears:

                         STEPHANIE
          Stop it, calm down. I'm fine!
          Her hand searches for something at thigh level, without
          finding it.
          She faints.

          31. EXT. ROAD TO THE BEACH. DAY

          Ali is wearing his MP3 headset. He runs down the road to
          the beach, sweat dripping into his eyes.

          32. EXT. ANNA'S HOUSE. DAY

          Sam's toys are lying scattered in the garden, his half-
          eaten snack is on the table. Ali takes off his headset.

                         ALI
          Sam!
          No answer. There is some noise over at the kennel. He goes
          and finds Sam in the kennel, talking to the puppies.

                         ALI
          What are you doing here?

                         27

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Sam jumps and scuttles to the back of the kennel, but Ali
          reaches in and grabs him by the arm. Sam is covered in mud,
          straw and dog shit.

                         ALI
          You're gross! You stink! Who's taking care
          of you?
          Ali drags him over to the garage to hose him down. The
          water is freezing cold. Sam hops from one foot to the other
          and screams.

                         SAM
          Stop it, Dad! It's cold. Stop!
          Sam shrieks. An 18 year old tomboy wearing a skimpy tee-
          shirt comes out of a neighboring house: Joelle, the
          neighbors' daughter.

                         ALI
          Aren't you supposed to be taking care of
          him? What the fuck are you up to?

                         JOELLE
          I was next doing the laundry.

                         ALI
          Take a look at him!

                         JOELLE
          I'll put him in the shower.

                         ALI
          (to Sam, crying) Don't go in there. It's
          disgusting. You hear?
          Joelle takes Sam and disappears inside.
          Ali is drawn to the living room, when through the half-open
          door he notices the flat screen turned onto a news channel.
          Onscreen and behind the anchorwoman, he recognizes an inset
          photo of Stephanie, the same he saw at her place, riding on
          the back of a killer whale. 
          Il manque une phrase

                         28

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         JOELLE
          There was an accident at Marineland.
          Ali answers without taking his eyes off the screen.

                         ALI
          I know her.
          Sam pulls off his towel. He watches his father who is
          riveted to the screen, glued to the looping footage of the
          accident.

          33. INT. HOSPITAL - NURSES' LOUNGE. NIGHT

          Silence.
          The silence of an on-duty nurses' lounge: a table, a
          microwave on a mini-fridge, and Louise, standing by the
          window sipping coffee.
          She is wearing a fleece jacket, her hair messily pulled
          back. She hasn't had any sleep.
          She hears a scream. She rushes into the corridor.

          34. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NIGHT

          Chaos. Louise rushes into the room. She finds Stephanie
          crawling on the floor, dragging her IVs.
          She hesitates, overwhelmed, then calls for help.

                         LOUISE
          Help! Help! Please!
          On the linoleum, two stumps stick out of Stephanie's
          nightshirt: two thick bandages surround her thighs that
          look like two wrapped hams.

                         STEPHANIE
          My legs! What did you do with my legs?
          Two nurses arrive.
          Stephanie is back in bed, the IVs in her arms. Louise rocks
          her gently. Stephanie's eyes struggle against sleep. She
          wants to scream again, but doesn't have the strength. She

                         29

                         

                         

                         

                         
          falls asleep in Louise's arms. She feels eight years old.
          Black.

          35. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. DAY/NIGHT

          A series of scenes, day and night, fade into one another,
          always from the same POV.
          In the foreground, looking our way, is Stephanie's face
          and, behind, the visitors who succeed one another.
          Stephanie's eyes are shut.
          She opens them:
          - The other trainers from Marineland, holding bouquets.
          They are silent and look devastated. They occasionally
          speak to each other in whispers.
          Stephanie closes her eyes.
          Black.
          Stephanie opens her eyes:
          - Louise is seated nearby

                         LOUISE
          I stopped by your place. I saw the cleaning
          woman. She didn't want me to pay her. She
          was... in shock. She's scared to come here.
          She sends her regards.
          She closes her eyes.
          Black.
          She opens them.
          - A blonde, pretty woman in her fifties is sitting
          behind Stephanie, her face is close to hers. It is her
          mother. She speaks with a slight accent.

                         MOTHER
          I spoke to your brothers. They wanted to
          talk to you but I didn't think it was the
          right time. We'll all come with Hugo during
          the next school break... I was afraid I
          might lose you. I don't know what I'd have

                         30

                         

                         

                         

                         
          done... It may seem selfish. In any case,
          you've always done whatever you wanted. But
          this time I was so scared that I don't think
          I'll ever be scared again.
          Her eyes close.
          Black.
          Her eyes reopen.
          The surgeon and his assistants.
          The orthopedist and his assistants.
          Her eyes close.
          Black.
          Her eyes open.
          - Simon is there, looking stiff and ill at ease.
          He tries not to make any noise as he puts a bunch of keys
          on the night stand. He leans over and kisses her hair.
          Her eyes close.
          Black.
          It's her mother again, but this time accompanied by a tall,
          uncomfortable looking blond teenage boy. She leans over to
          kiss her.

                         MOTHER
          (in German) Hugo wanted to say goodbye to
          you. We're leaving tomorrow but we'll pray
          for you, honey.
          Her eyes remain open.
          Black.

          36. EXT. MARINELAND. NIGHT

          The bluish light at the bottom the main pool at Marineland.
          A diver is raking its bottom, wiping away sludge composed
          of micro algae, paint chips and fish bones. He examines the
          replacement mud and then, inside the drain, the mud being
          replaced. He digs his hand into the sediment and feels
          something there. He surfaces and deposits his find on the
          rim of the pool: It is one of Stephanie's diving flippers,
          with her foot cut off at the ankle.

                         31

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         CUT TO:

          37. INT. STEPHANIE'S NEW APARTMENT - BATHROOM. NIGHT

          Stephanie wakes up with a start in her handicapped bathtub.
          She tries to grab the bars but can't find them. She rolls
          over on herself like a floating log. She panics.

                         CUT TO:

          38. INT. HOSPITAL - PHYSICAL THERAPY ROOM - EVENING

          There are several rows of parallel bars, with amputees
          hanging on to them as they relearn to walk with their
          prosthetics. Most of them are old. Nurses help them along.
          From her wheelchair, Stephanie watches, looking glum and as
          if at a great distance. Her hair is greasy and her face
          swollen by her medication and induced sleep.
          She looks through the big window that opens onto the
          exterior. Outside, amputees smoke and chat. She notices one
          group, livelier than the rest. At its center, a guy is
          smoking a cigarette he holds in a pincer in the place of
          his hand. His name is Gilles.

          39. INT. GILLES' CAR. EVENING

          Four of them are smoking a joint in Gilles' Megane.
          Outside, evening is falling over the convalescent center's
          parking lot.
          Stephanie is sitting up front. She passes the joint to
          Gilles, who takes it in his chrome pincer. She notices the
          scar that deforms his face and one side of his mouth.
          There is a couple in the backseat, making out: Raphael (his
          arms are missing and his sleeves are pinned up at his
          shoulders) and Julia.

                         GILLES
          (to Stephanie) Want me to tell you
          something?

                         32

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE

                         €

                         GILLES
          You haven't finished mourning, that's all!

                         STEPHANIE
          Really? Mourning who?

                         GILLES
          Your legs.

                         STEPHANIE
          Mourning my legs?

                         GILLES
          Yes.
          He sounds as serious as a civics teacher. She looks at him,
          incredulous. Raphael sticks his head up front.

                         RAPHAEL
          Pass me the joint...
          Gilles' pincer and joint go for Raphael's lips. He takes a
          long hit.

                         GILLES
          They were a part of you. When a man dies, he
          gets buried. There's a ceremony, a prayer...
          Now a piece of you ended up in a hospital
          trashcan without a prayer, without any time
          for meditation.
          A beat. She is dumbstruck. She cannot believe what she's
          hearing. In the backseat, Raphael exhales some smoke into
          Julia's open mouth.
          GILLES (cont'd)
          You have to think about it symbolically...

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah, it's really symbolic...

                         33

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         GILLES
          I know where my arm is. We buried it under a
          nice oak tree behind my house in the
          scrubland. My wife and kids came and we
          sang...
          Stephanie has a fit of the giggles.

                         GILLES
          (a bit vexed) You think I'm kidding?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, it's the grass. I'll stop...
          She laughs so hard she cries.

                         RAPHAEL
          Shit, it's a laugh riot up there. (to
          Gilles) Can you take us home?
          She looks back and, between the seats, notices the girl
          toying with Raphael's fly.

                         GILLES
          I'm too beat. I'll take a nap, then go. (to
          Stephanie) How are you getting home?

          40. EXT/INT. HYPERBRICO. NIGHT

          A HyperBrico DIY store in an industrial zone in Cannes. Its
          windows shine in the night like an aquarium.

          41. INT. HYPERBRICO. NIGHT

          Ali and Kadhi, a huge guard accompanied by a dog, make
          their rounds. They open doors with a magnetic key, each
          time recording their passage on electronic terminals.
          A bit before midnight, someone knocks at the main entrance.
          Ali goes to look. It's a guy in a leather jacket and
          baseball cap, with a backpack and a shoulder bag.

                         ALI
          What do you want?

                         34

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          To come in.
          The guy takes out a card and presses it against the glass
          door: it's the business card of ALTA SECU, the security
          agency.

                         ALI
          Hey, Kadhi, come here!
          Kadhi comes over and looks at the guy.

                         KADHI
          Okay, okay... Are you Martial?

                         MARTIAL
          Yeah.

                         KADHI
          Give me your keys.

                         ALI
          Who's he?

                         KADHI
          It's fine. The boss told me he was coming.
          He works for the company.
          Ali hands him the bunch of keys.

          42. INT. HYPERBRICO - AISLES. NIGHT

          Ali goes down an aisle looking for something and finally
          finds what he was looking for: a folding ladder.

          43. INT. HYPERBRICO - STOCK ROOM. NIGHT

          Martial has spread out his material in a stock room at the
          back of the store at the end of a corridor formed by
          palettes: precision tools, drills, electronic mini-cameras
          still in their wrapping, cases equipped with antennae,
          packs of batteries... A small radio is playing a night
          program on Radio Monte Carlo.
          Equipped with a small headlamp, Martial carefully cuts a
          hole in a cardboard box with his Leatherman scissors. He
          conceals a tiny camera inside.

                         35

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Ali arrives with the ladder over his shoulder.

                         ALI
          Will this do?

                         MARTIAL
          Perfect. Put it down there.
          Martial climbs the ladder to place the box high on a shelf.

                         MARTIAL
          Imagine you're the manager of a big store
          like this and the union reps have been
          busting your balls. What do you do?

                         ALI
          Fire them.

                         MARTIAL
          You think that's how it works? What do you
          do before you fire them?
          He checks to make sure the lens is aligned with the hole,
          then checks the screen and reception on a small pocket
          monitor.

                         MARTIAL
          Well, beforehand you try to see how long
          they spend in the restroom, if they take
          extra-long coffee breaks, smoke on the
          premises, steal from the stockroom, rip
          customers off with the sales receipts...
          When you know all that, you put the pressure
          on them and you fire the ones who don't
          leave.
          Can you give me a stroll down the aisle?

                         ALI
          A stroll?

                         MARTIAL
          Walk down the aisle. No, further down, like
          you came out of that door there. Good,
          perfect...
          Ali twice passes within the camera's field of vision.
          Martial climbs down his ladder.

                         36

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          That's it.

                         ALI
          Okay, then I'll be getting back.

                         MARTIAL
          Hold on!
          Martial pulls a 10 Euro bill from a jacket pocket.

                         ALI
          It's fine.

                         MARTIAL
          Take it.
          Angle on the bill in Ali's hand.

          44. INT. SUPERMARKET - SECURITY ROOM. NIGHT

          Ali is in the security room reading a kickboxing magazine.
          A small radio is playing a late evening program. Outside
          in the parking lot, Kadhi smokes while walking his dog. The
          dog takes its time. Ali watches Kadhi pull on the leash.
          Ali's cell phone rings. The screen reads ‘unknown'.

                         ALI
          Hello?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          It's Stephanie. Remember me? We met at the
          Fever.
          Ali is taken by surprise.

                         ALI
          Yeah... How are you doing?
          She sniggers. Her speech sounds slow and thick.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          You know what happened to me?

                         37

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Yeah... I saw the papers… the news on TV…
          How are you?

                         STEPHANIE
          (sniggering) How do you think I am?
          A beat. Ali is at a loss to answer.

                         STEPHANIE
          How are you?

                         ALI
          Okay... normal.

                         STEPHANIE
          Still a bouncer?

                         ALI
          No, not really.

                         STEPHANIE
          You want to get together?

                         ALI
          Yeah, but nights are tough. I'm a security
          guard now. Three nights a week.

