THE POWER OF ONE
Written by ROBERT MARK KAMEN
Based on the Novel by BRYCE COURTENAY
February 1990 Draft
Copyright © 1990 Warner Bros.
THE POWER OF ONE
What if the power of one becomes the
power of many and the power of many
becomes the power of one?
1 EXT. SOUTH AFRICAN FARM - DAY (1939) 1
A white car sits in the yard of the farmhouse. On the
door, a decal: "CAPETOWN SANITORIUM." Two men dressed
in the white uniforms of the sanitorium exit the farm-
house; one gently guiding a rather frail, troubled
woman toward the car; the other totes her suitcase.
The V.O. of a young man narrates:
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
There comes a time in everyone's
life when they discover that the
only person you can truly depend
on is yourself. That the only
real power anyone has to get
anything done is the power of one.
With any luck you can make it
through a lot of years before you
ever have to face the reality of
It was a luxury I never had. I
discovered it the year my mother
had her nervous breakdown.
One attendant holds the rear door of the car open for
the woman. Before entering, she turns one last time
toward the farmhouse.
2 HER POV 2
A young BOY looking one part scared, one part sad, and
one part lost stares back at her, his hand held by a
large, amiable black woman with tears rolling down her
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
I was all of six.
3 BACK TO SCENE 3
The woman enters the car. The car drives off down the
road. The Boy watches it disappear behind a plume of
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
My father died before I was born,
and even though I was raised by
my Zulu nanny, with my mother,
depending on her health, in
nominal attendance, it was
decided, with her departure, that
I, too, would depart...
... for boarding school.
The dust the Boy has been watching reverses itself.
An unseen vehicle comes up the road.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
But before I could be sent out
into the world one very serious
matter had to be dealt with.
I was a chronic bedwetter. Since
my nanny was the one responsible
for my well-being, she did what
any responsible Zulu mother would
do. She called on the greatest
medicine man of her tribe --
Out of the dust a large black Buick ROADMASTER ROARS up
the road and into the yard, scattering chickens and
geese, stopping in front of the wide-eyed six-year-old
and his tremulous nanny. A huge Zulu jumps out of the
front passenger seat and opens the rear door. A moment
passes, and then two splayed, cracked feet descend from
the car and settle into the dust. INKOSI INKOSIKAZI,
100 years old, small, black, wizened, hair and beard
whiter than cotton, a leopard skin draped over his
shoulders, a beaded fly switch in one hand, a trussed
chicken in the other, exits the car.
4 EXT. YARD - NIGHT 4
A fire burns bright in the black African night. The Boy
sits holding the chicken, close by the fire, while Inkosi
Inkosikazi shuffles around him, drawing a circle in the
dust with a stick.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
Legend had it that Inkosi
Inkosikazi was the last son of
the great Zulu king, Dingaan,
who fought both the Boers and
the British to a standstill
nearly 100 years before, and the
night Inkosi Inkosikazi was
conceived stars fell from the
sky until the sun rose.
The circle complete, the old man sits down opposite the
Boy. From a leather pouch he produces several bones. He
throws the bones on the ground and studies them for a
moment. He begins to wave the fly switch back and forth
in front of the Boy's eyes, chanting low, softly. The
Boy's eyes grow heavy; his lids droop.
5 DREAM - EXT. WATERFALL 5
The Boy and the old man are standing above a great
waterfall. In the swirling pool far below are ten
stepping stones linking one bank to the other.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
The medicine man instructed me to
jump off the falls and climb along
the ten stepping stones, counting
as I went until I reached dry
The Boy jumps, cascading down the falls and into the pond
below. He clambers up the first rock. It is slippery.
He falls off and climbs back on, buffeted by the spraying
water. He makes his way stone by stone toward the other
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
Even though it was only a dream,
I felt as if my struggle to reach
dry land was terrifyingly real.
The water was like ice, bone-
chilling, cold, and as I made my
way from one stone to the next I
could feel my strength desert me.
The progress from one step to the next gets progressively
harder as the Boy keeps slipping into the swirling water,
coughing and sputtering.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
I was three rocks in when I ran
out of gas. I couldn't pull myself
any further. No matter how hard I
tried, the current tried harder.
I felt myself going under for the
The Boy's grip slips off the rock. He starts to go
6 EXT. FARMYARD - DAWN 6
The fire has gone out. The Boy is still sitting in the
circle, the chicken still in his lap. His eyes snap
open. The first thing he sees is Inkosi Inkosikazi
sitting across from him with a big smile.
7 EXT. YARD - DAY 7
Inkosi Inkosikazi enters the Buick. The Boy and his
smiling nanny watch. They Boy still holds the chicken.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
Inkosi Inkosikazi said the spirit
of the great Zulu warriors lived
in me. He told me that whenever
trouble arose I should return to
the waterfall and keep stepping
across the rocks until the trouble
passed. He said three rocks were
enough to conquer my problem with
the night water; that I was very
brave. He said I was a man for
all Africa, bound to her by my
spirit, bound by my dreams.
And he let me keep the chicken.
The Boy and his nanny watch the car go off in a cloud of
8 EXT. VELDT - DAY 8
The Boy sits on a train looking out the window at the
veldt and the wildlife moving across in the distance.
A sack on his lap moves. The chicken's head pops out.
The Boy gives him some kernels of corn and scratches
behind his scraggly comb.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
Although I was bound by spirit
and dream to Africa, I was bound
by heritage and language to the
birthplace of my grandparents --
England -- a country I had never
seen, but one that was to cause
me eminently more problems than
bedwetting ever did.
9 EXT. ROAD TO SCHOOL 9
A motorcar driving along the road to the school.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
The school I was sent to was
attended and staffed entirely by
Afrikaaners, the oldest of the two
white tribes of Africa.
10 INT. SCHOOL 10
The six-year-old walks timorously through the halls,
filled with bigger boys -- brash, noisy, hostile. They
only speak the "Taal" -- Afrikaans. Over and over they
jostle or verbally deride the six-year-old, knocking his
books down so that when he bends to pick them up he is
kicked in the butt. Or pulling his shirt out from under
his jacket and making it hard to move.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
I spoke only English. The hated
tongue. The language of the enemy
who had usurped power and stolen
the country through political
chicanery and military brutality.
A mob of boys, led by a big bully, JAAPIE BOTHA, runs
the six-year-old through the bathroom and into the
showers, fully clothed. He tries to run out. Jaapie
Botha grabs him and throws him back in, holding him with
one ham-fisted hand under the shower head and turning the
shower on with the other. The six-year-old stands
miserable as the stinging water pelts him.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
During the Boer War of 1896,
26,000 Boer women and children
were herded into detainment camps
by the British, where they died
like flies from dysentery,
malaria and black water fever.
And it seemed I was destined to
shoulder the responsibility for
each and every one of those
The six-year-old in his first soccer game receives the
ball. He tries to move upfield, but he is kicked and
pushed, the ball taken from him. He gets up gamely to
follow the chase, only to be flattened, blindsided by
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
And no one made this more evident
to me than Jaapie Botha, a wheat
farmer's son from the Transvaal.
11 INT. DORMITORY 11
The six-year-old, asleep, his chicken perched alertly
atop the bed.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
The only time I was at peace was
when I slept. Inkosi Inkosikazi's
chicken proved to be, like his
previous owner, a salvation.
12 EXT. REAR OF DORMITORY - DAY 12
The Boy builds a small shelter for the CHICKEN, who
CLUCKS and forages contentedly.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
During the day he would live
outside the dorm, happily scarfing
down bugs and grubs, secure in a
little house I built for him.
13 INT. DORM - NIGHT 13
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
And at night he would hop through
the window and, perching over my
bed, squawking if any intruders
Several boys sneak up in the dark. The CHICKEN begins
to CHATTER. The six-year-old wakes, a shoe in hand
ready to throw. The shadows scatter. The Boy gives the
chicken a few grains of corn and an affectionate scratch
behind the ear, and goes back to sleep.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
He was my best and only friend.
14 INT. SCHOOL 14
Boys and faculty running through the halls excitedly,
showing newspapers with pictures of Hitler and
Chamberlain on the front. Posters and slogans with
swastikas are slapped up on walls. Some boys mimic
"heiling" to each other.
YOUNG MAN (V.O.)
I'm sure in time a status quo
would have been achieved between
me and my schoolmates were it not
for the cataclysmic events
occurring in that faraway place
none of us had ever seen.
Two montjhs after I arrived at
the school World War II broke out
in Europe. Hitler had vowed to
crush the British Empire. The
Boers sharpened their swords in
The six-year-old comes back to his bed in the dorm to
find a swastika carved into it.
15 INT. DORMITORY - NIGHT 15
The six-year-old sleeps fitfully. There is a MUFFLED
SQUAWK. He wakes. A blanket is thrown over his head.
16 INT. DARKENED BASEMENT ROOM 16
The Boy is dumped on the floor, the blanket removed. His
eyes open in horror. The room is lit by torches.
Shadows dance fearfully off two dozen boys with swastika
armbands and leather pistol rigs without pistols strapped
to their sides. In front of him on a platform Jaapie
Botha stands, his shirtsleeves rolled to the shoulder,
as another student painfully tattoo-scars his arm with
a swastika, using a knife and blue dye. Seeing the six-
year-old, Jaapie turns his attention to him and
addresses him in Afrikaans.
God has sent Hitler to deliver us
from the English bastards who stole
our country and killed our people.
The other boys chorus in.
We will swear a blood oath. When
Hitler comes we'll rise up and
kill the Verdomde Rooineks.
A blood oath! A blood oath!
Jaapie bends down and grabs the six-year-old by the
shirt front, yanking him up.
With your blood.
Jaapie slaps the Boy across the mouth three times.
Blood flows from his mouth and nose. Jaapie dips his
finger in the blood and smears it across his new tattoo.
He holds up his bloodied fingers.
We swear allegiance to Adolf
Hitler. Heil Hitler!
We swear allegiance to Adolf
Hitler. Heil Hitler!
Death to all Englishmen in South
Africa. Heil Hitler!
The chorus repeats.
God bless the fatherland. Heil
The voices come back to him stronger.
Jaapie grabs the six-year-old again.
See what we have in store for
you when Hitler comes, Rooinek.
He gives a command. The boys at the far end of the
room part. The six-year-old's eyes open in terror.
17 HIS POV 17
20 feet away Inkosi Inkosikazi's chicken, his chicken,
is hung from a rafter upside down, haplessly flapping
against his bonds.
18 BACK TO SCENE 18
But before he gets two steps towards the chicken he is
gang-tackled and held. Jaapie picks up a sling and a
For crimes committed against the
whole Boer people. I, Jaapie
Botha, the judge and Uberfuhrer,
sentence you and your Rooinek
kaffir chicken to death. Heil
Jaapie starts to swing the sling around and around. The
six-year-old struggles to get free.
Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!
The SLING WHISTLES through the air, faster and faster.
Jaapie releases the stone. It flies true, catching
the SQUAWKING, struggling CHICKEN flush in the chest.
The flapping stops as blood soaks through feathers.
Jaapie flings his hand forward, victorious.
The Boy takes the opportunity to break loose. He rushes
Jaapie, whose arm is outstretched, putting him off
balance. The Boy catches him low, driving his head into
Jaapie's exposed stomach. Jaapie falls back and gets
the knife used for his tattooing right in his ass.
Jaapie Botha bellows like an enraged bull as he grabs
futiley for the embedded blade. His cohorts laugh,
thinking it tremendously funny, until Jaapie removes
the knife and turns with it, dripping his own blood, his
eyes murderous. The laughter dies. Jaapie's breath
Hang him up!
A few boys protest.
But Botha is murderous, intent on revenge.
He waves the bloody knife in the air. Three boys grab
the six-year-old and drag him to where the chicken is
hanging. Two more boys throw a rope over the same
rafter. Others bind the struggling boy, trussing his
hands to his sides.
You will pay for the deaths of
our grandfathers and grandmothers,
our aunts and uncles. All
Rooineks will pay and you will be
The boys who tied the rope now yank it over the rafter.
The six-year-old is hoisted up until he is eye-level with
In the name of Adolf Hitler and
the fatherland, I sentence you to
die, Verdomde Rooinek.
Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!
Jaapie swings the sling overhead, faster and faster.
19 ANGLE ON SIX-YEAR-OLD 19
He watches as Jaapie bears down. As Jaapie is about to
let the rock fly the door to the room opens and two STAFF
MEMBERS burst in, surprising in.
The rock flies from the sling, but Jaapie's attention is
diverted. His aim is off. The rock grazes the boy above
the eye. He loses consciousness. The scene FADES TO
20 INT. ST. JOHN'S STUDY - DAY 20
Prince of Wales School, 1950. PK, 17 going on 18, well-
built, intense, clear-eyed, handsome, stands in front of
a seminar and continues reading to 10 students, honor
students, Headmaster St. John's chosen few. St. John,
with the demeanor of an Oxford don and a mane of snowy
white hair that reaches his shoulders, sits off to the
I came to after being unconscious
for two days, the rock missing my
eye by half an inch. After a week
in hospital it was decided I'd be
sent to my grandfather's house in
the English town of Barberton,
at least until passions at school
cooled. Jaapie Botha was expelled;
sent home to his family's farm in
And so the first recorded South
African casualty of Hitler's
insanity was not a Boer, nor a
Rooinek, but a tatter-feathered,
half-bald kaffir chicken.
PK finishes. The end of class BELL RINGS. Offstage,
other classrooms are exiting into the common hall, but
no one in St. John's study moves. St. John takes his
glasses off and wipes the lenses deliberately. After a
long moment he turns to face the class.
Very evocative, yes. Particularly
the image of the chicken. Good
St. John rises, lecturing.
Any ideology that needs to attack
the thing that least threatens it
is an ideology that will not
outlive its own generation.
Inclusion, gentlemen, not
exclusion, is the key to survival.
Something our new government
should take heed of, eh?
His eyes roam from face to face, fixing his point.
Next week we have Mr. Levy who
will enlighten us on...
MORRIE, a bright-eyed kinetic, speaks up.
Sport and wager in Imperial Rome,
Very apt, Mr. Levy. We look
forward to the experience.
The boys bolt for the door.
Thank you, sir.
I've received notice from the
Oxford selection committee. You
are to appear before them in
three weeks. I assume you'll be
reading a piece of your fiction
as your presentational.
A word of caution. Contemporary
to most of these fellows means
the seventeenth century. Try and
keep your theme, um, classical,
if you know what I mean.
Yes sir. I will.
Will the scholarship be decided
at the same time, sir?
Money's a different matter.
Very good, sir.
St. John picks up a book and opens the pages. He begins
to read. PK takes it as a cue for his dismissal. He
goes to exit.
PK turns at the door.
Good luck tonight.
Thank you, sir.
St. John returns to his book. PK exits.
21 EXT. HALL 21
Morrie waits in the now nearly-empty hall, taking some
money from another boy and making notations in a black
book. PK comes up to him.
How we doing?
Morrie consults the book.
You win and your dream comes true.
You lose, we're back to bread
and butter sandwiches till term's
end. What'd he want?
My appointement before the Oxford
committee came through.
For a brain like you, maybe.
Come on, you'll read one of your
pieces, they'll be begging you to
But will they pay for the
Well let's bloody hope so. It'll
be a lonely time without you
Morrie Levy. Is that the voice
of sentimentality I hear coming
Sentimentality my ass.
Practicality. Where am I going
to find a sure thing like you to
make book on at bloody Oxford?
He shoves Morrie playfully out the door and follows.
22 INT. LONG HALLWAY - CLOSEUP - PK AND MORRIE 22
as they walk down the long hall looking straight ahead.
Sweat dapples PK's face. Both boys are focused on
double doors at the end of the hall. There is the
distant MUFFLED sound of a CROWD CHEERING.
You hear Sutcliffe screwed
Bartlett's sister when he stayed
with them over holidays?
I don't believe it.
I heard it from Bartlett's own
lips. He's selling reservations
for next holiday. A pound for
one night; three pounds for four.
For both of us. Took the whole
The CHEERING crowd grows LOUDER the closer they get to
the double doors.
Christ! I'm about to have a calf.
This bloody Boer gets lucky,
we're in the poorhouse.
They reach the double doors. Still in CLOSEUP, Morrie
turns to face PK for the first time.
Now remember. We're not here to
exhibit our wares. We go in, we
do the job, we get out. Right?
PK is so focused his eyes seem to bore through the doors.
He does not move his head a hair.
Morrie and PK draw a deep breath. Together they push
open the double doors. Together they stride into a
floodlit, fully-packed sports arena and head down the
fan-lined aisle to the raised boxing ring in the center.
Schoolboys in their respective school blazers, Afrikaan
and English, yell, whistle and clap. PK and Morrie,
in FULL FRAME, reveal PK in a boxing robe with taped
hands, and Morrie with towel and bucket.
And at the end of six matches in
all weight divisions, the score
is Prince of Wales three victories,
Helpmakeer three victories.
The stands explode with cheers.
And now for the final bout to
determine which school will win
the Johannesburg 1950 public
school boxing team championship.
In this corner, weighing 140
pounds, standing 5'8", from the
Helpmakeer School with a record of
13-0 on the year, Jannie
A huge cheer goes up for JANNIE, muscular, bare-chested,
as he dances and shadowboxes for the crowd.
PK enters the ring. He stands, robe on, eyes intent on
Jannie. When the noise subsides the Announcer continues.
And in this corner, representing
the Prince of Wales School, the
current Johannesburg Public School
welterweight champion, also with
a record of 13-0 on the year, also
140 pounds, Kid P.K.
