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1. BLACK The sound of many feet running, reverberating on the floor, orders shouted in German, lungs gasping for oxygen, always more oxygen, followed by the sound of receding footsteps. 2. INT. DAY. CLINIC. EXERCISE ROOM. DAVID opens his eyes. An exercise room in a clinic, the heavy breathing of a man exercising intensely. On the walls, posters and notices in Cyrillic script. David is an elderly man, pedalling on a bicycle in an effort test. Monitors are registering his blood pressure and heart rate. A NURSE progressively increases the effort, while a CARDIOLOGIST is consulting David's file. CARDIOLOGIST Fine, fine. You may stop now. David, now freewheeling, straightens up. The nurse removes the electrodes from his body and wipes the conductive gel off his skin. CARDIOLOGIST Not bad for a man of your age. Done much sports? David humbly looks down. DAVID Sort of… CARDIOLOGIST You may get dressed now. What medication are you taking? David walks to a chair with his clothes and starts putting on his pants. DAVID Eh… well… I always forget, I would have to ask my wife. CARDIOLOGIST Let's see them… DAVID My wife's keeping them for me. CARDIOLOGIST Larissa… The nurse leaves the room.

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3. INT. DAY. CLINIC. X-RAY ROOM. In a different room in the clinic, REBECCA, an elderly woman, is sitting on an examination table. A radiologist is standing in front of a light box, examining an X-ray of her lungs. RADIOLOGIST Your lungs are not looking too good… REBECCA I know… The nurse enters the room and addresses the elderly woman. NURSE Do you have your husband's medication? REBECCA No, he has it, I gave it to him on the bus, so he could show it to you. RADIOLOGIST Have you ever suffered from tuberculosis? REBECCA Yes… RADIOLOGIST They could have treated it better… REBECCA They didn't treat it at all. RADIOLOGIST Please remove your top. 4. INT. DAY. CLINIC. EXERCISE ROOM The nurse enters the room.

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NURSE Your wife gave you your medicine on the bus. David, now fully dressed, searches his pockets. He empties them on the doctor's desk: keys, handkerchief, coins, glasses case, small white pebbles. DAVID No, I don't have it. The nurse leaves the room. 5. INT. DAY. CLINIC. X-RAY ROOM Rebecca has removed her vest, she's now sitting in her bra. The radiologist is bending over her with his stethoscope. RADIOLOGIST Exhale… The nurse enters the X-ray room. NURSE Where did he put them? REBECCA In his glasses case, but he must have left his glasses at home. The nurse closes the door. The radiologist removes his stethoscope. RADIOLOGIST How old were you at the time? REBECCA Five. RADIOLOGIST Why didn't your parents have it treated? It's not hard to treat. REBECCA They couldn't… RADIOLOGIST That's nonsense, medical care was free.

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REBECCA I survived… And my mother, my father, my brothers, my sisters, who all had very nice lungs and breathed perfectly, weren’t so lucky. The doctor, embarrassed and confused by this war survivor, puts on his glasses, trying to conceal his uneasiness. He looks in Rebecca's medical file. After a quick glance, he stamps and signs the file and puts it in a sealed envelope. 6. INT. DAY. CLINIC. EXERCISE ROOM The cardiologist stamps and signs David's file and puts it in a sealed envelope. CARDIOLOGIST It's all right, but you should really take your medication. DAVID I couldn't possibly forget… My wife would not let me… 7. INT. DAY. CANADIAN EMBASSY. OFFICE. David is sitting in an office in the Canadian embassy, facing a young IMMIGRATION OFFICER who speaks Russian with a very strong English accent. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Do you really want me to submit the file as it is…? David nods in agreement. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Father: unknown. Mother: Unknown. Place of birth: unknown. If you want this approved, you'll really have to give me some kind of explanation… DAVID shakes his head and shrugs. IMMIGRATION OFFICER You answered 'no' on the question if you have ever been abroad. David nods in agreement.

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IMMIGRATION OFFICER Mister Abramovitch, we know that isn't true. David answers with real emotion in his eyes. DAVID Apart from a trip to Auschwitz, when I was seven, I have never been anywhere. And I don't have any recollection of what happened before that. The immigration officer awkwardly returns to his papers and notes David's statement in the file. IMMIGRATION OFFICER But you speak English. David answers in English, with an unidentifiable accent. DAVID I' never unlearned it, I couldn't. IMMIGRATION OFFICER You were born abroad ? DAVID I guess so. IMMIGRATION OFFICER In the United Kingdom? DAVID No, I know I wasn't. IMMIGRATION OFFICER In the colonies? India? DAVID No, at home we spoke English, but in school I spoke French. It was a very long time ago... IMMIGRATION OFFICER You have never tried to return to the West. DAVID Never. I was fine right here.

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IMMIGRATION OFFICER So why did you receive a visa for Helsinki in 1952? DAVID I was selected for the Olympics. IMMIGRATION OFFICER So you did go abroad? DAVID No… IMMIGRATION OFFICER What are you trying to hide from us, Mr. Abramovitch? DAVID I couldn't go. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Why not? DAVID I had a bad injury. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Bad luck for the champion of the USSR, Mr. Abramovitch. Was that the real reason? Did you never plan to return to the West? DAVID Never. I was fine right here. IMMIGRATION OFFICER And why do you want to immigrate now? DAVID Well… eh… IMMIGRATION OFFICER Why, Mr. Abramovitch? DAVID What do you want me to say? My papers are okay, aren't they?

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IMMIGRATION OFFICER Yes, but I have to know who you are, that's my job. DAVID I'm an old man. 8. INT. DAY. CANADIAN EMBASSY. OFFICE Now Rebecca is sitting in front of the IMMIGRATION OFFICER. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Mrs. Abramovitch, why do you want to immigrate now? REBECCA Didn't my husband tell you? IMMIGRATION OFFICER I would have hoped so, but he seemed unable to explain. REBECCA Do you think it's easy, being interrogated? IMMIGRATION OFFICER But Madam, this isn't an interrogation. REBECCA Isn't it? It certainly feels that way and anyhow it must have made him recall bad memories. Do you know how many times the KGB summoned him when our eldest son left for the West, with the help of your embassy? IMMIGRATION OFFICER This is not the KGB, but aren't you afraid of what will await you over there? It's not easy, starting a new life, particularly with the language barrier. REBECCA Which language barrier? You must be joking, my English is as good as yours. IMMIGRATION OFFICER I didn't know, please don't take offense. REBECCA I taught English to half the children in Podol‌

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IMMIGRATION OFFICER I agree the language will be no problem. I'm noting that. I just would like to know why you want to immigrate? REBECCA Look at me. I am old, my husband is old. We don't know how much time we have left before we stop breathing. The immigration officer consults their medical files. IMMIGRATION OFFICER It seems both of you are still in good health. REBECCA It has been more than thirty years since Wladimir, my eldest boy, left. The immigration officer opens Rebecca's son's identity file on his computer screen. IMMIGRATION OFFICER That's right, that was in 1975. REBECCA I have forgotten the year. And it has been almost 20 years since his brother and sister went to join him. The immigration officer opens the files of Rebecca's other children. IMMIGRATION OFFICER Svetlana and Micha? REBECCA You already have everything in your computer, so why ask me? IMMIGRATION OFFICER It's part of the procedure and I have to know your real motives. REBECCA I have a passion for caribou hunting. The immigration officer starts typing on his computer keyboard.

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REBECCA You're not going to write that down, are you? We are old and we just want to spend our final days close to our children and grandchildren. 9. FRONT CREDITS Documents in English and Russian are stamped, visa's are glued in passports. 10. INT. DAY. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. The apartment is almost empty. Only the basic necessities remain: an armoire, a television set, a bed, a table and two stools in the kitchen. There are also some cases and two large suitcases, next to an old, rusty bathroom scale. Rebecca is putting clothes in a suitcase. Kittens are playing near their mother on the floor. There is a knock on the door. REBECCA See who it is, David. David? In the empty kitchen, David, already dressed, is boiling water for tea, using a cup heater. DAVID All right, I heard it. David goes and opens the door. Natasha, their NEIGHBOUR, a pretty, thirtyish young woman, is standing in the door, half dressed, holding a comb. NEIGHBOUR Wladimir is on Skype. DAVID What does he want? NEIGHBOUR He wants to talk to you! DAVID Rebecca, it's Wladimir. Rebecca has gotten up and quickly joins the neighbour, who is already returning to her apartment to finish getting dressed. In passing, Rebecca looks angrily at David.

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REBECCA I'm coming… 11. INT. DAY. NEIGHBOURING APARTMENT. Rebecca enters her neighbour's apartment. Lila, the neighbour's daughter, is waiting obediently in the bathroom for her mother to finish braiding her hair. REBECCA Good morning, Lila… NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER Hello, Babushka Becca. I've got a surprise for you! NEIGHBOUR Not now, Lilouchka. Rebecca sits at a computer screen in the living room and puts on the headset. The neighbour crisscrosses the apartment, gathering things and putting them in her handbag. NEIGHBOUR Rebecca, I'm late already. REBECCA Yes, yes, yes. Wovka? Wovka, it's all right, we got the tickets two weeks ago and I know the schedule by heart, if that puts your mind at ease. Departure from Kiev Borispol 10.10 AM, arrival New York JFK 11.30 AM and... Rebecca turns to the neighbour's daughter, who has left the bathroom and is putting on her coat. NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER …connection for Toronto Pearson at 4.30 PM! Rebecca smiles at her. REBECCA … connection for Toronto Pearson at 4.30 PM. Yes, we will be at the airport well in advance. You already told me that yesterday, sweetheart. The neighbour exits the bathroom, now completely dressed in a nice suit. She approaches Rebecca. NEIGHBOUR We really have to go now, Rebecca.

