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21st century BOY


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21ST CENTURY BOY


BLACK SCREEN SCROLL:

‘Yama, god of the underworld, instructs Psychopomp, the bearer of the dead, not to eat any food served by the family of the dead. This is because once Psychopomp owes something to humanity, it often returns the favour by allowing the dead to stay longer in the world. It is a well-known story that Dong Bang-sak lived 18,000 years by serving Psychopomp.’

FADE IN: INT. GYO-HAN’S ROOM, DAY The room is covered with plain, white wallpaper and has a lattice door wrapped with rice paper and patched with green tape in many parts. In a corner stands a five-panel folding screen, each panel painted with a depiction of a different season and another spring. Beside the screen, we see a red dial phone and green tape on a wooden chest of drawers with a mirror. GYO-HAN (85), in white Korean clothes, is on the phone. GYO-HAN Yona? Hmm... Gyo-han looks at YONA (8) sitting in the other corner of the room draping a yellow tablecloth over his shoulder like a cloak. Yona rapidly waves his hands, pulling a long face. Gyo-han clears his throat. GYO-HAN Yes, of course he is in church now. I’ll go and get him later. Gyo-han winks at Yona. Yona smiles widely. Whoopee!

YONA

Yona suddenly stops shouting and covers his mouth with both his hands. Gyo-han quickly covers the phone receiver with his hand. GYO-HAN It’s just a... cat trying to come into the room. Anyhow, you are (MORE) (CONTINUED)

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2. GYO-HAN (cont’d) coming back next month? No worries about Yona. I’ll take good care of him. Just take care of yourself abroad.

Gyo-han hangs up, then smiles at Yona. GYO-HAN This is between us, Yona. Yona nods and smiles. YONA Can we go out now to the hill? Yona tugs at Gyo-han’s arm. GYO-HAN Alright. Let’s go. We see a children’s Bible under a pile of books in a corner of the room, as if it has been thrown away. Gyo-han examines his face in the mirror, turning left and right. Gyo-han and Yona leave the room. EXT. HILL, DAY Gyo-han and Yona walk up a hill which overlooks the sea on one side and the village, with a few tile-roofed houses, on the other. Several wooden totem poles stand in front of the hill. Gyo-han limps while Yona walks with light steps, swinging a wooden stick. Gyo-han sings ‘YALI YALI YALARIO’ and Yona sings along ‘ALI ALI ALIO’. They smile at each other. GYO-HAN Yona, you must be missing your mom. But you should understand she is busy doing many things without your father. It’s all for you. You know that. YONA I’m OK. I’m so happy living here with you. And you don’t force me to go to the church. Gyo-han and Yona are now walking past graves halfway up the hill.

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3. GYO-HAN Yona, don’t you want to bow to your daddy and grandma? YONA (indifferent) They are not there. You said they are travelling beyond the sea.

Yona keeps walking upward, swinging his stick. Gyo-han stops at the graves and smiles faintly. GYO-HAN (under his breath) Yes, they are travelling beyond the sea. EXT. HILL - SHRINE, DAY Yona faces a tree with lots of coloured ribbons tied round its branches. Around the tree is a knee-high wooden fence. Beyond the fence there is an altar with several pieces of pottery on it. Yona looks around, then cautiously steps over the fence. Yona picks up a piece of pottery and examines it. He catches a glimpse of the ribbons overhead, then puts the pottery back. It teeters on the edge of the table. SFX: THE POTTERY BREAKS Yona, bewildered, turns around to see it broken.

Yona.

GYO-HAN (O.S.) (in the distance)

Yona jumps over the fence and runs back towards Gyo-han at the graves. EXT. HILL, DAY Yona and Gyo-han walk down the hill. This time, Yona keeps pace with Gyo-han. Yona constantly glances at Gyo-han from the corner of his eyes. GYO-HAN Yona, do you want to say something?

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4. YONA Grandpa, um, the ribbon tree over there... You said we should not break anything on the altar, because... GYO-HAN God of pottery will get angry and ask Psychopomp to haunt people who break it.

Gyo-han looks at Yona. GYO-HAN Why are you asking this? YONA (abruptly) No. I haven’t done anything. Yona passes Gyo-han. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GATE, DAY A street lies past the gate of Gyo-han’s house, a big tile-roofed house surrounded by a mud wall. In front of the gate stands a CAT mewing towards the street. Gyo-han and Yona come towards the gate from the other side of the street. Gyo-han gathers Cat in his arms, hugging it. GYO-HAN Hey, kitty. What are you staring at? A ghost again? Gyo-han gently strokes Cat’s back and enters through the gate. Yona stumbles at the threshold. YONA (under his breath) Ouch! Don’t be hard on me. Before entering the gate, Yona looks up at the sky. Fluffy clouds are seen in the grey sky. A wind blows through Yona’s hair. INT. GYO-HAN’S ROOM, NIGHT A roll of thunder is heard in the distance. The door opens and Gyo-han comes into the room, holding a small red lantern. (CONTINUED) 21ST CENTURY BOY

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Yona?

