アグネス(1985年)

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AGNES OF GOD

FADE IN:

EXT – CONVENT – DAY

Whispering of nuns at prayer.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT – CHAPEL – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT – COURTYARD – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

INT – CHAPEL – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT – CONVENT – NIGHT

A single shot of the building.

INT – TOP CORRIDOR – NIGHT

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

EXT – CONVENT – NIGHT

Lights in the windows flick on.

INT – TOP CORRIDOR – NIGHT

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

MOTHER SUPERIOR
Agnes!… Agnes…

EXT – CONVENT – NIGHT

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

INT – TOP CORRIDOR – NIGHT

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

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

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

The Mother Superior looks around worriedly and goes into…

INT – SISTER AGNES’ ROOM – NIGHT

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

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT – MONTREAL – NIGHT

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

“MONTREAL, QUEBEC”.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT – SUPREME COURT – DAY

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

REPORTER
Here they are now.

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

INT – JUDGE’S CHAMBERS – DAY

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

LEVEAU
Martha, it’s you.

MARTHA
What about Roger? He’s free.

EVE
They want a woman.

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

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

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

MARTHA
Eve, she strangled a baby!

EVE
Nobody is interested in sending a nun
to prison.

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

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

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

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

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

LEVEAU
Happy birthday.

15 INT – MARTHA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

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

MARTHA
Hi, Kitty.

The answerphone whirs…

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

Some whirs and clicks.

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

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

MAN
(in French)
???

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

DISSOLVE TO:

16 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

MARTHA
Bonjour, I’m Doctor Martha
Livingston, I…

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

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

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

MARTHA (Cont.)
Excuse me… I’m…

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

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

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

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

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

17 INT – WAITING ROOM – DAY

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

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

MARTHA
Well… I…

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

MARTHA
Yes… I…

MOTHER MIRIAM
You can call me Sister.

MARTHA
… Thank you.

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

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

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

MARTHA
You were a smoker?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Two packs a day.

MARTHA
I can beat that.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Unfiltered.

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

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

MARTHA
Who knew about Agnes’ pregnancy?

MOTHER MIRIAM
No-one.

MARTHA
How did she hide it from the other nuns?

MOTHER MIRIAM
She undressed alone… she bathed alone.

MARTHA
Is that normal?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes.

MARTHA
How did she hide it during the day?

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

MARTHA
Didn’t she have any physical examinations
in this time?

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

MARTHA
Who was the father?

MOTHER MIRIAM
I haven’t a clue.

MARTHA
What man had access to her?

MOTHER MIRIAM
None as far as I know.

MARTHA
Was there a priest?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes, but I…

MARTHA
What’s his name?

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

MARTHA
Could there have been anyone else?

MOTHER MIRIAM
(a pause)
Obviously there was.

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

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

MARTHA
Why haven’t you asked her?

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

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

MARTHA
Look, someone gave her the baby.

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

MARTHA
Why do you think that?

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

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

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

MARTHA
The science of psychiatry.

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

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

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

Then Mother Miriam walks out.

18 INT – WAITING ROOM – DAY

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

19 INT – TOP CORRIDOR – DAY

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

20 INT – AGNES’ ROOM – DAY

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

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

AGNES
Yes.

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

MARTHA
You have a lovely voice.

AGNES
No I don’t.

MARTHA
I just heard you.

AGNES
That wasn’t me.

MARTHA
Was it Sister Marguerite?

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

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

AGNES
No I’m not.

MARTHA
Hasn’t anyone ever told you that before?

AGNES
Let’s talk about something else.

MARTHA
What would you like to talk about.

AGNES
I don’t know.

MARTHA
Anything… may I sit down?

AGNES
Yes.

They both sit.

MARTHA
First thing that comes to your mind?

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

MARTHA
Second thing that comes to your mind.

AGNES
Love.

MARTHA
Have you ever loved anyone?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
Everyone.

MARTHA
Well, who in particular?

AGNES
Right now?

MARTHA
Uh huh.

AGNES
I love you.

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

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
(chuckles)
Oh, there are so many.

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

AGNES
Oh, yes!

MARTHA
Do you think he loves you?

AGNES
Oh, I know he does.

MARTHA
He’s told you?