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REBECCA Until tomorrow in Toronto, sweetheart. The mail? What mail? Until tomorrow! Rebecca ends the connection and turns towards her neighbour. REBECCA Did you get mail for me? The neighbour bends over the computer, quickly checks her mail and opens Wladimir's message. It's the sonogram of a baby. Rebecca is deeply moved by the image. REBECCA Look, Natasha, he's almost there! NEIGHBOUR Is that the last sonogram? REBECCA The very last one! Soon I will be holding him in my arms‌ Could you print it for me? NEIGHBOUR Rebecca! I really don't have time! REBECCA Please, I won’t bother you anymore. Please! The neighbour bends over the computer and starts printing. NEIGHBOUR Close the front door when you leave, will you? The neighbour takes her daughter by the hand and drags her out of the apartment. 12. INT. DAY. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT David is standing on a stool, in front of their last dresser. Its doors are open, it is completely empty. David is sorting dusty objects from old cardboard boxes on top of the armoire. He sometimes hesitates before throwing away an object, but always does, having no choice. Rebecca enters the apartment. REBECCA He has really got your nose!

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DAVID Who has? Rebecca excitedly shows him the sonogram. REBECCA Look! David climbs down from his stool, carrying a load of old English children's books. He puts them in a cardboard box and closely studies the sonogram. DAVID Not a chance! REBECCA But you have a very cute nose! Rebecca recovers the sonogram and puts it on the television set, next to a plastic pouch containing their airplane tickets and passports. DAVID Cute, cute‌ and what if it's a girl, can you imagine her with my nose? REBECCA Your nose, yes. Not your eyebrows, though. DAVID She could pluck them! Rebecca disappears into the bathroom. DAVID What should I do with all these books? REBECCA Leave them, I'll look at them in a minute. David puts on his coat and searches its pockets. DAVID Rebecca, have you seen the garage keys? REBECCA (off) Next to your medicine.

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David finds the keys on the kitchen table. He takes his glass of water and his pills. Rebecca peers out from the bathroom, worried about David, who is upset over their departure. She calls out to her husband. REBECCA Is everything okay, David? David turns, hesitating for a moment. DAVID I'm fine. David takes his pills with a large swig of water, they are hard to swallow. 13. EXT. DAY. GARAGES. ENTRANCE. David, carrying a plastic bag, head downturned, walks down a path to a garage lot. A guard mechanically raises the gate when a car enters or leaves. Just before reaching the gate David stoops to pick up a white pebble, putting it in his pocket in an automatic gesture. The guard greets him, he returns the greeting. 14. EXT. DAY. DAVID'S GARAGE. David reaches his garage. He knocks on the metal of one of the open doors of the neighbouring garage. DAVID Ivan, I'm here. The face of Ivan, a hefty, muscled man of David's age, appears from the garage’s pit. He is working on an ancient Volga, its hood open. He takes out an old cloth. IVAN I'm coming, just let me wipe my hands. David takes his keys and opens the doors of his garage. 15. INT. DAY. DAVID'S GARAGE. David switches on the light, revealing a well kept and tidy garage/workshop. David takes papers from his Lada and hands them to Ivan, who has joined him. IVAN Do you remember you asked for a white one and they gave you a red one?

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DAVID But I had a choice, for you and your Volga, it was either black or black. IVAN When you have no choice, you can't be disappointed. DAVID If you'll sign here... and here... you can have the papers put in your name. IVAN David‌ eh‌ I don't have the rest of the money with me. I'll give it to you tomorrow, when we take you to the airport. DAVID No problem. Call the others, will you? David hands Ivan his plastic bag. 16. EXT. DAY. DAVID'S GARAGE. Ivan exits the garage and improvises a table with an old can and a piece of scrap metal. He takes a loaf of black bread, some smoked fish and a bottle of vodka from the plastic bag. David, still inside the garage, watches attentively, looking moved. IVAN Valera! Igor! The men come out of their garages and approach the makeshift table. David opens a small drawer of a cabinet behind his work-bench and takes out sake glasses. IGOR So tomorrow's the big day? David nods, trying to control his emotions. He fills the glasses with vodka. Through the liquid, naked women on the bottom of the glasses become visible. VALERA What are you going to do with the glasses, will you be taking them with you?

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DAVID Sure, imagine the look on Rebecca's face when the customs officers search our luggage and find them! IGOR I know how to handle customs, don't you worry. DAVID What's the trick? IGOR You spot a pretty girl and you line up behind her. DAVID So what? IGOR They'll search her, customs offices always search the pretty girls, and they'll let you pass. DAVID It's still risky, who wants the glasses? VALERA I do! IGOR No, I do! DAVID Ivan? IVAN You know Irina... DAVID You'll have to hash it out between you‌ Igor raises his glass, the others follow his example. IGOR Time for a toast, David. David is silent, lowers his head, is thinking. His friends watch him. David starts talking, without looking at them.

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DAVID I really want to tell you that you are great friends. We have known each other for a long time and you have never let me down. And I don't know if I'll even find a single friend where I'm going to, in Canada. David raises his head without daring to look his friends in the eyes. All the men are moved, hiding their emotions by raising their glasses of vodka and emptying them in a single swig. 17. INT. DAY. SCHOOL. CORRIDORS. Rebecca, carrying the box of English books, walks down the corridors of the old school where she has been teaching. Nobody pays any attention to the old lady. She stops at the head mistress' office and knocks. A loud voice answers. HEAD MISTRESS (off) Come in! 18. INT. DAY. HEAD MISTRESS' OFFICE A large woman is bent over a drawer of her desk. She does not look up. HEAD MISTRESS What is it? REBECCA I'm sorry to disturb you, but... HEAD MISTRESS What? REBECCA I used to teach at your school, I'm Rebecca Nahumova… The head mistress looks up. HEAD MISTRESS Aha, Rebecca Nahumova! Do come in… Rebecca goes in with the box of books. The head mistress takes two glasses and a bottle of vodka from one of the drawers of her desk. HEAD MISTRESS Let's have a drink….

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The head mistress fills a glass and empties it in a single swig. REBECCA No, thanks‌ I was thinking these books could inter‌ HEAD MISTRESS Let's have a look! She reaches in the box, takes out a few books and immediately drops them. HEAD MISTRESS What could I possibly do with those ? Do you really think students still read books? Let alone in English? They want images. And they have to move, otherwise you can't get their attention.. REBECCA I would like to donate them... HEAD MISTRESS No, I don't want them, take them with you. Are you sure you don't want anything? REBECCA No, thanks. Rebecca picks up the box. 19. EXT. DAY. LENIN MONUMENT David has stopped in front of a monumental statue of Lenin. He is moved and looks very tiny in front of the monument. He starts talking to it. DAVID Wladimir Ilitch, I told you I would be leaving and tomorrow's the day... That's the way it is... Perhaps I was not born here, but it still is my motherland, the country that saved me, without which I wouldn't be here, I would be gone in smoke. So don't be angry, I'm going but my heart remains here, you can count on that, Wladimir Ilitch. The statue remains inscrutable and silent. David looks at Lenin's face, deeply moved.

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20. EXT. DAY. DAVID AND REBECCA'S BUILDING. Rebecca is sitting with three other BABUSHKAS on a bench in front of the building. Rebecca has the box of books on her knees. While the women are talking, they watch the children in the playground. One of the babushkas holds the sonogram very close to her eyes and studies it carefully, while the other two search through the box. BABUSHKA N°1 Don't you have anything in Russian? REBECCA No, I've already given you everything. Rebecca lovingly looks at the covers, takes a book and puts it in her bag. BABUSHKA N° 2 Don't you worry about your books! She gets up, takes the box and puts it on the bench in front of them, then returns to her seat. REBECCA Nobody will want them... Rebecca takes out her knitting needles and starts knitting the sleeve of a romper suit. A passer-by stops at the box. BABUSHKA N° 2 What did I tell you? The man puts the books on the bench and walks away with the empty box. Rebecca pulls a face. BABUSHKA N° 1 They’re just books, Rebecca… When will you bring over your cats? REBECCA Tonight, if that's all right with you, together with the last of the cat food. BABUSHKA N° 1 Don't worry about that, I have everything I need. I'll give them a good home. The third babushka points at a clear spot on the sonogram.

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BABUSHKA N° 3 Are you sure it's a boy, Rebecca? There's nothing to see there... REBECCA What do you mean? BABUSHKA N° 2 It's not that clear. It's a bad printout, these white stripes pass right through the genitals. Rebecca takes the sonogram and in turn studies it. REBECCA It's a boy, It has to be, I'm not going to start all over. BABUSHKA N° 1 At that age, it's all a matter of millimeters. REBECCA When he grows up, I hope it will be centimeters. Rebecca's remark has the babushkas roaring with laughter. 21. INT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL David discreetly walks through the room, where young athletes are practising Greek-Roman wrestling, coached by Ivan. The premises are old, the paint is cracked and blistered. Ivan, in athletic shoes carrying a chronometer, waves at David, who nods in greeting. IVAN Everyone on the floor, two minutes of wrestler’s bridge. Go! The young men get down on the floor and start doing wrestler’s bridge.

