The Believer(2000年)

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RAV ZINGESSER
“And God said to Abraham, ‘Take your
son, your only son, whom you love,
Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah
and offer him there for a sacrifice
upon a mountain that I will show you…”

INT. YESHIVA CLASSROOM — DAY

A run-down place. A dozen 12-year-old BOYS sit at old-
fashioned desks. These are not Hasidim, but Orthodox Jews:
normal American kids in yarmulkes. The teacher, RAV
ZINGESSER is young, overweight, acnescarred, good-humored.

RAV ZINGESSER
And why did the Holy One — blessed
be He — do this? Why did he ask
Abraham to sacrifice his only son,
whom he loved?

Two boys off to one side: AVI (a smart, tough, brownnose)
and DANNY (the eternal dissident) argue under their breath….

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
Isaac wasn’t his only son. Ishmael
was his son, too.

12-YEAR-OLD AVI
The only son he loved.

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
Oh, they only kill them when they
love them…?

12-YEAR-OLD STUART
(up front; answering Zingesser)
It was a test of Abraham’s faith. Of
his devotion to God.

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
It’s not about Abraham’s faith. It’s
about God’s power. God says, “You
know how powerful I am? I can make
you do anything I want, no matter how
stupid. Even kill your own son.
Because I’m everything, you’re nothing.”

TITTERS. Danny looks around at his classmates: nerds,
wankers, nose-pickers. Two kids in back furtively read the
racing form under their desks. He hates them for their
indifference as much as he despises Stuart’s piety or Avi’s
ass-kissing.

RAV ZINGESSER
But, Danny, if HaShem is everything,
and we are nothing how are we to
judge His actions?

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
We have free will and intelligence —
which God allegedly gave us….

AVI
Anyway, God never lets Abraham kill
Isaac. He provides the ram so that —

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
Personally, I think that’s a lie. I
think he did kill him.

RAV ZINGESSER
You think?! Based on what?

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
There’s midrash supporting this. My
father read a book by Shalom Spiegel
that — Isaac actually died and was
reborn.

RAV ZINGESSER
No one follows that midrash.

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
I do; I follow it. But okay, say God
provided the ram. So what? Once
Abraham raised the knife, in his
heart it was as if he’d killed him.
He could never forget that. And
neither could Isaac. Look at him:
he’s traumatized, he’s a putz for the
rest of his life. By the end he can’t
tell Jacob from Esau….

The kids laugh. Zingesser CRACKS a ruler against a desk.

RAV ZINGESSER
Watch your language….

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
(rising impassioned)
I think the whole Jewish people were
permanently scarred by what happened
on Mt. Moriah, and we still live in
terror….

12-YEAR-OLD STUART
Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
Fear of God makes you afraid of
everything. All the Jews are good at
is being afraid. And being sacrificed.

Oooo. CRACK, CRACK, CRACK. Even the guys with the sports
pages are shocked by that one.

12-YEAR-OLD STUART
Don’t you believe in God?

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
I’m the only one here who does
believe. You say he’s mysterious, yet
merciful. I see him for the power-
drunk madman He is. And we’re
supposed to worship such a Deity?? I
say Never! I say…fight him. I say —

The ruler has been CRACKING from “power-drunk” on…. Now
Zingesser grabs Danny, yanks him out of his chair.

RAV ZINGESSER
Avi — ask Rabbi Springer to come
remove Danny from the class….

Avi rises, grinning, as…Danny struggles wildly to get free.

RAV ZINGESSER
And you, if you had come out of Egypt,
you would have been destroyed in the
desert with those who worshipped the
Golden Calf.

12-YEAR-OLD DANNY
Then let Him destroy me now. Let Him
crush me like the conceited bully He is.
(to the ceiling)
Go ahead. Kill me. Here I am. Do it!!

The class sits frozen in terror, waiting for God to kill
Danny. But nothing happens.

INT. YESHIVA STAIRWELL — NIGHT

Danny runs down the steps alone.

EXT. RUN-DOWN COMMERCIAL AREA — TWILIGHT

Danny walking home alone. He sees TWO KIDS (older, tougher,
blonder) coming toward him. He slips off his yarmulke and
slants across the street. The kids slant that way. He hears
a RUMBLING, looks up at an ELEVATED TRAIN entering a station.
He runs up the steps toward the SHRIEKING train….

INT. 7 TRAIN — 1998 — DAY

TITLE: 13 YEARS LATER

The train passes above used car lots, discount furniture
stores, residential side streets…finally pulls into a
station. The doors open. People file on, the CAMERA letting
them go by until it spots a tall, thin COLLEGE STUDENT in a
YARMULKE. Danny grown up?

PAN with him as he sits, opens an organic chemistry text. The
doors close. The train starts up, but the Jewish boy hardly
notices; he is already reading. He sways with the motion of
the car, half-hidden by other passengers. We realize he is
being watched.

REVERSE ANGLE: another YOUNG MAN, standing — a “SUEDE-HEAD”
(his hair cut so short it’s like a fine fabric).

SUEDE-HEAD’S POV: THE JEWISH BOY pushes his glasses back up
his nose, wipes the nose with a handkerchief, puts the
handkerchief away, and all the time his eyes have not left
the page. Suede-head steps between passengers and stands
directly over the Jewish boy. He looks down at the yarmulke
pinned to the stiff, wavy hair, at the oversized shirt
collar, scrawny neck, prominent Adam’s apple, pimples,
dandruff, ingrown facial hair…

He steps closer, crowding the boy’s knees. The boy shifts a
little without looking up. Subtly but relentlessly, Suede-
head pursues him along the bench until, unable to slide
farther, the boy flattens his legs against the seat. Suede-
head presses into the boy’s knees.

The boy accidentally bumps a BUSINESSMAN to Suede-head’s
left. The man (late 30s, Wall Street Journal, African-
American) looks from the boy to Suede-head and understands
at once what is going on.

Suede-head stares right back — and the BUSINESSMAN returns
to his paper. Suede-head eases him aside and steps on the
boy’s shoe.

SHOES — A HEAVY BLACK BOOT PINS A BROWN WINGTIP TO THE FLOOR

The wingtip wiggles back and forth, finally working free.
The boy still hasn’t looked up.

SUEDE-HEAD & THE JEWISH BOY

swaying, locked in a strange, silent intimacy. Suede-head
forces the boy into ever more contorted postures,
increasingly ridiculous denials of what is happening. And
the boy not only never stops reading the chemistry text, he
keeps highlighting relevant passages.

The train slows. The boy closes the book, caps the
highlighter, gathers his things and manages to stand up,
wriggling awkwardly around Suede-head. The doors open, he
gets off.

INT. STATION — DAY

Looking up a long escalator, the Jewish boy riding down
toward us.

Suede-head arrives on the run at the top, races down a
flight of stairs, vaults the bannister, slides down a metal
slope….

Lands on his feet and comes to stand at the foot of the
escalator.

The boy rides inexorably down. At the bottom, he tries to go
around Suede-head who blocks this way, then another, driving
him into a corner.

The boy realizes he has nowhere to go — finally turns to
face his tormentor. Their eyes meet for the first time. He
is actually bigger than Suede-head, but not nearly as strong.
He won’t fight, is simply acknowledging what he can no
longer deny. There is even an odd relief that disgusts
Suede-head more than all the rest.

SUEDE-HEAD
Fucking kike.

He slaps him in the face. He stumbles backward. As Suede-
head goes to hit him again, the boy holds his books in front
of him. Suede-head punches the books straight into his face.
The boy falls, curls into a fetal position. Suede-head kicks
him….

SUEDE-HEAD
Get up…. Get the fuck up….

He won’t budge. Suede-head punches him repeatedly until he
hears VOICES approaching. He runs back up the stairs to the
train and only as we FOLLOW him do we realize that he is our
protagonist. This is Danny grown up.

CUT TO:

INT. DANNY’S STUDIO APARTMENT — NIGHT

Like his brain, the room is at once crowded and tidy and has,
so far as we can see, neither windows nor doors. Shelves of
books, CDs, magazines, videotapes loom over a neatly made bed.

Danny, in briefs and boots, is lifting weights. The phone
rings. A machine picks up: no outgoing message, only a BEEP.
Then:

WOMAN’S VOICE
Is this working? I’m trying to reach
Danny Balint…Danny, it’s Vicki, we
met at Happy Jack’s last month…?

He keeps doing curls.

WOMAN’S VOICE
I was hoping maybe we could…get
together again… Give me a call —
718-555-0193.

She hangs up. A moment later Danny finishes the set, gasping
for air, heart pounding, muscles throbbing.

INT. SAME — NIGHT

A radio is playing the news. Danny sits at a small desk, on
the phone and browsing the Internet, a take-out menu beside him.

DANNY (INTO PHONE)
…Is it completely vegetarian?
…What do they make the stock
from?… Not chicken, you’re sure?…
And no dairy… No, no cheese I don’t
eat cheese… Yeah, all right. And
the tropical fruit shake… How long?…

Over this we see: COMPUTER SCREEN: GLIMPSES OF PASSING PHRASES:

…ZIONIST OCCUPATIONAL GOV’T CONTROLS 78% OF THE SENATE, 62%
OF THE HOUSE…DYNAMITE CAN BE STOLEN FROM CONSTRUCTION
SITES & ROAD CREWS, PARTICULARLY IN MOUNTAINOUS AREAS…
CURTIS ZAMPF IN NYC 5/18…JEWISH PIMPS, DRUG DLRS &
ABORTIONISTS HAVE AS THEIR MAIN GOAL…CONVERTING THE GLOCK
901 TO FULLY AUTOMATIC IS RELATIVELY SIMPLE. FIRST, REMOVE
THE FIRING PIN…

He HIGHLIGHTS the item about Curtis Zampf…

EXT. VOMPADINK — TWILIGHT

A tough working-class Queens bar.

INT. VOMPADINK — TWILIGHT

Men drink in clusters, including a group of skinheads….
Danny takes a place alone at the bar, drawing furtive
attention from the regulars. When the BARTENDER finally
comes over…

DANNY
Vodka tonic.

A strange call for this place. As he waits, Danny turns and
watches the skinheads enough to make them aware of him.

The girls watch him, too. The skins don’t like that. One of
them (Billings) seems ready to do something about it. The
others try to calm him, and when they look back, Danny has
left. He barely touched the drink.

The skins are puzzled, but one indicates his watch: time to
go. They gather their stuff….

EXT. CITY/INT. 7 TRAIN — EVENING

Looking out the front of the train as it rushes toward
Manhattan. A dramatic sky rises above the skyline.

EXT. STREET — NIGHT

The three skins — O.L., CARLETON, BILLINGS — walk up an
East Side street. Billings is telling a story….

BILLINGS
…So she takes the pants in back —
where they try them on? And I think
fuck it….

CARLETON
Are you shitting me?? Right in the store?

BILLINGS
She’s been giving me the eye. She’s
hot. So I wait till the owner goes up
front….

During this, O.L. starts to SPRAY PAINT a crude SWASTIKA
onto a BUS KIOSK. A VOICE startles them….

VOICE
What are you doing??

