THE WAY BACK
Inspired by the book "The Long Walk"
by Slavomir Rawicz
Shooting Draft: Sofia, January 2009
1 AERIAL PANORAMA - DAY TO NIGHT 1
A slow, steady, downward view. The camera seemingly
floats as the curve of the globe passes beneath.
Beginning in the green jungles of Sikkim in Northern
India it crosses the Himalayas, down into Tibet and
beyond to China - the zigzag line of the Great Wall
clearly visible. Then the Gobi desert is flowing
beneath, and as the light begins to fade, Mongolia gives
way to the Russian Steppe, and as dusk turns to night we
are over Siberia - gliding North over Lake Baikal, and
onward across forested hills and valleys. A sense of
utter remoteness in this silent landscape. Then a tiny
shaved patch within the primeval forest - a bald
rectangle of ground, crisscrossed by faint probing
lights. The camera slows, and hovers.
2 EXT. SOVIET LABOR CAMP 105, SIBERIA - NIGHT 2
Out of the blackness, the momentary glimpse of a barbed
wire fence, lit by the combing fingers of a searchlight.
Another angle, and the silhouette of distant timber
buildings is briefly etched, before the light passes and
all is again in darkness. Closer, on a canvas-sided
barrack building - ghostly shadows projected on the wall.
SUPER: 'SOVIET LABOR CAMP 105, SIBERIA, 1940'.
3 INT. BARRACKS, CAMP 105, SIBERIA - NIGHT 3
A long rectangular building, the walls lined with two
tiered bunks of rough-hewn logs. In the centre - a metal
stove with a chimney stretching out through the roof. A
dim central bulb illuminates some 150 men, aged from 16
to 60, most sitting or lying on their bunks. Some wear
scraps of army uniform, or civilian clothing, others in
prison issued padded jackets. Some, from the Asian
territories, still ear something of their national
costume. Included among them are groups of foreigners
from recently occupied countries and a Babel of languages
drifts through the fetid air. It's a wide ranging mix of
types, of race, of class. They're miserable, starving
and ill. There is no camp camaraderie and they eye each
other with indifference or suspicion. Most of these men
are political prisoners, known as 'Politicals' or
'S8ers', after the section of the Soviet Penal Code that
has put them here.
Near the stove, and contrasted with the 'Politicals', a
group are gathered about a card game on a lower bunk.
These men look healthier, and are further distinguished
by their tattoos.
3 CONTINUED: 3
These are the URKI, some dozen of them, regular
criminals, and from their manner the undisputed masters
of the block.
Sitting facing each other - VALKA, thirties, heavily
tattooed, flash of a steel-caped tooth. His opponent,
BOHDAN, older, and the 'Pakhan', the 'boss' of this
criminal gang. Bohdan shuffles a deck of home-made
[All DIALOGUE IN THE CAMP IS IN RUSSIAN, SUB-TITLED,
EXCEPT WHERE INDICATED THAT INMATES SPEAK ENGLISH].
What've you got?
VALKA removes his coat, passes it to BOHDAN who examines
Think I want your stinking lice
He shows the label.
See? From Krakov. Good as new.
BOHDAN nods to his minder who opens a battered wooden
suitcase - a glimpse of hoarded food. The minder puts
his hand on a lump of bread lying beside a length of
sausage. BOHDAN nods. The bread is placed beside the
And the sausage.
BOHDAN stares at him, shakes his head, 'no'.
Bohdan, you're a dog's prick, I
swear. I hope you die with an axe
in your skull, and your balls
The swearing is more or less a ritual and provokes no
OK. For the bread.
3 CONTINUED: ( 2) 3
BOHDAN shuffles and deals. He separates his cards with
the long fingernail of his little finger. In a few rapid
plays, VALKA is left coat-less.
Apart from the half-dozen thugs surrounding the players,
the game is watched by two 'Politicals', who have just
entered with a load of wood for the stove. The elder,
SMITH, a hard-face man in his late forties, the other
ANDREI, early twenties. VALKA signals to YURI who takes
three 'tailor-made' cigarettes from his pocket, passes
them carefully to VALKA who lays them before BOHDAN.
For the bread.
For the bread, and the sausage,
BOHDAN enjoying himself.
Throw in that crappy shirt you're
wearing and I might be tempted.
Smiles from the gang. VALKA knows he's being mocked but
he's desperate. His eyes flick down to the sausage.
Then he takes off his shirt. He sits bare-chested, a
tattooed portrait of LENIN on his left breast looking
across at STALIN on his right. BOHDAN deals, and again
VALKA's mate YURI places a padded prison jacket over his
bony shoulders, which he shrugs off irritably, then
offers to BOHDAN.
I don't play for regulation issue
VALKA lights a cigarette.
All done, Valka?
VALKA tries to conceal his mounting tension behind a veil
I go on credit.
3 CONTINUED: ( 3)
VALKA nervously fingers an aluminium crucifix hanging by
a cord from his neck. Etched on the cross a naked woman.
You're already in debt.
VALKA's anxious eyes. They settle on SMITH by the stove.
He speaks in carefully articulated English.
SMITH returns the stare, then slowly approaches.
Take off your coat.
A silence, the criminal gang sensing a showdown. There's
something about SMITH, something steely, unpredictable.
The fire crackles loudly. SMITH all the while holding
[THE DIALOGUE RETURNS TO RUSSIAN.]
He looks at SMITH's companion.
ANDREI goes pale, removes his coat to reveal a decent-
looking patterned wool sweater. He offers the coat.
Let's have the sweater.
Take the coat.
I want the sweater.
ANDREI doesn't move.
VALKA (CONT'D.) (CONT'D)
Your babushka make it for you?
Come on, hand it over.
ANDREI is visibly shaking.
3 CONTINUED: (4) 3
You have no authority, here.
VALKA gets up, moves slowly to ANDREI, a smile on his
lips. Then he casually reaches down as if to tuck his
trousers deeper into his boots, reaches for something,
and in one slow balletic movement, swings up and
stretches out his hand to ANDREI, and ANDREI sobs and
leans to one side.
Was that really necessary?
In the dim light ANDREI's face is grey as he sags to the
floor. None of the other prisoners move to help him, nor
do they show any sign of concern, as VALKA places the
knife back in his boot and returns to the game. YURI
steps forward and strips the sweater from the dead man,
handing it on to VALKA, who passes it to BOHDAN. BOHDAN
examines it professionally, wipes a little blood off his
OK. For the sausage.
The game resumes.
FADE TO BLACK.
FADE UP ON:
4 EXT. GRAVEYARD, FOREST NEAR CAMP 105, SIBERIA - NIGHT 4
Freshly dug graves. Close on one of these, stones piled
in a mound over the grave. Hands into frame moving aside
the stones. Wider to see two PRISONERS, breath steaming
from their mouths, as they work quickly and quietly to
uncover the grave. The older of the two is KHABAROV,
late thirties, the other, LAZAR, late twenties. Furtive
looks over their shoulders as an occasional blade of
light from the watchtower throws them into silhouette.
Here he is.
He reaches out to touch a human toe poking out of the
As they work -
Close on the face of ANDREI, as they continue to uncover
F C'NNTTNTTFD 1
4 CONTINUED: 4
He's not frozen yet, that's lucky.
The remaining stones are removed to find the corpse
dressed in nothing but underwear.
Damn! Picked clean! Bloody
Keep your voice down, be grateful
there's anything left.
They reach into the grave to retrieve the underwear.
A5 OMITTED AS
AB5 INT WASH-HOUSE - NIGHT AB5
LAZAR's hands in water, some kind of tin sink, water
running red as the underwear is rinsed clean of blood.
5 EXT. BARRACKS, CAMP 105 - DAWN 5
A Soviet guard beats a hammer against a hanging length of
6 INT. BARRACK BUILDING - SAME TIME - DAWN 6
Close on the barrack stove, the underwear drying,
KHABAROV's hands into the frame.
As the prisoners rise, follow a hand to hand exchange of
the set of underwear for a hank of tobacco. KHABAROV
having done the deal splits the tobacco with LAZAR.
Moving quickly to complete a second deal, KHABAROV swaps
half his share of the tobacco with another prisoner for
two slices of bread. He waits until the last of the
men leave then he carefully breaks off a corner from one
piece of bread, concealing the rest in a hiding place in
the dirt at the base of his bunk - a glimpse of a cache
of hoarded food and other items.
6 CONTINUED: 6
The saved morsel he places on his tongue, and closes his
eyes. He doesn't chew, just lets it dissolve like the
Eucharist. Then it's gone in a slow swallow and he opens
his eyes. He can hear a guard shouting outside, but he
hesitates, carefully licking his fingers. He stares at
his hand. Close on a spot between his fingers - there's
a crumb there. Into frame, the tip of his tongue as it
slowly and carefully retrieves the tiny speck of bread.
7 EXT. LABOR CAMP 105, SIBERIA - DAWN 7
The camp seen in a distant view - surrounded by double
wire, a collection of weathered timber buildings with
watchtowers placed at regular intervals along the
perimeter. In the distance, dense forest.
Entering frame a column of close to a hundred men march
toward the camp. Following behind is a lorry, carrying
six guards, supplies for their recent journey, and a camp
8 EXT. CAMP GATES - DAWN 8
As they approach one of the prisoners looks up to an arch
stretching across the gates - a hand-painted sign in
Russian subtitled: 'LABOR IS HONOR, GLORY, NOBILITY, AND
The prisoner is JANUSZ, early twenties and he exchanges a
look with the man beside him, TOMASZ, about the same age.
ANOTHER ANGLE shows a line of prisoners, five abreast,
marching toward them on their way to work. They have
their attendant guards and dogs and as the two columns
pass each other the contrast between the half-starved,
ill looking 'old' prisoners and the comparative health of
the 'new', could not be more apparent - 'Is this what we
are to become?' on the faces of the 'new'. We glimpse
some of those already established - they include BOHDAN,
and VALKA, and further back - SMITH and KHABAROV. As
they pass they look across to JANUSZ and TOMASZ, both
Polish, and behind them to VOSS, a tall young Latvian
with a mop of white-blonde hair. Behind VOSS - ZORAN, a
blanket over his three-piece suit. Beside him, another
Pole - KAZIK, at seventeen, the youngest in the group.
9 EXT. 'THE ZONE', CAMP 105 - DAY 9
The newly arrived prisoners assemble between the various
buildings - an area known as the 'ZONE'.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 8.
9 CONTINUED: 9
The camp is being expanded, and everywhere are piles of
cut timber, coils of wire, and work going on replacing
old canvas-sided barracks with new timber ones.
The Spring thaw has turned recently melted snow into
slush, and duck-boards are hastily laid to allow the
Commandant to cross to the assembled prisoners. He walks
with his subordinate and LAZAR who is FOREMAN of the new
camp construction. LAZAR carries a sheaf of plans, and
the COMMANDANT stops, studies a drawing, then impatiently
issues an order dismissing him.
The COMMANDANT mounts a box, accepting a folder of
documents from his subordinate, who has in turn received
them from the escorting guard. The COMMANDANT surveys
the prisoners before him. He's a man in his fifties with
a bland but not unintelligent cast to his features.
He looks up from the collection of documents in his hand.
Enemies of the People! Look about
you...and understand... it is not
our guns, or our dogs, or our
wire, that forms your prison.
Siberia is your prison. All four
million square miles of it. Here
in Camp 105, you will work hard.
Work and you eat. Eat and you
Close on JANUSZ and his friends.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 9.
10-13 OMITTED 10-13
A14 EXT. THE ZONE, CAMP 105 - DAY A14
Later, the newly arrived prisoners exit the wash-house,
heads and beards shaved. In the background a glimpse of
others waiting their turn. To one side of the wash-
house, a pile of their luggage. A couple of guards sort
through their belongings, pocketing the odd item.
JANUSZ, VOSS and KAZIK, heads shaved, exit the hut.
JANUSZ's attention is caught by the men working on
replacing the old stockade wall with a new double barbed-
wire fence. The overseer, LAZAR, gives a signal and a
section of the old wall falls to the ground.
14 EXT. CAMP KITCHEN, THE ZONE - NIGHT 14
The prisoners move in a line toward an open window in the
side of the kitchen building. Here, under the watchful
eye of the cook - one of BODHAN's men - a single serve of
thin soup is slopped into their metal bowls. One has no
bowl, so he uses his hat.
JANUSZ and his friends shuffle toward the window.
Their attention is caught by a group of blind prisoners
feeling their way along the side of the kitchen hut, a
hand on the shoulder of the man in front.
VOSS (TO JANUSZ)
Night blindness. Saw it in the
transit camp.. .vitamin deficiency.
SMITH, a couple of places ahead in the line, turns on
hearing English spoken.
As JANUSZ moves forward he watches several wild-eyed men
scrambling about in a pile of kitchen slops thrown into
the mud by the kitchen door. They find here the odd
scrap of food, or simply soak their fingers in the slime,
then lick them clean.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 10.
14 CONTINUED: 14
SMITH, having been served, moves away, retrieving a
hoarded slice of bread from within his jacket. He dips
it into the soup, raises it to his mouth when a corner of
the bread drops to the ground. One of the garbage-
eaters, dives for it, but SMITH is too quick for him,
placing a boot over the scrap of bread. JANUSZ watches
as SMITH picks up the bread, cleans off the dirt and eats
it, his every move watched by the starving man at his
feet. JANUSZ offers the remainder of his soup to the man
who greedily drinks it. SMITH and JANUSZ stare at each
Planning to survive on half
JANUSZ surprised by the American accented English.
He's an old man.
I'm an old man. But I'll be alive
in the morning. He won't.
He goes to move away, hesitates, turns back to JANUSZ.
'Kindness'. That can kill you
here. You'll learn that.
He places the last morsel of bread in his mouth, and
chewing slowly, turns and walks away.
JANUSZ turns to find KHABAROV beside him looking at
SMITH's retreating back.
He looks back to SMITH walking away toward the barracks.
Stalin doesn't like foreigners.
That includes Poles. You are
Polish aren't you?
JANUSZ still staring after SMITH.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 11.
14 CONTINUED: ( 2)
Yes, I am.
I love you Poles, your burning
sense of injustice, your yearning
(He offers his hand).
Khabarov. Andrei Timofeyevich.
JANUSZ looks at him - he wears a distinctive coat,
trimmed with fur - something refined about him,
'aristocratic' even. He offers his hand, and they shake.
And your 'prayer', may I ask?
58.10 A spy?
That's what they told me.
KHABAROV indicates himself.
58.14. Sabotage, ten years.
They begin walking toward the distant barrack buildings.
And you were in the cavalry?
JANUSZ's suspicions aroused.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 12.
14 CONTINUED: ( 3) 14
How could you know that?
Oh there's that Polish spirit! I
observe things - your demeanor,
your, may I say, certain
'swagger'. 'Cavalryman', that's
how I'd cast you.
He leans forward, whispers.
We've been waiting for you.. .Poor
Poland, Hitler invades from the
West.. .World War,. .days later,
Stalin from the East.
JANUSZ relaxes, smiles.
How could we know Russia would
stab us in the back?
And you were on the Soviet side of
the line, and they arrest you, and
thousands like you. Accuse you of
spying-And they torture you?
You signed a 'confession'?
I wouldn't sign, so they tortured
Usual tactics - they torture a
close friend who names you as a
spy - a neighbor? Your old school
teacher? A friend?
( CONTTNTTFD )
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 13.
14 CONTINUED: (4) 14
KHABAROV looks into JANUSZ's eyes - a pain beyond
speaking. KHABAROV tactfully changes the subject.
I was an actor - moving pictures.
In my last picture I played an
aristocrat. They arrested me
after the film's release.
It was claimed I was elevating the
status of the old nobility.
You got ten years for a
performance in a film?
I've had better notices.
And they enter their hut.
15 INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT 15
The men sitting or lying on their bunks, a little
conversation here and there but most have withdrawn into
themselves, just glad to have survived another day.
JANUSZ looks about him, KHABAROV still by his side.
JANUSZ's attention is caught by the tattooed group
playing cards by the stove. VALKA is playing BOHDAN
again, his losing streak continuing. KHABAROV speaks
just above a whisper.
Who are they?
Professional criminals, your
ordinary run of the mill murderers
and thieves, don't stare at them.
