Actor Point >> Movie Scripts >> Agnes of God Film Script

Agnes Of God Movie Script

Writer(s) : John Pielmeier

Genres : Drama, Mystery

Search IMDb : Agnes Of God


                            AGNES OF GOD
FADE IN:

EXT - CONVENT - DAY

Whispering of nuns at prayer.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT - CHAPEL - DAY

Nuns at prayer; MOTHER MIRIAM, the Superior closes the gate and locks
it.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - COURTYARD - DAY

The nuns walking around the courtyard in an anticlockwise direction
saying the rosary.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT - CHAPEL - DAY

A line of nuns kneeling at prayer. Closeups of various individuals.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

A single shot of the building.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

SISTER MARGUERITE is locking up for the night, shutting doors,
turning off lights, finally walks off down the corridor. Suddenly a
terrified scream is heard, the voice of a young woman.

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

Lights in the windows flick on.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

The nuns    are running up the corridor in their night dresses and caps,
calling    urgently in French. They reach the door of Sister Agnes' room
and try    the door. It is blocked. Pushing harder they see the blood
stained    figure of SISTER AGNES. Much alarm and crying...

                                         MOTHER SUPERIOR
                          Agnes!... Agnes...

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

An ambulance comes tearing down the road, siren blaring. It cuts the
siren and stops outside the convent gates. The nuns open the gate and
the ambulance drives inside.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Two PARAMEDICS urgently run the stretcher down the hall to the
unconscious figure of Sister Agnes. The Mother Superior desperately
wipes and kisses her face.

                                         PARAMEDIC
                         I'm just going to put something here to
                         stop the bleeding. Excuse me Sister.
                         She'll be fine.

They lift her on to the stretcher and run back down the hall.

The Mother Superior looks around worriedly and goes into...

INT - SISTER AGNES' ROOM - NIGHT

She kneels down by a waste paper basket full of bloodied sheets and
starts to pull them out. Then she freezes, makes the sign of the
cross and starts to weep.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - MONTREAL - NIGHT

An aerial shot of the great cross of Montreal. Superimposed over this
are the words

"MONTREAL, QUEBEC".

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - SUPREME COURT - DAY

A normal busy day. A car pulls up with a woman and a man driving. The
woman is MARTHA LIVINGSTON. She kisses the man (LARRY), gets out of
the car, runs across the road dodgingtraffic and goes up the steps of
the courthouse. There a group of REPORTERS there and a sudden bustle
of interest.

                                        REPORTER
                         Here they are now.

Martha watches intently as 3 nuns, the Mother Superior, Sister
Marguerite, and Sister Agnes (dressed in a white novices habit) and
their LAWYER come out of the court escorted by police. The reporters
leap on them, taking photographs, asking questions in English and
French. Suddenly Sister Agnes looks right at Martha, then she is
quickly bustled past. Martha goes on into the courthouse.

INT - JUDGE'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Inside EVE, LYON, and JUSTICE LEVEAU are sitting. Martha is standing
by the window smoking furiously.

                                        LEVEAU
                         Martha, it's you.

                                      MARTHA
                       What about Roger? He's free.

                                      EVE
                       They want a woman.

                                      LYON
                       All you have to do is meet with her
                       once or twice... then tell the court
                       she's insane.

                                      MARTHA
                       Are you dictating my position to me?
                       We're getting into some sticky legal
                       territories here.

                                      EVE
                       Martha, all we're saying is, no-one wants
                       this to come to trial, not the Church, not
                       the Crown... least of all me.

                                      MARTHA
                       Eve, she strangled a baby!

                                      EVE
                       Nobody is interested in sending a nun
                       to prison.

                                      LEVEAU
                       We're not telling you what to decide
                       Martha. We're not even telling you to
                       take this.

                                      LYON
                       Is there any reason why you feel you
                       shouldn't take it?

       Martha pauses for a long moment at the window, then turns.

                                      MARTHA
                       Today's my birthday. I always make
                       bad decisions on my birthday.

The Judge, Eve and Lyon all chuckle. The Judge throws the file down
on his desk towards her.

                                         LEVEAU
                       Happy birthday.


15   INT - MARTHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

        Martha unlocks the door and comes in. She plays her
answerphone
and moves over to her cat.

                                         MARTHA

                       Hi, Kitty.

       The answerphone whirs...

                                      SECRETARY (V.O.)
                       Hi, it's Helen, calling to tell you
                       that Mrs Davenport phoned to confirm
                       her appointment at nine o'clock
                       tomorrow, okay? Bye bye.

       Some whirs and clicks.

                                         ROGER (V.O.)
                       Hi Martha,    it's Roger. Can you call
                       me at the    hospital. I'd like your opinion
                       on a case.    Oh, bye the way, happy
                       birthday.    Bye.

                                      SECRETARY (V.O.)
                       Hi, Marty it's Helen again. I cancelled
                       your Wednesday afternoon appointment
                       so you can visit with your mother. Bye bye.

                                        MAN
                                (in French)
                       ???

        Martha picks up a news paper with a photo of Sister Agnes on
the front.


       DISSOLVE TO:

16   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

        Martha pulls up in her BMW outside the convent walls and gets
out, cigarette
        in hand. A sign tangled over with creeper reads "Les Petites
Soeurs de Marie Madeleine". Martha jangles a bell. After a wait she
presses a buzzer. A   peephole in the door slams open and Sister
Marguerite looks out.

                                      MARTHA
                       Bonjour, I'm Doctor Martha
                       Livingston, I...

        The peephole slams shut, but the door does open. Sister
Marguerite glares at her.

                                      MARTHA (Cont.)
                       Hello... I'm Doctor Martha
                       Living...ston... I...

        Martha realizes it is the cigarette that is causing the
trouble
and hastily     grinds it underfoot.

                                         MARTHA (Cont.)

                       Excuse me... I'm...

        Sister Marguerite eyes flick down at cigarette butt. Martha
awkwardly tries
        to kick it away.

                                      MARTHA (Cont.)
                       ...the court-appointed psychiatrist.

        Sister Marguerite gives a frosty imitation of a smile and
motions for her to    come in.

                                      MARTHA (Cont.)
                       Thank you. I um... I believe your
                       Mother Superior's expecting me.

       Martha and the Sister walk up the drive to the convent.


17   INT - WAITING ROOM - DAY

        Martha follows Sister Marguerite into a grilled waiting room.
Sister moves    off, leaving Martha looking around curiously. Then
the MOTHER MIRIAM arrives from behind the grilled door, sees
Martha, sighs exasperatedly and enters giving Martha a slight
start.

                                       MOTHER SUPERIOR
                               (beaming at her own
                                       little joke)
                       Doctor Livingston I presume? I'm
                       Mother Miriam Ruth. You needn't call
                       Mother if you don't wish.
                               (shaking hands)
                       Most people find it uncomfortable.

                                        MARTHA
                       Well... I...

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (carrying right on)
                       I'm afraid the word brings up the most
                       unpleasant connatations in this day and
                       age...

                                        MARTHA
                       Yes... I...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       You can call me Sister.

                                        MARTHA
                       ... Thank you.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       You must have tons of questions. You
                       may smoke if you want to. Just don't
                       tell any of the Sisters.

       Martha sits;   Mother Miriam gets her a box of matches.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                       They wouldn't understand, especially
                       Sister Marguerite. She'd scare the pants
                       off Queen Elizabeth.
                                (she lights Martha's cigarette)
                       Besides, I miss them.

                                      MARTHA
                       You were a smoker?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Two packs a day.

                                      MARTHA
                       I can beat that.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Unfiltered.

        Martha inclines her head impressed. Mother Miriam sits down
next to her.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                       Well, you have questions.
                               (checks her watch)
                       Fire away...

                                      MARTHA
                       Who knew about Agnes' pregnancy?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       No-one.

                                      MARTHA
                       How did she hide it from the other nuns?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       She undressed alone... she bathed alone.

                                         MARTHA
                       Is that normal?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       How did she hide it during the day?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (indicating her habit)
                       She could have hidden a machine gun in
                       here if she had wanted to.

                                      MARTHA
                       Didn't she have any physical examinations

                       in this time?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       We're examined once a year. Her pregnancy
                       fell in between the doctor's visits.

                                      MARTHA
                       Who was the father?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I haven't a clue.

                                      MARTHA
                       What man had access to her?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       None as far as I know.

                                      MARTHA
                       Was there a priest?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Yes, but I...

                                      MARTHA
                       What's his name?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Father Martineau, but I don't see him
                       as a candidate.

                                      MARTHA
                       Could there have been anyone else?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (a pause)
                       Obviously there was.

                                      MARTHA
                       And you didn't try to find out who?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (standing)
                       Believe me, I've done everything possible
                       short of asking Agnes.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why haven't you asked her?

        Mother Miriam removes a tray from under a pot plant and
brings
it back to
        use as an ashtray.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (sitting again)
                       She can't even remember the birth. Do
                       you think she'd admit to the conception?

                                      MARTHA
                       Look, someone gave her the baby.

                                      MOTHER    MIRIAM
                       Yes, but that was some    ten months ago.
                       I fail to see that the    identity of that
                       somebody has anything    to do with this
                       trial.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why do you think that?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Don't ask me those questions dear,
                       I'm not the patient.

                                       MARTHA
                       Well I'm the doctor. I'm the one who's
                       going to decide what is, or is not
                       important here.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Look doctor, I don't know how to tell you
                       this politely, but I don't approve of you.
                       Not you personally...

                                      MARTHA
                       The science of psychiatry.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (standing)
                       Exactly. I want you do deal with Agnes
                       as speedily and as easily as possible.
                       She won't hold up under any sort of cross
                       examination.

                                       MARTHA
                               (also standing)
                       I am not with the Inquisition.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       And I am not from the Middle Ages. I
                       know what you are! I don't want that
                       mind cut open.

       Then Mother Miriam walks out.


18   INT - WAITING ROOM - DAY

        A little later, Martha is sitting alone smoking. SISTER ANNE
enters and indicates that Martha should follow her. They exit out of
the grilled room
        and head up a steep flight of wooden stairs. Faintly the
voice
of a single
        young woman can be heard singing in Latin.

19     INT - TOP CORRIDOR - DAY

        Martha follows Sister Anne down the hall towards the singing.
They stop outside Agnes' room. Martha looks to see...


20     INT - AGNES' ROOM - DAY

        ... Agnes an almost childlike young woman singing happily,
looking out the
        window. Then Agnes hears a slight sound and stops abruptly.
She
turns to see
        Martha standing in the doorway.

                                        MARTHA
                         Hello. I'm Doctor Livingston. I've been
                         asked to talk to you. May I?

                                           AGNES
                         Yes.

        Martha moves further in the room. An ELDERLY NUN hovers
outside
the door.

                                        MARTHA
                         You have a lovely voice.

                                           AGNES
                         No I don't.

                                        MARTHA
                         I just heard you.

                                           AGNES
                         That wasn't me.

                                        MARTHA
                         Was it Sister Marguerite?

         Agnes laughs and Martha closes the door, shutting out the old
nun.

                                        MARTHA (Cont.)
                         You're very pretty Agnes.

                                           AGNES
                         No I'm not.

                                        MARTHA
                         Hasn't anyone ever told you that before?

                                        AGNES
                         Let's talk about something else.

                                MARTHA
                 What would you like to talk about.

                                  AGNES
                 I don't know.