They jump, turn. Danny steps out of the shadows.

DANNY
(indicating swastika)
What do you think you’re doing?

BILLINGS
Who the fuck are you?

DANNY
(coming toward them)
Who am I?? Who are you, you schmucks,
you can’t even make a decent
swastika…. Give me the paint.
(O.L. looks to his friends)
Give it to me.

Danny’s will is stronger; O.L. hands over the spray can.
Danny shakes it, critiques O.L.’s rendering….

DANNY
(gruff but avuncular)
It’s too squared off. You got to
orient it up and down, diamond-shaped,
like this….
(sprays an excellent swastika)
…The arms go clockwise.
(hands the can back)
You’re going to Curtis Zampf; me, too.
Let’s go?

They exchange looks: how did he know about Curtis?

CURTIS ZAMPF (O.S.)
…Where I grew up in South Boston
twenty years ago, when a kid walked
down the street, everyone knew who he
was…

INT. LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Grand but threadbare. The skins enter: O.L. like a child,
Carleton like a sardonic adolescent, Billings like a
revolutionary, Danny like an uncrowned prince.

CURTIS ZAMPF is addressing a dozen or so guests. He is 40
but appears younger; with rough good looks, longish hair and
a leather jacket, he seems more like an aging rock star or
sexy novelist that a standard-issue American Nazi.

CURTIS
…If he ran out in front of a car,
some old Mick’d yell at him, “Jimmy
Dunne, get back on that sidewalk and
stay there….”

He does the Boston Irish accent so well, everybody laughs.
Up front we notice the only WOMAN in the room. She is in her
40s, regal, beautiful, forbidding. Her name is LINA MOEBIUS.

CURTIS
…The day he graduated high school,
he’d go see his uncle down at the gas
works, or the priest’s brother in the
shipyard, get his apprentice papers,
eight years later he’d be making
$16.50 an hour, have four kids, play
ball on Sundays in Columbus Park, and
when he died, the whole town’d get
drunk and cry over him….

The crowd — nonunion electricians, white taxi drivers,
unemployed bookkeepers, failed academics, off-duty cops —
listens quietly.

During this, a young woman (CARLA) appears from the rear of
the apartment, heading for the kitchen with a coffee cup and
a history book. She glances into the living room.

CURTIS
…Today, when that kid walks down
the street it’s full of trash and
half the faces are black. The
shipyard’s closed, all the jobs at
the gas works are set-asides, and by
the time he drops out of school, he
can barely get a job at Burger King.
So he drinks, smokes crack, and when
he hangs himself on the front porch
at twenty-three, the only people at
his wake are a couple of buddies and
his mother. The boy’s father won’t
find out he’s dead till six months
later.
(beat)
The soul of this country is being
destroyed, and all the government can
offer is free trade, mutual funds and
IPOs.

GUY DANIELSEN
You sound like a leftist.

CURTIS
I used to be one…. No, seriously, I
called myself an anarchist. I stood
up for the oppressed. I opposed state
power.

AN OLD COOT
Don’t you still?

CURTIS
I oppose the present state because
it’s weak. It has been ever since the
left emasculated it over Vietnam. But
I think the average man is crushed
less by accumulated capital than the
loss of community or real leadership,
the personal emptiness he simply
cannot fill on his own….
(matter-of-fact)
That’s why I’m a fascist. It’s the
only form of government that
addresses our deepest needs.

Silence. Danny — who has spotted Carla — begins to clap, a
few others join in. Danny raises his hand; Curtis nods to
him….

DANNY
What do you think the fascism of the
twenty-first century will look like?

Everyone — including Carla — turns to see who asked that.

CURTIS
More cultural than political.

DANNY
Obviously.

CURTIS
Decentralized, nonviolent,
increasingly mainstream. We’ll see
antiabortion, anti-immigration groups
form alliances with the gun lobby,
Christian identity types, tax resisters
and even some libertarians….

The crowd seems impressed, but restless and bored.

OLD COOT
What about race?

A stirring: many share the concern. Lina watches closely.

CURTIS
This isn’t the time for that.

Murmurs of surprise, disappointment.

DANNY
I disagree.
(glances at Carla)
I think race is central to everything
we’re talking about.
(murmurs of agreement)
Spiritual life comes from race. From
the blood. Without that, we’re no
better than the Jews….

The magic word. The whole room comes alive. Zampf grimaces.

CARLA
What’s wrong with the Jews?

MRS. MOEBIUS
Carla…

DANNY
Have you read Toynbee? Spengler?

CARLA
Nobody reads that stuff anymore.

DANNY
Too difficult?

CARLA
Too Christian. You know Jameson? Paul
Virilio?

DANNY
The point is, the modern world is a
Jewish disease.

CARLA
Disease? What disease?

DANNY
Abstraction. They’re obsessed with
abstraction.

That stops the conversation. But Carla is intrigued; here is
someone whose mind moves in strange and interesting realms.

VOICE (GUY DANIELSEN)
What would you propose?

The questioner is a young man (GUY DANIELSEN), better spoken
than the others. Danny feels all eyes on him.

DANNY
Killing Jews.

A tremor of fear and excitement ripples through the room.
Zampf glances at Mrs. Moebius; she is watching Danny intently.

CURTIS
That would be a catastrophic mistake.

DANNY
People hate Jews. Do you agree?

CURTIS
They used to. Today it’s not an issue.

DANNY
No, but deep down, beneath the
“tolerance” they learn on television,
nothing’s changed. The very word
makes their skin crawl.
(around the room people nod)
It isn’t even hate, really. It’s more
the way we feel when a rat runs
across the floor. We want to step on
it. Crush it. We don’t even know why.
It’s a physical reaction. Everyone
feels it.

GUY DANIELSEN
Which ones would you kill?

DANNY
Prominent Jews. Who are either
symbols in themselves or who
represent aspects of the Jewish
character people despise.

GUY DANIELSEN
Such as?

OLD COOT
Barbra Streisand.

Mutterings: “Who’s she?” “Yeah, her…” But Danny says:

DANNY
Too obvious.

VOICES
Kissinger…Dershowitz…Roseanne…

DANNY
Yes. And Larry King…

OLD COOT
Is he Jewish?

DANNY
…Leona Helmsley, Michael Eisner, Bob
Dylan, Phillip Roth, Ruth Bader
Ginsberg, Steven Spielberg, Winona
Ryder, Beverly Sills, Alvin Toffler,
Katherine Graham. All of them. But
not yet. We don’t want celebrity
obscuring the issue.

CARLA
Which is what?

DANNY
At first, no one will know why the
victims are being killed.

CURTIS
You wouldn’t announce it?

DANNY
I’d say nothing. After two or three,
people will try to find a pattern. A
reason.

CURTIS
But when it comes out, the public
will be outraged. It will look like
Germany all over again.

DANNY
Isn’t that what we want? Germany all
over again? Only done right this time…

The crowd feels a deep atavistic thrill. Zampf glances at
Mrs. Moebius….

DANNY
Without speeches or political parties.
A movement without leaders so that no
one can stop it…

The room is stunned to silence. Mrs. Moebius signals Curtis.

CURTIS
Okay, let’s break this up for now….
(to Danny)
Could you wait a minute…?

INT. SAME — FIVE MINUTES LATER

Danny — flushed with triumph — stands looking down at the
city.

ACROSS THE ROOM — MRS. MOEBIUS & CURTIS ZAMPF

CURTIS
(low)
…I thought we agreed, no anti-
Semitism…it’s exactly what we’re
trying to put behind us…. Trash the
blacks, fine; but…

MRS. MOEBIUS
Did you see how they reacted to him?

CURTIS
Yes, of course. But that only plays
in this room, with people who aren’t
embarrassed to call themselves Nazis.
If you want a modern fascism, you
don’t mention Jews.

MRS. MOEBIUS
It’s a romantic movement, Curtis. It
always has been.

CURTIS
Lina, the Thousand-Year Reich barely
lasted a decade…. Do you really
want to go down that road again? In
America of all places, where
obedience and discipline are not
exactly the national virtues…

She looks over at Danny, now chatting with Carla….

LINA
He’s very bright.

CURTIS
He speaks well. But what do we do
with him?

LINA
Let’s find out who he is.

CURTIS
You mean who he really is.

ON DANNY & CARLA

CARLA
You’re not in school? What do you do?

DANNY
I work at the Big Boy warehouse. In
Queens. I drive a fork-lift.

CARLA
Where’d you read all that stuff?

DANNY
I just read it….

LINA
Young man…

He turns. She’s beckoning to him. He gives Carla a look,
then crosses to her, sitting in a chair she indicates.
Curtis offers him a drink; he declines. Carla takes one.

LINA
Lina Moebius. And you are…?

DANNY
Daniel Balint.

LINA
Balint?

DANNY
It’s German.

LINA (IN GERMAN)
What part of Germany are you people from?

DANNY (IN GERMAN)
From the Rhineland originally.

LINA (IN ENGLISH)
Are you with the FBI, Mr. Balint?…
Or any other law enforcement agency?

DANNY
I was going to ask you the same thing.

Smiles, laughter. Everyone seems to relax.

LINA
So what are you really after,
Daniel?… Do you just want to kill
Jews, or do you have something larger
in mind?

Carla watches, silent. Danny is aware of both mother and
daughter.

DANNY
Without blood — a willingness to
spill it — there’s no real power, no
authority.

LINA
(pleased by this)
Curtis is afraid you’ll marginalize us.

DANNY
We’re already marginal. We are saying
what no one else has the guts to say.
Isn’t that precisely our appeal?

LINA
So what Jew would you kill first?

DANNY
Ilio Manzetti…former ambassador to
France. Managing partner at Damon,
Schwarzchild.

CURTIS
(to Lina, explaining)
An investment banking house.

MRS. MOEBIUS
He’s Jewish? Manzetti?

DANNY
Totally. The family emigrated from
Bulgaria when he was eleven.

CURTIS
How would you kill him?

DANNY
I’d have to research it, study his
routines, his security…. But
ideally on a New York street at
midday, using a small-caliber
automatic without a silencer.

CARLA
Why no silencer?

DANNY
You want it to be an event.

Lina stands, takes a sherry. Everyone else rises with her.

LINA
Danny, why don’t you come visit us in
the country. We have young men with
lots of energy and no ideas. Maybe
you could give them something to
think about…. Bring your friends,
if you like….

As Curtis leads him toward the door, Danny looks around for
Carla, hears WOMEN’S VOICES arguing in German. Frustrated,
he goes down the stairs….

EXT. STREET — NIGHT

Danny and the other skins walking down the middle of the
street, drinking beer, oblivious to traffic.

BILLINGS
Bring your friends…. We’re not his
friends.

DANNY
Then I won’t bring you….

The others laugh. Someone HONKS behind them. Billings turns:

BILLINGS
FUCK YOU.

BLACK VOICE (O.S.)
Hey, bonehead…get your moon ass off
the street.

Billings turns and throws his beer at the voice. A CRASH,
BREAKING GLASS, a screech of BRAKES, CAR DOORS open and shut…

BILLINGS
Why don’t you go back to Rwanda and
give each other AIDS.