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm... crazy busy too. Every day and every
          night. I don't know how to manage...
          A beat.

                         STEPHANIE
          Now.

                         ALI
          Huh?

                         STEPHANIE
          Come now.

          45. EXT. ANTIBES - INDUSTRIAL ZONE AND STREETS - DAWN

          The Speciale 50 putt-putts in the early morning light. Ali
          drives through a neighborhood of chain stores, Conforama,

                         38

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Courtepaille, Leroy-Merlin...

          46. EXT. STEPHANIE'S RESIDENCE - DAY

          A gated community made up of four story buildings, lawns,
          bougainvillea and lavender. It looks pretty as a picture
          and squeaky clean.

          47. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. DAY

          The door opens automatically. He is surprised. He hears a
          tired voice from inside.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Come in.
          She is waiting in her wheelchair, holding the remote
          control. She activates it and the door closes behind Ali.
          Her hair is mid-length, her face has thickened and there
          are bags under her eyes. She is wearing a baggy Nike T-
          shirt with burn marks here and there and a pajama bottom
          whose legs hang limp.

                         STEPHANIE
          Have you been waiting long?

                         ALI
          No... I just got here.

                         STEPHANIE
          Was that you who rang before?
          She looks exhausted but feverish.

                         ALI
          No.

                         STEPHANIE
          Come in. Sit down.
          He sits down on a small couch.

                         STEPHANIE
          Want something to drink? A coffee?

                         39

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Yes.

                         STEPHANIE
          I only have instant.

                         ALI
          That's fine.
          It takes two tries to activate the wheels on her
          wheelchair.

                         ALI
          Need any help?
          She answers with a growl, as much for him as for her
          wheelchair, then goes into the kitchen. He sees her pajama
          legs flap like rags, he hears the noise of the tap.

                         ALI
          Have you been living here long?

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't know... Three or four months.

                         ALI
          (looking around)... It's nice.
          She comes back.

                         ALI
          Are you alone? You got no one to help you?

                         STEPHANIE
          Help me what? Walk?

                         ALI
          No, for the cleaning and everything...

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah there are people. They come and go.
          Hold on.
          She manages to navigate from the living room into her
          bedroom. He stays in the living room. He hears a kettle
          whistle in the kitchen. He goes into the kitchen and pours
          water into the glass/mug. He finds her hunched over in her

                         40

                         

                         

                         

                         
          wheelchair. She is nodding off, high on her medication.

                         ALI
          Hey, are you okay?

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm fine.
          He opens the window.

                         STEPHANIE
          Does it stink here?

                         ALI
          Yeah, a little.

                         STEPHANIE
          It's me.
          He opens the curtains and looks outside. It is getting hot
          out. The automatic sprinklers have gone on.

                         ALI
          Let's go out. (No answer) Hey, you hear me?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.

                         ALI
          Let's go out.

                         STEPHANIE
          No.

                         ALI
          Get dressed.

                         STEPHANIE
          Leave me alone.

                         ALI
          Where are your clothes?
          He opens the closet.

                         41

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48. EXT. STEPHANIE'S RESIDENCE - DAY

          When they come out of the building's lobby, the sun hits
          him on the head like a bad hangover.

                         ALI
          Here.
          Ali hands her a pair of sunglasses.

                         ALI
          Where should we go?

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't know. You're the one who wanted to
          go out...

                         ALI
          Should we go to the ocean?

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't care.
          He tries to push the wheelchair, but she stops him:

                         STEPHANIE
          Stop it. I want to puke.
          He notices that his moped is attached in the middle of a
          sprinkler area. He goes to free it and gets splashed...
          Heavy chain, padlock... he comes back with soiled hands.
          When he comes back, she's gone. He sees the wheelchair
          moving toward the seafront avenue. He goes to join her.

          49. EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - DAY

          They are sitting at a table on a terrace facing the beach.
          They remain silent. She looks at his huge fists, black with
          axle grease.

                         ALI
          I want to go in.

                         STEPHANIE

          … ?

                         42

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          I feel like swimming!

                         STEPHANIE
          Go ahead.

                         ALI
          You don't want to?

                         STEPHANIE
          Huh?

                         ALI
          You don't feel like swimming?
          She looks daggers at him.

                         ALI
          You don't have a bathing suit?

                         STEPHANIE
          Do you realize what you're saying?

                         ALI
          Who the fuck cares? There's no one here!

                         STEPHANIE
          Forget it.
          He wavers a moment, then finally crosses the seafront
          avenue.

          50. EXT. PRIVATE BEACH. DAY

          Stephanie is at the top of the steps in her wheelchair.
          Ali is talking with the beach boy when he notices her.
          Ali and the beach boy carry her to the deck chair area.
          Ali rents the whole shebang: parasol, beach towel, deck
          chair and a small tube of sunscreen 50.
          Sheltered under a parasol, she pancakes her face with cream
          and watches him dive in, wearing his boxers, and noisily
          and clumsily crawl some laps. His body is pink and white.
          Huge and buff. Then she looks out to sea, the listless
          waves washing in and out. The fresh feel of it all makes

                         43

                         

                         

                         

                         
          her want to drink it all in.
          He comes back, enthusiastic and dripping wet.
          She looks around. The beach is deserted, other than for a
          far off, elderly couple broiling in the sun.

                         STEPHANIE
          Actually I think I will go in.
          He looks at her. She covers herself with a towel and
          wiggles out of her pants, revealing what remains of her
          legs. Her stumps are white, with terrible scars at their
          extremities.

                         STEPHANIE
          You have to carry me. Help me...

                         ALI
          (makes a gesture)... How, like this?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.
          He lifts her up and carries her to the water. He takes her
          far enough in until she begins to float.

                         ALI
          You okay?

                         STEPHANIE
          Don't let me go! Not right away... Do it
          gently.
          She feels unsure of herself. He lets go of her gradually.
          She starts to sink, then crawls forward, with power and
          grace. She stops but has to paddle like a dog to tread
          water. He joins her. She grabs onto him.

                         ALI
          So?

                         STEPHANIE
          I can't stop. If I do, I sink. Wait...
          She gesticulates...

                         44

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          This is bothering me!
          She takes off her T-shirt and hands it to him. Her breasts
          press against Ali's chest.

                         STEPHANIE
          Okay, you can let go.
          She lets herself go and crawls like a pro. He stays put,
          holding her t-shirt.
          Twenty-five meters later, her head emerges. He hears a
          burst of laughter.
          Half asleep in a deck chair, he looks up from time to time
          to see how she's doing.
          She calls out to him. She is sitting in the water. She
          motions for him to come and get her.
          He helps her out and takes her into his arms. She hangs on
          to him, still out of breath.

                         ALI
          You swim like a real pro!...
          She shuts her eyes.

                         STEPHANIE
          Fuck that's good!
          The beach is crowded now. Ali carries her back to the deck
          chairs. Some bathers watch them go by, others look away.
          They are stretched out in their chairs. She has wrapped her
          lower body in a beach towel. They sunbathe.

                         STEPHANIE
          Thanks.

                         ALI
          Huh?

                         STEPHANIE
          Thanks.

                         45

                         

                         

                         

                         
          She rolls onto her back. He sees her breasts pointed
          heavenward.

          51. INT. GYM. DAY

          A decrepit, simple, functional, but reasonably clean
          workout room. Guys of every color work the punching bags,
          lift weights, do chin-ups... From the gym next door, we
          hear the booming music of an aerobics class.
          In a small ring at floor level, Ali and Foued, loaded down
          with protective gear, pound each other. Each of their blows
          lands right on target. They repeat the same series of moves
          several times at varying speeds.

          52. INT. GYM - CORRIDOR. DAY

          Ali and Foued are dripping wet. They have towels around
          their necks. They fill their small plastic bottles at a
          faucet in the workout room.
          Through a large window in the corridor, Ali watches the
          aerobic class going on in the gym: legs and feet moving in
          rhythm, red faces, sweaty underarms, butts, boobs and the
          braid of the instructor, who uses it to beat the measure,
          as she swings it from one shoulder to the other.

                         FOUED
          I have to get back. I need to train.
          Ali nods, without actually looking at him.

          53. EXT. GYM - STREET. DAY

          Outside, Ali has unwrapped the sandwich his sister had
          prepared for him. A bit farther off, the aerobics
          instructor is smoking in the sun. She has a short, buff
          body. She smokes her cigarette like someone who counts them
          out sparingly.
          They remain like that a while, he chewing ands she smoking.

                         CUT TO

                         46

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54. INT. GYM - EQUIPMENT ROOM. DAY

          A cell phone vibrates. Through a narrow transom, a ray of
          sun slices through the dark equipment room. They haven't
          bothered undressing. Ali and the aerobics instructor are
          making love on a pile of workout mats.
          Ali's cell phone continues to vibrate, goes silent,
          vibrates again. He answers. We hear a crackling voice.

                         ALI
          I'm still at the gym. I'm leaving... I said
          I'm leaving!
          He hangs up. They continue.

          55. EXT. NUSERY SCHOOL - SCHOOLYARD. DAY

          Sam is playing alone, perched up on monkey bars in the
          schoolyard.
          Through a wide window, he sees his father racing down a
          corridor that runs alongside the schoolyard. The principal
          is waiting for him at the door. Ali spurts out some quick
          apologies.
          Sam slowly slides off the structure. We hear the noise of
          his hands skidding on metal.

          56. EXT ANTIBES EVENING
          The moped wheezes and sputters.
          Ali and Sam are heading back home along the beach. Ali is
          so big, the moped looks like a kid's bike. Behind him on
          the luggage rack, he can feel Sam leaning into him. Sam's
          hand rummages in his coat pocket for a box of Choco-BN
          cookies. Ali takes one too.
          To their left, a train noisily speeds by.

          57. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. DAY

          Louise has a set of keys. She enters Stephanie's apartment
          with the mail.

                         47

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         LOUISE
          Steph!
          Made up and well-groomed, she looks older than she actually
          is.
          Stephanie answers from the bathroom.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          I'm in here!
          Louise puts the mail on the living room table and enters
          the bedroom. Stephanie wheels herself out of the bathroom,
          her hair wet and her body wrapped in a towel.

                         LOUISE
          Shit, you're not ready! The appointment is
          in a half hour!

                         STEPHANIE
          It's fine!

                         LOUISE
          What do you mean? You're a freaking pain! I
          have to get back to work. Come on, let me
          help you.
          She grabs the arms of the wheelchair and pushes Stephanie
          toward the closet.

                         STEPHANIE
          Let go of me! Stop, I can manage alone.

                         LOUISE
          Oh yeah? Okay, so manage then!
          She lets go of the wheelchair and leaves the bedroom.

          58. EXT. STÉPHANIE'S RESIDENCE. DAY

          Louise briskly pushes Stephanie's wheelchair across the
          residence garden. The warning lights on her 205 are
          blinking in front of the gate.
          Stephanie hangs onto Louise's neck. Louise lifts her out of
          her wheelchair as best she can and into the passenger seat.

                         48

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Louise bends down to buckle Stephanie's seat belt.

                         STEPHANIE
          (annoyed) I can do the seat belt!
          In front of the open trunk, Louise struggles to fold the
          wheelchair.

                         LOUISE
          Can't you call them to tell them we're going
          to be late?

          59. INT. PROSTHESIST'S OFFICE. DAY

          In CU: the brochures of prosthetic manufacturers… we see
          pictures of the various models go by.
          Stephanie is in the doctor's office with Doctor Vitias. He
          is in his fifties and is wearing a white jacket.

                         VITIAS
          We'll order two pairs of prosthetic devices,
          one for everyday life and one for the sport
          you do.
          Stephanie pages through the various brochures.

                         STEPHANIE
          Don't you have something simpler, classier?

                         VITIAS
          What do you mean by classier?

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't know... like a wooden leg with a
          piece of rubber at the end?

                         VITIAS
          (smiling) No, sorry. We don't make those
          models anymore.
          Louise shuts her eyes, visibly exasperated.

                         STEPHANIE
          Or just a plank. A plank with wheels and
          straps. And irons to move forward with.

                         49

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         LOUISE
          (furious) Can you cut it out?

                         STEPHANIE
          What? If I want...

                         LOUISE
          I've had enough of your schtick, you hear
          me?

                         STEPHANIE
          Come on...

                         LOUISE
          Shut up!
          Stephanie shuts up. Vitias still looks patient as Job.

          60. INT. PROSTHESIST'S OFFICE. DAY

          Sitting on an examination table, Stephanie waits for the
          resin bands wrapped around her stumps to dry.
          Louise is sitting on a stool across from Stephanie. Their
          eyes meet.

                         STEPHANIE
          Go if you want… I'll take a taxi.

                         LOUISE
          I told them I was with you.

                         STEPHANIE
          And that works? If you tell them you're with
          me, do they let you do what you want?