                                MARTHA
                 Anything... may I sit down?

                                  AGNES
                 Yes.

They both sit.

                                MARTHA
                 First thing that comes to your mind?

                                  AGNES
                 God!    But there's nothing to say about
                 God.

                                MARTHA
                 Second thing that comes to your mind.

                                  AGNES
                 Love.

                                MARTHA
                 Have you ever loved anyone?

                                  AGNES
                 Yes.

                                  MARTHA
                 Who?

                                  AGNES
                 Everyone.

                                MARTHA
                 Well, who in particular?

                                  AGNES
                 Right now?

                                  MARTHA
                 Uh huh.

                                  AGNES
                 I love you.

                                 MARTHA
                         (a pause)
                 Agnes, have you ever loved another
                 man... other than, Jesus Christ?

                                  AGNES
                 Yes.

                                MARTHA
               Who?

                               AGNES
                       (chuckles)
               Oh, there are so many.

                              MARTHA
               Well do you love... do you love
               Father Martineau?

                                AGNES
               Oh, yes!

                              MARTHA
               Do you think he loves you?

                              AGNES
               Oh, I know he does.

                                MARTHA
               He's told you?

                              AGNES
               No. But... when I look into his eyes,
               I can tell.

                              MARTHA
               You've been alone together?

                                AGNES
               Yes.

                                MARTHA
               Often?

                              AGNES
               At least once a week.

                              MARTHA
               And you like that?

                                AGNES
               Oh, yes.

                              MARTHA
               Where do you meet?

                               AGNES
                       (obviously)
               In the confessional.

A slightly awkward pause.

                              MARTHA
               Agnes, do ever see Father Martineau
               outside the...

Agnes suddenly looks exasperated.

                              AGNES
               You want to talk about the baby
               don't you?

                              MARTHA
               Would you like to talk about it?

                              AGNES
               I never saw any baby... I think they
               made it up.

                              MARTHA
               Why should they?

                                 AGNES
               I don't know.

                              MARTHA
               Do you remember the night they said
               it came?

                                 AGNES
               No. I was sick.

                              MARTHA
               How were you sick?

                              AGNES
               Something I ate.

                                 MARTHA
               Did it hurt?

                                 AGNES
               Yes.

                                 MARTHA
               Where?

                                 AGNES
               Down... there.

                              MARTHA
               And what did you do?

                              AGNES
               I went to my room.

                              MARTHA
               And what happened?

                                 AGNES
               I got sicker.

                                 MARTHA

And then what?

                  AGNES
I fell asleep.

               MARTHA
In the middle of all the pain?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
Where did the baby come from?

                  AGNES
What baby?

               MARTHA
The baby they made up.

               AGNES
From their heads...

               MARTHA
Is that where they say it came
from... ?

               AGNES
No, they say it came from the waste
paper basket!

               MARTHA
Where'd it come from before that?

                  AGNES
From God.

               MARTHA
After God... before the waste-paper
basket.

               AGNES
I... I don't understand.

               MARTHA
Agnes, how are babies born?

                  AGNES
Don't you know?

                 MARTHA
Yes I do,    but I want you to...

                AGNES
        (very agitated)
I don't understand what you're
talking about... you want to talk
about the baby... everybody wants

                       to talk about    the baby but... I
                       never saw the    baby so I can't talk
                       about the baby    because... I don't
                       believe in the    baby.

                                      MARTHA
                       Then let's talk about something else...

                                       AGNES
                               (standing)
                       No... no, I'm tired of talking, I've been
                       talking for weeks, nobody believes me
                       when I tell them anything... nobody
                       listens to me.

                                       MARTHA
                               (also standing)
                       Agnes...

                                       AGNES
                               (opens the door)
                       No... no, I don't want to answer any
                       more questions.

                                      MARTHA
                       Would you like to ask them?

                                       AGNES
                               (pausing in the doorway)
                       What do you mean?

                                      MARTHA
                       Just that... you ask and I'll answer.

                                         AGNES
                       Anything?

                                       MARTHA
                               (smiles)
                       Anything.


21   INT - NUN'S ROOM - DAY

        The elderly nun looks out the window into the courtyard where
Martha and Agnes are walking, then pulls the curtain across.


22   EXT - COURTYARD - DAY

       Martha and Agnes are walking together. Martha is smoking.

                                      AGNES
                       What's your real name?

                                      MARTHA
                       Martha Louise Livingston.

                                 AGNES
                  Are you married?

                                    MARTHA
                  No.

                                 AGNES
                  Would you like to be?

                                 MARTHA
                  Not at the moment, no.

                                 AGNES
                  Do you have any children?

                                    MARTHA
                  No.

                                 AGNES
                  Would you like some?

                                 MARTHA
                  I can't have them any more.

                                    AGNES
                  Why not?

                                  MARTHA
                          (a pause)
                  I've stopped menstruating

                                 AGNES
                  Why do you smoke?

                                 MARTHA
                  Does it bother you?

                                    AGNES
                  No questions.

                                    MARTHA
                  Smoking is an    obsession with me.
                  Maybe one day    I'll become obsessed
                  with something    else, then I'll stop
                  smoking... Do    you have any more
                  questions?

                                    AGNES
                  One.

                                    MARTHA
                  What?

They both halt.

                                 AGNES
                  Where do you think babies come from?

                                      MARTHA
                       From their mothers and fathers of
                       course. Before that, I... I don't
                       know.

                                      AGNES
                       Well I think they come from... angel
                       lights on their mothers chest and
                       whispers into her ear. That makes good
                       babies start to grow. And bad babies
                       come from when a fallen angel squeezes
                       in down there, and they start to grow,
                       grow, till they come out down there.
                       I don't know where good babies come out.
                       And you can't tell the difference...
                       except bad babies cry a lot... and they
                       make their fathers go away... and their
                       mothers get very ill... die sometimes.

       Agnes sits down on a bench and Martha follows her.

                                       AGNES (Cont.)
                       Mummy wasn't very happy when she died
                       ... and, I think she went to hell because
                       every time I see her she looks like she
                       just stepped out of a hot shower, and I...
                       I'm never sure if it's her, or the Lady who
                       tells me things! They fight over me all
                       the time.
                               (staring into space)
                       The Lady... I saw when I was ten. I was
                       lying on the grass, looking at the sun, and
                       the sun became a cloud, and the cloud
                       became, a Lady. And she told me she would
                       talk to me. And then... her feet began to
                       bleed and I saw there... there were holes
                       in her hands and in her side. And I tried to
                       catch the blood as it fell from the sky, but
                       I couldn't see any more because my eyes
                       hurt because there were big black spots in
                       front of them. And she tells me things like,
                       like... right now she's crying Marie! Marie!
                       ... but I don't know what that means.

        Martha stands up, disturbed. Agnes is slightly delirious with
happiness.

                                      AGNES (Cont.)
                       ... and... she uses me to sing, it's as
                       if she's throwing a big hook through
                       the air and it catches me under my ribs
                       and tries to pull me up, and I... I can't
                       move because Mommy's holding my feet
                       and all I can do is sing in her voice...
                       it's the Lady's voice, God loves you!

       And her cry echoes all around and the doves fly out of the
bell

tower.

                                       AGNES (Cont.)
                               (to Martha)
                       God loves you.

                                      MARTHA
                       Do you know a Marie?

                                         AGNES
                       No... do you?

                                         MARTHA
                       Why should I?

                                         AGNES
                       I don't know.


23   INT - MOTHER MIRIAM'S STUDY - DAY

        Mother Miriam is standing checking some papers when Martha
enters. Mother Miriam seems to have entirely regained her good
humour.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Well... what do you think? Is she
                       totally bananas or merely slightly
                       off centre... or maybe she's perfectly
                       sane and just a very good liar.

                                      MARTHA
                       What's your opinion?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I believe Agnes is different.

                                       MARTHA
                       From other nuns...
                               (laughs)
                       Yes I... I've noticed.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       From other people!
                               (moving across the room)
                       I believe she is not crazy, nor is she
                       lying.

                                      MARTHA
                       How could she have a baby and know
                       nothing of sex or birth?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Because she's an innocent. She's a slate
                       that's hasn't been touched except by God.

                                      MARTHA
                              (lights a cigarette)

                       That's ridiculous...

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (moves to her desk,
                                starts writing)
                       In her case it isn't. She's had very little
                       schooling. Her mother kept her home
                       almost all the time and when her mother
                       died Agnes came here, to us. She's never
                       been out there Doctor. She's never seen a
                       movie or a television show. She's never
                       even read a book.

                                      MARTHA
                       If she's so innocent, how come she
                       murdered a child?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       She didn't! This is manslaughter, not
                       murder. She didn't consciously kill that
                       baby. She'd lost a lot of blood. She was
                       unconscious by the time we got to her.

                                      MARTHA
                       So, someone else could have done it.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       No... not in the eyes of the police.

                                      MARTHA
                       And in your eyes?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I've already told you what I thought.

                                      MARTHA
                       That she was unconscious, yes! So
                       someone easily could have come in
                       the room and killed the...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       You don't really believe something like
                       that happened do you?

                                      MARTHA
                       It's possible isn't it?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Who?

                                      MARTHA
                       One of the other nuns found out about
                       the baby and... and wanted to avoid a
                       scandal.

        Mother Miriam removes the tray from under a pot plant and
bangs
it down in front of Martha to act as an ashtray.

                                           MOTHER MIRIAM
                          That's absurd!

                                         MARTHA
                          That possibility never occurred to
                          you?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          No-one knew about Agnes' pregnancy.
                          No-one. Not even Agnes.


24   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

          Martha's car exits out of the convent and heads up the road.


25   INT - CAR - DAY

          The car radio is playing light band music...

                                          ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                          You have been listening to Mostly Music
                          from Montreal. This is CBC Radio.
                                  (and again in French)

          Martha flicks the radio off and stops the car. She thinks for
a
moment
          then...


26   EXT - LONELY ROAD - DAY

        ... she turns the car around and heads back in the direction
she came.


27   EXT - PRESBYTERY - DAY

        Martha drives in through an entrance and pulls up outside the
presbytery.


28   INT - PRESBYTERY - DAY

          From inside the house, Martha can be seen knocking on the
glass
fronted
          door.     Presently a huge, fat HOUSEKEEPER answers.

                                         MARTHA
                          Is Father Martineau in please?

                                          HOUSEKEEPER
                                  (in French)
                                  ???

                                         MARTHA
                                 (answers in French)
                         ???

          The housekeeper indicates she should enter and walks back
inside.

                                         HOUSEKEEPER
                                 (halting briefly)
                         Wipe your feet.

        They move into the next room. The housekeeper goes further
calling...

                                         HOUSEKEEPER
                         Pere Martineau...
                                 (in French)
                         ???

        Martha stands uncertainly at the doorway. The sound of
thumping
is heard,
        and then the figure of a very old priest, FATHER MARTINEAU
appears walking
        with a stick.


29   INT - PRESBYTERY DINING ROOM - DAY

        Father Martineau and Martha are having tea. He pours a slug
of
whisky from a   flask into her cup and an even larger slug into his
own.

                                         FATHER MARTINEAU
                                 (French accent)
                         They arise at five in the morning... and
                         they're in bed by nine at night. Even if a
                         man could get to them, he would probably
                         find them praying. That's why I see that
                         the real question is not only how he got in,
                         but when.

                                        MARTHA
                         And you're the only man to see them?