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22. INT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL. CHANGING ROOMS. David stops at his metal locker in the locker room. He starts emptying it, throwing away papers and useless objects: a pair of rusty old nail clippers, tubes of ointment, bandages, flip-flops, a used T-shirt, some old newspapers, a bottle of water. He keeps his jockstrap, his trainers, his shoes. DIMITRI, a young wrestler, silently approaches David. DAVID What are you doing here, your muscles will stiffen up. YOUNG WRESTLER Coach, you won't be here for the qualifying rounds on Sunday. DAVID No, Dimitri, I'd like to be with you, but that's the way things are. YOUNG WRESTLER It will be the first time without you, coach. DAVID That shouldn't matter. Whether I'm here or not, it's you on that mat it's you who'll be fighting... Dimitri sulks, David's words are not much of a consolation. YOUNG WRESTLER That's what you are always saying, coach. DAVID It all depends on you, your determination… David points to his heart. DAVID And your strategy, because determination without strategy isn't enough... Whatever I can say, won't matter, because it's you who will have to fight. David points to his temple. Dimitri nods, David's words have reassured him, but he's still doubtful. DAVID And you being able to fight without me will be the proof that I have been a good coach…

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David is silent and looks at Dimitri. He then gathers his gear in a scuffed old sports bag. The young wrestler leaves his silent coach and returns to the training room. David calls out. DAVID Nobody is forcing you to fight! The young wrestler shrugs and disappears. David is alone, closing his locker for the very last time. He sits down on the bench he has been using for years when changing. 23. INT. EVENING. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. Rebecca has put her clothes in the suitcase and is now adding books, diplomas, letters and pictures of her three children. She looks closely at each picture before putting it in the suitcase. She lingers on an old group picture, inscribed Papa and Mama, followed by a question mark indicating two faces circled in ink. Then she puts the picture in her bag. She smiles as she looks at a picture card, one of David's declarations of love. Rebecca tries in vain to close the suitcase. She wonders what she can take out and finally removes her wedding dress. Rebecca weighs the cases, David's is a bit too heavy, she opens it and removes a glass jar, closed with a plastic lid and filled with small white pebbles. 24. INT. NIGHT. NEIGHBOURING APARTMENT. Lila, the neighbour's daughter, opens the door for Rebecca, who has emptied her kitchen cabinets. Her arms are loaded with jars, cans and a cardboard box. REBECCA Here, Lilochka, take this, it's yours. NEIGHBOUR'S DAUGHTER What is it? REBECCA You'll see. The neighbour's daughter disappears into her room with the cardboard box. The neighbour, in her nightgown and with a plastic bag knotted on her head, is vacuuming the apartment. REBECCA Natasha! Natasha! The neighbour jumps, switches off the vacuum cleaner.

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NEIGHBOUR You scared me! Rebecca heads for the kitchen, the neighbour helps her unload the provisions, putting them in a cabinet. NEIGHBOUR You've got mail from Wladimir. REBECCA What does he say? NEIGHBOUR I can't tell, it's in English… Rebecca approaches the computer and bends over the screen, the mail is open. REBECCA I don't believe it! NEIGHBOUR What's happened? REBECCA They left for the hospital, Sonia's in labor. NEIGHBOUR So soon… REBECCA But is was a false alarm and everything is fine. The neighbour's daughter is coming quietly out of her room, dressed in Rebecca's wedding dress. She starts to sing, but has trouble remembering the words and the tune. NEIGHBOUR 'S DAUGHTER Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky. When the blazing sun is gone, When the nothing shines upon, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle, all the night. (more)

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Then the traveller in the dark, Thanks you yes, yes, yes, The neighbour observes her daughter lovingly. Rebecca is moved and tries to hide her emotion by helping the girl find the song's words and melody. NEIGHBOUR 'S DAUGHTER Then the traveler in the dark, Thanks you for your tiny spark. Rebecca hugs the little girl. REBECCA Lilouchka, I hope my grandchildren will sing as beautifully as you. NEIGHBOUR'S DAUGHTER But you are travelling so far away, babushka Becca. REBECCA So far away that it's night over there when it's day over here. 25. INT. DAY. WRESTLING SCHOOL. HALLWAY. David, carrying his sports bag on his back, walks through the training room alongside the mats. The young wrestlers spontaneously stop training and get up. They start applauding David rhythmically. Ivan follows their example. The old man, moved, walks on in dignity, without looking back. He tries not to show his feelings. 26. INT. DAY. WRESTLING SCHOOL. CORRIDOR. David enters the hallway and closes the door. He drops his bag and looks for a handkerchief, his hands trembling. He blows his nose. Ivan joins him in front of a display case full of trophies, medals and old wrestling pictures. David looks at him reproachfully. DAVID There was no need for that, Ivan. IVAN Honestly, I didn't tell them anything. Ivan opens the display case.

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IVAN I think you must have won half of the cups in there. Take the one you want. DAVID I don't have room in my suitcase. IVAN Then you will have to make room. Go on! David hesitates, looks at the cups and medals. DAVID No‌ here there will always be someone to polish them, with me it will just gather dust. IVAN I don't think Rebecca would let it gather dust. David smiles weakly and shakes his head. IVAN A picture, perhaps? DAVID So I can stare at myself all day long? I hope I will have something better to do. David picks up his sports bag and turns away from the display case. Ivan watches him leave, half amused, half with admiration. 27. INT. NIGHT. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. David enters the apartment, putting his sport bag next to the two suitcases. REBECCA (off) David! David! David hears his wife but does not see her. He looks through the apartment. It should not be hard to find her, with almost no furniture left. DAVID Rebecca? Rebecca?

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REBECCA David! DAVID Where are you? You know I can't hear where your voice is coming from, not with my bad ear. REBECCA Here, under the bed. 28. INT. NIGHT. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. BEDROOM. David enters the bedroom, stoops and discovers Rebecca stuck under the bed. She is giggling. DAVID What in heaven's name are you doing there? REBECCA I was trying to catch the little tabby and I got stuck. David lifts the bed and frees Rebecca. She gets up. He throws her down on the bed, wrestler style, and jumps her. One of the legs of the bed breaks. DAVID I've always wondered how this bed was able to resist my attacks for half a century. David wants to kiss her, but she turns away. REBECCA David… DAVID Only that bed knows that you were the only one who could pin down the USSR Greek-Roman wrestling champion until he gave up… REBECCA David… Sonia is in the hospital. DAVID What did Wladimir say?

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REBECCA That she's in good hands, but you know him, he wouldn't want to worry me. DAVID He's right, don't worry. REBECCA I would so much like to be there when the baby's born. DAVID You will be there… tomorrow night we'll be there. Rebecca looks at David, not really convinced. David again tries to kiss her, but she gets up. REBECCA I have to take our cat to the neighbour. Rebecca picks up the little tabby, meowing at the wicker travel basket, opens the door and puts it gently with its mother and siblings. REBECCA All right, we're going. Rebecca leaves the bedroom with her cats. 29. INT. NIGHT. DAVID AND REBECCA'S BUILDING. LANDING. Rebecca is standing on the dark landing. She lifts the travelling basket to her face and stares at the cat nursing her kittens and listening alertly. REBECCA Please don’t be angry with me, Kitka. We would have liked to take you with us, but you know we can't. I'll never forget you. You're the very best cat we've ever had. Take good care of your babies. The cat looks as if she understands what Rebecca is saying. Rebecca, very moved, finally rings the bell. The playground babushka opens the door. Rebecca greets her and shows the basket with her cats. REBECCA They're all in here… The babushka bends over the basket and slips a finger through the bars, calling out to the kittens.

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BABUSKHA N° 1 Oh, they're so cute…. REBECCA The little tabby is house-trained already, the other two not yet. BABUSKHA N° 1 Don't worry, I know, I've had a cat myself. REBECCA I don't know how to thank you. BABUSKHA N° 1 No problem, really… You can leave with peace of mind. I'll take good care of them. They hug for a long time. 30. INT. NIGHT. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. In the bathroom, David is dismantling the radiator, using a large wrench. The water pipes have been blocked with gaskets and nuts. Using pliers, David extracts bundles of dollar bills, tightly packed in plastic film, from the radiator. Rebecca enters the apartment. REBECCA David, you should have seen the look Kitka gave me. DAVID I'm sure she understands. David puts the money on the kitchen table. Rebecca sits on the stool and takes a long fur coat. She takes a needle and thread from a small metal box. REBECCA Do we only have the money from the apartment? DAVID Ivan will bring the money for the car tomorrow. Rebecca makes a face, she's not sure that Ivan will keep his word. She starts unstitching the coat's lining. David lovingly looks at her, with his radiator in his hands. REBECCA You would have liked to live with a rich women.

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DAVID No, Rebecca, I love seeing you work with a needle and thread. REBECCA If you hadn't torn your leotards, I would never have mended them and who knows what would have happened. DAVID I would have left with my medal and I would still be a bachelor. REBECCA So you see, sometimes it really hangs by a thread. DAVID A very strong one. David takes the radiator back to the bathroom. Rebecca carefully hides the money in the lining of her coat. 31. BLACK. Sounds of rifle butts hitting a door, shouts and cursing in German, boots in a staircase, doors opening and slamming shut, children crying in the turmoil. 32. INT. NIGHT. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. Rebecca enters her bedroom, dressed only in her fur coat. The light's on. David cannot sleep without light. REBECCA Are you sleeping, David? DAVID I would like to, but I can't. Rebecca poses seductively, showing a leg. REBECCA So?

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DAVID Perfect, you don't notice a thing. REBECCA Will it be cold enough to wear furs? Won't it seem suspicious? DAVID Don’t worry, I know how to handle customs. Rebecca takes of her fur coat and lies down with David. REBECCA Baba Nadia told me a good one today. David turns his back to Rebecca. REBECCA An old peasant and his grandson visit Moscow for the very first time. They go down to the new hotel that has just opened and where they have booked a room. They are astounded by all the luxury, but the most fascinating thing is the two metal walls that sometimes open and close silently. The grandson asks his grandfather what they are. The grandfather answers that he has never seen anything like that before, he doesn't know what it could be. Are you listening, David? David groans. Rebecca continues. REBECCA While they are looking around, totally fascinated, an old lady with a cane slowly approaches the metal walls and pushes a button. The walls open and the old lady enters a little room. The walls close, the child and his grandfather see small illuminated circles with digits turn on and off, first upwards and then in the other direction. The walls open again and a beautiful young women comes out. The grandfather looks at his grandson: "Quick, go and get your grandmother." Rebecca chuckles with her joke, David does not react at all. REBECCA Don't lie there worrying, everything will be all right with the children.