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

MARTHA
You’ve been alone together?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Often?

AGNES
At least once a week.

MARTHA
And you like that?

AGNES
Oh, yes.

MARTHA
Where do you meet?

AGNES
(obviously)
In the confessional.

A slightly awkward pause.

MARTHA
Agnes, do ever see Father Martineau
outside the…

Agnes suddenly looks exasperated.

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

MARTHA
Would you like to talk about it?

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

MARTHA
Why should they?

AGNES
I don’t know.

MARTHA
Do you remember the night they said
it came?

AGNES
No. I was sick.

MARTHA
How were you sick?

AGNES
Something I ate.

MARTHA
Did it hurt?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Where?

AGNES
Down… there.

MARTHA
And what did you do?

AGNES
I went to my room.

MARTHA
And what happened?

AGNES
I got sicker.

MARTHA
And then what?

AGNES
I fell asleep.

MARTHA
In the middle of all the pain?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Where did the baby come from?

AGNES
What baby?

MARTHA
The baby they made up.

AGNES
From their heads…

MARTHA
Is that where they say it came
from… ?

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

MARTHA
Where’d it come from before that?

AGNES
From God.

MARTHA
After God… before the waste-paper
basket.

AGNES
I… I don’t understand.

MARTHA
Agnes, how are babies born?

AGNES
Don’t you know?

MARTHA
Yes I do, but I want you to…

AGNES
(very agitated)
I don’t understand what you’re
talking about… you want to talk
about the baby… everybody wants
to talk about the baby but… I
never saw the baby so I can’t talk
about the baby because… I don’t
believe in the baby.

MARTHA
Then let’s talk about something else…

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

MARTHA
(also standing)
Agnes…

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

MARTHA
Would you like to ask them?

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

MARTHA
Just that… you ask and I’ll answer.

AGNES
Anything?

MARTHA
(smiles)
Anything.

21 INT – NUN’S ROOM – DAY

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

22 EXT – COURTYARD – DAY

Martha and Agnes are walking together. Martha is smoking.

AGNES
What’s your real name?

MARTHA
Martha Louise Livingston.

AGNES
Are you married?

MARTHA
No.

AGNES
Would you like to be?

MARTHA
Not at the moment, no.

AGNES
Do you have any children?

MARTHA
No.

AGNES
Would you like some?

MARTHA
I can’t have them any more.

AGNES
Why not?

MARTHA
(a pause)
I’ve stopped menstruating

AGNES
Why do you smoke?

MARTHA
Does it bother you?

AGNES
No questions.

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

AGNES
One.

MARTHA
What?

They both halt.

AGNES
Where do you think babies come from?

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

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

Agnes sits down on a bench and Martha follows her.

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

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
Do you know a Marie?

AGNES
No… do you?

MARTHA
Why should I?

AGNES
I don’t know.

23 INT – MOTHER MIRIAM’S STUDY – DAY

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

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

MARTHA
What’s your opinion?

MOTHER MIRIAM
I believe Agnes is different.

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
(lights a cigarette)
That’s ridiculous…

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

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

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

MARTHA
So, someone else could have done it.

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

MARTHA
And in your eyes?

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

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

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

MARTHA
It’s possible isn’t it?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who?

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
That’s absurd!

MARTHA
That possibility never occurred to
you?

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

24 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

25 INT – CAR – DAY

The car radio is playing light band music…

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

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

26 EXT – LONELY ROAD – DAY

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

27 EXT – PRESBYTERY – DAY

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

28 INT – PRESBYTERY – DAY

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

MARTHA
Is Father Martineau in please?

HOUSEKEEPER
(in French)
???

MARTHA
(answers in French)
???

The housekeeper indicates she should enter and walks back
inside.

HOUSEKEEPER
(halting briefly)
Wipe your feet.

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

HOUSEKEEPER
Pere Martineau…
(in French)
???

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

29 INT – PRESBYTERY DINING ROOM – DAY

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

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

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

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

30 INT – NURSING HOME, LOUNGE – DAY

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

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

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

MARTHA
It’s your favourite…

MAMA
Who are you?

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

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

MARTHA
I thought cherry-vanilla was your
favourite.

MAMA
Not any more… now I like chocolate.