GYO-HAN

The light of the lantern reveals Yona sweating and panting on the floor. EXT. HILL, NIGHT A flash of lightning reveals PSYCHOPOMP, in a black suit, wide-brimmed black bamboo hat and black rubber shoes, walking downwards towards Gyo-han’s house. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, NIGHT The gate opens and there appear black rubber shoes stepping in. TILT UP to reveal SHAMAN, a middle-aged woman wearing a richly-coloured jacket, a skirt with blue and red stripes and a wide-brimmed red hat. Gyo-han escorts her through the gate. GYO-HAN This way. Even Doctor Kim had no idea why. Shaman suddenly stops, then looks above to the sky. The wind blows. Shaman clicks her tongue. SHAMAN No need to see inside. I already sense the deadly wind. Lightning flashes to the ground. SHAMAN He is already on his way. Shaman points towards the hill with her chin. Who?

GYO-HAN

SHAMAN Psychopomp! Gyo-han falls to the floor with a thud. GYO-HAN I can’t believe it. Oh... Gyo-han weeps. Shaman clicks her tongue. (CONTINUED) 5

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6. GYO-HAN Please, my old friend. There must be a way to prevent it. SHAMAN Friend my ass. You call me a friend only when in need.

Shaman frowns. GYO-HAN I can’t lose my own flesh and blood once again. I can’t stand it. Please... Shaman stares at Gyo-han, then lets out a deep breath. SHAMAN There may be one way out, but I cannot guarantee it. Gyo-han looks up at Shaman. SHAMAN Prepare a meal. Make it tempting. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GATE, NIGHT The gate slowly opens with a slight squeak, and Gyo-han’s upper body appears. He cautiously looks around, then lays down on the floor a small low table with rice and several side dishes, and a spoon. Gyo-han goes back into the gate. Psychopomp arrives at the gate. He leans against the wall, crossing his arms and legs, then whistles. He looks at his wristwatch. PSYCHOPOMP Gosh, came too early. Out of character. While whistling, Psychopomp constantly looks down at the table and rubs his stomach. Psychopomp shakes his head. GROWLS come from his stomach. Psychopomp looks down again at the table, rubbing his stomach.

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7. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GATE, A FEW MINUTES LATER The gate silently opens and there appear Cat and Shaman. Over Shaman’s shoulder, we see Psychopomp guzzling the food. Psychopomp looks up to see Shaman, then falls on his buttocks. PSYCHOPOMP (his mouth full) You scared me to death, bitch. SHAMAN What a hopeless glutton you are. You still desire the meals of this world? Haven’t you learned anything through Dong Bang-sak? PSYCHOPOMP As long as no one has seen it, it’s fine you know, my friend. SHAMAN Friend my ass... Psychopomp glances at Shaman from the corner of his eye, then cautiously lowers his spoon. PSYCHOPOMP Well... you won’t report it to Yama. SHAMAN As a matter of fact, yes. I will. Psychopomp chews the cud, staring at Shaman. He grins. PSYCHOPOMP No, you won’t. Stop kidding me, my friend. Psychopomp resumes eating the food. SHAMAN You think I’m kidding now? Shaman stares at Psychopomp. SHAMAN Straight to the point. I know you are here to collect the boy. Spare him, or else I’ll report this to Yama. I bet your licence will be at risk this time. (CONTINUED)

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8. PSYCHOPOMP You are blackmailing me now? Hey, dude. You can’t be so hard on me. SHAMAN Hard? Do you know how many lives you have recently collected from this family? Don’t you think it’s been hard? Spare the boy and I won’t tell Yama. This will be between us and no one else will know it. It’s as simple as that.

Sweat gleams on Psychopomp’s brow. You bitch.

PSYCHOPOMP

Psychopomp shakes his body in anger and lets out a deep breath. PSYCHOPOMP Alright. But... Psychopomp raises his index finger. PSYCHOPOMP The boy can never be the same once chosen. You know that. Shaman nods slightly. SHAMAN A living dog is better than a dead lion. Psychopomp reluctantly turns around and takes a couple of steps. He then comes back, devouring more food. Psychopomp then walks away again. PSYCHOPOMP (under his breath) Why the hell is she quoting the Bible? What a stupid Korean shaman. Shaman sees the retreating back of Psychopomp. SHAMAN (under her breath) Hmm, so the Bible sometimes works. Black fluffy clouds in the sky pass by. The moon appears from out of them.