                                                FATHER MARTINEAU
                         I promise you Doctor, even if I had the
                         inclination, how could I possibly catch
                         her? She would have to be a very slow
                         and patient nun.
                                 (they both laugh)
                         Ah no... they're a very special and rare
                         people those Sisters. Only a few of them
                         left in this modern world, consecrated to
                         the praise of God.

30   INT - NURSING HOME, LOUNGE - DAY

        An elderly WOMAN is sitting watching "Spiderman" on TV
cackling
with laughter. She is physically alright, but quite senile. Martha
enters, goes
        over to her and kisses her.

                                       MARTHA
                       Hello, Mama
                               (pulls up a chair)
                       ... brought you something.

                                      MAMA
                       Shut up, I'm trying to watch this.

                                      MARTHA
                       It's your favourite...

                                        MAMA
                       Who are you?

                                       MARTHA
                       It's Martha, Mama.
                               (hands over a tub
                                of icecream)
                       There you go.

                                      MAMA
                       Marie brings me icecream too you
                       know. Chocolate... my favourite.

                                      MARTHA
                       I thought cherry-vanilla was your
                       favourite.

                                      MAMA
                       Not any more... now I like chocolate.

                                       MARTHA
                               (stroking her hair)
                       Did you have a good week Mama. Are
                       they treating you all right?

                                      MAMA
                       You know Martha never comes to see me.
                       You watch it, she's going straight to
                       hell... after all the things she said to
                       me. Then she marries that son of a bitch
                       of a Frenchman... has an abortion. I
                       knew that one wouldn't work out. Not
                       like you Marie. You got married to God.

                                       MARTHA
                               (lighting up)
                       Marie's dead Mama.

                                       MAMA
                       I remember when you    was a little girl
                       Marie. You come back    from the movies
                       and you'd say - Mama    that ending was so
                       sad... and I'd tell    you they had all the
                       happy endings locked    away in a vault in
                       Hollywood.
                               (chuckles)
                       And you believed me.

                                      MARTHA
                       Mama, that wasn't Marie, that was me!

                                       MAMA
                               (a long pause)
                       Who are you?

                                      MARTHA
                       I... I'm Martha, Mama.


31   EXT - CONVENT, CHICKENYARD - DAY

        It is raining... distant thunder in the background. Martha is
standing under
        an umbrella talking to Sister Anne who is feeding the
chickens.

                                      SISTER ANNE
                       The convent was built for over fifty.
                       Not many of us left... just us and
                       the chickens.

                                                 MARTHA
                       How do you survive?

                                       SISTER ANNE
                       Oh, we own the land around here.
                       But we rent it out. We keep a few
                       acres for ourselves,
                               (indicating)
                       some wheat, corn, some vegetables.

                                      MARTHA
                       Well that's a lot of land. You must have
                       help. Do you have field hands that help
                       you?

                                      SISTER ANNE
                       No. We work the land alone. No-one but
                       Sister Marguerite and I are permitted
                       contact with the public.

                                      MARTHA
                       Sister Anne, which was Agnes' room?

        Sister Anne points up to a window on the corner of the
convent.

                                         SISTER ANNE
                          Oh that one there, in the corner.

                                         MARTHA
                          The one up on the third floor?

                                         SISTER ANNE
                          Yes.

                                         MARTHA
                          Uh huh.


32   INT - AGNES' OLD ROOM - DAY

        Mother Miriam unlocks a padlock on the door, opens it for
Martha. They both      enter the room which is totally plain,
stripped
of everything.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          This convent is locked solid. The only
                          one that has a key is Sister Marguerite
                          and she wouldn't let Christ in after dark.

                                         MARTHA
                          Well, it's been known to happen in the
                          day too. Maybe Agnes went to him.

                                          MOTHER MIRIAM
                          Oh come on, you've talked to her. She
                          doesn't even know how babies are born,
                          let alone made.

                                         MARTHA
                          When did you first learn about her...
                          innocence, the way she thinks?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          Shortly after she came to us.

                                         MARTHA
                          And you weren't shocked?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          I was appalled, just as you are now.

                                         MARTHA
                          And what happened?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          She stopped eating completely...


33   INT - CHAPEL - DAY

       In flashback:   Agnes, all in white is lying face down in the

sign of the
        cross in front of the altar. Mother Miriam enters.

                                      MARTHA (V.O.)
                       This was before her pregnancy?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (V.O.)
                       About two years before.

       Mother Miriam stops in front of Agnes.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Agnes, it has come to my attention
                       that you have stopped eating. Why
                       is this?
                                               AGNES
                               (not looking up)
                       I've been commanded by God.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (sighs)
                       He talked to you Himself?

                                      AGNES
                       No.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Through someone else?

                                      AGNES
                       Yes.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Who?

                                      AGNES
                       I can't say.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Why?

                                      AGNES
                       She'd punish me.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       One of the other Sisters?

                                      AGNES
                       No.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Who?

        Mother Miriam glances up at an older NUN who has been in the
chapel watching all along. She takes the hint and hobbles out.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                       Why would she tell you to do this?

... Agnes look at me.

                AGNES
        (looking up)
Because I'm getting fat.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh, for Heaven's sake.

               AGNES
I am, there's too much flesh on me.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Agnes...

               AGNES
I'm a blimp.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Why does it matter whether you're fat
or not...

               AGNES
Because...

               MOTHER MIRIAM
... You needn't worry about being
attractive here.

               AGNES
I do, I have to be attractive to God.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
He loves you the way you are.

               AGNES
No he doesn't. He hates fat people.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Who told you this?

               AGNES
It's a sin to be fat.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

               AGNES
Look at the statues, they're thin.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Agnes...

               AGNES
That's because they're suffering...
suffering is beautiful, I want to be
beautiful.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Who tells you these things?

                              AGNES
               Christ said it in the Bible, he said -
               suffer the little children, I want to
               suffer like a little child.

                               MOTHER MIRIAM
                       (genuinely distressed)
               That's not what he meant.

                                 AGNES
               I...    I am a little child but my body
               keeps    getting bigger and soon I... I
               won't    be able to fit in, I... I won't be
               able    to squeeze into Heaven.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Agnes dear, Heaven is not a place where...

Agnes gets to her knees and pushes up her breasts.

                              AGNES
               No... I mean... I mean look at these.
               I've got to lose weight, I'm a blimp.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Oh my dear child.

                               AGNES
                       (standing)
               God blew up the Hindenburg. He'll
               blow me up, that's what she said...

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Who?

                              AGNES
               Mommy I'll get bigger and bigger every
               day and then I'll pop but... but if I stay
               little it won't happen.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Your mother tells you this?... Agnes
               your mother is dead.

                              AGNES
               But she watches... she listens.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Nonsense, I'm your mother now and I
               want you to eat.

                                 AGNES
               I'm not hungry.

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM

                       You've got to eat something Agnes.

                                      AGNES
                       No I don't... the host is enough.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       My dear, I don't think a communion wafer
                       has the recommended daily allowance of
                       anything.

                                       AGNES
                       Of God.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (smiles)
                       Yes, of God.

        Then Mother Miriam looks down and is shocked to see Agnes'
white habit is spotted with blood, and more blood is dripping onto
the floor. She pulls out   Agnes' hand from her habit and gasps with
shock; there is a bleeding hole in
        the middle of her palm.

                                      AGNES
                       I'm being punished.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Why?

                                       AGNES
                       I don't know.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Dear Jesus...

               She quickly leads Agnes out of the chapel.

                                       AGNES
                       It started this morning and I can't
                       get it to stop.


34   INT - AGNES' OLD ROOM - DAY

       Back in the present, as before...

                                      MARTHA
                       Why didn't you take her to a doctor?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       It was healed by the following morning
                       and she started eating again...

                                      MARTHA
                       She had a... a hole in the palm of her
                       hand! She could have bled to death.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM

                             But she didn't... did she. If anyone had
                             seen what I'd seen she'd be public
                             property... newspapermen, psychiatrists,
                             ridicule. She doesn't deserve that.

                                               MARTHA
                             She has it now.

                                            MOTHER MIRIAM
                             I know what you're thinking, she's a
                             hysteric pure and simple.

                                               MARTHA
                             Not simple, no.

                                            MOTHER MIRIAM
                             I saw it. Clean through the palm of
                             her hand. Do you think hysteria could
                             do that?

                                            MARTHA
                             It's being doing it for centuries. She's
                             not unique, she's just another victim.

                                            MOTHER MIRIAM
                             God's victim. That's her innocence.
                             She belongs to God.

                                            MARTHA
                             And I intend to take her away from Him.
                             That's what you're afraid of isn't it?

          Martha walks out. Mother Miriam yanks the padlock out of the
door.

                                               MOTHER MIRIAM
                             You bet I am.


35      INT - CHAPEL - DAY

        All the Sisters are present. Mother Miriam leads the chant in
Latin and the   rest of the nuns respond at intervals. Agnes is very
happy. Their singing continues over, until the end of scene 41.


          DISSOLVE TO:

36      EXT - POLICE PRECINCT - DAY

        Martha and Larry are at the top of steps. He hands her an
envelope.

                                            LARRY
                             Here you are. Don't let anyone know
                             where you got them.

                                               MARTHA

                                 (kissing him)
                         Thanks...


       DISSOLVE TO:

37   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

       Agnes is happily swinging on a long swing attached to a tree.


       DISSOLVE TO:

38   INT - CRYPT - DAY

        The Sisters go about their tasks. Then all together they move
to a corner of the room which is laid out with burning candles and
make their devotions.


       DISSOLVE TO:

39   INT - CONFESSIONAL - DAY

        Agnes is confessing to a rather disinterested Father
Martineau.

                                        AGNES
                         Last Tuesday, I didn't eat all of my
                         lima beans... hid them under my
                         spoon.

                                  FATHER MARTINEAU
                         Yes...

                                         AGNES
                                 (very quietly)
                         I thought... thoughts... about...

                                 FATHER MARTINEAU
                         Speak up, I can hardly hear you.

                                         AGNES
                                 (very loudly)
                         I thought ugly thoughts about Sister
                         Marguerite.


       DISSOLVE TO:

40   INT - MARTHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

        Martha is leafing through a sheaf of police photographs of
the
sheets and
        the waste-paper basket. She puts the photos aside and puffs
thoughtfully on
        a cigarette.

         DISSOLVE TO:

41   EXT - CONVENT FARM - DAY

         Agnes is milking the cow. She pours the milk into a large
churn.
         (The singing finishes at this point).


42   INT - JUDGE'S OFFICE - DAY

        The same four are in a meeting. This time they are all
sitting
except for
        Lyon who is standing by the window.

                                       LEVEAU
                        Would you tell me why the hell this
                        is taking so long.

                                               MARTHA
                        Look there are a lot of unanswered
                        questions here.

                                       LYON
                        Martha, your job is to diagnose, not to
                        heal and play detective. Who do you
                        think you are?

                                       MARTHA
                        I know my job. Don't tell me my job Lyon.
                        My duty as a doctor is to...

                                       EVE
                        Martha, you have to make a decision on
                        her sanity as quickly as possible and not
                        interfere with due process of law.

                                       MARTHA
                        No... no, excuse me Eve. As quickly as
                        I see fit.

                                       EVE
                        The longer you take to make a decision,
                        the more difficult it will be for us.

                                       MARTHA
                        Why?

                                       EVE
                        The bishop is breathing down our necks.

