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The Reader Movie Script

Writer(s) : David Hare, Bernhard Schlink

Genres : Drama, Romance

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                               THE READER
          
          
          
          
                               Written by
          
                               David Hare
          
          
          
          Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. BERLIN. DAY. CREDITS
          
          1995. A modern apartment, all cool and glass. MICHAEL BERG is
          preparing breakfast, laying the table for two. He is 51, dark-
          haired, saturnine. He is doing everything with deliberate
          quietness, taking the occasional glance towards the bedroom
          to check he's not making too much noise. He is boiling an
          egg, which he takes out of boiling water and puts on a
          sparkling clean plate.
          
          MICHAEL puts the yolk-stained egg-cup and plate into the
          sink, his breakfast eaten, then, as noiseless as he can,
          turns on the tap to run water. The bedroom door opens, and
          BRIGITTE comes out, naked. She's attractive, younger. The
          credits end.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    You didn't wake me.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You were sleeping.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    You let me sleep because you can't
                    bear to have breakfast with me.
          
          It's half-serious. MICHAEL doesn't react.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Nothing could be further from the
                    truth. I boiled you an egg. See?
          
          MICHAEL produces a second boiled egg in a cup, seemingly from
          nowhere, like a magician, and puts it on the table.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'd hardly have boiled you an egg
                    if I didn't want to see you. Tea or
                    coffee?
          
          BRIGITTE has re-appeared from the bedroom, now in a dressing
          gown. She's still half-serious.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    Does any woman ever stay long
                    enough to find out what the hell
                    goes on in your head?
          
          MICHAEL smiles to himself.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    What are you doing tonight?
          
                                                                   2.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm seeing my daughter.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    Your daughter? You've kept very
                    quiet about her.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Have I? She's been abroad for a
                    year. Did you say tea?
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. BERLIN. DAY
          
          MICHAEL kisses BRIGITTE on the cheek as she departs.
          
                              BRIGITTE
                    I'm going. Give my love to your
                    daughter.
          
          He closes the door, then turns to the open door of the
          bedroom. He looks at the mess of last night's love-making.
          Then he goes to the window and looks out. A yellow U-Bahn
          goes by.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAY.
          
          December 1958. MICHAEL, now 15, is sitting on a tram. He is
          in a well-cut suit he's inherited, ill-fitting, with two-tone
          shoes and tangled mop of hair. Sweat breaks out all over his
          face. A WOMAN is staring at him. He's plainly feeling ill.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          1995. MICHAEL stands at the window, looking out.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAY
          
          1958. Impulsively MICHAEL gets up, rings the bell and gets
          off at the next stop.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          1995. MICHAEL closes the window.
          
          EXT. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          1958. It has come on to rain. MICHAEL is walking along the
          street, looking more and more sickly. There is an archway
          leading to a courtyard, and impulsively he darts inside to
          get out of the rain. He begins to vomit. Opposite him is a
          wood workshop open to the yard. A uniformed TRAM CONDUCTRESS
          walks past.
          
                                                                    3.
          
          
          MICHAEL'S body is turned away, his face invisible, his hand
          over his mouth. She puts down her ticket machine on the
          pavement and seizes him by the arm.
          
                                HANNA
                    Hey. Hey!
          
          HANNA SCHMITZ has ash-blonde hair and is in her mid-thirties.
          She disappears. He's sick again. She reappears with a bucket
          of water to sluice down the pavement. She wipes his face down
          with a wet cloth. Then she fills another bucket.
          
                              HANNA
                    Hey, kid. Hey.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
          
          Effortlessly, HANNA takes MICHAEL in her arms. She holds his
          head against her breasts. MICHAEL buries himself and slowly
          he stops sobbing. Then he lifts his head.
          
                              HANNA
                    Where do you live?
          
          EXT. STREET. DAY
          
          HANNA and MICHAEL walk at a fair pace along a street, dotted
          with the scaffolding of new building. HANNA is carrying his
          satchel, she is pulling him by the arm.
          
          EXT. BLUMENSTRASSE. DAY
          
          They come up the road. It is now snowing. MICHAEL stops
          outside his block, as if nervous she might come in.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's here. I'll be fine now. Thank
                    you.
          
                              HANNA
                    Look after yourself.
          
          MICHAEL smiles `Thank you' and goes in. HANNA is left alone.
          She looks round, frowning, then sets off, stopping
          uncertainly at the crossroads to check for the way she came.
          MICHAEL turns and watches, curious at her indecision.
          
          INT. BERG APARTMENT. BLUMENSTRASSE. NIGHT
          
          CARLA BERG is at the stove in the kitchen. She takes dinner
          through for the BERG family, at a round table in a
          traditional apartment, under a five-candled brass chandelier.
          
                                                                   4.
          
          
          MICHAEL'S father, PETER, is a balding, abstracted man, eating
          in oppressive silence. Next to him, his older brother THOMAS,
          18, his older sister, ANGELA, and his younger sister, EMILY.
          MICHAEL has his book in front of him, not touching his food.
          
                              CARLA
                    I'm worried about him. He looks
                    terrible.
          
                              PETER
                    The boy's saying he doesn't need a
                    doctor.
          
                                 EMILY
                    He does.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't need a doctor.
          
                                 PETER
                    Good then.
          
          CARLA looks reproachful.
          
                                 CARLA
                    Peter.
          
                              PETER
                    We're not going to argue about
                    this. People have to take
                    responsibility for their own lives.
          
          INT. BEDROOM. BERG APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is lying in a single bed, his face violently
          inflamed. CARLA is with the DOCTOR, a much older man.
          
                              DOCTOR
                    Remind me, how old are you now?
          
                              CARLA
                    Michael's fifteen.
          
                              DOCTOR
                    It's scarlet fever. He'll be in bed
                    for several months. At least.
          
          MICHAEL turns into the pillow, a wet patch beneath his head.
          Delusional with fever, he senses a presence at the door. He
          turns. It's EMILY. But at once CARLA's arm pulls her away.
          
                              CARLA
                    Keep away. He's contagious.
          
                                                                   5.
          
          
          
          They vanish. The door closes. In the corridor the DOCTOR is
          heard.
          
                              DOCTOR
                    Burn the sheets. Complete
                    isolation. And three months is the
                    minimum.
          
          INT & EXT. BERG APARTMENT. DAY
          
          1959. A sunny day in March. MICHAEL's bed has been moved
          beside open windows so he can profit from the weak sun. He is
          sitting up, working on his stamp collection. CARLA is moving
          round behind him, tidying the room.
          
                              CARLA
                    How are you feeling?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Better. By the way, I meant to tell
                    you, the day I got ill... a woman
                    helped me. A woman in the street.
          
                              CARLA
                    She helped you?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Yes. She brought me home.
          
                              CARLA
                    Do you have her address?
          
          EXT. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is standing holding a small bunch of flowers. He is
          looking puzzled at a row of bells with numbers only. The
          woodyard is busy. WORKMEN come out of the building.
          
          INT. STAIRS & LANDING. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL comes up the stairwell, once grand, now in decay -
          green linoleum and faded red paint. The sound of a
          sentimental song at the open door of a small apartment.
          Inside, HANNA is ironing in a sleeveless smock, blue with red
          flowers. Her hair is fastened in a clip. She looks at him a
          moment.
          
                               HANNA
                    Come in.
          
                                                                   6.
          
          
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          The flat is without decoration, an enfilade of small rooms. A
          stove, a sink, a tub, a boiler, a table, a few wooden chairs.
          There is no window, just a balcony door to let light into the
          room. HANNA carries on ironing.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    I brought you these flowers. To say
                    thank you.
          
                              HANNA
                    Put them down there.
          
          MICHAEL puts them beside the sink. HANNA has a blanket and a
          cloth over the table : nothing disturbs her rhythm, as she
          irons one piece of laundry after another, then folds it and
          puts it over one of the chairs.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I would have come earlier, but I've
                    been in bed for three months.
          
                              HANNA
                    You're better now?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Thank you.
          
                              HANNA
                    Have you always been weak?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Oh no. I'd never been ill before.
                    It's incredibly boring. There's
                    nothing to do. I couldn't even be
                    bothered to read.
          
          HANNA carries on ironing. He is becoming as comfortable with
          the silence as she is. She starts ironing a pair of knickers.
          He watches her bare arms moving back and forth. She looks
          broad-planed, strong. She is at peace with being watched. She
          puts one pair of knickers down, then does another. Then she
          upends the iron.
          
                              HANNA
                    I have to go to work. I'll walk
                    with you. Wait in the hall while I
                    change.
          
          MICHAEL goes out into the hall. The kitchen door is slightly
          open. HANNA takes off her smock and stands in a green slip.
          Her stockings are hanging over the back of a chair.
          
                                                                     7.
          
          
          She picks one up, rolls it, smooths it up over her calf and
          knee, then attaches it to her suspender. She reaches for the
          other. The flesh is bare between her legs. MICHAEL watches,
          riveted. HANNA seems oblivious. But as she is about to put
          the second stocking on, she looks at him. She drops her
          dress, and straightens, holding her stare. In response, he
          blushes, then panics and runs out of the flat. The door
          slams.
          
          INT. STAIRS. DAY
          
          MICHAEL runs down the stairs in terror and shame, and out the
          front door.
          
          EXT. COURTYARD. DAY
          
          The WORKMEN look up, curious, as MICHAEL flies by, slamming
          the outer door.
          
          INT. BEDROOM. DAWN
          
          MICHAEL is lying in bed. He looks up at the sound of a tram
          going by outside.
          
          EXT. STREET. DAWN
          
          The tram making its way along the quiet street.
          
          INT. BEDROOM. DAWN
          
          MICHAEL gets out of bed and quickly gets dressed.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL, reading a book, watches unobserved, fascinated as
          HANNA collects tickets. She calls out the name of the next
          stop. She doesn't see him as she works.
          
          EXT. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is standing on the other side   of the street from
          HANNA'S courtyard. He is in two minds   about whether to go in.
          The WOODWORKERS are loading a van. He   waits for them to
          finish before he slips in through the   archway, making his way
          to the stairs.
          
          INT. LANDING. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is sitting on the steps of the first landing. Then,
          as if from nowhere, HANNA is suddenly standing behind him, in
          uniform, carrying a box of coal in one hand, a scuttle in the
          other. She looks tired but not surprised to see him.
          
                                                                   8.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    There are two more buckets
                    downstairs. You can fill them and
                    bring them up.
          
          HANNA walks straight past him. For a moment he tenses as if
          there might be some contact. But she goes by.
          
          INT. CELLAR. DAY
          
          MICHAEL opens the door. He turns on a dim light. There is a
          flight of wooden stairs into the murk of a huge pile of coke,
          poured in from the street. He goes down to the bottom, and
          picks up a bucket. He digs in to the coke, and at once it
          comes tumbling down on him in a cloud of dust.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA is at the kitchen table, drinking a glass of milk. She
          has taken off her jacket and loosened her tie. MICHAEL comes
          in with the two buckets of coal, his face and clothes filthy.
          She roars with laughter, full-throated.
          
                              HANNA
                    You look ridiculous, look at you,
                    kid.
          
          MICHAEL sees himself in the mirror, but she has already got
          up, going towards the tub in the corner of the kitchen.
          
                              HANNA
                    You can't go home like that. Give
                    me your clothes, I'll run you a
                    bath.
          
          HANNA opens the tap. There's a boiler, and steaming hot water
          comes out. MICHAEL takes off his sweater, then stops.
          
                              HANNA
                    What, do you always take a bath in
                    your trousers?
          
          HANNA takes his sweater and goes to open the balcony door. He
          undresses. She puts his sweater on the balcony rail.
          
                              HANNA
                    It's all right, I won't look.
          
          On the contrary, she turns and walks straight towards him.
          MICHAEL is naked. HANNA takes his clothes from the chair. He
          gets into the bath. She goes to the balcony. In the bath, he
          submerges himself. HANNA goes out and shakes his clothes out
          in the open air.
          
                                                                   9.
          
          
          When he comes up from under the water, she is laying his
          clothes back on the chair. She picks up the shampoo and hands
          it to him.
          
                              HANNA
                    Wash your hair, I'll get you a
                    towel.
          
          MICHAEL washes his hair, then submerges again. When he comes
          back up, HANNA is holding out a large towel. He gets out,
          turning away to hide his erection. From behind, she wraps his
          body and rubs him dry. Then she lets the towel fall. She puts
          her body against his back, and he realises she's naked. He
          turns and faces her.
          
                              HANNA
                    So. That's why you came back.
          
          MICHAEL looks at her, awed.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You're so incredibly beautiful.
          
                              HANNA
                    Now, kid, you know that's not true.
          
          At once she puts her arms round him and they kiss. MICHAEL
          goes down onto the floor, HANNA on top of him. All the time,
          she's staring into his eyes. He can't take it. He closes his
          eyes and, about to come, begins to scream. She puts her hand
          over his mouth to smother the noise.
          