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9. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, DAY The courtyard, blossom trees, in enters MIJA necklace. Mija

inside the gate, has a couple of cherry leafless, and a pine tree. The gate opens and (43), Yona’s mother, wearing a cross pants.

MIJA’S POV: ’Gud’, a traditional ceremony, is taking place. Yona is lying on the altar at the centre of the courtyard. Beside him is Gyo-han, praying on his knees, rubbing his hands together. Shaman is SINGING and dancing around them. BACK TO SCENE: Mija slowly comes towards the altar in shock, then sees Yona panting and sweating on the altar. MIJA What is this all about? Gyo-han opens his eyes to see Mija. Shaman keeps dancing. GYO-HAN You’re back, Mija. This was the only way to save Yona’s life. MIJA (in shock) What is it? Mija looks down at Yona and bursts into tears. Then she sees Shaman who is still singing with her hands on Yona. Mija slaps Shaman’s hands away. Shaman slowly opens her eyes and stares blankly at Mija. MIJA What the hell are you doing to my son? SHAMAN He has just turned the corner. But you should wait until he passes through the crisis. Shaman gets ready to resume dancing. Mija slaps Shaman’s cheek. MIJA Stop it. Stop it before I burn this place. Mija holds Yona in her arms and looks at Gyo-han. (CONTINUED)

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10. MIJA Are you gonna let me lose my only son? How dare you... GYO-HAN (baffled) It was all for Yona, to make sure nothing harms him. MIJA Stop it. You’ve gone too far. I will never come here ever again.

C/U on Yona’s hand touching Gyo-han’s as he lies in Mija’s arms. YONA (panting) Grandpa, I’m sorry that I broke the pottery and lied to you. I’m very sorry. Mija walks off - Yona’s hand is swept off Gyo-han’s. Shaman clicks her tongue. SHAMAN (under her breath) Ignorant woman, don’t you see the boy will suffer this way? Gyo-han falls onto the floor and weeps. INT. ATTIC, DAY A dim light comes through the window. Yona, now 9, wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a cross necklace, is reading a book in the centre of the room. He turns over the page and dust flies in the air. SUPER: ’A year later’ The attic hatch opens and Mija appears. MIJA Son, time for church. Mija smiles at Yona. Yona smiles back and picks up a pen. He scribbles ’5 minutes’ on the page he is reading and turns it towards his mother.

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11. MIJA Only five minutes. No more.

Mija closes the door and Yona goes back to reading. C/U on the top of the page, which says ’The Children’s Bible’. INT. CHURCH HALL, DAY The church hall is full of worshippers. MINISTER, a bald man in his 70s wearing a black suit, is standing on the towering podium. Mija and Yona are sitting in the middle row, their heads lowered. MINISTER ... trials God gives you. He often tests you because he wants to reaffirm his true servants who do not doubt him. The congregation echoes ’AMEN’.

Amen.

MIJA (whispering)

MINISTER A year ago, our little brother Yona hovered between life and death with an unknown disease. It was in fact a trial of God. Minister pauses and looks around at the congregation. MINISTER But some devils whispered satanic words into his ears. Mija, fully engrossed in Minister’s speech, firmly holds Yona’s hands. MINISTER (raising his voice) Yona and his mother, true servants of God, never lost their faith and confronted the devil. Because they believed that God would always be with them.

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12.

Amen.

CONGREGATION

MINISTER God tests you and gets you into trials of tears sometimes. God even wants you to suffer. Harsh, but it will be only temporary. Mija weeps. MINISTER God may make you blind and mute. But he promised to make the blind see and the mute speak again. Trials are a ticket to His world. You believe in God, the one and only God, Jesus Christ. ’AMEN’ echoes in the church hall. EXT. CHURCH YARD, DAY Mija and Yona, among the congregation, come out of the church through its big entrance. Mija takes her cell phone out of her jacket. She steps aside and hesitates for a while. She finally answers the phone. MIJA (on the phone) Hello? Yona walks towards a big pine tree in the corner of the church yard. The tree is the only green one; the other trees around barely have leaves. Yona looks up at the pine needles that sparkle in the sunshine. Mija hurriedly returns to Yona. MIJA Yona, I guess we have to go to see Grandfather. Yona smiles widely. MIJA But promise me that you won’t go around the satanic hill. You will stay only in the house. Yona reluctantly nods. (CONTINUED) 21ST CENTURY BOY

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13. MIJA Let me bow to the minister.