Now the English schoolboys cheer for their man, but PK
does not respond. He barely moves. He raises an arm in
bare acknowledgment. His attention stays focused across
the ring on his shadowboxing opponent. PK watches Jannie
dance closely when a low CHANTING begins from outside the
stadium -- African, tribal, mystical harmonies of black
voices building until the white voices inside the stadium
are stunned to silence. The song carries beautifully in
the night. For the first time PK's focus is broken, but
not like the others in the audience, who haven't a clue
as to what's happening. He has heard this before. This
This is for him. A distant knowing flickers in his eyes
like a man who has heard the voice of fate whisper his
Over and over, one phrase is indistinguishable -- the
chorus of the song. "Ono bi shobi ingelosi." The
chanting stops as suddenly as it began. A moment passes
before the crowd begins to buzz with the phenomenon.
The Announcer attempts to bring everyone's attention
back to the business at hand.
We thank the native population for
their spirited display of
enthusiasm. But now, on to the
main event. Fighters to center
PK, focused again, meets Jannie at the REFEREE.
You both know the rules. No
butts, no elbows, no low blows.
First man to score three knock
downs wins. Let's have a good
clean fight. Good luck to you.
The fighters slap leather. PK turns back to his corner
when his focus is broken dramatically by a face in the
23 HIS POV - FRONT ROW - HALF-DOZEN SCHOOLGIRLS 23
sit; one of them MARIA ELIZABETE MARAIS, 17, with honey-
blonde hair and lapis-blue eyes, turns her head and
engages PK's eyes and his heart. She quickly looks
away. But a connection has been made -- fire passed.
24 PK 24
goes back to his corner and takes off his robe. Morrie
stands, holding PK's mouthpiece.
First row, third from the left.
Find out who she is.
Morrie looks down at Maria.
We're in a bloody war here, in
case you forgot. Let's keep our
mind on that, hey?
He jams the mouthpiece into PK's mouth as the BELL RINGS.
PK turns to an onslaught by Jannie, a real brawler.
Jannie's big, overhand rights almost nail PK until he
finds his footing and dances away. Jannie comes after
him hard, his schoolmates bellowing encouragement. But
PK's far superior boxing skills put Jannie at an immed-
iate disadvantage. It is a classic battle of a boxer
versus a fighter. PK's jabs keep Jannie at an arm's
length, until he closes with a combination. Jannie,
willing to take three punches to land one, absorbs PK's
point scoring combinations and tries to land knockout
punches. When he has had enough punishment he lunges
into a clinch.
Blery Rooinek. I'll kill you.
PK pushes off as Jannie hammers at his kidneys. Backing
up, PK repays the compliment with two quick jabs to the
face. PK works Jannie, turning him left then right,
working the angles, keeping him off balance while he
racks up the points. Jannie goes left. As PK chases
him that way his eyes fix on something out of the ring.
25 HIS POV - REAR EXIT DOOR - TALL BLACK MAN 25
with a younger black companion of more average height,
the only black faces in a crowd of 2,000 people.
26 BACK TO SCENE 26
Their presence distracts PK for a split second, and in
that split second Jannie seizes the opportunity. He
comes across with a big right hand to PK's jaw. Jannie
connects. PK goes down hard. The crowd goes wild.
Morrie leaps up and down in the corner.
Get up! Get up!
But PK is seeing double. He shakes his head, trying to
27 PK'S POV - JANNIE 27
dancing in his corner, sensing victory, the Ref over
28 BACK TO SCENE 28
PK forces himself up. The Ref checks him.
Jannie comes rushing in, banging PK with a series of
hard rights, but dropping his left each time he throws
one. PK absorbs the punishment as best he can, backing
up, dancing away. Jannie is all over him just as the
BELL RINGS. Jannie goes back to his corner, triumphant.
PK goes back to his and sits down with a blank ex-
pression. Morrie goes to work on a small cut over
What are you trying to do,
bankrupt us? What happened?
PK turns and looks at the two Africans at the rear door.
Morrie's eyes follow him, tensing as he sees the two men.
Christ! If they get caught in
here they're dead.
What the hell's going on?
I don't know.
Well, worry about it later. In
case you haven't noticed, this
Boer bastard is trying to kill
You see the way he drops his left
when he throws the right?
The BELL RINGS. PK and Morrie trade a look. Jannie
comes rushing over and throws a big right. PK steps to
his own right side and pops Jannie right over his dropped
left hand. He looks at Morrie again.
29 ANGLE ON MORRIE 29
Thank you, God.
Jannie comes after PK, paying for each big right he
throws as PK finds his mark. PK plants one, then two,
then three punches on Jannie's face. Finally, frus-
trated, Jannie forsakes all pretense of boxing and tries
to nail PK with wild, flailing blows. PK bobs and weaves
and feints. Jannie's punches grow weary. PK begins
to bear down, driving his man back with rapid-fire com-
binations until he delivers the coup de grace, a left
hook to the heart and a driving right uppercut. Jannie
goes down in a heap. The crowd goes wild. The Referee
counts him out. Jannie's seconds rush into the ring to
lift their fallen fighter. Morrie also rushes in,
followed by the Prince of Wales boxing team. They hoist
PK up on their shoulders.
30 PK'S POV - MARIA MARAIS 30
rising from her seat, and leaving with the other girls.
Their eyes meet. Her hint of a smile breaks his heart.
She disappears in the crowd.
31 BACK TO SCENE 31
PK's eyes rise to the rear exit. The tall African and
his companion have vanished.
32 INT. LOCKER ROOM 32
The boxing team and a number of their supporters are in
raucous celebration. Morrie comes bouncing through the
crowd, until he enters the empty dressing room in the
rear, where PK is getting dressed. Morrie takes a wad
of money out of his pocket.
Here you go, pal.
He hands PK the money.
You're the treasurer of this
company. You hold it. Did you
find out what I asked for?
Uh, listen, P.K. You know in this
world there is no greater proponent
of sins of the flesh than Morrie
Levy. But do yourself a favor on
this one. Take my advice. Pass.
Thanks for the advice. The
Do you know who her father is?
Professor Daniel Marais.
So? He's the Nationalist Party's
resident intellectual. The man is
one of the architects of this
damned system of -- what are they
calling it? -- apartheid? He has
about as much use for a Rooinek
Englishman rutting after his
daughter as the Queen does for
balls, pardon my French.
What's her name and where do I
Maria Elizabete Marais, Seniors
Cottage, Room 22, Devilliers
School. They don't call it
'Fortress Virgin' for nothing.
You'll never get in.
PK slips his school blazer on.
You going to take book on that?
Already have. Three-to-one says
Where'd you bet?
I took a big position you do.
PK smiles at his friend and starts to leave. Morrie
stuffs some banknotes in his breast pocket.
In case you have to bail yourself
PK boxes him around playfully and skips out, running the
gauntlet of the celebration outside.
33 EXT. DEVILLIERS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS - NIGHT 33
Indeed, "Fortress Virgin." Surrounded by a high stone
wall, the school's gothic towers loom medieval in the
African moonlight. A security guard mans the front gate.
PK takes a route through shadows and shrubs, searching
for a way in. He finds one in a tree whose massive limbs
reach over the wall. In a flash PK is up the tree and
over the wall.
34 EXT. SCHOOL GROUNDS 34
PK makes his way through the darkened campus. A few stu-
dents and some staff are about. PK hugs the shadows as
best he can. PK passes a statue dominating the quad --
a Boer family from the last century; the man looking for-
ward, his gun braced for action; the women and children
at his shoulder, brave, resolute.
35 EXT. SENIOR COTTAGE 35
PK comes up to the cottage where a few girls can be seen
through the windows studying at lamplit desks or readying
for bed. Other rooms are already dark. PK slips inside
36 INT. BUILDING 36
PK moves along the hall looking for room 22.
He is about to turn a corner when TWO GIRLS chattering in
Afrikaans come down a staircase. PK backs into a
darkened room to his left. The girls appear in robes
with towels and toiletries and step into the same room.
One flicks on the light to reveal the shower room -- 14
separate cubicle stalls. Still chattering, the girls
37 ANGLE ON PK 37
pressed hard against the inside wall of a stall with a
clear view of the proceedings. He holds his breath as
one of the girls heads towards his stall. Her girl-
friend cautions her.
Those are always cold. Use this
The girl turns away to another stall just in time. The
SHOWERS START. PK allows himself to breathe again. He
38 INT. ROOM 38
Maria Marais sits at her desk in a nightgown, working on
a paper, when there is a KNOCK on the door. With her
mind still on her work, she opens the door. Her eyes go
wide with shock when she sees PK. He puts a cautionary
finger to his lips.
May I come in?
Maria, frozen with surprise, steps back. PK enters,
gently closing the door behind him.
I'm sorry to scare you.
You can't be here.
She speaks in Afrikaan-accented English.
I didn't know how else to meet you.
I could be expelled.
Girls don't usually come to boxing
We went on a dare. Please.
PK ignores her anxiety.
Did you like it?
... exciting. You were very good.
Thank you. I'm glad I impressed
You speak the Taal.
I'll speak Zulu if it'll help me
see you again.
I need my father's permission.
Is it hard to get?
Hard for an Afrikaaner boy.
Impossible for an English one.
How about your permission? Do
I have that?
All of a sudden there is a KNOCK on the door. Maria
starts. PK moves quickly behind the door as it opens to
We're having coffee upstairs.
Want to come?
I have to finish this paper.
Come when you're finished. We'll
be up late.
They close the door. Maria reinforces it with her body.
You didn't answer my question.
There are plenty of English girls.
What makes me so important?
The way I felt when I saw you.
He is so direct she can only blush deeper. Her response
is indirect but affirmative.
My father will insist on meeting
I can't wait.
O.S., the outside door to the dorm opens. A matron's
voice calls out.
Lights out, ladies.
PK opens her window and starts to climb out.
Good night, Maria Marais.
Good night, PK.
I don't remember telling you my
And I don't remember telling you
PK smiles back at her. He drops to the ground. Maria
closes the window and watches him scoot across the
campus until he is swallowed by the night.
39 INT. MARAIS HOUSE 39
An ample house. PAN ACROSS a gallery of oil paintings
depicting great moments in Boer history -- the Great Trek,
an endless progression of oxcarts heading north, the
Battle of Blood River against the Zulu armies, the hang-
ing of Boer farmers by British regulars. Women and
children herded into a detention camp as their farms burn
in the background. Boer kommandos sniping at a British
column on the veldt.
PAN FROM the pictures TO photographs, sepia-toned, his-
torical, and DR. DANIEL MARAIS and PK, strolling past the
pictures. Marais points to a photo of a young Boer, turn
of the century, posed stiffly with a rifle in the slouched
hat of a Boer kommando.
Jan Piet Marais. My uncle. At
22 he led a kommando for three
years before your people caught
him and hung him.
I consider myself an African, sir.
As do I. As do the Zulu, the
Xhosa, the Pongo, the Ndebele.
We're all Africans. But all from
separate tribes, ay?
Why do you say that?
Because it's the whole tribal
idea that creates our problems
here in South Africa.
The problems of South Africa, my
boy, do not come from tribalism.
They come from counter-tribalism.
From people insisting that natural
laws which have been in place and
operating since God's creation,
should be tampered with. Does
the gazelle sleep with the lion?
Does the rhino graze with the
mouse? The separation of things
is not coincidental. Do you think
a Zulu wants to see his culture,
his sense of identity, replaced by
someone else's anymore than I do?
No, sir. But I don't think he
wants being a Zulu to mean he is
denied the same rights as
everyone else has.
Which is why civilization is
defined by the ability to live
under the rule of law. Laws
But do they define justice?
Ah. Justice. The banner behind
which the English marched as they
gobbled up a quarter of the world?
Justice, my boy, is only relative
to who's in charge.
And how long they stay in charge
is only relative to how well they
dispense that justice...
... with all due respect.
Marais fixes PK with a stare. PK's eyes meet his evenly,
unwavering. Maria enters.
Papa, would you like coffee in the
library or the parlor?
The library, mein leib.
Maria smiles at PK and exits. He leads PK towards the
I can't figure out if you're
brave or foolish.
Why is that, sir?
You come here to ask for permission
to see my daughter. Correct?
And knowing who I am, what I stand
for, do you think this sort of
discussion is going to put that
request in a favorable light?
I thought a man of your intellectual
reputation wouldn't want his
daughter seeing someone who didn't
Let me give you some advice then.
You're right. I admire a keen
mind. But intellectual reputation
or not, I am first a Marais, a
member of the Volk.
And if you're trying to impress a
member of the Volk with your
intellect, don't do it espousing
liberal ideas picked up in an
English private school.
These ideas I picked up somewhere
Marais opens the library door.
No doubt from an expert on race
Actually, sir, from an expert on
40 EXT. ROCK OUTCROPPING - DAY 40
A brilliant African sun beats down on the veldt below.
On the rock, a seven-year-old PK sits looking somewhat
sadly over the landscape. A long shadow covers him.
The CLICK of a CAMERA is heard. PK turns, shielding his
eyes with his hand against the glare of the sun to a
tall, white-haired figure, shirtless, in hiking boots
and kneesocks, holding a box camera.
Ja. Perfect. You will excuse me,
DOC, speaking in German-accented English, moves off from
the sun's glare down to PK's level. On his back is a
knapsack with a cactus sticking out of it.
This I do not normally without
permission do, ja? But to catch
the expression. After all, it is
the expression that is important.
Ja? Without the expression the
human being is just a lump of meat.
You have some problems, I think.
I am Professor Karl von Vollensteen.
Doc clicks his heels together and bows his head slightly.
He holds out his hand. Doc takes it.
Such a young person with such an
old expression. I think we can
be friends. Ja?
Eighteen-year-old PK narrates.
That was how I met Doc, as he
insisted I call him. A chance
meeting between a directionless
seven-year-old boy and an old
German professor out collecting
cacti on the African bush veldt.
So began my education.
Doc and PK walk the veldt across craggy mountain trails,
down dry river beds, through the jungle, always collecting
cacti and aloe samples, Doc always talking, always
Doc believed the brain had two
functions and that the South
African public school system
unfortunately dealt with only one.
The brain, P.K., has two functions.
It is the best reference library
ever, which is a good thing to
have. Ja? But also from it comes
original thought. In school you
will get all filled up with the
facts. Here your brain will learn
where to look, how to look, how
to think. And then you will have
for yourself all the brains that
have ever been.
Doc and PK sit high up. PK watches the endless animal
migration below while Doc points things out across the
Doc knew everything. He had a love
of learning. But his real passion
was centered around two things --
music and cacti.
41 EXT. DOC'S HOUSE 41
PK and Doc walk up a steep road toward Doc's house which
sits on top of the hill, both carrying cacti-filled
Until he was fifty, Doc had a
successful career as a concert
pianist all over Europe. On his
fiftieth birthday he gave it all
up and moved to South Africa.
From that point on it was all
42 EXT. CACTUS GARDEN - DAY 42
Behind Doc's simple, whitewashed cottage is a magnif-
icent cactus and aloe garden filled with the samples Doc
has collected for years. PK and Doc plant another
specimen. Doc photographs it. PK records its genus
in a notebook.
Every specimen Doc found would be
carefully photographed and
43 SUNSET 43
Doc an PK walk through the cactus garden.
If God would choose a plant to
represent Him, I think He would
choose of all plants the cactus.
This one plant has all the
blessings He tried but failed to
give man. It is true. Look.
The cactus is humble but not
submissive. It grows where no
other plant will grow. The sun
bakes its back, the wind rips it
from cliffs, or drowns it in the
dry desert sand. Not a complaint.
In good times or bad it will
still flower. It protects itself
Doc touches a cactus needle.
But it harms no other plant. It
has patience and solitude and
modesty. In Mexico there is a
cactus that blooms once in a
hundred years and then only at
night. That is saintliness of
the highest order I think. Ja?
From cactus comes medicine to
heal the wounds of men and little
buttons if you eat one you can
touch the face of God or stare
into the mouth of hell. It is
the plant of patience, solitude,
love, and madness. Modesty,
beauty. Toughness and gentleness.
Of all the plants I think it is
closest to God. Ja?
Doc was a hard man to disagree
with. So when he decided I must
spend as much time with him to
remedy the flaw in my educational
environment I didn't argue.
44 INT. GRANDFATHER'S PARLOR 44
Shabbily-genteel, Doc sits in his Sunday best, a cup of
tea on his lips, talking in earnest to PK's pipe-
puffing, also shabbily-genteel grandfather as PK looks on.
Appealing to my grandfather's
stoic belief in the primacy of
European culture in all its forms,
Doc offered to instruct me in
piano in return for my helping
him locate and gather his precious
45 INT. DOC'S COTTAGE 45
Doc and PK practice on a beautiful Steinway, so grandly
out of place in Doc's simple abode.
As a student of music I was never
more than adequate, something I
suspect Doc knew from the start.
It is the love of music that is
most important, he would tell me,
and I would believe him.
46 EXT. JUNGLE 46
Doc and PK wander through the jungle looking for flora.
Everything fits, P.K. Nothing is
unexplained. Nature is one big
chain reaction. Everything
depends on everything else. From
the smallest to the biggest.
Always in life an idea starts
small like a tree.
Doc shows PK a small tree with an even smaller vine
attached to it.
This tree can grow so high it can
touch the face of the sky. But
this little vine can choke it and
keep it small. Most people are
like these vines. Afraid of new
ideas. Afraid to let things grow.
Doc rips the vine away from the tree.
Always listen to yourself.
Follow your own idea. If you are
wrong, so what? You learn
something. And with learning you
grow stronger. And if you are
right at the beginning? An even
47 EXT. VELDT - DAY 47
Doc and PK move alongside the great herds.