That does it. The skins run out of frame. SOUNDS of a fight.
Danny watches, indifferent, then finally joins in.

INT. PRECINCT LOCKUP — NIGHT

The skins in a cell. O.L., head bloody, moaning and vomiting.

O.L.
I can’t see….

Carleton comforts him. Billings paces, looks at Danny,
sitting against the wall, relaxed for the first time.

BILLINGS
What, do you like it here?

DANNY
Read Mein Kampf? Hitler had all his
best ideas in prison.

OFF-SCREEN VOICE
Daniel Balint?

Danny looks up: a JAILER unlocks the cell. Carla appears
behind him. Danny stops without stepping through the open door.

DANNY
I’m not leaving without them.

The other skins are surprised, moved. Carla and Danny stare
at each other. Finally she turns to the jailer….

CARLA
Can I use a credit card?

EXT. STREET CORNER, SUBWAY ENTRANCE — NIGHT

A Mercedes pulls up, Carla driving. The skins climb out,
Carleton guiding O.L., who cannot see.

CARLA
He should go to a hospital.

O.L.
I’m okay.

Billings turns back, sees Danny still in the car.

BILLINGS
You coming?

DANNY
(glances at Carla, stays
in the car)
We’ll go to the country sometime, okay?

Billings nods grudgingly. The car drives off. Carleton grins.

CARLETON
Fucking Danny, man…

BILLINGS
He’s an asshole.

INT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT — TWILIGHT

Carla leads Danny through the darkened apartment.

INT. CARLA’S ROOM — TWILIGHT

An old bookcase full of leather-bound German volumes…Danny
opens one marked Hofmannsthal. He tries to read a marked
passage.

DANNY
“…und die Worte zerfielen mir im
Munde wie modrige Pilze…”

CARLA
“And the words fell apart in my mouth
like moldering mushrooms…”

DANNY
How come so many of the books are in
Spanish?

CARLA
They’re my father’s. He’s from
Argentina. My mother’s family went
there during the war. That’s where
they met.

DANNY
Are they still together?

CARLA
He’s in a mental institution…. He’s
been there for ten years, off and on.
Mostly on.

DANNY
Is he a Nazi?

CARLA
I guess. His parents are. He doesn’t
care about that.

DANNY
What’s he care about?

CARLA
Killing himself.

They look at each other. There’s that gulf between them that
they have to cross, but they’re not sure how.

DANNY
You think people ever commit suicide
out of happiness?

CARLA
That’s stupid. Why would they?

He shrugs. She takes his hand, rubs the bruised knuckles.

CARLA
You’re not like the others, are
you?… Your friends.

DANNY
Yes, I am. Basically I am.

She leans close, whispers….

CARLA
Hurt me.

He’s surprised, but not very. He grabs her wrist, twists it.

CARLA
Ow! That’s too hard.

He pulls her out of frame. She starts to say something, but
it’s cut off by another CRY OF PAIN. We keep looking out the
window….

INT. SAME — LATER

The light has shifted across the city, and we hear only a
muffled sobbing.

The CAMERA TURNS to look at…Carla and Danny naked on the
bed. He lies back, reading the German book. She’s curled on
her side, weeping abjectly. Still sobbing, she rolls over,
buries her face in his chest. We see that his neck is
scratched up.

CARLA
Do it again….

She begins to fondle him. He ignores it until he finishes
the poem, then turns to her.

INT. SAME — LATER

The light has shifted again. Danny sleeps alone, his face
strangely innocent. Carla drops onto the bed, shakes him.

CARLA
Get up…you gotta go.

He opens his eyes. She’s dressed, her hair wet from the
shower, a faint puffiness around her mouth. He pulls her
down to him.

CARLA
No, you have to leave. I’ve got to
write a paper.
(slaps his stomach hard)
Out!

He looks up. Her face is cold, indifferent. He gets to his feet.

INT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT — DAY

Danny on his way to the door, hears something, turns…CURTIS
ZAMPF is coming out of a bedroom in his underwear. From
within…

LINA MOEBIUS (O.S.)
Bring the paper, too.

Curtis now sees Danny. A look between them. Danny goes out.

EXT. QUEENS, STAIRS TO ELEVATED TRAIN — DAY

Once a Jewish neighborhood, now occupied chiefly by blacks,
Latins and more recent immigrants.

As Danny (wearing headphones) comes down the steps… TWO
BLACK KIDS (big, menacing, boombox) are coming up, blocking
his way. Danny walks right between them, forcing them apart.

They turn, glare after him. He turns, glares back. They
scoff and keep going up. He walks on.

EXT. OZONE PARK HOUSE — DAY

He lets himself into a row house. We barely notice the
mezzuzah on the door post.

INT. OZONE PARK HOUSE — DAY

A nearly vanished world of lower-middle-class Jewish life,
though the “Jewishness” (menorah, kiddush cup…) is
restricted to one dusty corner behind a secular chaos of
books, newspapers, half-empty cups, half-filled glasses…

Danny’s FATHER, 55, sits on a faded chair, an oxygen mask on
a cart beside him. Danny’s sister, LINDA, 30, is cutting his
hair with a scissors. When Danny enters, they both look up
at him in surprise, alarm, possibly even love. For a moment
no one knows what to do.

The father begins to wheeze, puts the mask over his face and
breathes deeply. Linda tells him to lean back; resumes
cutting. On the wall we see Danny’s BAR MITZVAH PHOTO.

Meanwhile, Danny has found a stack of mail, all addressed to
him. His father and sister are visible behind him in a
mirror. Without speaking, he goes down the hall, and we hear
him DESCEND STAIRS to:

INT. HOUSE, BASEMENT — DAY

Danny has taken off his coat (revealing a black T-shirt with
a red swastika), and is going through a number of cardboard
boxes marked “D,” pulling out comic books, baseball gloves,
martial arts gear, drawings of voluptuous women, morbid
gothic figures, gun magazines, books about Hitler,
Nazis…and finally a .22 AUTOMATIC stuffed in a blue sock.

INT. HOUSE, BASEMENT

He removes the clip, checks the slide, while nodding to the
MUSIC coming through his earphones. He looks up, sees LINDA
at the foot of the stairs, pulls off the headset.

LINDA
I knocked, you didn’t answer.

It’s too late to conceal the gun; he places it beside him.
She does her best to ignore the swastika shirt….

LINDA
What are you doing here?

DANNY
I just came to get some stuff. I’ll
be out in five minutes.
(off her)
He doesn’t want me around.

She looks down as if that were not true, or the way in which
it is too complicated to go into.

LINDA
He’s going to die.
(as Danny looks away)
He won’t take his medicine. He eats
dairy. He probably still smokes when
I’m not around.
(off Danny’s helpless gesture)
I asked him to come live with us.
Alex offered to share his room,
unsolicited…. But he didn’t want to
be any trouble.

DANNY
Then he couldn’t be bitter about
living alone.

LINDA
Why deprive him of his greatest pleasure?

They exchange what are almost smiles. But then the subject
she’s been trying to avoid — the only subject — suddenly
erupts…

LINDA
Ah, Jesus Christ, Danny, how can you
wear that thing?… You know what it
means? To your people…

DANNY
They’re not my people….

LINDA
Tell it to Hitler.

DANNY
Oh, he decides? Hitler’s the chief
rabbi now?…

LINDA
Is this because of those kids who
used to beat you up?

DANNY
What kids?…

LINDA
The Polacks? From Sacred Heart?

DANNY
Nobody ever beat me up.
(as she sighs, turns to go)
Look, Linda, there’re fifty reasons.
Even if you knew them all, there’d be
another fifty you didn’t know.

LINDA
Do you know them?
(off him)
I made him some noodles for dinner.
You can heat them up and —

DANNY
I’ve got to get back to the —

LINDA
You can heat them up and eat with him.

INT. LIVING ROOM, QUEENS HOUSE — NIGHT

Danny (now wearing a plain white T-shirt) bends over the
coffee table eating a noodle casserole and reading the Post.
His father eats off a TV table. He finishes, cursorily wipes
his mouth, picks up a remote and turns on the television.

DANNY
It’s Friday….

FATHER
(a hoarse rasp)
Do I give a shit?

Danny holds up both hands: he’s not arguing, simply informing.

FATHER
The Torah says not to light a fire on
the Sabbath, because it’s work,
correct?
(Danny sighs)
But if alternating current’s running
through the wires every second of
every day, and I throw a switch, send
it here instead of there, how is that
lighting a fire?

DANNY
“Do chickens give milk?”

FATHER
Exactly.

He channel-surfs until he comes to a stand-up COMIC doing a
routine. They both watch.

TV: the COMIC is funny in a brutal, compulsive way. Lots of
pop references, implicit postmodern nihilism. The routine
reflects what Danny (and the Shiites, the Unabomber, Timothy
McVeigh, T.S. Eliot, et al.) have against the modern world.

FATHER
Who’s this?

DANNY
Dennis Leary.

FATHER
Leary?

DANNY
No.

The father grunts with grim satisfaction, he suspected as much.

DANNY
(offering consolation)
Howard Stern.

FATHER
Obviously.

Danny sighs: why bother. But adds…

DANNY
Adam Sandler.

FATHER
Funny?

DANNY
Not like Mr. Dorfmann.

FATHER
He was funny.

As they watch, apropos of nothing:

FATHER
After your mother died, that’s when
you stopped going to shul. Doing your
homework. Everything.

DANNY
And that’s when the Mets started to
stink.

FATHER
‘Cause they got rid of Johnson. He
knew how to deal with the assholes.
Dallas Green, please…

DANNY
Valentine…

The father snorts. On TV the comic gets off a line, and they
both laugh. Their laughs are quite similar; they glance at
each other.

FATHER
There’s some maple walnut in the freezer.

DANNY
Linda says you’re not supposed to
have dairy.

FATHER
Just a little… What’s the difference?

Danny goes into the kitchen. The father extracts a pack of
Salems from between the cushions, lights one, takes a
desperate drag… The phone RINGS. He curses, stubs it out,
grabs the phone.

FATHER
Yeah?… Hold on…. It’s for you.

Danny gives his father a dish of ice cream, takes the phone.

DANNY
Hello…?

VOICE
Daniel Balint? My name’s Guy
Danielsen. I’m a reporter with the
New York Times.

DANNY
(impressed, suspicious)
New York Times…?

His father looks up. Danny takes the phone into the kitchen.

VOICE
I’m doing a piece on right-wing
groups, post Oklahoma City. I hear
you’re an important figure in those
circles. You have a lot of interesting
ideas….

INT. KITCHEN — NIGHT

DANNY
Who told you that?

VOICE
Isn’t it true?

DANNY
No, it’s…yeah, it’s true, but…
how’d you get this number?… No, not
here… Maybe Sunday? There’s a place
off Queens Blvd. Near the courthouse…

EXT. COFFEE SHOP, QUEENS — DAY

A HIGH-ANGLE view of the coffee shop. After a moment, Danny
enters frame, starts toward it….

INT. COFFEE SHOP, QUEENS — DAY

Danny enters, looks around. To his surprise he sees GUY
DANIELSEN from the Nazi meeting rising, extending his hand.