Mija steps towards Minister, chatting with people in front of the church gate. Yona looks up at the pine needles that no longer sparkle. EXT. SEASHORE, LATE AFTERNOON The car that Mija and Yona are in is on the road and we see a small number of houses scattered in the village. The hill comes into sight. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GATE, LATE AFTERNOON The car stops at the gate. Mija and Yona get out of the car. Mija leads Yona towards the gate. Yona looks down to a small dining table with a bowl of rice, soup and several side dishes, on the ground in front of the gate. Yona moves closer to the table, adjusting his glasses. While he examines the table, YUNA (34), Yona’s aunt, comes out of the gate wearing a black skirt. YUNA Yona? So glad to see you are well! Thank God. Yuna weeps and pulls him into her arms. Yona mouths ’hello’. Mija stands awkwardly and tries not to make eye contact with Yuna. Yuna hugs Mija. YUNA Welcome home, sister. Yuna and Mija weep together. INT. GYO-HAN’S ROOM, LATE AFTERNOON In one corner of the room stands the folding screen and beside it is a wooden coffin. SOOK (38), Yona’s uncle, Yuna, Mija and Yona sit on the floor surrounding the body of Gyo-han, who is dressed in a yellow linen suit with white Korean paper covering his head. Mija and Yuna weep. Yona gazes blankly at the adults and at the body of Gyo-han. Sook carefully removes the paper to reveal Gyo-han’s face. Gyo-han’s nostrils and ears are filled with cotton and his lips are firmly closed. Yona’s eyes open wide. Sook slips a ten-won coin into Gyo-han’s right hand. (CONTINUED) 13

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14. SOOK May you pay off the travelling expenses and have an untroubled journey to the underworld.

Yuna slips a handful of rice into Gyo-han’s left hand. YUNA (choked with tears) May your journey be rich and well-fed, Father. May you rest in peace. Let us take care of everything you would have had to do in this life. Yuna grips Gyo-han’s hand tightly. All weep except Yona, who absent-mindedly watches what’s happening. Yona gently shakes Gyo-han’s body as if to wake him up. Mija stops him, crying. MIJA Yona, he is having a deep sleep. Don’t wake him up now. Yona pouts. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, LATE AFTERNOON Local people prepare for the funeral: some start to build a marquee while others bring in boxes from outside. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GATE, LATE AFTERNOON An OLD MAN (80), in white traditional costume, is smoking, leaning against the wall. The gate opens and out of it comes Yona. The dining table is still in front of the gate. The Old Man sees Yona. OLD MAN You must be Yona. I could recognise you at first sight. You resemble your grandfather. Yona looks up then turns to the other side shyly. He catches a glimpse of the table and becomes curious. Old Man strokes Yona’s head. OLD MAN Oh, it’s a meal for Psychopomp. That is to bribe him into allowing the dead to stay. (CONTINUED) 21ST CENTURY BOY

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15. PSYCHOPOMP (O.S.) Wise old man. Age never goes in vain. But I’ll never make the same mistake.

Psychopomp walks towards the gate. Neither Old Man nor Yona is aware of Psychopomp: Old Man keeps smoking and Yona looks at the table. Cat comes out of the gate and MEWS at Psychopomp. PSYCHOPOMP Are you happy to see me again? OLD MAN (to Yona) They say cats can see the ghost. He must have seen Psychopomp now. Old Man smiles and points at the table. Psychopomp stops at the gate. Cat mews some more, then jumps into Psychopomp. Cat comes ’through’ Psychopomp as if Psychopomp’s body is a spirit. YONA’S POV: Cat jumps into the air, again and again. BACK TO SCENE: Old Man drops his cigarette and stamps on it. Clouds pass by in the sky quickly. The sun fumes crimson light above the hill. Psychopomp glances at the table, then shakes his head. PSYCHOPOMP (under his breath) Not this time, especially not in the same place, you idiot. Psychopomp clears his throat and adjusts his suit. He knocks on the gate. PSYCHOPOMP (loudly) ARISE Gyo-han, Gyo-han, Gyo-han. OLD MAN (to Yona) They say that Psychopomp calls the name of the dead three times to summon their spirit. (CONTINUED) 15