                         LOUISE
          Well...

                         STEPHANIE
          Cool. If ever you want a day off, just tell
          me. I'll write you a note.
          Louise looks at her. She's not going to let her get on her
          nerves.
          There is a knock at the door. A nurse enters.
          She checks the resin bands, looks at her watch.

                         50

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         NURSE
          10 more minutes, just to make sure. Then
          Doctor Vitias will come for you.
          She smiles and closes the door.
          The two young women are again left alone. Stephanie
          stretches out her hand. Louise takes it.
          And they remain like that.

          61. INT. HYPERBRICO - SECURITY ROOM - NIGHT

          In close up on the screen of a small DVD player: amateur
          images of two bare-chested guys fighting in the garden of a
          suburban house. It looks like a wild boxing match, free-
          for-all vale tudo in which anything goes.
          In the Bricorama security room, Ali, Kadhi and Martial,
          excited, are bent over the screen.
          A few blows to the face have one of the combatants KO on
          the lawn.

                         KADHI
          Look at the next one! Watch how he whacks
          him.
          A change of scene on the small screen: a courtyard between
          two tower blocks, with new combatants, but with the same
          amateur images and the same violence.

                         KADHI
          (pointing to the screen)... I know him. I
          fought him twice in Nationals. He's not bad.
          He was at the boxing club in Marseille.
          Martial watches Ali, fascinated by the images, as if he
          were sizing him up.

          62. INT. PROJECTS. DAY

          An apartment in a Golfe Juan housing project. After-dinner
          time. Kids are playing, women doing the dishes.
          On the living room couch, under a tapestry of a lion hunt
          in Technicolor, Martial blows on his glass of tea. His

                         51

                         

                         

                         

                         
          cousin is sitting across from him. Ali is on a stool at the
          end of the table.

                         MARTIAL
          He says he's done Thai boxing. He can fight.
          He's enormous. He's not afraid of taking
          punches, and he's white.

                         COUSIN
          I see.
          The cousin turns to Ali. He takes his time sizing him up.

                         COUSIN
          Is that true? You like to fight?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         COUSIN
          Okay, so I organize the fights. I pick the
          fighters. I see if the money's there. I ref.
          I collect the dough... I take a third of the
          bets. The rest goes to the winner...

                         MARTIAL
          A third of how much?

                         COUSIN
          We don't fight for less than 800.
          Ali does the division in his head.

                         MARTIAL
          So?
          Ali hesitates.

                         ALI
          (to Martial) There's something I don't get:
          how much do you take?

                         MARTIAL
          I don't know. You tell me. How much do you
          need? I'll take 20% of what you win. How's
          that?

                         52

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          And how much does your cousin give you?

                         MARTIAL
          Oh, I introduced you to him, didn't I? How's
          that?

                         ALI
          Okay.
          The cousin stands up. They all shake on it.

          63. INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY

          Ali is in a corner of the living room, sitting in front of
          Anna's old PC and watching some fight videos he's found.
          Anna rushes into the room.

                         ANNA
          Keep Sam with you for 5 minutes!
          She hurries to find some papers in the drawer of a commode.
          Ali hasn't budged.

                         ANNA
          Oh! Hear me? I don't want your son in the
          garden.

                         ALI
          Yeah, I heard.
          He gets up and goes to get Sam who is playing behind the
          house. Anna finds her papers and leaves in another
          direction.

                         ALI
          Sam! Come here! I want to show you some
          stuff!
          He lifts Sam up with one arm and goes back to the computer.

                         ALI
          Look how they fight...
          He clicks on an image and the fight continues... the
          audience's noise as well. Sam watches, intrigued. Ali

                         53

                         

                         

                         

                         
          commentates, pointing to guys onscreen.

                         ALI
          Look at him, in red. See how strong he is?

                         SAM
          Is he the good guy?

                         ALI
          No, he's the bad guy. Look how he tries to
          grab his legs. Wait.
          His phone vibrates. He takes it from his pocket. It's
          Martial. He answers.

                         ALI
          Hello? Yeah...

                         SAM
          Why is the red one the bad guy? Daddy?

                         ALI
          I don't know. Look and tell me who wins.
          He turns down the sound, settles Sam on the stool and gets
          up to go speak.

                         ALI
          (into the phone) So? What did he say? Which
          others? How many?
          Sam watches the fight in silence. Dogs bark in the garden.
          Sam feels something coming. He looks out the window, then
          goes running.
          Ali hasn't noticed a thing and continues his phone
          conversation.

                         ALI
          What is this bullshit? What do you mean, a
          tournament?

          64. INT. ARAB CAFÉ. DAY

          Martial is leaning on the bar of a noisy Arab cafe/betting
          office, talking into his phone.

                         54

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          Last one standing gets the money. I know,
          but he says it's better that way. Do you
          think you're in a position to negotiate a
          percentage? Where did you get that idea
          from? He gave me a website if you want to
          see the others.
          He takes out a small spiral notebook.

          65. INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY

          From the living room, Ali hears Sam screaming in the
          garden.

                         ALI
          Tell him to give the website to his mother.
          All I see is me doing more fights and him
          making more dough.
          Ali goes to the window.
          Outside, near the kennel, Sam has lunged at a guy in a
          jumpsuit who is helping Anna get the puppies into a metal
          cage. Sam is screaming. Anna tries to take him into her
          arms. Sam clutches the bars of the cage. The puppies bark.
          Anna finally manages to rip Sam free and drag him back into
          the house.

                         ALI
          (into the phone) He's changing the rules and
          so am I... I couldn't care less.
          Anna storms into the living room. Sam is shrieking, having
          a tantrum. He kicks and bites.

                         ALI
          I'm on the phone!

                         ANNA
          What the hell? I asked you to watch him for
          5 minutes!

                         ALI
          (into the phone) I'll call you back.
          Ali hangs up.

                         55

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Outside, the kennel keeper rolls the cage across the
          garden. Anna hugs Sam in her arms.

                         ANNA
          (to Sam) He's taking them to the country.
          They'll be so happy there.

                         SAM
          Leave me alone. They're my babies!
          Sam refuses to calm down. Anna looks at her brother.

                         ANNA
          What are you doing? Are you his father or
          not?

                         ALI
          You're such a pain in the ass.

                         ANNA
          Don't talk to me like that!
          Ali rips the child from his sister's grip. Sam struggles.

                         ALI
          Stop it now! I said stop! Calm the fuck
          down!

                         SAM
          Let go of me! Let go!
          Sam kicks out. Ali shakes him.

                         ALI
          Cut it out, dammit! You're such a pain!
          He flings the child away. Sam's head hits the coffee table.
          Silence.
          Anna rushes over and picks up Sam, who has stopped crying.
          He's been knocked out. Anna is frightened. She examines his
          scalp, she strokes his head. She trembles. A cut on his
          head begins to bleed. She kisses the wound. Ali comes over,
          upset.

                         56

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ANNA
          Don't touch him! Don't touch him I said! You
          know what? You're... you're a bad person.
          Huddled against Anna's breasts, Sam opens his eyes.

          66. EXT. BEACH. DAY

          The day is over. The beach boy has already packed away most
          of his paraphernalia. In the water, Ali and Stephanie are
          out with some of the last swimmers.
          Faithful to what by now seems to have become a habit, he
          carries her piggyback to their lounge chairs. They come out
          of the water in the middle of a discussion.

                         STEPHANIE
          What kind of boxing? Thai? Do you use your
          feet?

                         ALI
          No, just fists I think. We bash each other's
          faces and whoever's still standing at the
          end wins. Hey, you're strangling me!
          He puts her down on her chair.

                         STEPHANIE
          Is it the first time you're doing this?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         STEPHANIE
          And you're not scared?

                         ALI
          Of what?

                         STEPHANIE
          How much do they pay you for this?

                         ALI
          I don't know. About 500, 1000 maybe.

                         57

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          You're doing that for 500 euros?

                         ALI
          Um, yeah.

                         STEPHANIE
          You're going to get whacked on the face and
          risk your health for 500 euros?

                         ALI
          Risk my health? What are you talking about?
          Why are you getting so worked up?

                         STEPHANIE
          I'll give you the 500! Cancel it and I'll
          give it to you tomorrow.

                         ALI
          You can give it to me if you have too much
          money, but I said I was doing it and I am.
          That's all.

                         STEPHANIE
          If it's not for money, why then?

                         ALI
          I didn't say it's not for the money!

                         STEPHANIE
          Why are you doing it?

                         ALI
          Oh, stop driving me crazy! I'm doing it to
          fight. For fun. Why did you clown around on
          your fish? For the fun of it, right?
          She grins.

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah and look how I ended up.

                         ALI
          Spare me. You turn on the waterworks when
          you feel like it.

                         58

                         

                         

                         

                         
          She dries her eyes. He begins to pack things up.

                         STEPHANIE
          Your fight, if you do it...

                         ALI
          Mm?

                         STEPHANIE
          You think I can come along?

          67. EXT/INT. MARTIAL'S MERCEDES. DAY

          A narrow road. Down below, a town. The Mercedes Vito with
          the tinted windows lifts a cloud of dust.
          Stephanie is in the back seat and has to hold on to the
          overhead strap to avoid hurting herself.
          At the end of the road is a gate guarded by two huge
          homies. They signal Martial to over.
          He rolls down his window and the two homies peer inside.
          They see Ali and Stephanie in the back.

                         HOMEBOY 1
          Who's she?

                         MARTIAL
          His girlfriend.
          Surprised, Stephanie looks at Ali, watching for his
          reaction. He looks elsewhere. The gate opens. Martial
          drives in.

          68. EXT / INT. MARTIAL'S MERCEDES. DAY

          Ali and Stephanie are alone in the car. Through the tinted
          windows, they can see a concrete yard with boats dry-docked
          around it and buildings with satellite dishes studding
          every balcony. Some men are over in one corner,
          discussing: Martial, his cousin and some other mean looking
          guys.
          In the shade, a bit to one side and surrounded by his fans,
          is a bare-chested, muscle-bound North African. He warms up,

                         59

                         

                         

                         

                         
          wagging his head from left to right.

                         ALI
          (under his breath) Motherfucker's acting
          like he's on Canal Plus.

                         STEPHANIE
          Who are the other guys?

                         ALI
          I don't know. Guys with money. Dealers.
          A beat.

                         STEPHANIE
          You okay?

                         ALI
          Great.
          Martial comes back with a wad of banknotes and slides into
          the passenger seat.

                         MARTIAL
          It's okay. Let's go. Fall against the big
          one in black shorts. I told you. They're big
          guys.

                         ALI
          Okay. And the bets? How much is there?

                         MARTIAL
          A little over 2000 for the time being. But
          it'll go up during the final match.

                         STEPHANIE
          What do I do?

                         MARTIAL
          No girls. Stay in the car. (To Ali) You
          ready?
          Ali nods.

                         60

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69. EXT. PROJECTS COURTYARD. DAY

          The blazing sun is melting the asphalt. A coin bounces
          between pairs of basketball shoes.
          The cousin picks it up. He points to Ali and the guy in the
          black shorts.

                         COUSIN
          You and you.
          Ali pulls off his T-shirt, staring down his adversary.
          Martial takes the T shirt and leans over to Ali.

                         MARTIAL
          If you get into trouble, don't insist, just
          fall.
          Ali doesn't flinch. The cousin, the bettors and the other
          fighters move away.

          70. INT. MARTIAL'S MERCEDES. DAY

          Stephanie watches the faces leaning over the balconies
          overhead. She hears the spectators' hostility and cheers.
          A circle has formed around the fighters.
          She sees the shadow, and only the shadow, of his opponent's
          fist barely miss Ali's face.
          Then things speed up. Ali uses his feet, knees and fists.
          When his opponent begins to totter to one side, Ali hangs
          onto him like a pit bull. When he falls, Ali pounds on his
          face with his fists and elbows. The ‘ref' has to enlist
          Cousin's help to pull Ali away.
          Ali returns to his place in the car. Stephanie looks at
          him: he can't sit still.

                         ALI
          I have to go.
          Another combat begins, while Ali jogs around the hangar.
          Stephanie watches other combats, whether featuring Ali or
          not.

                         61

                         

                         

                         

                         
          She sees feet dancing on the concrete.
          She sees the banknotes in people's hands.
          She sees heads leaning over balconies.
          She sees an opponent's fist hit Ali behind the ear.
          She sees another of Ali's opponents get back to his feet,
          and Ali's fist split open his nose like a ripe fig.
          She sees another opponent's head bounce off the concrete.
          She sees a tooth roll across the concrete, like dice in a
          crap game.
          She sees Ali perform three steps of a moonwalk and kiss his
          own biceps.

          71. EXT. ROAD. DAY

          A cloud of dust, a narrow, bumpy road. Martial's car is
          headed for the town below.