30


DAVID I don't know what to tell them. REBECCA So tell them nothing. DAVID Now that I will see them again, I will have to explain why I refused to talk to them. REBECCA Really David, you haven't spoken to them for more than twenty years. REBECCA Why did they leave? REBECCA You kept repeating to Wladimir and Micha that on the mat, they had to fight, they were on their own. DAVID They weren't talented. REBECCA They got the message, David. They took their destiny into their own hands. DAVID Here wasn't good enough for them. Have they found anything better down there? REBECCA Tomorrow you'll see. David, lying on his back, keeps silent, his eyes wide open. Rebecca watches him for a moment, than takes his hand. 33. INT. DAWN. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. The day is dawning. A key is turned in the front door. David and Rebecca wake up with a start. David jumps from the bed and heads toward the door.

31


FOREMAN Good morning… DAVID Just a moment… a moment… Workers enter the apartment, depositing tools and materials on the floor. FOREMAN This is apartment 23, right? DAVID Yes. FOREMAN Property of Mr. Voronin? DAVID No. Rebecca has hastily dressed and comes to the entry hall. REBECCA He's right, David, Mr. Voronin is the man who bought the apartment. FOREMAN And it's the 12th, right? DAVID Eh… yes. Rebecca nods, she has understood. REBECCA David. FOREMAN I'm sorry. David and Rebecca dress hurriedly, lost among the builders who start working as if they are not there.

32


34. EXT. EARLY MORNING. DAVID AND REBECCA'S BUILDING. David and Rebecca are sitting on the bench in front of their building, their luggage next to them. An open truck approaches in reverse and parks under the building's windows. Rebecca arranges her hair and make-up while David greets neighbours leaving for work. DAVID Good morning… good morning… The neighbours nod in passing. DAVID I wonder what's keeping Ivan, I told him to be here at eight o'clock. The truck driver gets out of his vehicle and addresses the builders at the window of David and Rebecca's apartment. DRIVER Okay, let's have it. David and Rebecca's bed comes loudly crashing down in the truck, followed by the mattress. David and Rebecca look away while the builders empty their apartment in the easiest possible way, throwing everything from the windows. DAVID They could have taken it down the stairs, we carried it up that way. Their armoire comes crashing down. Hitting the side of the truck, the armoire breaks and a packet of letters, attached behind a drawer, falls out. Rebecca, intrigued, goes to pick it up. A stool crashes down right next to her. David hurries to keep her from picking up the letters. DAVID No, Rebecca, that's none of your business! Rebecca turns to avoid her husbands hands. REBECCA What have you been hiding from me, David… DAVID Please… Rebecca's face changes. She has to sit down on the bench. David looks at his wife distraughtly. Rebecca looks at him as if she sees him for the first time.

33


REBECCA Are those your father's letters? David lowers his head without answering. REBECCA So he also survived. David nods. DAVID I didn't know…. REBECCA He has been looking for you… Did you answer? David shakes his head. Tears are running down his face. DAVID I couldn't… REBECCA David, he was your father… DAVID I have spent my life trying to forget, Rebecca… Rebecca opens a few letters, one after the other. REBECCA He wanted to see you in Helsinki during the Olympics… David turns away, not wanting to confront the look in his wife's eyes. REBECCA Is that the reason you didn't go? David nods, looking dejectedly at his wife. They silently sit on the bench. Ivan arrives driving David's Lada. His wife IRINA is with him. IVAN I was afraid it would never start.

34


Ivan and David put the luggage in the trunk. Rebecca sits down in the rear, next to Ivan's wife. David, frowning, takes the passenger's place. Rebecca is still holding the letters from her husband's father. The car starts, Rebecca turns and takes a final look at her apartment. The bathtub comes crashing down in the truck. 35. EXT. DAY. AVENUES. LADA. Ivan drives fast. David, his face drawn, is holding the strap. IVAN Please don't be angry, but I don't have the money for the car and the garage. DAVID Don't worry. IVAN As soon as I get it, I will send it through Western Union. DAVID If you want to. IVAN What's the matter, David? David shrugs, he doesn't want to answer. IVAN What's the matter, David? REBECCA If you really want to know, Ivan, that poor guy didn't have the balls to answer his father. IVAN What? Did you have a father? REBECCA There are letters from 1952 until 1966. IVAN I don't believe it.

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REBECCA And do you know why he didn't go to the Helsinki Olympics? IVAN Because of you… REBECCA No! That's what he made me believe, the coward! His father was waiting for him in Helsinki. IVAN Is that why you didn't go, David? David nods, eyes closed. IVAN And there I was, thinking she was going to marry me because I would come back with a gold medal. It was wise of you to stay. IRINA What? Did you want to marry Rebecca? IVAN Irinushka, that was before I met you… IRINA You always told me I was the only love in your life… IVAN Irinushka, before I met you, I didn't know what love was. IRINA Did you sleep together? Ivan glances wide-eyed at Rebecca in the rear view mirror, begging her to keep silent. Rebecca looks away, trying hard not to answer. IRINA Did you the two of you sleep together? The car continues towards the airport.

36


36. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. CHECK-IN. David and Rebecca's heavy suitcases have been checked-in and disappear on the conveyor belt. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 1 Here are your boarding passes. Boarding at gate 18. Ignoring each other, David and Rebecca walk away with their carry on baggage. They are a bit lost in the airport hall. A stewardess notices and addresses them. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 1 Madam… over there for customs… REBECCA I see… thank you… AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 1 Sir… customs is over there, just follow your wife. DAVID Oh, okay. 37. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. CUSTOMS. Rebecca briskly walks to the customs' booths. David follows her, lagging behind. Rebecca goes to a booth where, strangely enough, no traveler is lining up. David hurries to catch up with her. DAVID Wait! Wait! David catches Rebecca's arm and brutally pulls her back. Rebecca turns abruptly freeing her arm from his grip. REBECCA What's the matter with you? There's no-one there. DAVID Wait, I tell you. REBECCA Wait for what? DAVID Just wait!

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David looks at the travellers arriving at customs. When a beautiful young woman passes by, David tries to pull Rebecca's arm to slip in behind her. DAVID Now! REBECCA But what has gotten into you? The other travellers know the trick and David and Rebecca are overtaken by several people closely lining up behind the beautiful young women. DAVID Dammit, Rebecca, we've been to slow. Since a queue has formed, a customs officer at another booth beckons them. CUSTOMS OFFICER This way, please. DAVID Dammit. David and Rebecca go to the customs officer. CUSTOMS OFFICER Passports. Rebecca hands over their passports, trying to smile. David has trouble hiding his atavistic fear when the customs officer looks at him closely after checking the passport picture. CUSTOMS OFFICER Tickets. Rebecca hastily complies. The customs officer stamps their passports and hands them back. For a moment, David and Rebecca wait, as if transfixed. The customs officer nods that they can pass through. CUSTOMS OFFICER Next.

38


38. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. SECURITY GATE. David picks up his sports bag and other belongings after they have passed the X-ray machine. He looks at Rebecca, putting her coat on a tray, followed by her carry on bags. Rebecca passes the security gate without the alarm going off. The security officer behind the screen signals his colleague at the conveyor belt. SECURITY OFFICER Excuse me, Madam, please take your coat and belongings and follow me. Rebecca tries to hide her anxiety while she follows the security officer to a booth. He closes the curtain. David wrings his hands and closes his eyes. David brusquely opens his eyes, forcing himself to observe the booth where Rebecca is being searched. He's tense and very nervous. SECURITY OFFICER Open your bag! Rebecca rapidly complies. The security officer takes the romper suit with two knitting needles attached from her bag. SECURITY OFFICER Absolutely forbidden, Madam. REBECCA But I really have to finish it. SECURITY OFFICER Madam, those needles are potentially dangerous objects, they could be used as weapons. You could hijack a plane with them. REBECCA Yes, that's a fact. You could also stick them in your ass. The security officer smiles, not having expected such vulgarity from a dignified looking old lady. SECURITY OFFICER Those are the rules. Have a good flight, Madam. The security officer opens the curtain. Rebecca takes her coat and bag. David observes the scene worriedly. He watches Rebecca as she walks away without looking at him. She just reaches behind her back and furtively gives him the finger.

39


SECURITY OFFICER Next! David doesn't react. SECURITY OFFICER That means you, sir! 39. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC. BUS. The travelers hurriedly exit the bus that has brought them to their airplane. The engines are running with deafening noise. Rebecca slowly descends the high steps of the bus. When she reaches the tarmac, she puts on her coat and turns to wait for David. Hurried passengers are overtaking David, who remains alone on board, next to the exit. REBECCA Hurry, David, we are the last ones. David does not move. REBECCA Are you sulking because of Ivan? David shakes his head. REBECCA Are you afraid of flying? Is that it? David continues shaking his head, while his eyes are brimming with tears. REBECCA What's the matter, David? DAVID You leave, Rebecca. I'm staying, I can't go. Rebecca, astounded, looks at her husband. REBECCA David! The bus driver's radio emits a cracking sound.