GUY DANIELSEN
Danny…Guy Danielsen…

DANNY
(sardonic, now he gets it)
You…

Guy shrugs, smiles apologetically.

ANOTHER ANGLE — DANNY & GUY WITH COFFEE

GUY
Milk…?

As Danny declines, Guy gets out a small cassette recorder,
is about to turn it on, when he notices Danny’s reaction….

GUY
Is it okay if I record this?

DANNY
No… Yeah, fine, go ahead… So
what’s this about? Is this about me?

GUY
I’m trying to figure out where the
radical right is going to next….I
thought you were the most interesting
person at that meeting.

DANNY
What about Curtis Zampf?

GUY
Curtis is a politician — and a bit
of a hustler. He’s not a thinker.

DANNY
I agree.

GUY
The other night you said the modern
world is a Jewish disease. Could you
elaborate on that?

DANNY
In the movement — the racialist
movement — we believe there’s a
hierarchy of the races. Not just in
IQ, but in the civilization, the art,
the forms of government, the
civilizations that each race
produces… Why are you writing this
down if you’re recording it?

GUY
It helps me concentrate…. So does
that mean you’re a white supremacist?

DANNY
What should I be, a white inferior-
ist? A multicultural Zulu egalitarian?
Let me ask, where are your people from?

GUY
My mother’s family is French, my
father’s was German, originally.

DANNY
German. Mine, too. So who do you
think’s given more to the world, the
Germans — Beethoven, Goethe,
Nietzsche — or the entire continent
of Africa? Ibos, Bantus, Mandingos…

GUY
Danny, what about the Jews?

Danny shifts in his seat, growing more interested….

DANNY
The Jews are different…. Blacks are
disgusting and inferior, but it’s
like criticizing a retarded child.
The Jews are…a poison in the human
well….

GUY
A poison…?

DANNY
Let me give you an example…. Sexuality.

GUY
Sexuality??? What do you mean?

DANNY
You ever fuck a Jewish girl?

GUY
What??!?

DANNY
Did you ever fuck one, Guy?

GUY
(laughing, embarrassed)
What’s that go to do with…I’ve gone
out with a, with Jewish women. Why?

DANNY
And? WHat did you notice?

GUY
Notice? Like what…?

DANNY
Jewish girls like to give head, right?

GUY
I don’t know. Is that right?

DANNY
And Jewish men like to get it.

GUY
Everybody likes to, don’t they?

DANNY
Yes. It’s very pleasurable. But the
Jews are obsessed with it. You know why?

GUY
Why?

DANNY
Because the Jew is essentially female.

GUY
Female…

DANNY
Real men — white, Christian men —
we fuck a woman. We make her come
with our cocks. But the Jew doesn’t
like to penetrate and thrust — he
can’t assert himself that directly —
so he resorts to perversions. Oral
sex is technically a perversion, you
know that, don’t you?
(as Guy nods)
After a woman has been with a Jewish
man, she never wants a normal partner
again. A normal man.

GUY
Does that mean the Jew is the better
lover?

DANNY
You’re not listening. He isn’t better.
He gives pleasure, but that’s
actually a weakness.

GUY
Danny, what makes you think you know
all this?

DANNY
Let’s just say I’ve done due diligence.

GUY
So, fine, it’s not that the Jew, the
Jews own the media and the banks.
It’s that they’re sexually corrupt.

DANNY
The Jews clearly control the media
and the banks. Investment banks, not
the commercial ones. But the point is
they carry out in those realms the
same principles they display in
sexuality. They undermine traditional
life; they deracinate society.

Danny leans over to make sure Guy’s getting it right.

DANNY
Deracinate… Tear out the roots. A
people — a real people — derives
its genius from the land: the sun,
the sea, the soil. This is how they
know themselves. But the Jew doesn’t
have soil.

GUY
He has Israel.

DANNY
Those aren’t Jews.

GUY
Of course they’re Jews.

DANNY
Notice the Israelis: a fundamentally
secular society. They no longer need
Judaism because they have soil. The
real Jew is a wanderer, a nomad. He
has no roots, no attachments. So he
“universalizes” everything. He can’t
hammer a nail, plow a field. He can
only buy and sell, invest capital,
manipulate markets. He takes the life
of a people rooted in soil and turns
it into a cosmopolitan culture based
on books, ideas, numbers. This is his
strength….
(pumped; this is what
he loves)
Take the great Jewish minds: Marx,
Freud, Einstein. What have they given
us: communism, infantile sexuality
and the atom bomb. In a mere three
centuries since these guys emerged
from the ghettos of Europe, they’ve
taken us from a world built on order
and reason and hurled us into a chaos
of class warfare, irrational urges
and relativity, a world where the
very existence of matter and meaning
is in doubt. Why? Because it is the
deepest impulse of the Jewish soul to
unravel the very fabric of life until
nothing is left but thread, nothing
but nothingness. Nothingness without
end…

GUY
Are all Jews the same?

DANNY
Differences exist, of course, but
they’re irrelevant. For the Jew, his
Jewishness dominates everything. Even
the ones who renounce it, who hate it,
who want to cut it out of their
hearts a knife…can’t escape.
They’re still just Jews.

Guy finishes writing that and looks up.

GUY
Danny, this is great. You’re
incredibly articulate. One more
thing… How can you believe this when
you’re a Jew yourself?

A beat. Danny smiles at the mistake….

DANNY
What? Excuse me?…
(Guy says nothing)
You’re kidding, right?

GUY
Do you know Rabbi Stanley Nadelman?
He used to be at Congregation Beth
Elohim in Ozone Park…?

DANNY
Who? How would I know him?

GUY
He says you were bar mitzvahed there,
in March 1988.

DANNY
You believe that? And you call
yourself a reporter?

GUY
So you’re saying it’s not true.

DANNY
Look at me. DO I look Jewish? Look…

He indicates his hair, turns sideways to show his profile?

GUY
Were you ever bar mitzvahed anywhere
else?

DANNY
Do you know who you’re fucking with here?

GUY
That’s what I’m trying to find out,
Danny. Who am I fucking with here?

DANNY
(sputtering, unsure
what to say)
Listen to me….

GUY
Why would Nadelman lie?

DANNY
To discredit me. Because I know who
they are. Look, I thought I explained
it to you. Those people can say or do
anything. And they will. It’s all
narrative to them, it’s… Are you
going to print what this guy said?

GUY
Give me a reason not to.

DANNY
It’s slander. It’s reckless disregard.
I’ll sue you and your fucking Jew paper.

GUY
Does that mean you deny what he says
is true? Yes or no.

GUN: pulled from Danny’s pants, slammed down on the table…
Guy sits back abruptly. Danny picks it up, cocks it….

DANNY
Look at me. Look at me, Guy…. Oh,
now you can’t look at me? Look at me,
you schmuck. Look at me….
(pokes the gun in Guy’s face)
You print that shit in the New York
Times…I’ll kill myself.

Everyone in the place is staring. Danny walks out, stuffing
the gun in his pants, shoving a man aside to get to the door.

EXT. COUNTRY — DAY

Traveling through low, tree-covered mountains listening to
the overture to Tannhäuser.

INT. VAN — DAY

Carleton driving; O.L. (one eye bandaged) riding shotgun. In
back: Billings and Danny (flipping through a Times.)

BILLINGS
Do we have to listen to this shit?

DANNY
Yes.

BILLINGS
Why’d we have to leave so fast?

O.L.
Nobody made you go.

CARLETON
Danny’s running from the law.

BILLINGS
O.L., how come your mother gives you
a car when you’re too fucking blind
to drive?

O.L.
(cackling)
She says ‘cause now I can’t crack it up.

CARLETON
Hey, O.L., assholes at four o’clock.

O.L. leans out the window, giving dual “birds” to an empty
street.

O.L.
FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES. SUCK MY DICK!

The others laugh.

EXT. DEFUNCT MOTEL — TWILIGHT

The van stopped in front. All of them out of the car. No
one’s around except the noisy CRICKETS. The city kids are
uneasy.

CARLETON
I thought there were people here….

DANNY
I’ll go look….

He walks toward the back. Billings decides to go with him.

O.L.
I better stay with the van….

CARLETON
Yeah, you better stay here and guard it.

O.L. gives him the finger. Carleton laughs — but he stays
back, too.

EXT. REAR OF MOTEL — TWILIGHT

Danny and Billings see PEOPLE in back. Now NINE YOUNG MEN
and a bulldog come to greet them: survivalists, speed-freaks,
skinheads…and one blank loner (DRAKE) with a blue swastika
tattooed to his lips like a tiny kiss. A case of STEROID
EXCESS fixes his gaze on Danny.

DANNY
We’re from New York. Curtis Zampf
invited us.

WHIT
Who?… Curtis who?

Are they in the wrong place? Then someone laughs, they all
relax, exchange greetings, obscure handshakes. Everyone’s
just getting comfortable when, for no apparent reason…

STEROID EXCESS

slugs Danny in the face.

He stumbles backward. The others crowd around, keep him from
falling, also from getting away. Billings starts to help,
but people grab him: this is Danny’s problem.

Steroid comes at him…. Danny steps inside the charge and
goes to work on the bigger man’s body. We barely see what
happens, but we hear it and feel the crowd’s shock. Danny is
stronger than we realized and much more vicious. In seconds,
Steroid sinks to his knees, face bloody. Danny holds up him,
leans close:

DANNY
Enough?

Steroid mumbles in the affirmative. Danny nods — then hits
him four more shots to the face. Even this crowd winces.
Steroid drops with a wet thud.

As Danny straightens up, wiping the blood off his hands,
people instinctively step back.

DANNY
Which was his room?

KYLE
(ferrety, glasses)
Number ten.

On the end: has an extra window. Danny walks into the room.
Steroid’s stuff starts flying out the door.

EXT. MOTEL PORCH — NIGHT

Danny on a pay phone.

DANNY
Yeah, I’m trying to reach Carla, is
she?… Did she get my other
message?… No, I’ll call back….

EXT. MOTEL PORCH — NIGHT

Danny hangs up the phone, glances into a room where we dimly
glimpse Nazis taking drugs, drinking beer, screaming…

VARIOUS VOICES
Fucking niggers… Fucking niggers?
Fucking gooks!…

Then incomprehensible shrieking rage, a fight, breaking glass…

Danny sighs, bored. He spots two nerdy Nazis, KYLE and WHIT,
playing some battle re-creation board game and rehashing
WWII….

WHIT
…Look, if Hitler had knocked out
the RAF in ’39, which he could easily,
easily have done, he’d have taken
England, and the U.S. wouldn’t have
had —

KYLE
…A staging ground for the invasion,
yeah. But he blew it going after
civilian targets. Just like he blew
the Russian front, diverting supplies
to Auschwitz….

Danny looks up the hill toward a farmhouse perched above
them. One light burns inside.

DANNY
Where’s Mrs. Moebius?

KYLE
Her place is down the road. But she
just comes out for weekends sometimes.

Danny squats to look at the board game.

DANNY
What is this, Stalingrad?