The guards let them run things in
here. They are to be feared.
Why would they let them 'run
(CONTTNTT} ) 1
Revised 3/5/09 (Green) 14.
15 CONTINUED: 15
They are considered the by-product
of bourgeoisie society and
therefore 'Friends of the People'.
We political prisoners are
'Enemies of the People'. Russia
has become one vast prison - slave
labor. You see even this camp is
expanding to take in another
JANUSZ looks over to a group of Asiatic prisoners.
From the far reaches of the Soviet
Empire - all scooped up in the net
like so many minnows, poor
And do any ever wriggle out of the
KHABAROV considers a moment, then leads him away from the
surrounding prisoners. He lowers his voice to a whisper.
You should be more careful.
Stalin has eyes and ears
everywhere, even in here.
He leans closer to JANUSZ.
In a camp like this you'll be dead
in a year. If not literally then
And how long have you been here?
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 15.
15 CONTINUED: ( 2) 15
Eleven months and twenty-nine
KHABAROV offers his hand.
Good night, friend.
16-17 OMITTED 16-17
A18 EXT. THE ZONE, CAMP 105 - DAWN A18
In bone-chilling cold the prisoners form up in their
brigades as a guard begins counting them. JANUSZ looks
toward a barrack building where the bodies of several men
who died overnight are being carried out and laid on the
ground - among them the 'garbage-eater' from the night
before. JANUSZ glances over toward SMITH who stares
impassively ahead. GUARD NO. 1 is visible, checking
paper work at the camp gates.
AB18 EXT. EDGE OF FOREST, ABOVE MINE - DAY AB18
Follow a bird as it hops from branch to branch, pausing
every now and then to listen to the sounds of axes and
saws drifting from the forest floor.
JANUSZ and his friends - VOSS, TOMASZ, KAZIK and ZORAN -
work at trimming felled trees of branches, and then
sawing them into lengths.
SMITH and his gang work nearby. He watches JANUSZ
peeling strips of bark from a pine-tree and stuffing them
in his pocket.
KHABAROV, too, works here with a third gang, cutting and
trimming the trees.
AC18 MINE SITE - DAY AC 18
On the valley floor, below towering cliffs, some 150 men
haul rocks in wooden wheelbarrows from the mine entrance
across a maze of tracks to waiting trucks.
A fire blazes in a 44 gallon drum set up in an open-sided
wooden shelter. Here BOHDAN and his criminal associates
supervise the work. VALKA has fallen on a slippery slope
within the Urka hierarchy following his losses and
( CC)NTTNTTFD )
AC18 CONTINUED: AC18
BOHDAN amuses himself by throwing stones at VALKA,
warning him away from the fire like a stray dog.
Guards placed at vantage points, stamp their feet to keep
warm, occasionally shouting at the exhausted prisoners to
work harder or move faster. Death is casual here. A man
falls. If found to be dead he is left where he fell,
bodies to be collected and counted at the end of the day.
AD18 EXT. MINE ENTRANCE - DAY AD18
JANUSZ and his group dump a load of trimmed logs in a bay
by the mine entrance. He hesitates as the others move
away, staring into the black hole leading into the
mountain. Eerie sounds drift up from deep below. A look
of utter dread on his face.
18 EXT. EDGE OF FOREST, ABOVE MINE - DUSK 18
The prisoners work hard to fill their quotas - VOSS
swings his axe like a demon, but even with his
contribution the cut pile of logs is a long way from the
mark showing at the top of the storage bay.
BOHDAN, the overseer, moves amongst the various working
gangs, measuring their completed piles of logs. JANUSZ's
group are still only half way to a full quota. KHABAROV
leaves his gang and approaches JANUSZ.
Quickly now, half-quota means half-
rations. Quota is Law here.
No-one could meet that quota even
if they were fed and rested.
KHABAROV calls for them to follow him. He leads them at
a jog deeper into the trees - pointing out various shapes
buried in fallen leaves and drifts of snow. He clears
away the leaves and snow to reveal a pile of old grey cut
Cut last year and never collected!
Quickly hide them inside your
fresh cut timber!
BOHDAN moving closer. It becomes a race to transport all
the old logs to their pile and to conceal them inside the
fresh cut logs.
They just make it, but BOHDAN notices the end of an old
grey log poking out from the center of the stack. He
stops his measuring of their quota. A tense moment, then
he nods and leaves. KHABAROV crosses from his gang to
He knows, but he doesn't care, as
long as his arse is protected.
This is 'Tufta'. Bull-shit.
JANUSZ nods his thanks.
19-22 OMITTED 19-22
A23 EXT. A DIRT ROAD THROUGH A FOREST - DUSK A23
The long march back to camp. JANUSZ peers left and right
toward the beckoning forest. Beside him ZORAN senses his
friend might just take off then and there. He places a
restraining hand on his arm, as a guard's voice drifts
through the still air:
GUARD NO. 1
A step to the left, a step to the
right, and I shoot!
23 INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT
VOSS and KAZIK are by the stove unwinding their long foot-
cloths that most wear in place of socks. KAZIK hangs the
damp cloths on the stove to dry and sets out to examine
his toes, which are in poor shape, suffering the early
stages of frostbite. TOMASZ sits nearby sketching the
scene on a sheet of birch-bark, using a piece of
WIDER to see VALKA, looking on in admiration. TOMASZ is
uneasy despite the implied compliment. VALKA hands him a
sheet of paper, and the stub of a pencil.
You do for me.
23 CONTINUED: 23
You want me to make a sketch of
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 18.
23 CONTINUED: ( 2) 23
No. Not me.
24 A BUNK NEAR THE STOVE - SAME TIME 24
BOHDAN lies on his bunk, surrounded by several of his
tattooed henchmen listening to a story. The storyteller,
looking rather uncomfortable, is ZORAN. His Russian is
good but for a moment his memory fails him as he
desperately tries to recall the next beat in the story.
Keep going and you'll get some
bread - so how does this 'Long
John Silver' find the treasure?
I knew a type like that. Remember
Igor? He had one leg.
(Then to ZORAN)
The story resumes, ZORAN giving it all he's got, when
VALKA appears a sketch in his hand. He passes it to
BOHDAN. CLOSE on the sketch - a lusty naked woman.
VALKA makes a gesture implying masturbation. BOHDAN
examines the drawing before licking the back of it,
lifting his shirt, sticking it to his chest, then
lowering his shirt again. He waves VALKA away.
25 JANUSZ'S BUNK - SAME TIME 25
CLOSE on a shirt.
The shirt lies on JANUSZ's bunk and it's moving. A tiny
subtle movement, but just perceptible, the movement
caused by hundreds of lice.
to see this is JANUSZ's view, KHABAROV there too,
watching over his shoulder.
For the lice I have an old folk
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 19.
25 CONTINUED: 25
He picks up the shirt and walks toward the door of the
barrack, indicating JANUSZ should follow. As he passes
his bunk he scoops up his own shirt.
26 EXT. CAMP PERIMETER - NIGHT 26
KHABAROV leads him toward the wire. From somewhere deep
in the bowels of the earth, a low sinister rumbling, the
very ground itself shaking momentarily. JANUSZ stops,
while KHABAROV keeps walking.
The mines. They blast at night.
He pauses to let JANUSZ catch up, then looking furtively
about him, he crouches by a drift of snow.
JANUSZ hands him his shirt. He scrapes a hole in the
snow, buries the shirt, leaving only the tip showing. He
does the same with his own shirt.
We're going to leave them here
JANUSZ stares up at the wire, then to a distant
watchtower, its searchlight briefly illuminating him.
KHABAROV follows his eye-line.
It can be done.
JANUSZ holding his breath.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 20.
26 CONTINUED: 26
There is a way through the wire.
JANUSZ stares at him.
Lazar, you've seen him, my
associate, overseer of
He nods toward an area where stockade wall is being
replaced with double wire.
Few ever escape the camps. I've
waited for someone like you,
someone with the strength and will
to see it through.
Can't go West - apart from the
Soviets, there's the Germans.
East? All Soviet right to the
Pacific.. .it would have to be
KHABAROV nods, beams at him like a teacher with a very
They marched as due North from the
railway, I glimpsed a lake, but I
have no idea where we are.
KHABAROV squats down, JANUSZ joins him, and smoothing out
a drift of snow KHABAROV sketches a map of a lake and
indicates the location of the camp.
We believe about 500 kilometers
north of Lake Baikal.
We could follow the edge of the
Lake, it runs due South.
Then on to the Trans-Siberian
Railway. Cross that and you're
close to the Mongolian border.
( C.ONTTNTTFT) )
Revised 3/4/09 (Yellow) 21.
26 CONTINUED: ( 2) 26
JANUSZ's eyes burn with excitement. KHABAROV takes his
arm, as if drawing energy from the younger man.
Spring is already upon us. It
would have to be next autumn.
It's 1000 kilometers to the
border, maybe more. We need
careful planning, stock-pile food.
I've already begun - trading,
dealing. You could do the same.
In the Autumn the weather is
predictable. We need the early
snows to cover our tracks.
What about my friends?
If you trust them. But they won't
But they'd die free men.
KHABAROV offers his hand, and they shake.
A27 INT. BARRACK - NIGHT A27
KHABAROV and JANUSZ enter, having buried the shirt in the
snow. KHABAROV indicates LAZAR, sitting on a bunk , and
That's Lazar. He was architect.
In Kiev.Now he is grave robber -
me too. (Whispers) We sneak out
at night.Through the wire.
He moves away.
27 EXT. CAMP - DAWN 27
To the echoing clang of the hammer and iron, JANUSZ and
KHABAROV hurry to where they buried their clothing.
Revised 3/4/09 (Yellow) 21A.
27 CONTINUED: 27
CLOSE on the tips of the cloth showing above the snow - a
teeming mound of lice on each.
WIDER, as they shake their clothing free of the lice, and
hurry over to join the assembly of prisoners at the
kitchen servery window for their meagre breakfast ration.
At the same time the morning ritual of carrying out the
bodies of those who have died overnight is underway. The
corpses are stacked like cords of wood for burial.
JANUSZ pauses, a muttered prayer on his lips. Then he's
passing the hospital barracks - the usual crowd of
desperately ill prisoners hoping to be admitted, to be
excused another day of the killing work, the majority
turned away. He joins the line at the kitchen. The
days' bread ration is being weighed and issued. If not
exactly 500 grams a little is added or subtracted, the
cook keeping trimmed slices, placing them in a tin.
28 EXT. THE ZONE/CAMP EXTERIOR - DAWN 28
Having been counted once, inside the camp, the brigade of
prisoners is marched outside the gates where the armed
guards who will escort them to work are waiting. GUARD
NO. 1 begins counting them again. It's much colder than
usual, prisoners beating their arms to keep warm, a high
wind blowing. Khabarov stands with JANUSZ.
Temperature is dropping. Below 60
they're not supposed to send us
out. Know how to tell the
temperature? You see frosty fog -
it's 40 below. If you exhale
easily but in a rasping fashion?
50 below. When your spit freezes?
More than 60 below.
He hoiks and spits. Close on the ball of spit mid-air.
Freeze-frame. It's a solid glittering crystal of ice.
29 OMITTED 29
A30 EXT. ROAD THROUGH FOREST - DAY A30
The freezing wind has picked up considerably, driving
sleet against the column of prisoners, forcing them to a
halt in an open snow-covered area. The column halts, the
guards anxiously confer - 'to go back or continue on'?
The prisoners shiver in the biting cold, some collapse,
their fellow prisoners unwilling or unable to help them.
JANUSZ and his friends find themselves near SMITH and
watch as he hails a GUARD.
(Shouts in Russian)
We need to make shelter.
GUARD NO. 1
Who asked you?
We'll freeze to death in less than
GUARD NO. 1
I couldn't give a fuck if you drop
dead right now.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 23.
A30 CONTINUED: A30
Yes, but lose 200 men and you'll
have some forms to fill out.
Could go badly for you.
The GUARD dimly considers this. The prisoners begin to
stir, some shouting out that they should turn back. The
GUARD alarmed, orders the prisoners to the ground - other
guards level their rifles as the mass of men lay down on
the freezing ground. All but SMITH.
We could move into the forest,
GUARD NO. 1
The GUARD is about to leave when to his astonishment, and
that of the other prisoners, SMITH begins to walk toward
the forest edging the road. The GUARD draws his pistol.
On the ground ZORAN lies beside JANUSZ, as they watch the
GUARD NO. 1 shouts for SMITH to return, others raise
their rifles, waiting for his order to fire. He is
conflicted, and after a tense moment gestures for them to
lower their weapons.
GUARD NO. 1 (CONT'D)
Let the prisoners take shelter in
the trees! Shoot anyone who makes
a run for it!
JANUSZ stares after SMITH, admiring of his reckless
AB30 FOREST, LATER - DAY AB30
The men work frantically collecting fallen timber. SMITH
watches as VOSS picks up a massive log, places it on his
shoulder and carries it to where JANUSZ is supervising
the building of their shelter. Most of the other
prisoners have just piled snow up around bundles of
sticks to make windbreaks, but JANUSZ is building
something more elaborate. SMITH's eyes miss nothing as
he notes JANUSZ's skill and the way the others work as a
team under his direction.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 24.
AB30 CONTINUED: AB30
Some distance away VALKA huddles alone against the trunk
of a tree. He too, is watching JANUSZ organize shelter
for the group.
AC30 LATER STILL.
JANUSZ calls KHABAROV to join them, but he declines
politely. He moves on to find SMITH - invites him back
to their improvised shelter. As SMITH sits, ZORAN offers
You are brave man - Dragan Zoran,
Yugoslav this is Janusz
Wieszczek the youngster is
Kazik, both Polish.
(They nod to SMITH)
Andrejs Voss, Latvian.
(It's a League of Nations.)
English our common language!
And you're ?
Your first name?
As the blizzard grows in intensity, JANUSZ reaches into
his pocket for strips of pine-bark collected earlier. He
hands them out to his companions. They watch as he chews
on the bark. The others follow his example.
Watching from a short distance away is GUARD NO. 1. He
takes note of the group as future troublemakers.
AD30 INT. BARRACKS - DAWN AD30
The men are stirring, struggling up to face another day,
when the door opens, and in a flurry of snow, GUARD NO. 1
enters with another soldier. He orders SMITH, JANUSZ and
his group to fall out. As he passes SMITH -
GUARD NO. 1
You don't like being out in the
cold, do you Cowboy?
And as he moves away SMITH mutters to JANUSZ.
Might as well have shot us
JANUSZ and the others look at him.
We're for the mine.
30 INT. MINE - DAY 30
A labyrinth of twisting tunnels leading down into the
frozen earth. Dim lights silhouette ghostly figures
working with pick and shovel. Occasionally the muffled
sound of a distant explosion as a gallery is blasted yet
deeper. Mingling with these eerie sounds something more
sinister - the hacking coughs of those who've done the
most time in this frozen hell.
The man working beside JANUSZ wields a pick, JANUSZ
shovelling out the rock as it breaks up. The man pauses
to light a smoke. His fingers have moulded themselves
into the shape of his pick-handle - they are like hooks,
the man unable to straighten his fingers. He holds the
cigarette with the tips of his fingers, as if his hand
was an artificial limb. JANUSZ looks around desperately,
fighting off an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia.
Despite the cold, sweat beads on his forehead.
31 INT. DEEPER IN THE MINE - DAY 31
KAZIK and a man known as 'THE PROF', drag a cart laden
with rock up a steep incline. They wear horse collars
attached to the cart by leather harnesses.
31 CONTINUED: 31
THE PROF's wasted frame and sallow complexion are in
contrast to his lively intelligent eyes. He says
something to KAZIK in Russian. He shakes his head. He
doesn't speak Russian. THE PROF tries German, then
They share a smile.
I was only saying, these collars -
the same used by ancient Egyptian
Yes, but on their horses probably.
No. Same. On people.
How do you know that?
I was professor of Egyptology.
KAZIK manages a look at his companion, before putting
even more effort into dragging the load.