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

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

MARTHA
(lighting up)
Marie’s dead Mama.

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

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

MAMA
(a long pause)
Who are you?

MARTHA
I… I’m Martha, Mama.

31 EXT – CONVENT, CHICKENYARD – DAY

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

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

MARTHA
How do you survive?

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

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

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

MARTHA
Sister Anne, which was Agnes’ room?

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

SISTER ANNE
Oh that one there, in the corner.

MARTHA
The one up on the third floor?

SISTER ANNE
Yes.

MARTHA
Uh huh.

32 INT – AGNES’ OLD ROOM – DAY

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

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

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Shortly after she came to us.

MARTHA
And you weren’t shocked?

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

MARTHA
And what happened?

MOTHER MIRIAM
She stopped eating completely…

33 INT – CHAPEL – DAY

In flashback: Agnes, all in white is lying face down in the
sign of the
cross in front of the altar. Mother Miriam enters.

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

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

Mother Miriam stops in front of Agnes.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
(sighs)
He talked to you Himself?

AGNES
No.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Through someone else?

AGNES
Yes.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who?

AGNES
I can’t say.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

AGNES
She’d punish me.

MOTHER MIRIAM
One of the other Sisters?

AGNES
No.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM (Cont.)
Why would she tell you to do this?
… Agnes look at me.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh, for Heaven’s sake.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Agnes…

AGNES
I’m a blimp.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why does it matter whether you’re fat
or not…

AGNES
Because…

MOTHER MIRIAM
… You needn’t worry about being
attractive here.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
He loves you the way you are.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who told you this?

AGNES
It’s a sin to be fat.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

AGNES
Look at the statues, they’re thin.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Agnes…

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who tells you these things?

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

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

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

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

Agnes gets to her knees and pushes up her breasts.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh my dear child.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who?

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

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

AGNES
But she watches… she listens.

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

AGNES
I’m not hungry.

MOTHER MIRIAM
You’ve got to eat something Agnes.

AGNES
No I don’t… the host is enough.

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

AGNES
Of God.

MOTHER MIRIAM
(smiles)
Yes, of God.

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

AGNES
I’m being punished.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

AGNES
I don’t know.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Dear Jesus…

She quickly leads Agnes out of the chapel.

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

34 INT – AGNES’ OLD ROOM – DAY

Back in the present, as before…

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
She has it now.

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

MARTHA
Not simple, no.

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

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

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
You bet I am.

35 INT – CHAPEL – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

36 EXT – POLICE PRECINCT – DAY

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

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

MARTHA
(kissing him)
Thanks…

DISSOLVE TO:

37 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

38 INT – CRYPT – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

39 INT – CONFESSIONAL – DAY

Agnes is confessing to a rather disinterested Father Martineau.

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

FATHER MARTINEAU
Yes…

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

FATHER MARTINEAU
Speak up, I can hardly hear you.

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

DISSOLVE TO:

40 INT – MARTHA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

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

DISSOLVE TO:

41 EXT – CONVENT FARM – DAY

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

42 INT – JUDGE’S OFFICE – DAY

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

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

MARTHA
Look there are a lot of unanswered
questions here.

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

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
Why?

EVE
The bishop is breathing down our necks.

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

LEVEAU
(in French)
???

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

LYON
Well the bishop will be very upset
about this.

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

43 EXT – CONVENT GRAVEYARD – DAY

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

MARTHA
You liked Sister Paul?

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

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
Where’s that?… I promise I won’t tell,
would you take me?

So Agnes takes her.

44 INT – BELL TOWER – DAY

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

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
Like what?

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

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

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

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

45 EXT – TOP OF BELLTOWER – DAY

Agnes climbs up through the trapdoor to the bell platform.

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

Martha arrives exhausted.

MARTHA
Beautiful…

Agnes lies down under the bell.

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

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

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

AGNES
Oh, it’s even more wonderful then.

Agnes sings a little more.

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

AGNES
Where did you go?

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

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

MARTHA
You have trouble sleeping?

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

MARTHA
What things?

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

MARTHA
How did she know that?

AGNES
Somebody told her.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
I don’t know.

MARTHA
Agnes…

AGNES
You’ll laugh.