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Yona is engrossed in the Old Man’s story. The gate opens and Gyo-han comes out. Yona looks at the gate. YONA’S POV: The gate is still closed and nothing happens but Cat moves around the gate. BACK TO SCENE: We see, over Gyo-han’s shoulder, that Psychopomp is making a ridiculous face, sticking out his tongue and crossing his eyes by focusing on the tip of his nose. Gyo-han shows no reaction. Psychopomp, embarrassed, quickly returns to his normal face. He clears his throat. PSYCHOPOMP Not funny? I was just trying to break the ice. Gyo-han looks down at his hands, examining them. PSYCHOPOMP Do you have any idea why I’m here? GYO-HAN I guess so. PSYCHOPOMP Wise old man. Sorry that I’m a bit late. Winter is always the high-demand season. Well, high-supply, in fact. I’m Psychopomp by the way and I’m going to bring you to the underworld. Now you are a dead spirit, separated from your body lying over there. Psychopomp points a finger towards the gate. Gyo-han, sombre-faced, slowly gives a nod. PSYCHOPOMP Good! Old men are generally quick to understand. Children are too curious. Cat mews rapidly at Gyo-han and raises its front paw as if to scratch Gyo-han’s leg. (CONTINUED) 21ST CENTURY BOY

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17. OLD MAN (to Yona) Oh, look at the cat being playful. He must have noticed his master.

Gyo-han hears the voice behind him and turns back to see Yona and Old Man. Oh, Yona.

GYO-HAN

Gyo-han steps toward Yona. Psychopomp clears his throat. PSYCHOPOMP Hey, we have business to settle first. Gyo-han reluctantly returns to Psychopomp. GYO-HAN (under his breath) Sorry. PSYCHOPOMP I will trace your life in this world to measure your karma for three days. OLD MAN (to Yona) The funeral takes three days because Psychopomp needs the time to measure the dead man’s karma in this life. Yona furrows his brow, unsure. Psychopomp and the Old Man talk at the same time. PSYCHOPOMP (to Gyo-han) It means that you have three days to enjoy the time with your family and... OLD MAN (to Yona) Karma, hmm, a sort of point you get and lose. You lose one when you kill ants.

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18. ants...

PSYCHOPOMP

Psychopomp looks at Old Man over Gyo-han’s shoulder and frowns. PSYCHOPOMP (under his breath, angry) God damn him. He is confusing me. (to Gyo-han, smiling) Enjoy with your family and friends. I’ll come back in three days. OK? Psychopomp looks down at Gyo-han’s hands, then winks at him. PSYCHOPOMP Ah, you’ve got the coin and rice. Good. You won’t be hungry for three days. Anyway, see you. Psychopomp walks off down the street and Gyo-han limps towards Yona. OLD MAN (to Yona) Your grandfather should leave you in three days. You must be missing your grandfather. Yona shakes his head and points inside the gate, making a sleeping gesture. We see the whole village from above: Gyo-han weeps on his knees in front of Old Man and Yona; the hill and the sea. INT. GYO-HAN’S ROOM, LATE AFTERNOON The door opens and Yona enters, cautiously looking around. He comes behind the screen and kneels down to open the coffin. Yona shakes Gyo-han’s body as if waking him up. Nothing happens and Yona pouts. He takes out a letter from his pocket and slips it into the coffin. C/U on the letter: ’Grandpa, are you still sleepy? People are stupid. They don’t know you are sleeping and say you are going to the other world. Wake up soon and play with me. XOXOXOXOXOXOXXX.’ Yona closes the lid, then looks at himself in the mirror on the chest of drawers. He examines his face, turning left and right. He winks at himself and smiles.

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19. EXT. HILL - ENTRANCE, DAY Yona is crouching down, cupping his face in his hands beside the wooden totem poles that overlook the village and Gyo-han’s house. Yona looks down at the children playing in the street. He constantly attempts to look above to the graves and the ribbon tree, but quickly turns back in fear. Yona.

MIJA (O.S.)

Mija comes towards Yona. MIJA Didn’t I tell you not to come to this place again? This is a satanic place and you shouldn’t come here alone. Mija grabs Yona’s hand and they walk down the hill. BLACK SCREEN SFX: A HIGH NOTE ON A GONG SHAMAN (V.O.) (singing) I beg you Yama, god of the underworld, to respond. SFX: THE SOUND OF CHANGGO (hourglass-shaped Korean drum) Ul-su!

OLD MAN (V.O.)

EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, NIGHT We see Shaman’s red striped skirt spin rapidly around her feet. TILT UP to view Shaman, SINGING and dancing in front of a funeral altar on which Gyo-han’s portrait is displayed alongside a couple of white chrysanthemum wreaths. Beside Shaman are Old Man playing the Changgo, and GONG PLAYER, another white-haired old man. SHAMAN Here, one trivial being departs this regretful life to your world.

(CONTINUED)

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20. OLD MAN (tapping the Changgo) Ul-su!