I roamed the kloofs and ridges,
the dry riverbeds and jungle
floors with Doc for over a year,
learning more than I realize even
I also played a lot more 'God
Save the King' due to my new
48 EXT. BARBERTON - DAY 48
TRACK THROUGH Barberton, a small town on the low veldt,
in all its colonial backwater splendor.
Barberton was a very proper
English town with a proper square,
a wide main street, and the
colonials' overblown patriotism
for a homeland most people had
never seen, hanging in the air
like fine dust. Not quite seen,
but there nonetheless.
49 INT. CONCERT HALL 49
PK plays "God Save the King" on the stage. The town's
population stands -- the men, stoic; the women, dewey-
eyed, at patriotic attention. Some people file out --
the men in officers' uniforms of the South African penal
system and their wives -- Boers. They exit to the dagger
stares and some undertoned hissing and booing from Her
Majesty's loyal subjects.
The only Afrikaaners to live in
Barberton were sent there to work
at the government prison, just
outside town. Germany had
covertly supported the Boers in
their two unsuccessful wars
against British rule, supplying
food and medical supplies as well
as ample stocks of ammunition.
Germany was an old friend, a
trusted friend. And in a country
where a handshake is a friendship
and a friendship a bond for life,
as the war in Europe grew fiercer
tensions in Barberton heated up.
Suspicion was afoot. Spies were
50 EXT. ROAD TO DOC'S COTTAGE - DAY 50
Doc and PK walk toward the cottage. Doc reads PK's
Grammar: satisfactory. Science:
He looks down at PK.
P.K., if there is one thing I
know you to be that is a lot more
than just satisfactory. Ja?
But I don't want to be known as
Who do you think gets beaten up
on all the time in school?
My boy, to be smart is not a
sin. But to be smart and not use
it, that is sin number one. And
as for getting beat up on, use
your brain to figure out how not
He hands PK the report card, his displeasure obvious.
As they crest the hill the cottage comes INTO VIEW
along with a parked Army car and two armed soldiers
leaning against it. Seeing Doc and PK, the soldiers
smarten up, raising their rifles and advancing.
Doc's face grows pale, his lips tight. PK pulls close to
him for support.
Again it begins. The stupidity.
Do not be frightened.
Doc puts na arm around PK's shoulder, drawing him close,
comforting him. One of the soldiers pulls a pair of
handcuffs out of his pocket as he advances.
51 EXT. BARBERTON PRISON 51
A car pulls up. Doc, in shackles, is escorted from the
car. PK exits after him. Two guards lead Doc toward
the doorway to the prison, a square in the looming gates.
Doc walks, his head held high. PK walks alongside
holding his hand.
BRITISH OFFICER (V.O.)
Karl von Vollensteen, for the
failure to register as an alien
during times of war in accordance
with His Majesty's government
orders to do so, you are hereby
sentenced to be confined at
Barberton prison for the duration
of the war with Germany.
At the door a guard touches PK's shoulder, holding him
back. The door opens. Doc goes through. Just before
the door closes he looks back at PK one last time. The
door slams shut. PK, with tears streaming down his
cheeks, is left outside.
52 INT. PK'S ROOM - NIGHT 52
Morrie lies in bed, asleep. PK sits up at his desk,
And again I was alone with nothing
to depend on to see me through
except the power of one.
PK puts down his pen and sits, regarding the pages. He
raises his eyes to a photo on the desk of a boy on a
PK smiles at hidden memories, caps his fountain pen,
turns off the light. The room is pitched into darkness.
53 EXT. DOWNTOWN ALLEY - AFTERNOON 53
The seedy side of town. PK carrying a gym bag and Morrie
looking a bit out of place in their school blazers come
striding up the alley.
Look, even if the scholarship
doesn't come through, my old man
said he'd lend you the money.
All right. All right. We'll call
it the 'Levy Carpet Emporium
Scholarship for Poor but Proud
Christian Gentlemen.' How's
Tell your father I appreciate the
God, I hate people who can't be
Why is that?
I don't know. Personality
PK nods in agreement.
The boys come to their destination marked by a rickety,
faded sign: "GOLDMAN'S GYM." Excitement shines in PK's
eyes. He bounds up the narrow flight of stairs.
54 INT. STAIRCASE 54
Morrie and PK rush up the stairs, stop at the landing,
and collect themselves before opening the door to the
gym. They take a breath and enter.
55 INT. GYM 55
A down and dirty boxing gym, humming with the rhythm of
men training. Sweat and smoke fill the air along with
the faint scent of blood. Fighters, both black and
white, train with each other. Morrie is amazed.
How do they get away with this?
But PK has his mind on other things. His eyes fix on
an OLD MAN across the room standing by ringside.
There he is.
Christ, he's old.
And he's the best. C'mon.
PK leads Morrie across the gym. PK passes an African
fighter. He stops training when he sees PK. He turns
to another African fighter, glancing at PK. One by one
the blacks in the gym stop training to look at PK. PK
and Morrie approach the rheumy Old Man yelling at the
two fighters in the ring above him in a thick Polish-
SOLLY (OLD MAN)
No, no. God gave you two hands so
you can knock a man out from
either side. Left-right.
He moves his creaky body back and forth to demonstrate.
Solly turns to the boys. A look of bemusement comes over
his face when he sees their blazers.
What? You boys lost?
I'm the one who called you
yesterday. From the Prince of
Oh yeah, yeah. The champeen.
And who are you?
The champeen's manager.
Solly rolls his eyes to heaven.
You know you train here it's not
like those nice school fights
you're used to. Three knockdowns
Just then, as if to underscore his point, one of the
fighters in the ring gets caught witha solid shot to the
jaw. He hits the canvas inches from where they are
standing. Solly, PK and Morrie all look at him, and then
at each other.
What does it cost for you to train
For my personal attentinons, Mr.
Manager? Fifty pounds a month.
For one of them...
(points to the other
men working with
Morrie pulls out a wad of money and proffers it to Solly.
Here's for six months in advance.
Three hundred pounds.
Solly pushes the money back.
Six months? I don't know your
boy'll last six minutes.
Solly notices that every black fighter in the gym has
stopped working and is staring at PK.
What are you staring? Punch,
don't stare. C'mon. Work or
The blacks go back to work.
That your gear?
Go change in the back. We'll see
if you couldn't find a better use
for all that money.
Thank you, sir.
PK heads towards the rear. Solly turns to Morrie.
Why's he want to do this, a nice-
He wants to be welterweight champ
of the world.
Solly breaks up laughing.
Oh sure, sure. And I'd like to
be twenty-five again.
You like to make book on it?
You giving odds?
You name them.
Solly gives him a long look.
You both meshugah.
Solly walks away.
56 INT. GYM - RING 56
PK is in the ring getting ready to spar with a well-built
opponent. Morrie stands at ringside with Solly.
Let's just start out nice and
He hits the bell. The fighters circle. PK's opponent
starts punching, jabbing, probing. After two feints he
comes after PK in earnest. PK steps left and peppers
him with three quick blows to the face. Solly's interest
is suddenly piqued. Again the fighters circle. Again
the opponent sets up with jabs and again he attacks.
This time PK dodges, hits him hard and spins him around,
hitting him twice more. A smile appears on Solly's face.
The opponent, angered now, gets more aggressive. PK
keeps bobbing and weaving, sticking and slipping punches.
The opponent unloads, banging away at PK with everything
he has. PK backs up two steps, then shifts positions.
The opponent's momentum carries him into the ropes. As
he comes off the ropes PK throws him an eight-punch
combination, demolishing his opponent. PK steps back.
The opponent sags. Solly hits the bell, clearly excited.
Never I seen someone so young
throw an eight-punch combination.
Where did you learn such a thing?
In prison, sir.
You trying to be a comedian and a
boxer? Mr. Manager, come to my
office. We'll talk terms. You,
get showered, and see me after.
We'll talk training.
Solly and Morrie head off toward Solly's office. PK
watches them go, a small victorious smile on his face.
57 EXT. BARBETON PRISON GATE 57
Seven-year-old PK stands at the gate holding a bucket,
waiting to be let in.
58 INT. PRISON HALL 58
PK sits on a bench in the hall. Black prisoners are
marched by, guarded closely. At PK's feet is the metal
bucket. The door to Kommandant Von Zyl's office opens.
A guard summons PK. PK rises, takes his bucket and
enters the office.
59 INT. VON ZYL'S OFFICE 59
The KOMMANDANT, a brusque man with a salt-and-pepper
brush cut sits behind his big desk.
VON ZYL (KOMMANDANT)
So you are PK.
I am Kommandant Von Zyl. The
professor has requested you to be
his visitor so you can continue
your studies on piano and he can
continue with his studies on
cactus. This is the first
He alludes to the bucket.
Yes, sir. Kalanchoe Thrysiflora.
He holds the bucket up.
60 VON ZYL'S POV 60
A small cactus resting on some tobacco leaves.
61 BACK TO SCENE 61
The professor taught you this,
ja? Of course to your English
town he is a prisoner, a criminal.
To us who respect such learning
and culture, he is an honored
He hands PK a pass.
This pass is good for any time,
any day. Would you like to see
Come. I will take you myself.
Von Zyl rises and opens the door for PK. They exit.
62 INT. PRISON CORRIDOR 62
PK and Von Zyl walk together.
We have cleared a little plot
behind the cellblock for the
cactus. And tomorrow we have
the professor's piano moved here.
There is not another instrument
like it in the territory. Maybe
one day the two of you can give
a concert for us, hey?
Just then the sound of GRUNTING and THWACKING fills the
air. PK passes a room set up as a boxing gym. Through
a crack in the door he sees a dozen boys being coached
by some guards. Some guards are also being coached by
a second man. A third man, LIEUTENANT SMIT, oversees
the whole training session. PK watches, mesmerized.
You like to box?
I would like to learn, meneer.
Are the boys prisoners?
No, no. The sons of the guards.
See that one there?
(points to a
little pudge boy
That's my son, Danie. It's a
club. Lieutenant Smit.
Smit comes over.
We have room for one more on the
Smit looks down at PK.
He's a little small, Kommandant.
We'll build him up then.
Yes, sir. But I really don't
have anyone to spare to teach him
right now. You know, with the
tournament coming up.
There must be someone.
Smit looks around the hall.
63 HIS POV 63
A crumpled, old BLACK MAN, a lifer with broken, bandied
legs and a fighter's flattened face, wiping the floor,
picking up used towels.
64 BACK TO SCENE 64
GEEL PIET comes shuffling over, properly submissive.
GEEL PIET (BLACK MAN)
You teach this boy basics, and
you teach him good or I knock
your black head flat, you hear?
I teach him best I know, baas.
We train every day. First thing
in the morning. Miss two
trainings, you're gone.
Come tomorrow. See this old
Yes, meneer. Thank you, meneer.
Lieutenant, a word?
The two men step off to the side.
Don't worry, little baas. Little
can beat big any day. First with
the head, then with the heart.
Little defeat big when little is
smart. You can remember that?
No, no. Don't never call me sir.
'Specially in front of the guards.
What should I call you?
Piet. Geel Piet.
Geel Piet assumes his submissive posture again.
Okay, baas. Coming, baas.
He winks at PK and shuffles off. A BELL SOUNDS.
65 EXT. CARNIVAL 65
A bell at the top of a strongman's game sounds. A big
Boer farmer, mallet in hand, roars in triumph, swinging
the mallet again and ringing the bell again.
66 ANGLE ON PK AND MARIA 66
walking through the carnival, munching popcorn.
You took a big chance talking to
my father the way you did.
Not really. Going in I was behind
on points with him. I'm English.
I attend a politically suspect
school. I'm a boxer.
He likes boxers.
All men like boxers. But not for
their daughters. So I had to find
some way to make an impression.
They get on line for the Ferris wheel.
You could have picked a more
And made much less of an
impression. Talk to someone
about their passion. Even if they
disagree they'll remember you.
It was really the most logical
strategy if you think about it.
Do you spend hours thinking
about how to deal with me, too?
Know what I think?
Their turn comes to mount the Ferris wheel. They get
into the seat and strap in.
When I was little we would go to
my grandfather's farm in the high
veldt for holiday.
The Ferris wheel starts to go up.
My father would take me to the top
of the highest hill and we'd play
this game, 'What Do You See' until
we ran out of things to see. Do
you ever play that?
Want to try?
The Ferris wheel stops to let more people on. Johannesburg
I see a forest. It goes on
forever. There are giant trees
which keep getting bigger and
bigger over thousands of years.
The wheel begins to move a little higher and then stops.
I see little trees growing on the
forest floor, learning to grow
with the little bit of light the
big trees let in. Now you.
I see the big trees getting bigger,
their leaves and branches making
one great green umbrella over all
The wheel stops again at its highest point.
I see the sun growing weaker,
giving off less light. I see the
big trees dying because they
cannot live without a lot of
light. I see the little trees
take over the forest because they
learn to adapt.
You tell a very good story.
Her eyes sparkle, making her irresistible. PK leans
forward. Maria turns her face towards him. Her lips
part slightly. They kiss tenderly.
The CAMERA RISES FROM them TO the star-littered sky
twinkling above. The sky goes from black to grey as
the CAMERA PANS DOWN.
GEEL PIET (V.O.)
Can't hit you, can't hurt you.
Can't hit you, can't hurt you.
Can't hit you, can't hurt you.
That's it. Good. Good.
67 INT. PRISON BOXING ROOM 67
Geel Piet is punching at PK, slowly, with a large pair
of gloves. The seven-year-old bobs and weaves quite
expertly. Geel Piet stops, winded.
You wear out this old man. See?
See how it can work? How little
Yes, sir. But when do I get to
You not going to just punch, man.
You going to combination.
One-two. One-two. C'mon. Now
you. One-two. One-two.
PK does his best to mimic.
Oh do we have a boxer here. Yes
sir. We build you to eight-punch
combination. The Geel Piet eight.
Then you catch afire. One-two.
Doc appears in the doorway.
How is the next Joe Louis this
Try and hit me.
Doc takes a half-hearted swing. PK bobs expertly.
No. Try hard.
Doc sets up and swings left, then right. PK avoids
You are amazing.
And I'm going to learn the Geel
Yes, yes, yes. But right now
you have to come learn the
Beethoven Fifth for one hour so
we can get to the cactus before
it's too hot to plant. Did you
PK points to a nearby bucket.
Excellent. Excellent. We make
from you a champion and a brain.
Excuse me, big baas. But can I
talk to the small baas?
Geel Piet looks hesitantly from the man to the boy and
Every day I see you bring the
bucket and in the bottom is some
It keeps the roots wet.
What happens to the leaf after?
A little I use in some water to
make a bug spray for the plants.
And the rest we throw away.
Geel Piet fidgets. He drops his head, speaking low.
If you leave the pail when you go
plant is a problem, small baas?
I don't understand.
Is like this. You see how hard
the life is for the people here in
prison. Only little pleasure they
take from this hard life maybe
sometimes when no one watching
late at night -- a little smoke.
Now with the big war in Europe
tobacco is plenty hard to get
outside. Inside it is gone.
We are the forgotten in here.
We have bunches of leaves at home.
I'll bring a whole bucketful
No, no. Mustn't do that, little
I don't understand.
What Geel Piet means is it can be
dangerous. Something the guards
might not want the people to have.
What's wrong with tobacco? Why
wouldn't they want them to have it?
What's wrong is people whose job
it is to punish. After a little
while it is all they know how to
What should I do?
This is for you to answer.
The sound of a TRUNCHEON on METAL turns them to the door
where SERGEANT BORMANN, a side of beef with a sadist's
eyes, stands, truncheon in hand. He enters the room and
circles the trio.
I smell something not right here,
He pokes Geel Piet with his truncheon.
No, meneer sergeant. Everything
Bormann swings his truncheon into the back of Geel Piet's
knees, buckling the little man to the floor.
I don't fuckin' believe you.
He glares at Doc and PK.
If you're up to something I'll
Bormann, still eying them suspiciously, exits. Doc and
PK help Geel Piet up.
No, no. This old kaffir's okay.
Sorry to make any trouble, little
baas. We just stick to the boxing
now on. Sorry, sorry.
Geel Piet goes hobbling off, picking up towels. Doc
and PK go to exit. At the door PK turns.
Geel Piet turns.
I leave my bucket on the side by
Doc's toilet when I practice
Geel Piet breaks out a smile he usually keeps to himself
and exits. PK looks up at Doc who tossles his hair
PK, to me you are the champion of
the world already. Come. Let us
go box now with Mr. Beethoven.
PK and Doc exit.
68 INT. SOLLY'S GYM 68
PK in the ring is about to start sparring. Solly gives
him instruction as Morrie stands by.
Now at the end of the Geel Piet
eight you do this... one-two...
One-two-three... the Solly Goldman
PK nods. Solly hits the BELL. The sparring begins. PK
works his way in.
That's it. That's it. Move him
around. Jab jab. Slip slip.
PK pours it on, laying in the Geel Piet eight. Solly is
And... one-two... one-two-three.
PK fires the last three punches like lightning and backs
That's it. That's it. Now work
around the defense. Jab jab.
The opponent becomes aggressive. PK starts dancing,
How do you get away with this,
Mr. G? Why don't they close you
down? I mean, there are laws about
blacks and white boxing each other.
In a public match. Not in a gym.
Not yet anyway. The Boer is a
funny people. Outside the ring
the black is not equal. Inside he
is. But only in private, not in
public. So I keep my mouth shut,
the police go a little blind, and
that's that. It's a crazy world,
A WHISTLE from across the gym draws Solly's attention.