32 INT. ANOTHER PART OF THE MINE - DAY 32
A man, enveloped in clouds of white steam, points a long
pipe at the frozen rock and gravel - the heat making it
easier for the pick and shovel men to dig. This is the
'POINT-MAN', and he opens and shuts valves on the pipe-
stem which regulates the hot steam that travels along
pipes leading back to a primitive boiler. Men try to
warm themselves by working near the POINT-MAN, and when
the guards are not around they clutch the pipes in their
hands gaining a few moments of precious warmth.
SMITH knows how to work the system and has found a spot
here working beside the POINT-MAN. He looks across to
see JANUSZ staggering up the slope toward the distant
mine entrance, where a guard can be seen silhouetted
against the light. He watches a moment, something not
right about JANUSZ. He lays his shovel aside and hurries
33 INT./EXT. TUNNEL - DAY 33
JANUSZ scrambling toward the surface. He stumbles, falls
to his knees. He looks down, sees something on the
JANUSZ'S VISION - DAY
Something buried in the dirt and rubble - paving stones.
He clears away the debris to reveal a stone path.
Looking up he sees the path leads to a gate framed by a
hedge. His P.O.V. as he moves up the path to the gate.
His unseen hand opens the gate. Now the view is of the
path as he walks forward - a series of worn flagstones,
then the camera tilts up to see a closed front door. A
pan to the left of the door - to see a loose brick in the
34 INT./EXT. TUNNEL - DAY 34
CLOSE on JANUSZ, as SMITH is suddenly beside him,
grabbing his arm and swinging him into the darkness of an
Are you crazy? They'll shoot you.
Got to get out!
SMITH stares at him. He's delirious and begins to shake
with cold. SMITH grabs his shoulder and drags him back
to where the POINT'-MAN works, thrusting JANUSZ's hands
around the pipe. The POINT-MAN waves them away but SMITH
bribes him with a slice of bread. SMITH turns back to
JANUSZ - the warmth of the pipe beginning to have its
It can be done.
What can be done?
He knows a way through the wire.
SMITH slaps a hand over his mouth, glancing at the Point-
Man, before dragging JANUSZ further away.
34 CONTINUED: 34
He has a plan.
His name is Khabarov.
Now SMITH understands.
You know him?
He has no intention of escaping.
He's aliar. Been here foryears
-seeksout new arrivals, mewhen
Ifirstcame here. He justlikes
totalkabout escape. I'veknown
others like him.
Why should I believe you?
(shakes his head)
Nothing is for nothing in the
camps. From you he gets your
energy, your spirit. You feed his
'dream' of escape. You help keep
him alive. He's no more than a
You're a cold bastard, Mister.
I'm still alive, that's all I
know. But I won't be in six
months. And neither will you.
Not in the mines. So, if you're
serious about making a run for it -
34 CONTINUED: (2) 34
I thought you were a loner?
Can't be done alone. Besides you
have a weakness that could be
useful to me.
And what's that?
Compassion. If anything happens
to me, I'm counting on you
JANUSZ knows he's not joking.
35 EXT. CAMP KITCHEN, SAME TIME - NIGHT 35
It is snowing heavily, and after swallowing their soup,
JANUSZ and his friends walk back to the barracks. KAZIK
stumbles, and is helped to his feet by VOSS. He limps on
to the barrack a hand resting for support on VOSS'
shoulder. JANUSZ is preoccupied and he hesitates at t he
door, turns, and looks back. After a moment staring at
the ground he hurries inside.
36 INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT 36
JANUSZ has a puzzled KHABAROV by the arm, guiding him
back to the door.
37 EXT. BARRACKS - NIGHT 37
He points to the ground - CLOSE on footprints as they
rapidly disappear under the heavy snowfall.
KHABAROV looks from the footprints to JANUSZ, a horrified
look on his face.
It's a passing storm!
It'll do, it'll cover our tracks.
Impossible! We need preparation,
detailed plans, maps
The timing will never be perfect,
they won't expect it now!
But the distances! And food!
What about food?
We've been trading, the American
is with us. He has food, you have
How long will that last?
I've spent half my life in the
woods and mountains. We'll live
off the land.
It can't be done!
JANUSZ shocked at the change in his friends' demeanor,
the appalling realization that SMITH was right about him.
He seizes his arm.
How do we get through the wire?
I don't know what you're talking
Your friend, Lazar, he knows
A look of fear crosses KHABAROV's face. Someone behind
JANUSZ. JANUSZ turns. VALKA, a few paces away watching
them. KHABAROV scuttles back inside the barracks.
JANUSZ hesitates a moment, then follows.
A38 INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT A38
In the last minutes before lights out the would-be
escapees make discreet preparations. Clothing and other
items are traded for food and tobacco. The COOK and
BOHDAN are at the center of the camp black-market and
most of the trading is done with them. TOMASZ trades
more pornographic sketches with BOHDAN while KAZIK tries
to trade his scarf for a pair of boots - his own being in
poor shape. VOSS sits beside him, and notices that KAZIK
does not look directly at his shoes or the scarf, but is
doing everything by feel. As they move away VOSS
whispers to him.
You can't see, can you?
A look of panic crosses the boy's face.
Don't leave me behind!
Promise me, Andrejs! I could keep
a hand on your shoulder by night,
and in the day I can see just
fine. I won't hold you up.
Please don't tell them. I'll die
JANUSZ and SMITH sit in a darkened corner working on
LAZAR. They want to know how to get through the wire.
He is reluctant until SMITH produces a wristwatch from
his boot. The strapless watch, of good make, settles the
deal, just as the light flickers and goes out plunging
the barracks into darkness.
AB38 EXT. THE CAMP - NIGHT AB38
Several shots of the wind driven snow whipping about the
38 INT. BARRACKS - LATER THAT NIGHT 38
The wooden building creaks and heaves like a ship at sea
as the storm builds into a fully fledged blizzard. The
sounds of the sleeping men, the usual cries and groans,
hacking coughs, all mix into the howl of the storm.
CLOSE on the conspirators lying awake - SMITH, VOSS,
KAZIK, TOMASZ and ZORAN. SMITH looks across to JANUSZ,
catches his eye. A signal from JANUSZ, 'not yet'.
KHABAROV too, is awake. He jumps at any unexpected
sound, checks his horde of food in the hiding place at
the base of his bunk, as if expecting at any moment to be
attacked and robbed. He sees a shadow. Someone moving
about near him, a look of terror on his face.
JANUSZ lies on his back listening to the storm. A
movement beside him, then a knife pressed against his
throat. It's VALKA. He grins, steel-capped teeth, his
cross dangling from his neck. JANUSZ goes still.
There are no secrets here.
What do you want?
The game goes against me. Small
debt - lose fingers. Big debt,
they take head. Me, big debt.
But one thing I never gamble is my
He removes the knife from JANUSZ's throat, tilts the
blade to show a wolf's head incised into the blade.
In forest you need knife to
survive. Without? A miracle.
He leans in close to JANUSZ's ear.
You need a knife, and I need
miracle to get me out of here.
With a conjurer's ease he spins the knife in his fingers
and arches his eyebrows - 'Deal'?
39 EXT. CAMP PERIMETER - DAWN 39
Heavy snow still falling as shadowy figures run toward
the wire. Shouted commands and the beam of a searchlight
isolates them - not the fugitives, but a group of guards.
They've found a gap in the wire. A great yelping and
baying as the dog-handlers join them, releasing the dogs
into the gap, then following them toward the distant
40 EXT. FOREST, SIBERIA - DAWN 40
Then seven fugitives, now including VALKA, weave in and
out of the trees at a fast jog. Snow whirls about them,
as, gasping for breath, they attempt to keep up with
JANUSZ. In the rear KAZIK holds onto VOSS' rope belt,
occasionally stumbling, but VOSS has him up and on his
feet fast enough to keep up with the others.
JANUSZ pauses briefly every now and then to study the
moss growing on the North side of tree-trunks, before
plunging on Southward.
41 FURTHER ALONG 41
They top a rise to a clearing and pause to catch their
breath. The snow continues to fall but JANUSZ will allow
no rest and moves off without a backward glance.
42 FURTHER STILL 42
JANUSZ is out in front when SMITH stops, resting his
hands on his knees, gulping for air. The others stop
too, VALKA dropping to his knees. JANUSZ runs back to
VALKA, drags him to his feet.
Get up. Or we die right now. You
know how fast dogs travel.
He turns to the others.
Run, damn you! Run!
He moves to SMITH.
Is it time for me to carry you?
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 34.
42 CONTINUED: 42
SMITH waves him away, gets up and continues.
43 EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - DAY 43
A feeble light penetrates the forest as day begins. The
snow still falling heavily as the men stumble into a deep
depression, and facing a steep climb find they can go no
further. KAZIK turns his face to the light. His sight
is returning with the day and he nods gratefully to VOSS.
In the deep stillness the sound of distant voices. They
look about them. Hard to tell the direction of the
sound. JANUSZ is on his feet - there's plenty of fallen
timber but no obvious place to hide. He draws a circle
in the snow, mimes digging to the others, then turns to
VALKA has never taken an order from a 'Political' in his
With a glance to the others he reluctantly draws his
knife from his boot and passes it to JANUSZ.
While the group furiously dig, JANUSZ collects and trims
fallen timber. As the hole deepens, JANUSZ begins to
make a trellis roof. The voices change direction. They
go still. Are they surrounded? They resume their
digging with greater intensity, the hole now more than a
meter at its deepest, JANUSZ placing the branches to
cover their hide.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 35.
44-46 OMITTED 44-46
A47 EXT FOREST - DAY A47
Several angles on the forest. Utter stillness.Light
AB47 EXT. THE HIDE, FOREST - DAY AB47
Camera moves slowly toward their hide, wisps of vapor
rise from below the surface. The Russian voices are
AC47 INT. THE HIDE - DAY AC47
It's like an Indian sweat-lodge as the fugitives sit
shoulder to shoulder in a tight circle, ears straining,
sweat running down their faces. The voices closer still.
A tense moment, and then they are passing, the voices
fading into silence.
47 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, SIBERIA - NIGHT 47
The strong wind drives snow and sleet horizontally, and
as they push forward they cover their faces to keep the
snow from throat and lungs. VALKA, his arm wrapped
defensively across his eyes, staggers and falls to his
knees. JANUSZ turns back, drags him to his feet. KAZIK
hangs onto the back of VOSS' coat, VOSS at times
literally dragging him along.
Revised 3/11/09 (Goldenrod) 36.
48 EXT. A TREE, FOREST - NIGHT 48
With VALKA's knife JANUSZ cuts a square of bark, pulls it
from the tree, cuts two triangular holes some centimeters
apart, then rams the base of the bark piece into VALKA'S
collar. It's a crude mask.
49 EXT. THE PROCESSION, FOREST - NIGHT 49
The group, all now wearing the improvised snow-masks,
push forward against the wind, looking like a tribe from
some distant age dressed in ceremonial masks.
50 EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - NIGHT. 50
JANUSZ in the lead, some fifty paces ahead, but he's
stopped, thigh-deep in the snow, as still as a statue.
The others catch up, puzzled. SMITH calls to him, lifts
his mask. He's asleep. SMITH shakes him back to
consciousness, all the while the storm continues at full
We've got to make fire!
No! You saw how close they were!
KAZIK sinks to the snow, then ZORAN.
We die either way, might as well
A51 EXT. FOREST, LATER - NIGHT A51
A hole scraped out of the snow and a wind-break of fallen
timber, is all they can manage in their exhausted state.
Down in the hole JANUSZ is striking a spark from a flint.
Some are fading fast, KAZIK keeps falling asleep, to be
shaken awake by TOMASZ. MR. SMITH is splitting wood into
ever finer shavings, ready to feed a nascent fire. Still
the damp kindling will not catch.
They draw closer together for warmth, draping their arms
over each other's shoulders. ZORAN's head drops to his
chest. TOMASZ shakes him.
Sleep and you die. Tell us a
Revised 3/11/09 (Goldenrod) 37.
A51 CONTINUED: A51
The other look to ZORAN, and fighting the desire to
sleep, he begins. VALKA loves a good story, and despite
their desperate situation he listens with the attention
and concentration of a small child.
Once upon a time, in the days of
wooden ships, there was a great
storm in far away seas. A
merchant ship hurried toward big
rocks, lightening in the sky, the
waves as high as house-tops.
Very, very cold, brrr! The ship
smashed onto the rocks, the
sailors cried in fear, called out
to God, but they all drowned. All
but one, Mr. Robinson Crusoe. He
woke to find himself all alone on
a desert island. For many years
he lived without any human
companions, until one day he saw
something shocking! What was it?
A human footprint. He was no
longer alone. But was the
stranger friend or foe? Another
ship wrecked sailor? Or, a
All turn as a flicker of flame begins at the base of the
kindling. While JANUSZ blows at the flame, MR. SMITH
feeds in small shavings. The group watch with the awe
and wonder usually reserved for child-birth. Then
everyone is making a contribution - adding a few leaves,
or tiny twigs, like offerings, as the fire grows and
AB51 EXT. FOREST, CAMPFIRE - DAWN AB51
A comfortable blaze, the group, minus JANUSZ, sleep or
drowse in the life-giving warmth, when a pile of snow
lands on the fire. The others react. It's JANUSZ. He
heaps on more snow and the fire sputters out.
By the time the others are on their feet JANUSZ is almost
out of sight and they hurry to catch up, fearful of being
AC51 EXT./INT. SHELTER, FOREST - DAY AC51
Ruins, deep in the forest. From the overgrown rubble
they build a shelter, discovering as they do, evidence
that this was once a small, remote, Soviet gulag.
Revised 3/11/09 (Goldenrod) 37A.
AC51 CONTINUED: AC51
LATER, the fugitives sit shoulder to shoulder in a tight
circle. They shiver in their padded jackets, rub frozen
limbs. VALKA looks up to find SMITH staring at him.
You stare at me like the snake at
the rabbit or is it the other
VALKA turns to the others with a silver-toothed smile,
He teach me English. Speak good,
huh? Bread for words, wasn't it
SMITH holds his gaze a moment before being distracted by
a thumping sound outside. The group go very still. A
second thump, overhead this time. VALKA draws his knife.
A trickle of snow falls through the vent in the roof.
Snow, falling from trees.
They relax a little.
When can we travel by day?
When I say.
AC51 CONTINUED: (2) AC51
KAZIK glances at VOSS.
How far have we come?
Twenty, thirty kilometers.
Is that all?
Less, if we've been going in
circles, like the chicken without
How can you tell we're heading
He reads the trees, don't you?
Something like that.
He spreads out a piece of cloth on the snow at his feet.
Alright, let's see what you've
No one moves. JANUSZ reaches into his own pockets,
emptying the contents onto the cloth - several slices of
bread, half a kilo of buckwheat, some dried meat, a
swatch of tobacco. SMITH goes next with a larger store
of bread and a little salt. VOSS has a collection of
small fish-heads which he adds to the store. TOMASZ,
KAZIK and ZORAN make their contributions. They stare
grimly at their limited food supply. Various other items
are added - a razor blade, a length of cord, a piece of
barbed-wire, etc. SMITH picks up the barbed wire,
VALKA reluctantly reaches into his coat - something
familiar about it with its distinctive fur-lined collar.
That's Khabarov's coat.
AC51 CONTINUED: ( 3) AC51
He smiles at JANUSZ as he produces a bulging sack from
inside his coat.
From the sack he produces KHABAROV's hoarded supply of
food and other items. Off JANUSZ's reaction -
He was going to inform. Don't
worry. I talk to him. Everything
He puts the goods back in the sack and goes to place it
inside his coat.
JANUSZ reaches out for the sack of food. VALKA glances
at the others, then passes it to him. TOMASZ has already
begun to organize seven slices of bread laying one of
VOSS's fish heads on each. one. He hands them out. They
eat in silence, savoring every bite. ZORAN removes the
fish-head, passing it back to TOMASZ. Then he places a
thin layer of snow on the bread like a canape. He eats
daintily, his little finger extended like a dowager at a
tea party, raising a smile from his exhausted companions.
AD51 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT. AD51
The wind is rising, whipping flurries of snow through the
trees. SMITH and JANUSZ are in the lead. SMITH refers
back to VALKA.
You've made a bargain with the
Have you got a knife?
They move on in silence, JANUSZ not liking his bargain
any more than SMITH.
AE51 LATER, THAT NIGHT AE51
SMITH finds himself walking beside VALKA.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 40.