                                       MARTHA
                        And the sooner she goes to prison, the
                        better off she'll be?

                                      LEVEAU
                              (in French)
                       ???

                                      MARTHA
                       I don't believe this. I don't bloody
                       believe this.

                                      LYON
                       Well the bishop will be very upset
                       about this.

                                      MARTHA
                       I'm fighting for this woman's life, not
                       some bloody bishop.


43   EXT - CONVENT GRAVEYARD - DAY

        It is a strange place; all the crosses are identical and very
simple. Martha
        is standing. Agnes is kneeling in front of a cross marked
with
the name
        "Soeur Marie Paul" and the dates she was born, consecrated
and
died. Agnes
        places some winter flowers on the grave.

                                      MARTHA
                       You liked Sister Paul?

                                      AGNES
                       She was kind to me. She told me
                       I was beautiful.

                                       MARTHA
                               (crouching down)
                       What else did she tell you?

                                      AGNES
                       She said all of God's angels would
                       want to sleep beside me if they could.
                       I liked that.

        Agnes makes the sign of the cross, they both stand and start
to
move off.

                                      AGNES (Cont.)
                       She lived here for almost seventy
                       years. Every day she'd ring the bell,
                       wake us up, call us to God. She took
                       me to my secret place.

                                      MARTHA
                       Where's that?... I promise I won't tell,
                       would you take me?

       So Agnes takes her.


44   INT - BELL TOWER - DAY

        Martha and Agnes enter the bell-tower. Agnes leads the way up
the steep wooden steps. Martha becomes breathless almost
immediately.

                                              MARTHA
                       Sister Paul was in her eighties?   Did
                       she climb up here often?

                                      AGNES
                       No, only when she felt like it. She
                       brought me up here last winter and
                       the next day she died.

                                       MARTHA
                               (halting, out of breath)
                       No wonder... wait... Agnes... Agnes
                       how do you feel about babies?

                                      AGNES
                       Oh, they frighten me, I'm afraid I'll
                       drop them. They have a soft spot on
                       their heads and if you drop them so
                       they land on their heads they become
                       stupid. I was dropped on my head,
                       that's why I don't understand things.

                                      MARTHA
                       Like what?

                                       AGNES
                               (climbing again)
                       Numbers... you can spend your whole
                       life counting and never reach the end.

                                       MARTHA
                               (following her)
                       I don't understand them either. Do
                       you suppose I was dropped on my head?

                                      AGNES
                       I hope not. It's a terrible thing to be
                       dropped on your head.

                                      MARTHA
                       Oh, I've got to give up smoking. Agnes
                       ... wait a minute... Agnes slow down.


45   EXT - TOP OF BELLTOWER - DAY

       Agnes climbs up through the trapdoor to the bell platform.

                                      AGNES
                       She said you could see the whole
                       world from up here. But it looks
                       much better far away than it looks
                       close up.

       Martha arrives exhausted.

                                      MARTHA
                       Beautiful...

       Agnes lies down under the bell.

                                      AGNES
                       And sometimes I get under here...
                       it makes a wonderful sound.

        She starts to sing in a beautiful voice and the sound rings
in
the bell.

                                      MARTHA
                       What happens if the bell rings and
                       you're under there?

                                      AGNES
                       Oh, it's even more wonderful then.

       Agnes sings a little more.

                                      MARTHA
                       It's like hiding from my mother when
                       I was a little girl.

                                      AGNES
                       Where did you go?

                                      MARTHA
                       Oh, no place as wonderful as this.
                       Agnes... have you ever thought of
                       leaving the convent for something
                       else?

                                      AGNES
                       No. There is nothing else. Just being
                       here at night helps me sleep.

                                      MARTHA
                       You have trouble sleeping?

                                      AGNES
                       I get headaches. Mommy did too...
                       oh, but she wasn't stupid. She knew
                       things that nobody else knew.

                                      MARTHA
                       What things?

                              AGNES
               She knew what was going to happen
               to me. That's why she hid me away.

                              MARTHA
               How did she know that?

                              AGNES
               Somebody told her.

                               MARTHA
               Who?

                               AGNES
               I don't know.

                               MARTHA
               Agnes...

                               AGNES
               You'll laugh.

                              MARTHA
               I promise I won't laugh. Who told
               her?

                              AGNES
               An angel, when she was having one
               of her headaches.

                              MARTHA
               Did your mother see angels often?

                               AGNES
               No.

                               MARTHA
               Do you?

                               AGNES
               No.

                              MARTHA
               Do you believe she really saw them?

                               AGNES
                       (sitting up)
               No, but I can never tell her that.

                               MARTHA
               Why not?
                       (no answer)
               Mmm?

                              AGNES
               She'd get angry.

Martha moves round close to Agnes.

               MARTHA
Agnes, did you love your mother?

               AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
Did you ever want to be a mother
yourself?

               AGNES
I could never be a mother.

               MARTHA
Why not?

               AGNES
Well I don't think I'm old enough and
besides I don't want to have a baby.

               MARTHA
Why not?

               AGNES
Because I don't want one.

               MARTHA
If you did want one, how'd you go
about getting one?

               AGNES
From someone who didn't want to
have a baby.

               MARTHA
Like you?

               AGNES

        (suddenly frustrated)
No, not like me!

               MARTHA
How would that person get one if
they didn't want one?

                AGNES
        (jumping to her feet)
A mistake...

               MARTHA
Agnes, how did your mother get you?

               AGNES
A mistake... it was a mistake...

               MARTHA

                       Is that what she said?

                                       AGNES
                               (very upset)
                       If you're trying to get me to say that
                       she was a bad woman and hated me and
                       didn't want me but that's not true, she
                       was a good woman, a saint...
                               (distorted)

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, I don't believe you know nothing
                       about sex...

                                      AGNES
                       I can't help it if I'm stupid.

                                      MARTHA
                       ... that you don't remember getting
                       pregnant...

                                         AGNES
                       Not my fault.

                                      MARTHA
                       ... and that you don't believe you
                       carried a child.

                                      AGNES
                       I was a mistake.

                                         MARTHA
                       What the child?

                                      AGNES
                       Everything... I don't have children.

                                         MARTHA
                       Agnes...

       Martha puts her arm out to Agnes who slaps it away.

                                      AGNES
                       Don't touch me like that! You don't
                       touch me like that, I know what you
                       want from me, you want to take God
                       away. You should be ashamed, they
                       should lock you up people like you.

        Agnes disappears down through the trapdoor. Martha throws her
cigarette away.


46   INT - CONVENT - DAY

        Mother Miriam is comforting a tearful Agnes. She sees Martha
coming across   the courtyard and pushes Agnes gently away.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       You hate us don't you?

                                         MARTHA
                       What?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Nuns... you hate nuns.

                                      MARTHA
                       I hate ignorance and stupidity.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       The Catholic Church...

                                      MARTHA
                       I haven't said anything against the
                       the Catholic Church.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Catholicism is not on trial here. I
                       want you to deal with Agnes without
                       any religious prejudice or you turn
                       this case over to someone else...

                                      MARTHA
                       How dare you tell me to run my affairs!

       Mother Miriam starts to walk away, Martha angrily follows
her.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       It's my affair too.

                                      MARTHA
                       How dare you think I'm in a position
                       to be pressured...


                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I'm only interested...

                                         MARTHA
                       ...    or bullied or what ever you're doing.
                       Who    the hell do you think you are? You
                       go    around here expecting applause for
                       the    way you treated this child.

        Martha and Mother Miriam are climbing the stairs. They pause
briefly.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       She is not a child.

                                      MARTHA
                       And she has a right to know that there's
                       a world out there filled with people who
                       don't believe in God...

                       (Mother Miriams walks on)
               ... and aren't any worse off than you
               Mother. People who've gone through
               their entire lives without bending their
               knees once, to anybody. And people who
               fall in love and have babies and occas-
               sionally are very happy. She has a right to
               know that. But you and your... your order
               and your Church have kept her ignorant...

They reach Mother Miriam's study.

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               ???     (distorted)

                              MARTHA
               ??? (distorted)
               ... virginity, right Mother? Poverty,
               chastity and ignorance is what you
               live by.

                               MOTHER MIRIAM
               I am not a virgin, Doctor. I was married
               for twenty three years, two daughters.
               I even have grandchildren... surprised?
               It might please you to know that I was a
               failure as a wife and mother. My children
               won't even see me any more, that's their
               revenge. I think they tell their friends
               that I've passed on. And don't tell me I'm
               making up for past mistakes Doctor Freud.
                       (she sits)

                                 MARTHA
               Then help her.

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               I am...

                              MARTHA
               No, you're shielding her. Let her face
               the world.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               What good would it do. No matter what
               you decide it's either the... the prison
               or the nut house and the differences
               between them are pretty thin.

                              MARTHA
               There's another choice.

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               What?

                                 MARTHA
               Aquittal.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       How?

                                      MARTHA
                       Innocence. Legal innocence. I know
                       the judge would be happy for any
                       reason to throw this case out of court.

       A long pause. The tension between them dissolves.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       All right, what do you need.

                                         MARTHA
                       Answers.

       Martha holds her hand.


47   INT - MOTHER MIRIAM'S STUDY - DAY

       Same place, but a little later. Martha is smoking.

                                      MARTHA
                       When would Agnes have conceived the
                       child?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Oh, some time in January.

                                      MARTHA
                       Do you remember anything unusual
                       happening at the time?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Earthquakes?

                                      MARTHA
                       Visitors to the convent.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Nothing.

                                      MARTHA
                       Do you have a... a diary or a day book?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       Take at look at it.

       Mother Miriam moves to her desk and opens the day book.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       There's nothing here.

                                         MARTHA

                       Was the child full term?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (reads through the book)
                       Oh, Dear God...

                                         MARTHA
                       What is it?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       The sheets...

                                         MARTHA
                       What sheets?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Oh, Dear God, I should have guessed...


48   INT - CONVENT DINING ROOM - NIGHT


        In flashback: the sisters are sitting around the table at
dinner. SISTER GENEVIEVE, the other novice is serving them. Mother
Miriam folds up a linen    towel.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (V.O.)
                       ... I should have suspected something.

       In flashback, Mother Miriam addresses Agnes.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Sister Marguerite says you have been
                       sleeping on a bare mattress Sister.
                       Is that true?

                                         AGNES
                       Yes Mother.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Why?

                                      AGNES
                       In the medieval days the nuns and monks
                       would sleep in their own coffins.

        Sister Marguerite gives a snort of derision. Mother Miriam
glances sharply
        at her, then turns back to Agnes.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       We're not in the Middle Ages, Sister.

                                      AGNES
                       It made them holy.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       It made them uncomfortable. And if

                       they didn't sleep well I'm certain the
                       next day they were cranky as mules.
                       Sister where are your sheets?
                               (no answer)
                       Do you really believe that sleeping on
                       a bare mattress is the equivalent of
                       sleeping in a coffin?

                                       AGNES
                       No.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Then tell me. Where are your sheets?

                                       AGNES
                       I burnt them.

                                                MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Why?

                                       AGNES
                               (a long pause)
                       They were stained.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       How many times have I burned into
                       your thick skull and the thick skull
                       of your fellow novice, that
                       menstruation is a perfectly natural
                       process and nothing to be ashamed of.

                                       AGNES
                       Yes, Mother.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Say it!

                                      AGNES and GENEVIEVE
                       It is a perfectly natural process and
                       nothing to be ashamed of.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Mean it!