He and Morrie turn to his office where his assistant
stands with the tall black man from the Schoolboy
Championships. Solly's face takes on a serious ex-
pression. He rings the bell. He turns to Morrie.
Work him on the heavy bag.
Solly heads for his office.
69 ANGLE ON PK 69
turning away from his opponent. He and the tall black
man trade a glance just before the man enters Solly's
office and Solly closes the door.
70 INT. GYM 70
PK pounds the heavy bag as Morrie stands by.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
PK stops, relaxing. Morrie throws a towel over his
shoulders. One of Solly's ASSISTANTS comes over.
Solly wants to see you two.
PK and Morrie look at each other and head for Solly's
71 INT. OFFICE 71
Solly faces the door as it opens. PK and Morrie enter.
You wanted to see us, Mr. G.?
Close the door.
Someone I got a lot of respect
for asked me to make a request.
He wants to put you in a match.
A young guy just turned pro.
A black fighter! They want him
to fight a black fighter?
In a black township. Sofiatown.
Out of the question. Not even
up for discussion. C'mon, P.K.
Morrie goes to exit. PK doesn't.
Who asked you to ask?
The man who promotes all the
fights in Sofiatown -- Elias
And you trust him?
In thirty years I know him,
number one on the list.
You're both out of your minds.
Did he tell you why he wants the
I told you what he told me.
Just talking boxing -- how do I
match up with Mandoma?
I mean besides getting thrown out
of school and into jail, do you
know what else happens you do
this? He's a pro. The minute
you fight him you're a pro.
There's no purse being offered.
That's a good career move. Risk
everything to gain nothing. Very
sound business sense.
Tell Mr. Nguni I'll think about
PK exits with Morrie steaming behind. They head for
the locker room, PK clearly perturbed.
Okay. What's going on?
I don't know.
Well why don't you tell me what
you do know.
There's an African myth about an
outsider who comes one day and
unites all the tribes into one
against their oppressors. They
call it the myth of Onoshobishobi
Ingelosi -- the tadpole angel.
That chanting at the school
I haven't heard it in years.
PK begins to disrobe.
And how did this honor fall on
your broad back?
I told you about bringing tobacco
to the prisoners at Barberton?
Well after that was going for a
while I learned that even though
they could send and receive
letters, they never did. They
couldn't read or write.
So you did it for them.
And after that?
A clothing program for their
families and a food program.
One thing sort of led to another.
I can see where 'angel' would be
an appropriate title.
But it was, uh, this Geel Piet
who was really behind all of it,
He was very good at pointing
Man like that should be running
a country, not rotting in prison.
He's not in prison anymore.
PK steps into the shower pulling the curtain closed.
72 INT. GYM 72
PK and Morrie exit the locker room.
73 PK'S POV - ACROSS GYM TO MARIA 73
talking to Solly. She sees PK and smiles.
74 BACK TO SCENE 74
PK and Morrie come up.
I thought I'd surprise you.
Well, you succeeded.
Mr. Goldman was explaining the
theory behind the left hook.
Beats talking about the weather.
You may have heard about me?
Oh yes. How d'you do.
Solly's Assistant whistles for him.
Well, nice meeting you, Maria.
Nice meeting you, Mr. Goldman.
We never had a girl come to the
It's not such a bad thing, huh?
Solly moves off.
You got a pass to come out on a
Maria lifts her jumper a bit, displaying the results
of treeclimbing on her knees.
Your tree pass.
PK moves Maria and Morrie off down the stairs.
Do you box too, Morrie?
Do I look that daft?
Morrie's the brains of the
He means the bank. Your boyfriend
has a great head for literature
but none for finance.
They exit the staircase.
75 THEIR POV - ACROSS THE WAY - NGUNI 75
in the shadow of the alley stands, smoking a cigarette.
76 BACK TO SCENE 76
I see you, Nguni.
I see you, P.K.
They talk across the narrow street.
You have heard my request?
Yes. Why do you make it?
A woman has thrown the sacred ox
bones. She has made a fire and
read the smoke.
What did she read?
That the Onoshobishobi Ingelosi
who is a chief must fight the
one who one day will be a chief.
But it's not true that I'm a
Who knows what is true and what is
not. The legend of Onoshobishobi
Ingelosi is very powerful among
the people. They see you box the
Boer and always you win. They
have heard the stories from
Barberton. The people live with
little hope. They must see if the
spirit of the boy still lives in
And if I lose? If the spirit of
the Onoshobishobi Ingelosi does
not exist in me anymore, then what
will they live with?
Less hope. But still they must
see. It is our way.
At that moment a spotlight blinds them. A police car
comes up the alley, stopping in front of them. The
POLICE exit, threatening.
What's this here?
Maria is gripped by fear. Morrie is cautious, unmoving.
An old family servant, Officer.
From home. We just ran into each
Papers, man. Come on, be quick.
Nguni reaches into his pocket.
Where you coming from?
Gym, sir. I train there.
I'm his manager.
The Police look at each other and share a laugh.
And you're the sparring partner,
The Police laugh. Police #2, satisfied Nguni's papers
are in order, hands them back.
You have an hour to curfew and a
long way to go, kaffir. Be off.
Yes, baas. Going right now.
Nguni moves off, no semblance of the proud man in his
I'll do it.
Nguni smiles and disappears into the night. PK watches
77 EXT. DEVILLIERS SCHOOL 77
PK and Maria stand by the tree set to climb over the
I'm scared for you, PK.
Solly's a great teacher. He
wouldn't put me in a fight I
I mean about how involved you are
with the black people. That
Because you don't understand them.
No I don't.
If you did you wouldn't be so
scared. You ever have a
conversation with a black person?
Besides a servant.
Maria's silence is her answer.
You should sometime.
I hate it when you tease me.
He kisses her.
No you're not.
Yes I am.
He kisses her again. This time she responds, kissing him
back. The kisses become more passionate, touching, feel-
ing. The heat in both of them begins to rise when a car
passes, its headlights arcing across the tree, startling
them out of their passion. They cling to the shadows
until the car turns the corner.
I better go.
They kiss once, lightly. PK boosts her over the wall and
waits until she is safely on the other side before run-
ning off into the night.
78 INT. OXFORD BOARD OF EXAMINERS ROOM - DAY 78
The Oxford Board of EXAMINERS, eminent academics all, sit
four across at a lecture table, looking absolutely musty
with learning. Across from them PK sits, a folder in his
lap. One man, PROFESSOR LEWIS, peruses the file in front
According to your submission you
have ambitions to be a writer and
the welterweight boxing champion of
Lewis reads the last sentence with a tinge of amusement
in his voice.
Don't you find seeking a career as
a pugilist and reading for a
degree at Oxford a bit, how shall
we put it, intellectually
Lord Byron was a boxer, sir. And
I've never heard anyone question
his intellectual integrity.
One of the other Examiners coughs theatrically to hide
his smile. Lewis looks down the table at the man.
I do not recall Lord Byron
actually engaging in matches for
Actually, sir, there are several
recorded instances of Lord Byron
engaging in matches for quite
large sums of money.
Quite right. Yes. In a letter to
his wife Shelley makes mention of
just such a thing. For hundreds
of pounds, actually.
Lewis has heard enough.
Let's move along, shall we? As
your presentational you've
requested to read from a work of
your own fiction.
Well, then, let us hope we'll be
treated to the stirrings of
His sarcasm is not lost on PK. PK ignores it, opens his
folder, and begins to read.
The Concerto for the Southland and
the Death of Geel Piet.
His name was Geel Piet -- yellow
Peter. He was a mix of half the
blood in Africa -- Dutch,
Portuguese, Zulu, Sotha, and who
knew what else. His father
deserted his mother before he was
born. His stepfather threw him
out to survive on the streets of
Capetown when he was nine.
79 INT. BARBERTON PRISON BOXING RING 79
Geel Piet is instructing a nine-year-old PK in the Geel
Piet eight. Both boy and man are enjoying what they do
-- and each other.
When I met him he had spent forty
of his fifty-five years in one
South African prison or another.
He was a thief, a con man, a black
As the narration continues, the SCENE FADES TO:
80 TWELVE-YEAR-OLD PK 80
with a much better grasp of the Geel Piet eight. He and
Geel Piet seem closer than ever.
He may even have killed a man or
two in his time. But despite all
that he was one of the kindest,
wisest, most self-effacing persons
I ever knew. He was my teacher;
he was my friend.
81 INT. PRISON ROOM 81
PK sits opposite a black prisoner who talks to him. PK,
thirteen years old now, writes what the man says on a
piece of paper. When he is finished, he folds it, puts
it into an envelope, and hand it to the man. The man
smiles, shakes PK's hand profusely, and exits. PK turns
to Geel Piet who is on his hands and knees polishing the
floor, seemingly part of the surroundings. Geel Piet and
PK share a smile.
Geel Piet bore no animosity, held
no hate. Should a guard beat him
he regarded it as self-inflicted,
the result of some carelessness on
his part. To survive the system
he lived in he became an expert in
the art of camouflage, a master of
the invisible. In this he strove
to be perfect, and in the end it
was his quest for perfection that
provoked anger from above and
82 EXT. PRISON CACTUS GARDEN 82
Quite advanced after five years of planting. PK and Geel
Piet are bent over a cactus, transplanting it. A group
of prisoners on the way to a hard-labor work task march
by. They chant a verse to Onoshobishobi Ingelosi. PK is
a little embarrassed by it.
You know every time they do that I
want to jump up and say I'm just a
twelve-year-old. I'm not anything
To them you are. You are the one
who brings the smoke, the one who
writes the letters, the one who
puts clothes on their children
when they are cold. You are
But you know that's not true.
Who is to say what is true and
what is not true, kleine baas.
Doc comes running up, excited, waving a newspaper.
The Allied armies have crossed the
Rhine into Germany. It is almost
That's great, isn't it?
He turns to Geel Piet.
Yes, kleine baas.
You are a good faker, Geel Piet.
but you don't think it's great at
all. It means you lose your star
letter writer and tobacco
No matter that, Professor. We
always manage here. What pains me
most is I lose my boxer.
I'll come back.
No, kleine baas. You leave this
damn place you don't come back
Geel Piet, when a painter finishes
a work of art he doesn't lose it.
He sends it out in the world so
everyone can see the genius of his
creation. This is what you are
going to do. And to celebrate the
launch of such a work of art as
you have made our boxer here, I
have composed an entire concerto
-- 'The Concerto for the Southland'
-- which it is my intention to
play in concert for the prisoners
before I leave.
Not possible. The kommandant
never allow the people to have
such a thing.
He'll think it's a concert for him
and the brass. But we'll know,
ay? And the people will know.
He'll never let black be with
white here, Doc.
If the black is part of the
orchestra, like the piano, he
But the people have no instruments
in this place, big baas.
They have their voices. Each
tribe a different voice, a
different language -- all singing
together. It is brilliant, no?
Except the tribes don't trust each
other. They don't even talk to
Oh. This is correct. This stupid
They will do it for you, kleine
baas. You are Onoshobishobi
Ingelosi. You bring the tobacco.
You write the letters. You put
clothes on their children's bodies
and food in their bellies. All
you do is ask and they all sing
He's right. Wunderbar. You are
the smartest of us all.
Geel Piet smiles as he lifts the watering pot to exit. A
truncheon stops him. All turn to Sergeant Bormann.
A kaffir smarter than all of us?
You are a strange German,
That little maniac with the
moustache in Berlin you admire.
He is the strange German. And
soon kaput, I hope.
If that's true you'll not be long
for this place, eh, Professor?
No, Sergeant. God willing.
And you, too, little Rooinek. But
you, kaffir, Hitler comes or
He takes Geel Piet's hand.
You are going to stay with me.
He forces Geel Piet's hand closer and closer to a cactus
with long thorns.
And I will find out all your
secrets once your friends are
gone. One slip...
He pushes Geel Piet's hands onto the cactus needle. Geel
Piet does not cry out.
I have you.
He lets go of Geel Piet's hand. Geel Piet removes it
from the cactus, bloodied.
Get out of here.
Geel Piet takes his watering can and goes.
You see, Professor, they are not
like us. A white man would scream
Doc and PK glare at Bormann. He smirks and walks away.
As the weeks went by and the date
for the concert grew closer, my
life was a whirlwind.
PK and Geel Piet appear before various tribal leaders,
talking, agreeing, shaking hands.
Having obtained the cooperation of
all the tribal groups, we set
about instructing them. Four men
from each tribe were taught the
intricacies of their group's
parts. They were the choral
leaders responsible for teaching
PK and Doc instruct. Doc plays the piano. PK leads the
singers. Geel Piet turns the pages for Doc.
At night the prison hummed with
the men in their cells practicing.
83 EXT. PRISON TOWER 83
Nervous guards patrol as the SOUNDS of the prisoners
singing wafts through the air.
84 INT. BOXING ROOM 84
Geel Piet instructs PK.
My boxing instruction accelerated
as well. It was as if Geel Piet
was trying to give me every bit
of boxing knowledge he had before
we parted. And always from the
corners and shadows Bormann
watched and waited.
Bormann watches PK and Geel Piet from the door of his
room, his truncheon beating idly against his leg.
85 INT. RING 85
A photographer sets up a group picture of the boxing
squad -- kids and guards. Geel Piet stands off to one
side, OUT OF FRAME.
Our boxing squad, the Barberton
Blues, won the State Championship
with a perfect record. I won at
100 lbs. It was my first
championship. It made me want
The group disperses. PK beckons the photographer to
wait. He grabs Geel Piet and forces him to stand,
much to the little man's protestations, for a photo
of the two of them. As the picture is taken Geel
Piet has the widest smile imaginable.
86 INT. PRISON YARD - NIGHT 86
The guards, all in crisp uniforms, patrol nervously,
truncheons at the ready. The towers bristle with guns
as hundreds of black prisoners file into the yard.
Finally the night of the concert
arrived. The prison atmosphere,
normally tense, was keening.
Each prisoner entering the yard
is searched. It was prison policy
to keep tribal rivalries boiling.
Divide and conquer. The policy
PK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
This was to be the first time
in the history of the South
African prison system that the
tribes were allowed to mingle.
And if trouble came, it would be
All the prisoners are seated on the ground behind Doc,
who is raised with the piano on a small stage. Guards
surround the prisoners -- a solid, edgy border encasing
a black center. The front of the yard is filled with
seats on which sit the Kommandant, his wife, assorted
prison brass, politicians, and a smattering of the local
Afrikaan Hierarchy. PK is overseeing the seating of the
prisoners when Doc comes up to him.
Have you seen my page turner?
He asks a prisoner in Zulu.
Have you seen Geel Piet?
The man shakes his head. PK looks worried.
He will come.
The Kommandant, all medals and polished leather, mounts
the stage, signaling a beginning to the festivities.
Where is Bormann? I need Bormann
to translate to the prisoners.
I don't know, Kommandant.
Is there a problem here,
I want to address these filthy
kaffirs but I don't have a
You can speak Zulu, PK?
All right. Listen up.
He addresses the prisoners.
Tell them this concert is the gift
to them from the professor who,
even though he is in prison, is
not a dirty criminal like them
but a man of culture and learning.
The Kommandant welcomes you and
looks forward to the great
For such a man I am happy to do
this. But one hair of trouble
and it's finish.
He hopes each tribe will sing its
best and bring honor to its
One wrong move and you get marched
back to your cells and don't come
out for a month.
He says tonight let us be one
people under the African sky.
The prisoners break into spontaneous applause. Von Zyl
looks at PK, unsuspecting, pleased.
You did a good job.
Thank you, sir.
He turns the stage over to the professor and takes his
seat. The professor sits at his stool, poised. PK, in
front of the singers, watches him for a cue. Doc drops
his head. PK points to a group of singers. MUSIC and
VOICE blend spontaneously. "The Concerto for the Great
Doc plays magnificently with great style. PK focuses on
leading the singers. Each section, each tribe singing
its own songs with its own distinct cultural imprints on
rhythm, pace and tone.
87 CLOSE UP ON PK 87
leading the singers in and out of the MUSIC.
88 FLASH TO TRUNCHEON 88
being raised and lowered on a familiar back.
89 BACK TO SCENE 89
PK is caught short by the flash. He falters a bit, then
regains his concentration.
90 FLASH TO TRUNCHEON 90
coming down on a familiar head -- Geel Peit's.
91 ANOTHER ANGLE 91
Instinctively the first four prisoners in each group,
the leaders, stand and turn to face their people. They
take up the lead. PK, distracted by his inner vision,
runs off stage. Doc looks after him, worried, but keeps
92 INT. PRISON 92
PK runs through the empty cell blocks looking for some-
one. PK runs through the corridors. He runs through the
kitchens, the empty dining area, the SOUND of the concert
chasing after him.
He runs through the recreation area and past the boxing
room when he hears a THUD, and another.
93 INT. BOXING ROOM 93
He bolts into the room and hits the light switch. The
light over the ring comes on, illuminating Bormann,
truncheon raised over the lifeless, broken body of Geel
Startled, Bormann jumps out of the ring and runs off. PK
scrambles into the ring and cradles the lifeless, blood-
ied head in his lap, and begins to sob.
PAN DOWN along Geel Piet's arm to his bloodied hand,
holding the snapshot of him and PK.
The Concerto grows LOUDER around PK until it enfolds him
in its melodies. The voices of Africa, the music of
Europe, reaching for a musical and spiritual crescendo.
Geel Piet died of massive internal
hemorrhage, the result of
Bormann's ramming a truncheon up
into the little man's body until
his entrails spilled out. When
I reached him he was already dead.