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

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

MARTHA
Did your mother see angels often?

AGNES
No.

MARTHA
Do you?

AGNES
No.

MARTHA
Do you believe she really saw them?

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

MARTHA
Why not?
(no answer)
Mmm?

AGNES
She’d get angry.

Martha moves round close to Agnes.

MARTHA
Agnes, did you love your mother?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Did you ever want to be a mother
yourself?

AGNES
I could never be a mother.

MARTHA
Why not?

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

MARTHA
Why not?

AGNES
Because I don’t want one.

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

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

MARTHA
Like you?

AGNES

(suddenly frustrated)
No, not like me!

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

AGNES
(jumping to her feet)
A mistake…

MARTHA
Agnes, how did your mother get you?

AGNES
A mistake… it was a mistake…

MARTHA
Is that what she said?

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

MARTHA
Agnes, I don’t believe you know nothing
about sex…

AGNES
I can’t help it if I’m stupid.

MARTHA
… that you don’t remember getting
pregnant…

AGNES
Not my fault.

MARTHA
… and that you don’t believe you
carried a child.

AGNES
I was a mistake.

MARTHA
What the child?

AGNES
Everything… I don’t have children.

MARTHA
Agnes…

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

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

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

46 INT – CONVENT – DAY

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
You hate us don’t you?

MARTHA
What?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Nuns… you hate nuns.

MARTHA
I hate ignorance and stupidity.

MOTHER MIRIAM
The Catholic Church…

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

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

MARTHA
How dare you tell me to run my affairs!

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
It’s my affair too.

MARTHA
How dare you think I’m in a position
to be pressured…

MOTHER MIRIAM
I’m only interested…

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
She is not a child.

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

They reach Mother Miriam’s study.

MOTHER MIRIAM
??? (distorted)

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

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

MARTHA
Then help her.

MOTHER MIRIAM
I am…

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

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

MARTHA
There’s another choice.

MOTHER MIRIAM
What?

MARTHA
Aquittal.

MOTHER MIRIAM
How?

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

A long pause. The tension between them dissolves.

MOTHER MIRIAM
All right, what do you need.

MARTHA
Answers.

Martha holds her hand.

47 INT – MOTHER MIRIAM’S STUDY – DAY

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

MARTHA
When would Agnes have conceived the
child?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh, some time in January.

MARTHA
Do you remember anything unusual
happening at the time?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Earthquakes?

MARTHA
Visitors to the convent.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Nothing.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes.

MARTHA
Take at look at it.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
There’s nothing here.

MARTHA
Was the child full term?

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

MARTHA
What is it?

MOTHER MIRIAM
The sheets…

MARTHA
What sheets?

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

48 INT – CONVENT DINING ROOM – NIGHT

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

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

In flashback, Mother Miriam addresses Agnes.

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

AGNES
Yes Mother.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

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

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

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

AGNES
It made them holy.

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

AGNES
No.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Then tell me. Where are your sheets?

AGNES
I burnt them.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why?

AGNES
(a long pause)
They were stained.

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

AGNES
Yes, Mother.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Say it!

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Mean it!

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

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

AGNES
It’s not that… it’s not that…

MOTHER MIRIAM
What do you mean?

AGNES
It’s not my time of month.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Should you see a doctor?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
For what?

AGNES
I don’t know… I don’t know…

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

49 INT – SICKROOM – NIGHT

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

MARTHA (V.O.)
When was that?

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

MARTHA (V.O.)
Sister Paul?

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

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

50 INT – CATHEDRAL – DAY

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

(beginning missed)

MARTHA
No.

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

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

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

MARTHA
What does this have to do with..?

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

MARTHA
Who told you this?

MONSIGNOR
Do you still go to church?

MARTHA
What business is it of yours..?

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

MARTHA
Look, Father, ah… just because I
don’t subscribe to the… to the beliefs
you subscribe to…

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

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

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

Martha stares at him as he walks away.

51 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

52 INT – BELLTOWER – DAY

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

53 EXT – CONVENT FARMYARD – DAY

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

54 INT – COWSHED – DAY

Martha is watching Agnes milking a cow.

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

AGNES
I’m not sick.

MARTHA
But you’re troubled… aren’t you?