        The two girls start to repeat it but Agnes starts to cry and
Genevieve
        falters into silence. Mother Miriam goes on more kindly.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       A few years ago one of the Sisters came
                       to me in tears, asking for comfort,
                       comfort because she was too old to
                       have any children. Not that she wanted
                       to, but once a month she had been
                       reminded of that possibility.

                                      AGNES
                       It's not that... it's not that...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       What do you mean?

                                      AGNES
                       It's not my time of month.

                                              MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Should you see a doctor?

                                       AGNES
                       I don't know. I don't know what
                       happened Mother, I woke up... there
                       was blood on the sheets, but I don't
                       know what happened.
                               (starts to weep)
                       I don't know what I did wrong, I don't
                       know and I should be punished.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                       For what?

                                      AGNES
                       I don't know... I don't know...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (V.O.)
                       That was the beginning, the night of
                       the conception. That's why she burnt
                       the sheets.


49   INT - SICKROOM - NIGHT

        Still in flashback, Mother Miriam enters the room where
SISTER
PAUL lies dying. Father Martineau is there and many of the other
nuns singing hymns.

                                        MARTHA (V.O.)
                       When was that?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (V.O.)
                       The twenty third of January. On that
                       night one of our elder nuns passed away.

                                        MARTHA (V.O.)
                       Sister Paul?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (V.O.)
                       Yes. I don't remember where Agnes was.
                       I was needed in the sick room.

        Father Martineau annoints the old woman. Then Agnes quietly
slips in   unobserved. Sister Paul rallies for a moment, tries to say
a single silent
        word to her. The smile slips from Agnes' face. Then Sister
Paul
lies back

       and dies.


50   INT - CATHEDRAL - DAY

        Martha and the MONSIGNOR are walking through the church
talking. He is quite young and has a rather abrasive manner.

                                      (beginning missed)

                                      MARTHA
                       No.

                                      MONSIGNOR
                       Well you're probably right about
                       that. It certainly can't help Sister
                       Agnes to have this investigation
                       continued for any length of time.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why do you call it an investigation?
                       I never have.

                                      MONSIGNOR
                       Your mother was a resident of Saint
                       Catherines home before you moved
                       her.

                                      MARTHA
                       What does this have to do with..?


                                      MONSIGNOR
                       And you had a sister who died in the
                       convent.

                                      MARTHA
                       Who told you this?

                                      MONSIGNOR
                       Do you still go to church?

                                      MARTHA
                       What business is it of yours..?

                                      MONSIGNOR
                       Oh, we just wonder if you can be very
                       objective about this case.

                                      MARTHA
                       Look, Father, ah... just because I
                       don't subscribe to the... to the beliefs
                       you subscribe to...

                                       MONSIGNOR
                               (halting)
                       But what you believe makes no difference
                       to us whatsoever Doctor. But it does

                           make all the difference to Agnes.

                                      MARTHA
                       I don't understand. Are you expecting me
                       to..?

                                      MONSIGNOR
                       Well somone's got to suffer for this Doctor.
                       You've got to be merciful and quick. Excuse
                       me.

       Martha stares at him as he walks away.


51   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

        A single shot of the back of the convent and the belltower.
The
bell is
ringing.


52   INT - BELLTOWER - DAY

        Mother Miriam is ringing the bell and it takes quite a
considerable effort.


53   EXT - CONVENT FARMYARD - DAY

        Agnes has a wheelbarrow full of straw and manure. She dumps
it
on a pile.


54   INT - COWSHED - DAY

       Martha is watching Agnes milking a cow.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, I'm here because I want to help
                       you.

                                         AGNES
                       I'm not sick.

                                      MARTHA
                       But you're troubled... aren't you?

                                              AGNES
                       That's because you keep reminding me.
                       If you go away then I'll forget.

                                      MARTHA
                       And you're unhappy.

                                      AGNES
                       Everyone's unhappy, you're unhappy aren't

                       you?

                                         MARTHA
                       Agnes...

                                        AGNES
                       Answer me!    You never answer me.

                                         MARTHA
                       Sometimes, yes.

                                         AGNES
                       Only you think    you're lucky because
                       you didn't have    a mother who said things
                       to you and did    things to you that maybe
                       weren't always    nice but that was because
                       of me, because    I was bad, not her.

       Agnes carries the milk pail round to the churn.

                                      MARTHA
                       What did you do?

                                         AGNES
                       I'm always bad.

                                      MARTHA
                       What did you do?

                                         AGNES
                       I breathed!

        Agnes falls to her knees. Martha moves round and kneels in
front of her.

                                       MARTHA
                       Agnes. What did your mother do to
                       you?
                               (no answer)
                       If you can't answer me, just shake
                       your head yes or no. Did... did she
                       hit you?
                               (Anges shakes her head: no)
                       Did she make you do something you
                       didn't want to?
                               (yes)
                       Did it make you feel uncomfortable
                       to do it?
                               (yes)
                       Did it embarrass you?
                               (yes)
                       Did it... did it hurt you?
                               (yes)
                       What did she make you you do?

                                         AGNES
                       No...

               MARTHA
You can tell me.

                  AGNES
I can't.

               MARTHA
She's dead isn't she?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
She can't hurt you any more.

                  AGNES
She can.

                  MARTHA
How?

               AGNES
She watches... she listens.

               MARTHA
Agnes, I don't believe that. Tell me.
I'll protect you from her.

                  AGNES
She...

                  MARTHA
Yes?

                  AGNES
... makes me...

                  MARTHA
Yes?

               AGNES
... take off my clothes and then...
she makes fun of me.

               MARTHA
She tells you you're ugly?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
And that you're stupid?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
That you're a mistake?

               AGNES
She says my whole body's a mistake.

                 MARTHA
Why?

               AGNES
Because she says if I don't watch out
I'll have a baby.

               MARTHA
How does she know that?

                 AGNES
Her headaches.

                 MARTHA
Oh, yes.

                 AGNES
And then...

                 MARTHA
What?

                AGNES
She touches me down there with a
cigarette.
        (Martha gasps)
Please Mommy, don't touch me like that
any more. I'll be good, I won't be a baby
any more.

               MARTHA
Agnes, oh Agnes, Agnes I want you to do
something. I want you to pretend that
I'm your mother. Oh yes, only this time
I want you to tell me what you're feeling,
alright?

                 AGNES
I'm afraid.

                 MARTHA
Please!    I want to help you. Let me help
you.

                 AGNES
Alright.

               MARTHA
Agnes, you're ugly!... what do you say?
Of course you do. Agnes, you're ugly!...
what do you say?

                 AGNES
No I'm not.

                                         MARTHA
                       Are you pretty?

                                         AGNES
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, you're stupid.

                                         AGNES
                       No I'm not.

                                      MARTHA
                       Are you intelligent?

                                       AGNES
                               (more forcefully)
                       Yes I am.

                                      MARTHA
                       You're a mistake.

                                       AGNES
                               (shouting)
                       I'm not mistake, I'm here aren't I.
                       How can I be a mistake if I'm really
                       here. God doesn't make mistakes,
                       you're a mistake...

       Agnes is half shouting , half crying. Martha holds on to her.

                                      MARTHA
                       Oh Agnes, oh Agnes, it's alright, it's
                       alright, it's alright, it's alright,
                       I love you.

                                      AGNES
                       Do you really love me or are you just
                       saying that?

                                      MARTHA
                       I really love you.

                                      AGNES
                       As much as Mother Miriam does?

                                      MARTHA
                       As much as God loves you.


55   INT - AGNES' OLD ROOM - DAY

        Martha is in there by herself smoking. The elderly nun
appears
at the door.

                                         ELDERLY NUN

                       I've been watching. We were fine 'till
                       she came. She brought the devil here.
                               (makes the sign
                               of the cross)
                       There was blood on her hand that night.

                                         MARTHA
                       Agnes?
                                  (the nun shakes
                                  her head)
                       Who?     Mother Superior?

                                         ELDERLY NUN
                       (in French)
                       ???

                                         MARTHA
                       What?

                                      ELDERLY NUN
                       Look into the convent records.

                                         MARTHA
                       Sister...

       But the nun has gone, walking quickly away down the corridor.


56   INT - RECORD ROOM - DAY

       Sister (?) enters to find Martha going through a cabinet.

                                       MARTHA
                               (slightly guiltily)
                       Oh, Good afternoon Sister, I... I'm
                       looking for some biographical data
                       on Sister Agnes, and Mother said I
                       might find it here.

        The Sister smiles, goes to another cabinet, extracts a file
and
hands it to
        her.

                                         MARTHA
                       Thank you.

        The Sister nods and without a word leaves the room. Martha
waits until she has gone, then opens the cabinet and pulls out
another file. Glancing at the    door, she compares the two files.
They both have the same surname Burchetti. The the door opens and
Mother Miriam is standing there.


                                         MARTHA
                       You lied to me

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM

                       About what?

                                       MARTHA
                               (brandishing the files)
                       Your niece!

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I didn't tell you because I didn't
                       think it was important.

                                       MARTHA
                       No, it just makes you doubly
               responsible doesn't it?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I never saw Agnes until she set foot
                       in this convent. My sister ran away
                       from home. We lost touch with her.
                       And when my husband died and I came
                       here, she wrote to me and asked me if
                       I would take care of Agnes in case
                       anything happened.

                                      MARTHA
                       And Agnes' father?

       Mother Miriam turns out of the room. Martha goes after her.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       It could have been any one of a dozen
                       men from what my sister told me.


57   INT - CORRIDOR - DAY

       Continuing, just outside the record room.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                       She was afraid that Agnes would
                       follow in her footsteps. She did
                       everything she could to prevent it.

                                      MARTHA
                       Like keeping her home from school?

                                               MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       Listening to angels?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       She drank too much. That's what killed
                       her.

                                      MARTHA
                       Do you know what she did to her?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I don't think I care to know.

                                      MARTHA
                       She molested her!

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Oh, dear God.

                                      MARTHA
                       There is more here than meets the eye
                       isn't there? Lots of dirty little secrets.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (crying)
                       Oh God, if only I'd known.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why didn't you? You knew she was
                       keeping her home from school. You
                       knew she was an alcoholic.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I knew that after the fact.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why didn't you do anything to stop her?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Because I didn't know...
                               (she leaves)

                                       MARTHA
                       Oh, God.


       DISSOLVE TO:

58   INT - POLICE STATION, LARRY'S OFFICE - DAY

        Larry is interviewing a young PROSTITUTE in French. Martha
appears at the door.

                                       MARTHA
                       Larry...

                                      LARRY
                       Marty, what are you doing here?

                                      MARTHA
                       Larry there's got to be something
                       missing.

                                      LARRY
                       I gave you the pictures Marty, what
                       else do you want?

                                       MARTHA

                       Something they... that they overlooked.

                                     LARRY
                       What? You think that the girl is
                       innocent?

                                        MARTHA
                       I don't know.

                                      LARRY
                       You got to be crazy.

        Larry pulls out a pack of cigarettes, gives one to Martha and
to the
prostitute.

                                        MARTHA
                       Larry...

                                      LARRY
                       What's the matter with you, you've
                       seen the reports. It's a cut and dried
                       case.

                                      MARTHA
                       Maybe there's something that's not
                       in the report that should be.

                                       LARRY
                       You're too involved Marty.
                               (lights her cigarette)
                       Jesus look at you. Why don't you
                       turn this case over to someone else?