AE51 CONTINUED: AE51
For direction he looks at grass
and mosses, what's that? I swear
to God he better know what he's
You should be grateful you're here
Gratitude is for dogs.
He moves away from SMITH, his eyes fixed on JANUSZ, who
is again studying moss on the side of a tree.
51 EXT. FOREST - DAWN 51
The group in the shelter of the trees. The sky is
overcast but at least it's not too cold. Everywhere
about is deep snow from the recent storm. TOMASZ
prepares a meal from their dry rations, small portions
for men who have expended so much energy. KAZIK examines
his swollen blistered feet. VALKA has his boots off,
VALKA (TO KAZIK)
Clean inside boots, foot-cloths.
KAZIK copies him.
Man on run - one tiny piece of
sand can make cripple, I swear to
The others are listening, and some do likewise.
52 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT 52
With lengths of wood as 'ski-poles', the group begin to
make up lost time. VOSS has lashed his rope-belt to
KAZIK who walks behind him. SMITH wonders about this,
but says nothing. They pause at the top of a rise
amongst the trees, on hearing the sound of dogs howling
Wolves it's only wolves.
Relieved, they continue forward.
'Only wolves', great.
A53 THE SUN
From behind clouds, the sun appears, shafting light
toward the earth.
EXT. RIDGE, MOUNTAIN TOP, SIBERIA - DAY 53
The upturned faces of the fugitives. Sun worshipers all.
JANUSZ a short distance away. He plants his 'ski-pole'
in the snow, marking the tip of its shadow with a pine-
cone. They watch as he draws a line in the snow from the
second marker - about a foot in length. Then he stands,
and with the toe of his left foot at the first pine-cone
and the toe of his right foot at the end of the line in
the snow, he points, calling to them.
South! To Lake Baikal!
Cheers from the watching group.
Now we travel by day.
They move off down toward a distant valley, ZORAN the
last to leave, doubt on his face as he studies the series
of seemingly endless forested hills stretching before
A62 LATER STILL - DAY
The group push on with renewed energy. VALKA hurries to
keep up with JANUSZ.
You are the 'Pakhan'.
Revised 3/17/09 (Cherry) 42.
A62 CONTINUED: A62
Boss of criminals.
We're not criminals, we're
escaping from criminals.
I swear to God you win my respect
with your sticks and pine-cones.
I'll stand between you and death.
You want to be my bodyguard?
It's the Urka way. You have me
and you have the Wolf.
He touches the knife in its bark sheath at his belt.
JANUSZ increases the pace, VALKA pushing himself to keep
up with his 'Pakhan'.
62 EXT. LATER, FIRESIDE - DUSK 62
The fugitives settle for the coming night. As TOMASZ
unpacks their meagre food supply JANUSZ sketches a map on
a piece of birch-bark. The other sit exhausted, some
close to sleep, except SMITH who is working the piece of
barbed wire from KHABAROV's stash.
I have us here somewhere.
Above Lake Baikal their former camp is marked. South of
the lake, the Trans-Siberian Railway, a little further
South the Russo/Mongolian border. With a twig he points
to a spot seemingly not far from the prison camp.
WIDER to see the disappointed faces of the group - the
distance yet to cover overwhelming.
Are you going all the way?
To Mongolia? No. I go further.
The first SMITH has heard of this. TOMASZ turns from
examining their store of food.
Revised 3/17/09 (Cherry) 43.
62 CONTINUED: 62
We have food for another week.
We need meat.
I can make traps.
We'll be moving too fast to wait
We find farms, villages, get food
There's a bounty on our heads.
We steal it. At night. They
We're not thieves.
Then I'll steal it, and I'll eat.
You can watch.
SMITH is working the length of barbed-wire someone added
earlier to their communal store. His fingers are
bleeding as he struggles to separate the strands of wire.
ZORAN (TO SMITH)
ZORAN puzzled, but TOMASZ gets it.
He's making a fish-hook.
JANUSZ smiles at SMITH's ingenuity.
It's how we'll survive isn't it,
Fish? I don't eat fish.
Revised 3/17/09 (Cherry) 44.
62 CONTINUED: ( 2) 62
Then you'll die.
KAZIK has a far-away look in his sight-less eyes. He
speaks in Polish to JANUSZ.
What does he say?
He asked Janusz if he believes in
This has come from seemingly nowhere.
Save your philosophy. Concentrate
on keeping up with us instead.
He gets up and goes in search of more wood, the others
surprised at his cold tone.
The rest of the group also begin to prepare their camp.
Most gather wood while TOMASZ, the 'quartermaster', makes
their meal, and JANUSZ the fire. VOSS keeps an eye on
KAZIK who, demonstrating his independence while it's
still light, and his desire to contribute, returns with a
load of wood, turning back into the forest for more.
Others gather wood, and as the light fades, begin to take
up positions by the growing fire, roll cigarettes, etc.
VOSS looks anxiously for KAZIK. He has not returned.
63 OMITTED 63
64 OMITTED 64
A65 EXT. FOREST - DUSK A65
KAZIK lost. He moves along a right to left trajectory,
i.e. North, heading away for the campsite, his sight
beginning to fade with the light.
65 EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT 65
The group range out from the fire calling KAZIK's name.
VOSS turns to JANUSZ.
He has night-blindness.
Revised 3/17/09 (Cherry) 44A.
66 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT 66
KAZIK stumbling through the whiteout. He stops. Did he
hear his name? He moves on, pleased to find by his side
the Professor from the mine.
66 CONTINUED: 66
I thought I was alone!
I've been walking with you for
I'll just sit for a minute.
The PROF. sits beside him.
Not far to go.
He points, and KAZIK sees - the Pyramids of Giza, deep
inside the fog.
We made it. We really made it.
Isn't that something.
67 EXT. CAMPSITE - DAWN 67
They find KAZIK not a hundred yards from where they
camped. The weather has broken, the fog gone. He sits
looking toward them, his bare feet stretched out before
him, his eyes wide open. On his lips a frozen smile.
68 EXT. A CAIRN OF STONES - DAY 68
They stand by his grave.
A free man died here today.
Amens are muttered. The group remain by the grave
reluctant to leave. All but VALKA who looks about
Young always die first.
The others look at him.
In the camps.
He looks at their somber faces.
Still, one less mouth to feed
what? You're all thinking the
He wanders away toward the embers of their fire.
A69 A STREAM, FOREST - DAY A69
SMITH hauling in fish, hand over hand. The others
watching in fascination.
Where did you learn to fish like
Lived in the woods a while.
And how did you come to be in
I made a mistake.
69 EXT. SIBERIAN WILDERNESS - TIMELAPSE - DAY/DUSK/DAWN 69
High, wide, panoramas, the tiny figures of the fugitives
threading their way through the trees heading steadily
70 EXT. SIBERIAN WILDERNESS - DAY 70
Close on Nature naturing - birds calling from high
branches, bees buzzing, a grub crawling along a leaf.
And a large animal grazing. Or what appears at first to
be an animal.
It's VALKA, on all fours, picking up and eating bugs.
Others are there grazing too. The weeks have taken their
toll and they look thin and starving. We see in detail
their search for anything edible: hands digging out
roots and berries of various kinds which are tested with
a tentative nibble and sometimes spat out if too bitter;
( CONTTNTTF;D )
VOSS has made a small trap - a noose rigged on a branch
and just beyond it a nut. A squirrel watches.
Not all food is shared in this extreme situation and
some, with a furtive look about them, eat what they find.
71 EXT. CAVE - SAME TIME - DAY
They are camped at the mouth of a cathedral like cave,
and here TOMASZ amuses himself by sketching on the cave
wall using charcoal from the fire. Among portraits of
the group are scenes from life in Camp 105. On the fire
a stew of water and pine-needles bubbles away.
ZORAN watches idly from where he lies near the cave
They'll find our bones and your
drawings a hundred years from now,
and say - 'a fine example of Early
Shut up with your jokes! Go and
find food like the others.
You do the shutting up! Drawing
like you're on holiday. I'm sick.
I cook. They find food. What do
you ever do? Nothing!
I make them laugh.
Not any more.
ZORAN turns away from him, curling up into a foetal
72 EXT./INT. CAVE - DUSK
SMITH walking through the vast cave, his attention caught
by two massive holes in the roof. He walks on toward
their camp outside an opening at the far end.
73 EXT. CAVE - DUSK
TOMASZ has water boiling on the fire. He calls to the
What do you have? Come on, no
SMITH approaches from the cave, hands over two small
fish, his day's catch. VOSS steps forward with a dead
squirrel. VALKA has nothing. TOMASZ reaches for their
cooking pot cooling by the fire. He passes a cup to
73 CONTINUED: 73
JANUSZ sips, reacts to the bitterness of the brew,then
passes it on.
74 EXT./INT. CAVE - NIGHT 74
Sleeping figures by the fire. TOMASZ tosses and turns,
muttering in his sleep. JANUSZ is awake as is VALKA who
sits close beside him. A whispered conversation -
Who will be first?
JANUSZ looks at him.
You mean the first to die?
VALKA nods, indicates TOMASZ.
I think that sucker, the artist.
But better if it was him.
He nods toward ZORAN.
It might be you.
Why 'better' if it's Zoran?
VALKA squeezes the flesh of his upper arms.
More soft. More tender.
JANUSZ shakes his head, 'no'.
Mister only gets little fish now.
We must have meat, or we die.
You're the Pakhan, you've thought
of it. We all have. That's why
you brought extra people isn't it?
For food? An old Urka escape
trick. I swear to God you were an
Urka in another life.
We'll get food when we get to Lake
Baikal, plenty of fish there.
You said we should have seen Lake
a week ago. We're lost, Pakhan.
JANUSZ stares into the fire as VALKA lays down to sleep.
A75 LATER, NIGHT
It is ZORAN's turn on watch and he stands near the
entrance to the cave, his blanket about his shoulders,
looking out into the still night. Behind him a low
growling sound, coming from deep in the cave. He turns,
a look of terror on his face. He can see nothing but a
dim light deep in the cave where moonlight penetrates
through two large holes in the cave roof. He wakes
JANUSZ, alerting him to the sound. JANUSZ in turn wakes
VALKA, and after taking burning sticks from the fire they
walk back inside the vast cave toward the source of the
sound, VALKA drawing his knife.
75 INT. CAVE - NIGHT
The dim light shows a wolf-pack growling as they pick at
a carcass on the cave floor. They drop their bones and
face the intruders, baring their fangs, all now growling.
On a signal from JANUSZ they rush the wolves, who run
back toward another exit from the cave. MR. SMITH,
TOMASZ and VOSS come hurrying to join them, woken by all
the barking and shouting.
VALKA falls on part of the carcass, cutting off chunks of
raw meat. The others do likewise. Wider on the group,
down on all fours chewing on the remains of the kill,
only JANUSZ stands back, watching them.
EXT./INT. CAVE - EARLY MORNING 76
Some sleep on, others stir, their movements slow and
listless. They are near the end. This has been JANUSZ's
point of view as he packs a few scraps of food into his
pockets and picks up his staff. Those awake stare at
I'll be back in a week - if I find
the lake. If not, you're on your
I come too.
76 CONTINUED: 76
(shakes his head)
I'll travel faster alone. Mr.
Smith will be the Pakhan while I'm
JANUSZ turns and with a nod of the head 'follow me', to
SMITH, he moves off.
77 EXT. SOME DISTANCE FROM CAMP - DAWN 77
Now out of earshot, JANUSZ turns to SMITH. SMITH knows
what it's about.
I know. Valka.
Don't let him out of your sight.
As JANUSZ heads off into the forest.
78 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY, SIBERIA - DAY 78
A magnificent vista - a broad plain sweeping toward a
distant line of hills. It's a beautiful clear day and
the lone figure of JANUSZ, dwarfed by the landscape,
walks steadily Southward.
79 EXT. ROCKY HILLSIDE - DUSK 79
Sheltering from the wind on the leeside of a hill, he
takes pine-cones from his pocket, breaks them open and
eats the seeds. Then he's up and off again, leaning
heavily on his staff.
80 EXT. A BARREN PLAIN - DAY 80
The weather changes from a clear Spring morning to cold
and overcast as gusts of wind whip down from distant
slopes. JANUSZ bends into the wind, his pace slowing.
He stumbles, sinks to the ground, fighting the desire to
let go, to give himself to sleep, and the swift death
that will surely follow. His eyes begin to close. Then
he sees it. Just ahead of him. The gate. The gate from
his vision in the mine. He struggles to his feet,
staggers on -
( C'ONTTNTTFD 1
80 CONTINUED: 80
JANUSZ'S VISION: A repeat of his earlier hallucination -
the click of the gate latch, the flagstones at his feet
as he moves down the path. (All the while the
accompanying sound is of JANUSZ's laboured breathing in
the present 'reality'). He's at the front door, camera
pans to the loose brick in the wall beside the door.
81 EXT. CAMPSITE, FOREST - DUSK 81
JANUSZ staggers back into camp, half dead and shivering
with cold. VALKA is quickly beside him with SMITH and
Three days from here. South by
He collapses. VOSS shouts for the fire to be built up,
hot water to be boiled. He feels his pulse, checks his
Stones! Gather stones! Heat them
in the fire!
82 EXT. CAMPSITE, STILL LATER - NIGHT 82
Throughout the night they take turns replacing the hot
stones surrounding his body and massaging his feet and
hands. On one such occasion SMITH finds himself at
JANUSZ's side. JANUSZ opens his eyes.
What's the 'brick'?
What did I say?
Something about a loose brick.
JANUSZ nods, offers no explanation.
You know if you don't pull through
soon we'll have to leave you.
I expect nothing less.
82 CONTINUED: 82
So you better get better quick if
you want to see home again.
We could've used you in the Polish
army. Fired you out of a cannon.
He closes his eyes, lapses back into a deep sleep.
83 OMITTED 83
84 EXT. HILLSIDE, SIBERIA - DUSK 84
It's a beautiful evening as the file of travellers climb
toward the crest of the hill.
85 EXT. MOUNTAIN, SIBERIA - DUSK 85
From the crest, a panorama of Lake Baikal - a massive
body of water stretching to the horizon.
The fugitives rest, and consider the next stage of their
We're going to have to follow the
But look, it bends like that -
won't it take us longer?
See all those settlements on the
other side? We'd never get
I swear to God, those mother-
fuckers would cut off our heads,
take them to secret police. Get
more for us than they would for
JANUSZ, impatient to move on, is already on his feet.
ZORAN rolls onto his back with a groan.
86-87 OMITTED 86-87
88 EXT. A TRACK, LAKESIDE - DAY 88
SMITH and VOSS are last in line as they move cautiously
along a dirt track. SMITH keeps looking back over his
What is it?
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 54.
SMITH signals JANUSZ to stop, while holding a finger to
his lips for silence. JANUSZ joins him, followed by the
We're being followed.
Fifty yards back. A man on his
own. May have seen us - crossed
into the trees beside the track.
A silence as they consider their options. VALKA draws
No? I think you've killed before.
You say too many prayers for an
VOSS looks uneasy.
He gives us away, the soldiers
will be on us in no time.
Valka, go back on the other side
of the track, then come up behind,
in case he makes a run for it.
VALKA moves off, gliding through the trees on the left of
the track. The others wait a beat, then move into the
trees on the right side of the track picking up fallen
timber as weapons.
JANUSZ is in the lead when in a clearing not fifty paces
ahead, a figure steps out from behind a tree. JANUSZ
stops, holding up a hand for the others to stay where
they are. He stares at the small figure - a young woman.
There's a glimpse of a dirty skirt under her coat, a
scarf tied loosely about her neck. Wisps of chestnut
hair stray out from under a moth-eaten fur hood. She
looks frightened and desperate.
88 CONTINUED: (2) 88
From her waif like appearance, it's hard to tell her age
- an old thirteen or a young sixteen?
The men discreetly drop their irovised weapons. She
looks ready to make a run for it on seeing VALKA with his
drawn knife. JANUSZ gestures for the others to fall
back, as he cautiously approaches, uttering reassuring
89 EXT. PATHWAY, WOODS - LATER - DAY 89
The others sit smoking by the pathway, watching as JANUSZ
crosses back from the GIRL to join them.
He says something to TOMASZ in Polish. A rapid exchange
What? What is it?