Old Man taps the Changgo with a stick and Shaman rings the small bells on her hands. There is a big marquee in a corner of the courtyard, inside which a number of people sit around tables watching Shaman’s dance. Mija, Yuna and several women are busy serving food in the corner. Yona perches on the main hall floor, watching the performance. Shaman suddenly stops her performance and slowly looks around at the people gathered. Shaman puts her index finger over her lips. SHAMAN (sharply) He is here. Your dead man is here asking to come into me. The mourners whisper to each other. Yona sees Cat go towards Shaman, mewing. SHAMAN (to herself) Friend? Only when in need? (tuts) Alright. Make it quick. Gyo-han shows himself from behind Shaman. GYO-HAN Thanks, old buddy. Shaman drops the bells onto the ground and closes her eyes. Gyo-han enters her body; Shaman shakes rapidly. Then she suddenly stops shaking, giving a generous expression while slowly looking around at the mourners. There is a stir among them. SHAMAN (gently) Thanks for coming here for me. Joon-ha, my friend. Sorry that I haven’t paid the last round. JOON-HA, an old man among the mourners, gasps.

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21. SHAMAN Yeong-Jin, we bet on who would go first. It seems that I won. But I won’t need your stake.

YEONG-JIN, another old man, gasps as well. Shaman suddenly turns angry. SHAMAN (under her breath) No time for such trivial chat. Shaman’s face turns gentle again. SHAMAN (under her breath) Alright. I’m sorry. Mija and Yuna stand beside Sook, all bewildered. SHAMAN Sook, Yuna, I’ve always been proud to be your father. Shaman turns to Mija who looks dubious. SHAMAN Mija. Please forgive me. I only thought it would save Yona. Shaman turns to Yona. SHAMAN Yona, thanks for the letter. It’s so sweet of you. But I cannot wake up. I’m going to travel beyond the sea. Shaman winks at Yona. Yona, startled, runs into Mija’s arms. SHAMAN (under her breath) I guess I’m done now. Shaman wildly shakes her body and Gyo-han leaves it. GYO-HAN Thanks a lot, my old friend. SHAMAN (angrily) Don’t talk to me like this. This is why people think I’m out of my mind, muttering to myself. (CONTINUED) 21

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22.

Shaman snorts. MOURNERS’ POV: Shaman, standing alone, is talking to herself. MAN What great playacting. Haha! BACK TO SCENE: The mourners return to the tables in the marquee. Joon-ha and Yeong-jin, however, remain standing still with their mouths open. Yona runs into the room. INT. GYO-HAN’S ROOM, NIGHT Yona comes to the coffin behind the screen and opens it to see Gyo-han still wrapped in the white Korean paper. Yona scratches the back of his head, clueless. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, NIGHT An intermission during the ceremony. Shaman goes towards the kitchen, where Yona is waiting for her. Shaman stares at Yona. SHAMAN Huh, we met before, didn’t we? Yona takes the sketchbook from behind him and opens it to show Shaman. C/U on the sketchbook, on which is written ’Why are you acting like Grandpa? He is sleeping inside the room.’ SHAMAN Well, his spirit asked to come into my body. No idea how to explain it better. Mija appears. MIJA (angrily) What do you want from my son? Haven’t you done enough after taking his sight and voice? (CONTINUED) 21ST CENTURY BOY

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23. SHAMAN Pshaw! Still ignorant. You know what? He would’ve died without your father-in-law and me. The boy should be happy to have lost his sight and voice only. MIJA How dare you...

Mija slaps Shaman’s cheek. Yona looks anxiously at Shaman and Mija in turn. SHAMAN Two times. I won’t stand it three times. MIJA (shouting) Get out. Now. Shaman clicks her tongue, shaking her head, then steps back to the altar. Mija weeps and Yona comforts her. Mija sees the sketchbook. MIJA Yona, she is just acting like Grandpa. She is the very devil like what Minister said. Yona points at the room, unsure. MIJA Grandpa is never going to wake up. Mija hugs Yona. INT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GUEST ROOM, NIGHT It is dark inside. Yona’s family are sleeping on the floor, forming a row. Yona is not asleep; he tosses his head on his pillow. Low sounds of WHISPERS and MEWING come from outside the room. Yona finally sits up to find no one is awake.

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24. EXT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - COURTYARD, NIGHT Yona slowly walks towards the corner where the whispers are coming from - the backyard of the house. He leans against the edge of the wall. YONA’S POV: Shaman and Cat are under the cherry blossom tree. SHAMAN I don’t think it would deceive him again. BACK TO SCENE: Gyo-han is standing beside Shaman and Cat. GYO-HAN Let me try it again, please, my friend. SHAMAN Pshaw! Why should I help you especially after your family slapped me twice? Besides, what more would you like to do? You lived a long life. What else is left to do? Please.