          INT. DINING ROOM. BERG APARTMENT. NIGHT
          
          The family is half-way through their meal. MICHAEL is sitting
          watching them eat, thinking about his lovemaking with HANNA.
          
                              PETER
                    You've inconvenienced your mother.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    How many more times? I've said I'm
                    sorry.
          
                              PETER
                    You scared her.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's hardly my fault, I got lost,
                    that's all. That's why I was late.
                    Can I have some more?
          
          He reaches for more stew. THOMAS goes on eating, a look of
          contempt on his face, too superior to engage in this.
          
                                                                  10.
          
          
          
                              EMILY
                    How can anyone get lost in their
                    own home town?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The doctor told me I had to take
                    walks.
          
                              EMILY
                    So?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I meant to head for the castle, I
                    ended up at the sports-field.
          
                              EMILY
                    They're in opposite directions.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's none of your business.
          
                              EMILY
                    He's lying.
          
                              CARLA
                    He's not lying. Michael never lies.
          
          CARLA smiles benignly. EMILY knows she's right. They all eat
          on for a few moments.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Dad, I've decided, I want to go
                    back to school tomorrow.
          
                              CARLA
                    The doctor says you need another
                    three weeks.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Well I'm going.
          
                              CARLA
                    Peter?
          
                              PETER
                    If he wants to go back, then he
                    must.
          
          MICHAEL can't breathe, as if some decisive moment in his life
          has been reached. PETER is looking at him, seeming to know
          what's going on.
          
                                                                     11.
          
          
          
          EXT. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          A massive brownstone building. The whole SCHOOL is coming
          out, but MICHAEL is first, in a desperate hurry, waving
          goodbye to his friends and running quickly away.
          
          INT. STAIRS & LANDING. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL comes quickly up the stairs. The door of HANNA'S
          apartment is ajar. He pushes it open.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA is at the sink. MICHAEL comes in, precipitate, tearing
          off his clothes and embracing her at the same time. He drops
          his trousers and lifts her onto the sink. He comes in about
          twenty seconds. He stands sweating.
          
                              HANNA
                    All right, kid, it's not just about
                    you.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          They are on the bed. He is lying underneath her. HANNA leads
          his hands to her face, then down her body. She begins to
          move, and in response, he moves too. He watches awed as she
          comes.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA has fallen asleep on MICHAEL'S chest. He is awake,
          looking at the birthmark on her left shoulder. The sound of
          the wood yard below. He kisses the birthmark. She stirs.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What's your name?
          
          She opens her eyes. A look of suspicion.
          
                                 HANNA
                    What?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Your name.
          
                              HANNA
                    Why do you want to know?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I've been here three times. You
                    haven't told me your name.
          
                                                                     12.
          
          
          
          MICHAEL waits a moment.
          
                              HANNA
                    It's Hanna. What's yours, kid?
          
                               MICHAEL
                    Michael.
          
                              HANNA
                    Michael. Hmm. So I'm with a
                    Michael.
          
          HANNA smiles, as if there were something funny about it.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    `Hanna'.
          
          INT. CLASSROOM. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          A TEACHER, in his sixties, has scrawled the words `Odysseus',
          `Hamlet' and `Faust' on the blackboard. The class of BOYS is
          attentive. Next to him, his friend HOLGER SCHLUTER. Across
          the way, RUDOLF.
          
                              TEACHER
                    The notion of secrecy is central to
                    Western literature. You may say the
                    whole idea of character in fiction
                    is defined by people holding
                    specific information which for
                    various reasons - sometimes
                    perverse, sometimes noble - they
                    are determined not to disclose.
          
          MICHAEL looks content. The bell goes.
          
          INT. CORRIDOR. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          The BOYS come pouring out cheerfully into the corridor and
          head to the next classroom. MICHAEL'S demeanour has changed.
          There's a knowingness, a swagger, a confidence which is new.
          MICHAEL lingers for a moment, then slopes off in the opposite
          direction, alone.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          MICHAEL comes out the back door of the school, unobserved,
          climbs over the railings and starts to run down the street.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          Later. Dark. MICHAEL is almost asleep, HANNA awake.
          
                                                                  13.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    You never tell me what you've been
                    studying.
          
                                MICHAEL
                    Studying?
          
                              HANNA
                    At school. Do you learn languages?
          
                                MICHAEL
                    Yes.
          
                              HANNA
                    What languages?
          
                                MICHAEL
                    Latin.
          
                              HANNA
                    Say something in Latin.
          
                                MICHAEL
                    Oh...
          
          MICHAEL thinks a moment.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Quo, quo scelesti ruitis? Aut cur
                    dexteris aptantur enses conditi?
          
          MICHAEL smiles slightly.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's Horace.
          
                              HANNA
                    It's wonderful.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Do you want some Greek?
          
          MICHAEL grins, pleased to be able to do something. He goes
          and gets his satchel. HANNA turns on a light.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Oi men ippeon stroton oi de pesedon
                    oi da naon phais epi gan malainan
                    emmenai kalliston, ego de ken otto
                    tis eratai.
          
                              HANNA
                    It's beautiful.
          
                                                                  14.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    How can you tell? How do you know
                    when you've no idea what it means?
          
          HANNA looks at him a moment.
          
                              HANNA
                    What about in German?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    In German?
          
                              HANNA
                    Do you have anything?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Well, I'm writing an essay. It's
                    about a play. By a writer called
                    Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Perhaps
                    you've heard of him?
          
          HANNA makes no reaction.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The play's called Emilia Galotti.
          
                              HANNA
                    Have you got it?
          
          MICHAEL reaches down to the satchel and pulls out a book.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Here. You can read it.
          
                              HANNA
                    I'd rather listen to you.
          
          There is a silence as MICHAEL absorbs the idea.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    All right. I'm not very good.
          
          MICHAEL grins, embarrassed, then opens the book.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Act One. Scene One. The setting :
                    one of the prince's chambers.
                    Prince - "Complaints, nothing but
                    complaints, petitions, nothing but
                    petitions. For goodness' sake, just
                    imagine that people actually envy
                    us."
          
                                                                  15.
          
          
          
          INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT
          
          Later. They are in the bath together. HANNA takes a piece of
          soap and runs it lovingly down his cheek. Then she passes the
          soap across his stomach.
          
                                 HANNA
                       You're good at it, aren't you?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                       Good at what?
          
                                  HANNA
                       Reading.
          
          He smiles.
          
                                 HANNA
                       Why are you smiling?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                       Because I didn't think I was good
                       at anything.
          
          INT. GYMNASIUM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is playing handball with terrific physical
          confidence. A couple of bruising physical encounters. HOLGER,
          RUDOLF and MICHAEL all laugh. The whistle blows. Game over.
          
          EXT. TRAM. DAWN
          
          An empty tram moving through the eerie early morning streets.
          MICHAEL appears walking alongside it and gets on.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAWN
          
          MICHAEL is sitting in the second carriage. He looks up. The
          CONDUCTRESS is HANNA. At first, she does not notice him.
          MICHAEL watches, waiting to be noticed. She turns round and
          looks at him. He smiles in greeting but she makes no
          acknowledgement at all. She turns away. He frowns,
          bewildered.
          
          EXT. TRAM. DAY
          
          The tram is heading out of town.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAY
          
          HANNA is now talking animatedly to the DRIVER. They are
          getting on very well, laughing together and chatting. MICHAEL
          is still by himself in the second carriage, looking foolish.
          
                                                                    16.
          
          
          
          EXT. TRAM. DAY
          
          The tram comes to a halt and PASSENGERS get on.
          
          INT. TRAM. DAY
          
          HANNA is now in the busy second carriage, collecting tickets.
          MICHAEL looks up expectantly. But as he holds up his ticket,
          HANNA makes no reaction except to clip it. She turns away
          without speaking. The tram comes to a halt again, and
          MICHAEL, humiliated, bolts for the door.
          
          EXT. ROAD. DAY
          
          MICHAEL watches the tram disappears up the hill. He looks
          around, lost, in the middle of nowhere. A tractor goes by,
          WORKERS heading to the fields. MICHAEL sets off to walk back
          to town.
          
          INT. LANDING. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is on the stairs as HANNA comes up, in her uniform.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What was all that about?
          
          HANNA lets herself in, saying nothing.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA has gone in to put down her things at the kitchen
          table. MICHAEL follows, desperate.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I got up - at 4.30 - specially -
                    it's the first day of the holidays,
                    I'd been planning to surprise you -
          
                              HANNA
                    Poor little baby. Got up at four
                    thirty - and on your holidays too.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What is this? I was on your tram!
                    You totally ignored me! What do you
                    think I was doing? Why the hell do
                    you think I was there?
          
          MICHAEL has yelled in desperation. HANNA looks him straight
          in the eye.
          
                                                                  17.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    I haven't the slightest idea. And
                    what you do is your business not
                    mine.
          
          HANNA turns and moves away.
          
                              HANNA
                    And if you wanted to speak to me, I
                    was in the first carriage. So why
                    did you sit in the second?
          
          HANNA goes to run a bath.
          
                              HANNA
                    And now, thanks very much, I've
                    been working, I need a bath. Get
                    out, I'd like to be by myself.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I didn't mean to upset you.
          
                              HANNA
                    You don't have the power to upset
                    me. You don't matter enough to
                    upset me.
          
          She takes off her clothes to get in. As soon as she does, he
          gets up and goes into the other room. He sits by himself,
          miserable. He hears her, bathing. Then finally gets up and
          goes back in. She is still in the bath.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't know what to say. I've
                    never been with a woman. We've been
                    together four weeks and I can't
                    live without you. I can't. Even the
                    thought of it kills me.
          
          HANNA looks at him thoughtfully.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I sat in the second carriage
                    because I thought you might kiss
                    me.
          
                               HANNA
                    Kid, you thought we could make love
                    in a tram?
          
          They smile. But MICHAEL has a more urgent question.
          
                                                                    18.
          
          
          
                                MICHAEL
                      Is it true what you said? That I
                      don't matter to you?
          
          In the bath, she shakes her head.
          
                                MICHAEL
                      Do you forgive me?
          
          She nods.
          
                                MICHAEL
                      Do you love me?
          
          She looks at him. Then she nods.
          
          INT. BEDROOM. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is sitting on the side of the bed. HANNA comes in,
          wrapped in a towel.
          
                                HANNA
                      Do you have a book?
          
                                MICHAEL
                      Oh. Well I do. I took something
                      with me this morning.
          
                                HANNA
                      What is it?
          
                                MICHAEL
                      It's another play.
          
          MICHAEL gets it out of his pocket. HANNA has lain down on the
          bed, completely content.
          
                                HANNA
                      We're changing the order we do
                      things. Read to me first, kid. Then
                      we make love.
          
          MICHAEL sits at the foot of the bed and starts to read.
          
                                MICHAEL
                      Intrigue and Love, a play by
                      Friedrich Schiller...
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA is baking bread. MICHAEL is on a chair beside her with
          a book.
          
                                                                  19.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The Odyssey by Homer.
          
                              HANNA
                    What's an odyssey?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's a journey. He sets out on a
                    journey.
          
          He starts to read.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "Sing to me of the Man, Muse, the
                    man of twists and turns
                    Driven time and again off course,
                    once he had plundered
                    The hallowed heights of Troy.
                    Many cities of men he saw and
                    learned their minds,
                    Many pains he suffered, heartsick
                    at the open sea,
                    Fighting to save his life and bring
                    his comrades home...
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          HANNA is in the bath. MICHAEL is reading a Shakespeare sonnet
          to her.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "And we will some new pleasures
                    prove of golden sands and crystal
                    brooks, with silken lights and
                    silver hooks..."
          
                                 HANNA
                    Come here.
          
          She pulls him into the bath.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. NIGHT
          
          HANNA is sewing. MICHAEL is reading Huckleberry Finn.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I poked into the place aways and
                    encountered a little open patch as
                    big as a bedroom, all hung around
                    with vines and found a man lying
                    there asleep, and by Jinks it was
                    my old Jim...
          
                                                                   20.
          
          
          
          He starts acting out Jim, and the two of them collapse
          laughing.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is at the bottom of the bed. HANNA is lying inside.
          He is reading Lady Chatterley's Lover.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "Lady Chatterley felt his naked
                    flesh against her as he came into
                    her. For a moment he was still
                    inside her...
          
                              HANNA
                    This is disgusting. Where did you
                    get this?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I borrowed it from someone at
                    school.
          
                              HANNA
                    You should be ashamed. Go on.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          MICHAEL reads Tin-Tin to HANNA, who is lying on the bed. They
          are both looking at the pictures.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    `Blistering Barnacles and a
                    thundering typhoon. It is water.'
                    `But what on earth did you expect
                    it to be?'
          
                              HANNA
                    Whisky.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Whisky! By thunder, whisky.
                    `Whisky? Come now captain, you
                    can't be serious.'
          
                              HANNA
                    All right, kid, that's enough for
                    today.
          