40


BUS DRIVER Sir, either you stay on the bus or you get off, but I have other passengers to transport. David nods and sits on one of the seats near the exit. The driver closes the door and drives off. Rebecca runs alongside the bus and bangs on the door. REBECCA Stop! Stop!!! The bus driver stops and opens the door. Rebecca gets on the bus. She glares at her husband, who avoids her eyes, sitting with his arms crossed. She doesn't know what to say. She sits down, defeated, while the bus drives off. 40. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC. David and Rebecca's luggage is sitting alone on the tarmac. Their plane taxies towards the runway. 41. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. WAITING ROOM. David and Rebecca are sitting in an empty waiting room, looking out on the runways. Rebecca follows their departing airplane with her eyes, then turns to her husband. REBECCA Well, David, the plane is gone. So what do we do now? DAVID I don't know. REBECCA Why did you never tell me? Me? Or your children? Why did we have to go to all this trouble? DAVID I can't explain, Rebecca. Seeing the airplane did it. REBECCA I thought that you were like me, that you had just one dream, living with your children. David remains seated, his look lost, not answering.

41


REBECCA Say something, David! Why do you always keep silent? Always, always this past! Can't you live today! David is lost. He clenches his fists, staring at them. REBECCA Listen David, apart from you, nothing is keeping me here. I have grown up without parents, I didn't have brothers or sisters or aunts or uncles. I can spend my last days without my husband but not without my children. DAVID Rebecca. Rebecca intensely, determinedly, stares at David. He understands that her decision is final. 42. INT. DAY. BUS David has taken a bus from the airport to the city. He is alone, staring at the first buildings of the suburbs. 43. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. TELEPHONE BOOTH. Rebecca is in a telephone booth, calling her eldest son in Canada. The credit on her phone card is diminishing rapidly on the telephone screen. REBECCA Wovka? Wovka, listen to me. No, the airplane hasn't been delayed. Yes, yes, it took off on time. But without us! Why? I can't explain on the phone. I..… well, we will be taking another plane, tomorrow. When will we arrive? Wait, I haven't checked yet… it's the same flight, so we should arrive at the same time. And Sonia? False alarm? That's a relief! So she's back home? Don't worry about us, we'll be all right. Until tomorr… The connection is lost. Rebecca listens to the dial tone for a moment, then hangs up. Somewhere in the airport, the sound of an explosion.

42


44. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC. The airport bomb squad has blown up David's and Rebecca's luggage. Their belongings and souvenirs have gone up in smoke. Some fragments of letters and pictures flutter in the air before settling miserably on the tarmac. 45. INT. DAY. DAVID AND REBECCA'S APARTMENT. LANDING. David knocks on the door of his former apartment. The FOREMAN opens brusquely. The apartment has been transformed in a builder's yard, the wallpaper is torn, doors and floors have been dismantled. The builders are cutting cable passages in the walls. DAVID Eh… hello again… FOREMAN Did you forget something? DAVID Eh… no… FOREMAN Because we haven't found anything. DAVID I just wanted to know if I could sleep here… just for one night. The foreman looks at him dumbfounded. FOREMAN I'm afraid you haven't understood, you have sold this apartment… DAVID I know, but… FOREMAN So it doesn't belong to you anymore. You are supposed to live somewhere else. Do you understand? The foreman closes the door in David's face. David concludes the answer is negative.

43


46. INT. DAY. DAVID AND REBECCA'S BUILDING. STAIRCASE. David comes down the stairs, as the elevator is out of order. Before leaving the building, he notices kittens playing under the stairs. DAVID But what are you doing there? David and Rebecca's cat comes rubbing his knees. DAVID Kitka! Are you also homeless? Wait! David finds an old cardboard box and gathers the kittens in the box. DAVID Come on, Kitka, we won't have them beat us. David closes the box and makes air holes, using a piece of iron found on the floor. Natasha, his pretty young neighbour, enters the building with her daughter, both carrying shopping bags. The neighbour starts up the steps, than comes down, noticing David and his cardboard box. NEIGHBOUR David… David… is that you? David gets up, carrying the box with the kittens. He is embarrassed and edges towards the door, hoping not to have to answer. DAVID Yes, yes, it's me… NEIGHBOUR Why aren't you on the airplane? DAVID … We had cheap tickets and the plane was full… NEIGHBOUR And Rebecca… DAVID … eh… There was one seat left and she preferred to leave… NEIGHBOUR So when are you going?

44


David, not willing to answer, pushed open the door with his back and goes out. The door closes with a loud bang. 47. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. TOILETS. Rebecca enters the rest room in the airport, steps into one of the stalls and closes the door. After closing the lid of the toilet seat, she takes off her coat and sits down. She carefully undoes the stitching of her coat and removes the packets of bank notes she has hidden in the lining. 48. INT. DAY. IVAN'S APARTMENT. Carrying the box with the kittens under his arm, David rings at Ivan's door. Irina, Ivan's wife, opens. Tears have ruined her make-up, she's trying to contain her anger and grief. She's carrying a pile of men's clothes in her arms. IRINA What do you want, David? DAVID Do you think I could spend the night here? IRINA Yes, that's just what I need! Irina wants to slam the door in his face but David, expecting her reaction, puts his foot and the box in the opening. The impact makes the kittens meow, but Irina cannot close the door. IRINA David, I thought my husband had only loved one woman, that's what he always swore… DAVID But that's true… IRINA That's the problem…it wasn't me! DAVID Who was it then? IRINA Can't you guess?

45


David understands she means his wife. DAVID Irina, he was just joking… IRINA Don't try to defend your friend! It's even worse to lie without lying, all these words he whispered in my ear, they weren't meant for me… DAVID Irina, where is… IRINA And you can tell him that he's fine where he is and he can stay there! DAVID But where is he? IRINA Where do you think he is? David takes back his box. Irina brutally closes the door as David stands speechless on the landing. 49. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. TICKET COUNTER. Irina is standing at the ticket counter of the airline she should have been flying with. The stewardess taps on her computer keyboard and shakes her head. STEWARDESS I'm sorry, I cannot help you, you have boarded with this ticket. It's as if you were on the airplane. REBECCA But you can see that I am not. STEWARDESS I do understand, Madam, but you will have to buy a new ticket. REBECCA Then find me a little spot, in the back of the plane, I'll make myself very small.

46


The stewardess smiles, touched by this old lady who talks like a little girl. STEWARDESS There is a flight tomorrow, 1.30 PM, connection in Paris, Charles de Gaulle. REBECCA That's perfect. And my luggage? STEWARDESS What luggage? REBECCA The one that left with the airplane this morning‌ 50. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. OFFICE. Rebecca is seated in front of a security official and a man from the airline. The security official takes a form from his printer. SECURITY OFFICIAL Article 234ter of the international airport regulations forces us to have all passengers whose luggage was destroyed for security reasons sign a release form. REBECCA Has our luggage been destroyed? SECURITY OFFICIAL Yes, Madam, you were missing from the airplane. REBECCA Do you know what was in it? The security official looks at his form. SECURITY OFFICIAL We're sorry, Madam, please believe me. As your flight was subject to the Warsaw Convention, you will be indemnified at 10 dollars per pound of luggage‌ Rebecca has reached in her bag, she is shaking while she holds the old black and white picture of a smiling group, the only image of her parents she possesses.

47


REBECCA I will show this picture to my grandchildren and tell them that thanks to the Warsaw Convention, this is the only remainder of their babushka and dedushka’s past. Apart from this photograph, there's nothing left. SECURITY OFFICIAL Madam, you should have boarded your plane. And if you want to avoid complications, I strongly advise you to sign this release. The security official hands Rebecca a pen. She looks at the two men in front of her. She gives them a long look. They avoid her eyes while she is looking for some comfort. Finally she seizes the pen, signs and throws it across the room. With his head down, without daring to look at Rebecca, the security officer counts bank notes from a metal box. SECURITY OFFICIAL 400 dollars for the first suitcase and 400 for the second… that makes 800 dollars… 51. EXT. DAY. GARAGES. With the box with kittens under his arm and his sports bag on his shoulder, David walks down the garage alley. Ivan sees him coming, steps into his garage and closes the door. DAVID Ivan, open up! IVAN Go to hell, David! David bangs on the metal door. DAVID Ivan. IVAN She knew nothing about me and Rebecca. DAVID I never said a word. IVAN No, you never do. Rebecca could have said, no, we hadn’t slept together, even if that wasn't true.

48


DAVID Forgive us, Ivan‌ IVAN She has thrown me out. DAVID I know, Ivan. IVAN I should have shut up. DAVID You know what she's like. Ivan, I would like to sleep in my garage. Ivan opens the door. IVAN Your garage, David? What in hell are you still doing here? DAVID It was my garage, Ivan, I built it with my own hands. IVAN And a bit of it with mine. David, let's be clear about this, your garage has become my apartment and I see no reason why after sleeping with my wife every night for fifty-six years, I should suddenly sleep in my apartment with a man, even if he had been my best friend. Understood? . Ivan closes the garage door. David remains standing in front of his former garage. At a distance, Igor and Valera, warming their hands at a fire, looking disapprovingly at David. David advances, knocks on the garage door. DAVID Ivan, pay me what you still owe me for the car and the garage. Ivan answers through the door. IVAN And what else? You've ruined my marriage. Forget your money.

49


DAVID I don't have a cent, Ivan. Ivan We all have our problems, David. David does not insist. He looks silently at his former garage, his arms at his side. 52. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. WAITING ROOM. Rebecca, upset, is sitting all by herself on a bench, holding her new airplane ticket. 53. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. BUS STATION. Rebecca is sitting on a bench in the bus station, looking at the arriving busses, hoping to see David come back. 54. EXT. DAY. LENIN MONUMENT. David has returned to the statue of Lenin. He is sitting on the cardboard box. The kittens are playing around him. The old man stares at the monument, reading the inscriptions. DAVID Wladimir Ilitch! Yesterday, I was thinking it would be our last meeting, but here I am again. Tell me what to do! Yes, I know what you think! At my age, I should start deciding for myself‌ David remains in front of the silent statue. The old man looks at the kittens, playing around him and ignoring the monument. David smiles. 55. INT. NIGHT. AIRPORT. DEPARTURE HALL. Night has fallen and Rebecca has found a bench in a deserted corner of the hall. She wraps herself in her coat, clenches her bag and carry on luggage against her body. In the bag, she finds the children's book. She browses the book, which ends with the words "and they lived happily ever after". Rebecca repeats those words to herself, gets up and walks to the bus station.