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

MARTHA
And you’re unhappy.

AGNES
Everyone’s unhappy, you’re unhappy aren’t
you?

MARTHA
Agnes…

AGNES
Answer me! You never answer me.

MARTHA
Sometimes, yes.

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

Agnes carries the milk pail round to the churn.

MARTHA
What did you do?

AGNES
I’m always bad.

MARTHA
What did you do?

AGNES
I breathed!

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

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

AGNES
No…

MARTHA
You can tell me.

AGNES
I can’t.

MARTHA
She’s dead isn’t she?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
She can’t hurt you any more.

AGNES
She can.

MARTHA
How?

AGNES
She watches… she listens.

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

AGNES
She…

MARTHA
Yes?

AGNES
… makes me…

MARTHA
Yes?

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

MARTHA
She tells you you’re ugly?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
And that you’re stupid?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
That you’re a mistake?

AGNES
She says my whole body’s a mistake.

MARTHA
Why?

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

MARTHA
How does she know that?

AGNES
Her headaches.

MARTHA
Oh, yes.

AGNES
And then…

MARTHA
What?

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

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

AGNES
I’m afraid.

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

AGNES
Alright.

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

AGNES
No I’m not.

MARTHA
Are you pretty?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Agnes, you’re stupid.

AGNES
No I’m not.

MARTHA
Are you intelligent?

AGNES
(more forcefully)
Yes I am.

MARTHA
You’re a mistake.

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
I really love you.

AGNES
As much as Mother Miriam does?

MARTHA
As much as God loves you.

55 INT – AGNES’ OLD ROOM – DAY

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

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

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

ELDERLY NUN
(in French)
???

MARTHA
What?

ELDERLY NUN
Look into the convent records.

MARTHA
Sister…

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

56 INT – RECORD ROOM – DAY

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

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

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

MARTHA
Thank you.

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

MARTHA
You lied to me

MOTHER MIRIAM
About what?

MARTHA
(brandishing the files)
Your niece!

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

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

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

MARTHA
And Agnes’ father?

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

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

57 INT – CORRIDOR – DAY

Continuing, just outside the record room.

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

MARTHA
Like keeping her home from school?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes.

MARTHA
Listening to angels?

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

MARTHA
Do you know what she did to her?

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

MARTHA
She molested her!

MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh, dear God.

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
I knew that after the fact.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Because I didn’t know…
(she leaves)

MARTHA
Oh, God.

DISSOLVE TO:

58 INT – POLICE STATION, LARRY’S OFFICE – DAY

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

MARTHA
Larry…

LARRY
Marty, what are you doing here?

MARTHA
Larry there’s got to be something
missing.

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

MARTHA
Something they… that they overlooked.

LARRY
What? You think that the girl is
innocent?

MARTHA
I don’t know.

LARRY
You got to be crazy.

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

MARTHA
Larry…

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

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

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

Larry lights his own cigarette and comes over to Martha.

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

MARTHA
Thanks.
(she leaves)

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

59 INT – MARTHA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

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

SECRETARY (V.O.)
Hi Marty, it’s Helen. Mrs Davenport
called and was very upset that you’d
missed her appointment. She wants
you to call her at home, oh and a couple
of reporters have been trying to get a
hold of you about Sister Agnes. They
seem persistent and they may try to
reach you at home. I didn’t give them
number.

Some whirs and beeps. Martha goes into the bathroom.

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

More beeps and whirs. Martha starts to undress.

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

Martha rushes over to the answerphone and rewinds it.

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

Martha looks thoughtful and flicks off the desk lamp.

60 INT – CONVENT CHAPEL – DAY

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

DISSOLVE TO:

61 INT – BARN – DAY

Mother Miriam is kneeling in the doorway of the barn, praying
when Martha enters. Mother Miriam pauses.

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
And my permission?

MARTHA
I’d like yours too.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
We’ll see about that.

MARTHA
Don’t deny it!

MOTHER MIRIAM
I haven’t decided yet.

MARTHA
The woman’s health is at stake.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Her spiritual health.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
I know you don’t.

Mother Miriam starts shovelling grain into the bucket.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM

I am saying (distorted) a beautifully
simple woman…

MARTHA
An unhappy woman…

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Because I am a moral person.