          They fall back onto the bed.
          
                                                                     21.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I was wondering, do you think you
                    could get some time off? Maybe we
                    could go for a trip.
          
                              HANNA
                    What sort of trip?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'd love to go bicycling. Just for
                    two days.
          
          MICHAEL reaches for a book.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I've got a guide-book. I've worked
                    out the route. Look, what do you
                    think?
          
          HANNA'S look is so far-away she doesn't seem to hear the
          question. Silence. Then :
          
                              HANNA
                    I think you like planning, don't
                    you?
          
          She throws the book away and they begin to make love.
          
          INT. BEDROOM. BERG APARTMENT. DAWN
          
          First light. Dawn breaking outside the window. MICHAEL is
          working at his desk, the surface covered in stamps, his
          collection book open. He picks one with a pyramid on it and
          looks at it. Underneath, MICHAEL'S VOICE reading Intrigue and
          Love by Schiller.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    "I'm not frightened. I'm not
                    frightened of anything. Why should
                    I be? I welcome obstacles, because
                    they'll be like mountains I can fly
                    over to be in your arms. The more I
                    suffer, the more I'll love...
          
          
          INT & EXT. SHOP. DAY
          
          Seen from outside, a shop full of stamps. MICHAEL and a STAMP
          DEALER with white hair and a moustache. MICHAEL is offering
          his pyramid stamp, his gestures becoming desperate as the
          STAMP DEALER shakes his head, clearly not giving him as much
          as he hopes.
          
                                                                  22.
          
          
          Then MICHAEL concedes, the DEALER concedes, and a bunch of
          notes are handed across. MICHAEL runs exhilarated out into
          the street.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    "Danger will only increase my love,
                    it will sharpen it, it will give it
                    spice. I'll be the only angel you
                    need. On this arm, Luise, you will
                    go dancing through life. You will
                    leave life even more beautiful than
                    you entered it. Heaven will take
                    you back and look at you and say
                    `Only one thing can make a soul
                    complete, and that thing is love.'
          
          EXT. HILL. DAY
          
          HANNA and MICHAEL are whizzing down a hill together on
          bicycles. He has a rucksack. It's a rural paradise - hills on
          all sides, a gleaming river below, the sun shining brightly.
          She is wearing a blue dress.
          
          EXT. CAFE. DAY
          
          They come to a cafe and sit down outside. They pick up the
          menus on the table. A WAITRESS arrives.
          
                              WAITRESS
                    So what would you like to have?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What are you having?
          
                              HANNA
                    You order. I'll have what you have.
          
          MICHAEL starts giving the order. Next to them are a group of
          BOY SCOUTS, who are laughing among themselves.
          
                              BOYS
                    There's sausages, sausages or
                    sausages. Give it to me, come on,
                    give it here. Let me have a look.
                    You always have the same thing.
          
          They all laugh. HANNA watches them nervously.
          
          EXT. CAFE. DAY
          
          The meal finished, MICHAEL is alone, paying the bill.
          
                              WAITRESS
                    I hope your mother was happy.
          
                                                                  23.
          
          
          
                               MICHAEL
                    Thank you. She enjoyed her meal
                    very much.
          
          The WAITRESS goes. HANNA returns from inside. MICHAEL holds
          out his arm to her, which she takes. They walk away towards
          their bikes. He is smiling. MICHAEL looks round, then dares
          to reach across and kiss her on the lips. The WAITRESS
          watches.
          
          EXT. CHURCH. DAY
          
          They get off their bikes at a small church. MICHAEL stops and
          gets out a map and a guide book.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Here, let me show you where we're
                    going.
          
                              HANNA
                    It's OK, kid. I don't want to know.
          
          The sound of a choir from inside.
          
          INT. CHURCH. DAY
          
          MICHAEL and HANNA enter tentatively to find a choir
          rehearsing Bach. It is a traditional German scene - whole
          families singing together at the altar. HANNA is transported,
          entranced at the sound of the music. MICHAEL watches.
          
          EXT. RIVERSIDE. DAY
          
          HANNA is in a river, the water up to her calves, her skirt
          tied round her thighs. She is completely absorbed. Then she
          looks up, aware of being watched. MICHAEL is sitting with a
          notebook.
          
                              HANNA
                    What are you doing?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm writing a poem. About you.
          
                              HANNA
                    Can I hear it?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's not ready. I'll read it to you
                    one day.
          
                                                                     24.
          
          
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. BERLIN. DAY
          
          1995. MICHAEL, now 51, is standing by his desk. He opens a
          drawer. He takes out the recognizable notebook. He opens its
          yellowing pages and looks at the poetry. Then flips the
          pages, to some handwritten lists - the words `Odyssey',
          `Schnitzler', `Chekhov', `Zweig' with numbers beside them.
          MICHAEL flaps it shut, puts it back and turns to go out.
          
          INT. STREET. DAY
          
          MICHAEL leaves his apartment block. He gets into his black
          Mercedes.
          
          INT. CAR. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is listening on the radio to the same Bach music they
          heard in the church. He drives through the thriving modern
          city. Beyond, the huge cranes and gouged-out building sites
          of a city under construction.
          
          EXT. STREET. DAY
          
          MICHAEL swings his car into place. He gets out and heads
          across the road, prosperous, purposeful.
          
          INT. LOBBY. COURTHOUSE. DAY
          
          An ASSISTANT meets MICHAEL with his robe which he pulls on as
          he walks quickly through an elaborate lobby. GERHARD BADE,
          also in his fifties, also robed, falls in step.
          
                              GERHARD
                    You all right, Michael?
          
                                MICHAEL
                    I'm fine.
          
                              GERHARD
                    You'd better hurry. You know what
                    she's like.
          
          A robed ASSISTANT is waiting outside the door with documents
          he hands to MICHAEL. They all go in.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL joins his CLIENT, just seconds before the FEMALE
          JUDGE comes in and everyone stands. Silence. The JUDGE looks
          at MICHAEL disapprovingly, sensing his lateness. Everyone
          sits. MICHAEL sits, thinking back.
          
                                                                     25.
          
          
          
          INT. STAIRWAY. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          1958. A sheriff's posse of sixteen-year old GIRLS, come
          laughing, blushing towards the classroom. One of them is
          talking excitedly to the other.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    I'm just going to pretend I've been
                    here for years, I'm not going to
                    behave in any special way.
          
                              GIRL
                    You just wait. You wait and see.
          
          They smile together and head for the classroom.
          
          INT. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          The BOYS are already in place, dotted round, as the GIRLS
          come in. There are cries of `Here they come'. Then the
          TEACHER comes in.
          
                              TEACHER
                    Good morning, ladies. Gentlemen,
                    please welcome your new fellow-
                    students, treat them with courtesy,
                    please.
          
          Not far from MICHAEL, a GIRL sits across the aisle, virginal
          with brown hair, brown summer skin.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    Hello. My name's Sophie.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm Michael.
          
          The TEACHER comes in. The class quietens.
          
          INT. SCHOOL. DAY
          
          Later. The TEACHER is in full flow. MICHAEL can't take his
          eyes off SOPHIE.
          
                              TEACHER
                    Everyone believes that Homer's
                    subject is homecoming. In fact, The
                    Odyssey is a book about a journey.
                    Home is a place you dream of, it's
                    not a place you ever attain.
          
          The TEACHER breaks off.
          
                                                                   26.
          
          
          
                              TEACHER
                    Berg, I don't mean to distract you,
                    but we're meant to studying Homer,
                    not studying Sophia.
          
          The whole class cracks up. MICHAEL blushes.
          
          EXT. SWIMMING LAKE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is riveted as SOPHIE swims fast and lithe through the
          water. Around him, YOUNG PEOPLE are lounging round on towels.
          It's the social centre. HOLGER and RUDOLF are rubbing their
          hair with towels as SOPHIE approaches.
          
                              HOLGER
                    Michael the water's fantastic.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's wonderful, isn't it?
          
                              HOLGER
                    Wonderful. It's going to be a great
                    summer.
          
          MICHAEL looks across to where a group of AMERICANS are
          shouting and playing a very loud game of volleyball.
          
                              HOLGER
                    Now the Americans have allowed us
                    back in our own lake.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    Why are they so loud?
          
                              HOLGER
                    You should see their stores. They
                    have everything.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Oh sure. Everything mankind could
                    ever dream of.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    You don't like Americans?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Just it's more fun without them.
          
          He looks SOPHIE straight in the eye. There is a sudden
          silence, MICHAEL looking straight at SOPHIE. SOPHIE looks
          down. Then MICHAEL moves slightly to pack up his stuff.
          
                                                                  27.
          
          
          
                              SOPHIE
                    Why do you leave early?
          
                              HOLGER
                    He always leaves early.
          
          EXT. BANHOFSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is cycling back towards town, a smile on his face.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL flies up the stairs, then goes in. HANNA is sitting
          sewing. He kisses her on the cheek as he gets out a book.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    I'm sorry I'm late. I was held up
                    at school.
          
          At once he sits down opposite her. A ritual.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The Lady with the Little Dog. By
                    Anton Chekhov.
          
          HANNA looks, seeing right through him.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "The talk was that a new face had
                    appeared on the promenade, a lady
                    with a little dog."
          
          INT. GARAGE. DAY
          
          A huge tram-shed full of empty trams. HANNA is at the end of
          the garage, talking to the SUPERVISER, a large man in his
          fifties.
          
                              SUPERVISER
                    Schmitz, one moment. We've got good
                    news for you. Your work is good,
                    we're going to promote you. To work
                    with me in the office. It's more
                    money. Congratulations.
          
          He moves away. HANNA looks distraught.
          
          EXT. SWIMMING LAKE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is watching SOPHIE swimming, a look of anxiety in his
          eye, when HOLGER touches his shoulder.
          
                                                                  28.
          
          
          
                              HOLGER
                    Get a move on, we're leaving early
                    today.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Why? What for?
          
                              HOLGER
                    We're going back to Sophie's. It's
                    your birthday. We're giving you a
                    party.
          
          HOLGER and RUDOLF disappear to get dressed. SOPHIE appears in
          her swimming costume.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    Come on, it's a surprise. We
                    thought you'd like it. We've been
                    planning it for weeks.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm sorry. Really. I promised
                    someone I'd do something else.
          
          The others are furious with him. They all go off.
          
          EXT. STREET. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is cycling towards HANNA'S apartment, his hair wet
          from the lake, looking equally unhappy.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA is sitting unhappily as MICHAEL reads to her. They are
          both in a bad mood.
          
                              HANNA
                    Oh kid, kid. Stop.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What's wrong?
          
                              HANNA
                    Nothing's wrong. It's nothing.
          
          HANNA just shrugs. She goes and sits at the table to drink
          tea. MICHAEL is irritated.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You never ask, you never bother to
                    ask how I am.
          
                                                                  29.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    You never say.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It just happens to be my birthday.
                    It's my birthday, that's all. In
                    fact, you've never even asked when
                    it is.
          
                              HANNA
                    Look if you want a fight, kid...
          
                              MICHAEL
                    No, I don't want a fight. What's
                    wrong with you?
          
                              HANNA
                    What business is it of yours?
          
          She has snapped at him, razor-like.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's always on your terms.
                    Everything. We do what you want.
                    It's always what you want. My
                    friends were giving me a party!
          
                              HANNA
                    Well then why are you here? Go back
                    to your party. Isn't that what you
                    want?
          
          HANNA puts down her cup, angry. She goes into the bedroom and
          slams the door. He sits, the magic of the day gone. He gets
          up and opens the bedroom door. HANNA is on the bed.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    And it's always me that has to
                    apologize.
          
          Silence. HANNA lets time go by. Then :
          
                              HANNA
                    You don't have to apologize. No-one
                    has to apologize. No-one can make
                    you.
          
          HANNA reaches for a book from beside the bed. She throws it
          down on the cover.
          
                              HANNA
                    War and Peace, kid.
          
                                                                   30.
          
          
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          HANNA is on the edge of the bath, running water. She has a
          pale blue flowered smock. She is running with sweat. The
          smock sticks to her. MICHAEL gets out a book. HANNA drops
          lavender oil into the bath. MICHAEL stands in the bath and
          she washes his body.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          They are making love on the bed. It's intense. At one point
          she moves on top of him. She holds his head between her
          hands, as if she would crush the life out of him. Then she
          lets go.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          They are both sweating, exhausted. She looks a moment.
          
                              HANNA
                    Now you must go back to your
                    friends.
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL has gone. HANNA washes out milk bottles and empties
          them into the sink. Then she picks up her luggage and leaves
          the empty apartment.
          
          EXT. SWIMMING LAKE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is sitting on the pier watching as HOLGER, RUDOLF and
          SOPHIE swim competitively out to a pontoon, then turn back,
          full of energy and high spirits. MICHAEL watches for a while,
          then suddenly he gets up and starts to run away from them
          all.
          
                              SOPHIE
                    Michael. You all right?
          
          But MICHAEL is running away across the lakeside beach.
          