50


56. EXT. NIGHT. AIRPORT. BUS STATION. The last bus arrives at the bus station. Rebecca looks at the handful of passengers descending, hoping to find David. BUS DRIVER Coming aboard? Rebecca shakes her head. BUS DRIVER Are you sure? This is the last bus, there won't be others after this one. The bus driver closes the doors and drives off. At the last moment, Rebecca knocks on the door. The bus driver stops and opens the doors. 57. EXT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL. David puts his cardboard box and his sports bag down at the door of the wrestling school. He finds the key, hidden behind the sign with the business hours. 58. INT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL. David enters the building and puts down his things. He frees the kittens, finds a faucet and a bowl, so they can drink. He shares a smoked fish with the cat and her kittens. DAVID We'll be fine here, Kitka. At least we'll be warm. David takes off his shoes and lies down on the stack of mats. He uses his jacket as a blanket. DAVID All right, Kitka? David closes his eyes. 59. BLACK Sounds of a train approaching, box cars hitting one another, screaming brakes, shouted orders in German.

51


60. INT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL. David opens his eyes. The cat, nursing her kittens, stares at him, as if she understands and is asking him the same question. David answers, not really convinced. DAVID It's okay 61. INT. NIGHT. NEIGHBOUR'S APARTMENT. Rebecca is sitting with Natasha, her neighbour. The young woman, wearing a nightgown, is still half asleep. REBECCA I have been wrong about David for all my life. I thought that he was prepared to give up honours for my sake, I thought it was the most beautiful proof of love I could imagine. That's why I said yes… NEIGHBOUR But you did love him? REBECCA Of course… NEIGHBOUR Has he been a good husband to you? REBECCA I couldn't have found a better one… NEIGHBOUR For fifty years you never questioned him, and now you do… Rebecca remains silent. NEIGHBOUR Has he ever been unfaithful to you? REBECCA Perhaps with Ivan, in the garage. The neighbour bursts out in laughter.

52


NEIGHBOUR Rebecca… Rebecca smiles weakly. REBECCA Sometimes I have wondered… The neighbour gets up and hands Rebecca the telephone. REBECCA What do you want me to do with that? NEIGHBOUR Call Ivan, he is bound to be home. Rebecca dials the number, while her neighbour starts dressing. REBECCA Irina? IRINA (off) Who is this? REBECCA Rebecc… 62. INT. EVENING. IVAN AND IRINA'S APARTMENT. Irina violently hangs up the phone. IRINA She has no shame, the slut! She opens the door and throws a box containing her husband's things on the landing. The telephone rings again. IRINA How long is that woman going to keep pestering me? Hell! REBECCA (off) Have you seen David?

53


IRINA Yes, I have, and please tell him that if he sees Ivan, his stuff is on the landing ! Irina hangs up. 63. INT. EVENING. NEIGHBOUR'S APARTMENT. Rebecca is staring at the telephone, confused. Neighbour has finished dressing. REBECCA He isn't there. NEIGHBOUR I realized that. Hey, come on… The two women head for the door. REBECCA And Lila? NEIGHBOUR She never wakes. Just as the neighbour unlocks the door, her daughter appears in the opening of her bedroom door. NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER Where are you going, mama? 64. EXT. NIGHT. GARAGES. Rebecca descends from the taxi that has just stopped in front of David's garage. Her neighbour Natasha and her daughter, sitting in the rear of the taxi, watch her knock on David's garage door. REBECCA David! David! The door of Ivan's garage opens. IVAN What are you doing here, Rebecca? REBECCA And you, what are you doing here?

54


IVAN Irina has thrown me out… REBECCA I know… You haven't seen David, have you? IVAN Yes, I have. REBECCA Is he hiding in there… Let me in. 65. INT. NIGHT. IVAN'S GARAGE Rebecca suspiciously enters the garage, looking about her. Ivan pours water from an old cooking pan and puts in a cup heater. IVAN He isn't here, Rebecca. A cup of tea? REBECCA Where is he, tell me! IVAN I don’t know, Rebecca… I have closed the door in my best friend's face… I don't now what will become of me without you… Rebecca, could we have been happy together? REBECCA We'll never know, Ivan… It's our life… IVAN And that gold medal, I have always known that if David had been there, he would have won it. REBECCA I've heard those rumours, Ivan, but all of that is behind us… You know what you have to do, you'll take the first underground train to Darnytsa, buy a bunch of flowers for Irina, go home and take her warm rolls from the Universam. IVAN Do you think so?

55


REBECCA Irina is a woman, isn't she? Rebecca goes to the garage door. Ivan blocks her way. IVAN Please stay a little while longer. REBECCA No, Ivan, I have a plane to catch… 66. INT. NIGHT. IVAN AND IRINA'S APARTMENT. Ivan is standing outside his apartment. He is carrying a rose and a warm roll. Pulling a sad face, he rings the bell. Irina opens the door, wearing a nightgown. IRINA It's cold outside, isn't it? IVAN Quite… IRINA Well, you can stay there! IVAN Irina, if just for once you would listen, just for once… Irina gives him a disdainful look and violently closes the door in his face. 67. INT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL David is lying on the stack of mats, his eyes wide open. Rebecca appears behind him, she has found him. She silently approaches. David does not move. She lies down at his side. REBECCA David… David does not answer, but she knows that he's aware of her.

56


REBECCA David, I know that all your life you have tried to forget the dead, and while trying to forget them, you have spent your life in their company. You failed to live with the living around you… If you had gone to Helsinki, you would have met your father… Now he's dead. You have lived with that knowledge for many years. You would probably have returned with a gold medal, I would have become your wife anyhow, what would have been different Trying to escape the dead, you have lived your entire life as a ghost. Your children must have felt that, their father not really being there. That's probably why they have left. And I, I have chosen to stay with you, but now I want to spend my final moment with my children and my grandchildren and I want to be there when my first great-grandchild comes into this world… I have lost too much, living with a ghost. I am going, David. You can stay if you want, you can come with me, but all I know is that life is lived today and not yesterday. Rebecca slowly gets up and leaves as quietly as she has come in. David does not move. He remains motionless and makes no move to retain Rebecca. 68. EXT. NIGHT. WRESTLING SCHOOL. Rebecca joins her neighbour Natasha and her daughter in the waiting taxi. They accompany her to the airport. 69. INT. EARLY MORNING. WRESTLING SCHOOL. CHANGING ROOM. David appears to have returned to his old habits in the wrestling school. He looks as if he's ready to resume his earlier life as if nothing has changed. He takes his stuff from the sports bag and is putting it in his locker, when he hears noises from the training room. Wondering about the sounds of a body falling on the mat, he opens the door and discovers Dimitri. 70 INT. EARLY MORNING. WRESTLING SCHOOL. TRAINING ROOM. The young wrestler is training all by himself. David observes him for a moment, while he is doing wrestler’s bridges on the floor. David approaches quietly. He bends over Dimitri. DAVID Your feet wider apart, how often have I told you?

57


Dimitri, surprised, gets up with a swift movement. YOUNG WRESTLER David Yakovlevitch! But what are you doing here? DAVID You're asking me? YOUNG WRESTLER I have a pain in my shoulder, I was hoping it would pass if I exercised. DAVID It's tonight, the qualifying rounds? The young wrestler nods. DAVID Get on your belly. The young wrestler does as he's told. David squats at his side and feels the young wrestlers painful shoulder. He starts massaging it. YOUNG WRESTLER You still haven't told me why you're not on your airplane, David Yakovlevitch? David's voice fills with emotion. DAVID I couldn't go. Dimitri wants to turn, but David keeps him pinned down. DAVID Don't move… YOUNG WRESTLER And your wife? David confesses he was not able to leave. DAVID And my wife… She'll join my grandchildren… And I'll stay here.

children

and

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YOUNG WRESTLER Coach… With a precise movement and a dry click, he pushes the wrestler's slightly dislocated shoulder back in its socket, while Dimitri groans with pain. YOUNG WRESTLER Ouch… David lets go of him and sits on the mat. His eyes brim with tears. Dimitri gets up. David now doesn't resemble a forceful coach and leader, he looks old, lost and miserable. The young wrestler suddenly gains confidence towards the old man. YOUNG WRESTLER Aren’t you staying, coach? David nods. YOUNG WRESTLER Don't you think your children and grandchildren will be waiting to see you? David shakes his head. YOUNG WRESTLER What have you done to them, coach? DAVID I wasn't there for them, Dimitri… YOUNG WRESTLER But you're the best of coaches, coach! You are exacting, hard, you're moulding us into champions. You are always there when we need you. DAVID That's true, for you I have always been there. For my children, I wasn't and I'll never be. YOUNG WRESTLER Why? Because you couldn't turn them into champions? David breaks down.