       Larry lights his own cigarette and comes over to Martha.

                                      LARRY (Cont.)
                       I'll ask around, see what I come up
                       with. In the meantime you go home
                       and get some sleep.

                                        MARTHA
                       Thanks.
                                 (she leaves)

                                       LARRY
                               (calling after her)
                       If I find anything I'll call you.


59   INT - MARTHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

        Martha takes off her coat, moves across the room turning on
lights. She
        flicks the answerphone on. Her cat meows.

                                      SECRETARY (V.O.)
                       Hi Marty, it's Helen. Mrs Davenport

                        called and was very upset that you'd
                        missed her appointment. She wants
                        you to call her at home, oh and a couple
                        of reporters have been trying to get a
                        hold of you about Sister Agnes. They
                        seem persistent and they may try to
                        reach you at home. I didn't give them
                        number.

       Some whirs and beeps. Martha goes into the bathroom.

                                        REPORTER (V.O.)
                                (French accent)
                        Hallo, Doctor Livingston. My name is
                        (?). I'm doing a Sunday article on
                        Sister Agnes for the Gazette. I would
                        appreciate it if you would give me a
                        phone call on 942-2424.

               More beeps and whirs. Martha starts to undress.

                                        LARRY (V.O.)
                        Hi Marty, it's me. Listen I just
                        talked with Detective Crawley who
                        was at the convent. She said that
                        there was one thing that bothered her
                        that didn't make it into the report.
                        The waste paper basket. The one in
                        Agnes' room.
                                (Martha freezes in the
                                middle of lighting up)
                        None of the other nuns had one. Bye.

       Martha rushes over to the answerphone and rewinds it.

                                       LARRY (V.O.)
                        ... her that didn't make it into the
                        report. The waste paper basket. The
                        one in Agnes' room. None of the other
                        nuns had one. Bye.

       Martha looks thoughtful and flicks off the desk lamp.


60   INT - CONVENT CHAPEL - DAY

        Father Martineau is saying Mass. All the sisters are there
singing together.      Father Martineau places the host in the
sconce,
incences it and raises it
        up. Close on individual nuns at prayer including Agnes.


       DISSOLVE TO:

61   INT - BARN - DAY

       Mother Miriam is kneeling in the doorway of the barn, praying

when Martha    enters. Mother Miriam pauses.

                                      MARTHA
                       I've gotten the court's permission
                       to hypnotise her.

       Mother Miriam makes the sign of the cross and stands up.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       And my permission?

                                                 MARTHA
                       I'd like yours too.

        Mother Miriam grabs a bucket and moves across the barn.
Martha
follows her.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       We'll see about that.

                                        MARTHA
                       Don't deny it!

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I haven't decided yet.

                                      MARTHA
                       The woman's health is at stake.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Her spiritual health.

                                      MARTHA
                       I don't give a damn about her spiritual
                       health.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I know you don't.

       Mother Miriam starts shovelling grain into the bucket.

                                      MARTHA
                       Sentence her and be done with it, that's
                       what you're saying and I...

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM

                       I am saying (distorted) a beautifully
                       simple woman...

                                      MARTHA
                       An unhappy woman...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       She's happy with us and she could go
                       on being happy if she was left alone.

                                      MARTHA
                       Then why did you call the police in the
                       first place Mother, huh?

                                      MARTHA (cont.)
                       Why didn't you just throw the baby into
                       the incinerator and be done with it.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Because I am a moral person.

                                      MARTHA
                       Bullshit!

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Bullshit yourself!

                                      MARTHA
                       Catholic Church doesn't have a corner
                       on morality...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Who said anything about the Catholic
                       Church...

                                      MARTHA
                       You just said...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       What the hell has the Catholic Church
                       got to do with you?

                                      MARTHA
                       Nothing...

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       What have we done to hurt you? And
                       don't deny it, I can smell an ex-Catholic
                       a mile away. What did we do? Burn a
                       few heretics, sell some indulgences?
                       That was in the days when the Church
                       was a ruling body. We let governments
                       do those things today. So what did we
                       do to you eh? You wanted to neck in the
                       back seat of a car when you were fifteen
                       and you couldn't because it was a sin?

        This time it is Martha who walks away and Mother Miriam who
follows her.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                       So instead of questioning that one rule...

                                       MARTHA
                               (halting)
                       It wasn't sex. It was a lot of things, but
                       it wasn't sex. You know when I was in
                       the first grade my best friend was run

                          over on the way to school, you know what
                          the nun said? She died because she hadn't
                          said her morning prayers.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          Stupid woman... and that's all?

                                         MARTHA
                          That's all? That's enough!   She was a
                          beautiful little girl.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          And what has that to do with it?

                                         MARTHA
                          I wasn't. I wasn't. She was the pretty one.
                          She died, why not me? I never said my
                          morning prayers. And I was ugly, I was
                          scrawny, I had buck teeth and freckles all
                          over my face, do you know what the nun
                          called me, Sister Mary Clitus, called me
                          Polkadot Livingston.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          So you left the Church because you had
                          freckles?

                                         MARTHA
                          No, because I... yeah, yeah I left the
                          Church cause I had freckles.

       They both cannot help laughing at this absurdity.


62   EXT - COURTYARD - DAY

        A couple of nuns walk across the courtyard. Another is
meditating alone. On
        a bench a nun kisses a dove and lets it fly away.


63   EXT - GAZEBO - DAY

        It is out the back of the convent near the belltower. Mother
Miriam and
Martha are sitting there talking. Martha is smoking.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          When I was a child I used to hear my
                          guardian angel. She sang to me 'till I
                          was six years old. That's when I stopped
                          listening. But I remember the voice. A
                          few years ago I looked at myself and saw
                          nothing but a nun who was certain of nothing.
                          Not even of Heaven. Not even of God. And
                          then one evening I saw Agnes standing by

                          her window, singing. And all my doubts about

                       myself and God were gone, in that one moment.
                       I recognized the voice. Please don't take it
                       away from me again Doctor Livingston. Those
                       years after six were very bleak.

                                       MARTHA
                       My sister died in a convent. And it's her
                       voice I hear.
                               (a long pause)
                       Does my smoking bother you?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       No, it reminds me.

                                      MARTHA
                       Would you like one? Huh?

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I'd love one.

        Martha hands her a cigarette and lights it for her. Mother
Miriam coughs a
        lot. Martha pats her on the back.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I'm out of prac...
                               (cough)
                       ... practice.
                               (cough)

                                        MARTHA
                       All right?

                                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Fine thanks...

                                      MARTHA
                       Do you suppose the saints would have
                       smoked if tobacco had been popular
                       back then?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Undoubtedly. Not the ascetics of course
                       but, well Saint Thomas More...

                                       MARTHA
                               (chuckles)
                       Long, thin and filtered.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Saint Ignatius would smoke cigars and
                       stub them out on the soles of his bare
                       feet.
                               (they roar with laughter)
                       And of course (distorted)

                                        MARTHA
                       Hand rolled.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Even Christ would partake socially.

                                 MARTHA
               Saint Peter?

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Pipe!

                                 MARTHA
               Right...

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Mary Magdelen?

                               MARTHA
                       (imitating)
               Oh, you've come a long way baby.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               And Saint John would chew tobacco.

More laughter, then the moment because more serious.

                                 MARTHA
               Right.
                       (a pause)
               What do you suppose today's saints
               are smoking?

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               There are no saints today. Good people
               yes, but extraordinarily good people...
               those I'm afraid we are sorely lacking.

                              MARTHA
               Do you think they ever existed?

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Yes I do.

                              MARTHA
               Do you want to become one?

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Become?     One is born a saint.

                              MARTHA
               Well you can try, can't you, to be good?

                               MOTHER MIRIAM
               Yes, but goodness has very little to do
               with it. Not all the saints were good,
               in fact some of them were a little crazy.
               But... they were still attached to God.
               Agnes has that birth.
                       (she stands)

                         No more... we're born, we live, we die.
                         No room for miracles.
                                 (Martha gets up too)
                         Oh my dear, how I miss the miracles.

       They start walking back to the convent.

                                        MARTHA
                         Do you think Agnes is still attached to
                         God?

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                         Listen to her singing.

                                         MARTHA
                                 (a pause)
                         I'd like to begin.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                         Begin what?

                                        MARTHA
                         The hypnotism. Do you still disapprove?

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                         Would it stop you if I did?

                                        MARTHA
                         No.

       They both halt.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                         May I be present?

                                        MARTHA
                         Of course.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                         Then let's begin.


64   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

        The room is painted white and completely empty with a steeply
sloping    ceiling. Agnes is sitting on a chair with her eyes closed,
already under   hypnosis. Martha and Mother Miriam are facing her.

                                        MARTHA
                         You're listening to a chorus of angels.
                         The music surrounds you like a...
                         warm and, comfortable pool of water.
                         And while you're sleeping, you're
                         going to be able to recall, all the things
                         that we want you to remember. And
                         when I count to three and clap my hands,
                         you'll no longer be hypnotised. Can you
                         hear me.

                                           AGNES
                         Yes.

                                           MARTHA
                         Who am I?

                                        AGNES
                         Doctor Livingston.

                                        MARTHA
                         And why am I here?

                                           AGNES
                         To help me.

                                        MARTHA
                         Good. Would you like to tell me why
                         you're here?

                                        AGNES
                         Because I'm in trouble.

                                         MARTHA
                         What kind of trouble?
                                 (no answer)
                         What kind of trouble Agnes?

          Martha starts to walk around behind Agnes.

                                           AGNES
                         I'm frightened.

                                           MARTHA
                         Of what?

                                           AGNES
                         Of telling you.

                                        MARTHA
                         But it's easy. It's just a breath with
                         sound. Say it. What kind of trouble?

                                         AGNES
                                 (a pause)
                         I had a baby.

          Both Martha and Mother Miriam react with some degree of
relief.

                                        MARTHA
                         How did you have a baby?

                                        AGNES
                         It came out of me.

                                        MARTHA
                         Did you know what was going to come

out?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
Did you want it to come out?

                  AGNES
No.

                  MARTHA
Why?

               AGNES
Because I was afraid.

               MARTHA
Why were you afraid?

               AGNES
Because I wasn't worthy.

                  MARTHA
To be a mother?

                  AGNES
Yes.

                  MARTHA
Why?

               AGNES
May I open my eyes now?

               MARTHA
No not yet Agnes, very soon but not
yet. How did the baby get into you?

                  AGNES
It grew.

               MARTHA
What made it grow? Do you know?

                  AGNES
Yes.

               MARTHA
Would you like to tell me?

                  AGNES
No.

               MARTHA
Did anyone else know about the baby?

                  AGNES

               I can't tell you that.

                              MARTHA
               Will she be angry?

                              AGNES
               She made me promise not to.

                                  MARTHA
               Who?     Who made you promise?
                          (no answer)
               It's    alright Agnes. It's alright.
                          (a pause)
               Let's    go to your room. It's the night
               about    six weeks ago when you were
               very    sick.

                                 AGNES
               I'm afraid.

                              MARTHA
               Oh don't be, I'm here. It's alright.
               I want you to tell me what you did
               before you went to bed.

                                 AGNES
               I ate.

                              MARTHA
               Hm hmm. What did you have for
               dinner?

                                 AGNES
               Fish...
                       (distastefully)
               ... brussel sprouts.