She's Polish. Been following us
for several days.
What does she want?
Food? Protection? She's been too
afraid to approach us until she
was sure we weren't Russians.
She wants to travel with us?
She's on the run, like us.
Escaped from a Russian collective
I swear to God I know this type -
street gypsies, there are
thousands like that, less use than
JANUSZ looks back to the GIRL who watches them from the
Pakhan. Don't do this.
89 CONTINUED: 89
We can't feed ourselves.
Maybe it's kinder to leave her.
She's been sent to us. We can't
We have no choice.
JANUSZ knows this is true.
90 EXT.THE CLEARING, WOODS - DAY 90
The GIRL watches as JANUSZ approaches. From the way he
doesn't look at her she knows their answer. JANUSZ
stands before her a moment. They speak in Polish (sub-
He reaches into his bag, passes her a fish and some nuts
and berries. It's all she can do to refrain from eating
it right away.
What will you do?
He guesses at what this might mean.
If we had enough food
She stares at him, nods, then walks back toward the path,
returning in the direction from which she came.
91 EXT. PATHWAY, WOODS - DAY 91
The group walk in silence, the encounter with the girl
and their subsequent decision weighing heavily on some.
VOSS keeps looking back over his shoulder.
Revised 3/31/09 (Tan) 57.
92 EXT. LAKESIDE - DAY 92
LATER, the group walking out in the open by the lake when
their attention is caught by the sight of a flock of
ravens circling and diving on something up ahead - just
out of sight around a bend in the lake.
93 EXT. LAKESIDE, MOMENTS LATER - DAY 93
SMITH is the first to see it - a full grown reindeer
bogged to the shoulders in the soft mud by the lake's
edge. As they approach the ravens rise in a great
flapping of wings. The group circle the wild-eyed beast,
pathetic in it's attempts to pull itself out of the bog,
faced now with this new and more deadly threat. VALKA
draws his knife.
94 EXT. A COVE, LAKESIDE - DAY 94
TOMASZ already has a fire going when the rest of the
party appear dragging the carcass of the reindeer on an
improvised sled made of driftwood. VOSS watches a moment
as preparations are made to butcher the animal, then he
turns and hurries back in the direction from which they
came. JANUSZ watches him. He knows where he's going.
95 EXT. LAKESIDE/PATHWAY - DAY 95
VOSS moving fast beside the lake, then onto the track,
running now, retracing their steps.
96 EXT. CAMPSITE, LAKE - DUSK 96
TOMASZ butchers more meat from the reindeer using VALKA's
knife, while SMITH sets up a wooden rotisserie on the
fire assisted by ZORAN. JANUSZ and VALKA are part way
through skinning the beast when they pause on hearing
footsteps. Around the point comes VOSS, followed by the
girl. As they approach, an expectant silence.
Her name is, Irena.
97 EXT. CAMPSITE - LATER - NIGHT 97
They eat in silence, savoring every mouthful. We hear
the sounds of eating - bones sucked to the marrow;
fingers licked; bones crunching.
Revised 3/31/09 (Tan) 58.
IRENA is like a half-starved animal, eating with absorbed
concentration, the others sneaking looks in her direction
as they savor the fresh killed meat.
- DAWN 98
98 EXT. CAMPSITE, LAKESIDE
JANUSZ has been on the last watch of the night, and as
dawn breaks he approaches his sleeping companions. He
stares down at IRENA, sleeping like a child by the fire.
Slowly the others stir, all moving slowly and quietly,
not wanting to disturb her sleep.
99 EXT. LAKESIDE, CAMPSITE - DAY 99
ZORAN has set himself up as camp barber - trimming hair
and shaving heads using the razor-blade inserted in the
end of a stick, and for shaving cream, a chunk of fat
from the reindeer. JANUSZ has just been shaved and
trimmed, the last but for VALKA. While the others wash
themselves and their clothes, ZORAN calls for VALKA, who
approaches reluctantly and sits on the rock before the
Why do we do this?
So we don't look like thieves and
ZORAN approaches him, blade in hand.
Very still, please.
He tilts VALKA's neck, seemingly the better to shave him.
In fact, he enjoys teasing VALKA and his movements are
slow and ominous, VALKA clearly nervous.
- DAY/NIGHT 100
100 EXT. MONTAGE, CAMPSITE
Various scenes of maintenance, repairs and the breaking
down of the reindeer into anything of use during their
journey. Two fires burn - their regular cooking fire and
one for the smoking of meat.
VOSS; Cleaning bones of shreds of meat then beginning the
construction of a bone frame for a backpack. He later
gets part of the skin to form the bag attached to the
frame. Still later he collects nearby vines, rolling
them up for future use.
Revised 3/31/09 (Tan) 58A.
100 CONTINUED: 100
TOMASZ; In between sketching scenes of his friends at
work he skims fat from the pot filled with boiling bones,
and lays out strips of meat given to him by VALKA to dry
in the sun, part of the jerked meat they will carry as a
long term food supply.
VALKA; With the 'Wolf' he separates sinews and tendons
from the beast, to form much needed bindings for their
journey. He also cuts meat for their jerked supply, or
to be smoked.
SMITH; Makes firstly a large bone needle, then later
makes repairs in his clothes.
ZORAN; After cleaning his teeth with a twig, hangs his
suit on a driftwood hanger and is seen brushing it with a
branch from a pine tree. TOMASZ teases him and suggests
he do something useful. Later this leads to him sorting
the boiled bones into various sizes, a sort of accountant
of the 'bone-bank'. 'Customers' come to him looking for
bones or teeth for various uses.
JANUSZ; Works on the reindeer skin. With SMITH's help he
stretches it to dry on a driftwood frame. Later, he cuts
a piece off and gives it to VOSS for the back-pack. He
also works scraping the skin of strands of unwanted meat
IRENA; Sleeps and eats. It is only at dusk one day she
seems to come to life and moving to the lakeside washes
her clothes and hair. The men try not to stare, and
whether their thoughts are carnal or not, whether she
reminds them of family or girlfriend, they are all
affected by her transformation from boy/urchin, into a
young woman when she returns washed, and wearing the
dress she has carried rolled-up on her back.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 59.
101 EXT. CAMPFIRE, LAKESIDE - NIGHT 101
SMITH and JANUSZ some distance from the campsite
collecting wood. By the fire ZORAN leads the 'Survivors
Band'. He has them drumming on logs, tapping sticks,
harmonizing, amid much laughter. JANUSZ watches IRENA.
Then he turns to SMITH.
She's educated. Speaks good
English. And French.
You don't like her, do you?
Speak to Valka about her. He
doesn't even think she's Polish.
I did speak to him. And the
others. They agree she comes with
It's decided then?
Apart from food she'll slow us
down. There's no room for
sentimentality. You know that.
And he turns, moving back to the fire with his load of
102 EXT. PATHWAY, WOODS - DAY 102
Refreshed and revived and laden with their supplies from
the deer, they make their way along a narrow dirt track
by the lake. IRENA is aware that the main opposition to
her joining with them comes from VALKA and SMITH. SMITH
she knows is the more important, and she tries to keep up
with him. Occasionally catching his eye, she tries to
charm him with a coquettish smile beyond her years.
103 EXT. RIVER/LAKE - DAY
A river flowing into the lake presents an obstacle. They
walk along the edge to where the river begins to narrow,
but here it's still frozen, and a quick test with
JANUSZ's staff shows it to be too thin to take their
weight. They look upstream - a distant figure of a man,
a hunter possibly, a shotgun over his shoulder, on their
side of the bank. There's clearly no choice but to swim
for it. They make hasty preparations, removing outer
clothing, except shirts and trousers, tying their boots
about their necks. IRENA watches.
Can you swim?
You wouldn't lie to me?
I'm not lying, Comrade.
That was a slip of the tongue, and SMITH is made uneasy
And don't call me, 'comrade'.
With a shout the group plunge into the icy water,
swimming one-handed, their packs held above water level
in the other. It's only when they reach the other side
they realize IRENA is still on the opposite bank. The
others urge her to swim across. She hesitates a moment
then runs upstream to where the river is frozen.
103 CONTINUED: 103
They watch in astonishment as in a series of leaps and
bounds she's out on the ice heading for the opposite
bank. Ice cracks beneath her feet and a couple of times
it seems she'll fall in, but with a last great leap over
a section of free-flowing water she makes it to the other
side, hurrying down to join the others a broad smile on
her face. She looks defiantly at SMITH. JANUSZ is
worried about the man having seen them, and urges them to
follow him into the tree-line.
104-105 OMITTED 104-105
A106 EXT. FOREST, A SHORT TIME LATER - DAY A106
They scramble up a steep, forested slope, with occasional
backward glances to see if the hunter is following.
There's no sign of him.
106 EXT. LAKESIDE - DAY 106
Some time later the group, still a little damp, walk by
the lake. IRENA walks beside SMITH whose long strides
force her to jog occasionally to keep up. They swat at
mosquitoes as they walk.
Janusz tells me your family were
Yes. Just a cow and some pigs.
Were your parents arrested with
She swats at a few mosquitos hovering around her face.
We lived on a farm outside Warsaw.
When the Russians came they said
we were 'kulaks', and exploiting
the peasants. My parents were
afraid and hid me in the barn.
The mosquitos are getting worse and SMITH grabs swatches
of leaves, passing one to IRENA as they walk on, swinging
away at the annoying insects.
106 CONTINUED: 106
I found them later. Face down in
the mud. They'd been bashed and
strangled with barbed wire.
She looks up at SMITH, her eyes filling with tears.
Later, the Russians caught me, and
sent me to a collective farm.
They were cruel to me. I ran
away. I had no food. Then I saw
They walk in silence a few paces, and she dries
with the corner of her sleeve.
You can't swim can you?
She looks up at him.
You've never been in the water in
She laughs coquettishly.
But I got across, didn't I?
And, you said you lived on a farm
The Soviets didn't get that far.
That was German territory.
She nervously swats the mosquitos.
Your parents weren't murdered were
they? You made it all up.
She won't look at him, her face looks thin and
she seems older.
We've all done terrible things to
survive. But don't ever lie to me
again. We've had enough of lies.
106 CONTINUED: ( 3) 106
She sneaks a glance back over her shoulder at the others,
then up at SMITH. She nods.
107 OMITTED 107
108 EXT. ROAD, OUTSIDE A SMALL TOWN,LAKE BAIKAL - LATE 108
A fishing village by the lake. Timber houses straggling
back up into the surrounding hills. From cover, they
consider the obstacle.
We'll have to go 'round it.
Quicker through it.
They'll have dogs. Raise the
alarm. We wouldn't stand a chance
We need food again, Pakhan.
108 CONTINUED: 108
I know we need food, but we're not
going into that town, risk
SMITH gets up.
We're wasting time.
He strikes off up a slope toward the hills behind the
109 EXT.HILLS BEHIND VILLAGE - DUSK 109
The group make their way uphill and around the town.
A110 EXT.TOWN, LAKESIDE - NIGHT A110
Their P.O.V. down to the few lights of the town and the
lake glimmering in the moonlight. From the direction of
the town - the sound of a dog barking in an agitated
AB110 EXT. HILLS BEHIND VILLAGE, SAME TIME - NIGHT AB110
SMITH joins JANUSZ. Off his expression:
What is it? What's wrong?
He was behind Zoran.
Didn't you watch Valka?
I'm not his keeper.
He looks back down to the town.
110 EXT. THE GROUNDS OF A HOUSE, VILLAGE - NIGHT 110
A dim light through a side window - the glimpse of a
woman crossing through frame, followed shortly after by
the weathered face of a fisherman. He's heard something.
He crosses to the window, peers out into the darkness.
The moment he turns away the camera moves on around the
side to the rear of the building, past a rabbit in a
cage. VALKA's shoulder comes into frame as he edges his
way toward the back door, passing the sightless skull of
a dried fish swinging from a cord under the eaves. He
reaches for the door-handle, opens it, and slips silently
A111 EXT. TOWN, LAKESIDE - NIGHT Alll
A view along a road to the town. (P.O.V. now on the
opposite side of town to that seen earlier.)
111 EXT.TREES, ROADSIDE - NIGHT 111
Theabove P.O.V. is that of the group waiting for VALKA.
Theysit by the roadside looking toward the town. They
swatat a cloud of mosquitoes.
He could turn us in for the
And risk arrest?
He'd bribe his way out of it.
Would he do that?
It's an opportunity. We're rid of
We don't need his knife. We can
make one from deer bone.
Come on! Let's go!
A movement behind them, they turn as VALKA steps out from
behind a tree. He stares back at them a crooked grin on
SMITH moves swiftly, grabs him by his collar and spins
him into the tree.
Hey, easy cowboy!
Could have got us all killed.
You tear my coat
He releases him and VALKA staggers back, reaching down to
a bulging sack. He tips out the contents - various
foodstuffs including a freshly killed rabbit and a bottle
'Fool' is it?
It's then they notice blood splashed over his trousers.
What? Did I kill you ask? Yes.
Don't believe me? So don't eat.
But you will won't you? Because
you want survival. I know about
survival! All my life.
He holds up the bottles of vodka, one half empty
And it's my birthday!
With a wild look in his eyes, he passes a bottle to
JANUSZ, then flicks the side of his neck with his middle
In Russia that means we drink!
112 EXT. CAMPFIRE - LATER - NIGHT 112
TOMASZ tends the rabbit roasting on the fire, while the
vodka bottle is passed hand to hand. When not drinking,
the group are swatting at the persistent mosquitoes,
ZORAN now badly bitten. VALKA doesn't seem bothered by
the mosquitoes, perhaps tatoos keep them away, anyway
he's feeling generally pleased with himself and is very
You know when they put the
children of the political
prisoners in the orphanage, they
change their names, so later, the
parents can never find them.
Is that what happened to you?
(shakes his head)
I didn't have parents. But that's
what happened to her.
He passes IRENA the bottle. She glares back at him.
Isn't it? You told me that.
She glances at the puzzled faces of the others, finally
looking at SMITH. He holds her gaze. Then she takes a
slug of the vodka.
They called me 'Rykov', but I
remembered our Polish name -
'Zulinski'. I used to say it
every night before I went to
The story you told us
I thought that story would be more
sad, and you wouldn't leave me
Again she looks at SMITH. She made a promise to him.
112 CONTINUED: 112
My parents were Polish communists.
They took us to live in Soviet
Union - to Moscow. They want to
work for the Revolution.
112 CONTINUED: (2) 112
We lived in the Hotel Luxe with
lots of foreign communists. But
they arrested them. In 1937.
Said they were spies. The police
put me in the orphanage. And my
brother. He died. I was ten
And you ran away.
She nods. VALKA grinning proudly at her.
She lived in the streets, like me!
He breaks into one of his Urki songs. IRENA translates.
It's about a mother complaining to
her son that he's a thief, just
like his father... it goes on and
says, 'but if you are strong
enough to fight 'til death - you
will conquer fate'.
She joins VALKA in the chorus.
113 EXT. LAKESIDE - DAY 113
The mosquitos continue to plaguethem,swirling in clouds
about their heads, crawling intoears,eyes and mouths.
They have improvised headgear -coats,swatches of
leaves, improvised masks. Many are badly bitten, faces
swollen, bites infected. SMITH walks beside JANUSZ.
What can we do? Steal a boat?
People are going to get ill.
After all we've faced, how
strange, these tiny insects might
A114 LATER, PLOUGHED FIELD - DAY A114
The group collect potatoes in a ploughed field by the
lake. ZORAN can no longer take the mosquitoes, and to
the astonishment of the others, he runs toward the water,
shedding his coat as he goes, eventually diving into the
water and submerging himself.
114 EXT. LAKESIDE, LATER - DAY 114
From a concealed position in the trees they watch as half
a dozen peasants walk by the lake. ZORAN studies them
The others unsure of his meaning.
They have no mosquitos!
115 EXT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS, LAKESIDE - DAY/DUSK 115
The group have by now a walking routine which they rarely
vary, always occupying the same positions in extended
line. JANUSZ as navigator in the lead, SMITH generally
bringing up the rear. IRENA is the exception - varying
her place, now with one, now with another. They don't
talk much to each other as they walk but they do talk
with her. She has the knack of getting anyone to talk.
No doubt a skill learnt in her life on the streets.