WHIT
Gettysburg. But we’re refighting it
with World War I technology. It’s a
fucking bloodbath.

He grins maniacally. Danny smiles. Kyle is emboldened by
Danny’s unexpected friendliness, lowers his voice….

KYLE
That was unbelievable what you did to
Lucas. The guy’s an animal.

DANNY
You could do it.

KYLE
Get out of here….

DANNY
You look right through him. He’s
there, but there’s something on the
other side of him that you want. It’s
all you want. And whatever’s in the
way doesn’t matter…. Then it’s easy.

As Kyle and Whit contemplate his wisdom…

DANNY
Either of you know anything about
explosives?

They both look up, very interested.

TWO FAMILIES IN TABLEAU — WOODEN CUTOUTS — DAY

Jews: MAN (black hat, beard), WOMAN (sheitl, shawl), BOY
(kippah, twerpy), GIRL (fat, ugly), even a DOG, a Star of
David on its side.

Blacks: MAN (watermelon, pitchfork), WOMAN (fat, fried
chicken), BOY (syringe, 9mm), GIRL (twins, welfare check),
DOG (black).

VOICE (O.S.)
Take a breath, let out a little,
relax, then squeeze.
(a RIFLE SHOT;
nothing’s hit)
Again…

Another SHOT. A bullet hits the Jewish boy in the rear end.
Sunlight streams through the hole. We are:

EXT. REAR OF MOTEL — DAY

Danny peers down the barrel of an M-16. Kyle squats beside him.

KYLE
Which one were you aiming at?

DANNY
The mother.

Kyle nods, patient, is drawing Danny’s attention back to the
target when…

DRAKE

Sets up beside them, begins squeezing off rounds so fast, it
sounds like an automatic weapon.

TARGETS: the bullets chew up and knock over all four Jews.
And selectively: shooting the man’s face, the woman’s
breasts, the boy and girl in the groin. The dog he merely
flattens.

Drake looks at Danny without expression, drops the clip,
shoves in a fresh one and riddles the black family in
similar fashion.

EXT. MOTEL PORCH — NIGHT

Danny, pay phone to his ear, flipping through a New York
Times. He throws it aside as a voice comes on the line….

DANNY
Carla?… It’s me, Danny…Danny
Balint…? We met at that…[meeting
at your house.]
CARLA’S VOICE
Yeah, I remember…. Kill any Jews yet?

DANNY
I didn’t realize you cared.

CARLA’S VOICE
I don’t. I was just curious how full
of shit you were.

DANNY
Did you know that there was a New
York Times reporter there that night?

CARLA’S VOICE
Really, which one? I bet it was the
guy with the Prada shoes.

DANNY
I didn’t notice his shoes…. Did
your mother know he was there?

CARLA’S VOICE
I doubt it. How did you find out?

DANNY
He called me up. He wanted to talk to
me about my ideas.

CARLA
I bet. He didn’t realize that nobody
who talks such a good game ever plays
one.

DANNY
You weren’t complaining about my play
last time.

CARLA’S VOICE
That’s a much easier game.

DANNY
Why don’t you come visit, we’ll have
a rematch.

CARLA
Too many good players down here. I’m
with one right now.

DANNY
Oh, really?

CARLA
Bigger and better.

DANNY
Then how come you’re talking to me?

CARLA’S VOICE
I’m not.

Click. She’s gone. He hangs up, walks straight into…

INT. MOTEL ROOM — NIGHT

Nazis sprawled about, drinking beer, impassively watching TV.
The bulldog pants on the floor. Carleton calls to it:

CARLETON
Gas Chamber…

It trots over, receives a scrap of food. Everything desultory:

DANNY
(to the whole room)
When are we going to do something?

People glance up wearily: give us a break….

EXT. TOWN — DAY

Danny, Billings, O.L., and Drake walk through the town,
looking for trouble. A couple of local TEENAGERS watch them,
impressed by the swastikas, tattoos, swagger.

INT. DELICATESSEN — DAY

Two WAITERS (Jewish college students, athletic, confident)
watch the Nazis come in. One indicates to the other that
he’ll handle this. He brings menus, water; he’s carefully
polite.

FIRST WAITER
You know what you want?

BILLINGS
We sure do.

The Waiter ignores the innuendo, readies his order pad.

BILLINGS
Ham and cheese on white.

FIRST WAITER
(forbearance)
We don’t have ham. We don’t have cheese.

BILLINGS
What the hell do you have?

FIRST WAITER
That’s what the menus are for.

He smiles. Billings glares.

O.L.
Roast beef and Swiss.

FIRST WAITER
I said: no cheese.

O.L.
What’s wrong with cheese?

FIRST WAITER
This is a kosher restaurant. We don’t
serve meat with dairy.

DANNY
What about chicken?

FIRST WAITER
That’s meat.

DANNY
The Bible only says don’t seethe a
kid in its mother’s milk. But
chickens don’t give milk.

FIRST WAITER
Look, you want cheese, go someplace else.

DANNY
But it’s stupid, right? You admit
it’s stupid.

FIRST WAITER
No, I don’t admit it’s stupid.

DANNY
You can have chicken with eggs but
not with milk. Why is that?

FIRST WAITER
I’m not here to talk about religious
law, if you don’t like —

DANNY
But you already talked about it: you
said it’s not stupid. Why isn’t it
stupid?

FIRST WAITER
(calling the other Waiter)
Steve…

DANNY
Steve’s going to explain it.

Steve approaches, a sawed-off broom handle over his shoulders.

STEVE
We have a problem here?

BILLINGS
We sure fucking do. We don’t
understand why you can’t eat chicken
with milk. It doesn’t make sense.

STEVE
(an intellectual)
Religion isn’t about making sense.
It’s about —

DANNY
It’s about the incomprehensible,
Steve, not the idiotic.

STEVE
Fuck you.

DANNY
That explains it! Now we understand!

The Nazis laugh. Steve swings the broom handle at Danny…who
ducks it, grabs it, slams it back at him…. GAVEL RAPS…

INT. COURTROOM — DAY

A JUDGE (white-haired, red-faced, blue-eyed, well-meaning)
peers down at the four NAZIS, still bruised from the fight.

JUDGE
…As the altercation appears to have
been instigated equally on both sides,
prison terms strike the court as
excessive.

The Nazis are relieved. Spectators disappointed.

JUDGE
However, the defendants’ political
views suggest that they might profit
from contact with members of our
community whose experiences differ
from their own….

INT. A SOCIAL ROOM — DAY

NUMBERS TATTOOED ON AN ARM…a thumb steadily smooths the
skin as:

RUMANIAN WOMAN (O.S.)
(Rumanian accent, uninflected)
…When I refused to have sex with
him, the warden had my sister, Esther,
executed in front of the entire block….

The Nazis, accompanied by a “HATE COUNSELOR” (male) sit in
plastic chairs opposite five elderly JEWS. The speaker is in
her late 60s, still something of a beauty.

RUMANIAN WOMAN
…Everyone considered it my fault.
After that, of course, I did anything
he wanted.

BILLINGS
Why didn’t he just rape you?

SNICKERING among the Nazis, a whispered crack:

O.L.
Who’d want to fuck her anyway?

HATE COUNSELOR
I hear one more remark like that, we
go back to the court for resentencing.

RUMANIAN WOMAN
He was a pig, like you, so perhaps he
had no taste.

The Nazis laugh. The Jews try to calm the woman, though she
has spoken without any evident emotion. Billings gets up
restless.

HATE COUNSELOR
Sit down, please.
(as Billings sits)
Thank you, Mrs. Cohen. Mr Liebowitz,
you indicated you had a story you
wanted to tell….

INT. SAME — LATER

Nazis are dozing, staring out the window. O.L. threads a
piece of dental floss through the zipper pull on his
trousers. Danny is visibly disgusted by the whole business.
Over this we hear:

POLISH MAN (O.S.)
…The man was afraid to let us hide
on his farm any longer, but he agreed
to take us to a more remote place. On
the way he was stopped at a checkpoint,
and when the soldiers found us in the
hay, one of them grabbed my son out
of my arms. He began to cry, so I
reached for him, not to take him back,
simply…

THE MAN: mid-70s, tall, stooped, a crushed spirit.

POLISH MAN
…simply to assure him I was there.
But the sergeant became enraged….
He stuck his bayonet in my son’s
chest, and lifted him up, impaled on
it. My son was three years old….

Billings is muttering, “What a load of crap…” The Hate
Counselor looks over sharply. The other Nazis are stunned by
the story. Danny can barely contain himself, though we are
not sure why.

POLISH MAN
…He held him up so that the blood
spurting out of him feel on my
face…. The soldiers were laughing.

FLASHCUT: EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD — DAY

A horse hitched to a hay wagon; FARMER driving. THREE NAZI
SOLDIERS have discovered a Jewish family hiding in the hay.
A sergeant is holding up something unseen on the end of his
rifle.

The Polish man who has been telling the story looks up at
whatever it is. Blood falls on him. The Nazis are laughing.

POLISH MAN (O.S.)
When the blood stopped, the sergeant
pushed my son off the bayonet and
said, “There, you can have him now….”

BACK TO SCENE: INT. A SOCIAL ROOM — DAY

The room is silent. The Nazis faces blank, shaken. Until…

DANNY
And what did you do?

HATE COUNSELOR
What are you trying to say?

DANNY
What did you do while the sergeant
was killing your son?

BILLINGS
Forget it, Danny, it’s all bullshit.

HATE COUNSELOR
Wait a second…

DANNY
(to Billings)
Shut up.
(to man, mid-70s)
What did you do?

RUMANIAN WOMAN
What could he have done?

DANNY
What could he have done?? You fucking
kikes…

HATE COUNSELOR
You can’t say that….

DANNY
The Nazi’s killing his kid. He
could’ve jumped the guy. He could’ve
gouged his eyes out, grabbed the
bayonet and gutted him…. What would
you have done if they were killing
your son?

The counselor is briefly confused….

RUMANIAN WOMAN & OTHERS
…They’d have shot him on the
spot…. He would have been dead in
two seconds…. Who are you judge?

HATE COUNSELOR
(to Danny)
Please sit down.

DANNY
SO THEY SHOT HIM! SO HE WAS DEAD. SO
WHAT. HE’S WORSE THAN DEAD NOW. HE’S
A PIECE OF SHIT…

HATE COUNSELOR
Okay, that’s it. You’re going back to —

DANNY
(over him, to Polish man)
What do you think you should have done?

POLISH MAN
And you, you think you know what you
would have done? You have no idea.
You can’t even imagine what that was
like. And you never will….

BILLINGS
Don’t listen to them, Danny. It’s all
a bunch of crap.

ANCIENT JEW
What is crap?

BILLINGS
The so-called Holocaust. It never
happened. It’s the hoax of the
twentieth century.

DANNY
(disgusted with this idiocy)
Oh, please…

BILLINGS
Danny, it’s true. There were no six
million. At most, two hundred
thousand Jews died in the camps. And
the majority of them were from
disease and —

The Jews are shouting about historical records, the
disappearance of families, whole towns…. But Danny is louder:

DANNY
Where did you read this? Robert
Faurisson?