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DAVID Oh no, Dimitri… It never mattered if they became champions or not, that wasn't it… You know, when you have once lost all your loved ones… You spend the rest of your life in fear of losing them a second time…. YOUNG WRESTLER All I can say, coach, is that you have been like a father to me… Dimitri is now almost embarrassed to see David bare his feelings, not knowing how to behave faced with the old man's grief. He hands him a towel, David wipes his face and eyes with the cloth. DAVID That's nice, Dimitri, but I have succeeded in making my own children run away and now I'm terrified of seeing them… I don't know how to tell them about what I have lived through, how you can live on after that. I have tried to hide it from them, but I have ruined everything. Rebecca was right, I have lived like a ghost… IVAN Not on the mats, David. I was never wrestling a ghost. David and Dimitri discover Ivan has been observing them. YOUNG WRESTLER President, I didn't know you were here. DAVID He has this flair, he's always there at the right moment, that's the mark of a champion… IVAN Stop it, David. You know very well that if you had gone to Helsinki, you would have won gold. DAVID So what? IVAN I can't bear anymore being looked at as if I had stolen my medal. DAVID Do you want me to take it back, is that it?

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IVAN Man to man, David. Ivan advances and gets hold of David. They start wrestling, end up on the floor, fight fiercely for some moments. David suddenly moves off and turns on his back, his arms spread. He stops fighting. Ivan gets up. IVAN Fight, you bastard. David and Ivan breath heavily, filling their lungs, out of breath. DAVID What's the use, Ivan? What could it change? IVAN You should have gone to Helsinki, you would have returned with the medal, you would have become president of the club, you would have had the Volga. DAVID Our lives are what they are, there's not much we can change about them. IVAN I have no regrets, David. David considers for a moment. DAVID I do. I have many regrets. IVAN Then what are you waiting for to try and live the rest of your life the way you should? Ivan takes David's hand and helps him up. David catches his breath. 71. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. INTERNATIONAL ZONE. A conveyor belt is carrying Rebecca through the international zone. She looks back, still hoping to see David arrive. Other passengers swiftly overtake her. The PA system shouts her name for a last call.

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VOICE FROM PA SYSTEM Attention please, last call for flight AE 322 with destination Paris. Will passenger Rebecca Abramovitch please report to gate 24 for immediate boarding. Rebecca doesn't react when she hears her name. She still lets the conveyor belt carry her. VOICE FROM PA SYSTEM Attention please, last call for flight AE 322 with destination Paris. Will passenger Rebecca Abramovitch please report to gate 24 for immediate boarding. 72. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. BOARDING GATE. Rebecca arrives at the boarding gate and hands her boarding pass to the stewardess, who greets her with an artificial smile. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 2 You are Mrs. Abramovitch… REBECCA Yes, that's me. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 2 After the third call, the airplane leaves without you. REBECCA I'm sorry, I didn’t hear AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 2 Please follow me… The stewardess marches in front of Rebecca, who has trouble keeping up with her. The stewardess is warning the airplane crew through a walkie-talkie. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 2 Passenger list complete! Over! HEAD STEWARD (off) Roger!

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73. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC. BUS. Rebecca is alone in the bus driving her to her plane. She looks back for a final time, staring at the boarding gat. 74. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. DEPARTURES. David's old Lada, driven by Ivan, stops at the airport terminal. The doors open. David, Ivan and Dimitri jump out. David wants to take the cardboard box with the cats. IVAN Are you crazy, you'll never pass customs with that! DAVID But who will look after them? IVAN Leave them. David hesitates. IVAN You can trust me. David takes a final look at his cat. DAVID Kitka‌ IVAN There's no time, David. They start running towards the terminal. Dimitri has taken the lead. A policeman approaches the Lada. 75. INT. DAY. AIRPORT. DEPARTURE HALL. David and Ivan join Dimitri under the departures board. DIMITRI Counter 34! The three men run towards the ticket counters and stop at the airline booth. The STEWARDESS is just switching off her computer and closing the counter. Ivan takes an envelope from his pocket and puts it on the counter.

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IVAN David, what I owed you…. DAVID You always had the money with you, didn't you? Ivan nods, avoiding his friend's eyes. DAVID A single trip to Toronto. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 1 Today's boarding is finished. There's another flight tomorrow, same time. David opens the envelope and puts all the money on the counter. DAVID Miss, this is all I have, get me in that plane… The stewardess looks at the money and calls her supervisor. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N° 1 Vadim? The supervisor nods. The stewardess switches on her computer. The supervisor takes a walkie-talkie and calls the airplane crew. SUPERVISOR Code KTO. I repeat, Code KTO. 76. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. COCKPIT. The head steward enters the airplane cockpit. HEAD STEWARD I've just received a Code KTO. The captain nods and switches on his microphone. CAPTAIN Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. Due to a technical check, our flight will take off with a slight delay of about ten minutes.

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77. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC. RUNWAY VEHICLE. David clutches onto the passenger seat of the runway vehicle. The driver is racing towards the plane. The stewardess is communicating with the crew on her walkie-talkie. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N째 1 Requesting open door. The stairs reach the airplane just when the cabin door opens. David jumps from the vehicle. AIRPORT STEWARDESS N째 1 Have a very nice flight, Mr. Abramovitch. David runs up the stairs, in the deafening noise of the turbines. 78. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. An air stewardess greets David. His eyes search the passengers for Rebecca. AIR STEWARDESS Your seat is right over there, Sir. The stewardess takes him to his seat in the front of the airplane, in business class, and helps him with his seatbelt. David turns in his seat, hoping to catch a glimpse of Rebecca, when the stewardess closes the curtain separating the economy class from business class. Blinking lights switch on above David's head. 79. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. TARMAC The plane heads off towards the runway. It stops, the turbines roar and it finally starts its take-off on the wide asphalt strip. 80. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. The airplane is accelerating. David clutches his seat. He looks very worried, he has never been in an airplane before next to the few business class passengers. The sounds of the hydraulics and the flaps make the old man even more anxious.

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81. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. Rebecca is looking out of the window while the plane takes off. She looks totally confused, abandoned by her husband. 82. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. David wants to get up to look for Rebecca. The air stewardess reprimands him. AIR STEWARDESS Sir, please keep your seatbelt fastened and remain seated until the warning light is switched off. David reluctantly sits down. 83. EXT. DAY. AIRPLANE The airplane swiftly ascends in the sky, disappearing in the clouds. 84. EXT. DAY. AIRPORT. LADA. Ivan and the young wrestler get in the Lada. Ivan looks at Dimitri before switching on the engine. IVAN Do you want me to be at the qualifying rounds tonight? Dimitri looks through the window, considers, his eyes lost towards the clouds. He sees a plane ascending, leaving a white vapour trail behind it. He smiles. DIMITRI No, I'll go by myself, I'll be fine. The Lada drives off and leaves the airport. 85. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. The seatbelt lights are switched off. David unfastens his seatbelt and heads towards the economy class.

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86. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. David has to pass the stewardess blocking the corridor with their drink cart. He walks the length of the cabin without finding Rebecca. Arriving at the end of the plane, he turns back and unsteadily heads for his seat, looking at each passenger and hoping to see Rebecca, perhaps he has overlooked her. Rebecca leaves the toilet and sees David's silhouette disappearing behind the business class curtain. She freezes for a moment, then shakily returns to her seat. 87. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. David drops in his seat. The air stewardess offers him a drink. AIR STEWARDESS What would you like to drink? DAVID Nothing, thank you. David is completely shaking. He has boarded the airplane expecting to find his wife, now he doesn't see her, he is confused. AIR STEWARDESS Is everything all right, Sir? DAVID Couldn't be better. The air stewardess carries on serving the other passengers. Rebecca silently approaches David. When she is behind him, she starts hitting him with the glossy airline magazine. She lets her anger and relief explode. REBECCA So we're living it up in business class! DAVID Rebecca, it was the only ticket I could‌ REBECCA No excuses, David, you are inexcusable! She continues hitting David, who lets her, only squeezing his eyes shut when the magazine lands on his skull.

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REBECCA I should never have married you, David! I never thought you'd be like this, you, the terror of the mats! Such a coward! The air stewardess tries to intervene to calm Rebecca down and return her to her seat, but Rebecca continues hitting David. AIR STEWARDESS Madam, please go to your seat, you are disturbing the passengers! REBECCA Am I disturbing you, Sir? She hits him again. REBECCA Well, say it! David knows not moving and shutting up is the best defence. REBECCA See? I'm not disturbing him! The air stewardess addresses David. AIR STEWARDESS My apologies on behalf of the company, Sir. REBECCA Apologies? Apologies, this man should offer me his apologies! AIR STEWARDESS We cannot predict undesirable behaviour of our passengers. A steward has joined the stewardess and takes hold of Rebecca, trying to keep her from hitting David. STEWARD Madam, please! REBECCA This man has abandoned a defenceless old woman for an entire night in an airport!

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88. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. The steward leads Rebecca to her seat. The other passengers are apprehensive, stopping their activities to listen to what's happening. REBECCA Yesterday, this man didn't say a word when they threw us out of our apartment. David unfastens his seatbelt and heads for Rebecca, wishing she would shut up. DAVID Rebecca! David, embarrassed, implores Rebecca while smiling at the passengers looking at him. REBECCA Day before yesterday, this man let himself be cheated by his best friend, who didn't pay him what he owed for his car and his garage. DAVID No, he has paid for everything. REBECCA It's been twenty years since this man last spoke to his children. DAVID Rebecca, no-one is asking you to tell everything. REBECCA For fifty years, this man has been hiding from his wife that‌ DAVID Rebecca, please‌ REBECCA All right, I will shut up, but all passengers in this plane now know who they are travelling with and what to think of you!

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89. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. David silently returns to his seat, avoiding the looks of the passengers. Before sitting down, he glances at Rebecca's seat. 90. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. The passenger next Rebecca is standing to let Rebecca pass and is talking with the steward and the air stewardess. 91. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. David sits down, his neighbour looks at him with a knowing smile. The air stewardess approaches. AIR STEWARDESS Sir, if you want, you can sit next to your wife, her neighbour is willing to change seats. DAVID No, thanks. 92. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. The air stewardess returns to Rebecca's seat. Her neighbour is standing with the steward. AIR STEWARDESS He refuses. Rebecca's neighbour calls out to David. NEIGHBOUR I really don't mind, Sir! David shakes his head. The man insists. NEIGHBOUR Come on, the seat is free. 93. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. BUSINESS CLASS. David turns in his seat, now his neighbour intervenes.