116 EXT. FOREST NEAR THE ROAD - DAY 116
A small fire burns as TOMASZ cooks a fish stolen by
VALKA. The smoke from the fire is not enough to
alleviate the mosquito problem and the group swat in
miserable silence. Suddenly SMITH throws dirt on the
fire, suffocating it with his jacket. He points to the
117 EXT. ROAD - DAY 117
From their point of view a fisherman in his fifties, a
basket in a sling on his back, walks abreast of them on
118 EXT. FOREST - DAY 118
As he passes, ZORAN speaks in a whisper to JANUSZ.
There it is! Again!
Look at him.
JANUSZ stares again at the man.
ZORAN is up and off before anyone can stop him. They
watch in appalled silence as he approaches and speaks to
the man, who regards this stranger appearing from the
forest with some suspicion. ZORAN does a kind of crazy
dance, talking all the while.
Revised 4/23/09 (Buff) 70.
118 CONTINUED: 118
Soon the man is laughing, and putting down his bag and
gun he takes something from around his neck and places it
on ZORAN's neck. A few more words, and more laughter,
then with a handshake ZORAN heads back into the forest,
the man continuing on his way. ZORAN rejoins them,
holding up the gift from the old man - strands of
Mosquito repellent! And I have
119 EXT. ROAD - DAY 119
LATER. They all wear necklaces of the entwined bark and
are mosquito free. ZORAN is the hero of the hour.
But what did you say to him?
That I was an escaped convict who
was being plagued by mosquitos.
As they round a bend and disappear from sight, TOMASZ's
voice drifts back.
Very funny. But what did you
A120 LAKE'S END, SIBERIA - DAY A120
JANUSZ scoops up a handful of water where it laps a
beach. It's a symbolic end to their lake trek, and they
turn and walk on, the lake behind them.
120 EXT. A FIELD, SIBERIA - DAY 120
In the far distance a large town dominated by a
collection of smoke stacks, belching out columns of smoke
into the sky, as the group hurry across open ground to
the shelter of the forest.
A121 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY A121
A rustic cart passes by. After it has gone the fugitives
emerge from concealment and resume their journey.
Revised 4/23/09 (Buff) 70aA.
AB121 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY AB121
VOSS, ZORAN and TOMASZ talk of their pre-Gulag days with
A small stone church in a
little village. Very peaceful. I
grew up in that village.
I went on business. Once a
year - government clients of
.layers of very fine pastry, so
when you bite there is a
lightness, a delicacy - it should
almost melt in the mouth.
121 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - DAY 121
The group move at a brisk pace. IRENA walks beside
(C'(-)NTTNU ED 1
121 CONTINUED: (2) 121
And Tomasz is a pastry chef but
wants to be an artist?
Is that right?
And Zoran was on business in
Moscow, arrested in Red Square, he
said he was just taking a photo of
the Kremlin! He's an accountant.
Well, I'll be damned. Never knew
a funny accountant.
Don't you talk to each other?
In the camps you learn to say as
little as possible.
They walk on in silence, IRENA sneaking a look up at him.
122 OMITTED 122
123 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, LATER - DAY 123
IRENA now walking with JANUSZ.
Mr. Smith? An American? Working
on the Moscow metro?
He's an engineer. His father was
Finnish. Grew up in America, but
he could speak Russian.
Why did he come to Russia for
The Depression. His son came with
Revised 3/16/09 (Salmon) 72.
123 CONTINUED: 123
What happened to his son?
They shot him. He was seventeen.
124 EXT. A STREAM - DUSK 124
The group fords a shallow stream when IRENA sees SMITH
limp to a rock where he sits and inspects his blistered,
bleeding feet IRENA kneels before him, dries his
feet with her dress. The others watch silently as she
tears strips from her petticoat and binds up the raw
spots between his toes.
125 EXT. A RIDGE ABOVE THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY - DAY 125
The GROUP look down to see the railway track lined with
villagers every few miles, making a crossing especially
The Mongolian border is on the
other side of those tracks.
Two ARMED SOLDIERS can be seen walking along the tracks.
Can't we go around this?
This is the main line. It's going
to be like this everywhere.
We don't have a choice.
We cross at night.
Their attention is caught by the passing of a long
freight train, horn sounding over the bucolic scene.
126 EXT. A RIDGE ABOVE THE RAILWAY-LINE - DAY 126
A visible tension in the group as they wait. VALKA
whittles a piece of deer-bone.
What's that you're making?
Revised 3/16/09 (Salmon) 72A.
126 CONTINUED: 126
A cross for your tombstone.
126 CONTINUED: (2)
TOMASZ surprised at his tone.
Why should you care what I'm
The evening is hot and VALKA has his shirt open, the
tattooed portraits of Lenin and Stalin on his chest
appear and disappear in the folds of his shirt. This
Why do you have arseholes tattooed
on your chest?
VALKA stops. Stares back.
Shouldn't they be on your arse so
you sit on them every time you
take a shit?
You think it's funny? They are
Watch your eyes, crowbait!
He makes a 'V' with his fingers followed by a short
stabbing motion. ZORAN reels back.
Don't you know what 'Stalin' means
funny man? Man-of-Steel. He
takes from rich and gives to poor.
Sure he does. Then he puts both
of them in a camp for twenty-five
VALKA goes back to his carving.
A127 EXT. RAILWAY TRACKS - NIGHT A127
JANUSZ stands on the tracks lookingdownthelinetoa
cutting where the track disappearsaroundabend.The
sound of an approaching train, a dim light already
reflected on the side of the cutting. He turns and looks
toward the trees where the others are approaching down a
wooded hillside. He hurries toward them, urging them to
take cover in the bracken beside the track. SMITH points
out a glowing red light further down the track from the
AB127 EXT. RAILWAY TRACK - NIGHT AB127
The train thunders into the cutting with a squeal of
breaks as the driver sights the red light on the track
ahead, and the train slows to a stop.
127 EXT. BESIDE THE TRACK - NIGHT 127
Close on the faces of the escapees as they look up to the
carriages stopped in front of them. They are cattle-
cars, but its soon apparent their cargo is human. From
the high windows, hands can be seen clutching the bars.
From inside a communal groaning and sighing. Voices,
female voices, cry out for water, and on the agonized
faces of the fugitives a mixture of pain and empathy.
Then the train seems to sigh, like a great beast, and
from beneath the carriages flow streams of blood and
urine. As the distant light turns green the train slowly
moves forward, and as it does so, letters and notes drop
to the tracks from the barred windows.
After it is gone they scramble over the tracks into the
woods on the other side, all but VOSS. He is picking up
as many of the notes and letters as he can.
Andrejs, for God's sake!
VOSS slowly crosses the tracks, and disappears into the
128 EXT. BRUSH, TRACKSIDE - NIGHT 128
VOSS, overwhelmed with emotion sits down, examining the
letters and notes in his hand. JANUSZ hurries back for
128 CONTINUED: 128
But VOSS doesn't move. JANUSZ sits beside him, and VOSS
passes him a sample of the prisoners' pathetic messages -
some scrawled on the back of photographs. They are
mostly names and addresses, pleas for someone to mail or
inform relatives of what happened to them - some have
even clipped a few bank-notes to pay for postage.
129 OMITTED 129
130 EXT. RUSSO-MONGOLIAN BORDER, COUNTRYSIDE - DAWN 130
Tall striped posts at intervals, strung with rusted wire -
beyond, a dirt road and distant fields. From a concealed
position in the nearby trees they carefully watch for
signs of a patrol. JANUSZ goes first, passing easily
through the sagging fence. ZORAN calls to him.
What's it like in Mongolia?
JANUSZ holds up a hand - 'Keep your voice down'. ZORAN
crawls through the wire followed by the others.
I love Mongolia.
Love it later. We need to get as
far from this border as possible.
ZORAN faces Russia and as if bowing at the end of a
Thank you Mother Russia for your
hospitality! I definitely will
not be coming back!
It's only then that we notice that VALKA has not crossed
through. He stands staring at them from the Soviet side.
It's clear he's going no further. JANUSZ crosses back to
him, and they talk through the wire.
130 CONTINUED: 130
They'll catch you if you stay, you
Prison is o.k. Debt is bad. But
there are many prisons. They
don't find me.
They stand a moment, watching the others moving toward a
line of trees.
It's not for me - 'Freedom'.
Wouldn't know what to do with it,
I swear to God.
He places his hand on the wooden hilt of his knife,
sticking out of his waistband.
So we must say goodbye, my Wolf
JANUSZ glances at the knife.
You don't need him any more.
Good luck, Valka.
Good luck, Pakhan.
And he turns and walks away. JANUSZ walks toward the
distant group and by the time he looks back, VALKA is
131 EXT. MONGOLIAN STEPPE - DAY 131
A vast plain stretches to distant snow-capped peaks.
Dotted on the hills the Gers - circular tent-like
structures, home to the nomadic Mongolians. In the
distance walk the band of survivors, strung out in a line
abreast. Their voices drift back - snatches of
conversation., and laughter.
132 OMITTED 132
133 EXT. ROAD - DAY 133
The travellers striding confidently down the dirt road.
Around a bend, a decorative archway over the road, a town
visible a few miles further on. They stop in their
tracks. On one side of the timber structure a portrait
of Josef Stalin. On the other the local Mongolian
leader, a red star on his military cap. In the centre,
the hammer and sickle over a painting of a brown hand
shaking a white one. Small flags of both nations flap
CLOSE on the stunned faces of the fugitives.
It's here too.
This changes everything.
IRENA looks at the grassy plains all about them.
Nowhere to hide.
134-135 OMITTED 134-135
A136 EXT. MONGOLIAN STEPPE, LATER - DAY A136
The group walk toward a distant line of hills, feeling
very exposed to any watching eyes.
How far is China?
Five, six hundred kilometers.
Is China free?
There's a war on with the
Japanese, I know that much.
After China is Tibet. Religious
A136 CONTINUED: A136
But isn't Tibet closed to
foreigners? I remember reading
Their religion would compel them
to shelter us. We could go to
Lhasa, the capital.
We break out of one 'closed
country' and now we plan to break
into another? I like 'open'
TOMASZ and JANUSZ exchange a few excited words in Polish.
They say we could go beyond Tibet.
Over the mountains. To India.
(shakes his head)
We could join the British Army.
First fight Nazis then Russians!
Go over the Himalayas? How? On a
A silence as they contemplate the massive distances
stretching ahead of them.
AB136 EXT. ABANDONED STONE BUILDING, MONGOLIA - DAWN AB136
In the middle of an empty plain a small circular stone
136 INT. RUIN - DAWN 136
Sleeping figures. A gentle tip-tapping sound. VOSS
opens his eyes. Staring back at him from the doorway,
half a dozen sheep. He nudges TOMASZ who wakes sleepily,
takes his eye-line. Carefully, slowly, they rise, VOSS
drawing his deer-bone knife. Then they move. The sheep
retreat, bumping into each other, and outside the chase
is on. TOMASZ tackles a ewe and VOSS approaches with a
knife, but JANUSZ is behind him, grabs his arm.
No! Andrejs, no!
VOSS tries to free his arm.
Don't kill it!
Why not? We're hungry!
You want the locals after us too?
They break into Polish, a blazing argument, months of
pent up frustration. VOSS picks up the sheep and carries
it inside the ruin.
137 INT. RUIN, LATER - DAY 137
Milk squirting into their aluminium bowl as VOSS expertly
milks the ewe, IRENA and ZORAN holding it steady.
138 EXT. STEPPE - DAY 138
The sun is blazing as they cross through a sea of grass,
hills rising in the distance like islands.
TOMASZ and ZORAN play a long distance walker's game -
each in turn kicking a rock out ahead, continually
passing it from one to the other.
JANUSZ and SMITH look to the hills surrounding them as
You feel it?
138 CONTINUED: 138
We're being watched.
IRENA uneasy, squints in the direction of the hills. And
you can feel it. Like a John Ford western there's a
sense of being in Indian territory, of their every move
watched by unseen eyes.
A139 EXT. BUDDHIST TEMPLE - DAY A139
A distant view of a temple complex at the base of low
AB139 EXT. STEPPE - DAY AB139
The above has been pointed out by VOSS to the group, and
they decide to make their way to the temple, in the hope
of getting food.
139 EXT. ABANDONED TEMPLE COMPLEX, STEPPES - DAY 139
Within a walled compound they wander between a series of
recently abandoned Buddhist temples and out-buildings.
By the size of the compound, several hundred monks may
have lived here. Everywhere are signs of violence -
doors hang from hinges, and a large statue of Buddha lies
smashed in a courtyard. JANUSZ points to a line of
bullet impacts, stitched across a wall.
140 INT. TEMPLE - DAY 140
There are bloodstains on the floor, and the wind howling
about the building makes a haunting accompaniment. IRENA
and VOSS are alone inside.
What happened here?
The same as happened in Russia.
Churches closed, priests shot or
taken to camps, religion banned.
They came to my church, in Latvia.
Destroyed everything, declared it
a 'museum'. Later that night,
there was a lone guard. A boy.
140 CONTINUED: 140
I strangled him until his eyes
popped right out of his head.
Valka knew somehow. Knew I'd
killed in cold blood.
He bows his head. IRENA looks up at him, and they stand
together in silence, but for the moaning wind.
141 EXT. MONGOLIAN STEPPE - DAY 141
As they head South, each is lost in their own thoughts
when seemingly out of nowhere a half-dozen Mongolian
horsemen are galloping toward them. The horsemen circle
them, far from friendly looks on their faces. They wear
the traditional costume of Steppe nomads and range in age
from a man in his seventies down to a six-year-old boy.
The OLD MAN pulls up his horse in front of SMITH,
figuring as he's the oldest he'll also be the leader.
The groups stare at each other. The OLD MAN speaks in
Russian, a rough guttural accent.
[THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE IS IN RUSSIAN.]
A glance between SMITH and JANUSZ. Much may hang on his
The OLD MAN maybe doesn't get the 'American' part, but he
gets that they are not Russian. He seems pleased about
Lhasa. Yes. Tibet.
JANUSZ points South.
141 CONTINUED: 141
We are too poor to have horses.
The OLD MAN points at IRENA.
SMITH looks at IRENA.
IRENA moves closer to him. SMITH puts a protective arm
about her shoulder. The OLD MAN considers the situation
for a moment longer before abruptly turning, and followed
by his band, galloping off toward the distant hills.
Looks between the group, not exactly of relief, as
there's a feeling it may not be the last they see of the
riders. IRENA looks up at SMITH, smiles at him.
Something about him calling her his daughter has touched
some hidden place. SMITH, a little embarrassed, smiles
142 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE, MONGOLIA - DAY 142
While SMITH fishes in the river, others tend to their
battered feet. VOSS passes around deer fat in his
improvised deer skull container. This they rub over raw
patches, and between their toes where deep cracks have
developed. JANUSZ repairs their footwear, while TOMASZ
sits by the fire sketching IRENA. ZORAN, the camp
barber, trims hairs and beards
143 EXT. CAMPSITE - DAWN 143
TOMASZ is smoking fish over the fire as the group stir.
He gives ZORAN a kick.
What did you do that for? I was
in the middle of this beautiful
dream - just about to eat some
salt, I could already taste it. I
want to go back to that dream.
144 EXT. STEPPES, MONGOLIA, LATER - DAY 144
The figures seen walking away in the distance. Floating
back the voice of TOMASZ giving a recipe of a favorite
Polish dish to ZORAN.
( CONTTNTTFT) )
144 CONTINUED: 144
Then add two sprigs of rosemary
and a pinch of nutmeg.
Nutmeg? What about the salt?
We'll get to that. Now, add the
oil and leave it to marinate,
while you prepare the chicken.
That's where the salt comes in...
Rub it into the skin of the
chicken with a little of the
Double the salt.
I can't just double the salt!
It'll be too salty.
I don't care, just do it.
I'm not going to ruin it.
145 EXT. A CHANGING LANDSCAPE, MONGOLIA - DAY 145
A primaeval and austerely beautiful landscape stretches
before them. Tufty knolls of dry grass are the only
detail that break up the flat immensity.
146 RIDGE-TOP - DAY 146
Up ahead of them on the edge of a ridge a lone Mongolian
horseman watches them approach. He's the young boy from
the group of horseman who originally approached them.