          INT. LANDING & HANNA'S APARTMENT. DUSK
          
          MICHAEL opens the door. He goes in. The apartment is emptied,
          the rented furniture in place, all trace of HANNA gone. He
          looks round. He looks at the empty bath, the tap above it. He
          opens the kitchen cupboards - some coffee, sugar, that's
          about it. He goes into the bedroom, the bed stripped bare. He
          lies down on the bed.
          
                                                                  31.
          
          
          
          INT. HANNA'S APARTMENT. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL lying on the bed, curled up, in his clothes, like a
          foetus, asleep.
          
          INT. APARTMENT. DAY
          
          The family at breakfast. MICHAEL slips quietly in the main
          door, trying to go to his room without being heard. EMILY
          runs to look.
          
                                 EMILY
                    It's him.
          
          Sheepishly MICHAEL appears.
          
                              CARLA
                    Where were you last night? What
                    happened?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I stayed at a friend's.
          
                                 PETER
                    Carla.
          
          PETER looks. He seems to know exactly what's been going on.
          
                              PETER
                    Get the boy something to eat. I
                    think we all knew you'd come back
                    to us eventually.
          
          EXT. SWIMMING LAKE. DUSK
          
          MICHAEL is alone in the deserted pool. He is on the jetty. He
          takes off his clothes and slips into the water. Just his
          head, like a seal's, at one end, just out of the water, quite
          still.
          
          INT. COURTHOUSE. NIGHT
          
          1995. MICHAEL sitting alone, thinking back.
          
          EXT. SWIMMING LAKE. DUSK
          
          1958. The sun slants, and for a few seconds the water
          dazzles. He slips his head under.
          
          INT. COURTHOUSE. DAY
          
          1995. MICHAEL still sitting thoughtfully by himself in the
          empty court. Then he looks up. An ASSISTANT has appeared.
          
                                                                    32.
          
          
          
                              ASSISTANT
                    Mr Berg. It is eight o'clock. Your
                    daughter.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Thank you.
          
          He gets up.
          
          INT. BRASSERIE. BERLIN. NIGHT
          
          JULIA is already at the table in a chic modern brasserie. She
          is a sympathetic young woman of around 23. MICHAEL
          approaches. When she sees him, she gets up.
          
                              JULIA
                    I was early.
          
          MICHAEL leans in and kisses her on the cheek.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Julia.
          
          They're uneasy. She looks a moment, then they sit down.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Welcome back.
          
          INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT
          
          Later. They have eaten. They both have big glasses of red
          wine. It's more relaxed.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    So how will you decide?
          
                              JULIA
                    I don't know. I'm happy back in
                    Berlin, I suppose.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You've seen your mother?
          
          JULIA nods.
          
                              JULIA
                    I wanted to get away. There was
                    nothing more to it. It was Paris,
                    but it could have been anywhere.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Away from your parents?
          
                                                                  33.
          
          
          
          JULIA doesn't answer.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm aware I was difficult. I wasn't
                    always open with you. I'm not open
                    with anyone.
          
                              JULIA
                    I knew you were distant. I'd always
                    assumed it was my fault.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Julia. How wrong can you be?
          
          JULIA colours, on the verge of tears. Then she looks away.
          
          INT & EXT. CAR. NIGHT
          
          They drive through the gleaming streets. It's been raining -
          Berlin is glistening. Their voices :
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I admit it now, I was nervous.
          
                              JULIA
                    I was nervous too. It's silly isn't
                    it?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It is silly.
          
                              JULIA
                    Thank you for dinner.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'll see you very soon.
          
          EXT. CAR. DAY
          
          MICHAEL lets JULIA out, and is watching her safely to her
          door from the car.
          
                              JULIA
                    Good night, Dad.
          
          MICHAEL suddenly gets out himself.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Julia, wait. I want to ask you a
                    favour.
          
                              JULIA
                    What favour?
          
                                                                  34.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I want to take you on a trip. I
                    want to show you something.
          
                                 JULIA
                    When?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Tomorrow, maybe. Can I pick you up
                    in the car?
          
          JULIA doesn't need to say anything.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    At ten, say.
          
          JULIA smiles.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Then good.
          
          MICHAEL hugs her, his heart aching with love. JULIA goes in
          to her place. MICHAEL is left standing still in the plaza
          outside, not moving. Underneath the sound of what follows,
          thirty years previously.
          
          INT. LECTURE ROOM. HEIDELBERG LAW SCHOOL. DAY
          
          1966. A WOMAN LECTURER has a class of about 75 STUDENTS. From
          their hair, their dress, it could only be the 1960s.
          
                              LECTURER
                    Those of you for the special
                    seminar group on The Legal System
                    in the Third Reich, please stay on
                    in this room. Professor Rohl will
                    be here in a moment.
          
          Nearly all the STUDENTS leave, talking among themselves. Just
          eight are left, dotted around the huge room. MICHAEL is one
          of them, now 22, in a corduroy jacket and tie. There is a
          lull. MICHAEL looks round at the group of oddballs, then
          finds ROHL, distinguished, greying, is already in front of
          them.
          
                              ROHL
                    Well, we seem to be quite a small
                    group. A small group and a select
                    one. Clearly, this is going to be a
                    unique seminar. Let me start by
                    thanking those of you who've chosen
                    to take part. Good for you. A
                    reading list, gentlemen.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  35.
          
                              ROHL (cont'd)
                    Karl Jaspers, The Question of
                    German Guilt...
          
          A calm STUDENT with long hair smiles at MICHAEL. She looks
          like Francoise Hardy. She murmurs.
          
                              MARTHE
                    And ladies.
          
          INT. STUDENT DIGS. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL is working alone at his desk, a light on. The door of
          his extremely modest student digs is open. MARTHE appears at
          the door, silently. He looks up.
          
                              MARTHE
                    So this is where you are.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Yes. Come in.
          
          But neither of them move. MARTHE just smiles from the door.
          
                              MARTHE
                    You take work seriously.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Oh I don't know.
          
                              MARTHE
                    You're rather a serious boy.
          
          MARTHE shrugs slightly.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's how I was brought up. What
                    about you? Are you serious?
          
                              MARTHE
                    You're sure you want to work
                    tonight?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Well I do. But I won't work every
                    night.
          
                              MARTHE
                    See you tomorrow.
          
          They smile at one another. She goes.
          
                                                                   36.
          
          
          
          INT. TRAIN. DAY
          
          The seminar group, long-haired, hippyish, is on the train :
          PROFESSOR ROHL, with MARTHE, DIETER and a few others. MICHAEL
          catches MARTHA'S eye. They smile. Then he opens the window,
          cheerful.
          
          EXT. TOWN HALL. MANNHEIM. DAY
          
          The STUDENTS are having a cigarette in front of the huge
          building. Two black vans with barred windows come by,
          carrying prisoners. The first one veers close to MICHAEL on
          the pavement, then disappears into the inner courtyard. ROHL
          smiles at MICHAEL.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Why all the police?
          
                              ROHL
                    They're worried about
                    demonstrators.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    For or against?
          
                                ROHL
                    Both.
          
          INT. TOWN HALL. DAY
          
          A courtroom has been improvised inside the town hall. There
          are large windows, with milky glass, down the left-hand side.
          As ROHL and the STUDENTS arrive, the court is a melee of
          PHOTOGRAPHERS, LAWYERS and PUBLIC. The three JUDGES are
          already in place, next to six selected CITIZENS. MICHAEL and
          the others take places in the gallery
          
                              CLERK
                    All photographers are now asked to
                    leave.
          
          The PHOTOGRAPHERS go.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The defendants, please.
          
          From being noisy and chaotic, the court is now silent.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The first thing I'm going to do is
                    hear motions from each of the
                    defendants' lawyers.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  37.
          
                              JUDGE (cont'd)
                    They're going to be arguing that
                    there's no reason to keep the
                    defendants in jail until the
                    outcome of the forthcoming trial.
          
          DIETER grins at MICHAEL in anticipation.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I am going to take these cases one
                    by one.
          
          MICHAEL is leaning down to get stuff out of his briefcase, as
          MARTHE shakes a pen which isn't working.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Do you want a pen?
          
                              MARTHE
                    I've got a pen.
          
          So MICHAEL doesn't hear as the JUDGE speaks.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Hanna Schmitz.
          
          There is a row of six DEFENDANTS. The fifth woman is HANNA,
          her hair tied in a knot, her gaze fixedly into the middle
          distance, not looking towards the SPECTATORS. She is wearing
          a grey dress with short sleeves. They all sit, sideways to
          the gallery. HANNA rises to her feet. The words seem to come
          very quietly, across a great distance.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Your name is Hanna Schmitz?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
          It is only when the JUDGE repeats the name that MICHAEL looks
          up, hearing it for the first time.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Can you speak louder please?
          
                              HANNA
                    My name is Hanna Schmitz.
          
          MICHAEL is rigid, blank, just staring.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Thank you. You were born on October
                    21st, 1922?
          
                                                                  38.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                               JUDGE
                    At Hermannstadt. And you're now 43
                    years old?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                              JUDGE
                    You joined the SS in 1943?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                              JUDGE
                    What was your reason? What was your
                    reason for joining?
          
          HANNA doesn't answer.
          
                              JUDGE
                    You were working at the Siemens
                    factory at the time?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                              JUDGE
                    You'd recently been offered a
                    promotion. Why did you prefer to
                    join the SS?
          
          HANNA has a DEFENCE COUNSEL, a young man, beside her, who is
          about to get up. But the JUDGE forestalls him.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I'll re-phrase my question. I'm
                    trying to ascertain if she joined
                    the SS freely. Of her own free
                    will.
          
          Everyone waits.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Well?
          
                              HANNA
                    I heard there were jobs.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Go on.
          
                                                                   39.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    I was working at Siemens when I
                    heard the SS was recruiting.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Did you know the kind of work you'd
                    be expected to do?
          
                              HANNA
                    They were looking for guards. I
                    applied for a job.
          
          MICHAEL is intent now, so are the STUDENTS beside him.
          
                              JUDGE
                    And you worked first at Auschwitz?
          
                                HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Until 1944. Then you were moved to
                    a smaller camp near Cracow?
          
                                HANNA
                    Yes.
          
          ROHL leans into MICHAEL.
          
                              ROHL
                    Are you OK?
          
                                MICHAEL
                    I'm fine.
          
                              JUDGE
                    You then helped move the prisoners
                    west in the winter of 1944 in the
                    so-called death marches?
          
          INT. TRAIN. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is hanging out of the window of the train, smoking a
          cigarette.
          
          INT. TRAIN. DAY
          
          MICHAEL sits down in his seat. ROHL moves to sit opposite
          him.
          
                              ROHL
                    So what did you think?
          
                                                                  40.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't know. It wasn't quite what
                    I expecting.
          
                              ROHL
                    Wasn't it? In what way? What were
                    you expecting?
          
          ROHL is looking at him. MICHAEL doesn't answer.
          
                              DIETER
                    I thought it was exciting.
          
                                ROHL
                    Exciting?
          
                                DIETER
                    Yes.
          
                              ROHL
                    Why? Why did you think it exciting?
          
                              DIETER
                    Because it's justice.
          
          EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY
          
          The train hurtles through the German countryside.
          
          INT. STUDENT DIGS. NIGHT
          
          A student party, in a candle-lit room. MARTHE is singing to a
          guitar. It's been going on for hours - the STUDENTS are on
          the floor with beer and cigarettes. The front door is open.
          DIETER, beer in hand, looks out to the balcony where he can
          see MICHAEL bent away from them, all by himself.
          
          EXT. STUDENT DIGS. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL, his arms on the balcony, is smoking, looking out
          into the night. His eye lands on a student room in which a
          couple are making love.
          
          INT. LECTURE ROOM. HEIDELBERG LAW SCHOOL. DAY
          
          The small STUDENT GROUP is now rattling around informally in
          the big lecture room.
          
                              ROHL
                    I need to correct an impression.
                    Dieter said yesterday this was
                    about justice. But is it?
                              (MORE)
          
                                                          41.
          
                              ROHL (cont'd)
                    If it were about justice you might
                    ask why has it taken so long? The
                    war ended twenty years ago.
                    Remember, there've been no
                    significant trials between
                    Nuremburg in 1946 and the Auschwitz
                    trials a couple of years ago.
                    That's a long gap. What's the
                    reason for the gap?
          
          ROHL waits a moment for a STUDENT to answer.
          
                              DIETER
                    I'd have thought it was obvious.
          
                              ROHL
                    Say.
          
                              DIETER
                    Cowardice. It's cowardice, isn't
                    it? It's bad conscience. It's the
                    big cover-up.
          
                              ROHL
                    Go on.
          
                              DIETER
                    After the war. The German people
                    didn't want to look at what they'd
                    done.
          
                              ROHL
                    Is that right?
          
                              DIETER
                    Because they had too much to hide.
                    All our parents are liars. All
                    right, mine are. So it's left to
                    us, isn't it?
          