BILLINGS
(surprised he knew)
Yeah. He’s a respected scholar. Even
No-am Chomsky says he —

DANNY
Billings, if Hitler didn’t kill six
million, why is he your hero?…
Concentration camps all over Europe,
and he only gets rid of a measly two
hundred thousand…. He’s a putz.

Some surprise that a Nazi is arguing against a denier.

ANCIENT JEW
Hitler was not a putz. Hitler was
real. God created him to punish the
Jews for abandoning God.

The other survivors are embarrassed by this, but the Ancient
Jew ignores them.

ANCIENT JEW
It is you who are putzes. Little
pishas with your dreams of hatred and
killing…

Danny scoffs, gets up to leave.

HATE COUNSELOR
Where do you think you’re going?

DANNY
…We have nothing to learn from
these people. They should learn from us.

As Danny walks out, the Ancient Jew catches his eye.

ANCIENT
And what should we learn from you,
Daniel?

Her use of Danny’s name feels knowing, slyly invasive. All
SOUND VANISHES for a beat, and Danny barely manages to say:

DANNY
Kill your enemy.

EXT. MOTEL — DAY

Kyle opens the trunk of his car, shows Danny inside: two
bags of shotgun powder and several lengths of metal piping
with screw-on caps.

DANNY
What is it?

KYLE
Green dot — shotgun powder. For pipe
bombs.
(off Danny’s reaction, smiles)
A guy in a lumberyard gave it to me.
A donation to the cause.

CARLETON (O.S.)
Hey, Danny…. Guess who’s here….
(as Danny quickly slams
the trunk)
Your girlfriend… She’s up at the house.

EXT. THE FARMHOUSE — DAY

In the driveway: Carla’s Mercedes, a Triumph motorcycle.
Danny peers in through the windows, goes to the door.

INT. FARMHOUSE, LIVING ROOM — DAY

Danny sees Carla sitting on a green sofa wearing a white
sundress and leafing through a magazine. Curtis is mixing
drinks. Lina is practicing with her stylus on a new
electronic organizer.

LINA
My L’s keep coming out as C’s….

CURTIS
(spots Danny)
The prisoner returns….

Danny greets them all. Carla barely looks up.

LINA
Danny, get a drink and come talk to me.

INT. LIVING ROOM — A FEW MINUTES LATER

Danny talking with Lina and Curtis but watching Carla.

CURTIS
…Insulting people who were in the
camps. …What’s the point?

DANNY
They’re liars and cowards.

CURTIS
I’m sure they are. But what do we
accomplish by pointing it out?

DANNY
It’s the truth….

Curtis rolls his eyes. Lina signals him to lay off.

LINA MOEBIUS
Danny, what do you think of our troops?

DANNY
(trying to be diplomatic)
They have guts. And they know what
they hate…which is good. But they
have no idea why; they don’t think,
they don’t read…. They’re on beer
and crank half the time….

A phone RINGS in another room.

LINA
The young people in this country…
They’re like pigs; all they want is
happiness…. But one needs pigs
sometimes.
(as it RINGS again; to Carla)
Liebchen…

Carla puts down her magazine, goes out to the kitchen.
Danny’s eyes follow her, and Curtis’s follow his.

LINA
Do you feel you’re making progress here?

DANNY
You mean Ilio Manzetti?

LINA
Forget Manzetti…. Take on something
simple. Something you can actually
accomplish.
(to Curtis)
Maybe he’d be more valuable in the city.

CURTIS
An urban type.

Danny is stung. Carla calls from the kitchen.

CARLA (O.S.)
Danny…telephone.

He starts: who could be calling him here? As he goes into
the kitchen to take the phone, Curtis says quietly…

CURTIS
He’s mad, Lina, you know that.

She hears him but doesn’t respond.

INT. KITCHEN — DAY

Danny picks up the phone; there’s a New York Times beside it.
Carla busies herself about the kitchen.

DANNY
Hello?

WOMAN’S VOICE
You know what today is?

DANNY
Linda… How did you get this number?

LINDA’S VOICE
It’s Mom’s yartzeit.

Danny starts to hang up, sees Carla watching, turns away
keeping his voice low.

DANNY
How did you get the fucking number?

LINDA’S VOICE
I want you to say kaddish for her.
It’s the only thing she asked from us….

DANNY
I don’t do that.

LINDA’S VOICE
You do it on the inside….

DANNY
Don’t tell me what I —

LINDA’S VOICE
…I want you to do it on the outside,
too.

DANNY
No!

LINDA’S VOICE
Yes!

He hangs up. He grabs the Times, looks through it quickly.

CARLA
Who’s Linda?

DANNY
(dropping the Times)
Why won’t you talk to me?

CARLA
I’m talking to you right now. Who’s
Linda?

He tries to kiss her. She pushes him away.

DANNY
When can I see you?

CARLA
You can’t.

LINA (O.S.)
(in German)
Carla, it’s time to leave.

CARLA
I have to go visit my father.

DANNY
Your father??

CARLA
He’s at a home out here.

She starts to walk past. He grabs her arm.

DANNY
I’m coming to your room tonight.

CARLA
No.

She tries to pull free; he won’t let her go.

LINA (O.S.)
Carla!

CARLA
Just after midnight. Five past… But
don’t come through the house, they’ll
hear you. I’m in the back bedroom,
second floor. Climb onto the kitchen
roof, I’ll leave the window open.

He tries to kiss her, but she ducks away and goes out.

EXT. STREET/INT. O.L.’S VAN — EVENING

Danny is parked opposite a fortresslike building of soiled
brick. For a long time he cannot bring himself to get out.
Finally he opens the door….

INT. AHAVAT TORAH, FOYER — EVENING

A LARGE WOMAN, about 40, her body barely contained by a
brilliant magenta dress, greets him with a smile the size of
a wedding cake. She holds out a prayer book stuffed with flyers.

LARGE WOMAN
Shabbat shalom.

She speaks quietly, not wanting to disturb the service, yet
even so her voice is huge, and her flashing eyes clearly
expect some kind of enthusiastic response. Within we hear
the ALENU being chanted.

Danny ignores her and the proffered siddur. A basket of
yarmulkes seems to infuriate him, but he snatches one anyway
and, conveying a helpless disgust, puts it on his head. From
within he hears…

CONGREGATION (O.S.)
(in rough unison)
Ba-yom, ha-hoo, ba-yom, ha hoo…(etc.)

He stands with his hand on the door, but not opening it.

RABBI’S AMPLIFIED VOICE (O.S.)
On that day, the Eternal shall be One.
And His Name shall be One….

The organist plays a brief decrescendo….

RABBI’S AMPLIFIED VOICE
The mourner’s kaddish can be found on
page 187….

LARGE WOMAN
Is anything wrong?

DANNY
Shut the fuck up.

She’s startled but not intimidated, is about to respond,
when Danny simply turns and walks out of the building.

EXT. AHAVAT TORAH — EVENING

He stops beneath an open window through which he hears…

RABBI’S AMPLIFIED VOICE
…Grant us peace, thy most precious
gift, O Thou Eternal source of peace.
We recall with loving memory those
whom Thou hast summoned unto thee.
And we mention by name…Sophie
Budnitz…Bernard Schwabb…Milton
Lifter…Aaron Lustig…Minnie Baum…

Danny closes his eyes, but at the end adds, under her breath:

DANNY
…Harriet Kantor Balint…

A half dozen VOICES, including Danny’s, recite in unison…

DANNY & OTHERS
Yis-ga-dal v’yis-ka-dash sh’may ra-bo…

The body of the congregation joins in on certain phrases,
producing a subtle and solemn music. Danny chants the entire
prayer, and the moment it ends, and the rabbi begins the
benediction….

RABBI’S VOICE (AMPLIFIED)
May the Lord bless you and keep you….

EXT. AHAVAT TORAH/STREET — EVENING

…he starts toward his car. But the Rabbi’s VOICE seems to
follow him, unnaturally loud and clear:

RABBI (O.S.)
May He cause the light of His
countenance to shine upon you and be
gracious unto you….

DANNY
(to himself)
Eat shit….

RABBI (O.S.)
…May you be blessed in your going
forth as you were in your coming….

DANNY
(shouting to the empty street)
EAT SHIT, ASSHOLES….

RABBI (O.S.)
And let us say…

RABBI & CONGREGATION
(with organ; singsong)
Ah — ah — ah….men….

As Danny reaches the van, he sees the LARGE WOMAN silhouetted
in the open doorway….

LARGE WOMAN
YOU EAT SHIT.

Danny realizes he’s still wearing the kippah. He throws it
at her, but it only goes a couple of feet. He catches it,
throws harder. This time it floats back toward him, and he
has to jump out the way to keep it from hitting him. He gets
in the car and drives off.

A WRISTWATCH: 12:05. We are:

EXT. FARMHOUSE — NIGHT

Danny hoists himself onto the kitchen roof. Above him is an
open window, candlelight flickering. He starts into the room,
stops….

INT. BEDROOM — NIGHT

Carla sits on the bed, straddling Curtis, who lies beneath
her. She is looking right at Danny. Curtis, unaware of him,
keeps thrusting into her from below.

Danny starts to leave, but on second thought stays. Carla
stares expressionless, yet more attentive to him than to
Curtis. Indeed, their eyes never leave each other, so that
when she becomes aroused, we understand that it is Danny she
is responding to, Danny she is really making love to.

Gradually her face loses its aloofness and seems to reach
out to him, to reveal feelings that she can no longer deny.
She holds her gaze until, at the final instant, she shudders
out a series of stifled cries.

When she looks again, the window is empty.

INT. DANNY’S MOTEL ROOM — DAY

Danny reading. A KNOCK at the door. He looks up, Curtis
comes in. Danny stiffens at the sight of him, but Curtis is
friendly.

CURTIS
What are you reading?

Danny tilts the book to show him: History of Political
Philosophy.

CURTIS
Leo Strauss…
(nods approvingly)
I’ve got to go to Boston. I came to
say goodbye.

DANNY
What about Mrs. Moebius and…?

CURTIS
They left an hour ago.
(off Danny’s disappointment)
You mind some personal advice? Forget
Carla. That’s not the side your
bread’s buttered on.
(off Danny’s silence)
How soon can you get back to the city?

DANNY
A week or so. There’s something I
want to do here first.

CURTIS
What’s that?
(off Danny’s silence)
Okay. Surprise us…

INT. DARKNESS — NIGHT

The sound of SPLITTING WOOD. Then VOICES in a cavernous space…

CHAOS OF VOICES
Ow, shit… You’re stepping on my
fucking — …Get off me…Goddammit…
(sounds of PUNCHES, a SCUFFLE)
Stop it!… Where’s the light?

One appears, illuminating nothing, dissipating into the
still vaster darkness. A SERIES OF LIGHTS bang on in
ecclesiastical bursts, illuminating: a vaulted ceiling…
stained glass panels… We are:

INT. SYNAGOGUE SANCTUARY — NIGHT

A dour, ornate place built in the early decades of the
century. The sight of it silences everyone for a moment. Then…

CARLETON
Jew World…!!