I sat there crying, stroking his
head and crying with African
voices rising to heaven above,
even as her blood soaked the
The MUSIC SWELLS until the voices meld as one.
94 INT. EXAMINERS' ROOM 94
The four examiners all sit enthralled by the story. When
PK looks up, a tear runs down his cheek. Lewis, who is
visibly moved, clears his throat. Another man blows his
nose with a handkerchief, covering his emotions.
Thank you very much. You will be
notified as to the University's
decision by mail.
PK rises and goes to exit.
Point of curiousity.
Your headmaster told me your work
is somewhat autobiographical.
This Bormann, he was real?
Was justice ever served?
Yes, sir. Sergeant Bormann died
of the rectum.
PK turns and exits.
95 EXT. SCHOOL 95
Solly Goldman sits behind the wheel of his old car. Two
figures sneak out of the school and come running toward
96 INT. CAR 96
Solly starts the engine as PK and Morrie hop in.
We have to make a stop first.
The night won't last forever,
It'll only take a minute.
Solly puts the car in gear and drives off.
97 INT. MARIA'S ROOM 97
Maria is sleeping when a hand goes over her mouth. She
awakes, startled, to PK, finger to lips.
98 EXT. BLACK TOWNSHIP 98
A police car patrols the edge of the vast, dark, ram-
shackle township, its cruiser light scanning the openings
to the dark rutted alleys. It passes and disappears down
the road. A moment later an African steps out of the
shadows and whistles a signal.
99 DOWN THE ROAD 99
in the shadows, Nguni hears the whistle. He looks at his
watch and up the road, tense, as another set of head-
lights appears. Nguni steps back into the shadows.
100 INT. CAR 100
Solly strains to see out his dirty windshield with the
headlights as his car bumps along the unpaved road.
The night I escaped from the
Tsar's Army it was just like
this. Six of us -- four Jews,
two Ukranians. Dark as anything.
No streets. In the day we hid in
bushes. At night we went.
Whey they come take you at
thirteen years old and tell you
it's twenty-five years in the
Army, it's your duty to desert.
Nguni steps out right into the path of the headlights.
Solly hits the brake hard, throwing everyone forward.
You said the end of the road.
Yes, yes. Sorry. I drive.
He opens Solly's door with some urgency. Nguni sees
Welcome, miss, welcome.
Nguni turns into the township and is swallowed by the
101 INT. CAR 101
The car bounces along the rutted darkened streets of the
township. The glow of smoldering cooking fires through
open doorways offers minimal illumination to the squalid
lives within. Maria peers out at a world she has never
seen. As the car drives, women and children gather along
the road peering in. Mothers point to PK, instructing
The people have come from
everywhere to see you.
Maria takes PK's hand, a little nervous. PK smiles at
Where are the men?
They are to be witness.
The muffled sounds of VOICES SINGING reaches them, grow-
ing louder as they approach. Maria is tense. Nguni
senses this. He turns to her.
No worry, miss. It is the sound
He stops the car at a door in a high wooden wall guarded
by two big men.
We are here.
Everyone gets out of the car and passes through the door
which shuts behind them.
102 INT. DIMLY LIT CORRIDOR 102
Nguni leads everyone down the hallway. PK is dressed to
fight, hands taped, robe thrown over his shoulders.
I don't see why we have to weigh
in. They're going to fight
It is very important the people
see everything is correct.
They come to an arch which leads into a big empty room.
In the center of the room stands a scale and a dozen
Africans, all dressed in worn but neatly pressed suits.
Mandoma, the other man who attended PK's fight at school,
clad only in boxing gear, waits on PK.
I see you, Gideon Mandoma.
I see you, PK.
I just want you to know you fight
a man. Onoshobishobi Ingelosi is
just a name I was given at
Barberton Prison. It means
It is not for you or me to say
what it means.
An old man, one of the dignitaries says something to
He motions for PK to step on the scale. PK does. The
weight is duly noted. Mandoma then does the same. The
twelve men are satisfied. They head for the exit.
It is time.
He motions for the others to follow. PK goes to walk
with Maria. Nguni pairs him with Mandoma. They exit the
103 INT. CORRIDOR 103
The party walks towards a big double door behind which a
single VOICE PREACHING can be vaguely heard. Nguni
knocks on the door.
104 EXT. SOCCER FIELD 104
The doors open to an entire soccer field jammed with
humanity. A boxing ring is raised in the center. The
only lights in the area directly over it. With the
twelve witnesses in the lead, the party makes its way
through a path in the crowd. An OLD WOMAN with a fly
switch, not unlike Inkosikazi's, speaks from the ring.
As PK passes the whispers start.
The Woman in the ring begins to chant. The crowd picks
Shobi shobi Ingelosi.
PK looks back at Maria who is a bit unnerved, as are
Morrie and Solly. He looks across at Mandoma whose face
is a mask looking straight ahead, betraying nothing. The
two men climb into the ring and stand in their corners.
The Old Woman shuffles over and peers into PK's face.
She mutters something inaudible, then turns to the crowd.
The crowd picks up the chant. She waves and the crowd
goes silent. Somewhere in the darkness a single voice
begins to sing "Nkosi Sikelel I Afrika" -- the African
The crowd picks it up. PK looks down to the front row
where Nguni sits courteously attending to Maria in a seat
of honor among the twelve men in suits.
The African national anthem finishes. The BELL RINGS
three times. The Old Woman is led from the ring. An
Indian Referee in all white enters the ring and waves
the two fighters forward.
You are listening to me please.
When I am shouting break, you must
break at once. When a knockdown
is coming, it is for an eight
count. No heads, no elbows. You
fight clean or by golly I am
giving you penalty points. Good
PK and Mandoma touch gloves and go to their respective
What do you see?
Solly watches Mandoma dancing across the ring.
A very tough fight.
The BELL RINGS.
Watch the left hook.
Mandoma comes charging across the ring and begins to fire
everything in his arsenal at PK, overwhelming him. PK
cannot get away from him and takes a series of devastat-
ing combinations which end in a left hook to PK's jaw.
PK drops like lead. The Referee starts counting. PK
shakes his head clear and rises at eight. The Referee
checks his gloves. There is a cut under his right eye.
Again, Mandoma comes charging hard. PK defends himself
as best he can, trying to counter. But Mandoma's offense
won't allow it. He beats on PK until the round ends. PK
sits down in his corner. Morrie works on his eye.
God, he hits like a truck.
He's going for the quick knockout.
He can't keep it up. Soon the
truck runs out of gas.
If he catches me again like that
I'll run out of gas --
The BELL SOUNDS. PK is hardly off his stool when Mandoma
is on him, pummeling him. PK backpedals, bobs and
weaves. Mandoma's punches come fast and furious, each
one looking to end the fight. Mandoma gets PK against
the ropes and bangs away. PK covers up. Mandoma
punishes his arms and kidneys. PK swings back and es-
capes. Mandoma pursues him. He catches PK with a body
chop and then a chopping left. PK goes down again. The
Referee starts to count. The crowd is completely silent.
The BELL RINGS. PK returns to his corner, shaking his
head, trying to clear it. He flops onto his stool.
He's had it. He's got no strength
in his punch.
Could've fooled me.
I'm telling you.
Look -- he's taking water.
They all look.
105 THEIR POV 105
of Mandoma, breathing heavily, sweating profusely, drinks
deeply from his water flask.
106 BACK TO SCENE 106
See. Where that water goes --
you go. Right to here.
He pokes PK's belly.
You put your punches there, you
win. You don't, you lose.
The BELL RINGS. Mandoma comes charging out. PK goes on
defense. He hits Mandoma hard to the head. Mandoma
whips around and hits him hard. PK spins and hits the
canvas. His vision blurs, doubles. The SOUND of a
WATERFALL fills his head.
107 PK 107
struggling to climb the rocks in the pool below the
waterfall. He is halfway across this time.
108 REFEREE 108
Three... four... five...
109 PK 109
struggles to mount the fifth rock. He clings to it, wet,
exhausted, as the water pummels him.
110 REFEREE 110
... seven... eight... nine...
PK rises. The crowd goes wild. The Referee holds up six
How many fingers?
Where are you?
In a fight behind on points.
Mandoma rushes in for the kill. PK feints and comes up
under one of Mandoma's punches, burying a body shot into
his gut. Mandoma grunts and backs up. PK pursues him.
Mandoma tries to recover. He throws another big punch.
PK ducks under it and puts two more hooks into Mandoma's
stomach. Mandoma starts to back up for the first time
in the fight. PK boxes, jabbing, feinting, pushing Man-
doma around the ring, taking control. Mandoma, heading
for exhaustion, throws another big punch in desperation.
PK hits him with three punches in return. Mandoma swings
again with a last desperate effort, and PK buries the
Solly Goldman thirteen into every part of his body. PK
steps back and with his last punch, puts Mandoma down.
The crowd goes silent. The Referee counts Mandoma out.
He raises PK's hand. Still, the crowd is silent.
We're in the shit now. Nice
knowing you, Solly.
He and Solly look around at the somber black faces flick-
ering in the shadows of the ring light. PK looks down at
Mandoma in silence. Mandoma rises unsteadily. He stands
in front of PK, staring into his eyes, and then he raises
PK's arm above his head.
The crowd goes wild, chanting, singing over and over as
PK and Mandoma stand in center ring, arms raised.
111 EXT. DEVILLIERS SCHOOL - PRE-DAWN 111
PK stands with Maria by the tree they use to climb over
the wall. In the b.g. Solly and Morrie wait in the car.
The Seniors Dance is two Saturdays
from now. I would like it if you
could escort me.
Maria Marais with a rooinek at
the Senior Dance? What will
They'll think what they think and
I'll think what I think.
And what is that?
Maria touches his face. Her eyes soften.
I think I love you.
PK swallows hard. They kiss and embrace. PK caresses
I would be honored to be your
I didn't doubt it for a minute.
Solly HONKS the HORN.
PK kisses Maria once more.
I'll give you a boost.
PK stirrups his hands. Maria boosts up to the first
branch of the tree. She crests the wall.
Thank you for tonight. You were
She smiles and drops down behind the wall. PK runs back
toward the car.
112 EXT. PRINCE OF WALES SCHOOL - DAWN 112
Solly's car pulls up opposite the gate.
113 INT. CAR 113
Morrie is sleeping in the back seat. Solly and PK are
sitting in the front.
When you and your manager first
came to me with that meshuganah
idea to be welterweight champion
of the world you did not have a
big believer here. But I gotta
tell you. Now you do. In London
lives Benny Rosen, the greatest
trainer in the world today. When
you go to your Oxford I give you
a letter to Rosen. Whatever I
can't do for you, he can.
Thanks, Mr. G.
Solly pokes Morrie awake.
And I give the address of a very
good bookmaker. Teach you also
a thing or two. Now, go on back
to being fancy-schmancy English
gentlemen. I'm proud of both of
PK and Morrie exit the car and run back to the school.
114 EXT. CAMPUS 114
As PK and Morrie jog toward their dorm a VOICE stops
them from behind.
ST. JOHN (V.O)
PK and Morrie stop cold. They turn to St. John, up early
for his daily constitutional.
You're up early, sir.
Best time for walking.
Best time for running too, sir.
Have to put in the roadwork, sir.
You know, keep those legs strong.
St. John eyes the bruise on PK's cheek.
Yes. Quite a fresh bruise there.
Maybe you should change your
He looks down at their shoes. Both boys are wearing pro-
per shoes; not at all what would be worn for roadwork.
To something a little more
Busted, the boys squirm uncomfortably.
St. John fixes them with a look, and then walks off. The
boys bolt into the dorm.
115 INT. PK'S ROOM 115
PK and Morrie open the door and stop cold. Gideon
Mandoma sits in a chair facing the door. He rises.
Please excuse me for coming like
a thief by the window.
You speak English?
PK is surprised. Mandoma nods.
You are a great fighter, Gideon.
Second greatest in this room.
But you didn't come to talk about
Mandoma shakes his head. He waits for a moment, then
When you say to me, Onoshobishobi
Ingelosi means nothing, you are
right. And you are wrong. The
legend gives the people hope for
a good tomorrow. But hope alone
will not make a good tomorrow
for the people. You cannot
write our letters, get us clothes,
food, work. These things we must
do ourselves, so we can be part
of this country's good tomorrow.
If we are not, the hope will
disappear. The people will grow
tired. The tired will grow angry
and there will be no good tomorrow
for anybody -- black or white.
What are you asking from me?
To be part of something you must
know what everyone else knows.
We have our own knowledge. We
We get our knowledge in schools,
Gideon. We're not born with it.
Then it must be the same with us.
You have schools.
Yes. And teachers who cannot do
more than their own ABC's. We
have a system made not to teach
I am only seventeen years old,
Gideon. I cannot teach five
million people how to speak
English and do sums.
You taught the singing to
thousands at Barberton Prison.
You were only twelve.
You are a great fighter, PK.
Second greatest in this room,
Mandoma exits through the window.
116 INT. ST. JOHN'S STUDY 116
PK stands in front of a pondering St. John.
You are asking me for a lot,
I'm only asking you to put what
you've taught us into practice,
You are asking me to put the
reputation of this school in
The reputation of this school,
sir, is based on its integrity.
I'm aware of that. I'm also aware
of what will happen if this ever
gets out. We live in a country
where the rules are being
Then we'd better be careful to
keep a firm hand on our pens...
St. John regards PK.
All right. I will allow it on a
trial basis. Here are my
conditions: you tell no one; you
operate at night on Saturdays when
the student body is gone; you
involve no one besides yourself
and Mr. Levy. If you can comply,
you can have your school.
117 EXT. BEACH - LATE AFTERNOON 117
Maria and PK are about to race. Maria is given a head
start of ten yards.
Ready. Set. Go!
They both take off. Maria runs as hard as she can. PK
catches up to her. She strains with the effort. PK
crosses the finish line first. Maria trips and falls,
rolling in the sand. PK comes back to her. He kneels
You're supposed to let me win.
Then you'd say I was being
You were guilty of that when you
gave me a head start.
She kisses him and stands up. They begin to walk along
Get your formal yet?
PK grows uncomfortable.
The dance is only a week away.
I can't come to the dance.
I have an obligation.
Can't you change it?
It's a permanent obligation.
Every Saturday night...
It starts tonight.
Maria cannot believe what she is hearing.
You're breaking up with me.
Then what could be so important
that it takes all your Saturday
I really can't say.
Maria starts to cry. She throws her arm around him.
P.K., I love you. Please don't
I'm not going away.
Yes you are. I can feel it.
I'm not. I'm just tutoring.
Maria pulls back.
I started a school...
... for Gideon Mandoma and some
others in the seniors library.
Maria's sadness turns to anger.
I'm losing you to a bunch of
You're not losing anything.
No? Are you escorting me to the
dance? Are you going to see me on
the only free night they give us?
Maria, this is important to me.
And my life's important to me.
She runs off in tears. A pained PK doesn't attempt to
go after her.
118 EXT. CLIFF FACE 118
On an escarpment high above the dense green rainforest
cover, PK and Doc move along the sheer cliff face with
photographic equipment and rucksacks.
PK notices Doc's labored breathing and slow movements.
They reach some small cacti growing out of the side of
the cliff in full bloom.
Ach. You see how beautiful?
You ever hear of glycerine, Doc?
Of course I know about glycerine.
Monoglycerine. What do you want
Why you don't use it. It's only
a little pill under the tongue.
Tongues were not made to put
little pills under. When I have
to start with that, I become
Well, until you become something
else, the little pills would make
this easier on your heart.
A CLAP of THUNDER cuts into their conversation. Thick
roiling rain clouds appear suddenly.
Little pills or no little pills
-- we don't find cover, we both
turn into something else.
Lightning splits the sky. Rain begins to fall, pelting
Look for a cave. Always in this
kind of rock there is caves.
PK starts to move horizontally across the cliff face like
a spider on a wall. Doc follows. The rain becomes
PK turns to look back at Doc.
Don't look at me. Go!
PK forges ahead.
119 HIS POV - OPENING 119
some 20 yards ahead.
120 BACK TO SCENE 120
I've found something.
The rain is so heavy PK can barely make out Doc behind
him. When he can, he sees the old man pause, breathing
hard. PK makes his way back to Doc. Halfway there,
Doc waves him forward and starts to move. PK reaches
the small opening and slips in.
121 INT. SMALL CAVE 121
PK stoops in the small cave, dripping wet. A moment
later Doc's foot appears at the entrance. PK helps him
in. Doc slumps down, exhausted.
Breathing too hard to reply, Doc shakes his head in the
affirmative. PK looks out at the rain forming a sheer
wall of water outside. He turns to Doc, who is getting
up, flashlight in hand.
What are you doing?
Why don't you just rest?
Plenty time for resting when I am
something else. Look.
He strikes a match. A wind from inside the cave blows
it side to side.
When does a cave have wind? This
is more than some little cave, my
Doc crouches down and follows the beam of his flashlight
to the rear of the cave where there is a small opening.
He shines the light into it.
Here. See? There is a passage.
Before PK can say anything else, Doc has wriggled through
the small opening.
PK, a bit peeved, takes his own flashlight and follows.
122 INT. SMALL TUNNEL 122
PK crawls after Doc, making his way through the small
tunnel on his stomach.
You know the pyramids are nothing
more than man's attempt to recreate
the first safe home our species
had -- the cave. It is the
ultimate safe resting place. The
first place man could lay down
and have a good night's sleep
without worrying about waking up
as something's supper.
Doc stops crawling. So does PK. A DRIPPING can be
You hear that? There is something
waiting for us.
Doc starts moving quicker.