                              ROHL
                    How so?
          
                              DIETER
                    Because we're not implicated.
          
                              ROHL
                    Aren't you? Good. So that's all
                    right then.
          
          Everyone laughs.
          
                                                                  42.
          
          
          
                              MARTHE
                    No, but seriously, Dieter's right.
                    My parents, I can't even talk to
                    them. I don't love them. How could
                    I? How could anyone love them?
                    Because they've told themselves so
                    many lies, they can't remember the
                    truth, let alone admit it. Isn't
                    that why we signed up for this
                    seminar?
          
                              ROHL
                    I don't know. You tell me.
          
                              MARTHE
                    Speaking for myself.
          
                               ROHL
                    Michael?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm not sure any more.
          
          ROHL is staring at him thoughtfully.
          
                              ROHL
                    What did your father do, Dieter?
          
                               DIETER
                    If you want to know, he was in the
                    Waffen SS.
          
          There are some smiles, but DIETER rides over the reaction.
          
                              DIETER
                    That's what I mean, that's what I'm
                    saying. So were a million other
                    Germans.
          
                              ROHL
                    That's exactly my point. That's why
                    it's better not to pretend this is
                    about justice. Forgive me, nor is
                    it about getting into an emotional
                    state. It has no purpose if it's
                    just the young giving their parents
                    a bad time.
          
          There's a silence. That's clearly why some of them are there.
          
                              MARTHE
                    So what is it about? What do you
                    think?
          
                                                                    43.
          
          
          
                              ROHL
                    Societies think they operate by
                    something called morality. But they
                    don't. They operate by something
                    called law. You're not guilty of
                    anything merely by working at
                    Auschwitz. 8,000 people worked at
                    Auschwitz. Precisely 19 have been
                    convicted, and only 6 for murder.
                    To prove murder you have to prove
                    intent. That's the law. Remember,
                    the question is never `Was it
                    wrong?' but `Was it legal?' And not
                    by our laws, no, by the laws at the
                    time.
          
          DIETER frowns, unhappy.
          
                              DIETER
                    But isn't that...
          
                              ROHL
                    What?
          
                              DIETER
                    Narrow?
          
                              ROHL
                    Yes. The law is narrow.
          
          ROHL looks unapologetic.
          
                              ROHL
                    On the other hand, I suspect people
                    who kill other people tend to be
                    aware that it's wrong.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. MANNHEIM. DAY
          
          ROHL is leaning forward, attentive. HANNA is standing,
          opposite the JUDGE, who holds up a book called MOTHER &
          DAUGHTER : A STORY OF SURVIVAL.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Miss Schmitz, you're familiar with
                    this book...
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes...
          
                              JUDGE
                    Parts of it have already been read
                    out in court.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  44.
          
                              JUDGE (cont'd)
                    It's an American publication, which
                    has been translated. It's by a
                    survivor, a prisoner who survived,
                    Ilana Mather...
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes I know. I know Ilana Mather.
          
                              JUDGE
                    She was in the camp, wasn't she,
                    when she was a child? She was with
                    her mother.
          
          The judge waits. HANNA seems arrogant, defiant.
          
                              JUDGE
                    In the book, she describes a
                    selection process. At the end of
                    the month's labour, every month,
                    sixty inmates were selected. They
                    were picked out to be sent from the
                    satellite camp back to Auschwitz.
                    That's right, isn't it?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes, it's right.
          
                              JUDGE
                    And so far, each of your fellow
                    defendants has specifically denied
                    being part of that process. Now I'm
                    going to ask you. Were you part of
                    it?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
          There is a stir among the other DEFENDANTS and in the court.
          They start talking to their LAWYERS.
          
                              JUDGE
                    So you helped make the selection?
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes.
          
                              JUDGE
                    You admit that? Then tell me, how
                    did that selection happen?
          
          HANNA shrugs slightly, as though it were obvious.
          
                                                                  45.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    There were six guards, so we
                    decided we'd choose ten people
                    each. That's how we did it - every
                    month. We'd all choose ten.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Are you saying your fellow
                    defendants took part in the
                    process?
          
                              HANNA
                    We all did.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Even though they've denied it? But
                    you admit it. You're saying you
                    took part in the process.
          
          The other DEFENDANTS stir with animosity, but the JUDGE is
          intent, following his own line.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Did you not realise you were
                    sending these women to their
                    deaths?
          
          He waits. HANNA nods slightly.
          
                              HANNA
                    Yes but there were new arrivals,
                    new women were arriving all the
                    time, so of course we had to move
                    some of the old ones on.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I'm not sure you understand...
          
                              HANNA
                    We couldn't keep everyone. There
                    wasn't room.
          
          The JUDGE frowns, genuinely surprised that she doesn't seem
          to understand his point.
          
                              JUDGE
                    No, but what I'm saying : let me
                    rephrase : to make room, you were
                    picking women out and saying `You
                    you and you have to be sent back to
                    be killed.'
          
                                                                  46.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    Well, what would you have done?
          
          HANNA is looking at the JUDGE - a perfectly straight
          question. MICHAEL smiles slightly, proud of her. Everyone in
          the court waits for the JUDGE to answer. Silence. ROHL is
          impassive. But HANNA follows her own thoughts. She quietly
          asks herself a question.
          
                              HANNA
                    So should I never have signed up at
                    Siemens?
          
          INT. LOBBY. TOWN HALL. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is alone, smoking. On a bench, side by side, are two
          women. One is very small, dark, in her sixties. The other is
          composed, formidable, elegant, in her thirties. ROSE and
          ILANA MATHER. They look up, catching MICHAEL's eye. Then a
          CLERK leans in to the younger woman.
          
                              CLERK
                    Ms. Mather, they're ready for you
                    now.
          
          The two women go into the court. The door closes.
          
          INT. LOBBY & COURTROOM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is alone in the now-deserted lobby, unwilling to go
          back. Then he goes to the door. He opens it a little. The
          sound of the trial. He opens the door fully. MICHAEL can see
          that it is ILANA who is testifying. The court is
          conspicuously packed. Large black-and-white photographs of
          the labour camp now dominate the room. MICHAEL comes quietly
          into the back of the room as the trial goes on.
          
          MICHAEL has pushed past a couple of people to sit down near
          ROSE who is sitting in the body of the court. He looks across
          to the DEFENDANTS. RITA BECKHART, a large older woman, is one
          of a couple who isn't bothering to listen.
          
                              PROSECUTOR
                    In your book you describe the
                    process of selection...
          
                              ILANA
                    Yes. You were made to work and
                    then, when you were no longer any
                    use to them, then they sent you
                    back to Auschwitz to be killed.
          
                                                                  47.
          
          
          
                              PROSECUTOR
                    Are there people here today who
                    made that selection?
          
                              ILANA
                    Yes.
          
                              PROSECUTOR
                    I need you to identify them. Can
                    you please point them out?
          
          ILANA points with her finger at the DEFENDANTS.
          
                              ILANA
                    Her. And her. And her. And her. And
                    her. And her.
          
          The last finger has been to HANNA. MICHAEL watches, but HANNA
          does not react.
          
                              ILANA
                    Each of the guards would choose a
                    certain number of women. Hanna
                    Schmitz chose differently.
          
                              JUDGE
                    In what way differently?
          
                              ILANA
                    She had favourites. Girls, mostly
                    young. We all remarked on it, she
                    gave them food and places to sleep.
                    In the evening, she asked them to
                    join her. We all thought - well,
                    you can imagine what we thought.
          
          HANNA stares back, impassive. MICHAEL watches.
          
                              ILANA
                    Then we found out - she was making
                    these women read aloud to her. They
                    were reading to her. At first we
                    thought this guard, this guard is
                    more sensitive, she's more human,
                    she's kinder. Often she chose the
                    weak, the sick, she picked them
                    out, she seemed to be protecting
                    them almost. But then she
                    dispatched them. Is that kinder?
          
          HANNA looks back, not apologizing.
          
                                                                  48.
          
          
          
          INT. LOBBY. TOWN HALL. DAY
          
          MICHAEL sits alone, head in hands, in despair.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. DAY
          
          Now ROSE is testifying. The court is quiet, focused.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I want to move on now to the march.
                    As I understand it, you and your
                    daughter were marched for many
                    months.
          
                              ROSE
                    Yes. It was the winter of 1944. Our
                    camp was closed down, we were told
                    we had to move on. But the plan
                    kept changing every day. Women were
                    dying all around us in the snow.
                    Half of us died on the march. My
                    daughter says in the book, less a
                    death march, more a death gallop.
          
          MICHAEL looks along the row to where ILANA is now sitting.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Please tell us about the night in
                    the church.
          
          MICHAEL watches as ROSE looks across to ILANA. ILANA stares
          back at her. MICHAEL watches the exchange as ROSE nods, as if
          accepting she must go ahead and speak.
          
                              ROSE
                    That night we actually thought we
                    were lucky because we had a roof
                    over our heads. We'd arrived in a
                    village, as always, the guards took
                    the best quarters, they took the
                    priest's house. But they let us
                    sleep in a church. There was a
                    bombing raid. In the middle of the
                    night. At first we could only hear
                    the fire, it was in the steeple.
                    Then we could see burning beams,
                    and they began to crash to the
                    floor. Everyone rushed, rushed to
                    the doors. But the doors had been
                    locked on the outside.
          
                                                                     49.
          
          
          
                                 JUDGE
                       The church burned down? Nobody came
                       to open the doors? Is that right?
          
                                 ROSE
                       Nobody.
          
                                 JUDGE
                       Even though you were all burning to
                       death?
          
          ROSE nods.
          
                                 JUDGE
                       How many people were killed?
          
                                 ROSE
                       Everyone was killed.
          
                                 JUDGE
                       How did you survive?
          
                                 ROSE
                       I needed to get away from the other
                       women. Because they were panicking,
                       they were screaming. I couldn't
                       stand it. I couldn't stand their
                       screaming. I was more frightened of
                       the other women than I was of the
                       fire. So I too my daughter and led
                       her to the upper floor. I can't
                       defend what I did. It's impossible
                       to defend. I took Ilana in my arms
                       and I led her towards the fire.
                       There was a small gallery at the
                       side of the church on the upper
                       level. It saved our lives. The
                       gallery didn't burn.
          
          ROSE turns, in tears, to look at ILANA.
          
                                 JUDGE
                       Thank you. I want to thank you for
                       coming to this country today to
                       testify.
          
          INT. LECTURE ROOM. LAW SCHOOL. DAY
          
          The group is back in the big hall. But the atmosphere is
          grim. It's a while before DIETER speaks.
          
                                                                  50.
          
          
          
                              DIETER
                    I don't know. I don't know what
                    we're doing any more.
          
                                 ROHL
                    Don't you?
          
                              DIETER
                    You keep telling us to think like
                    lawyers, but there's something
                    disgusting about this.
          
          ROHL is very still, like an analyst who is finally leading
          his patient to the heart of things.
          
                                 ROHL
                    How so?
          
                              DIETER
                    This didn't happen to the Germans.
                    It happened to the Jews.
          
          Everyone is shocked at his violent passion.
          
                              DIETER
                    What are we trying to do?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    We're trying to understand.
          
                              DIETER
                    Six women locked    three hundred Jews
                    in a church, and    let them burn.
                    What is there to    understand? Tell
                    me, I'm asking :    what is there to
                    understand?
          
          MICHAEL can't answer. DIETER gets up, outraged now.
          
                              DIETER
                    I started out believing in this
                    trial, I thought it was great, now
                    I think it's just a diversion.
          
                              ROHL
                    Yes? Diversion from what?
          
                              DIETER
                    You choose six women, you put them
                    on trial, you say `They were the
                    evil ones, they were the guilty
                    ones'. Brilliant!
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  51.
          
                              DIETER (cont'd)
                    Because one of the victims happened
                    to write a book! That's why they're
                    on trial and nobody else. Do you
                    know how many camps there were in
                    Europe?
          
          DIETER turns, furious.
          
                              DIETER
                    People go on about how much did
                    everyone know? `Who knew?' `What
                    did they know?' That isn't the
                    question. The question is `How
                    could you let it happen?' And -
                    better - `Why didn't you kill
                    yourself when you found out?'
          
          One of the group walks out.
          
                              DIETER
                    Thousands! That's how many. There
                    were thousands of camps. Everyone
                    knew.
          
          DIETER'S passion is so great that everyone is shaken.
          
                              DIETER
                    Look at that woman...
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Which woman?
          
                              DIETER
                    The woman you're always staring at.
                    I'm sorry but you are.
          
          MICHAEL is white. The atmosphere is electric.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't know which woman you mean.
          
                              DIETER
                    You know what I'd do? Put the gun
                    in my hand, I'd shoot her myself.
          
          EXT. EMPTY ROAD. DAY
          
          MICHAEL walks along an empty wooded road, miles from
          anywhere. The sun is shining through the trees behind him.
          
                                                                    52.
          