                              MARTHA
               You don't like brussel sprouts?

                                 AGNES
               I hate them.

Martha and Mother Miriam can't help smiling.

                              MARTHA
               And then what happened?

                              AGNES
               We went to chapel for vespers.

                                 MARTHA
               Hm hmm.

                              AGNES
               I left early because I wasn't feeling
               very well.

Suddenly Agnes leaps up from her chair.

                              MARTHA
               What is it?

                              AGNES
               Someone's following me.

                              MARTHA
               Who?

                              AGNES
               Sister Marguerite I think.

                               MARTHA
               Was it Sister Marguerite who knew
               about the baby?
                       (no answer)
               Alright Agnes, I want you to see your
               room as you saw it on that night.

                               MARTHA (Cont.)
               Open your eyes.
                       (she opens them)
               What do you see?

                              AGNES
               My bed.

                              MARTHA
               What else?

                              AGNES
               A crucifix.

                              MARTHA
               Above the bed? Any... anything else?
               What do you you see, something
               different? What is it?

                               AGNES
                       (puzzled)
               A wastepaper basket.

                              MARTHA
               Do you know who put it there?

                              AGNES
               No.

                              MARTHA
               What do you think it's there for?

                              AGNES
               For me to get sick in.

                              MARTHA
               Are you ill?

                                         AGNES
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       What do you feel?

                                      AGNES
                       I feel as if I've eaten glass.

                                         MARTHA
                       What do you do?

                                      AGNES
                       I have to throw up...

       And she falls to her knees, retching horribly.

                                      AGNES (Cont.)
                       I can't... glass... one of the sisters
                       has fed me glass.

                                         MARTHA
                       Which one?

                                      AGNES
                       I don't know which one (distorted)

                                         MARTHA
                       Of what?

                                       AGNES
                       Of me. Oh... God! My God...
                               (assumes the birth
                               position and looks
                               between her legs)
                       Water... it's all water...

                                      MARTHA
                       Why isn't anyone coming?

                                       AGNES
                               (trying to wipe up
                               the water)
                       They can't hear me that's why.
                               (in terrible pain)
                       Oh God... I don't wanna...

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (to Martha)
                       Stop her!

        Then Agnes tries to crawl away as though terrified of
something.

                                         MARTHA
                       What is it?

               AGNES

Please get away from me...

               MARTHA
Who?

               AGNES
Go away, I don't want you here.

               MARTHA
Is someone in the room with you?

               AGNES
No... don't hit me please...

                MOTHER MIRIAM
Stop this, she'll hurt herself
        (stepping forward)
I'm not going to allow this.

                MARTHA
        (hauling her away)
NO... no... I said leave her alone.

               AGNES
       (still screaming)

You're trying to take my baby... trying
to take my baby... no...
        (then quietly)
It wasn't my fault Mommy... it was a
mistake Mommy.

                MARTHA
Alright Agnes... it's alright. One, two
three...
        (claps her hands;
        Agnes comes to)
It's alright... it's me, Doctor Livingston,
it's alright, alright. Thankyou Agnes,
thankyou. How do you feel?

               AGNES
Frightened.

               MARTHA
Do you remember what just happened?

               AGNES
       (a long pause)
Yes.

               MARTHA
That's good. Do you feel well enough
to stand?

               AGNES

                          Yes.

          Martha helps her to her feet. Agnes clings to her.

                                         MARTHA
                          There you go. It's alright, it's alright,
                          it's all over. It's alright Agnes, that's
                          right, that's right.


65      EXT - LAND REGISTRY - DAY

          Martha approaches the building and enters it.


66      INT - RECORD ROOM - DAY

          The camera tracks through shelves of ancient records and
maps.

                                          MARTHA (off)
                          Ah excuse me. Hallo. I'm looking
                          for some ah... ground plans for the
                          ah... Saint Marie Madeleine Convent
                          in (distorted).

                                            MAN (off)
                                    (answers in French)

               Martha and a middle aged official come into view. He
stops
at a long set of        drawers and starts looking through it.

                                            MAN
                                    (in French)


                                            MARTHA
                                    (replies in French)

                                         MAN
                  Oh... very interesting I guess...
                                 (he pulls out a
                                 folder of plans)
                  Excuse me...

        He sets the folder down on a table and starts going through
it.
They both
look at the plans.

                                          MAN (Cont.)
                          Ah viola! This has everything. Even
                          the secret entrance. They all had
                          that. Usually to get from building to
                          building in the snow...
                                  (he indicates on
                                  the plan)

                          ... like that one.

                                          MARTHA
                                  (murmurs)
                          That's how he got in... or she got
                          out.

                                         MAN
                          Oh excuse me, what did you say?

                                         MARTHA
                          Nothing. May I take some notes?

                                         MAN
                          Oh yes, (distorted)

       Martha starts drawing a rough plan.


67   INT - CRYPT - DAY

        The crypt is deserted but candles are burning in front of a
statue of Saint Michael. Martha walks over to it,lights a candle and
goes behind it and
        finds a stairway there leading underground. She goes down
into...


68   INT - TUNNEL - DAY

        Martha walks through the dimly lit passage. She stops for a
moment to look
        at a cross carved on the stone floor, then continues. Finally
she reaches
        more steps and goes up into the...


69   INT - BARN - DAY

        Martha emerges through a trapdoor in to the barn which is
full
of doves. It    begins to make sense for her.


70   EXT - CITY - DAY

        Various closeups of famous statues. A bell is tolling. Two
nuns
come out of
        a building, down streets, across the road as though traffic
did
not exist
        and into another building.


71   INT - LIFT - DAY

       The nuns are Sister Anne and Mother Miriam. In the lift an

OFFICE GIRL
        checks her lipstick in the reflective metal walls. The lift
stops and the
        Sisters get off.


72   INT - CORRIDOR - DAY

       They walk down the modern carpeted corridor into...


73   INT - MARTHA'S OFFICE - DAY

       Mother Miriam addresses the secretary, HELEN.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Is the Doctor in her office?

                                      HELEN
                       Ah, who shall I say is calling?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (grimly)
                       General MacArthur.

       She heads onto Martha's office. Helen jumps up after her.

                                      HELEN
                       Just a minute please, you can't go in
                       there.

       Mother Miriam pushes the door open to reveal Martha.

                                              MARTHA
                               (standing)
                       It's... it's alright Helen, just close
                       the door.

        Mother Miriam walks in and throws some papers down onto
Martha's desk.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I've just met with the bishop. We're
                       taking you off the case.

                                       MARTHA
                               (picking up the papers)
                       You're what?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       If we want to hire a psychiatrist for
                       Agnes. we'll find our own, thank you.
                               (starts to leave)

                                      MARTHA
                       One that will ask the questions you
                       want asked.

                MOTHER MIRIAM
        (halting)
One that will approach this matter
with some objectivity and respect.

                  MARTHA
For the Church?

                  MOTHER MIRIAM
For Agnes.

               MARTHA
You think she's a saint?

               MOTHER MIRIAM
She's been touched by God, yes.

               MARTHA
How? How? She hallucinates, stops
eating and bleeds spontaneously. Is
that supposed to convince me she
shouldn't be touched. Give me a miracle.

                  MOTHER MIRIAM
The father!

                  MARTHA
Who is he?

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Why must he be anybody?

                MARTHA
        (laughs and sits down)
My God, you're as crazy as...

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Stop laughing, I don't say it's the truth,
I'm saying...

               MARTHA
How (distorted) ?

               MOTHER MIRIAM
Don't be ridiculous.

               MARTHA
Well give me a reasonable explanation

               MOTHER MIRIAM
A miracle is an event without an
explanation. If she's capable of putting
a hole in her hand without benefit of a
nail, why couldn't she split a cell in her
womb?

                  MARTHA
This is insane.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
There as no man in the convent on that
night and no way for any man to get in
or out.

               MARTHA
You're saying God did it?

                  MOTHER MIRIAM

No, that's as much as saying Father
Martineau did it. I'm saying God
permitted it.

               MARTHA
But how did it happen?

               MOTHER MIRIAM
You'll never find the answer for
everything God did.

               MARTHA
I thought you didn't believe in miracles
today Mother?

               MOTHER MIRIAM
But I want the opportunity to believe.
I want the choice to believe.

                  MARTHA
But what    you are choosing to believe
is a lie    because you won't face the fact
that she    was raped... or seduced...
or that    she did the seducing.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
She is an innocent.

               MARTHA
But she is not an enigma Mother.
Everything that Agnes has done is
explainable from modern psychiatry.
One, two, three, right down the line.

               MOTHER MIRIAM
That's what you believe she is?     The
sum of her psychological parts?

               MARTHA
That's what I have to believe...

                MOTHER MIRIAM
Then why are you so obsessed with her?
You're losing sleep over her?
        (Martha gets up disturbed)
You're thinking about her all the time.
You're bent on saving her. Why?

       Martha has no answer.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
                                (calmer)
                        I'm not accusing. I'm recognizing.

                                       MARTHA
                        There's a tunnel out of the crypt into
                        the barn. Did you know about that?
                        There's an answer Mother. That's how
                        she got out.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                        That's crazy. How could she find out
                        about it?

                                       MARTHA
                        Somebody told her.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                        Who? That tun... that tunnel hasn't
                        been used in fifty years.

                                       MARTHA
                        Oh, would you stop lying Mother!

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                        Why would I lie?

                                       MARTHA
                        Because it's murder we're talking about.
                        Aren't you concerned about what she told
                        us about the other person in her room.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                        I'm concerned about her health.

                                       MARTHA
                        Who was that person Mother?    Was it
                        you?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                        If you believe this is murder, it is the
                        Crown attorney you have to talk to, not
                        me. And definitely not Agnes.

       She goes out and slams the door.


74   EXT - POND - DAY

        After a couple of establishing shots of the convent, the nuns
are shown ice   skating on the frozen pond. They are quite
uninhibited, like little
        children. Their singing (off) from the chapel continues until
the end of
        scene 78.

75   INT - CHAPEL - DAY

        Sister Genevieve, the other novice is being consecrated. She
approaches the altar all dressed in white, carrying a single candle
and kneels down.


76   INT - LAW COURTS - DAY

        Martha and Justice Leveau come up the steps and into the
corridor.

                                         MARTHA
                          All I want is one more week.

                                          LEVEAU
                          Why?
                                    (continues in French,
                                          then...)
                           You've done nothing to show any progress.

                                         MARTHA
                          Yes, that's because I'm getting to her.

                                         LEVEAU
                          You're getting to all of us Martha, let's
                          face it.

                                         MARTHA
                          I'll have a decision by next week.

                                         LEVEAU
                          It's gone on long enough. You're out.

                                         MARTHA
                          Oh Joe... Joe she didn't kill the baby.

                                          LEVEAU
                                  (halting)
                          You have proof?

                                          MARTHA
                          I'll have it.

                                                   LEVEAU
                          When?

                                          MARTHA
                          Next week.


                                          LEVEAU
                                  (walking on)
                          No, no, no...

                                          MARTHA

                          I can get you new evidence next week.

                                            LEVEAU
                          No!

                                         MARTHA
                          Tomorrow... tomorrow, I'll get it by
                          tomorrow. I will.

       They reach the door of Leveau's office. He thinks...

                                            LEVEAU
                          Yes, demain (?)