MARTHA
Bullshit!

MOTHER MIRIAM
Bullshit yourself!

MARTHA
Catholic Church doesn’t have a corner
on morality…

MOTHER MIRIAM
Who said anything about the Catholic
Church…

MARTHA
You just said…

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

MARTHA
Nothing…

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

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

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

MARTHA
(halting)
It wasn’t sex. It was a lot of things, but
it wasn’t sex. You know when I was in
the first grade my best friend was run
over on the way to school, you know what
the nun said? She died because she hadn’t
said her morning prayers.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Stupid woman… and that’s all?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
And what has that to do with it?

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

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

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

They both cannot help laughing at this absurdity.

62 EXT – COURTYARD – DAY

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

63 EXT – GAZEBO – DAY

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

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

her window, singing. And all my doubts about
myself and God were gone, in that one moment.
I recognized the voice. Please don’t take it
away from me again Doctor Livingston. Those
years after six were very bleak.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
No, it reminds me.

MARTHA
Would you like one? Huh?

MOTHER MIRIAM
I’d love one.

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

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

MARTHA
All right?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Fine thanks…

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

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

MARTHA
(chuckles)
Long, thin and filtered.

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

MARTHA
Hand rolled.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Even Christ would partake socially.

MARTHA
Saint Peter?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Pipe!

MARTHA
Right…

MOTHER MIRIAM
Mary Magdelen?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
And Saint John would chew tobacco.

More laughter, then the moment because more serious.

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

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

MARTHA
Do you think they ever existed?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes I do.

MARTHA
Do you want to become one?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Become? One is born a saint.

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes, but goodness has very little to do
with it. Not all the saints were good,
in fact some of them were a little crazy.
But… they were still attached to God.
Agnes has that birth.
(she stands)
No more… we’re born, we live, we die.
No room for miracles.
(Martha gets up too)
Oh my dear, how I miss the miracles.

They start walking back to the convent.

MARTHA
Do you think Agnes is still attached to
God?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Listen to her singing.

MARTHA
(a pause)
I’d like to begin.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Begin what?

MARTHA
The hypnotism. Do you still disapprove?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Would it stop you if I did?

MARTHA
No.

They both halt.

MOTHER MIRIAM
May I be present?

MARTHA
Of course.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Then let’s begin.

64 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

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

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

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Who am I?

AGNES
Doctor Livingston.

MARTHA
And why am I here?

AGNES
To help me.

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

AGNES
Because I’m in trouble.

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

Martha starts to walk around behind Agnes.

AGNES
I’m frightened.

MARTHA
Of what?

AGNES
Of telling you.

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

AGNES
(a pause)
I had a baby.

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

MARTHA
How did you have a baby?

AGNES
It came out of me.

MARTHA
Did you know what was going to come
out?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Did you want it to come out?

AGNES
No.

MARTHA
Why?

AGNES
Because I was afraid.

MARTHA
Why were you afraid?

AGNES
Because I wasn’t worthy.

MARTHA
To be a mother?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Why?

AGNES
May I open my eyes now?

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

AGNES
It grew.

MARTHA
What made it grow? Do you know?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Would you like to tell me?

AGNES
No.

MARTHA
Did anyone else know about the baby?

AGNES
I can’t tell you that.

MARTHA
Will she be angry?

AGNES
She made me promise not to.

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

AGNES
I’m afraid.

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

AGNES
I ate.

MARTHA
Hm hmm. What did you have for
dinner?

AGNES
Fish…
(distastefully)
… brussel sprouts.

MARTHA
You don’t like brussel sprouts?

AGNES
I hate them.

Martha and Mother Miriam can’t help smiling.

MARTHA
And then what happened?

AGNES
We went to chapel for vespers.

MARTHA
Hm hmm.

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

Suddenly Agnes leaps up from her chair.

MARTHA
What is it?

AGNES
Someone’s following me.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
Sister Marguerite I think.

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

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

AGNES
My bed.

MARTHA
What else?

AGNES
A crucifix.

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

AGNES
(puzzled)
A wastepaper basket.

MARTHA
Do you know who put it there?

AGNES
No.

MARTHA
What do you think it’s there for?