          
          
          EXT. STRUTHOF CAMP. DAY
          
          The wire fence of a concentration camp, deserted. MICHAEL,
          with a back-pack, goes alone through the metal gate. MICHAEL
          walks among the deserted empty huts.
          
          INT. STRUTHOF CAMP. DAY
          
          Inside one of the huts, MICHAEL is by himself staring at a
          line of empty beds. He moves on, overwhelmed, lost. He passes
          through the showers. Then he comes to a room with vast metal
          cages on either side. In the cages, the countless dusty shoes
          of the exterminated.
          
          INT. STRUTHOF CAMP. DAY
          
          MICHAEL opens a door and walks into a room with a line of gas
          ovens. He walks past them. Then he stands beside them, his
          head down.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. DAY
          
          HANNA is standing being examined by the JUDGE. Large
          photographs and maps of the village, with the lay-out of the
          church, are now on display.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Why did you not unlock the doors?
          
          He waits. HANNA doesn't reply.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Why did you not unlock the doors?
          
          The JUDGE turns to the row of DEFENDANTS.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I've asked all of you and I'm
                    getting no answer. Two of the
                    victims are in this court. They
                    deserve an answer.
          
          ILANA and ROSE are not far away from MICHAEL and the
          STUDENTS. The JUDGE puts down a bound handwritten document.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Here, this is the SS report. You
                    all have copies.
          
          There is a flurry of paperwork among the DEFENDANTS and
          LAWYERS as they turn to their copies.
          
                                                                  53.
          
          
          
                              JUDGE
                    This is the report which was
                    written, approved and signed by all
                    of you immediately after the event.
                    In the written report, you all
                    claim you didn't even know about
                    the fire until after it happened.
                    But that isn't true, is it?
          
          The JUDGE waits.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Well? It isn't true.
          
                              HANNA
                    I don't know what you're asking.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The first thing I'm asking is, why
                    didn't you unlock the doors?
          
          HANNA takes a look to the other DEFENDANTS. For the first
          time her poise is crumbling.
          
                              HANNA
                    Obviously. For the obvious reason.
                    We couldn't.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Why? Why couldn't you?
          
                              HANNA
                    We were guards. Our job was to
                    guard the prisoners. We couldn't
                    just let them escape.
          
                              JUDGE
                    I see. And if they escaped, then
                    you'd be blamed, you'd be charged,
                    you might even be executed?
          
                                 HANNA
                    No.
          
                                 JUDGE
                    Well then?
          
          The JUDGE waits.
          
                              HANNA
                    If we opened the doors, then there
                    would have been chaos. How could we
                    have restored order?
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                   54.
          
                              HANNA (cont'd)
                    It happened so fast. It was
                    snowing. The bombs - There were
                    flames all over the village. Then
                    the screaming began. It got worse
                    and worse. And if they'd all come
                    rushing out, we couldn't just let
                    them escape. We couldn't. We were
                    responsible for them.
          
                              JUDGE
                    So you did know what was happening?
                    You did know? You made a choice.
                    You let them die rather than risk
                    letting them escape.
          
          HANNA can't answer - she has no answer.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The other defendants have made an
                    allegation against you. Have you
                    heard this allegation?
          
          HANNA does not reply.
          
                              JUDGE
                    They say you were in charge.
          
                              HANNA
                    It isn't true. I was just one of
                    the guards.
          
          The other DEFENDANTS interrupt to call out `She was in
          charge'.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Did you write the report?
          
                              HANNA
                    No. No. We all discussed what to
                    say. We all wrote it together.
          
                              BECKHART
                    She wrote it! She wrote the report.
                    She was in charge.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Is that true?
          
                              HANNA
                    No. And I didn't write the report.
                    Does it matter who did?
          
          RITA BECKHART has called out from her place. The JUDGE looks
          at HANNA a moment.
          
                                                                  55.
          
          
          
                              JUDGE
                    I need to see a sample of your
                    handwriting.
          
                              HANNA
                    My handwriting?
          
                              JUDGE
                    Yes. I need to establish who wrote
                    the report.
          
          At once HANNA'S COUNSEL rises.
          
                              HANNA'S COUNSEL
                    I'm sorry, but I really don't see
                    how that's appropriate. Nearly
                    twenty years have gone by.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Somebody take her this piece of
                    paper.
          
                              HANNA'S COUNSEL
                    Are you really going to compare
                    handwriting of twenty years ago,
                    with handwriting of today?
          
                              JUDGE
                    Give her the paper. Counsel,
                    approach the bench.
          
          A piece of paper and a pen are put down in front of HANNA.
          Her COUNSEL moves to the bench. MICHAEL stares, first at her,
          then at the pen and paper, an apprehension rising in him.
          
          INT & EXT. DAY AND NIGHT. FLASHBACKS
          
          MICHAEL thinks back, to HANNA in her bedroom saying `No you
          read', to her looking puzzled at the menu on the bicycle
          trip, and to her throwing a book away in the apartment. At
          this moment, MICHAEL realises she is illiterate.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. DAY
          
          Back in the courtroom, HANNA looks up to the JUDGE to stop
          the conference.
          
                              HANNA
                    There's no need. I wrote the
                    report.
          
                                                                  56.
          
          
          
          MICHAEL, in a panic, pushes along his row, past ROHL and the
          others, who all look up, knowing something is going on. HANNA
          turns, as if sensing him behind her.
          
          INT. STAIRS. HEIDELBERG LAW SCHOOL. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is sitting on the steps outside the lecture room.
          ROHL walks straight past him.
          
                              ROHL
                    You've been skipping seminars.
          
          INT. LECTURE ROOM. HEIDELBERG LAW SCHOOL. DAY
          
          MICHAEL comes into the room and sits down, smoking a
          cigarette. ROHL waits.
          
                              ROHL
                    So?
          
          MICHAEL looks at him.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I have a piece of information.
                    Concerning one of the defendants.
                    Something they're not admitting.
          
                              ROHL
                    What information?
          
          MICHAEL stubs out his cigarette.
          
                              ROHL
                    You don't need me to tell you. It's
                    perfectly clear you have a moral
                    obligation to disclose it to the
                    court.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It happens this information is
                    favourable to the defendant. It can
                    help her case. It may even affect
                    the outcome, certainly the
                    sentencing.
          
                              ROHL
                    So?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    There's a problem. The defendant
                    herself is determined to keep this
                    information secret.
          
                                                                  57.
          
          
          
          Two STUDENTS come in for the seminar.
          
                              ROHL
                    A moment, please. Please.
          
          Chastened, they leave.
          
                              ROHL
                    What are her reasons?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Because she's ashamed.
          
                              ROHL
                    Ashamed? Ashamed of what?
          
          MICHAEL doesn't answer.
          
                              ROHL
                    Have you spoken to her?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Of course not.
          
                              ROHL
                    Why of course not?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I can't. I can't do that. I can't
                    talk to her.
          
                              ROHL
                    What we feel isn't important. It's
                    utterly unimportant. The only
                    question is what we do.
          
          ROHL gets up.
          
                              ROHL
                    If people like you don't learn from
                    what happened to people like me,
                    then what the hell is the point of
                    anything?
          
          INT. REMAND CELL. EVE
          
          HANNA is sitting on the edge of her bed. A GUARD comes to the
          door.
          
                              GUARD
                    You have a visitor. Michael Berg.
          
          HANNA is taken aback for a moment. Then she gets up.
          
                                                                    58.
          
          
          
          EXT. PRISON WAITING ROOM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is standing smoking a cigarette in the waiting area.
          A whole number of visitors, old people, children, families
          are waiting. Some kids are playing with a football. Then a
          GUARD arrives and calls out names. MICHAEL's name is called.
          
          INT. MEETING ROOM. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA is led swiftly down a prison corridor towards her
          meeting and sat down at a desk to wait.
          
          EXT. PRISON YARD. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is led in the GROUP towards the visiting room. It has
          come on to snow. As he walks towards the room, he loses
          heart. He changes his mind. The rest of the GROUP go on, as
          he falls behind, watching them go. He begins to turn back.
          
          INT. MEETING ROOM. PRISON. DAY.
          
          HANNA sits down at the empty table, waiting.
          
          EXT. PRISON YARD. DAY
          
          MICHAEL turns away and heads back the way he came.
          
          INT. MEETING ROOM. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA looks round. Nobody is coming. She waits more.
          
                                 GUARD
                    Time's up.
          
          INT. PRISON. EVE
          
          HANNA is still waiting. Then she is led back to her cell.
          
          INT. MARTHE'S ROOM. STUDENT DIGS. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL appears at the door of MARTHE'S room. She is working
          at her desk. He smiles and closes the door.
          
                              MARTHE
                    You've taken your time.
          
          They kiss. She starts to pull his clothes off. He lets her.
          He makes no move to undress her. She takes all his clothes
          off until he is naked, and she remains clothed. He looks at
          her a moment, then takes her in his arms and they go down on
          the bed. They make love.
          
                                                                  59.
          
          
          
          INT. MARTHE'S ROOM. NIGHT
          
          MARTHE is apparently asleep, MICHAEL awake. As quietly as he
          can MICHAEL tries to slip away.
          
                              MARTHE
                    Where are you going?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm sorry. I need to sleep by
                    myself.
          
          INT. REMAND CELL. DAWN
          
          HANNA is standing naked at the sink, preparing herself for
          the day.
          
          INT. STUDENT DIGS. MICHAEL'S ROOM. DAWN
          
          MICHAEL is lying in his own bed, staring up at the ceiling,
          not able to sleep. MICHAEL reluctantly pushes back the cover
          and gets naked out of bed. Slowly he begins to dress.
          
          INT. REMAND CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA washes herself, naked.
          
          INT. STUDENT DIGS. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is dressed now. He stands in front of his mirror,
          adjusting his tie.
          
          INT. REMAND CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA stands in front of the mirror, tying her tie. There is
          a small, inadequate mirror in which she checks her dress - a
          black suit, a white blouse and black tie. She looks very
          formal.
          
          INT. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA is led through the prison by a GUARD.
          
          EXT. TOWN HALL. DAY
          
          A lot of people heading into the courtroom. As the seminar
          group goes in, MICHAEL hangs back. ROHL looks at him as he
          goes through the doors. MICHAEL is left outside, then goes to
          watch as the vans arrive.
          
                                                                   60.
          
          
          
          INT. COURTROOM. TOWN HALL. DAY
          
          HANNA and the PRISONERS are led into the court. HANNA'S suit
          is so formal that members of the public call out. `Nazi!
          Nazi!' DIETER leans in to MARTHE. HANNA walks on to her
          place.
          
          INT. COURTROOM. DAY
          
          Everyone rises as the JUDGES come in to take their places.
          HANNA's face is resigned, without expression. The JUDGES sit.
          The whole court goes quiet.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The court finds guilty the
                    defendants Rita Beckhart, Karolina
                    Steinhof, Regina Kreutz, Angela
                    Zieber, Andrea Luhmann jointly
                    aiding and abetting murder in three
                    hundred cases. The court finds the
                    defendant Hanna Schmitz guilty of
                    murder in three hundred cases.
          
          There are tears in MICHAEL's eyes as he watches.
          
                              JUDGE
                    The court sentences the accused as
                    follows. Rita Beckhart, Karolina
                    Steinhof, Regina Kreutz, Angela
                    Zieber, and Andrea Luhmann, you
                    will each serve a total sentence in
                    prison of four years and three
                    months.
          
          ROHL, MARTHE, DIETER and the students are looking down on the
          sentencing. MICHAEL is crying.
          
                              JUDGE
                    Hanna Schmitz, in view of your own
                    admissions and your special role,
                    you are in a different category.
                    The court sentences the accused
                    Schmitz to imprisonment for life.
          
          HANNA is impassive, not reacting. Then she turns and looks up
          to the gallery.
          
          EXT. COURTHOUSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL walks away through the cameras and news crews.
          
                                                                     61.
          
          
          
          INT. TRAIN. DAY
          
          MICHAEL sits on the train, thinking. The younger MICHAEL
          becomes the older.
          
          INT. TRAIN. DAY
          
          1976. MICHAEL is sitting beside JULIA. MICHAEL is 32, JULIA
          is a bright little 4 year-old in a coat. The countryside
          speeding by.
          
                              JULIA
                    Where are we going?
          
                               MICHAEL
                    I said : I'll tell you when we get
                    there. You told me you liked
                    surprises.
          
                              JULIA
                    I like surprises.
          
          EXT. BLUMENSTRASSE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL walks with JULIA towards their old house. He looks
          round, the memory of coming with HANNA as a sick boy 18 years
          earlier clear in his mind. The same landmarks.
          
          INT. DINING ROOM. BERG APARTMENT. DAY
          
          They are all three eating at the dinner table, eating a small
          roast chicken.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    She's grown, hasn't she?
          
                              CARLA
                    I don't know. It's so long since I
                    saw her, Michael, how can I tell?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    My fault. We shouldn't have come
                    unannounced.
          