Let's hope it's not hungry.
Doc squeezes out of the small space. PK joins him in a
slightly larger tunnel, the same size as the first one
-- stoop height.
What's that smell?
All of a sudden there is a RUSTLING noise.
Doc recognizes the sound. He pounces on PK, knocking
him to the floor and covering him with his body. Not
a moment too soon. For a thousand bats fill the tunnel
123 PK'S POV - BATS 123
flying wildly through the flashlight beams.
In a blur, the bats are gone, disappeared into another
tunnel entrance to the left.
124 BACK TO SCENE 124
Doc an PK rise slowly. The silence of the cave is
punctuated by the DRIPPING.
Maybe it's stopped raining.
Who can think about rain when you
are on the edge of the great
You don't know that.
The bats didn't come from a
shoebox, Mr. Know-It-All.
Doc heads off.
Sometimes I think maybe sending
you off to that fancy-shmancy
school was not such a good idea.
It was your idea. Your'e the
one who pushed for me to go.
Ja. But who knew they do such a
good job of boxing up part of
Which part is that?
The one where is all the
questions. The curiosity center.
Ahead in the tunnel is a luminous glow, filling an
Did I tell you?
Doc and PK hurry on.
125 THEIR POV - TUNNEL OPENING 125
As they come to a tunnel opening: a large cave, perhaps
200 feet wide by 100 feet high, filled with stalactites
and stalagmites composed of pure, crystallized calcium
The whole chamber glistens with an eerie phosphorescence.
Toward one end of the crystallized room eight stalagmites
grown up from the floor cement to form a huge crystal
slab some ten feet off the floor. A buttress of stalg-
mites drip off it forming a natural, if uneven, stairway.
126 BACK TO SCENE 126
Doc and PK stare at the crystal cave in amazement.
How many hundreds of thousands of
years to make this masterpiece?
Everything outside can change,
P.K. This remains the same. We
are in the heart of Africa, P.K.
The heart of Africa.
Doc, in his own world of wonderment, wanders down into
the cave among the stalactites. PK follows, soon losing
sight of Doc behind the large crystal columns.
You know, if a person stayed here
for 100,000 years what would be
left? Crystal. Like a crystal
mummy. Incredible, ja?
Doc's preoccupation with death irks him. He studies a
piece of crystal.
I wish we had brought the camera.
Think there's enough light to
Doc does not answer.
His concern rises. He moves through the maze of crystal,
his pace quickening.
Still no answer.
His vision obscured, PK reaches the elevated slab. He
clambers up the buttress for a better view. When he
reaches the top he stops cold.
127 HIS POV - DOC 127
lying on the crystal slab, eyes closed, hands folded on
This is not funny.
Doc opens his eyes.
This is incredible! The crystal.
You can feel the life go right
through you. Here.
Come try it.
128 WIDER ANGLE 128
No. That's all right. Can we go?
We have only just gotten here.
What's the matter, P.K.?
All day long you've been talking
about becoming something else,
about dying. You never talked
about dying before.
I'm 87 next month. It's natural.
Not to a sixteen-year-old it's
not. It's painful.
Doc realizes what PK is saying.
You are right. I am sorry.
Sixteen-year-old ears should only
Doc starts to whistle "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart.
The RESONANCE of the WHISTLING off the crystal sounds
beautiful, exotic. Doc beckons PK to join in with him.
PK does so, hesitantly. Then pleased with the sound and
the feeling, more fully.
Doc and PK exit through the stalactites, whistling.
129 INT. DOC'S HOUSE - NIGHT 129
PK and a very exhausted Doc enter. Doc sits down heavily
on the bed while PK, shrugging off his rucksack, heads
right for the small kitchen area.
I'll just set you up with some
coffee here, so in the morning you
won't have to bother making it.
He begins to prepare the coffee.
I didn't mean to tell you what
you can and can't talk about back
in the cave today. I guess I
just don't like to think of you
... something else. I know it's
natural law and it's the way it
is with everybody...
I just wish it weren't with you.
There is no reply.
PK turns to Doc, dead asleep, still sitting up. PK goes
over and gently lays the old man down. He removes his
boots and throws a blanket over him. PK blows out the
kerosene lamp and goes to exit. He is about to hang
their two rucksacks on two hooks by the door when Doc's
voice turns him.
I'm here, Doc.
The crystal cave will be our
Whatever you say.
Ja. Good. I rest a little.
The heart of Africa, P.K.
Doc lays down.
He is asleep when his head hits the pillow.
PK watches Doc's chest, washed in moonlight, rise and
A sudden sadness falls over him. The corners of his
mouth turn up in a bittersweet smile. He finishes
hanging the rucksack and exits.
130 EXT. PRINCE OF WALES BACK GATE - NIGHT 130
PK and Morrie stick close in the shadows. PK looks at
his watch and then twenty feet away to the locked gate.
Christ! If someone would have
told me this is where I'd be on
a Saturday night, last term of
my senior year, I'd call them
You know, you're going to owe me
for the rest of your life on this
That all? I figured you'd hold
me to it longer.
You get the insider friend's
A black groundskeeper comes walking along, seemingly on
PK pokes Morrie.
131 THEIR POV - GROUNDSKEEPER 131
walks up to the gate. He looks left and right, then
quickly unlocks it. He walks away.
132 BACK TO SCENE 132
PK and Morrie advance. PK opens the gate. As he does,
Gideon Mandoma, followed by 15 men and 5 women, enters.
I see you, P.K.
I see you, Gideon.
Let's get inside before the whole
bloody world sees us.
He clasps Morrie's hand, first in a traditional hand-
shake, then in an African handshake. Mandoma smiles.
You some great friend.
Morrie is taken by his sincerity.
Let's go. Stay to the fence.
The group moves out.
133 INT. LIBRARY 133
The Africans are seated around desks, waiting for Morrie
and PK to tell them what to do.
All right, class. I know you
don't understand a word I'm
saying, but part of learning a
language is hearing it spoken.
So -- I am P.K.
He taps his chest.
... is Morrie. Now you all have
He holds up the chalkboard.
Chalk and an eraser. I will say
the letter. You will say the
letter. I will write the letter.
You will write the letter.
Morrie will check the letter.
All right? Here we go. 'A'...
... say it. 'A.'
The door to the library suddenly opens. Everyone
freezes. Maria enters the room. PK is stunned.
PK hurries over to Maria. Not a word needs to be
spoken. Her presence says everything.
I thought you might need some
help. Or I can just sit and
PK hands her the chalk.
Class. This is Maria. She is
now the teacher.
We're doing alphabet, from the
PK takes up his position with Morrie, ready to check the
chalkboards. Maria takes the front of the class.
134 HER POV - BLACK FACES 134
before her, watching intensely.
135 BACK TO SCENE 135
She battles the butterflies in her stomach as she writes
an "A" on the blackboard. She clears her throat.
No one says anything. Maria looks a little lost.
Repeat what she says.
Say it again.
She writes it on the blackboard again. PK and Morrie
trade a look and a smile.
'A.' Write 'A.'
She mimes to the chalkboards. All the Africans obey.
PK looks up from checking the students. Maria's eyes
136 EXT. SCHOOL GATE 136
The Africans are exiting. Maria, Morrie and PK stand,
receiving their heartfelt thanks one by one. Mandoma
is the last to leave.
You are one brave Boer, Miss
And you are one lucky English.
He kids PK. PK blushes.
Good night, Gideon.
He playfully pushes Gideon out the gate and closes it.
He turns to Maria and Morrie.
Well, I think I'll go... um...
lay on my back and count the
cracks in the ceiling. 'Night.
Nice to see you, Maria.
Good night, Morrie.
Morrie runs off.
PK takes Maria around.
I am one lucky English.
They embrace and kiss.
P.K. Can I ask you a favor?
We don't have to go in or anything.
You can hear the music from
outside. I'd love to have one
dance with you before I graduate.
I feel so good. Race you to the
You need a headstart?
She takes off. PK follows.
137 SOMEONE ELSE'S POV 137
They disappear into the night.
138 ANGLE ON FIGURE 138
in the shadows, watching them run off.
139 INT. SCHOOL GYM 139
PK is working on a speed bag. Morrie comes running in
with two open letters in hand.
We made it! We made it!
He thrusts one of the letters at PK.
Sorry. I couldn't bear the
suspense after I read mine. I
had to open it.
PK looks at his letter.
Three months and we're out of
You're out of here.
What the hell are you talking
He snatches PK's letter.
'Dear sir. It is our pleasure to
inform you that you have been
accepted to matriculate at
Trinity College, Oxford,' etc.,
It says nothing about the
Another BOY comes over.
St. John wants to see you two in
Good news travels fast.
I'll get showered and changed.
He said to come as you are.
The Boy runs off, leaving PK and Morrie wondering.
140 INT. ST. JOHN'S STUDY 140
PK and Morrie enter to a somber St. John.
Wanted to see us, sir?
Yes. Come in. Close the door.
As the door closes, BRIGADIER JOHANNES BRETYN, a quiet
but formidable man, comes into their line of vision.
Trouble is in the air.
This is Brigadier Bretyn from the
Bretyn just nods his head.
He has come to deliver, in person,
an order to close the Saturday
Because it is illegal.
We're only teaching them how to
read and do sums.
You don't have certification to
Prince of Wales is a certified
Yes. But not certified for that
sort of thing.
Can he do this, sir?
Of course I can do it. Would I
be here if I couldn't? Come now
meneer headmaster. Let's end
this now. I have a full day ahead
of me still.
St. John meets Bretyn's steely eyes. He cannot hold the
The Saturday school is to be
disbanded until further notice.
Thank you, meneer headmaster.
Your cooperation in this matter
is very appreciated. Good day.
Bretyn goes to exit.
You know it can't go on like this
St. John tenses.
What you're doing.
I'm just doing my job. And if
you'll take some advice, you
should just do yours.
Is that really the end of it, sir?
For the moment I'm afraid it is.
If we let them get away with it
on our own grounds, it will never
change. It'll just get worse.
History disputes you.
History takes too long.
Yes it does. But it is never
kind to those who try to hurry it.
I feel we should resist, sir.
So do I, P.K. But this is not a
subtle government. They mean to
have their way and damn the
consequences. And I cannot
jeopardize this school, no matter
how I personally feel. I'm sorry.
I heard you were accepted at
Yes, sir. Received notification
Thank you, sir.
St. John looks at PK who remains silent.
To both of you.
Thank you, sir.
An uncomfortable silence lingers.
We'll talk before you go.
Yes, sir. Will that be all?
That'll be all.
PK turns immediately and exits. Morrie and St. John
trade an uncomfortable look.
141 INT. HALLWAY 141
PK walks down the hall, anger building in his face. He
exits the hall.
142 EXT. DEVILLIERS SCHOOL 142
PK comes up to the main gate. A GUARD stops him.
I'd like to see Maria Marais
The Guard checks his list.
Sorry. She's not allowed
Well, if I could just talk to her.
PK backs away and moves off down the street. He turns
143 HIS POV - TREE 143
he uses to scale the wall is in the process of being
144 INT. PK'S ROOM - PRE-DAWN 144
Morrie is asleep. PK wakes him.
I want to show you something.
What time is it?
He looks at his watch and turns over.
Can I see it later?
No. Come on.
He pulls Morrie out of bed. Morrie groggily starts
pulling his clothes on.
You know, when we get to Oxford
-- separate rooms.
Will you hurry.
Is there some girl out there
waiting for me?
Yeah. Stunning. Breasts like
casabas. Just waiting for you.
PK throws a jersey into his chest and pulls him out of
145 EXT. PRINCE OF WALES CAMPUS 145
The campus is swaddled in early morning fog.
PK and Morrie stand on the side of the school chapel
while a black groundsman opens the door to the basement.
What do you think?
I think you're fooling yourself
into thinking the bastards won't
come after us in here.
The groundskeeper opens the door to the basement. The
146 INT. BASEMENT 146
PK switches on a light switch to a cavernous space
cluttered with old desks, blackboards and church pews.
This is a church. Didn't you
ever hear of the Christian concept
Yes. But I'm not the one who
has to respect it.
Even the Boer has limits, Morrie.
I'm sure he does, but I'd still
like to see a big bolt on the
The Caretaker pulls a large deadbolt out of his pocket,
with a smile.
147 INT. SOLLY'S GYM 147
Mandoma and PK, both with protective equipment on,
Now move it nice and easy, the
both of you. Time.
PK and Mandoma circle. Mandoma throws a jab.
They want us to close the school.
Mandoma lays in a combination.
We are still game.
PK throws a combination.
So are we.
Would you two find some other
time to chat. This is a boxing
ring, not a social club.
Mandoma and PK start boxing in earnest, both smiling.
148 EXT. DEVILLIERS SCHOOL - NIGHT 148
A watchman makes his rounds. He passes by Maria's
window. When he is gone, PK appears from behind a tree.
He taps on the window. Maria comes to the window and
sees him. Her face lights up. She opens the window.
I was in the neighborhood.
Maria puts her finger to her lips and waves him in. PK
climbs through the window.
149 INT. ROOM 149
Maria points to the door.
She puts a record on her phonograph. She turns to PK
and embraces him fiercely, holding on tight.
They're sending me away to school
in Pretoria. I told my father I
wouldn't go. He said if I didn't
he'd see they arrest you and ruin
your chances. I couldn't let him
150 ANGLE ON PK'S PAINED FACE 150
as he holds Maria.
When do you go?
I want to make love to you, P.K.
PK's eyes fill with her words. She releases him. They
look at each other.
PK leans forward and kisses her, awkward, as if for the
first time. As their lips part, their breath shortens.
Maria moves forward slowly, lifting PK's hand to her
breast. He touches it. The heat builds. Passion
overwhelms them. They begin to make love.
151 INT. ROOM - LATER 151
Maria sleeps peacefully in PK's arms on her small bed.
PK lies awake, staring at the ceiling. He rises quietly
so as not to wake her. He pulls on his clothes, gently
brushes a wisp of hair away from her eyes, kisses her
forehead, and exits through the window into the breaking
152 EXT. SCHOOL GROUNDS - NIGHT 152
PK and Morrie stand by a side gate near the athletic
field looking alertly about. The gate opens. The
Africans led by Mandoma come through. PK and Morrie
greet them. When they are all through Morrie closes
the gate and runs after them.
153 EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - STANDS 153
A man with a walkie-talkie sits in the shadows, watching
25 people run across the athletic field. He talks into
154 INT. CHAPEL BASEMENT 154
The light switch is on. The four lights above the
center of the room illuminate a classroom area -- desks
set up in neat rows with stools, a blackboard. The
other furniture has been piled high against the walls on
either side of the room where the light does not reach.
If you'll all be seated we can
The Africans head toward their desks. PK turns to
So far so good.
Morrie's response is to throw the new deadbolt into its
slot with a skeptical eye.
PK takes his place at the head of the class.
I want to thank you all for
having the courage to come
I will be teaching the first part
of class tonight and Mr. Levy will
teach the second.
A woman whispers something to Mandoma. Mandoma raises
Miss Marais. Will she not be
This causes a flurry among the women.
PK writes on the blackboard the word "see."
He says the word in Zulu.
I see. You see. We see.
He moves his hands, eliciting response.
I see. You see. We see.
PK holds up a book with a picture of a boy.
I see the boy.
I see the boy.
PK holds up another picture.
Girl. I see the girl.
I see the girl.
There is a KNOCK on the door. Everyone freezes.
P.K., it's me.
Morrie pulls the bolt, opening and shutting the door
PK and Maria look at each other.
I wanted to say goodbye to my
... and to you.
The four women in the class speak in unison.
We see the girl.
Maria smiles, surprised.
The moment is shortlived as a SOUND from behind the
pews in the rear of the room turns everyone.
In the shadows, risen from behind the piles of furniture
against the two opposite walls, stand 20 policemen with
long menacing riot sticks.
Bretyn steps into the light.
Mandoma gives a command and the Africans form a phalanx
around the women.
Once warned. Twice punished.
You're violating the sanctity
of the church.
No. You are with your damned
race mixing ideas, rooinek.
155 ANGLE ON MORRIE 155
by the door, slowly slipping the bolt lock, trying
to remain innocuous while doing so.
PK sees him and trades a look with Mandoma, who also
sees what Morrie is doing.
At least let the women go.
You want everything to be equal,
little Boetie. Why not men and
Just then Morrie throws the bolt.
He goes to charge out the door, but to his chagrin the
door does not open, locked from the outside.
Bretyn smiles cruelly.
Locks keep people out but they
also keep them in.
He has walked right up to Morrie, not taking his eyes
off Morrie's for a moment. Morrie meets his gaze evenly.
The moment is broken as Bretyn's baton slams into Morrie's
stomach, dropping him to this knees.
Get up, you bloody commie Jew!
He bangs Morrie hard in the jaw, knocking him out cold.
The two police lines start to move towards each other,
sandwiching the Africans, PK and Maria.
Mandoma gives an order. The blacks pick up anything
they can to face the inevitable--stools, chairs, a
No. Wait. We'll leave.
Too late. You never should have
come. At the ready.
The two police lines tense to charge forward.
The blacks brace to defend.
The police charge from both ends of the room, yelling,
clubs held high.
The Africans respond with their own war cry and engage
the club-swinging police.
A policeman swings at PK who ducks and buries a hook
into the man's ribs followed by another to his jaw.
The man goes down.
156 PK'S POV 156
Morrie has risen to take a policeman out with a stool
over his head.
Two other police beat Morrie from behind. He goes
down once again under their brutal clubs.