          72. INT. MARTIAL'S MERCEDES. DAY

          CU on a long cut behind Ali's ear. Stephanie's fingers use
          a Kleenex instead of cotton.
          Bare-chested with a towel around his neck, Ali leans
          forward to make his wound more easily accessible.

                         STEPHANIE
          It's nothing, just a cut. (to Martial) Got
          anything to disinfect it with?

                         MARTIAL
          (driving) No.

                         STEPHANIE
          (to Ali) Keep this on it. It's the only one
          I have.
          Ali looks up at her.

                         ALI
          You liked it.

                         62

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.

                         ALI
          Me too.
          He again lowers his head.

                         STEPHANIE
          Put this on it. It's the only one I have.
          Ali straightens up, covers himself with the towel and
          remains like that: invisible, out of breath, clearing his
          throat and spitting out the window... Stephanie observes
          the welts on his body.
          A big service station appears a bit farther down the road.
          Ali sits back up.

                         ALI
          Pull over here. I'll go rinse off my face.
          (puts out his hand) Give me 50.
          Martial uses his turn signal.

          73. INT. MARTIAL'S MERCEDES. DAY

          Behind the wheel of his stopped car, Martial counts the
          bills spread out on his lap.

                         MARTIAL
          Have you known him for long?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, not very.
          Alone in the back seat, Stephanie looks out at the service
          station.

                         STEPHANIE
          What do you want to know? If I knew him
          before the accident?
          Martial looks back.

                         63

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          What?

                         STEPHANIE
          You find it weird that we're together? You
          wonder what he's doing with me?

                         MARTIAL
          No, since you know him, I just wanted to
          know if you've seen him like that before?

                         STEPHANIE
          No.
          Martial finishes counting the bills.

                         MARTIAL
          He freaks me out.
          He takes his share and hands Stephanie the envelope.

                         MARTIAL
          1200 for him.
          She looks at the envelope without taking it.

                         STEPHANIE
          Why are you giving me that?

                         MARTIAL
          It's for Ali.

                         STEPHANIE
          Exactly. So why give it to me?
          He looks at her, suddenly surprised.

                         MARTIAL
          Hey, you make it complicated. Either you
          take it or you don't. And either I talk or I
          keep my mouth shut.
          He tosses the envelope at her. She looks away. Ali finally
          gets back into the car with a big box. It's a toy: a green
          John Deere tractor with all the accessories.

                         64

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          For my kid.

                         STEPHANIE
          You have a kid?

                         ALI
          Yep.

          74. EXT. BEACH - ROAD. DAY

          The afternoon sun has the entire coast sparkling. Ali is on
          his moped, with the box between his knees, driving up the
          coastal road. He looks splendid, wearing new clothes.
          He finally sees what he was looking for: a group on the
          beach, Anna, Richard and their neighbors, having a picnic.

                         CUT TO:

          75. EXT. BEACH. DAY

          CU Ali and Anna are off to one side, talking.

                         ANNA
          You see what you're like with him? You're
          not around and when you are, you scream at
          him. Damn, you hit him! Why did you take him
          along if you act like that? You should have
          left him.

                         ALI
          Cut the shit. He's not dead. I didn't do it
          on purpose. I'm sorry about it.
          Anna avoids his glance. He rummages in his pocket, pulls
          out the envelope of money and hands it to her.

                         ALI
          Here.

                         ANNA
          What's that?

                         ALI
          Money. What I owe you plus the next few

                         65

                         

                         

                         

                         
          months. You can count it.
          She looks at the bills.

                         ANNA
          Where did you get this? (pointing to his new
          clothes) Same place?

                         ALI
          I won a fight.

                         ANNA
          A fight? What kind of fight? Is that the
          only job you could find?
          Is that why you have marks on your face?

                         ALI
          Hey, will you take the money or not? Why are
          you looking at me that way?

                         ANNA
          Nothing.
          He leaves her with the envelope and trots over to the rest
          of the group.
          They are packing away ice chests and folding things up. Sam
          and his little friends are playing in the sand with the
          John Deere tractor. Sam has a bandage on his forehead. Ali
          sits down in the sand next to him.

                         ALI
          (pointing to the tractor) You like it?
          Sam continues to play, ignoring him. Behind them, Richard
          is folding up parasols with the help of Che, a bearded
          neighbor who is also there with all his family.

                         RICHARD
          Have you eaten?

                         ALI
          Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.

                         CHÉ
          You don't want to drink something before I

                         66

                         

                         

                         

                         
          pack up?
          Ali shakes his head ‘no'. He looks at Joelle, Che's
          daughter: a tomboy with boobs.

                         ALI
          (to Sam) You want to go for a swim?

          76. EXT. BEACH. DAY

          Ali and Joëlle take turns tossing Sam into the waves. The
          child laughs so hard, he swallows water.
          Ali takes Sam into his arms.

                         ALI
          Give me a kiss.

                         SAM
          I don't want to.

                         ALI
          Give Daddy a kiss!

                         SAM
          No.

                         ALI
          (using a deep voice) Give Daddy a kiss!

                         SAM
          (deep voice too)... No!
          Ali kisses him and hugs him tight.

          77. INT. JOELLE'S ROOM. EVENING

          A nearby house. Evening is falling. Ali and Joëlle make
          love in her bedroom. His cell phone rings. The screen
          reads: "Stef". He doesn't answer. Joëlle comes noisily. Ali
          puts his hand over her mouth.
          Through the window, we see Sam in Anna's garden, playing
          with his new tractor. Richard is hanging towels and swim
          suits on the line to dry.

                         67

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. EVENING

          Sitting on the couch in a T-shirt and boxers, Stephanie
          finishes her dinner, watching TV distractedly.
          Balancing on her stumps, she puts her plate in the
          dishwasher. Then, supporting herself on her hands, she
          leaves the kitchen, wiggling her way into the bedroom. She
          lifts herself into bed as best she can.
          Evening falls over the bougainvilleas. Stephanie watches
          old people coming home in their wheelchairs or hanging on
          to their Zimmer frames.

          79. INT. FORMULE 1 - HOTEL ROOM. DAY

          Ali walks up a long standard hotel corridor lined with
          numbered doors. He stops and knocks at room 429.
          No answer. He knocks again. Finally, room 431 opens behind
          him. Martial looks out.

                         MARTIAL
          Hey! I'm here.

                         ALI
          They told me 429.
          Martial motions him in.

                         MARTIAL
          Normal. This one is for the equipment.
          Boxes of equipment are piled up under the window and the
          small table has been converted into a work surface. A
          camera is plugged into the TV set. It shows a still
          picture: an empty location, one sector of an industrial
          site filmed from above.

                         MARTIAL
          I have to watch this. Have a seat.
          You wanted to see me.
          Ali sits on the edge of the bed. Martial watches the screen
          out of the corner of his eye.

                         68

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          I need to find a coach. A real one. Someone
          who has me work on my takedowns.

                         MARTIAL
          Foued?

                         ALI
          Foued doesn't know jackshit. Just jiu-jitsu
          and rap stuff. You need to ask Cousin. His
          guys must train somewhere.

                         MARTIAL
          Think so?

                         ALI
          Yeah. And I'll need some time to train.

                         MARTIAL
          I'll talk with Alta Secu. We'll be able to
          work something out.

                         ALI
          Work it out how?

                         MARTIAL
          I'll have my company pay you and I'll bill
          them what you cost me. They'll keep paying
          you but now you'll work directly for me. You
          won't have to spend your nights there.
          There is some movement on the screen. He interrupts
          himself. Gray silhouettes cross the screen, open a door and
          disappear before coming back to cross the screen once
          again.

                         ALI
          Where's that?

                         MARTIAL
          At the Mousquetaires.
          Martial rewinds and zooms in on some faces.

                         MARTIAL
          I'll make a copy and you'll take it to the

                         69

                         

                         

                         

                         
          owner. Ask for Steve at Security. He'll tell
          you what to do.

          80. INT. RICHARD'S TRUCK. DAY

          Sam is on Richard's lap, ‘driving' the truck. He is in
          seventh heaven. In front of them, a man is running down the
          shoulder of the road.

                         RICHARD
          Look who it is! Go on, honk!

          81. EXT. ROAD. DAY

          The horn beeps. Out of breath, in a sweat, Ali looks back
          and sees Richard and Sam in the truck. They slow down and
          pull up to him. Richard lowers his window.

                         RICHARD
          We're going to school. Want to come along?
          Ali shakes his head and continues jogging. The truck
          disappears.

          82. INT. NEW GYM. DAY

          This new gym is large, clean and light. In one corner there
          is a genuine ring, and on the other side, a piece of
          tatami.
          Ali is working out with Joao, a Brazilian in a kimono. They
          try out some foot-fist series. On the mat, Ali shadows and
          deconstructs Joao's gestures.

          83. EXT. ANTIBES. STREET. DAY

          A street near the beach. The weekend is beginning. The
          streets are crowded. Ali is on the phone.

                         ALI
          Where are you? I can't see you. Where?
          He looks every which way until he sees her, a few feet
          away. She is standing upright, in a light pair of pants,
          with her canes hidden behind her back. It takes some time
          to register. She smiles at him.

                         70

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          That's fucking amazing! I was looking for a
          wheelchair...

                         STEPHANIE
          Stop looking. No more wheelchairs!

                         ALI
          Since when?

                         STEPHANIE
          Two days.

                         ALI
          You could have told me!

                         STEPHANIE
          Why? Is it a problem?

                         ALI
          No, I don't know. You're like before.

                         STEPHANIE
          Well, not exactly.

                         ALI
          Go on, let's see.
          She takes a few steps forward, leaning on her canes. He
          whistles in admiration.

                         STEPHANIE
          I need to get my balance but supposedly that
          doesn't take long.

                         ALI
          It must be like walking on stilts...

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't know. I've never walked on stilts
          before.

                         ALI
          You look taller. Does it hurt?

                         71

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          A little, but it feels good too.

                         ALI
          Want to go for a swim?
          She stops.

                         STEPHANIE
          The beach... pff, I don't know... It's
          different today... I don't think I want to
          get undressed.

          84. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN. DAY

          They are at the kitchen table, eating salad. Stephanie is
          in her wheelchair. Ali has finished his plate.

                         ALI
          Is this all you have?

                         STEPHANIE
          Look in the fridge. There must be some
          cheese left.

                         ALI
          You don't have any pate?

                         STEPHANIE
          No, I don't have any pate.
          He gets up and opens the fridge. He takes the cheese,
          sniffs it, then takes some yoghurt too. He notices a box of
          cereal on a shelf and takes it. He returns to the fridge
          for some milk. She watches, her mouth open in suspense.

                         STEPHANIE
          You're a good eater, aren't you?

                         ALI
          I'm hungry.
          He begins with the cheese.

                         ALI
          No bread?

                         72

                         

                         

                         

                         
          She shakes her head "no" and points to a box of biscuits on
          the shelf.

                         STEPHANIE
          There are crackers up there. Do you have a
          girlfriend?
          He shakes his head.

                         STEPHANIE
          You don't have anyone?

                         ALI
          Yes, but they're not girlfriends.

                         STEPHANIE
          What are they? Quick fucks?

                         ALI
          Yeah.
          She hesitates.

                         STEPHANIE
          A lot?
          He looks at her.

                         STEPHANIE
          You mind talking about this?

                         ALI
          No, I don't care. (pause) How about you? Did
          you have a lot of boyfriends?

                         STEPHANIE
          When, before?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         STEPHANIE
          I was with Simon...

                         ALI
          That's all?

                         73

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          No, there were others. But not a lot either.
          I... I wasn't very... In fact, I liked it
          when guys looked at me... I liked to feel
          that I turned them on... Afterwards, I don't
          know... they bored me.
          Ali looks at her, strangely attentive, as if he didn't
          understand, or didn't believe her.

                         ALI
          And now?

                         STEPHANIE
          Um, nothing. I don't even know what it looks
          like anymore... I don't even know if it
          still works...

                         ALI
          You don't want to?

                         STEPHANIE
          Did I say I didn't want to anymore? Of
          course I still want to...

                         ALI
          How do you go about it?

                         STEPHANIE
          How do you think I go about it? If I were a
          guy I'd say I jerk off to a porn video...
          I'm a girl.
          Ali is dumbstruck.

                         STEPHANIE
          Okay, let's change the subject...
          She begins piling up plates and silverware.

                         ALI
          You want to fuck?
          She is thrown for a loop.

                         STEPHANIE
          Huh?

                         74

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          You want to know if it still works, so let's
          fuck and that way you'll know.
          He looks at her, simply, naturally. She has a nervous
          laugh.

                         STEPHANIE
          Just like that?

                         ALI
          Um, yeah. Give me that.
          He takes the plates, gets up and puts them in the
          dishwasher.