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BUSINESS MAN What are you waiting for? Go on! After some hesitation, David gets up. 94. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. David slowly walks down the corridor, followed by the endeared looks of the other passenger. Rebecca is looking out of the window. David sits down without speaking. They sit without looking at each other. Their eyes are filled with tears. REBECCA What I love about you, is that everything that could be simple always becomes very complicated. David smiles silently, nodding his head. DAVID What I love about you, is that you love me despite myself. Rebecca reclines her seat and takes David's hand. She closes her eyes. David takes letter paper and a pen from his pocket and starts writing. 95. EXT. NIGHT. IVAN AND DAVID'S GARAGES. Ivan's old Volga and David's old former Lada are parked in front of their garages. The kittens are playing inside the Lada, its door is open. Ivan is noisily making a hole in the wall separating the two garages, using a power drill. Irina, Ivan's wife, comes in. Ivan hasn't heard her. She has to shout. IRINA Ivan! Ivan! Ivan lowers his tool and takes off his safety glasses. He looks at his wife, without speaking. IRINA Ivan, you can come home. Ivan answers by raising his power drill and continuing his work. IRINA Ivan! Ivan! He stops again, still holding the power drill.

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IVAN What's the matter? IRINA Come home‌ IVAN To be honest, I'm feeling quite comfortable here. IRINA I have made you a nice bortsch, it's still warm. IVAN You make the best bortsch in the world, Irina, but I'm not coming home‌ I can't take it any longer, shutting up so as not to anger you, playing deaf so as not to hear you scream at me, closing my eyes when a sexy ass crosses the street so as not to make you jealous. IRINA It will be getting cold, Ivan! IVAN Then eat it that way or heat it up. Ivan starts his power drill. IRINA Ivan! Ivan! Irina looks on for a few moments while her husband returns to his job, but when he keeps ignoring her, she turns on her heels. 96. BLACK. COVERED ARMY TRUCK. A truck is starting, Russian voices, rays of light cutting through the dark. The cover moves in the wind, showing a barbed wire fence and dark chimneys regressing in the night. 97. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. ECONOMY CLASS. David opens his eyes. The air stewardess is coming down the corridor, checking that everything is okay before the descent. She stops near David and Rebecca and addresses David.

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AIR STEWARDESS Your tray table Sir. David takes the three letters he has written from the tray table and folds it away. The air stewardess bends over Rebecca and wakes her up. AIR STEWARDESS Please raise your seat, Madam. Rebecca raises her seat and turns towards David. REBECCA Why did she wake me up? DAVID We're almost there. REBECCA I must have slept for a long time! DAVID Rebecca, listen to me. I'm not sure I will find the right words to explain things to the children when we arrive. REBECCA You cannot keep silent forever, David. DAVID I know, but I would like you to give them these letters. I hope they will forgive me. REBECCA Why not give them yourself? David looks at his wife imploringly. DAVID Rebecca! Rebecca takes the letters and puts them in her coat. 98. EXT. DAY. AIRPLANE. The airplane carrying David and Rebecca starts its descent towards the Charles de Gaulle airport, the flaps and landing gear lowered.

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99. INT. DAY. CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT. DISEMBARKMENT CORRIDOR. David and Rebecca leave the plane via the corridor. David is extremely nervous. He is shaking. AIRPORT STEWARDESS Welcome to the Charles de Gaulle airport. Transit passengers are invited to stay in the international zone. Passengers arriving at their destination please report to customs‌ DAVID Miss, the Toronto airplane, please. AIRPORT STEWARDESS Terminal D, gate 48. DAVID Which way is that? AIRPORT STEWARDESS That way, Sir, first terminal A, then terminal B, then terminal C, terminal D is just behind. 100. INT. DAY. CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT. INTERNATIONAL ZONE. David is walking very quickly through the transit zone towards the terminal. Rebecca cannot keep up with him. REBECCA David, wait for me! David doesn't turn but walks on, as if he is walking on burning coals. REBECCA There's no hurry, David! David only stops when he's out of breath. Rebecca catches up. REBECCA What's the matter, David? The old man starts crying, trying to calm his breathing. DAVID When does the airplane leave?

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REBECCA It's all right, David, we won't miss it… DAVID I cannot stay here… Do you see that, there…That's where we were leaving, papa, mama, Sarah and I…. The last train for Auschwitz. REBECCA Please David, when will you stop thinking about that? DAVID I have tried, Rebecca, I have tried… That's why I never answered my father's letters… I thought I had succeeded in burying everything in there… I met you, I was happy with you, I was alive… I was terrified of the pain, afraid of waking it up… Rebecca hugs David. REBECCA We won't be staying here for long. The airplane will soon leave. Come on, let's go… Rebecca leads David to the airplane which will take them away. But David is in pain, he is clutching his chest. Rebecca stops and helps him lean against a wall. DAVID Open my shirt, Rebecca, please. It takes Rebecca a few seconds to realize David is going to faint. REBECCA Come, we can sit down there. David leans on Rebecca and lets her lead him to some empty seats. He starts breathing deeply, tries to get up. DAVID It's okay, we'll miss the plane. Rebecca stops David from getting up.

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REBECCA We don't have to hurry, David, we can always take the next plane. DAVID And the children? REBECCA They will wait for you. A policeman approaches. POLICEMAN Is everything all right, Sir? DAVID I'm fine, I'm fine. POLICEMAN Are you sure? REBECCA We're fine, thank you. The policeman leaves. David tries to stand, leaning on Rebecca. They slowly start to walk. DAVID In my suitcase, you know, in my suitcase I had a jar with pebbles. I brought them along so you could come and visit me, bringing a little piece of home. REBECCA Don't worry about your pebbles, David, they never left the apartment. DAVID But who gave you permission to touch my suitcase! REBECCA Stop, David, if it wasn't for me, your pebbles would have been blown to bits anyway.

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101. INT. DAY. CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT. TELEPHONE BOOTH. Rebecca hangs up the phone in a cabin, she's beaming with joy. She joins David, who is sitting some feet away, holding a plastic cup and a bottle of water. REBECCA David, you are a great-grandfather! David! It's a girl! DAVID Why are you still bothering with me? Without me, you'd have arrived on time. I don't understand you. REBECCA Do you know why? They look at each other lovingly, two old people who have spent their lives together. David gets up anxiously, drops his cup and bottle in the garbage. DAVID Come on, Rebecca, we shouldn't miss this one. They walk on towards the boarding gate. REBECCA Wladimir will pick up Sveta and Micha. They will be waiting for us at the airport, all three of them. DAVID All three? REBECCA Yes, David, your two sons and your daughter, and they will take us straight to the maternity clinic. DAVID Straight? REBECCA Yes, but afterwards… I heard strange sounds on the telephone, like an orchestra rehearsing… DAVID Oh, no, I hope they're not planning a party!

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REBECCA A big party, David, a big one! Better prepare your toast. DAVID You know I hate that! 102. INT. DAY. AIRPLANE. CABIN. David and Rebecca are in the airplane taking them to their final destination. The air stewardess is collecting cans and bottles of water she has served to the passengers. REBECCA How long has it been since you took your last medication? DAVID I don't remember, with these time-zone changes. REBECCA Show me the boxes. David reluctantly takes his medicine boxes from his pocket and puts them on the tablet. Rebecca grabs them and examines their content. REBECCA Time-zones, nonsense! You haven't taken a single pill since we left the apartment. DAVID You didn't tell me to take them. REBECCA David! DAVID I wouldn't know what to do without you. REBECCA You wouldn't stay alive for long without me. Rebecca smiles at him, takes the knitting needles from her bag and starts threading them in the romper suit. DAVID How did you get those needles past the security checks?

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REBECCA They are made of plastic, David. I bought them from the lady toilet attendant at Borispol airport. DAVID How much? REBECCA I won't tell you. I only had a large note and she didn't have change. She touches her coat, letting him know where the money came from. 103. INT. NIGHT. AIRPLANE. CABIN. Rebecca finishes the romper suit and shows it to David. REBECCA I'll add the collar after I have seen the baby, in case she has your neck‌ DAVID It looks just like the one you made for Wladimir. She puts down the needles and the romper suit on the tablet. REBECCA Do you remember that? DAVID You made it with wool from my socks and I had cold feet all winter. Rebecca smiles. REBECCA Anyhow, being with you, I've always been warm. DAVID Except for last night. Resting her head on the back of the seat, Rebecca lovingly looks at David. REBECCA I'm going to catch a nap, it could be a long night.

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David helps her lower her seat. He switches off her light. She takes her coat and uses it as a blanket. 104. EXT. NIGHT. AIRPLANE. The airplane crosses the sky and the clouds in a starry night. 105. INT. NIGHT. TORONTO AIRPORT. ARRIVALS HALL A crowd is waiting at the arrival gates of the airport. Passengers exiting the sliding doors are welcomed by family, colleagues or taxi drivers. Rebecca arrives, walking slowly and holding the three letters David wrote on the airplane. She sees her children and smiles. WLADIMIR And papa? REBECCA He wrote you these letters. They tear open the envelopes, start reading the letters, tears streaming down their cheeks. David is slowly walking towards them. Despite the passengers overtaking and sometimes bumping into him, he appears all alone in the world. He reaches his children and stops, his head lowered. The children finish their letters, look up and discover their father. Rebecca joins her husband, takes his hand. David slowly raises his head, touched, and looks at his children with all the love he was not able to give them.

END

Š OLIVIER RINGER & YVES RINGER 2012

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