157 BACK TO SCENE 157
PK turns just as another club comes for his head. He
slips past the blow and punches out his assailant with
a lightning combination. As the man falls another
cop charges from behind.
PK turns off-balance. Maria leaps. The club cuts
through the air. Maria is caught flush on the forehead
as she comes between PK and the club. She falls to
the floor dead. PK swings a stool with all his might,
breaking the cop's face open.
PK drops to the fallen girl's side. He is frantic at
the sight of her gaping bloody wound and the sight of
her open blank eyes. The battle raging around him
recedes before his pain and rising rage. All at once
he explodes, screaming like a madman.
He leaps at Bretyn and bangs one punch after another
into the startled man. Bretyn's face is broken over and
over against PK's fists. Still PK keeps pounding blow
after blow into the fallen man.
Three cops descend on PK and beat him mercilessly
until he drops to the floor, unconscious.
Mandoma is hit hard and goes down.
The few Africans left fighting go down before the
withering assault of clubs, fists, and boots.
158 EXT. CEMETERY - DAY 158
Hundreds of Afrikaaners are gathered.
Daniel Marais and his wife stand by the open grave,
grieving, as the minister reads the final prayers.
The coffin is lowered.
Daniel Marais steps forward and shovels the first dirt
down after it. As Marais looks up he sees PK standing
behind the mourners, 20 yards off. His anger replaces
Marais advances towards PK, clutching the shovel as a
weapon. Several MEN restrain him.
Marais glares at PK.
All of a sudden a thousand African voices cut through
the air, SINGING songs of mourning.
159 EXT. CEMETERY WALL 159
Thousands of Africans and a smattering of whites have
gathered outside the cemetery. The singing rises from
Gideon, Morrie, St. John and Solly stand in front of
160 EXT. CEMETERY 160
Marais glares at PK, tears of rage in his eyes.
PK stands his ground.
Marais turns away, back to his daughter's grave.
PK stands, tears streaming down his cheeks, as the
SINGING ENGULFS the SCENE.
161 INT. PK'S ROOM - DAY 161
PK sits at his desk filling out application forms.
Morrie enters. He picks one up off the desk and looks
You're applying to South African
In case the scholarship doesn't
Why are you so bloody stubborn?
You don't belong in a South
African university any more than
I belong in the priesthood.
Will you take my father's loan?
PK takes the applications back just as a TELEGRAPH
DELIVERY BOY comes to the door.
There a Mr. P.K. here?
It's your scholarship.
Morrie grabs the telegram.
Sign here. Odd name -- P.K.
What's your name?
You're not one to talk about
Morrie scribbles his signature and proceeds to open
PK snatches it away from him. He pulls the telegram
out. His face falls to worry.
What's it say?
162 INT. DOC'S HOUSE 162
PK walks through the small house followed by Commandant
Von Zyl. Nothing is out of place.
Since his pneumonia last year
I've had one of the men drop
by once a week to see if he
needed anything. Of course
you know the professor. He
PK looks out at the cactus garden, watered now by drip
At the beginning of the week he
wasn't home so I decided to drop
by myself. Waited a whole day
here. When he didn't come back
I sent search parties. After
three days I sent the telegram.
Seven days is a long time for
him to be gone. Do you have
any ideas where he went?
PK looks at the pegs where the rucksacks hang. There
is only one hanging.
163 EXT. JUNGLE FLOOR 163
PK hikes along, watching the trail. His eyes spot
something. He kneels over the remains of a small
campsite. PK touches the ashes. His eyes rise to the
escarpment soaring above the jungle floor.
164 EXT. ESCARPMENT CLIFF FACE 164
PK climbs along the cliff face. He drops down into the
entrance to the crystal cave.
165 INT. CRYSTAL CAVE 165
PK stands at the bottom of the crystal slab almost
dreading what he will find. He resolutely climbs the
stalagmites to reach the top. PK's eye level shifts
from below the slab to even with it, then to above it.
As his sight rises Doc's corpse comes INTO VIEW --
laid out, serene hands clasped on his chest. From
above the stalactites drip onto his body ever so
slowly, turning him, molecule by molecule, into
PK stands off to one side.
166 HIS POV 166
a small metal box by Doc's feet.
167 BACK TO SCENE 167
PK picks it up and opens it. Inside is a letter. PK
unfolds it, and with trembling hands reads:
So Mr. Schmartypants. It did not
take you so long to figure out
what happened. I hope you
forgive me for not saying goodbye,
but I did not think it would be
necessary between us. What could
I say you don't already know.
DOC (V.O.) (CONT'D)
That I love you with all my heart?
That you have given me more in our
ten years of friendship than three
lifetimes could fill? That the
last thoughts I have before
becoming something else will be
of music, cactus, and you? You
know all this.
PK turns the sheet to page two which is a whole side of
Last night this music came into
my head. It is my music for
Africa. My music for you. So
go. Be welterweight champion of
the world. Be a writer. A great
writer. Remember -- the only
thing between a dream and a
reality is you. Until we meet
again, your friend, Doc.
PK looks down at Doc as a PIANO CONCERTO, beautiful,
haunting, BEGINS TO PLAY.
168 INT. DOC'S HOUSE - NIGHT 168
PK plays the music Doc wrote with only the moonlight
illuminating the page. The music is soul-stirring,
rich, evocative. Tears run down PK's cheeks.
PAN FROM PK THROUGH the CACTUS GARDEN to the FULL MOON
illuminating the African veldt as the MUSIC dominates
and then FADES into the night.
169 EXT. JOHANNESBURG TRAIN STATION - DAWN 169
The overnight train pulls in. PK disembarks.
170 HIS POV - STATION CLOCK 170
PK exits the station.
171 EXT. GOLDMAN'S GYM 171
PK comes down the street. A police car sits in front
of the gym. The two cops inside eye PK. He eyes
them back and enters the building.
172 INT. GYM 172
The gym is empty. PK enters and is stopped by the
Hello? Mr. G? Anyone here?
PK heads for the office. He finds Solly packing up
his mementos from the cluttered office.
Mr. Goldman, why isn't anybody
training? What's going on?
A repeat performance of history,
my boy. Solly Goldman's being
deported. Of course last time I
didn't have the luxury of being
able to pack.
For what reason?
Their reason is that I'm here
illegal. I didn't enter the
country with a passport. Like
the Czar was issuing passports
to Russian Jews in 1910.
This is because of me, isn't it?
No, boychick. This is because
of them. They are the problem,
not you. Don't ever think
different. You look tired.
Want a glass tea?
No, no. I have to get back to
Solly opens his arms. PK hugs him.
You got your head screwed on
right. Don't let these
meshuganahs screw it on wrong.
Now go on. You want to find
me, look at Benny Rosen's gym
in East End, London.
Thank you for everything.
We're not finished yet.
PK smiles and exits.
Solly waits for a moment, then goes back to packing.
173 EXT. PRINCE OF WALES SCHOOL - MORNING 173
PK comes up to the school gates. He notices two plain-
clothes police cars just across the road. PK enters
with a growing sense of uneasiness.
174 INT. PK'S DORM 174
PK hurries down the hall to his room. He opens the
door to Daniel Marais, sitting at his desk, reading
from his fiction-filled notebook.
You're a very good writer. The
subject matter is a little
inflammatory but the style is
What are you doing here?
I came to inform you that you
will not be receiving aid from
the National Scholarship Fund.
Neither will you be admitted to
any of the South African
universities. Here are your
He hands PK the applications as he rises.
I told you when you came to my
house. I am first a member of
my tribe and I will defend it
any way I know how.
He and PK glare at each other, implacable enemies.
PK looks out his window, thinking.
175 HIS POV - MARAIS 175
walking off across the campus.
They don't want you here any more
than they want me.
176 BACK TO SCENE 176
Take the hint. Screw the
scholarship. Come on. Let's
If I leave or if I stay in South
Africa it's because I choose to,
not because they choose for me.
He takes a small handbag, throws a few books into it
and Doc's picture. He picks up his notebook and
packs that too. He goes to exit.
Where are you going?
Save my place at Oxford.
PK exits the room.
Morrie chases after him.
He grabs PK, stopping him.
Save my place.
Morrie's grip releases.
PK walks out.
177 EXT. COPPER MINE - DAY 177
Hundreds upon hundreds of black laborers and white
mine workers descend into the mines. A milling mass of
disenfranchised humanity come to work the underground
hell of the copper mines.
PK exits the management shack and walks through the
Dear Morrie. Here is how it works.
The copper of the mines in
Northern Rhodesia is mined below
ground. All day a behemoth of a
man, a diamond driller, works a
stope which is like the top of a
178 INT. STOPE 178
A huge diamond driller at work drilling and blasting in
Setting charges and drilling the
rock. The only way for the raw
ore he takes from the sides of
the stope to get to the haulage
below is to pass through the spout
of a funnel and out the steel
doors at the bottom -- sixty feet
179 TRAPPED DOORS AT BOTTOM OF FUNNEL 179
opening, as the haulage cart fills with ore and moves
away on the track in the tunnel below.
Halfway down the spout area is a
set of six tungsten steel bars
called a grizzly which catch all
the rocks too large to make it
through the funnel mouth to safe
180 ANGLE ON GRIZZLY 180
six bars with men working them.
These are taken care of by a
grizzly, an explosives expert
whose job it is to keep the ore
flowing, and since when the ore
doesn't flow, neither does the
money, working the grizzly is a
very crucial and therefore very
well-paid position. Three months'
work earns a year's stay at
Oxford. Yesterday, on receiving
my blasting license from the
School of Mines, I signed on to
work the bars for a year.
181 INT. MINER'S BAR 181
A crude place where the bar runs the back length of the
room and the bare concrete surroundings offer nothing in
the way of diversion from the main purpose of being there
-- to drink hard and long.
THOMAS, a harsh, ruddy-faced Welshman, the School of
Mines instructor, downs a drink, pours another and looks
up at PK.
Are you crazy? To sign on for
You said I was the best you ever
And you are, boyo. The absolute
But even the best doesn't survive
a year on the bars. Down in that
damn tube the luck runs out sooner
than later. You may be a genius
at reading the rock but you ain't
no fuckin' fortune teller.
Thomas throws back another drink.
You worked grizzly a year.
And let me show you what I have
to show for it to this day.
He holds up his hand. It shakes noticeably.
And that's thirteen years after
the fact, boyo.
A NOISE from the doorway turns Thomas's attention. He
looks over as four huge men enter, drillers, men whose
faces and bodies are as hard and massive as the rock
One of the men pauses at the door and grabs his head as
an enormous jolt of pain runs through it. He shakes it
off and follows his friends to a table.
Thomas looks concerned.
The BARTENDER comes over and puts another shot in front
One double brandy. One...
He puts the lemon soda in front of PK.
Come on, then.
Thomas lifts his glass.
On being the best damned blaster
ever taught by Ian Thomas.
Thomas and PK clink glasses. Thomas knocks his shot back.
The bartender pours another.
Sure you don't want one?
I don't like the taste.
Taste? You don't drink for the
He holds out his hand. It is steady now. He fixes PK
with a portentous stare. Thomas looks over at the table
of drillers. The man with the headache is downing one
shot after another.
He draws PK's attention to the drillers.
Drillers. He's got a powder
pain from breathin' too much of
that damn gelignite. The pain's
bad enough. Mixed with a little
alcohol it's fuckin' lethal.
He watches the driller down two more shots of liquor.
Come on. We ain't got much time.
Thomas directs PK towards the door.
The two most dangerous things
you'll ever see in your life,
boyo: a hangup of rock that
won't blast free on first shot
and a driller with a powder
As they reach the door the behemoth explodes with a
roar. He grabs his head and staggers backwards; a mad
look comes into his eyes.
His three huge frineds rush to grab him. He throws
them off as if they were ants.
He rips a table out of its bolting to the concrete
floor and flings it across the room.
The men drinking in the bar, all tough cases, begin to
Thomas grabs PK whose eyes stare in amazement as the
behemoth struggles against his three massive friends
and pulls him out of the bar.
182 EXT. MINER'S CAMP - TWILIGHT 182
Pk is watching a rugby match being played at twilight.
The players are a rough, brutal bunch and play their
game accordingly. Fights continually break out.
Off a play a fight breaks out. One of the men is kicked
unconscious. Two of his teammates carry him off the
field, dumping his body unceremoniously like a sack of
potatoes on the sidelines. They run back as play
PK turns and walks back through the camp.
183 EXT. CAMP - NIGHT 183
A company-built miner's camp. Cement huts with steel
doors and corrugated roofs. No shrubbery, only dust,
cement, and the roughest-looking bunch of men assembled
Dear Morrie. To answer your
question: yes--sports are played
here, but only in the loosest
sense of the words "sport" and
"play". The rules are
different for everything, in
games as well as in the rest of
our lives. The managers, the
foremen, the company people.
They live apart from the miners.
They have families. Proper
gardens. Sunday dinners. The
miners--the crud, as we are called
-- don't. This is a society of
men, many of whom have pasts
better left behind. Future does
not apply. It is a society only
in the loosest sense of the word.
The laws of survival are simple--
you either do or you don't.
PK comes down a side street. A half a dozen men at
cards, hard-faced desperadoes, see him pass, eyeing him
closely. PK averts his eyes. From behind his back
comes the sound of LIPS PUCKERING loudly, indecently.
PK swallows hard. The sound of a CHARGE turns him to
the six men bolting from their card game after him,
whooping with lascivious intent. PK takes off.
The chase takes PK and his pursuers flying through the
streets of the camp, past one identical cement hut after
another. People watch, disinterested. No one raises
a hand to help.
PK comes racing around the corner to three of the men
blocking the street in front of him. He whirls. The
others catch up behind, yelling and hooting. The two
PK gets ready. When the first man is close enough he
hits him hard, breaking his jaw. He swings at another,
catching him flush in the face. But then the rest are
upon him. Even though PK fights like hell, he is
overwhelmed. The blows come from everywhere, beating
him to the ground. His arms and legs are firmly grabbed
by four men. He is banged hard face down onto a concrete
table. The fifth man pulls down his pants and the sixth
begins to undo his own fly. All the men scream obsceni-
ties, anticipating the rape.
PK struggles like hell to no avail. As he is about to
be violated, a roaring giant of a man tears into the
pack like a bear shredding dogs. He scatters the men,
knocking some unconscious, sending the rest to flight.
He stands over PK, a looming block of granite with a
wild black beard and coal-black eyes. His intent only
becomes clear as to whether he is claiming a prize or
helping a friend when he offers PK his hand, lifting PK
He examines PK's bruised face with some concern and
You know, Rasputin, I had them
right where I wanted them.
Another minute they were done
Rasputin claps PK on the back and addresses him in
Russian, to which PK responds with a smile. The two men
walk off together.
184 INT. PK'S HUT - NIGHT 184
A TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONY plays on a rickety OLD RECORD
PLAYER. PK works out on a speed bag and a heavy bag he
has hung in the room while Rasputin, the giant Russian,
sits next to the record player, finishes drinking a
bottle of brandy, tears running down his face as he fol-
lows the symphony. When he finishes the bottle he takes
another one out of a case sitting by his side and begins
to drink anew.
Friendships are rare--arising
out of mutual need rather than
any shared interests. But they
do exist and even flourish.
Except between the drillers and
their grizzlies. No one wants to
get too close to the man who
might be buried at night by what
you drilled loose in the day.
185 EXT. MINE - NIGHT 185
PK inspects his nightly quota of gelignite charges and
Five Africans, all serious faces, keep their eyes firmly
The Africans who come here
looking for work are driven by a
Satisfied with the equipment, PK nods for the box to be
ELIJAH, his head man, closes the boxes.
They come and risk their lives to
send money back home to the
families sitting on the barren
farms, starving, waiting for
death or rain.
When the boxes are closed the other five men in the crew
lift them and follow PK out.
186 INT. MINE ELEVATOR 186
The elevator descends into the mine.
Superstition runs deep in them,
so a good grizzly man attracts a
good crew. On the bars, the
longer you live the luckier you
are. And by association -- they
187 INT. TUNNEL 187
PK and his crew make their way through a narrow tunnel
and come to the grizzly. It is dark. The only light
comes from the lamps attached to their helmets.
Boulders litter the bars.
PK and Elijah are onto the bars first. Their light
beams move along across the boulders.
PK turns to Elijah. His lamp catches Elijah's face
which is looking upward. PK looks up.
His POV in the narrow bands of light: a bunch of rocks
big and small, packed into the funnel. His face grows
188 CLOSEUP ON HANGUP OF ROCKS 188
Five feet across a rock wall with stones of all sizes
blocking up the funnel's mouth.
Hangups are the worst of it.
When the top of the funnel gets
blocked up and the ore won't
PK scales the sheer rock wall of the funnel, his shirt
packed with explosives.
The only way to unblock it is to
set a charge to blow inward. And
the only way to do that is to set
the charge in mud, which means
climbing up to the mouth of the
stope and coming face-to-face
with the devil.
PK reaches the hangup. He works at taking a prepared
parcel of gelignite sticks and jamming them carefully
into a crevice. As he does the hangup creaks deeply,
shifting, ominous. A few rocks fall. PK freezes,
holding his breath.
189 THE AFRICANS 189
peeking out of the safety shaft below, terrified.
Elijah remains on the grizzly bars, his light shining on
190 PK 190
holding very still, listening.
Sometimes the rock doesn't need
the provocation of explosives.
Sometimes the earth shifts...
a pebble moves...
you talk too loud...
and in the moment before you are
turned into something else by
fifty tons of rock you understand
why it is called grizzly.
PK finishes setting the charge. He scales down the wall.
A large rock is expelled from the hangup and comes
bouncing down the sides to the funnel, just missing PK,
crashing through the bars below.