GYO-HAN

Gyo-han lowers his head. SHAMAN I never knew even you would desire to live longer. Tsk tsk. GYO-HAN I know it’s too much to ask. But please let me have one more chance. Gyo-han makes a low bow to Shaman. Cat mews at the corner where Yona is standing. Yona quickly hides himself behind the wall. Shaman secretly casts a side glance. SHAMAN The meal has to be served by one of your family, no one else, you know. But it seems we already have one here. (shouts) (MORE) (CONTINUED)

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CONTINUED:

25. SHAMAN (cont’d) Come out boy, I know you are there.

Yona reluctantly comes out and steps toward Shaman. SHAMAN Do you still think I’m crazy, talking to myself? Yona takes out his cross necklace and shows it to Shaman, as if threatening her. SHAMAN Take it away. This is no use to me. By the way, we are with your grandfather now. He is a spirit so you cannot see him. Yona looks around him, then snorts. SHAMAN (under her breath, to Gyo-han) Hey, have you got something to convince him? We need him. Yona shakes his head and turns around, then walks away. GYO-HAN (hurriedly) Tell him that I haven’t told anyone that he didn’t go to church. SHAMAN Hey, boy. He knew you didn’t go to church. Yona stops, then quickly turns around, his eyes wide. He returns to Shaman. SHAMAN Hey, boy. I don’t care whether you believe me or not. But do you really want your grandfather to wake up? Yona nods, but is still unconvinced. SHAMAN Then, tomorrow morning, you bring me one bowl of rice with some side dishes. I will be at the shrine. Keep it secret. Cat mews. (CONTINUED) 25

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CONTINUED:

26. SHAMAN I said I don’t care. It’s totally up to you to decide if you want to try and save your grandfather. Make up your mind and show up, or not.

Yona breathes hard, motionless. INT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GUEST ROOM, DAWN Yona is lying on the floor. He sees the light of daybreak through the lattice door. EXT. HILL, DAWN A magpie flies in the sky. INT. GYO-HAN’S HOUSE - GUEST ROOM, MORNING Yona is looking at himself in the mirror. C/U on Yona’s face, stubborn. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. Mija comes into the room and sees Yona already dressed. MIJA Yona, you stay here. It is cold outside and... (pause) You’d better not go up there. Yona firmly shakes his head. MIJA Please, son. You should stay here. Yona continues shaking his head. Mija stares at him for a while and eventually lets out a big sigh. MIJA Alright. But promise me you won’t go anywhere without me. Yona nods hesitantly.

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27. EXT. HILL, DAY SUPER: ’Final day of the funeral’ Several men are climbing up the hill carrying the flower-decked bier. Yona’s family members follow the bier, crying. The cortege arrives at the graves of Yona’s grandmother and his father. A deep hole has been dug beside the two graves. Yona constantly looks at the tree overhead. EXT. HILL - GRAVES, DAY FUNERAL MASTER (50) stands at the hole in the ground. Under his instruction, several men lower Gyo-han’s body, wrapped in a linen cloth, down into the hole. Yona looks above at Mija and pulls at Mija’s sleeve. Mija hugs Yona and weeps. MIJA Yona, say goodbye to Grandpa. This is the final moment you will see him. Yona frowns, stupefied. FUNERAL MASTER Come forth, all the family. Not children. Mija, Sook and Yuna go forward, leaving Yona behind. Yona looks hastily at Gyo-han’s body and the tree overhead in turn. Yona sneaks out of the cortege then cautiously runs to the food baskets a few metres away. Gyo-han’s body is laid down into the dug ground. The mourners begin to cry. Yona fills up a bowl with rice and several side dishes, then hides it under his coat. Yona runs upward towards the tree, trying not to be seen by anyone.

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28. EXT. HILL - SHRINE, DAY Yona stops at the fence and pants heavily. He looks around the ribbon tree. Shaman comes out from behind the tree clicking her tongue. SHAMAN What made you so late? You almost spoilt it. Shaman moves towards Yona. Gyo-han comes out of the tree. SHAMAN But it’s not too late. We should appreciate Psychopomp’s poor punctuality. Give me the bowl. Shaman takes it from Yona, then looks around the hill. EXT. HILL - DEAD TREE, DAY At higher ground than the graves there is a rotten tree trunk, out of which Psychopomp appears. He heads towards the graves. On his way, Psychopomp sniffs then finds the rice bowl on the ground, covered by grass and tall weeds. He looks around and sees no one. He walks towards the bowl. He licks his lips, then sits down. PSYCHOPOMP (under his breath) It must have been abandoned. SFX: RUSTLING behind Psychopomp. Psychopomp casts a side glance. EXT. HILL - DEAD TREE, A FEW MINUTES LATER Shaman emerges from the weeds. SHAMAN’S POV: She sees the back of Psychopomp, who seems to be eating the rice. SHAMAN (O.S.) Helpless glutton. Now you even desire the food waste. Tsk, tsk. Psychopomp turns around, chewing the food in his mouth. (CONTINUED)