They pause before him. He looks at them a moment then
tosses a goatskin bag at their feet before galloping off
in the direction from which they came. VOSS picks up the
skin bag, gives it a shake. Water.
They continue on to the edge of the ridge and a view of a
vast desert plain is revealed.
Revised 3/16/09 (Salmon) 84.
146 CONTINUED: 146
They look back to the disappearing horseman before
scrambling down the rocky slope.
A147 EXT. GOBI DESERT - DAY A147
The group crossing into the heart of the Gobi.
147 EXT. GOBI DESERT, LATER - DAY 147
VOSS is the first to see it - a vast glittering lake.
They hurry toward it.
148 LATER, 148
The lake leads them on, but appears no closer.
149 LATER STILL, 149
JANUSZ has taken a reading of the sun, using his stick
method. He points out their direction - it is away from
the beckoning lake.
JANUSZ hesitates, looks at VOSS who holds up their water-
VOSS (CONT'D.) (CONT'D)
We should go to the lake. Water
is getting low.
What lake? It's a mirage.
He plods on, away from the shimmering vision. There's
little the others can do but trust JANUSZ, and slowly
150 EXT. THE GOBI - MIDDAY/DUSK 150
The sun is directly above, the land shimmering with heat
The group have stuck their sticks in the ground and
draped their jackets over them, making a sunshade they
Revised 3/16/09 (Salmon) 85.
151 LATER, 151
The sun has dropped, casting shadows. JANUSZ rises from
the shelter and calls for the others to continue.
152 EXT. THE GOBI - ANOTHER DAY 152
The figures, tiny in the surrounding desert, walk on,
JANUSZ in the lead needing to constantly slow down to
allow the others to catch up.
A153 EXT. THE GOBI - SAME DAY A153
The group hesitate on hearing a distant roaring sound up
ahead. Nothing on the horizon. Then they are hit by a
fierce wind, as toward them rolls a vast cloud of sand.
They drop to the ground instinctively, and huddled
together throw blankets around their shoulders and over
their heads, as they are engulfed in the choking sand.
LATER, they emerge from their own 'dune', and shaking
themselves down they resume their journey southward.
153 EXT. THE GOBI - NIGHT 153
The temperature has dropped to freezing and they huddle
by a fire, picking sand out of their small ration of
I'm too tired to sleep.
Why not keep walking?
I'm for that, if we can wake
They look to where VOSS sleeps.
He can sleep anywhere, any time.
How does he do it?
Can you plot your way by the
Revised 3/16/09 (Salmon) 85A.
153 CONTINUED: 153
Yes, but haven't you noticed?
He points upward to the low clouds obscuring the stars.
What about water?
What about it?
153 CONTINUED: 153
I don't see any. I'm trying to
remember my school geography but I
seem to recall the Gobi Desert
somewhere in Southern Mongolia.
JANUSZ begins scooping out a hole in the pebbly ground.
It's funnel-shaped, narrow at the base. The others watch
as he lines the sides with dried deerskin, placing their
cooking pot in the base.
We may pick up a little morning
Glad of something practical to do they all set about
digging and lining holes with anything to hand.
154 EXT. THE GOBI - DAWN 154
As they wake, they harvest the precious droplets of water
caught overnight, trickling the contents into their pot,
barely a quarter cupful.
155 EXT. GOBI - DAY 155
No-one has slept much and they walk like zombies, strung
out in a line, no-one speaking, all just dully
concentrating on placing one foot after the other. ZORAN
notices VOSS, walking behind him is actually asleep. He
has swung his backpack onto his chest and with his head
resting on it he is actually sleep-walking. ZORAN tests
his theory by walking away from the group, in a small
circle. VOSS follows, guided by the sound of ZORAN's
footsteps. He wakes him, VOSS looking around with a
You were asleep!
No I wasn't.
You were following the sound of my
footsteps - sleep-walking.
The others have stopped. ZORAN takes the backpack from
VOSS, and places it on the exhausted IRENA.
155 CONTINUED: 155
Just follow the sound of my
She nods, not fully understanding.
Put all else out of your mind, and
sleep. I'll wake you in Calcutta.
She smiles, nods, already half asleep.
156 EXT. GOBI, LATER - DAY 156
ZORAN looks over his shoulder, smiles proudly as he sees
IRENA is sleep-walking, trusting to the steady sound of
157 EXT. GOBI MID-DAY 157
The group rest under the meagre shade provided by their
coats. SMITH walks away from them, and crests a slight
rise. From here he has a clear view to the horizon. Off
in the distance a dark patch against the light sand.
Through the dancing mid-day light he sees shapes. Trees?
He staggers back to the group.
JANUSZ follows him to the rise. SMITH points to his
discovery. JANUSZ squints against the light.
It's another mirage.
SMITH shakes his head 'no'.
We have no more water. I see
trees. Where there's trees
It's East. We must head South.
The others have joined them, staring toward the distant
157 CONTINUED: 157
I've never doubted you, Janusz.
Not once. But we must give it a
No. We must keep going South!
You'll kill us all!
Damn it, we're already dying.
JANUSZ goes to move on, SMITH grabs his shirt sleeve, a
short pathetic struggle sees them fall to their knees,
VOSS and TOMASZ move to separate them. SMITH is the
first to stand, brushing sand and dirt from his clothes.
He turns to the others.
You have a choice.
He looks at IRENA, then turns and goes back for his staff
and jacket. The others watch as he turns East toward his
It's a mirage. Just a mirage.
SMITH keeps walking away - a strange echo of the incident
in Siberia when he walked away from the guards. Perhaps
it is this memory that causes the others to turn
silently, and collecting their few possessions, to follow
him. JANUSZ watches a while, then slowly follows.
158 EXT. THE GOBI - DAY 158
Close on SMITH as he squints against the glare. His
point of view:
OASIS OR MIRAGE? THE DISTANT OUTLINE OF TREES SEEMS TO
DISAPPEAR IN THE SHIMMERING WAVES OF LIQUID HEAT.
159 BRIEF TIME LAPSE: 159
Close on TOMASZ as he stares ahead of him. His point of
CLOSER NOW, BUT STILL IT WEAVES, APPEARING AND
REAPPEARING IN THE HEAT-SHIMMERS.
160 BRIEF TIME LAPSE: 160
Close on ZORAN. His point of view:
CLOSER AGAIN. A BIRD RISES INTO THE SKY FROM THE NOW
MORE SOLID TREES.
Back on ZORAN.
Mirages don't have birds!
Wider, and they're running, running with the last of
their precious energy.
161 EXT. WELL - DAY 161
A clump of straggly tortured trees surround a desert well
- a low square of ancient stones. They sprawl by the
well, SMITH reaching down inside with their bowl to bring
up a scoop of crystal clear water. It's passed around
Just a little. Don't fill
More scoops follow in quick succession, enough to splash
hands and faces.
VOSS calls from a few yards away.
Fire. Coals are still warm.
SMITH and JANUSZ join him, examining the ground about the
Lots of tracks. Nomads?
Maybe others will come?
Over here! The remains of a meal!
There's still meat on the bones!
He points to the cooked remains of some animal. Using
VOSS's deer-bone knife he scrapes meat from the bones,
others just attacking any bone they find.
161 CONTINUED: 161
Don't eat it all!
He manages to save at least half of the meat, wrapping it
in a cloth, and putting it in VOSS's backpack.
162 EXT. WELL, LATER - DAY 162
They lie stretched out under the shade of the trees
dozing, and every now and then going back to the well to
drink or just to lay their hands in the cool water.
163 EXT. CAMPFIRE - NIGHT 163
IRENA sleeps while the men discuss their situation in
At least we have water here.
But no food.
Other nomads will come. Water
When? Next week? Next month?
We could wait a few days, at
Without food, we'll only get
weaker. Maybe too weak to travel.
These last days - I don't know
that I could go through that
(looks at the water)
It was a miracle finding this.
Can we count on another?
I say we stay.
163 CONTINUED: 163
They look to SMITH. He looks up to find them watching
What are you looking at me for?
Ask Janusz. He's already made up
his mind for us, haven't you,
JANUSZ says nothing.
164 EXT.WELL - DAWN 164
They all take a last drink from the well, then pour water
over their faces and clothes. VOSS fills the skin water-
bag, then ZORAN fills their cooking bowl to the brim.
Steamis rising from their damp clothing when they set
off. ZORAN walking on tip-toe, anxiousnot to spill a
dropfrom the bowl in his outstretchedhand.
165 EXT.GOBI DESERT - DAY 165
Close on TOMASZ as he looks back over his shoulder to
THE WELL, STILL NOT MORE THAN 500 YARDS BEHIND.
166 BRIEF TIME LAPSE: 166
Close on ZORAN as he too turns for a last look at:
THE WELL, NOW UP TO HALF A MILE BEHIND AND LOOKING LESS
REAL IN THE SHIMMERING HEAT.
167 BRIEF TIME LAPSE: 167
Close on VOSS, he shades his eyes to see:
THE WELL IS BELOW THE HORIZON NOW, AND ALL THAT CAN BE
SEEN IS THE ENDLESS FLATNESS, THE SAME EMPTINESS THAT
STRETCHES OUT BEFORE THEM.
168 EXT. GOBI, DESERT - TIMELAPSE - DAY 168
They walk in a desert void. There are no features, no
distant hills, no growth of any kind. It is an
emptiness, the only sound that of their footsteps and
their labored breathing.
168 CONTINUED: 168
All the while their water supply is dwindling - water
from ZORAN's bowl long gone, the goat-skin water-bag no
longer sloshes, but has to be squeezed to get out even a
169 EXT. GOBI - DUSK 169
JANUSZ hands out small portions of the scavenged meat
from the waterhole.
All of them are subject to cramps, the result of the lack
of water, and from time to time they are seen reacting to
a sudden bolt of pain, attempting to stretch against it,
or massage the limb out of its paralysis.
170 LATER, SAME CAMPSITE - NIGHT 170
SMITH and JANUSZ collect more dried camel dung for the
fire. SMITH looks to where the others sit.
We're in trouble.
I know that, but they mustn't.
You can survive a month or more
without food, but water?
Maybe two days, maybe less in this
What about what we're getting from
It's the only thing keeping us
alive. But for how long?
Can you get us back to the
172 EXT. GOBI - LATER - DAY 172
As they walk VOSS picks up a pebble, holds it up to show
ZORAN who walks behind him.
When we worked the fields, during
the hot summers, we used to suck
on small stones like these. Don't
know why but it made us feel less
ZORANpicks up a pebble.
We've eaten just about everything
You don't eat it, just suck on it.
At this moment IRENA falls again, her knees buckling and
her face pitching into the sand in almost one movement.
They turn her over again, wiping the sand from her nose
and mouth. SMITH makes a shelter over her with their
sticks and jackets. She lies with her eyes closed, her
breathing coming in harsh gasps. Both legs are now
swollen to the knees. He touches the swelling and the
marks his fingers make remain for some seconds.
I'm becoming a nuisance.
She looks down at her legs.
Do they hurt you?
No, not at all. They must be
swelling because I've walked so
far. Don't you think, Mister?
SMITH nods reassuringly then quickly turns away, a look
of deep anguish passing across his face.
173 EXT. GOBI - NIGHT 173
The others keep watch over her as she sleeps. SMITH
passes around a splash of water in the cup. They all
Save it for Irena. We've got our
And he pops one in his mouth, makes out it's delicious
In the now familiar ritual they scoop out holes in the
sand, lining them with their jackets, hopeful of
collecting a little moisture overnight.
174 EXT. GOBI - DAWN 174
They walk on, ZORAN carefully carrying the partly filled
bowl of water. IRENA seems refreshed, but JANUSZ and
SMITH walk beside her, watching her every step.
I can walk alright if I can lean a
little on you.
They each lightly lay a hand on her elbow.
175 EXT. GOBI - LATER - DAY 175
IRENA starts to fall forward, they steady her, and she
walks on for a bit before slumping forward, and falling
to her knees. SMITH too falls with exhaustion. VOSS
hurries back to them.
Can you go on?
I think so. But what about Mr.
SMITH struggling for breath is back on his feet, waving
them on. VOSS and JANUSZ each put an arm about her and
half-carrying, half-dragging her, they set off again but
it's no use, she's lost all her strength.
I'm going to carry her.
178 EXT. GOBI DESERT - DAY 178
A lizard, in close up, listens to an approaching sound.
As the volume builds he runs for his life. A beetle too,
has heard it and burrows into the sand as a foot in a
battered moccasin looms large in frame. We follow the
foot a few staggering steps, then a blur, as a body falls
through frame, ending in a close-up of TOMASZ, his breath
coming in short gasps.
179 EXT. WIDER, GOBI DESERT - DAY 179
The five figures, small in frame, TOMASZ the last in
line, down on his knees. He raises a hand, hasn't the
strength to call out. Then one of the figures sees him,
calls to the others.
CLOSE on TOMASZ.
He pulls the leg of his trousers up with difficulty - the
tell-tale swelling of the ankles, just as with IRENA. As
JANUSZ approaches he quickly covers his legs and staggers
to his feet. JANUSZ steadies him, and taking his arm
180 EXT. DUNES, GOBI DESERT - DAY 180
As they walk the landscape changes from the endless
scrubby plain to sweeping sand dunes. The nature of the
terrain makes the going slower and they move forward on
the edge of exhaustion. In a curious freak of Nature the
wind whips across the top of the dunes creating an eerie
singing sound. Ahead, and across their path a massive
dune - no way forward but over it. TOMASZ looks up,
staring in horror -
The dune is moving, rising up, higher and higher, like a
massive sand wave.
Back on TOMASZ. He collapses, unconscious.
181 EXT. BASE OF THE GREAT DUNE, GOBI - TWILIGHT 181
An eerie, ghostly twilight, the group all sitting
together in a rough circle around TOMASZ. He seems to
revive as he passes around sketches he's made during
their imprisonment and escape.
181 CONTINUED: 181
It's an almost cheerful scene, like a traveller showing
happy snaps taken on holiday.
I like this one. When did you do
He holds up a sketch of KAZIK, showing him examining one
of his battered shoes.
On the train. Poor Kazik, always
the trouble with his feet.
ZORAN holds up a drawing of himself.
ZORAN looks at it again genuinely shocked.
My father maybe, but is that
how I look now?
A chuckle from the others.
SMITH stares at a sketch of IRENA.
You caught her smile.
SMITH passes the sketch to JANUSZ as TOMASZ lays back
down, a smile on his face. He looks up at the stars. He
knows he's dying and has accepted the fact. This in turn
has given strength to his friends, and between them all
is a feeling of love and a kind of peace.
182 EXT. BASE OF THE GREAT DUNE, GOBI - DAWN 182
They've tied his pencil to a length of hide, and hung it
from the top of the cross over his grave. A faint breath
of morning breeze sets it swinging like a pendulum, the
others long gone.
183 EXT. DUNES - DAY 183
As they stagger on JANUSZ has moved well out in front,
when he stumbles and falls. Then he sees it, just out
ahead, and he begins crawling toward it.
183 CONTINUED: 183
JANUSZ'S MIRAGE - DAY:
It's the hedge and gate from his vision. Behind the
hedge the hint of a roof. Through the gate can be seen
the path to the front door.
184 EXT. DUNES - DAY 184
JANUSZ crawling faster now, when ZORAN appears beside
Do you see it?
Come on, Jan.
But do you see it?
He helps him to his feet and they continue on.
185 EXT. DUNES, GOBI DESERT - DAY 185
In the glare of the noon-day sun they shelter under
their coats propped on their walking staffs. No-one
186 EXT. DUNES, GOBI DESERT - DAY 186
SMITH and JANUSZ support each other as they stagger on.
SMITH's eyes are on the ground, following the dancing
shadows before him. JANUSZ nudges him, points - above
them two magnificent eagles, the source of the shadows.
Eagles live in mountains.
SMITH looks at the featureless landscape ahead.
They also fly long distances.
187 EXT. LANDSCAPE, MONGOLIA - DAY 187
The dunes are more intermittent here, the ground more
stony and undulating.
189 CONTINUED: 189
VOSS hears it first, and with his remaining strength
moves out of the circle of firelight into the desert. He
pauses, listens again.