                              JULIA
                    Daddy, why's she angry?
          
          MICHAEL smiles. Even CARLA smiles slightly.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'm afraid I've have some bad news.
                    Julia knows.
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  62.
          
                              MICHAEL (cont'd)
                    We've already told her. Gertrud and
                    I are getting a divorce.
          
                              JULIA
                    Daddy's going to live in his own
                    house.
          
                              CARLA
                    You didn't come for your father's
                    funeral, but you come for this?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You know, it's not easy for me to
                    visit this town.
          
                              CARLA
                    Were you really so unhappy?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    That's not what I'm saying. It's
                    not what I meant.
          
                                 CARLA
                    Well then?
          
          CARLA looks at him hard.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You mustn't worry about Gertrud.
                    I'm going to look after her. And
                    anyway, let's face it, she's
                    already a state prosecutor, she
                    earns far more than I do.
          
                              CARLA
                    Michael, I'm not worried about
                    Gertrud. I'm worried about you.
          
          INT. TRAIN. EVE
          
          Exhausted by her day, JULIA is sleeping in MICHAEL'S arms. He
          looks down at her, full of love.
          
          EXT. SCHONEBERG. BERLIN. NIGHT
          
          On the other side of a busy Berlin street full of traffic,
          MICHAEL holds JULIA'S hand, a loving father, to guide her
          across the street.
          
          INT. LANDING. GERTRUD'S APARTMENT. BERLIN. NIGHT
          
          GERTRUD has come to the door, a shrewd-looking intelligent
          woman, a little older than MICHAEL, very thin, in slacks and
          a blouse. MICHAEL is standing outside with JULIA.
          
                                                                  63.
          
          
          
                              JULIA
                    Hello Mummy.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Hello beautiful.
          
          GERTRUD leans down and scoops JULIA up, kisses her. MICHAEL
          stands on the step, hovering.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Do you mind if I don't ask you in?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't mind at all. I've a lot to
                    do, in fact.
          
          It doesn't look like it. He stands, not going.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I took her to see where I grew up.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    You went to the West? My God, what
                    a trip.
          
                              JULIA
                    We went to say hello to granny.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Oh. Daddy took you to see Carla,
                    did he?
          
                              JULIA
                    She was strange.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Come on, let's see what's on TV.
          
          GERTRUD gives JULIA her supper and puts her in front of the
          TV. Then she comes back to MICHAEL.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    I bet she was strange.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You could say.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    She always was. Why on earth did
                    you decide to do that?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I don't know. Impulse.
          
                                                                  64.
          
          
          
          GERTRUD says nothing.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I suppose if I'm honest we went
                    because I wanted to re-establish
                    contact.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    With your mother? And did you
                    succeed?
          
          They both smile.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Are you all right?
          
          He touches her arm.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Michael you're meant to be an
                    intelligent man. Don't you know,
                    it's very hard to receive contact
                    if you're not willing to give it?
          
          GERTRUD looks level, not unkind.
          
                              GERTRUD
                    Say goodbye to Julia.
          
                              JULIA
                    Goodbye, Daddy.
          
          MICHAEL turns to say goodbye.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. KREUZBERG. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL standing in the empty room. It's eerily silent. He
          goes to his bookcase. He runs his fingers along the spines,
          as HANNA once did. He takes out a paperback of the Odyssey.
          He looks at it a moment, then he starts to read to himself.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "Sing to me of the Man, Muse, the
                    man of twists and turns
                    Driven time and again off course,
                    once he had plundered
                    The hallowed heights of Troy...
          
          He sits back.
          
                                                                     65.
          
          
          
          INT. HANNA'S CELL. DAWN
          
          HANNA is in her cell, folding her blanket. She is 53, a new
          austerity, a greyness about her. Her cell is modern, but
          without decoration.
          
          INT. PRISON. CORRIDOR. DAY
          
          A GUARD comes along the corridor, calling out `Mail'. She
          leans into Hanna's cell to tell her she has mail. HANNA is
          obviously surprised.
          
          INT. MAIL ROOM. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA reports to the mail room where she is given a big
          parcel, which she is told to open. Inside, a huge batch of
          casette tapes and a tape machine.
          
          INT. CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA is opening the box, taking out the tapes.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          MICHAEL gets out a tape machine.
          
          INT. CELL. DAY
          
          In her cell HANNA takes out the machine.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          MICHAEL holds the microphone.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Testing. Testing. 1-2-3.
          
          INT. CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA puts a cassette into the machine.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    The Odyssey by Homer.
          
          In panic, she turns it off.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          MICHAEL presses the recording button and speaks into the
          machine.
          
                                                                     66.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The Odyssey by Homer.
                    "Sing to me of the Man, Muse, the
                    man of twists and turns
                    Driven time and again off course,
                    once he had plundered
                    The hallowed heights of Troy...
                    Many cities of men he saw and
                    learned their minds,
                    Many pains he suffered, heartsick
                    at the open sea,
                    Fighting to save his life and bring
                    his comrades home...
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. NIGHT
          
          Later. MICHAEL is now walking up and down, in his shorts and
          T-shirt, microphone in hand, still reading.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "Ah, how shameless - the way these
                    mortals blame the gods.
                    From us alone, they say, come all
                    their miseries...
          
          INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          Middle of the night. MICHAEL is lying on his back, still
          reading.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    "Who are you? Where are you from?
                    Your city? Your parents?
                    I'm wonderstruck - you drank my
                    drugs, you're not bewitched..."
          
          INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY
          
          MICHAEL takes a cassette and puts it into a white box. He
          writes on the side ODYSSEY 6. Then he reaches up to put it on
          a shelf next to boxes separately marked ODYSSEY 1,2,3,4,5.
          Then he takes out a small notebook and cross-references the
          new tape in a handwritten list.
          
          INT. CELL. NIGHT
          
          It's dark. HANNA is lying on the bed.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    Zeus from the very start, the
                    thunder king
                    Has hated the race of Atreus with a
                    vengeance -
                              (MORE)
          
                                                                  67.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE (cont'd)
                    His trustiest weapon women's
                    twisted wiles...
          
          HANNA smiles with pleasure at his reading.
          
          INT & EXT. MONTAGE. DAY & NIGHT
          
          A montage of MICHAEL reading and HANNA listening. MICHAEL is
          reading different books. He is animated now, excited. There
          are extracts from The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway) ;
          Anatol (Schnitzler) ; The World of Yesterday (Zweig) and
          Doctor Zhivago (Pasternak). MICHAEL catching fire with
          excitement with what he is doing. HANNA collecting the tapes
          from the mail room and organizing on her shelves - her
          library growing.
          
          INT. CELL. NIGHT
          
          HANNA is lying in bed listening to a new tape.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The Lady with the Little   Dog, by
                    Anton Chekhov. "The talk   was that a
                    new face had appeared on   the
                    promenade, a lady with a   little
                    dog..."
          
          EXT. EXERCISE YARD. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA is walking round with other PRISONERS, in sequence.
          Suddenly she stops dead, an idea hitting her.
          
          INT. PRISON LIBRARY. DAY
          
          The library is right next to the mail room. HANNA walks past
          the mail room and goes to the library counter.
          
                              HANNA
                    I want to take out a book.
          
                              LIBRARIAN
                    Which book?
          
                              HANNA
                    Do you have The Lady with the
                    Little Dog?
          
                              LIBRARIAN
                    What's your name?
          
                              HANNA
                    Hanna Schmitz.
          
                                                                  68.
          
          
          
          The LIBRARIAN goes to get it. HANNA stands, waiting and looks
          at the stacks of books, for the first time seeing
          possibility.
          
          INT. CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA is back in the cell. She puts down a new parcel and a
          book. She puts the parcel to one side, then opens the book.
          She then winds back the tape which is already in the
          recorder.
          
                              MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    The Lady with the Little Dog, a
                    story by Anton Chekhov. The talk
                    was...
          
          She turns off the tape. She runs her finger along the title
          `The Lady with the Little Dog'. She gets down a small
          decorated metal tin, and takes a pencil from it. She starts
          making the sounds. `The', `the', `the'... L, L, L, etc.
          
          INT. CELL. NIGHT
          
          HANNA is working now, circling the word `the' each time it
          comes in the book. The book is covered in marks.
          
          EXT & INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          1981. MICHAEL is coming down a busy Kreuzberg street. He is
          37. He goes into his block. He opens the door : the place is
          much more lived-in. He picks up his mail. Thumbing through
          it, he sees a letter in childish handwriting. MICHAEL frowns,
          opening it and taking out a piece of paper.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. EVE
          
          MICHAEL is holding a letter. He looks down at the writing :
          `Thanks for the latest, kid. I really liked it.' He stares,
          then puts it down and steps back stunned.
          
          INT. CELL. DAY
          
          HANNA stands with a new package. She opens it excitedly. She
          takes out tapes. She looks for writing, a letter. There is
          none. She turns the packing paper over and over, but there's
          nothing. She stands, desolate.
          
          INT. CELL. PRISON. NIGHT. MONTAGE
          
          HANNA effortfully writing various letters - just a single
          message on each. The pen working agonizingly across the
          paper. First :
          
                                                                     69.
          
          
          
          I WOULD LIKE MORE ROMANCE, LESS ADVENTURE
          
          Next:
          
          I AM NOT SURE WHAT KAFKA IS SAYING
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          MICHAEL continuing to read to her on the machine.
          
          INT. CELL. PRISON. NIGHT. MONTAGE
          
          HANNA still writing.
          
          DO YOU STILL LIKE DICKENS?
          
          Then finally, many attempts at the same sentence, written
          many times :
          
          DO YOU RECEIVE MY LETTERS? WRITE TO ME, KID
          
          INT. STUDY. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is reading the latest letter from HANNA. He looks at
          it. "Do you receive my letters? Write to me, kid." MICHAEL
          opens a drawer in a file box on the floor. There is a stack
          of her letters inside. He puts the latest on top of the pile
          and closes the drawer.
          
          INT. CELL. PRISON. DAY
          
          HANNA stands at her window, in despair.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. KREUZBERG. DAY
          
          1988. MICHAEL, 44, is at his desk, with the phone in his
          hand, with a typed letter in front of him.
          
                              MS BRENNER (VOICE ON PHONE)
                    You're Michael Berg?
          
                                 MICHAEL'S VOICE
                    Yes.
          
                              MS BRENNER (VOICE ON PHONE)
                    You got my letter?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I have it here.
          
                              MS BRENNER (PHONE)
                    As I say, Hanna Schmitz is coming
                    up for release very soon.
          
                                                                     70.
          
          
          
          MICHAEL fingers the letter a moment.
          
          INT. BRENNER'S OFFICE. PRISON. DAY
          
          MS BRENNER is sitting at her desk in a simple, modern office.
          
                               MS BRENNER
                    Hanna has been in prison for over
                    twenty years. She has no family.
                    She has no friends. You're her only
                    contact. And I'm told you don't
                    visit her.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. KREUZBERG. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is sitting quite still.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    No. I don't.
          
          INT. BRENNER'S OFFICE. DAY
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    When she gets out, she's going to
                    need a job. She's going to need
                    somewhere to live. You can't
                    imagine how frightening the modern
                    world will seem to her.
          
          There is a silence.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Yes. I'm still here.
          
          INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. KREUZBERG. DAY
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    I have no-one else to ask. If you
                    don't take responsibility for her,
                    then Hanna has no future at all.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    It's kind of you. Thank you for
                    letting me know.
          
          MICHAEL puts the phone down. He looks as if he has just been
          handed a sentence. He gets up and stares at the wall which is
          now stacked with all the books he has read. Then he goes to
          his balcony.
          
          EXT & INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT. KREUZBERG. DAY
          
          MICHAEL stands looking out over Berlin from his balcony.
          
                                                                    71.
          
          
          
          EXT. PRISON. DAY
          
          MICHAEL walks along the road by the prison wall, then goes to
          the guichet to sign in.
          
          EXT. PRISON YARD. DAY
          
          MICHAEL is waiting in a small barred waiting area as MS
          BRENNER walks across the yard to open the gate and let
          MICHAEL in.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    You're Michael Berg?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Yes.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    Louisa Brenner. We were expecting
                    you earlier.
          
          INT & EXT. STAIRS & PASSAGE. PRISON. DAY
          
          MS BRENNER is walking MICHAEL up the steps towards the prison
          canteen. They pass GUARDS and INMATES.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    I should warn you: for a long time
                    Hanna held herself together. She
                    was very purposeful. In the last
                    few years she's different. She's
                    let herself go.
          
          INT. CANTEEN. PRISON. DAY
          
          MS BRENNER leads MICHAEL to the door of the canteen.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    They're in the canteen. They're
                    just finishing lunch.
          
          MICHAEL sees an OLD WOMAN who is sitting at a table. Her blue
          dress is stretched too tight across her heavy body. Her hair
          is grey. She has a book in her lap, but she's not reading it.
          A few PRISONERS are finishing their meal.
          