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CONTINUED:

29. PSYCHOPOMP (his mouth full) Abandoned...

BACK TO SCENE: Shaman grins. SHAMAN Well, well, well... What if it has come from the dead man’s family, so now you owe something to them? Psychopomp stares at Shaman and suddenly stops chewing. PSYCHOPOMP What if I haven’t touched it? Psychopomp opens his mouth and sticks out his tongue to show nothing inside. Shaman frowns and looks down at the bowl on the grass. The bowl is untouched. PSYCHOPOMP You wicked bitch. What are you planning, huh? Shaman makes no answer and stands still. PSYCHOPOMP (over Shaman’s shoulder) Hey, old man. Do you want to live longer? You think I’m always easy to deal with? Gyo-han appears out of the weeds walking towards them. GYO-HAN (to Shaman) Sorry that I put you under pressure. (to Psychopomp) I’m so sorry. I know I shouldn’t have done it. But I didn’t do it for me. SHAMAN What? Then what was it all about? Gyo-han looks at Yona standing at the weeds. GYO-HAN It was for my grandson. If it worked, I would have asked you to (MORE) (CONTINUED) 29

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30. GYO-HAN (cont’d) make him speak and see properly again. PSYCHOPOMP Hey, you think I’m impressed with this story? You have just worsened your karma. (pause) Time to go now. Come on.

EXT. HILL - GRAVES, DAY Men shovel earth over Gyo-han’s body lying in the hole. The earth is spread over the dead body. Yona’s family cry. EXT. HILL - DEAD TREE, DAY Psychopomp walks away. Gyo-han stoops down to meet Yona’s eyes. GYO-HAN Yona, my sweetheart. Sorry that I failed to heal you. Gyo-han weeps. Yona, indifferent to this, stands still. GYO-HAN (to Shaman) Could you tell him that I have to travel beyond the sea with his father and grandma? Shaman nods. Gyo-han stands up, then follows Psychopomp back to the dead tree. Shaman stands still. Yona tugs at Shaman’s sleeve. SHAMAN Your grandfather... is not going to wake up. He said he’s going beyond the sea with your father and grandmother. Yona opens his eyes wide. He pouts.

Yona!

MIJA (O.S.) (in distance)

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CONTINUED:

31. SHAMAN It seems that I have to leave now.

Yona watches the back of Shaman as she walks away. He pouts again. Looking down from the sky, we see Yona run down to Mija. Shaman walks the opposite way. EXT. HILL - DEAD TREE, DAY Psychopomp and Gyo-han stop at the rotten trunk. Psychopomp picks up a nearby rotten branch then looks at Gyo-han. PSYCHOPOMP Spite and regret are all gone now. The lingering coldness within your body will disappear. Now, let it all go and leave it upon the living. Gyo-han nods and sofly weeps. Psychopomp taps the branch on the trunk three times, then draws a square on the trunk. A door appears and Psychopomp enters through it. Psychopomp holds the door for Gyo-han, who turns back to see Yona walking down the hill in the distance. PSYCHOPOMP You, old man. You have lived such a good life. Maybe Yama will cherish your kin for that. No worries about the boy. The dead shouldn’t interfere with the living and vice versa. Gyo-han swells with tears. PSYCHOPOMP Now, time to go. Gyo-han nods, then enters the tree. EXT. HILL - SHRINE, DAY SFX: The BANG of a door shutting. Yona suddenly stops while walking beside Mija. He turns right to see the ribbon tree and the altar under the tree. Among several pieces of pottery on it, one is patched with green tape in many parts. Yona swells with tears.

Joohee Cha


32. EXT. HILL - GRAVES, DAY A burial mound is now on the ground. In front of it is a funeral altar. Mourners, one by one, make a deep bow to Gyo-han’s portrait on the altar. Yona constantly weeps in front of the grave. EXT. CHURCH YARD, DAY Yona is examining the tree in the yard. From a few steps away, Mija and Minister watch Yona. MINISTER I’m so glad Yona is getting better quickly. MIJA It is the grace of God. Thank you so much, Minister. MINISTER I told you God makes the mute speak and the blind see again if one truly believes in him. How is Yona at school? MIJA Oh, he is studying so hard nowadays. He wants to be a sailor. Yona is examining the tree, singing in a low tone. YONA (under his breath) Ali ali alio... FADE OUT.

THE END

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21st Century Boy