A scraping sound. Then he sees them coming out of the
gloom - JANUSZ dragging an unconscious SMITH by his
shoulders. VOSS hurries to them. A look from JANUSZ -
'water'? VOSS shakes his head, 'No'.
190 EXT. CAMPSITE - SAME - DAWN 190
A black snake, thick as your wrist, slides over ZORAN'S
leg. He stares, too close to death to feel fear. He's
not even entirely sure it's real. He watches its
progress as it slithers up the rocky hillside. Then he
gets it, and he's up, running on pure adrenaline,
following after the snake, leaving his sleeping
companions by the fire.
191 EXT. HILLSIDE - BRIEF MONTAGE - DAY 191
ZORAN tracking the snake. He mutters to himself in a
kind of delirium. He is crawling after the snake,
scraping skin from knees and elbows. The snake disappears
down into a rocky defile, followed by ZORAN.
192 EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY 192
SMITH in a death-like sleep. A distance away VOSS and
JANUSZ stand, staring upward at the waving figure some
fifty metres up the hill. A native? Black mud obscures
his face. It's ZORAN. He waves, dances about, then in a
cracked voice, a single word drifts down to them.
193 EXT. VALLEY FLOOR - DAY 193
ZORAN, JANUSZ, VOSS - lie flat out like lizards, their
faces in damp, black mud. Sucking sounds. They slurp at
small pools of water, split lips, puffed and bleeding.
At first, just to swallow is painful, but it is life.
After each mouthful there is a moment they must wait as
the seepage re-fills the little hollows.
194 EXT. MUD-POOLS - LATER - DAY 194
They've carried SMITH to the water and JANUSZ supports
him in a sitting position while VOSS and ZORAN, in turn,
soak their shirts in the mud, dripping the life-giving
liquid into SMITH'S mouth. He coughs, splutters, as he
sucks at the moisture.
195 EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE VALLEY - DAY 195
A black snake protruding about a foot out of a hole in
the sandy soil. ZORAN points, and is joined by JANUSZ
and VOSS. JANUSZ holds his hand up for them to go very
still. He speaks in a whisper.
VOSS passes him the deer-bone knife. With it, he splits
the end of his staff, to make a fork out of the end.
What if it's poisonous?
You can still eat it. Just cut
off its head.
He passes the knife to VOSS, then creeps toward the
creature, and striking quickly he attempts to trap the
snake in the fork. Too slow. The snake disappears into
196 EXT. VALLEY - LATER - DAY 196
Like snake-fishermen, they sit waiting bythe snake-hole
- ZORAN too, has a snake-catching stick. Then they see a
second snake, slithering across the rocks. At a signal
they strike, ZORAN deftly trapping the snake's head in
the cleft stick.
197 EXT.CAMPSITE, VALLEY - DAY 197
Chunksofwhitish snake meat are cooking on a thin flat
stoneovera fire of twigs and grass. The men grab
piecesofthe snake and eat, nodding approval.
It's not bad.
Revised 2/25/09 (Pink) 103.
197 CONTINUED: 197
JANUSZ helps SMITH sit up, feeding him a small piece of
meat. SMITH waves him away, sinking back to the ground
too tired to eat.
Kind of like chicken.
Yeah, a long black poisonous
chicken with no legs.
You know Valka talked of eating
each other? In Siberia?
He did? Would you have eaten me?
I would never have eaten you - too
stringy and bitter, I'd rather eat
VOSS nearly chokes on something, reaches into his mouth,
pulls out a tooth.
198 OMITTED 198
199 EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT 199
The fire burns low, VOSS and ZORAN sleep. SMITH wakes
from time to time and JANUSZ forces him to eat and drink.
SMITH is deathly pale, his life ebbing away. He speaks
in short, croaky stabs, every breath an effort.
It can kill you, remember?
JANUSZ tries to force more water on him but SMITH waives
199 CONTINUED: 199
How long can you survive on snakes
and mud? You should leave me, but
you can't can you? You're a fool.
I'd leave you.
He lays back down. JANUSZ studies his face, pain and
suffering etched in sharp lines.
I mightn't know youur first name,
but I know your son's name.
SMITH stares at him.
Irena told you.
Can I say his name?
Nothing from SMITH.
Saying his name on't bring him
He struggles onto his elbow, staring intently at JANUSZ,
an ironic smile on his lips.
You trying to give me the will to
live? That it? Stop me giving
Are you giving up?
In the camps, some saw death as
Revised 3/16/09 ( Salmon) 105.
199 CONTINUED: ( 2) 199
So why didn't you kill yourself?
Survival was a kind of protest.
JANUSZ makes him take a little water.
Now being alive is my punishment.
Punishment for what?
I brought David to Russia didn't
And no-one can forgive you? And
you can't forgive yourself?
Be easier if I had religion, or a
home to go back to, like you.
For us, the old life is gone.
They sit in silence for a while.
Irena told me they tortured your
wife and she informed on you.
They did that to my boy.
My wife was released, that much I
know. She lived, but like you she
won't be able to forgive herself.
Only I can do that.
He leans closer to SMITH, speaks just above a whisper,
his voice intense, his eyes burning.
She'll torture herself for what
she did. Just like you. That's
why I have to get back!
199 CONTINUED: ( 3) 199
This last, has impressed SMITH, and despite his death-
wish a flicker of life surges through his bones.
200 EXT. CAMPSITE, MUD-FLAT - DAWN 200
Next morning, and the figures of the four men are seen in
wide-shot sleeping by the embers of their fire. One
figure gets up, picks up his staff, and begins to walk
slowly South, toward the distant mountains. It's SMITH.
The others stir, their attention caught by the sight of
SMITH staggering onward. JANUSZ knows what the effort to
walk is costing him, and he knows this is SMITH's gift to
him. They hurriedly pack up, VOSS cramming the back-pack
with roasted snake-meat, ZORAN collecting a last bowl of
water, which he pours carefully into their goatskin water-
201 EXT. DESERT - DAY 201
JANUSZ catches up with SMITH, giving him his arm in
support, and together they slowly continue their journey
202 EXT. CHANGING TERRAIN - DAY 202
They leave the desert behind as they climb gently rising
203 RIVER, MONGOLIA - DAY 203
The survivors each seen alone as they experience the life-
giving water: one simply lets water run though his
fingers; another submerges himself entirely; one drinks,
savoring every mouthful as if it were the finest vintage
wine. SMITH fishes. Beside him several of his catch
gleam silver in the light.
204 - OMIT
205 EXT. HILLSIDE - DUSK/NIGHT 205
Walking abreast they head toward a pass between two
massive mountains - in the distance gleaming snow-capped
peaks rise even higher.
206 EXT. CAMPSITE, MOUNTAINS - DAWN 206
They sleep, huddled together amongst the stony rubble.
It is snowing. VOSS is the first to rise. He looks
about him in disbelief, shakes the others awake,
pointing. Just beyond where they've slept a high wall
towers above them. In this extreme Western section it's
in poor shape - not built of stone, but of ancient mud
bricks, tumbled down in many places, but to the East the
outline is distinct as it straggles over ridges to the
horizon - the Great Wall of China.
207 EXT. THE GREAT WALL, CHINA - DAY 207
They enter through a keyhole-like opening formed by
collapsed masonry, now dressed in their cold weather
208 EXT. SKY - DAY 208
From high above a series of aerial shots take us over a
massive snow covered mountain range.
209 EXT. SNOWY LANDSCAPE, TIBET - DAY 209
The men climb steadily up snow-covered hills, pausing at
a cairn of stones covered with tiny flags.
They move on with renewed energy.
210 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, TIBET - DAY 210
CLOSE on the deeply lined face of a SHEPHERD. He wears
Tibetan costume and squints his eyes as he stares into
From his P.O.V., four distant figures walking across the
snowy plain toward him. The sound of dogs barking.
211 EXT. A RIDGE NEAR THE SHEPHERD'S HUT - DUSK 211
Far below in a valley lies the legendary Lhasa - the
stepped palace and surrounding town burnished by the last
of the golden light. A sprinkling of lights come on as
the shadows lengthen.
211 CONTINUED: 211
Above and beyond, like a massive wall, rise the snow-
capped peaks of the Himalayas. This has been theview
stretching out before the four fugitives andtheirtour-
guide, the old shepherd. As if pointing outthechoice
confronting them, he labels each of these spectacular
Then, indicating 'over' the mountains -
In dumb-show, he mines that the mountains would be very
212 EXT. SHEPHERD'S HUT - NIGHT 212
Three horses arrive at the door of the lonely hut and its
associated outbuildings. THE SHEPHERD dismounts and with
much bowing opens the door for two other Tibetans who
follow. One is a LPMA, the other a local OFFICIAL. They
stoop as they enter - a glimpse inside to where the four
survivors sit at a table, surrounded by bowls and plates
213 INT. SHEPHERD'S HUT - NIGHT 213
The LAMA and the OFFICIAL sit opposite the group. Tea is
served. The official speaks English with difficulty, and
as in Mongolia, he addresses the elder of the group - MR.
India? Yes. There is the track
to Sikkim, over the mountains.
Many people go there.
Small villages there. They give
food. Wood for fire. Yes, but
you don't go now.
CLOSE on JANUSZ, intensely following the conversation.
213 CONTINUED: 213
Why can't we go now?
If big snow come - very difficult.
You wait here until Spring. This
family keep you.
He confers with the LAMA.
That's three months.
(indicates the LAMA)
He go to Lhasa. Get permission
for to stay. Only to Spring. Not
possible foreigners stay Tibet.
SMITH bows his head, mutters thanks, all of the group
214 INT. STABLES, SHEPHERD'S HUT - NIGHT 214
THE SHEPHERD has seen JANUSZ, ZORAN and VOSS to their
quarters. He passes VOSS a battered oil-lamp and retires
with much bowing. They settle on the straw covered
floor, laying out their heavy wool fleeces and blankets
given to them by the shepherd's wife.
Well, we can't cross in Winter.
He said it was 'difficult'.
SMITH comes in, and they make room for him in the cramped
I'm going to sleep 'till Spring.
Like a bear in a cave. What about
SMITH settles with his back to the wall, draws up his
I'm going to Lhasa.
The others are stunned by this.
214 CONTINUED: 214
The Lama has a contact - maybe get
me out through China. There's a
U.S. military mission there.
They don't like it. A feeling he's deserting them,
breaking up the team.
'Looking after number one.' Isn't
that what Americans say?
ZORAN eventually looks at him.
We escaped. We made it.
VOSS blows out the lamp. Silvery moonlight from a small
He's right. I just realized it.
Apart from a few mountains, we're
there. We made it.
Not all of us.
No. Not all of us.
Their thoughts drift back to their lost companions.
What will you do, Mister? When
you get home.
Might drift for a while.
214 CONTINUED: (2)
Haven't you had enough of that?
CLOSE on JANUSZ, hardly listening, his thoughts
elsewhere. Their late-night conversation drifts over
I will fight. First Germans, then
Then re-build your church?
I will die fighting.
This statement has an oddly prophetic sound. JANUSZ look
across at him.
I'm going to get Tomasz's pictures
to a newspaper, or get them
published somehow. Then I'm going
to cook his chicken - but with
extra salt just to annoy him.
Chuckles from the group.
And you, Janusz?
VOSS (TO SMITH)
As long as the Communists are in
Poland, he can't go back.
They'd shoot you wouldn't they,
They settle down to sleep, outside the wind is picking
I'll just keep on going. Until
it's over. Keep on walking.
SMITH looks through the gloom to where JANUSZ sits -
moonlight slashes the side of his face, but he can't
quite see his eyes.
CLOSE on JANUSZ. He's wide awake. No thought of sleep.
215 - OMIT
216 INT. STABLES - DAWN 216
ZORAN and VOSS agitated at the discovery that JANUSZ has
gone. Much coming and going in and out of the hut,
checking that he isn't somewhere close by. Only SMITH
remains undisturbed as he sits with his back against the
wall, the ghost of a smile on his lips. He expected
217 EXT. HIMALAYAS - DAY 217
Up ahead a figure, JANUSZ, dwarfed by the mountain chain,
struggles on, climbing toward the snow-capped passes.
218 EXT. HIGHER PASS DAY 218
As he climbs he hears a cry, mingling with that of the
wind - a voice echoing about the mountains. He ignores
it for a few paces, before he looks back - far below two
figures waving and calling - VOSS and ZORAN.
219 EXT. MOUNTAIN SLOPE/VALLEY, TIBET/INDIA - DAWN 219
The change from the barren mountains of Tibet, to the
lush green of Sikkim is abrupt and startling - from rocky
upper reaches the slope to the valley becomes rich in
scrubby birch-woods, rhododendrons, and deciduous forest,
until finally it becomes dense rain forest. It is with a
backdrop of this luxuriant green that Indian faces look
up toward the slopes. Here they watch three wild looking
bearded men descending toward them. The additional cost
of this final leg of their journey is plainly visible on
their faces, and in their slow stumbling movements. They
walk like automatons, only their senses fully alive.
Shouts from the locals produce a village ELDER, then a
POLICEMAN. Older children squeal with delight, while
some of the very young cry out in fear, one even bursting
into tears - are these the dreaded Yeti their
grandfathers told them lived up in the mountain peaks?
220 EXT. VALLEY PATH, INDIA - DAY 220
Close on JANUSZ, VOSS, and ZORAN as the beaming POLICEMAN
escorts them past dozens of smiling faces.
220 CONTINUED: 220
This being India, a small crowd of the curious rapidly
swells, until the path is lined two and three deep on
either side, like a welcoming crowd at the end of a
marathon. Small children are held up for a better look,
while hands reach out patting their backs and shoulders -
it's as if they know these men have achieved something
Close on JANUSZ, as amongst the sound of the gathering
crowd other voices join in, cheering voices, hundreds of
them, rising in volume until the cheering changes into
that of a chant, now seemingly swelled by thousands of
voices. Still CLOSE on JANUSZ walking as behind him the
Indian scene dissolves into a series of black and white
images. (Throughout, the image of JANUSZ walking is from
this scene in India).
- VICTORY IN EUROPE. CROWDS CELEBRATE IN TRAFALGAR
SQUARE... SUPER, 'V.E. DAY, 1945'
- FIGHTING IN BUDAPEST, THE UPRISING AGAINST THE
COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT... SUPER, 'HUNGARIAN UPRISING, 1956'
- THE BERLIN WALL BEING BUILT, SOME ATTEMPT ESCAPE. A
MAN IS SHOT AS HE CLIMBS THE WALL... SUPER, 'BERLIN WALL,
- RUSSIAN TANKS IN PRAGUE, CONFRONT
DEMONSTRATORS...SUPER, 'PRAGUE UPRISING, 1968'
-LECH WALESA ADDRESSES STRIKING MINERS AT GDANSK
SHIPYARDS, POLAND...SUPER 'SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT, POLAND,
- THE BERLIN WALL COMING DOWN. SHOUTS AND CHEERS FROM
THE ECSTATIC CROWD ON BOTH SIDES... SUPER 'BERLIN WALL
COMES DOWN, 1989'
- CROWDS IN WARSAW CELEBRATE THEIR FREEDOM... SUPER,
'POLAND FREE, 1989'
221 EXT. A HOUSE, POLAND - DAY 221
The camera moves toward a gate in a hedge. The click of
the latch as it opens. A downward view of the
flagstones. The front door, the camera pans left. The
loose brick. A hand into frame removes a key from behind
the brick. Into the lock of the door, the door pushed
222 INT. HOUSE, POLAND - DAY 222
A WOMAN sitting by a window. She's in her early
seventies, and she looks up expectantly on hearing the
door closing in the hallway. At the entrance to the room
appears a young man in Polish cavalry uniform - YOUNG
JANUSZ, as he was just before the war. He smiles at his
wife. Cut back to the seat by the window to see his
pretty YOUNG WIFE, as she was back in 1939. YOUNG
JANUSZ, smiling broadly, crosses toward her. Cut back to
his WIFE of 1989 - on her face there are lines of
suffering which fade as she smiles up at him. She's
waited a long time for him to come home. On JANUSZ now
as he sits opposite her, and for the first time we see
him as he is in 1989 - also in his early seventies.
Without a word he reaches across the table and takes her
hand in his.
FADE TO BLACK.