AGNES
For me to get sick in.

MARTHA
Are you ill?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
What do you feel?

AGNES
I feel as if I’ve eaten glass.

MARTHA
What do you do?

AGNES
I have to throw up…

And she falls to her knees, retching horribly.

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

MARTHA
Which one?

AGNES
I don’t know which one (distorted)

MARTHA
Of what?

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

MARTHA
Why isn’t anyone coming?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
(to Martha)
Stop her!

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

MARTHA
What is it?

AGNES

Please get away from me…

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
Go away, I don’t want you here.

MARTHA
Is someone in the room with you?

AGNES
No… don’t hit me please…

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

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

AGNES
(still screaming)

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

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

AGNES
Frightened.

MARTHA
Do you remember what just happened?

AGNES
(a long pause)
Yes.

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

AGNES
Yes.

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

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

65 EXT – LAND REGISTRY – DAY

Martha approaches the building and enters it.

66 INT – RECORD ROOM – DAY

The camera tracks through shelves of ancient records and maps.

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

MAN (off)
(answers in French)

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

MAN
(in French)

MARTHA
(replies in French)

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

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

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

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

MAN
Oh excuse me, what did you say?

MARTHA
Nothing. May I take some notes?

MAN
Oh yes, (distorted)

Martha starts drawing a rough plan.

67 INT – CRYPT – DAY

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

68 INT – TUNNEL – DAY

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

69 INT – BARN – DAY

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

70 EXT – CITY – DAY

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

71 INT – LIFT – DAY

The nuns are Sister Anne and Mother Miriam. In the lift an
OFFICE GIRL
checks her lipstick in the reflective metal walls. The lift
stops and the
Sisters get off.

72 INT – CORRIDOR – DAY

They walk down the modern carpeted corridor into…

73 INT – MARTHA’S OFFICE – DAY

Mother Miriam addresses the secretary, HELEN.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Is the Doctor in her office?

HELEN
Ah, who shall I say is calling?

MOTHER MIRIAM
(grimly)
General MacArthur.

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

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

Mother Miriam pushes the door open to reveal Martha.

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

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

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

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

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

MARTHA
One that will ask the questions you
want asked.

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

MARTHA
For the Church?

MOTHER MIRIAM
For Agnes.

MARTHA
You think she’s a saint?

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
The father!

MARTHA
Who is he?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why must he be anybody?

MARTHA
(laughs and sits down)
My God, you’re as crazy as…

MOTHER MIRIAM
Stop laughing, I don’t say it’s the truth,
I’m saying…

MARTHA
How (distorted) ?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Don’t be ridiculous.

MARTHA
Well give me a reasonable explanation

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

MARTHA
This is insane.

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

MARTHA
You’re saying God did it?

MOTHER MIRIAM

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

MARTHA
But how did it happen?

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

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
She is an innocent.

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

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

MARTHA
That’s what I have to believe…

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

Martha has no answer.

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

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

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

MARTHA
Somebody told her.

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

MARTHA
Oh, would you stop lying Mother!

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why would I lie?

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
I’m concerned about her health.

MARTHA
Who was that person Mother? Was it
you?

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

She goes out and slams the door.

74 EXT – POND – DAY

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

75 INT – CHAPEL – DAY

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

76 INT – LAW COURTS – DAY

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

MARTHA
All I want is one more week.

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

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

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

MARTHA
I’ll have a decision by next week.

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

MARTHA
Oh Joe… Joe she didn’t kill the baby.

LEVEAU
(halting)
You have proof?

MARTHA
I’ll have it.

LEVEAU
When?

MARTHA
Next week.

LEVEAU
(walking on)
No, no, no…

MARTHA
I can get you new evidence next week.

LEVEAU
No!

MARTHA
Tomorrow… tomorrow, I’ll get it by
tomorrow. I will.

They reach the door of Leveau’s office. He thinks…

LEVEAU
Yes, demain (?)

77 INT – CHAPEL – DAY

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

78 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

79 INT – MOTHER MIRIAM’S OFFICE – DAY

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

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
This is permission to take her apart.

MARTHA
Where is she?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Hasn’t she had enough?

MARTHA
I have a few more questions to ask her.