                         STEPHANIE
          I... I don't know if I can like that...

                         ALI
          Whatever you want... You tell me...
          She hesitates.

                         STEPHANIE
          Wait.
          She wheels herself away from the table and into the
          bedroom. He remains alone, quickly cleaning the table.

                         ALI
          What do I do?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Wait!
          He waits. Then:

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Come here.

          85. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM. DAY

          He enters the room. The shutters are closed. She is in bed,
          under the covers. She watches him sit down on the bed, undo

                         75

                         

                         

                         

                         
          his pants and turn toward her.

                         ALI
          Okay? Ready?
          Unsure of herself, she pulls a face.

                         STEPHANIE
          Let's try.
          He slips under the covers, spontaneously tries to kiss her,
          but she pushes him away gently.

                         STEPHANIE
          (a little nervous) Do you mind if we don't
          kiss?

                         ALI
          No. Your breasts... can I?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.
          He licks her breasts, then lies on top of her, covering
          her. She tries to wriggle herself free.

                         STEPHANIE
          You're crushing me!

                         ALI
          Maybe you should stop talking now...

                         STEPHANIE
          Okay, I'll stop.
          His hands caress her, they grab onto what remains of her
          thighs. He enters her. She is about to scream, but lets
          herself go.
          She grabs hold of him.

                         STEPHANIE
          Gently!

                         76

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN. DAY

          Ali opens the fridge. He is dressed again. Stephanie
          appears in a robe, sitting in her wheelchair. We can tell
          she feels too shy to look at him.

                         ALI
          Are you okay? How was it?
          She blushes.

                         ALI
          Is it still working?

                         STEPHANIE
          Um, yes... no... I don't really know. It's
          different... It's hard to tell after just
          one try...

                         ALI
          Yeah but I don't have time right now. I have
          to go!

                         STEPHANIE
          (blushing) No, no! That's not what I
          meant... I just meant that it's too soon to
          tell... like too many things are happening
          at once...
          Ali doesn't understand.

                         ALI
          But did you enjoy it or not?

                         STEPHANIE
          I did.
          A beat.

                         ALI
          When you're up for it and you can't find
          anyone, ask me. If I'm oper, we'll do it.

                         STEPHANIE
          What's "oper"?

                         77

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Operational... If I'm available. If I can, I
          mean!

                         STEPHANIE
          If you're "oper" we...

                         ALI
          Yeah.
          She sketches a vague gesture.

                         ALI
          What?
          Her throat is constricted, she is unable to answer.

                         STEPHANIE
          Nothing. Great.

          87. EXT. MARINELAND - STAFFROOM. DAY

          Stephanie uses one of her canes to push open the door to
          the staff room. The room is apparently empty.

                         STEPHANIE
          Louise? Louise, are you here? Is anyone
          here?
          No answer.
          She looks over the office she once knew so well and that
          hasn't seen again since her accident: the photos on the
          wall, the diagrams, the case histories, the animals' names,
          etc...

          88. EXT. MARINELAND - BLEACHERS. DAY

          Up in the bleachers, Stephanie looks over all the pools,
          the big one as well as the others... suddenly, in n° 3, a
          huge but limp black dorsal fin appears.

          89. EXT. POOL N3. DAY

          Weighed down by her prostheses, Stephanie has to lie down
          on the rim of pool n° 3 to reach the water. She reaches out
          and slaps the water with the palm of her hand. Nothing

                         78

                         

                         

                         

                         
          really happens, a black mass just keeps circling at the
          bottom of the pool... She slaps again and the black mass
          swims faster and faster... a wave is formed around the
          sides of the pool, a wave that swells higher and higher...
          Stephanie's hand again slaps the water and, suddenly, Niska
          emerges.

                         CUT TO:

          90. EXT. POOL N3 - DAY

          Niska washes up. Stephanie caresses her and weeps softly,
          like someone caught unawares.

                         LOUISE (OFF)
          (gently) Stephanie?
          Stephanie looks back to discover Louise and three other ex-
          colleagues. They have been there a moment, surprised,
          unsettled and ill at ease.

                         STEPHANIE
          I stopped by the office but there wasn't
          anyone.
          Stephanie stands up with the help of her canes. The guys
          rush over to help her. They hug and kiss. All four remain
          like that for a moment.

          91. EXT. MARINELAND - CAFETERIA. DAY

          Sun and music. The public is beginning to invade the lanes
          and paths.
          Stephanie, Louise and the other keepers are on the terrace
          of the employees' cafeteria. They are thrilled and
          reassured to see her again. At times a hand touches her
          arm or shoulder. Sometimes an acquaintance comes over and
          kisses her.
          Under the table, Stephanie types ‘oper?' into her cell
          phone, then looks up and returns to her surroundings.
          We can imagine the "How are you?" "And you?" "Great". The
          "Let me get a look at you... You look wonderful!"...all a

                         79

                         

                         

                         

                         
          bit strained, but friendly. Louise, who is sitting next to
          her, leans over to her:

                         LOUISE
          (softly) See? It wasn't hard!
          They smile at each other and return to the conversation in
          progress. Stephanie's cell phone vibrates on the table. She
          discreetly checks the answer, and when she looks up,
          exchanges a glance with Louise.
          From that glance, we cut to:

          92. INT. SUPERMARKET. DAY

          Stephanie and Louise are out shopping. Stephanie holds
          herself up thanks to the shopping cart she is pushing. We
          join their conversation already in progress.

                         STEPHANIE
          When I feel like it, I send him a text
          message and ask if he's oper. If he is, we
          hook up.
          Louise reacts.

                         LOUISE
          What's oper?

                         STEPHANIE
          If he's up for it. If he's free. If he is,
          we fuck.

                         LOUISE
          Is that all?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes, that's all. What else do you want?

                         LOUISE
          I don't know. Is that enough?

                         STEPHANIE
          For me it is.

                         80

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         LOUISE
          What does he do?
          Stephanie hesitates a moment, as if worried about how
          Louise will react.

                         STEPHANIE
          He fights.

                         LOUISE
          What kind? MMA?

                         STEPHANIE
          No. Illicit fights in the projects.
          Louise reacts.

                         STEPHANIE
          Whatever I say, you make a face.

                         LOUISE
          Just give me a second to react... Are you in
          love?
          She hesitates.

                         STEPHANIE
          He does me good.

          93. EXT. PARKING LOT. MARINELAND. DAY

          The group of trainers has accompanied Stephanie to a taxi.

          94. INT. TAXI/PARKING LOT - MARINELAND. DAY

          Stephanie waves good-bye. They return her wave.
          The taxi drives away. The group scatters.

                         CUT TO:

          95. INT. BASEMENT. DAY

          A dark cellar. We hear Ali and Stephanie labor and sigh. A
          door suddenly opens above and we hear voices.

                         81

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Shit!

                         STEPHANIE
          Who is it?
          He looks for his clothes...

          96. EXT. GARDEN. DAY

          ... then goes to the garden where he startles Anna:

                         ANNA
          I didn't know you were here. You scared me.
          What were you up to?

                         ALI
          I was talking?

                         ANNA
          You're not alone?

                         ALI
          I'm with a friend.

                         ANNA
          You bring girls back to my place now?

                         ALI
          She's a friend, I said.
          Just then, the basement door opens and Stephanie appears on
          her crutches. Anna is dismayed. Ali motions to Stephanie:

                         ALI
          (to Stephanie) Let me introduce you to my
          sister! (to Anna) This is Stephanie. You
          know the girl from Marineland.
          Stephanie offers her hand to Anna who takes it, then
          realizing what she's doing, puts the other to her mouth:

                         ANNA
          Oh, my God. Poor thing!

                         82

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Sam arrives with his snack. Stephanie looks at him.

                         STEPHANIE
          So that's him?
          They are sitting around the garden table. Anna comes
          carrying a tray.

                         ANNA
          They were out of grapefruit. I took tropical
          fruit.
          She puts some glasses and two tetra packs of fruit juice on
          the table. Through a hole in the oilcloth, Stephanie can
          watch Sam playing under the table.

                         ANNA
          I'll make tea. I have some cookies. You
          drink tea, don't you?

                         STEPHANIE
          Don't bother. This is perfect, I swear.
          Thanks.
          Before Stephanie can even finish, Anna is already on the
          way back to the kitchen.

                         ALI
          You don't want to get going?

                         STEPH
          Wait, your sister...

                         ALI
          You freak her out. Can't you see? She feels
          like a cashier with you. Pathetic with her
          tea and cookies. It's a pain.
          Stephanie leans on a cane to stand up.

                         ALI
          What are you doing?

                         STEPH
          I'm going to help her.

                         83

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          No need to overdo it.

          97. INT. ANNA'S HOUSE. DAY

          Later, Sam guides Stephanie up the narrow stairs of the
          house. She has a hard time with her ‘legs' and canes.

          98. INT. SAM'S ROOM. DAY

          A child's room with cheap wall paper depicting dolphins.
          Stephanie is sitting on the edge of the bed.

                         STEPHANIE
          So this is where you sleep? It's a nice
          room.
          Sam nods in agreement. He gives her a strange look.

                         STEPHANIE
          Why are you looking at me like that? Does it
          scare you? You want to see them, is that it?
          He nods.
          She lifts one of her pant legs to show the prosthesis
          underneath. Sam looks attentively, stretches out his hand,
          touches it carefully.

                         SAM
          Does it hurt?
          Stephanie smiles at him.

                         STEPHANIE
          No... Want to touch it?
          Sam reaches out his hand.

          99. INT. MARTIAL'S CAR. DAY

          In CU through the tinted windows of Martial's Mercedes
          Vito: the face of a boxer who is lying on the ground and
          being pummeled.
          Ali is sitting bare-chested in the back seat, a towel
          around his neck and a bottle of water between his knees.

                         84

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Ali watches the fight. Sitting next to him, Stephanie fills
          a plastic bag with ice cubes. She hands it to him.

                         STEPHANIE
          Here.
          He applies it to his eyebrow. She displaces a bloody strand
          of hair and replaces it with another.
          We see Martial return to the car and open the front door.

                         MARTIAL
          You okay?
          He puts a wad of money in the glove compartment.

                         MARTIAL
          You ready?
          Ali nods ‘yes'. He opens his door, gets half out and
          empties the bottle of water over his head.
          Stephanie is left alone in the car. She hears the
          spectators' cheers. She closes the window and turns on the
          air conditioning full blast.

          100. EXT. PROJECTS - COURTYARD. DAY

          His opponent's guard is up, closed tighter than a safe.
          Behind his fists, Ali can see the guy's frozen stare. And
          then suddenly he breaks loose: a series of feints and a
          kick behind the ear.
          He hears himself growl, the light becomes electrifying. He
          is on the ground, protecting himself as best he can. He
          tries to block his opponent's arm. He hears himself
          wheezing and panting like a pair of bellows. He sees his
          blood splatter his opponent.

                         ALI (OFF)
          ... All of a sudden, in your mouth, it's
          like it tasted like bone. A taste of rust
          and bone.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Because you think bone has a taste?

                         85

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI (OFF)
          Yeah, there I did.
          Then, through the spectators' legs, he sees something:
          sunlight reflected off the Mercedes door that has just
          opened on a pair of shoes attached to two prostheses, a
          pair of shorts… He also sees the heads of the tough guys
          who turn back to look.
          He breaks free, struggles to his feet, spits up a clot of
          blood and returns to the task at hand.
          His opponent tries to get up. Ali jumps on him to finish

                         HIM OFF€

          101. INT. MARTIAL'S CAR. DAY

          The car is driving back into town. Martial is driving. The
          windows are open. Ali holds a bag of ice against his cheek
          bone, while Stephanie applies her Band-Aids to a cut over
          his eyebrows. They are talking, but we can not hear what
          they say. All we hear is the noise of the wind against the
          open windows. Ali suddenly breaks out laughing. Martial
          does too in the rear view mirror. Stephanie follows suit…

          102. INT. MOUSQUETAIRES. DAY

          Muzak.
          Ali and Martial follow the head of security into the store.
          Some of the personnel are near the cash registers, silent,
          hostile and immobile. The morning customers wonder what's
          happening.
          The head of security elbows his way through.

          HEAD OF SECURITY
          Let them through, please!
          The personnel reluctantly make way.

          103. INT. MOUSQUETAIRES - STOCKROOM. DAY

          Red graffiti on the wall: "A SPYING BOSS IS A CRIMINAL

          BOSS!"

                         86

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Ali recognizes the place with the palettes up to the
          ceiling. In the back, he also recognizes the manager,
          protected by two guards and being harangued by union
          representatives.

                         MARTIAL
          (to Ali, pointing to the manager) Go get the
          equipment. I need to see him.
          Ali obeys.