PK freezes. Elijah holds his breath. The crew in the
safty tunnel quakes.
PK comes down the rest of the way. He takes the cordtex
rope dangling from the bomb and inserts a fuse. He nods
to Elijah. Elijah lights a cheesa stick. He hands the
glowing stick to PK. PK waves towards the tunnel. One
of the Africans sounds the WARNING WHISTLE. Two blasts
followed by two blasts. PK nods for Elijah to be off.
Elijah stands his ground.
I wait for you, baas.
PK lights the fuse. Elijah takes off like a scared
rabbit for the safety of the shaft.
PK is right on his tail.
The fuse travels quickly toward the bomb.
Elijah trips. PK, coming behind him, grabs him by the
collar and flings him into the safety tunnel, diving
after him a second later, just as the BOMB EXPLODES. A
few rocks come down, but nothing else.
The Africans look at each other with real apprehension.
PK rises from Elijah and peeks out.
191 HIS POV - HANGUP 191
is still in place.
PK studies the hangup, stepping out onto the grizzly,
listening, looking. The hangup groans. The Africans
are petrified at the mouth of the tunnel.
PK stops midway on the bars. He studies the hangup
intently, then picks up a rock. Choosing a target he
heaves the rock with all his might toward the hangup
and runs like hell. The rock hits the hangup. PK
springs off the grizzly, right into the Africans as the
hangup thunders down. Dust and small rocks fill the
When the avalanche has stopped PK raises himself off the
Africans. They are all covered in dust but smiling and
babbling, happy to be alive.
PK peeks out and up. He signals to Elijah who hits the
LL-CLEAR WHISTLE. Three blasts.
Let's clean her off and call it
a night, hey?
Happy, the Africans lift shovels and crowbars to clear
the bars. As they pass PK they touch him reverentially
as one would an icon.
The Africans think the longer you
survive the luckier you are. And
the luckier you are the longer you
survive. I know there's something
inherently wrong with their logic.
Still, I'm beginning to see their
point. Especially with less than
six months to go.
192 INT. PK'S HUT - NIGHT 192
PK and Rasputin play a game of chess as TCHAIKOVSKY
plays in the background.
There is a KNOCK on the DOOR.
JOCKO, the bookmaker, enters.
Ay, man. If you'd let him win
once in a while we could take a
little book on it here.
He doesn't care if he wins. He
just likes to play.
I like to win.
Which is why I'm about visiting
you. You've come on the board,
man. There are odds on your
making it or not.
How are they?
Not in your favor, my boy.
Why are you telling me this,
When you come up on the boards,
boyo, it's time to bow out.
It's an omen.
I bow out you can't make book.
PK, it's not a bet I want to
Tell me, Jocko, how high will the
odds go on something like this?
The shorter your time, the higher
they go. With you probably ten,
twelve, thirteen to one when
you're short a month.
When the odds hit the top put me
in against all bets for two
I did not come here to solicit
I know that. I appreciate it.
But if you don't take it,
someone else will.
All right. You're a bleery fool.
And I'll be prayin' every night
it's the only bet I ever have to
pay off on.
And so will I.
Jocko rises to exit.
You should let him win once in a
When he wins it won't be because
I let him.
Rasputin says something in Russian as he moves a piece,
excited to have taken one of PK's pieces. PK turns and
Rasputin laughs, speaks in Russian, and starts to set
the board up again.
193 INT. MINE ELEVATOR 193
The elevator descends into the shaft. PK and his crew
exit. There is a low sound of a blast, muffled, that
stops them all.
Did you hear a blast whistle?
Then after a moment the vague sound of a drill leaps
through the rock.
I never heard a drill at night.
The Africans get nervous. They chatter to one another.
It's not a ghost. It's just some
driller trying to squeeze extra
pay. Come on.
PK moves forward. The Africans follow him out of the
elevator with reluctance.
194 INT. END OF TUNNEL 194
PK steps out onto the bars with Elijah and examines the
There is a tremor of fear in his voice. PK follows
Elijah's face upwards to a hangup.
Not the first bloody thing!
Bad sign, baas.
Bad drilling's more like it.
Come on. Let's get it going.
Elijah goes back to fix the charge while PK studies
the hangup. He hears the Africans talking in the dark.
When his light points on them they stop, turning their
Elijah comes back with the bomb.
What's the matter with them?
They say juju. Bad magic is
in the mine tonight.
PK heeds the warning, somberly. He takes the bomb from
Elijah and starts to climb the wall.
TRACK with PK as he makes it up to the hangup.
He quickly seals the bomb and drops the cordtex.
195 ELIJAH 195
on the bars, catching the rope. He is growing more
nervous by the moment as he fastens the fuse.
196 PK 196
making it down the side of the tunnel.
The hangup shifts. PK freezes.
197 THE AFRICANS 197
peeking out of the safety tunnel, scared.
198 ELIJAH 198
scared, but standing his ground.
199 PK 199
making it back onto the bars. He carefully makes his
way to Elijah as the hangup sends some pebbles down.
She's playing with us tonight.
PK holds his hand out for the cheesa stick. Elijah
lights the flare. He goes to hand it to PK. PK
notices Elijah's hands shaking. He sees the fear in
I stay with you, baas.
That's an order.
Elijah, released from his responsibility, retreats
PK stands holding the flare, a little distracted by
Elijah's fear, wondering.
Elijah sounds the BLAST WHISTLE.
One... two... three.
A MUFFLED BLAST comes from the other side of the hangup
deep in the stope. PK freezes, confused, and then a
SECOND BLAST goes off. The hangups starts to give. And
PK lights his own fuse and runs like hell over the bars
toward the tunnel.
The hangup, loosened by the explosions inside, gives
before PK's bomb ignites. The rock is crashing down.
PK races the rock. The tunnel is within sight.
The men yell for him to jump.
PK is about to leap when a rock hits the bar, bounces up,
and catches him in the stomach. He loses his balance
and goes over the side as the hangup comes crashing down.
PK hits the wall of the lower funnel -- once, twice --
and then lands in the soft stuff -- the shale flake,
cushioning the steel doors below.
200 HIS POV 200
against the wall of rock.
A rock ledge carelessly left when the funnel was
PK rolls under it. A moment later fifty tons of ore in
large chunks and small chunks and dust comes crashing
down, burying PK. He lays there, semiconscious, buried
201 INT. TUNNEL 201
The falling rock has stopped. The funnel is full. The
bars as well. Elijah and the crew look out of the
safety tunnel tremulously. Elijah looks up the stope.
His light catches a man at the very top of the stope
Elijah pulls the WARNING WHISTLE. Five blasts over and
202 INT. HAULAGE 202
Men hear the WHISTLE and stop work.
203 INT. LASHERS 203
Men shovelling ore stop shovelling.
204 INT. TUNNEL 204
Rasputin is timbering with his crew, fitting huge timbers
into place, making new haulage, when he hears the
He yells at his crew to grab the tools and he runs off
down the tunnel.
205 INT. PK'S GRIZZLY 205
A deep hole has been dug through the rock piled in the
lower funnel. Rock comes up in a bucket and is carted
off. Timber is passed down. A crowd of miners, black
and white, watch and help where they can.
He's dead. No doubt about it.
You give me a fair odds on ten
Four to one.
Make it a sixer and you got me.
Anyone else? Six to one he's
206 INT. HOLE 206
Rasputin works like a man possessed, piling rocks in the
bucket to be passed up, shoring timbers as they are
207 INT. BARS 207
Elijah is pointing up the stope to two Mine Managers as
dozens more mill around, hauling the rock out, trying to
TWO MINERS observe Elijah and the managers.
He says someone was up there.
Blasted it out on PK from the
Who's the driller?
No one drills Botha's stope but
Botha, and he only works days.
The miners look at each other knowingly and return to
208 INT. SHAFT 208
Rasputin, bloodied, his hands ripped apart by the stones,
his chest torn by the rough timbers, labors on,
209 PK 209
buried. He hears movement above, faint but perceptible.
210 INT. SHAFT 210
Rasputin sends another bucket up. He stands, his chest
heaving. He hears something. He drops his ear to the
floor. He hears the FAINTEST SOUND.
He starts tearing away at the rock, doubling his effort.
211 PK 211
almost unconscious, hearing Rasputin's voice. He breaks
into the smallest of smiles and passes out.
212 INT. HOSPITAL BED 212
Pk sits in the hospital bed, battered but otherwise in
good shape. Rasputin sits in a wheelchair by his bed-
side, his hands and chest bandaged, pondering the chess-
board between them.
Well, look at ya now, boyo.
Up and at 'em in no time.
And rich as a fuckin' lord.
He tosses a fat wad of cash on PK's bed.
Your ticket to ride. Two
hundred quid at fourteen to
But I didn't make it. I'm a
Not according to managment. They
cashed you out at twelve months
for eleven worked. Last thirty
days was bonus. And until someone
shows me a calendar reads different,
twelve months and a year are one
and the same kind of thing. And
the bet was for a year. So get
yourself mended and get your ass
out of here.
There's someone I have to see first.
Jocko grows uncomfortable.
What do you want to go pressin'
it for? You're rich, lad.
You're whole. Why do you want
to go pressin' it?
Because I want to know.
Know what? That the man has
blasted so much gelignite he's
permanently deranged in the attic?
That even the other drillers
leave the bar when the man drinks,
so crazed does he get. All right.
He tried to kill you. But he
didn't. You're alive is all that
matters. Do us all a favor, boyo.
Get out of here. Get on a train
and don't come back. We've no
liking to be burying someone we're
all so fond of.
No worries. The luckier you are,
the longer you last. The longer
you last, the luckier you are.
Rasputin moves a chesspiece and bellows.
He is ecstatic, bubbling with his joy. Laughter
springs from him.
Jocko and PK trade a look.
There's an end to everything,
boyo. Even luck.
213 EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY 213
PK walks to the seamy metal gate dressed, healed.
Rasputin, his hands still bandaged, walks alongside of
him. Rasputin is concerned.
Well I guess this is goodbye, my
friend. I'll never forget you.
Rasputin speaks urgently in Russian.
PK. Botha. Nyet, nyet. Nyet,
PK does not respond.
Take care, my friend.
He grasps Rasputin's bandaged hand to shake it.
Rasputin takes him around in a huge bear hug, smothering
him. Pk survives, a bit rumpled. He smiles at Rasputin
and exits. As he walks away,
PK. Botha. Nyet. Nyet. PK.
PK turns the corner and is gone.
214 EXT. MINING TOWN 214
PK walks through the huts of the drillers, massive to
a man. Most of them are coming off shift. Some of
them rub their temples, trying to soothe the pain of
PK comes to one hut. He knocks. No answer. He knocks
A DRILLER comes by.
Who you lookin' for?
Botha. The driller from stope
He's at the bar.
I wouldn't disturb him. There's
a reason he's there and we're
The Driller enters his hut. PK absorbs the warning.
215 EXT. MINER'S BAR 215
The three BARTENDERS stand outside along with a dozen
PK. You're not going to go in,
Is Botha the driller in there?
Ja. Always we give him one hour
alone before we open. You don't
know this because you work at
night, but it is the rule.
Ja. In one hour it is pffft.
He motions a man falling on his face.
PK regards them for a moment and then enters the bar.
216 INT. BAR 216
In the murky light one hulking figure sits at the bar,
drinking shot after shot of whiskey.
PK enters and walks across the room to the massive
Are you Botha?
Botha does not turn around.
I'm PK. I worked your grizzly.
Why'd you try to kill me?
Botha turns slowly to reveal his face, swollen with
anger and drink. He tears the short sleeve off his
left arm, revealing a crudely tattooed swastika.
Because I missed the first time,
Botha rises drunkenly. PK backs up.
You remember, rooinek.
Botha. It was thirteen years ago.
Because of you they expelled me.
Because of you my father beat me.
Threw me out from the farm.
Because of you.
He throws back another drink and rushes PK with a roar.
PK sidesteps and heads for the door.
Botha gets there first and bolts it.
Botha. We've made a lot of money
working together. Let the past be
You ruined the country, all you
rooineks. You come and ruin the
He rushes PK again. Again PK sidesteps.
No, Jaapie Botha. It's hate
ruining the country.
He swings at PK. PK ducks.
At that moment the powder headache strikes. Botha
bellows, grabbing his head staggering backward.
PK runs for the door. As he reaches it a table slams
against it, thrown halfway across the room by a
PK jumps out of the way at the last minute.
Men's faces begin to appear at the iron-meshed windows.
People start to bang at the door.
PK, realizing there is no talking to Botha now, does
his best to stay out of the charging giant's way.
Botha charges him. PK sidesteps and hits him with a
left hook. The punch has no effect. Botha swings out
wildly. PK easily dances away. Botha picks up
another table and heaves it at PK. PK jumps to avoid
it, but trips on an overturned stool. He goes down.
The miners outside, crowding three deep, yell and shout.
People start to make bets.
Botha charges PK as PK scrambles up. Botha swings. The
blow glances off PK's shoulder and sends him flying,
spinning over a table. Botha leaps at PK, driving him
into the wall. PK grimaces, sagging. Botha picks him
up and starts to squeeze him to death in his massive
arms. PK, his hands free, starts to pound on Botha's
ears with his palms. Botha screams as the powder head-
ache accelerates through the top of his skull. He
drops PK. PK rolls away and swings a stool at Botha's
midsection. Botha is driven back. PK goes to swing
the stool again. Botha catches it as if it were made
of balsa. He rips it out of PK's hand and flings it
back at him, charging behind it.
PK goes topping end over end. Botha gets a hand on him
and lifts him from behind. He flings PK over the bar.
PK hits the floor, stunned. Botha pulls at the bar
trying to get at PK.
He rocks the bar and rocks the bar as PK is trying to
regain his bearings. Finally, with one tremendous rip,
the bar comes away from its bolting. Botha pulls it
PK rises just as Botha moves in. PK hits him three
solid shots to the stomach but Botha hardly feels
them. He grabs PK and starts to squeeze him again.
Face to face, Botha's crazed eyes watch the life
fade from PK's.
217 CLOSEUP 217
PK's eyes going blank.
SMASH CUT TO:
218 PK 218
diving off a waterfall into the turbulent water below.
SMASH CUT TO:
219 BOTHA 219
squeezing harder, breaking PK's concentration.
SMASH CUT TO:
220 PK 220
swimming, exhausted, climbs on a rock, one more in
front of him. He dives into the water again.
SMASH CUT TO:
221 BACK TO SCENE 221
The crowd yells and screams as Botha squeezes harder.
Odds are called out. Blood starts to trickle from
VOICE #1 (V.O.)
He's dead. He's dead.
SMASH CUT TO:
222 PK 222
as he swims to the last stone. He reaches it and
struggles on top. He stands on the stone, trimphant.
SMASH CUT TO:
223 BOTHA 223
squeezing again, bellowing.
PK opens his eyes, draws his head back, and butts
Botha in the face. Botha's nose shatters. The grip
slackens a bit. PK hits him in the face again. Botha
drops PK to the floor as he screams at the unbelievable
pain. Blood pours from his nose.
224 PK 224
catches his breath and is on Botha. He throws three
hard punches to his face. Enraged, Botha howls and
swings at PK. PK goes underneath his arm and hooks
three times into the ribs. Botha grunts, hurt. He
swings again with the other hand.
SMASH CUT TO:
225 INT. PRISON BOXING ROOM - CLOSEUP - GEEL PIET 225
First with the head, then with the
heart. Little defeat big when
little is smart.
SMASH CUT TO:
226 PK 226
pounds into Botha's ribs under another wild swinging
punch by the giant. Botha shouts and keeps advancing,
swinging. PK backs up, peppering him, leading him
forward. Left-right. He punishes Botha for each punch
the big man throws, but always backing up. Botha, half
blind, spitting blood follows.
The crowd screams for him to move side to side. The
betting changes fast and furious.
PK glances over his shoulder to the cement wall behind
him. He takes two more steps and then fires two jabs
at Botha's face and then stands stock still. Wild with
anger, Botha throws a huge right hand to PK's head.
SMASH CUT TO:
227 CLUB 227
coming down on Maria's head.
SMASH CUT TO:
228 PK 228
At the last moment PK sidesteps. Botha's hand smashes
into the cement wall. His hand shatters into a hundred
pieces. The pain is so immense he is rendered helpless.
PK doesn't waste a second. He starts banging away at
Botha with hard, fast combinations.
Want to see the wages of hate?
Botha feels the punches. He steps back, faltering.
PK pursues him.
Here. Here is what hate gets you.
PK hammers away, punching with each word, harder and
For my chicken. For Geel Piet.
For Doc. For Mandoma. For Maria.
Botha is out on his feet.
PK unleashes a final pjnch -- the hardest one he ever
threw. It catches Botha square in the jaw. Botha
goes over onto his back like a tree falling.
The crowd outside screams and yells with delight. Money
PK collects himself and steps over Botha. He unbolts
the door and steps outside.
229 EXT. BAR 229
The crowd goes silent as PK emerges. The crowd parts.
PK, looking neither right nor left, begins to walk away.
I knew as I walked out of the
mines, out of Africa, that I
wasn't fleeing. That one day
I would return. Inkosi
Inkosikasi was right. I was a
man for all Africa. Bound to
her by my spirit. Bound by my
dreams. And Africa had taught
me the lesson I would take out
into the world and one day bring
back. Great changes can come from
the power of many. But only when
the many join together and create
what is invincible. The Power of
ZOOM OUT as PK continues walking out of the camp and
Power of One, The
Writers : Robert Mark Kamen
Genres : Drama