77   INT - CHAPEL - DAY

        The scene consists of a number of shots dissolving into one
another. Sister Genevieve lying face down in front of the bishop,
Genevieve praying on her   knees, her family (4) watching from
behind the grilled gate. Genevieve's
        hair being cut, her joy at the habit being fitted to her,
running out to
        join her family, a jolly old singalong on the piano, this
time
the nuns
        singing along from    behind the gate.


78   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

        Martha drives up in her car and walks across the now snow
covered grounds to    the convent.


79   INT - MOTHER MIRIAM'S OFFICE - DAY

        Mother Miriam is working away at her desk when a nun
interrupts. Singing   from the party can faintly be heard.

                                                 NUN (off)
                          Excuse me Mother, Doctor Livingston
                          is here.

        Mother Miriam nods tiredly and goes to meet Martha at he
door.
Martha hands    her a court order. Mother Miriam reads it briefly
and hands it back.

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          This is permission to take her apart.

                                            MARTHA
                          Where is she?

                                         MOTHER MIRIAM
                          Hasn't she had enough?

                              MARTHA
               I have a few more questions to ask her.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               My God, but you're determined.

They move back into the room.

                              MARTHA
               Who knew she was pregnant?

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Why do you insist upon pressing...

                                 MARTHA
               Was it you?

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Is it because she's a nun?

                              MARTHA
               Did you know she was pregnant?

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               Yes.

                              MARTHA
               And you didn't send her to a doctor.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               I didn't guess until it was too late.

                                 MARTHA
               For what?     An abortion?

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               Oh, don't be ridiculous.

                              MARTHA
               Too late for what?

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               I don't know... too late to stop it.

                                 MARTHA
               The baby?

                                 MOTHER MIRIAM
               The scandal...

                              MARTHA
               You went to the room to help with
               the birth.

                              MOTHER MIRIAM
               She didn't want any help.

                                 MARTHA

                       You wanted that child out of the way.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       That's a lie.

                                      MARTHA
                       You hid the wastepaper basket in her
                       room.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I didn't hide it. I put it there for the
                       blood and the dirty sheets.

                                       MARTHA
                       And the baby.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                       No!

                                      MARTHA
                       You tied the cord around its neck.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I wanted her to have it when no-one else
                       was around, they would have taken the
                       baby to a hospital and left it with them,
                       but it was such a difficult birth, there
                       was so much blood and I panicked.

                                      MARTHA
                       Before or after you killed the child?

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       I left it with her and I went for help.

                                      MARTHA
                       I doubt that's what she'd say.

                                      MOTHER MIRIAM
                       Then she's a liar.


80   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

        It is the same as before, except that this time Martha and
Mother Miriam are      standing.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, can you hear me?

                                       AGNES
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       I want you to remember if you can a
                       night last January. The night Sister
                       Paul died. Do you remember.

        There is a flash cut to Sister Paul being annointed. Agnes
stirs slightly.

                                      MARTHA (Cont.)
                       What's the matter?

        There is another flash cut, this time of Sister Paul saying
that mysterious word that we could not previously understand.

                                      AGNES
                       She said Michael.

                                      MARTHA
                       What did she mean?

        There is a third flash cut of the shrine of Saint Michael in
the crypt.

                                       AGNES
                       The statue. She had shown it to me
                       the day before.

                                      MARTHA
                       And the passage to the barn?

                                      AGNES
                       Yes.

                                      MARTHA
                       Why?

                                      AGNES
                       So I could go to him.

                                      MARTHA
                       Who?

                                      AGNES
                       Him.

                                      MARTHA
                       How did she know about him?

                                      AGNES
                       She'd seen him too.

                                      MARTHA
                       Where?

                                      AGNES
                       From the belltower the day she before
                       she died.

                                      MARTHA
                       So she sent you?

                                      AGNES
                       Yes.

81   INT - TUNNEL - NIGHT

        In flashback:    Agnes is walking alone through the tunnel
carrying an oil
        lamp.

                                           MARTHA (V.O.)
                          What happened?

       Agnes keeps walking and finally goes up the steps into...


82   INT - BARN - NIGHT

        Still in flashback, Agnes emerges into the barn. The doves
flap
about as
        Agnes    moves nervously through the barn.

                                           AGNES (V.O.)
                          He's here.


83   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

       Back to the present:

                                         MARTHA
                          Are you frightened?

                                           AGNES
               Yes.


84   INT - BARN - NIGHT

        In flashback: the doves continue to make flapping and
bumping
sounds as
        they fly around the barn.

                                           AGNES
                          Hallo...


85   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

       In the present:

                                         AGNES
                          ... where are you?


86   INT - BARN - NIGHT

       In flashback:

                                         AGNES
                          Is it you?


        Then she seems to be talking to someone although we can see
nothing except the doves.

                                         AGNES (Cont.)
                          I... I'm afraid... yes, yes I do...
                          why me?... wait, I want to see you.


                                         MARTHA (V.O.)
                          What do you see?


87   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

       In the present:

                                         AGNES
                          Halos...


88   INT - BARN - NIGHT

        In flashback: Agnes is still in the barn but now she is
lying
on her back.
        Still all we can see are doves flashing in the light.

                                         AGNES (V.O.)
                          ... dividing and dividing feathers and
                          starts, falling, falling into the iris of
                          God's eye. Oh... oh!... it's... it's so
                          lovely... it's so... blue... yellow...
                          blood wings, brown, blood...

       And she lifts up her hands.


89   INT - ATTIC ROOM - DAY

        In the present: as she lifts up her hands, Agnes is
horrified
to see two
        holes in her palms weeping blood.

                                         AGNES
                          His blood... my God...

       Martha and Mother Miriam are equally shocked.

                                         MARTHA
                          Oh Agnes...

       Agnes runs terrified over to the walls blood pouring over her

white habit.    Mother Miriam rushes after her.

                                       AGNES
                       It's bleeding... I'm bleeding...
                       my God it won't stop, I can't get it
                       to stop.
                               (to Mother Miriam)
                       Let go of me, I wish you were dead.

                                       MARTHA
                               (trying to hold her)
                       Agnes... Agnes...

        Agnes breaks free and runs over to another wall smearing it
too
with blood.     Martha follows her.

                                      AGNES
                       Stay away from me...

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes it had nothing to do with the
                       hand of God. He did a terrible thing
                       to you, do you understand?

                                         AGNES
                       No...

                                         MARTHA
                       He    frightened you and he hurt you. It's
                       not    your fault. It's his fault. Tell us
                       who    he is so we can find him. Stop
                       him    from doing this to other women.

                                      AGNES
                       Not your fault...

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes who did you see?

                                         AGNES
                       I hate him...

                                              MARTHA
                       Of course you do. Who was it?

                                      AGNES
                       I hate him for what he did to me.

                                         MARTHA
                       Yes.

                                      AGNES
                       For what he made me go through.

                                         MARTHA
                       Who?

                                        AGNES
                       I hate him.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, who did this to you?

       Agnes flings her arms back against the wall.

                                       AGNES
                       God!  It was God.
                               (sinks to her knees)
                       And now I'll burn in hell because I
                       hate him.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes you won't burn in hell. It's
                       alright to hate him.

                                        MOTHER MIRIAM
                       That's enough.

                                      MARTHA
                       Agnes, what happened to the baby?

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (shouting)
                       She can't remember.

                                      MARTHA
                       What happened to the baby?

                                        AGNES
                       It was dead.

                                      MARTHA
                       It was alive wasn't it?

                                      AGNES
                       I don't remember.

                                       MOTHER MIRIAM
                               (screaming)
                       Oh, don't do this!

                                        MARTHA
                       Wasn't it!

                                        AGNES
                       YES!

        Somehow this declaration seems to calm them down somewhat.
Mother Miriam   is looking utterly resigned.

                                      MARTHA
                       Mother Miriam was with you wasn't
                       she?

                                        AGNES

                        Yes.

                                       MARTHA
                        She took the baby in her arms?

                                       AGNES
                        Yes.

                                       MARTHA
                        You saw it all didn't you?

                                       AGNES
                        Yes.

                                        MARTHA
                        And then... what did she do?
                                (no answer)
                        Agnes what did she do?

                                       AGNES
                        She... left me alone with that little
                        thing, and I looked at it, and I thought
                        this is a mistake. But it's my mistake,
                        not Mommy's. God's mistake.

                                        AGNES (cont.)
                        I thought I... I can save her.
                                (she raises her hands)
                        I can give her back to God.

                                       MARTHA
                        What did you do?

                                       AGNES
                        I put her to sleep.

                                       MARTHA
                        H... how?

                                       AGNES
                        I tied the cord around her neck...
                        wrapped her in the bloody sheets...
                        and stuffed her in the trash can.

        Mother Miriam gives a shuddering sigh, makes the sign of the
cross and
prays. Martha claps her hands lightly together once.


90   EXT - CITY - DAY

        A shaft of sunlight shines through the winter clouds onto the
city. Angle on the courthouse.


91   INT - COURT ROOM - DAY

       All the main characters are present: Eve, Lyon, Martha,

Agnes,
Sister   Marguerite and Mother Miriam. Justice Leveau is summing
up.

                                       LEVEAU
                        In view of the situation as it now
                        stands, and the testimony given here
                        this morning, it seems quite clear
                        that the defendant was in no manner
                        responsible for her actions. It is
                        therefore the judgement of this court
                        that she be returned to the convent of
                        Marie Madeleine where she will be cared
                        for under proper medical supervision by
                        a visiting physician.

        Both Martha and Mother Miriam show relief at this. Justice
Leveau continues
        to sum up in French when suddenly Agnes stands up.


                                               LEVEAU (Cont.)
                                (surprised)
                        Oui. Do you have something to say?

                                        AGNES
                                (a long pause)
                        I stood in the window of my room
                        every night for a week. And one night
                        I heard the most beautiful voice
                        imaginable. And when I looked I saw
                        the moon shining down on him. For six
                        nights he sang to me, songs I'd never
                        heard. And on the seventh night he
                        opened his wings and lay on top of me.
                        All the while he sang -
                                (sings)
                        Charlie Sweet... Charlie Sweet...
                        Charlie's a...

                                       LEVEAU
                        Please, remove her from the court.

         Martha and Mother Miriam step forward uncertainly.

                                        LEVEAU
                        Would someone please remove the
                        defendant from the courtroom.
                                (continues in French)

         The nuns lead Agnes, still singing past Martha and out of the
court.


         DISSOLVE TO:

92   EXT - CONVENT - DAY

        It is full winter; many shots of the convent and surroundings
dissolving
        into one another.

                                      MARTHA (V.O.)
                       I don't know the meaning behind the
                       song she sang. Perhaps it was a song
                       of seduction. And the father was a
                       fieldhand. Perhaps the song was simply
                       a lullaby that she remembered from many
                       years ago. And the father was hope and...
                       and love and desire. And a belief in
                        miracles.

        The nuns are seen walking together through the snow back to
the
convent over    which Agnes' singing can be heard.

                                      MARTHA (V.O.)
                       I want to believe that she was blessed.
                       And I do miss her, and I hope that she's
                       left something, some little part of
                       herself with me. That would be miracle
                       enough wouldn't it?


       DISSOLVE TO:

93   EXT - TOP OF BELLTOWER - DAY

        Where Agnes is singing her song among the doves. She stops
singing and the music fades in on the same key. Agnes gently takes
on of the doves and lets
        it fly away across the snowy landscape.

       FADE OUT.
       END TITLES.