                         UNION REP
          Don't bother. We're the ones who will call
          the police. The police and the press. That
          way they'll know you spy on your workers!
          The manager looks away, accompanied by his two guards.

                         UNION REP
          At least have the courage to look at me when
          I talk to you!

                         CUT TO:
          The cameras, the ripped out cables, the phony boxes have
          been piled up on the floor. It looks more like the crime
          squad has been at work. Ali opens a garbage bag and bends
          over to retrieve the equipment.

                         WOMAN (OFF)
          What are you doing there?
          She's a young employee in the store uniform.

                         ALI
          (suspicious) Packing up.

                         WOMAN
          Is it your stuff?

                         ALI
          No.
          He notices that she's taken out her cell phone to take a
          picture.

                         87

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Don't you take a picture!

                         WOMAN
          You work for them?
          She continues to manipulate her phone.

                         ALI
          I said no picture!

                         WOMAN
          Why shouldn't I? You film us!
          He straightens up menacingly.

                         ALI
          I'm going to slap you!
          A hand grabs his arm. It's Martial.

                         MARTIAL
          Forget it. Let's get out of here!

                         ALI
          And the equipment?

                         MARTIAL
          Forget about it. We're fucked here. The cops
          are going to question the managers and the
          managers will turn us in.
          They leave.

          104. INT. MARTIAL'S FORMULE 1 ROOM. NIGHT

          Martial's fingers slowly play with the hair on his chest.
          He is lying nude on the bed of his Formule 1 hotel room. He
          smokes and stares at the ceiling. His suitcases and bags
          are packed, all he has to do is close them.
          He hears knocks next door. He gets up with a sigh, pulls on
          his pants and opens the door. Stephanie is waiting in front
          of room 429.

                         88

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          In here.
          Stephanie looks back, surprised. Martial motions her in.

                         MARTIAL
          I have to go away for work. 3 or 4 months, I
          don't know yet... Since Ali wants to keep
          fighting, I thought maybe you tend to that
          while I'm not here...
          She is thunderstruck.

                         STEPHANIE
          Is he okay with that?

                         MARTIAL
          He's the one who asked me to call you.

                         STEPHANIE
          Why me?

                         MARTIAL
          I guess he trusts you.

                         STEPHANIE
          (laughs, thrown for a loop) Yes, sure
          but.... I don't know anything about that
          scene... I don't know those guys!
          He hands her an old spiral notebook.

                         MARTIAL
          I wrote it all down here. As for the rest,
          ask me your questions and I'll answer them.

                         STEPHANIE
          How do I do the bets?

                         MARTIAL
          You can count on your fingers, can't you?

                         STEPHANIE
          Honestly, can you see me dealing with those
          beasts?

                         89

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          Yeah.
          A beat.

                         MARTIAL
          And you need money to cover the bets, and
          you have money.
          She looks at him.

                         MARTIAL
          What? You're not rich? What did the
          insurance company give you for your legs?
          200,000? 300,000? Those jobs must have good
          health plans. Am I wrong?

                         STEPHANIE
          No.
          A shadow crosses Stephanie's mind. She looks at the open
          bags and suitcases, without really seeing them. The place
          looks like it's expecting a police raid.

                         STEPHANIE
          Where are you going?

                         MARTIAL
          Grenoble, then Vienne.

                         STEPHANIE
          Austria?

                         MARTIAL
          No, in the Isère.

                         STEPHANIE
          Was the insurance money your idea?

                         MARTIAL
          Yes.
          A beat. He gives her time to wrap her head around that one.
          Then, since she still looks troubled, he taps her on the
          hand.

                         90

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MARTIAL
          It's me, I said. Don't worry. I'm the bad
          guy.

          105. EXT. FEVER RAY. NIGHT

          Through the door of the club, we hear snatches of the
          introduction to Thunderstruck.
          People are sweating and trying to get into the Fever. Foued
          lets Martial, Ali, Stephanie and Khadi through. Virile bear
          hugs and handshakes.

                         FOUED
          The Cousin's waiting for you inside. Table
          to the left of the bar.
          Ali knows and greets everyone. Stephanie is in the middle
          of the group. She holds herself up on the shoulders of
          these big, caring guys and lets herself be carried along.
          She feels good

          106. INT. FEVER RAY. NIGHT

          The club is hot as a steam bath. Loud music blares out of
          loudspeakers. Bodies dance and eyes shine bright.
          At the table "left of the bar": Cousin and three friends
          who are with him. Another round of bear hugs and
          handshakes. Martial, Stephanie and Cousin regroup face to
          face. Martial speaks, Cousin listens and at times looks
          over at Stephanie, who looks at him too. She notices one of
          the tattoos on his arm: a green and red snake that seems to
          be slithering out his sleeve. The barman brings two bottles
          of champagne.
          Ali leans toward her:

                         ALI
          Want to boogie?
          She doesn't understand.

                         ALI
          (loud) You want to dance?

                         91

                         

                         

                         

                         
          She looks frightened, but then smiles when she sees what
          he's up to.

                         ALI
          Come on!

                         STEPHANIE
          No, no!

                         ALI
          Whatever you say.
          He goes to the dance floor and begins to rock. He dances
          badly, clumsily. Martial pours champagne.

          107. EXT. FEVER RAY. NIGHT

          The smoking area is located outside, and a bit farther off,
          the dope smoking area. Behind the smokers, we hear noise
          from the club. Cousin is puffing on a spliff. Stephanie
          watches, holding her champagne goblet. He offers it to
          her. She accepts and takes a drag.

                         COUSIN
          Can I talk to you?
          She nods "yes".

                         COUSIN
          There's something I'd like to know... The
          fish that ate your legs...
          She wasn't expecting that.

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes?

                         COUSIN
          Is it true it's still there?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah... where else would it be?

                         COUSIN
          They didn't shoot it? Or put it down,
          whatever?

                         92

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          Why would they do that?

                         COUSIN
          I don't know... when a dog attacks you, they
          kill it. And the fish gets off. Don't you
          mind that the thing that ate your legs is
          living it up in its shitty fucking aquarium?

                         STEPHANIE
          No. And I don't want anything to happen to
          it. Now more than ever!
          He looks at her, incredulous, but with admiration.

                         COUSIN
          (imitating her) "Now more than ever". Listen
          to you!
          He takes another drag.

                         COUSIN
          (imitating her) Tututu-tu-tutu...
          They laugh.

                         STEPHANIE
          Do I sound like that?

                         COUSIN
          Tututu...

          108. INT. FEVER RAY. NIGHT

          We are back inside. Ali is working on a girl a bit farther
          off on the dance floor. Stephanie follows Cousin through
          the noise and sticky heat. When she next looks at the dance
          floor, Ali is no longer there.
          Ali and the girl are on their way to the exit. Ali looks
          for a friendly face, meets Stephanie's glance and motions
          that he's leaving. She waves: "Yeah, ok, I get it."
          Ali disappears with the girl.
          Stephanie is at the bar, drinking. She types an SMS into
          her cell phone: "operational?" She hesitates, then puts

                         93

                         

                         

                         

                         
          away her cell phone. She hadn't noticed a guy sitting next
          to her. She also failed to notice that he's been speaking
          to her for a while now.

                         STEPHANIE
          (loud) Huh? I can't hear you...

                         GUY
          (loud) No problem. What are you drinking?

                         STEPHANIE
          (loud) Champagne?
          The guy orders. He is blond, lean and athletic-looking. He
          might be thought to resemble Simon.

                         GUY
          What's your name? I'm Pierre.

                         STEPHANIE
          Hey there. I'm Marie.

                         GUY
          Come here often?
          Stephanie is on automatic pilot. When she turns to the
          room, she feels the blond guy's eyes locked onto her. She
          can pretty much tell what he's thinking about the breasts
          under her T-shirt. She answers his questions, she returns
          his smiles. When she finishes her glass and puts it down on
          the counter, he kisses her. She doesn't push him away
          immediately, like a frightened virgin, she takes the time
          to put a good face on it.

                         STEPHANIE
          No... No, please. I don't feel like it. Not
          tonight. I can't...
          The guy looks disappointed, then manages a ‘good loser's'
          smile.

                         GUY
          Okay, no problem...

                         STEPHANIE
          It's best I go. Good night and thanks.

                         94

                         

                         

                         

                         
          He sees her lean over to retrieve her canes and then hobble
          away.

                         GUY
          Sorry. I couldn't know.
          Stephanie freezes.

                         STEPHANIE
          You couldn't know what?

                         GUY
          Huh?

                         STEPHANIE
          You couldn't know what, asshole?
          Foued runs to warn Martial, Khadi and Cousin that something
          is wrong.
          When Martial arrives, he sees Stephanie collared by a
          bouncer three times her size. She lashes out with one of
          her canes, while under the bar, another bouncer tries to
          help the blond guy back to his feet. There's a deep gash on
          his skull.
          Cousin comes to give the bouncer a hand.

          109. EXT. ANTIBES - BEACH -CAFÉ. DAY

          Early morning. The shrill screech of the sea gulls and the
          milky light of a day that looks like it's going to be
          sunless.
          Stephanie drinks her coffee at the only table on the
          terrace. Behind her, chairs are still piled up and the
          waiter is slowly getting to work.
          A silhouette appears on the sidewalk. It's Ali, in the same
          clothes as last night. He joins her and takes a seat.

                         ALI
          You okay?

                         STEPHANIE
          Fine.

                         95

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Did you stay late?

                         STEPHANIE
          I can't remember. Afterwards the cousin took
          us to a club at la Colle sur Loup... It
          sucked and it was 5 a.m. And you?

                         ALI
          Normal. (to the waiter) A large coffee with
          milk and bread with butter!
          A beat.

                         STEPHANIE
          You think it's good that we're having this
          conversation?

                         ALI
          What conversation?

                         STEPHANIE
          That I ask how it was with the girl last
          night and you answer normal.

                         ALI
          What do you want me to say?

                         STEPHANIE
          Nothing.
          He grimaces at her mood.

                         ALI
          Oh la!

                         STEPHANIE
          "Oh la" what? You think it's normal leaving
          with that bimbo in front of me? What would
          you say if I did the same thing?

                         ALI
          Nothing.

                         STEPHANIE
          Oh yeah? You wouldn't care?

                         96

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          You're pissing me off. What's your problem?

                         STEPHANIE
          Wait, let me put it differently. What I am
          for you? A friend? A pal?
          Sort of a buddy, like Foued and the others?

                         ALI

                         STEPHANIE
          Tell me something: do you and your buddies
          fuck every now and then?
          He snickers.

                         STEPHANIE
          No? Really? Never?
          That's the difference.
          Her looks at her.

                         STEPHANIE
          Dammit, stop looking at me that way!

                         ALI
          How am I looking at you?
          The waiter arrives with Ali's order. She tones her voice
          down a notch.

                         STEPHANIE
          You wanted us to continue... Isn't that what
          you told Martial?

                         ALI
          What are you talking about, fucking or
          fighting?

                         STEPHANIE
          Well, we have to go about it well. We have
          to show each other manners, and
          consideration...

                         ALI
          Manners?

                         97

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          Hey! Stop acting like an idiot. Do the words
          bother you? You know what I mean.... Tact...
          You've never stopped being tactful with me.
          A beat. He looks away.

                         STEPHANIE
          So... is that a plan?
          She waits for his mind to come back before continuing.

                         STEPHANIE
          We'll continue... but not like animals.
          He smirks, with a flick of the chin.

                         STEPHANIE
          Cat got your tongue?
          Ali stirs his cup without answering. He feels her eyes on
          him. He smiles.

                         ALI
          I'm oper now.

                         STEPHANIE
          What?

                         ALI
          You made me oper. It's you! It's because
          it's all you're talking about!

                         STEPHANIE
          (softly) You are really a dog.
          He stands up.

                         STEPHANIE
          What are you doing?

                         ALI
          I'm getting out of here.

                         STEPHANIE
          Why?

                         98

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          I'm fed up.

                         STEPHANIE
          You're bored?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         STEPHANIE
          What I'm saying bores you?

                         ALI
          Yeah.

                         STEPHANIE
          Are you acting like a jackass on purpose?

                         ALI
          Aren't you being an ass by putting words
          everywhere?
          He sits back down. She watches him eat his sandwiches.

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm the one who's leaving.
          She gets up.
          Ali finishes his coffee.

          110. INT. TATTOO PARLOR. DAY

          The buzz of a small electric compressor.
          In extreme close up: the needle of a tattoo machine
          pricking skin. Ink flows, a cotton swab wipes... a tattoo
          slowly appears.
          Lying on a table, Stephanie is having what remains of her
          legs tattooed.

                         CUT TO:

                         99

                         

                         

                         

                         

          111. EXT/INT. BANK. DAY

          Stephanie is at a teller's window, withdrawing a rather
          large amount of cash.
          A machine counts out the bills, while the employee stuffs
          wads of them into an envelope.