MOTHER MIRIAM
My God, but you’re determined.

They move back into the room.

MARTHA
Who knew she was pregnant?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Why do you insist upon pressing…

MARTHA
Was it you?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Is it because she’s a nun?

MARTHA
Did you know she was pregnant?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Yes.

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

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

MARTHA
For what? An abortion?

MOTHER MIRIAM
Oh, don’t be ridiculous.

MARTHA
Too late for what?

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

MARTHA
The baby?

MOTHER MIRIAM
The scandal…

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
She didn’t want any help.

MARTHA
You wanted that child out of the way.

MOTHER MIRIAM
That’s a lie.

MARTHA
You hid the wastepaper basket in her
room.

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

MARTHA
And the baby.

MOTHER MIRIAM
No!

MARTHA
You tied the cord around its neck.

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

MARTHA
Before or after you killed the child?

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

MARTHA
I doubt that’s what she’d say.

MOTHER MIRIAM
Then she’s a liar.

80 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

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

MARTHA
Agnes, can you hear me?

AGNES
Yes.

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

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

MARTHA (Cont.)
What’s the matter?

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

AGNES
She said Michael.

MARTHA
What did she mean?

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

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

MARTHA
And the passage to the barn?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
Why?

AGNES
So I could go to him.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
Him.

MARTHA
How did she know about him?

AGNES
She’d seen him too.

MARTHA
Where?

AGNES
From the belltower the day she before
she died.

MARTHA
So she sent you?

AGNES
Yes.

81 INT – TUNNEL – NIGHT

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

MARTHA (V.O.)
What happened?

Agnes keeps walking and finally goes up the steps into…

82 INT – BARN – NIGHT

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

AGNES (V.O.)
He’s here.

83 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

Back to the present:

MARTHA
Are you frightened?

AGNES
Yes.

84 INT – BARN – NIGHT

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

AGNES
Hallo…

85 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

In the present:

AGNES
… where are you?

86 INT – BARN – NIGHT

In flashback:

AGNES
Is it you?

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

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

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

87 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

In the present:

AGNES
Halos…

88 INT – BARN – NIGHT

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

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

And she lifts up her hands.

89 INT – ATTIC ROOM – DAY

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

AGNES
His blood… my God…

Martha and Mother Miriam are equally shocked.

MARTHA
Oh Agnes…

Agnes runs terrified over to the walls blood pouring over her
white habit. Mother Miriam rushes after her.

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

MARTHA
(trying to hold her)
Agnes… Agnes…

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

AGNES
Stay away from me…

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

AGNES
No…

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

AGNES
Not your fault…

MARTHA
Agnes who did you see?

AGNES
I hate him…

MARTHA
Of course you do. Who was it?

AGNES
I hate him for what he did to me.

MARTHA
Yes.

AGNES
For what he made me go through.

MARTHA
Who?

AGNES
I hate him.

MARTHA
Agnes, who did this to you?

Agnes flings her arms back against the wall.

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

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

MOTHER MIRIAM
That’s enough.

MARTHA
Agnes, what happened to the baby?

MOTHER MIRIAM
(shouting)
She can’t remember.

MARTHA
What happened to the baby?

AGNES
It was dead.

MARTHA
It was alive wasn’t it?

AGNES
I don’t remember.

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

MARTHA
Wasn’t it!

AGNES
YES!

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

MARTHA
Mother Miriam was with you wasn’t
she?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
She took the baby in her arms?

AGNES
Yes.

MARTHA
You saw it all didn’t you?

AGNES
Yes.

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

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

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

MARTHA
What did you do?

AGNES
I put her to sleep.

MARTHA
H… how?

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

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

90 EXT – CITY – DAY

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

91 INT – COURT ROOM – DAY

All the main characters are present: Eve, Lyon, Martha, Agnes,
Sister Marguerite and Mother Miriam. Justice Leveau is summing
up.

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

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

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

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

LEVEAU
Please, remove her from the court.

Martha and Mother Miriam step forward uncertainly.

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

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

DISSOLVE TO:

92 EXT – CONVENT – DAY

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

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

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

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

DISSOLVE TO:

93 EXT – TOP OF BELLTOWER – DAY

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

FADE OUT.
END TITLES.




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