          It takes MICHAEL a moment to realise the OLD WOMAN is HANNA.
          Then HANNA becomes aware of being watched. She turns and
          looks round. At once her face lights up. MICHAEL smiles back,
          but as he approaches her, he fixes onto her inquiring look
          and sees the light go out of her eyes, as if she has looked
          at him and been disappointed. He sits down opposite her. She
          smiles, weary.
          
                                                                  72.
          
          
          
                              HANNA
                    You've grown up, kid.
          
          She takes his hand. There is a long silence, MICHAEL unable
          to think of anything to say. He withdraws his hand.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I've got a friend who's a tailor,
                    he makes my suits. He'll give you a
                    job. And I've found you somewhere
                    to live. It's a nice place. Quite
                    small but nice. I think you'll like
                    it.
          
                                 HANNA
                    Thank you.
          
          There's a moment's silence.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    There are various social
                    programmes, cultural stuff I can
                    sign you up for. And there's a
                    public library very close.
          
          HANNA nods slightly.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    You read a lot?
          
                              HANNA
                    I prefer being read to.
          
          There is a short silence.
          
                              HANNA
                    That's over now, isn't it?
          
          MICHAEL doesn't answer.
          
                              HANNA
                    Did you get married?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I did. Yes I did. We have a
                    daughter. I'm not seeing as much of
                    her as I would like. I'd like to
                    see a great deal more of her.
          
          After a few moments, he concedes.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The marriage didn't last.
          
                                                                  73.
          
          
          
          There is a silence.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Have you spent a lot of time
                    thinking about the past?
          
                              HANNA
                    You mean, with you?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    No. No, I didn't mean with me.
          
                              HANNA
                    Before the trial I never thought
                    about the past. I never had to.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    And now? What do you feel now?
          
          HANNA looks a moment, a haunting look, searching him.
          
                              HANNA
                    It doesn't matter what I think. It
                    doesn't matter what I feel. The
                    dead are still dead.
          
          There's a silence.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I wasn't sure what you'd learnt.
          
                              HANNA
                    I have learnt, kid. I've learnt to
                    read.
          
          MICHAEL stares, devastated.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I'll pick you up next week, OK?
          
                              HANNA
                    That sounds a good plan.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Good. Quietly, or shall we make a
                    big fuss?
          
                                HANNA
                    Quietly.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    OK. Quietly.
          
                                                                     74.
          
          
          
          They look at each other. The other PRISONERS have already
          gone. They stand up. She scans his face again, searching for
          his thoughts. He takes her in his arms, a little awkward.
          
                              HANNA
                    Take care, kid.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    You too.
          
          They walk side by side, back towards the door. Then by way of
          saying goodbye, she takes his hand.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    See you next week.
          
          She stretches her arm out before she lets go of his hand,
          then vanishes inside. MICHAEL walks on alone.
          
          EXT. PRISON. EVE
          
          MICHAEL comes out of the main entrance. He stands a moment,
          looking round at the evening. MICHAEL walks to his car.
          
          INT. HANNA'S ROOM. EVE
          
          The room is simple, a bedroom to one side, a bathroom to the
          other. It is all furnished with simple functional furniture.
          The end of a hard day's work. MICHAEL hangs a picture over
          the desk - a landscape, reminiscent of where they once went
          cycling. The job is done. He looks round, grimly content.
          
          INT. CELL. DAWN
          
          HANNA is lying on her bed, fully dressed. She gets up and
          gets some books down from the shelf. She puts them, one by
          one, in a pile on the table. Then she takes off her shoes.
          She stands up and climbs onto the pile of books on the table.
          Her bare feet on the books. Then she reaches up.
          
          EXT & INT. PRISON. DAY
          
          MICHAEL gets out of the car. He is carrying a bunch of
          flowers. He walks towards the prison. He leans in to the
          GUARD who is in a modern office.
          
          INT. PRISON. DAY
          
          From the far end of the corridor, MICHAEL is seen sitting on
          a bench. MS BRENNER comes out of her office and murmurs in
          his ear. MICHAEL is seen nodding, ashen.
          
                                                                    75.
          
          
          
          INT. CORRIDOR & CELL. PRISON. DAY
          
          The two of them come together down the corridor. They stop at
          the open door of the cell. The body has been removed. The
          books are still on the floor. MICHAEL goes in. A bare table,
          a chair, a bed, a closet, a toilet in the corner behind the
          door. There are shelves with books, an alarm clock, a stuffed
          bear, two mugs, instant coffee, tea tins.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    She didn't pack. She never intended
                    to leave.
          
          MS BRENNER looks at him in confirmation. MICHAEL looks at the
          two lower shelves on which are ranged the tapes with the
          cassette machine.
          
          Above the bed are a series of cuttings, pictures torn from
          magazines, showing meadows, hillsides, pasture, cherry trees.
          One in particular : a burst of autumnal colours. MICHAEL
          kneels on the bed to look at them. There are quotations,
          articles, recipes, even sayings in HANNA'S childish
          handwriting : `Spring lets its blue banner flutter through
          the air' is one. Then he sees a newspaper photograph : the
          young MICHAEL BERG receiving a prize from the school
          principal. The headline `Michael Berg receives school
          literature prize.'
          
          MS BRENNER reaches out for a tea tin from the shelf. Then she
          sits next to MICHAEL on the bed, and takes out a folded sheet
          of paper from her suit pocket.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    She left me a message, a sort of
                    will. I'll read out the bit that
                    concerns you.
          
          MICHAEL looks at the effortful handwriting on the page.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    "There is money in the old tea tin.
                    Give it to Michael Berg. He should
                    send it, alongside the 7,000 marks
                    in the bank, to the daughter who
                    wrote the book. It's for her. She
                    should decide what to do with it.
                    And tell Michael I said hello. Tell
                    him to get on with his life."
          
          MS BRENNER looks at him.
          
                              MS BRENNER
                    Do you want to see her?
          
                                                                  76.
          
          
          
          MICHAEL shakes his head.
          
          EXT. BRIDGE. MANHATTAN. DAY
          
          MICHAEL rides in a taxi into Manhattan. A view of the
          familiar skyline.
          
          EXT. FIFTH AVENUE. DAY
          
          MICHAEL'S taxi comes up Fifth Avenue. It draws up outside an
          expensive apartment block. MICHAEL gets out and goes in, the
          Manhattan skyline opening up behind him.
          
          INT. LIVING ROOM. ILANA'S APARTMENT. DAY
          
          A superbly appointed space full of great and expensive art.
          MICHAEL has taken his coat off. ILANA MATHER appears,
          elegant, well-dressed - on the surface, the spirit of
          prosperous New York. She is now in her early fifties.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Ms Mather?
          
                              ILANA
                    Yes. You're Michael Berg. I was
                    expecting you.
          
                              ILANA
                    So you must tell me: what exactly
                    brings you to the United States?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I was already here. I was at a
                    conference in Boston.
          
                              ILANA
                    You're a lawyer?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Yes.
          
                              ILANA
                    I was intrigued by your letter but
                    I can't say I wholly understood it.
                    You attended the trial?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Yes. Almost twenty years ago. I was
                    a law student. I remember you, I
                    remember your mother very clearly.
          
                                                          77.
          
          
          
                              ILANA
                    My mother died in Israel - a good
                    many years ago.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    I'm sorry.
          
          MICHAEL hesitates for a moment.
          
                              ILANA
                    Go on, please.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Perhaps you heard. Hanna Schmitz
                    recently died. She killed herself.
          
          ILANA shakes her head.
          
                              ILANA
                    She was a friend of yours?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    A kind of friend. It's as simple as
                    this. Hanna was illiterate for the
                    greater part of her life.
          
                               ILANA
                    Is that an explanation of her
                    behaviour?
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    No.
          
                              ILANA
                    Or an excuse?
          
          MICHAEL shakes his head.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    No. No. She taught herself to read
                    when she was in prison. I sent her
                    tapes. She'd always liked being
                    read to.
          
          ILANA shifts slightly.
          
                              ILANA
                    Why don't you start by being honest
                    with me? At least start that way.
                    What was the nature of your
                    friendship?
          
                                                                78.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    When I was young I had an affair
                    with Hanna.
          
          ILANA looks at him for a moment.
          
                              ILANA
                    I'm not sure I can help you, Mr.
                    Berg. Or rather, even if I could
                    I'm not willing to.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I was almost sixteen when I took up
                    with her. The affair only lasted a
                    summer. But.
          
                                ILANA
                    But what?
          
          MICHAEL just looks at her.
          
                               ILANA
                    I see. And did Hanna Schmitz
                    acknowledge the effect she'd had on
                    your life?
          
          MICHAEL stares back, understood for the first time.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    She'd done much worse to other
                    people. I've never told anyone.
          
                              ILANA
                    People ask all the time what I
                    learned in the camps. But the camps
                    weren't therapy. What do you think
                    these places were? Universities? We
                    didn't go there to learn. One
                    becomes very clear about these
                    things.
          
          ILANA looks at him, unrelenting.
          
                              ILANA
                    What are you asking for?
                    Forgiveness for her? Or do you just
                    want to feel better yourself? My
                    advice, go to the theatre, if you
                    want catharsis. Please. Go to
                    literature. Don't go to the camps.
                    Nothing comes out of the camps.
                    Nothing.
          
                                                                  79.
          
          
          
          ILANA looks at him, unrelenting.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What she wanted...what she wanted
                    was to leave you her money. I have
                    with me.
          
                              ILANA
                    To do what?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    As you think fit.
          
          MICHAEL reaches for his briefcase. He takes out the lavender
          tea-tin, which he sets down on the table in front of ILANA.
          
                                 MICHAEL
                    Here.
          
          ILANA lifts the tin.
          
                              ILANA
                    When I was a little girl, I had a
                    tea-tin for my treasures. Not quite
                    like this. It had Cyrillic
                    lettering. I took it with me to the
                    camp, but it got stolen.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    What was in it?
          
                              ILANA
                    Oh. Sentimental things. A piece of
                    hair from our dog. Some tickets to
                    operas my father had taken me to.
                    It wasn't stolen for its contents.
                    It was the tin itself which was
                    valuable, what you could do with
                    it.
          
          She sits a moment, overcome, her hand on the tin.
          
                              ILANA
                    There's nothing I can do with this
                    money. If I give it to anything
                    associated with the extermination
                    of the Jews, then to me it will
                    seem like absolution and that is
                    something I'm neither willing nor
                    in a position to grant.
          
          MICHAEL nods slightly.
          
                                                                  80.
          
          
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I was thinking maybe an
                    organization to encourage literacy.
          
                                ILANA
                    Good.
          
          There's a silence.
          
                                ILANA
                    Good.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Do you know if there's a Jewish
                    organization?
          
                              ILANA
                    I'll be surprised if there isn't.
                    There's a Jewish organisation for
                    everything. Not that illiteracy is
                    a very Jewish problem.
          
          There is the shadow of a smile.
          
                               ILANA
                    Why don't you find out? Send them
                    the money.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Shall I do it in Hanna's name?
          
                              ILANA
                    As you think fit.
          
          ILANA smiles slightly. She puts her hand on top of the tin.
          
                              ILANA
                    I'll keep the tin.
          
          INT. ILANA'S HOUSE. DAY
          
          ILANA is standing at the window watching down to the street
          where MICHAEL is walking away. She has the tin in her hand.
          When he's vanished, she turns and goes into her bedroom.
          There on the dressing table, there is a framed photo of ILANA
          with her mother in Germany before the war. She sets the tin
          down beside the photo.
          
          INT & EXT. CAR. DAY
          
          1995. MICHAEL is driving JULIA in the big Mercedes through
          the German countryside. He is tense, silent. JULIA takes a
          sideways look at him, but he does not respond.
          
                                                                     81.
          
          
          
                              JULIA
                    Where are we going?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I thought you liked surprises.
          
                              JULIA
                    I do. I do like surprises.
          
          EXT. COUNTRY. DAY
          
          They draw up at a church. It is the same one he and HANNA
          passed on their bicycles years before. MICHAEL and JULIA get
          out and walk towards the graveyard at the side.
          
          EXT. CEMETERY. DAY
          
          MICHAEL & JULIA stand at a deserted grave-side. The whole
          cemetery is seen. MICHAEL stoops down and uncovers a simple
          stone : HANNA SCHMITZ 1923-1988. JULIA watching, says her
          name.
          
                              JULIA
                    Hanna Schmitz.
          
          JULIA waits a moment.
          
                              JULIA
                    Who was she?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    That's what I wanted to tell you.
                    That's why we're here.
          
          JULIA looks, waiting. MICHAEL looks for a moment as if he
          will not go on.
          
                              JULIA
                    So tell me.
          
          There is a moment, then they turn to stroll, MICHAEL talking,
          starting to tell the story.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    I was 15, I was coming home from
                    school, I was ill...
          
          They walk away among the trees.
          
          
          
                                                     FADE TO BLACK