          112. EXT/INT USED CAR DEALERSHIP. DAY
          Pennants flap in the wind, the pennants of a used car
          dealership.
          CU: car doors opening, automatic gearboxes, Stephanie's
          "feet" testing pedals, bucket seats, backseats, tinted
          windows opening and closing, etc.

          113. INT. PROJECTS - APARTMENT. DAY

          A painting of a lion hunt and, under it, Stephanie and
          Cousin on a couch, talking shop.
          Leaning over a computer and a cell phone, they go over
          potential adversaries.
          Some kids stick their heads in to see what Stephanie looks
          like.

          114. INT. NEW GYM. DAY

          Foued, wearing protective gear, spars with a black
          cruiserweight. The fight is close, the sound of flesh on
          flesh resounds. Outside the ring, Ali cheers Foued on.
          He notices on the other side of the ring a young thin,
          bearded guy in a Lacoste polo shirt buttoned up to his neck
          - Leonardini - who is following the fight with the eye of a
          pro.
          When Ali and Joao are later working out on their bit of
          tatami, Ali sees Foued sitting on a bench, with a towel
          around his neck and talking with Leonardini.

                         FOUED
          He saw me at la Ciotat. We spoke a few times
          on the phone. When he has it in for you, he
          never lets up. Leonardini is well-known.

                         100

                         

                         

                         

                         
          He was a club in Strasbourg with a training
          center. He's taking me on a trial basis for
          three months. If it works out, he'll make
          challenger in the nationals.

          115. INT. LOCKER ROOM - NEW GYM. DAY

          Ali and Foued are off to one side in the locker room.

                         ALI
          So are you going to Strasbourg?

                         FOUED
          What do you think? I'd be an idiot...

                         ALI
          And when are you leaving?
          Leonardini enters the locker room.

                         FOUED
          Mr. Leonardini, this is my buddy Ali. Ali
          Van Versh.
          Leonardini shakes his hand.

                         ALI
          Pleased to meet you.

          116. EXT. PROJECTS - COURTYARD. DAY

          Through the tinted windshield of a Nissan Pathfinder SUV,
          Ali watches Stephanie, wearing a tight T shirt and leaning
          on her cane, talking with Cousin and some bettors. The
          discussion looks intense.
          Stephanie returns to the car. Below her pedal pushers, her
          prostheses sparkle in the sunlight. We hear salacious jibes
          from the surrounding buildings.
          She opens the car door.

                         ALI
          How much is there?

                         101

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         STEPHANIE
          3400. Are you ready?
          Walking with a slow, deliberate sway - aware of the effect
          she's having - she ceremonially opens the passenger door.
          The remarks cease.

          117. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. NIGHT / DAWN

          CU: a black and red arrow with, in industrial characters:

          "RIGHT".
          It's the tattoo on Stephanie's right thigh. Ali's hand
          grips and squeezes the thigh. They are making love.
          The room is half-lit. Ali growls and grinds his teeth in
          his sleep. Stephanie slowly and noiselessly rolls over to
          her side of the bed. She gets up and, using her hands,
          drags herself toward the bathroom.
          Suddenly, feeling like he's suffocating, Ali awakens. It
          takes a few seconds for him to realize where he is. His
          hand sweeps across the bed.

                         ALI
          Where are you?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          Here.
          He sits up. She is embarrassed.

                         STEPHANIE
          No, don't look!

                         ALI
          What are you doing?

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm going to pee.

                         ALI
          Is it early?

                         STEPHANIE
          Five.

                         102

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Shit, I collapsed...
          Ali slips out of bed, naked, yawning and groggy. He comes
          and leans over her...

                         STEPHANIE
          I don't like it when you see me like this...

                         ALI
          Hold on.
          She hangs onto his neck. He lifts her up and, both naked,
          he carries her into the bathroom.

          118. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM. DAWN

          Stephanie is sitting on the toilet, while Ali pees in the
          shower.

                         STEPHANIE
          I called the numbers they gave me at the
          gym. I spoke to an organizer, Günther Bower.
          She yawns.

                         STEPHANIE
          There's a gala in Turin next week. He told
          me that we'd have time to meet there. I'm
          going to go.

                         ALI
          Yeah. And when do I see him?

                         STEPHANIE
          Later, in his gym in Dortmund. He wants to
          organize a test match, to see what you're
          worth. To see if you've got the "Göttlicher
          Zorn""...
          Ali comes out of the shower.

                         STEPHANIE
          Turn on the water.

                         103

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Huh?

                         STEPHANIE
          Turn on the water when you pee. It's
          disgusting.
          He runs some water.

          119. INT. STEPHANIE'S APARTMENT. DAWN

          He carries her back into the bedroom. She looks at his
          face, the scar on his forehead, the scar over his nose.

                         STEPHANIE
          How's your nose?

                         ALI
          Mm.

                         STEPHANIE
          It doesn't seem broken.

                         ALI
          No.
          They look at each other.
          He puts her down on the bed and lies down next to her.
          Stephanie slides over to him. He lifts her up and places
          her on her stomach. They remain like that, without moving.
          She looks like a mermaid lolling on a rock.
          She leans over and kisses him on the mouth. He pulls away,
          surprised.

                         ALI
          Now we're allowed?
          No answer.
          They make love.
          In CU: the tattoo on Stephanie's left thigh. A red and
          black arrow with, in industrial characters: "LEFT".

          120. EXT/INT. NISSAN SUV. DAY

          Music.

                         104

                         

                         

                         

                         
          The road speeds by. Sun. Road signs with the names of
          Italian cities. The landscape has changed.
          Wearing her baseball cap and sunglasses, Stephanie drives
          with her elbow out the window. On the radio, we hear the
          voice of an Italian DJ.

          121. EXT. COASTAL ROAD. DAY

          Ali jogs along the sea shore. He sweats, huffing and
          puffing. He stops, takes a few steps, then continues, but
          soon stops again. It looks as if his feet are weighing him
          down. Traffic speeds by. He stands still and stares into
          the near distance.
          Nothing.

          122. INT. TURIN - HOTEL. EVENING

          A standard hotel lobby.
          Curious, Stephanie looks at the crowd of fighters the day
          before the ‘Ultimate' tournament: muscle-bound giants
          squeezed into tight jackets, with bashed in eyebrows,
          collapsed nostrils, cauliflower ears...
          Every language can be heard, some greet each other, some
          hug, they all size each other up...

                         CUT TO:
          Propped up on her cane, she heads for a table in a corner
          of the bar where a man is consulting his cell phone.

                         STEPHANIE
          (in German) Mr. Bower?

                         GÌNTHER
          (in German) Yes?

                         STEPHANIE
          (in German) I'm Stephanie Granget.
          Günther looks about fifty and has obviously spent many of
          those years in the ring.

                         CUT TO:

                         105

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Settled in a corner in front of their open PCs, Stephanie
          and Günther talk shop.

                         CUT TO:
          They are about to separate.

                         STEPHANIE
          (in German) Can you get me a ticket for
          tonight?

                         GÌNTHER
          (in German) I don't know. I'll see what I
          can do. (pointing to her legs) What happened
          to your legs?

                         STEPHANIE
          An accident. In another life. I was an
          animal trainer. I worked with orcas... The
          show took a turn for the worse.

                         GÌNTHER
          (it dawns on him) Oh, of course! In France!
          The accident! It was you?! I'm talking to a
          star!
          Stephanie makes a face.

                         GÌNTHER
          Yes, I am... Amazing. What courage! Bravo!
          I'm very honored, really. I was an idiot
          before!

                         STEPHANIE
          Why?

                         GÌNTHER
          I acted like an arrogant business man. I'm
          so ashamed. Will you forgive me?

                         STEPHANIE
          Of course, Mr. Bower.

                         GÌNTHER
          Call me Günther. Of course you can come
          tonight. As my guest!

                         106

                         

                         

                         

                         

          123. INT. TURIN - GYM. NIGHT

          Bleachers have been set up in a gym, surrounding a cage-
          like, fenced-in ring. Inside, combatants fight, no rules,
          no holds barred.
          On the floor, two wrestlers clasp and elbow each other.
          One is bleeding from the forehead.
          Below the ring, Stephanie is mesmerized by this carnival of
          violence.
          Günther leans toward her:

                         GÌNTHER
          (in German) Funny, huh?

                         STEPHANIE
          (in German) What? That?

                         GÌNTHER
          That... and you!

          124. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT

          Stephanie walks down a corridor. She stops in front of a
          door and knocks. Günther opens. He looks surprised. He is
          barefoot, in a pair of trousers and an unbuttoned shirt.
          He looks at her inquisitively, and when she still doesn't

                         SAY ANYTHING:
          GÜNTHER (in German)
          Are you okay? Do you need anything?
          She hesitates.
          STEPHANIE (in German)
          I... I came to see if I got it wrong, or
          not.
          He knits his brow.
          GÜNTHER (in German)
          Got what wrong?
          STEPHANIE (in German)
          You don't understand?

                         107

                         

                         

                         

                         
          GÜNTHER (in German)
          Excuse me?
          STEPHANIE (in German)
          I got the impression, the way you were
          looking at me before... Try to understand
          because this is getting hard for me...
          GÜNTHER (in German)
          No, you didn't get it wrong.
          He smiles and opens the door.
          GÜNTHER (in German)
          I have someone in my life, you know.

                         STEPHANIE
          So do I.
          He draws her inside. The door closes.

          125. INT. SUPERMARKET. DAY

          Anna is about to open her cash register, when a West Indian
          in a security uniform whispers into her ear, apparently
          asking her to follow him. Another cashier is already
          waiting to take her place.
          Anna joins three other employees waiting in a corridor.
          They exchange a few words under their breath.

          126. INT. SUPERMARKET - CORRIDOR - ADMINISTRATION. DAY

          Anna comes out of an office, looking distraught. She has to
          lean against the wall to hold herself up. A colleague comes
          to help.

                         COLLEAGUE
          So?

                         ANNA
          I got fired.

                         COLLEAGUE
          Come on. There's something we want to show
          you.

                         108

                         

                         

                         

                         
          In the locker room, we recognize the girl who had
          photographed Ali while he was trying to reclaim Martial's
          camera equipment. The girl says something to Anna. When it
          seems that Anna can not believe her ears, the girl takes
          out her cell phone and confronts her with the evidence.
          Anna needs to sit down.

          127. EXT. HOUSE. DAY

          Out of breath, Ali pushes open the gate and climbs the
          stairs.

          128. INT. KITCHEN. DAY

          In the kitchen, Anna and Richard are sitting at the table
          in front of a meal they haven't had the appetite to start.

                         ALI
          You okay?
          No answer.

                         ALI
          You don't seem it.
          He goes to open the fridge.

                         ANNA
          What are you doing?

                         ALI
          I'm hungry.

                         ANNA
          Close it! Don't eat here.
          Ali stares at her, stunned.

                         ANNA
          Don't eat here.

                         ALI
          What the hell is going on?

                         ANNA
          I was fired this morning. I'm unemployed.

                         109

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Shit... But what's the problem if I eat
          here?
          Anna stands up.

                         ANNA
          They had cameras in the storeroom... They
          filmed us when we took the expired food.
          They fired us.
          Ali's head spins.

                         ANNA
          You had your sister fired. How does it feel?
          How much did you get for that? You get paid
          per person or a flat rate? Nothing to say? I
          take you in, I take care of your son and you
          have nothing to say?

                         ALI
          I couldn't know...

                         ANNA
          You couldn't know? You couldn't know what?
          That you were screwing us out of jobs? That
          you were hurting people?
          Ali tries to find something to say, but his sister's hand
          delivers a resounding slap.
          He takes it like a man. A moment passes. Ali is red from
          the slap, red with shame… until he suddenly straightens up
          and knocks over the table.

                         RICHARD
          Calm down. Calm down, I said!
          Ali looks back. He sees Richard's grim face at the other
          end of a hunting rifle.

                         RICHARD
          Take your stuff and get out of here. We
          don't want to see you around here anymore.

                         110

                         

                         

                         

                         
          A sudden noise draws their attention: Sam is watching from
          the top of the stairs.

                         ANNA
          Go to your room. Go upstairs immediately.

          129. INT. ANNA'S HOUSE - BASEMENT. DAY

          An SMS arrives from Stephanie: “Almost there. I miss you.”
          Ali is lying on his mattress. He puts down the phone. He
          hears Anna and Richard's voices upstairs. He sits up and
          begins to stuff things into a bag.
          A new message arrives: “I'm home. Oper?” Ali hesitates,
          then turns off his phone and clicks his bag closed.

          130. INT. ANNA'S HOUSE - SAM'S ROOM. EVENING

          Night has fallen. Sam's nose is stuck to his bedroom
          window. He sees his aunt sitting at the plastic table in
          the garden downstairs with her face in her hands.
          A door slams. Sam rushes to the bathroom window. He sees
          his father stomp down the street, never once looking back.
          Sam remains glued to the window pane.
          Ali's silhouette moves through the halo of a streetlight
          before again disappearing into the dark. Sam watches him
          for as far as he can.
          Fade to black.

          131. INT/ EXT. BASEMENT. DAY

          In the half-light of the basement, a rectangle of light has
          formed where the door opens onto the street. Stephanie
          looks over Ali's mess: his magazines, body building
          equipment, dirty T-shirts, track suits hanging over a
          trestle...
          Anna is standing against the light at the door and, a bit
          farther off, Sam is sitting on the stairs watching them.

                         ANNA
          In his message he said he was in Strasbourg.
          No news since. I don't know what he's doing

                         111

                         

                         

                         

                         
          there, or even if he's still there. Has he
          called you?
          She shakes her head "no".

                         ANNA
          Did you try the gym?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yeah. They don't know.

                         ANNA
          If I had an address or a number, I'd give it
          to you... Even if I think it's dumb. Do you
          believe me?

                         STEPHANIE
          Yes.

                         ANNA
          After what he did to me...
          Sam sees Stephanie join Anna near the door. She's about to
          leave.

                         ANNA
          He abandoned his kid. He doesn't give a fuck
          about anything. All he ever cared about was
          himself. He's totally selfish.
          Sam watches the two women swallowed up by the light.

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          You don't know him.

                         ANNA (OFF)
          Me? What did you expect with him?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          I don't know. Not this.
          Fade to black.
          Black.

                         112

                         

                         

                         

                         

          132. EXT. ALSATIAN COUNTRYSIDE. MORNING

          A frosty landscape with trees that look like they've been
          engraved in ink... A group of twelve joggers in blue track
          suits run across a landscape of gray sky and snow. Some
          shadowbox while running.
          Ali is wearing a wool cap pulled down around his ears. He
          runs alongside Foued.

          133. INT. HOLIDAY VILLAGE. GYM. DAY

          A ring has been set up in the middle of the gym. A few guys
          have gathered round to watch Ali rhythmically pound on his
          trainer's bear-like paws.
          Leonardini sets the pace.

                         LEONARDINI
          1,2... 1,2,3,4... Faster! 1,2,3. Yes.
          Faster! Move! You're stepping back!
          Ali pounds harder and harder. He times his respiration to
          match the movement of his fists.

          134. INT. HOLIDAY VILLAGE REC ROOM. EVENING

          Young athletes, some tall, some short, some heavyset, some
          not, are sitting on refectory chairs to watch TV. Ali does
          too. His hair is cut short and his face is closely shaven.
          He looks younger. He could be a student.

          135. EXT. RICHARD'S TRUCK. NIGHT/DAY

          A truck rushes headlong through the countryside. First it
          is day, then night.

          136. INT. HOLIDAY VILLAGE. DAY

          Through the window, Ali sees a twelve-ton Scania pull to a
          stop at the entrance to the parking lot and beep its horn.
          Ali runs out to meet it.

          137. EXT. HOLIDAY VILLAGE - PARKING LOT. DAY

          Richard lowers his window.

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                         RICHARD
          I can't come in any further or I won't be
          able to get back out!
          Ali checks out the huge semi.

                         ALI
          Looks like you changed trucks!

                         RICHARD
          Bosses, in fact. I'm back to being
          exploited.
          Ali doesn't insist. Richard opens his door to let out Sam
          who is already trampling him, trying to get out.

                         RICHARD
          (to Sam) Got everything? Your bag, your
          coat, your hat, your mittens? You haven't
          forgotten anything? Now give me a kiss.
          Sam gives him a kiss. Richard slips him out and into Ali's
          arms.

                         ALI
          How are things there?

                         RICHARD
          They're okay.

                         ALI
          My sister?

                         RICHARD
          She found a job at a school cafeteria. She
          seems to enjoy it.

                         ALI
          Does she know about today?

                         RICHARD
          Yes. She says it's good for the kid.

                         ALI
          Tell her I can't help out for the time being
          but that as soon as I have a little money...

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                         RICHARD
          Don't worry. When's your fight?

                         ALI
          Next month. On the 9th.
          Richard smiles admiringly.

                         RICHARD
          Keep us posted if you win.

                         ALI
          Sure I will.

                         RICHARD
          Yeah, right... Okay, I'm off. I'll deliver
          my load in Colmar and pick up the kid at
          around 7, okay?

                         ALI
          Okay.

                         RICHARD
          No later, because I have to be back tomorrow
          at 11.
          The two men say good-bye. Sam waves good-bye.

          138. EXT. ALSATIAN COUNTRYSIDE. DAY

          A path runs through fields and into a clump of fir trees.
          Ali pulls a plastic sled with Sam on top. Whenever there is
          a slope, he lets Sam glide down it and runs after him.
          Snow falls from the trees. He looks up and sees a couple of
          squirrels jump from branch to branch. Sam has never seen
          any before. Ali neither.
          Sunlight filters through the branches. A group of cross-
          country skiers trudges by.

                         SAM
          I want to skate too!

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                         ALI
          They're not skating. They're skiing.

                         SAM
          No, they're skating.

                         ALI
          They're skiing, I said!

                         SAM
          Skating.
          A few steps on:

                         ALI
          Skiing.

                         SAM
          You're annoying me.
          They take a break at a picnic area, where they eat some
          sandwiches and drink orange soda.

                         ALI
          (his mouth full) Does Auntie still have
          dogs?

                         SAM
          No, now it's chickens.

                         ALI
          In the garden?

                         SAM
          Yeah, in the cage. They lay eggs.

                         ALI
          That's good.

                         SAM
          But Auntie doesn't want me to take the
          chicks in my room.

                         ALI
          She's right. They're disgusting. (pointing
          to his sandwich) Finished? You want some

                         116

                         

                         

                         

                         
          applesauce?
          Afternoon.
          On the way back, they find a frozen pond. Ali carefully
          advances on the ice. He tests it. Jumps on it. Then he
          lets himself go and glides across the ice.

                         ALI
          You can go. But not too far!
          Sam starts slipping and sliding. He falls down. He lies on
          the sled and lets it glide.
          Ali pees behind a tree.
          Sam is far away.

                         ALI
          Come on, we have to head back!

                         SAM
          5 minutes.

                         ALI
          Now!

                         SAM
          (showing his fingers) 5 minutes!

                         ALI
          5 minutes.
          And then suddenly, instead of gliding, the child sinks. He
          tries to climb out and sinks again. A thin layer of ice is
          forming over him.

                         SAM
          Daddy! Daddy!

                         ALI
          Shit!
          Ali rushes to the pond, but Sam is already iced over. He
          kneels down and then crawls on his stomach toward the hole.
          Sam has disappeared. Ali shoves aside snow. He looks
          everywhere, but sees nothing. And then he hears a noise,
          blows like signals coming from under the ice. Ali crawls

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          over and clears away snow as best he can. Under the ice, he
          sees Sam's face, staring wide-eyed.
          Ali begins to pound both his fists on the ice, like pistons
          or pestles... As if pounding on his punching bag.

          139. UNDER THE ICE. DAY
          Underwater, we hear the sound of dull thuds. Sam sees his
          father's fists pound on the ice. He sees bloodstains.
          The ice cracks, a bloody fist searches the water for him.
          Sam closes his eyes.

          140. EXT. POND. EVENING

          Evening is falling. Ali has stretched Sam out on the rim of
          the pond. The child has turned blue. He tries mouth-to-
          mouth resuscitation, he massages his heart and rubs him
          down.

          141. EXT. COUNTRY ROAD. EVENING

          Ali's respiration has become a grunt, then a groan.
          He runs. He has stowed Sam behind the front of his parka
          and runs as fast as he can. He slips, gets back up and runs
          again... he again breathes into Sam's mouth... while still
          running...

          142. INT. STRASBOURG - HOSPITAL - ICU. DAY

          Leaning against the window of the Intensive Care Unit, Ali
          sees Sam's nude, tiny body being worked on by doctors...
          his skin is blue from the cold... there is a tube in his
          mouth... his ribs rise and fall to the rhythm of a
          respirator... his mouth spits out brackish water
          brutally...
          A door opens and a nurse appears. Ali straightens up.

                         NURSE
          We'll take care of you. Come with me.
          He doesn't understand. Then he notices the blood prints his
          hands have left on the ICU window. He looks at his scarred
          fingers, his broken, bloodied hands.

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          143. INT. SAM'S HOSPITAL ROOM. EVENING

          Sam is lying in a hospital bed. His eyes are closed and
          coils of tubes attach him to control apparatus.
          Ali is at his side. His hands are now wrapped in thick
          bandages. The disinfectant makes him look like he is
          wearing yellow gloves halfway up his arms.
          Richard is standing behind him, near the window.
          Ali takes Sam's fingers, places them in the palm of his
          bandaged hand and looks at them.
          Sam's eyes begin to dart wildly under his eyelids... his
          fingers quiver... his eyes open.

          144. INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR. NIGHT

          There are not many people in the corridor at this late
          hour. Richard is bent over a coffee machine. A cup slowly
          fills up. Farther off, Ali is KO, leaning against a wall.
          Richard brings him a coffee. Ali takes it clumsily into his
          damaged hands.
          Richard's cell phone rings. He moves away to answer and
          speaks into it softly. A few moments later, he returns to
          Ali and hands him the phone.

                         RICHARD
          Here. She wants to talk to you.

                         ALI
          Anna?
          Richard shakes his head.

                         ALI
          Hello?

                         STEPHANIE (OFF)
          It's me. (pause) Do you mind?

                         ALI
          No.

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                         STEPHANIE
          How is he?

                         ALI
          Okay. He woke up an hour ago.

                         STEPHANIE
          Is he injured?

                         ALI
          No, I don't think so.

                         STEPHANIE
          And how are you?

                         ALI
          I fucked up my hands on the ice.

                         STEPHANIE
          Is it serious?

                         ALI
          They're broken.
          A beat.

                         ALI
          How are you?

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm okay.

                         ALI
          What are you up to?

                         STEPHANIE
          You mean in general? In my life?

                         ALI
          I wanted to say that...

                         STEPHANIE
          I'm not asking for anything. I'll be going.
          I'll call you back to see how Sam's doing.
          Give him a kiss him from me...

                         120

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         ALI
          Don't hang up.

                         STEPHANIE

                         ALI
          Don't hang up!

                         STEPHANIE
          I won't hang up...

                         ALI
          He was in a coma for 3 hours... Three
          hours... For three hours he was dead... I
          was scared to lose him.
          His eyes well with tears.

                         ALI
          Don't leave me.

                         STEPHANIE
          I won't leave you.
          Black.

                         ALI
          I love you.

          145. INT. POLAND. HOTEL ROOM. DAY

          A child sleeps.
          His eyes are darting under his eyelids: vestiges of light
          and shadow, of noise.
          Sam opens his eyes: he is in a hotel room. At the foot of
          the bed, a TV with the sound turned down low is
          broadcasting a cartoon of mice fighting in Polish.
          Stephanie comes and goes, picking up things littering the
          floor and packing their bags.
          Over these images, we hear Ali's voice:
          The human hand contains 27 bones. Some
          monkeys have more: gorillas have 32, five in

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          each thumb. For humans, it's 27.
          If you break an arm or a leg, after a while
          calcium gathers around the bone and joins it
          together. In the end, it's stronger than
          before. But if you break a bone in your
          hand, you know it'll never fully heal.
          You'll think about it before every fight.
          You'll pay attention... And even if you pay
          attention, the pain will come back... like
          needles, like broken glass...
          Ali is wearing a T-shirt. He still bears the marks of
          yesterday's fight. His eyebrows and hands are bandaged.

                         ALI
          Wake up, kiddo. It's over. We're going home.

                         SAM
          Did you win?
          He smiles and kisses his biceps.

          146. INT. POLAND. HOTEL - LOBBY. DAY

          The lobby of a Holiday Inn, the day after an Ultimate
          tournament... (much the same ambience as in Turin) The
          fighters, winners and losers, are about to leave. They
          greet each other, pose for photographers, answer
          interviewers, sign autographs... Ali's hands are still
          bandaged. He is being interviewed along with a kind of
          Viking with a closed eye and broken arm.
          Ali goes to join Stephanie and Sam outside the hotel, where
          a taxi driver is loading their luggage. A young Polish fan
          calls out: "Ali! Ali!" He wants a photo.
          Ali lifts Sam into his arms and pulls Stephanie closer.
          They pose.

                         THE END



Rust and Bone



Writers :   Jacques Audiard  Thomas Bidegain
Genres :   Drama  Romance


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