Drake, Billings, Carleton, O.L. and Steroid run wild…
kicking over benches…spray-painting swastikas…hurling
prayer books…urinating from the balcony…

…Danny looks around like someone revisiting his childhood
home: slides his hand along a pew back…leafs through a
chumash…gazes up at the eternal lamp behind its red
glass…the gilded doors of the ark… A hint of Kol Nidre
MUSIC haunts him….

DANNY
(to himself, barely a
whisper)
Shut up. Fuck you….

KYLE (O.S.)
What…?

Danny turns; Kyle is right behind him.

DANNY
Nothing. Where is it?
(as Kyle hoists a
sports bag)
Okay, let’s take one of these panels
off so we can get under the bema…the
stage.

As they unscrew a panel, Carleton runs past. A football
flashes overhead. We hear GLASS BREAK…LAUGHTER.

INT. UNDER THE STAGE — NIGHT

DANNY WATCHES KYLE attach a bomb (four sticks of dynamite
wired to a digital timer) to a 2×4 with a bungee cord. He
hooks the ends, cautiously lets go. The cord springs free.
The bomb falls.

Kyle gasps. Danny catches it.

Frozen, they look at each other. Kyle exhales, takes the
bomb and, with Danny holding it, carefully restrings the
bungee. A MECHANICAL NOISE overhead:

STEROID (O.S.)
Wow, look at this shit….

DANNY
What are they doing?

Kyle has no idea and doesn’t care. Danny scrambles out.

INT. SANCTUARY — NIGHT

Straightening up, Danny is stunned by a vision:

THE OPEN ARK — THE TORAHS

…their silver crowns and breastplates, velvet robes. And
Steroid Excess, lifting one out. Danny reacts with an
instinctive horror.

DANNY
What are you doing? Put that down!
…Put it back in there.

Steroid — cowed by Danny — starts to obey, but before he
can…

BILLINGS
What do you care?

DANNY
I don’t, but…

BILLINGS
(vaults onto the stage)
Let’s look at the fucking thing.

Each CURSE makes Danny wince, but he just hovers about
nervously as Billings and Steroid try to unwrap the Torah
while others gather, some comically wrapping themselves in
tallises.

DANNY
Put it there, on the…

He indicates the bema, stepping back as if to deny any
involvement, yet at the same time trying to monitor
everything they do.

DANNY
(indicating crowns, the
yod…)
Just be careful with the…

O.L.
(puts a crown on his head)
“If I were king of the forest…not
Prince, not Duke, not Earl…”

Danny cannot endure this desecration, but everyone else
laughs, so he keeps his mouth shut.

KYLE
Open it up.

DANNY
(impulsively taking over)
Here…

He shoves his way in and, gripping the handles, unrolls the
Torah. Low MURMURS at the sight of the broad columns, the
mysterious calligraphy, the CRACKLING parchment. Danny
himself is struck by the sudden immediacy of the sacred text.
OVER this…

VOICES
Oooo… Weird… You read it from
right to left…. The letters look
like squashed bugs…. What kind of
paper is that?

DANNY
It’s not paper, it’s parchment. It’s
made from sheepskin. And all the
letters are drawn by hand.

KYLE
Neat calligraphy.

Danny nods, then, as if against his will….

DANNY
It’s called the flame alphabet. It’s
supposed to be the word of God
written in fire.

BILLINGS
Fire…

DANNY
The mystics tried to read the white
spaces around the letters. They
thought there was a whole alternative
language hidden there, with secret,
alternative meanings.

KYLE
Cool.

Danny sees Drake watching him, smirks to express his disgust.

BILLINGS
How come you know all this shit?

DANNY
How come you don’t know it?
(pressing the advantage)
How can you say you hate the Jews
when you don’t know anything about —

BILLINGS
Fuck you. I hate the Jews at least as
much as you do.

DANNY
No, you don’t…. If you hated them,
you’d study them, so you’d know why
you hate them. You know what tefillin
is? Tsitsis? Shotness? You know the
kaddish from the kiddush?
(obviously not)
Eichmann? He went to Israel. He
studied the Torah, the Talmud, the
Mishnah, the whole bit. He hated Jews.

CARLETON
Who’s Eichmann?

DANNY
Who’s Eichmann?!!?

Danny’s incredulous, though it’s not clear how many of the
others know why Eichmann was.

KYLE
He was head of the Gestapo’s Jewish
sector. He deported people to the camps.

CARLETON
(reaching toward the parchment)
Can we touch it?

DANNY
Yeah, but not on the letters.

BILLINGS
Why the fuck not?

DANNY
(warning finger)
Just don’t.

Billings bristles at Danny’s authority; Carleton says to him…

CARLETON
Didn’t you see Raiders of the Lost Ark?

BILLINGS
What??

CARLETON
That was an ark, man. That was a
Torah. They fucked around with it,
and the Torah melted their faces.

BILLINGS
That’s a movie, you moron.

CARLETON
Fine, go ahead. Touch the letters.

The others are gathered around, delicately touching the
sheepskin.

BILLINGS
Let me see.

He pushes through, looks at the Torah. He runs his fingers
over the crinkled parchment, the smooth black letters.

DANNY
I said not on the —

Suddenly Billings grabs the parchment in both hands and
tries to tear it. It’s tougher than it looks.

DANNY
Stop it! What are you doing?

He tries to stop him, but — accidentally or not — Drake
gets in the way, and before Danny can do anything else,
Billings crumples it and finally tears a long gash into the
scroll.

This produces a strange effect on the others. Some (Kyle,
Steroid, Drake) join in. They knock the aitz off the bema,
it rolls out, exposing ten feet of Torah. They stamp on it,
spit on it…. Others (Carleton, O.L.), though less troubled
than Danny, are surprised (and embarrassed) by their own
revulsion at these acts.

Danny watches helplessly, like the survivor who did nothing
as his son was murdered.

Finally the Torah lies torn and soiled on the stage. A
strange silence.

KYLE
Let’s get out of here.

…Danny kneels by the Torah. With a tallis, he attempts to
clean the parchment. Carleton and O.L. help him roll it onto
the aitz. [Echo “Christ taken down from cross” with Torah as
Christ.] They replace the cover, the yod, the crowns….

Finally Danny lifts it up, holds it to him as if it were his
dead child. He closes his eyes, murmurs to himself….

DANNY
Shema yisrael adonai elohenu adonai
echod.

CARLETON
What’d you say?

DANNY
Nothing. Let’s go….

He starts to walk out, carrying the Torah.

CARLETON
Why are you taking that?

DANNY
I’m stealing it.

EXT. AHAVAT TORAH — DAY

A VIDEO IMAGE:

NEWSCASTER VOICE (V.O.)
…Tragedy was barely averted today
at Temple Ahavat Torah when a bomb
planted under the bema failed to
detonate….

KYLE (O.S.)
Shit!

NEWSCASTER VOICE (V.O.)
…Authorities say that if it had,
injuries and loss of life could have
been in the dozens….

INT. DANNY’S MOTEL ROOM — DAY

Danny, Kyle and others watching the TV.

NEWSCASTER VOICE
Channel 8’s Cindy Pomerantz spoke to
Rabbi Malcolm Weiss.

ON TV: Cindy (sleek, sexy) and the rabbi (handsome, vain).

CINDY (ON TV)
Rabbi, how is it that disaster and
tragedy were averted here today at
Ahavat Torah?

RABBI (ON TV)
Apparently the power cell in the
timer gave out precisely thirteen
minutes before the device was set to
go off. So we can only conclude that
once again God has intervened to save
the Jewish people….

DANNY
(giving the finger to
the TV)
Oh, fuck you…

RABBI (ON TV)
As you know, Cindy, thirteen is a
mystical number in the Jewish faith.
We believe that God has thirteen
attributes…

Danny is beside himself.

RABBI (ON TV)
…Of which the highest is ein sof,
which means “without end,” or,
sometimes, “nothingness without end….”

CINDY (ON TV)
Nothingness without end…. That’s
very interesting.

RABBI (ON TV)
The purest form of spirit…

ON DANNY. Sound fades. He’s haunted: “Nothingness without
end” was what he’d told Guy Danielsen the Jews were obsessed
with. He seems to hear the cello playing “Kol Nidre” again.
Then…

DANNY
Okay, everybody out. Get out.

He switches off the TV. Shoves them out the door, slams it.

INT. DANNY’S MOTEL ROOM — LATER

Alone he sits at the desk, finds himself gazing at the Torah,
standing in a corner of his closet, draped in the tallis.

He slams the closet door, it bounces open. Slams it again,
making sure it latches.

He sits down, looks at the closed door until, in bitter
resignation he gets up and opens it again.

He unrolls the Torah on the bed…Scotch tapes the tear
closed…attempts to clean the stain with a moistened cloth.

INT. DANNY’S MOTEL ROOM — DAY

Danny is in the bathroom in front of the mirror, holding his
shirt up with his chin as he wraps the tallis around his
torso. When he lowers the shirt, the fringes hang out like
the tsitsis that Orthodox men wear.

He feels a weird loathing for this, but he smooths and
arranges the tsitsis to look just like a Hasid’s. He clicks
his heels together and gives a Nazi salute.

DANNY
Alenu l’shab’ach la’adon hacol…

Another Nazi salute. A KNOCK at the door. He hides the
fringes under the shirt, throws a blanket over the Torah.

DANNY
What?

STEROID (O.S.)
Phone, Danny.

EXT. MOTEL — PAY PHONE — DAY

GUY’S VOICE (PHONE)
Danny Balint…Guy Danielsen, New
York Times.

DANNY
(tucks in the tallis
fringes)
What do you want? What happened to
your article?

GUY’S VOICE (PHONE)
I couldn’t get my editor to run it,
but I bet he will now that you’ve put
a bomb in a synagogue. That was you,
wasn’t it, Danny?

Danny hangs up. Stands there. A VOICE makes him jump….

VOICE (DRAKE)
Hey, Danny, want to kill a Jew?

Danny turns: it’s Drake. These are the first words he’s spoken.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET/INT. CAR — DAY

Danny and Drake pass a low-slung modern synagogue. A sign
announces: AMBASSADOR ILIO MANZETTI Friday, August 31. Danny
reacts, startled…Drake smiles.

DRAKE
Park up there, we’ll walk back.

EXT. CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM — TWILIGHT

The building is lit. Within we hear an AMPLIFIED VOICE,
presumably Manzetti giving a speech. We can’t make out the
words. Danny and Drake are hidden among the rhododendrons
flanking the parking lot. Danny is watching a door in the
side of the building and eating a sandwich as Drake loads a
scoped rifle.

DRAKE
Lie on your stomach and come up on
your elbows.

DANNY
Why me?

DRAKE
You want to kill a Jew. I already did.

Danny assumes the prone position, Drake sets the rifle in
his hands.

DANNY
Who’d you kill?

DRAKE
Four. But no one this important.

We hear APPLAUSE within as the speech ends.

DRAKE
Okay, it’s over. He’ll take a couple
questions, then come out…. Sight
down the rifle toward the door.

THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE: Danny pans from the side door — where
TWO MEN are smoking — to a waiting limousine.

DANNY
How did you know they were Jews?

DRAKE
I can tell….

DANNY
How?

DRAKE
I was a Jew in a previous life.

Before Danny can respond, Drake gestures toward the synagogue.

DRAKE
Here they come.

Danny puts his eye back to the scope.

SCOPE POV: stirring at the door. The men put out their
cigarettes. Three figures emerge: a MAN and a WOMAN on
either side of an older, distinguished-looking man (MANZETTI).
They walk this way.

DRAKE (O.S.)
Shoot him in the head. Always shoot a
Jew in the head.

DANNY
I’m a bad shot. I don’t think I can —

DRAKE (O.S.)
Just get him in the cross-hairs. With
those shells, anywhere you hit him,
it’ll bounce around, rip his insides
all up.

SCOPE POV: the TRIO walking this way, cross-hairs on Manzetti.

DRAKE (O.S.)
Right there! Just squeeze he trigger.
Slow… Do it!

Danny FIRES, misses. Everybody hits the ground.

DRAKE
You missed on purpose.

DANNY
I didn’t. I told you, I can’t —

DRAKE
What’s that?

Danny looks over his shoulder. His shirt has ridden up his
back, revealing the tallis wrapped around his waist.

DRAKE
I knew it.

Drake pulls a .45 from the duffel…. Without thinking,
Danny rolls over, fires the rifle. Drake is blown backward,
dropping the .45.

Danny leaps up…. Drake’s on his hands and knees, his
trousers quickly darkening with blood. Danny’s upset.

DANNY
Oh, Jesus…Drake, are you okay…?

FOOTSTEPS, coming this way. Danny runs. We hear voices, “Get
down…. Stay down…. He’s got a gun….” Drake picks
himself up, stumbles away, bent over….

EXT. QUEENS — DUSK

Danny parks the van in an abandoned lot near the river.
Quickly wiping down the wheel with his shirt, he tosses out
his duffel bag and the scoped rifle. He climbs out, wipes
down the door, throws the rifle into the water, grabs the
duffel and hurries away.

DANNY (V.O.)
Kyle, it’s me Danny. How you doing?…
I had to come into the city to see
Mrs. MOEBIUS… No, I gave Drake the
van, didn’t he bring it back?

INT. DANNY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Danny’s on the phone, whipping through several newspapers.

DANNY
…Since when?… Really? And he
didn’t call?… No, I don’t know…

He finds a tiny item: “Gunfire Reported at Synagogue.” He
scans it: no mention of Drake or himself.

DANNY
Sure, come on down…. Can you bring
my stuff?… Thanks…and if Drake
shows up, let me know right away….
Good…

He hangs up. From behind some books, he extracts the small
caliber handgun he found in his father’s house earlier.

INT. MRS. MOEBIUS’S APARTMENT — TWILIGHT

Danny alone, waiting, nervous. He hears FOOTSTEPS approach,
he touches the gun in the back of his trousers. Lina and
Curtis enter.

LINA
How have things been going?

DANNY
(how much do they know?)
Fine.

LINA
(indicates a chair)
We want to talk to you about
something….
(as they sit, Danny nervous)
We’re about to launch an aboveground,
intellectually serious fascist movement.

Danny is relieved and intrigued. Lina nods at Curtis to go on.

CURTIS
We want to build bridges to certain
positions in the political mainstream:
works like The Bell Curve,
Sociobiology, anti-Zionism, anti-
immigration, the com-munitarian
issue…. We’ll hold conferences:
invite liberals, blacks, Jews.
Chomsky, Cockburn, Stanley Crouch,
Shahack….

DANNY
I’ve been waiting all my life for
something like this.

MRS. MOEBIUS
We want you to help run it. Give
speeches, lead seminars… Handle the
fund-raising.

DANNY
(slapped in the face)
Fund-raising??

MRS. MOEBIUS
We think you’d be good at it.

OFF-SCREEN we hear the front door. FEET come up the stairs….

DANNY
What about…Manzetti, the synagogues….

CURTIS
That doesn’t seem to be happening,
does it?

DANNY
I’ve been stuck out in the country
with those guys who just want to
paint swastikas and heil Hitler. How
am I supposed to — (get anything
done there?)

He stops short as Carla walks into the room for shopping.
She glances at them, puts down her bags, goes into the
kitchen….

CURTIS
Danny, the night we met, you said the
name Ilio Manzetti. We were impressed.
We were excited. But here it is
September, and Mr. Manzetti is still
walking around breathing the air.

MRS. MOEBIUS
We need intellectuals, we have enough
thugs already.

Danny’s watching Carla go down the hall toward the back, can
barely bring his attention back to the conversation at hand.

DANNY
I’m not an intellectual…. I mean, I
read, but… Fund-raising isn’t what I…

MRS. MOEBIUS
Look, if you want to kill Jews on
your free time, fine. We need you to
raise money. Will you do that for us?

He nods but cannot look at her.

MRS. MOEBIUS
Thank you.

He’s dismissed. He rises.

MRS. MOEBIUS
Do you have a suit?
(off Danny; to Curtis)
Let’s get him one…. And a cell
phone too.
(as Danny turns to go;
a joke for her own amusement)
And if you insist on blowing up a
synagogue, make it that big one on
Fifth Avenue, would you?

DANNY
Beth Shalom? It’s Reform.

MRS. MOEBIUS
So what?

DANNY
They’re not that Jewish.

MRS. MOEBIUS
I don’t care what they are. I know
those people, and I don’t like them.
The rest are just a bunch of kikes,
aren’t they?

She smiles. He manages a smile back and hurries away, face
burning with shame.

EXT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT, STREET — NIGHT

Danny comes out of the building, squats between two parked
cars and vomits, retching spastically until, gasping for
breath…

VOICE
Here…

He turns. Carla walks over to him, wipes his mouth with a
crumpled tissue. When she moves to kiss him, he holds back,
shy about the smell, but she kisses him anyway, on the mouth.

INT. DANNY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Carla, naked, browsing the books, sees something in the
closet. It’s the Torah Danny took from the synagogue. She
unrolls it on the bed, her gaze moving over the mysterious,
glossy script. Danny, coming out of the bathroom, sees what
she is doing, and stops short.

CARLA
Where’d you get this?

DANNY
I stole it. From a synagogue.

She looks at the broad printed columns….

CARLA
How come there’s no punctuation?

DANNY
That was a later invention, it’s not
in the scrolls…. Anyway, the Jews
know where the sentences end. They
know the whole thing by heart. Every
word. Every letter.

CARLA
Do you know it like that? By heart.

DANNY
No.

CARLA
But you can read it, the Hebrew….
Right?

DANNY
What do you care?

CARLA
‘Cause I want to know…. What is
this word? This one here…

Danny looks at the word, then back at her. He’s torn between
competing desires, but finally…

DANNY
Va-yomer… And he said.
(she moves her finger
to the left)
It goes the other way.

CARLA
(she knew that)
Oh, yeah…
(moves finger right)

DANNY
Va-yomer adonai el Avram: lech lecha
mayartzcha oo-mimohlad-tcha oo-m’bayt
avaycha el ha-ertez asher arecha…

CARLA
What’s it mean?

DANNY
And God said to Avram, take yourself
away from your land and from the
place you were born and from your
father’s house into the land — a
different land — and I will show you….

Danny remains silent a moment, affected by the passage….

CARLA
I want to learn to read it.

DANNY
Why?

CARLA
Know your enemy…. ‘Cause it’s a
basic text of Western culture. I want
to read it in the original. Okay?

DANNY
Hebrew’s very difficult. It would
take years.

CARLA
I’m good at languages.

He looks at the smooth expanse of her back, the articulations
of her spine. He finds her very beautiful.

DANNY
Put something on. You’re not supposed
to be naked in front of it.

CARLA
Why not?

DANNY
They think it’s the word of God, and
it’s holy, and the flesh isn’t….

CARLA
That’s stupid.

DANNY
Yeah, it’s stupid.
(indicating her T-shirt)
Put it on, or I won’t teach you.

She grudgingly pulls on the shirt as he gets a pencil and paper.

DANNY
See, the Jews love to separate things:
the holy from the profane, milk from
meat, wool from linen, the Sabbath
from the week, the Jew from the
gentile…. As if one little scrap of
this was going to completely
contaminate that.

CARLA
What assholes.

DANNY
You can’t curse in front of it either.

He shrugs as if indifferent to these rules, yet compelled to
point them out.

CARLA
Who gets contaminated, the Jews or
the gentiles?

DANNY
Good question. Both.
(draws a letter)
Aleph…

CARLA
It looks a little like a swastika.

DANNY
It’s silent. It holds a place, takes
a vowel. The vowels are little dots
that go under the letters.

CARLA
Where are they?

DANNY
They don’t put them in the Torah.
I’ll get you a chumash, they’ll have
them there…Bet…Gimel…Dalid…Hay…
(as she repeats the names)
How come you’re here instead of with
Curtis? Besides the Hebrew lessons…

CARLA
The sex is better.

DANNY
Even though his dick is so big?

CARLA
With you there’s a tragic dimension.

DANNY
Vuv…Zayin…Chet…Tet…

He writes each letter as he says it, and she repeats after him.

EXT. WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE — DAY

Danny and Kyle.

KYLE
This will be a different kind of device.

DANNY
That damn thing. You know how it made
me look…?

KYLE
I’m sorry, Danny. It won’t happen
again. I’m going to use a brand-new
power cell. Plus we’ll have a back-up
timer.

DANNY
I’ve gotta kill some Jews, Kyle. I’m
serious. I’m always talking about it.
This time it’s gotta happen.

KYLE
It will.

Kyle’s confident, and the prospect of this really happening
gives Danny pause. He feels a brief chill, escapes it with…

DANNY
What about Drake, did he ever show up?

KYLE
No, it’s weird, man. Nobody knows
where he went.

Danny nods, gestures for Kyle to split. Kyle looks around,
walks away. Danny waits a moment, then heads in the opposite
direction.

EXT. WILLIAMSBURG — DAY

Danny walking behind a Hasidic family (MAN, WOMAN, 3-year-
old BOY, STROLLER)…watching them. At a corner, the father
takes the boy’s hand, and as they cross the street, the boy
glances back at Danny.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD — DAY, 1943

TWO NAZI SOLDIERS have just discovered a JEWISH FAMILY
hiding in the back of a hay wagon. The POLISH MAN is holding
the little boy.

As a soldier tries to take the BOY out of his arms, the
child panics, clings to his father, screaming, “Papa…
Papa…” It is the scene the survivor described in the
meeting with the Nazis. But now the father is DANNY’S
FATHER….

FATHER (IN POLISH)
…Hush, come on, don’t cry.
Everything will be all right….

A Nazi sergeant comes over, irritated. The sergeant is Danny.

DANNY/NAZI SERGEANT
(in German)
What’s the matter here?

FATHER
(to the Sergeant, in German)
Excuse me, I’m sorry, just a moment…

The sergeant rips the child out of his arms. The kid becomes
hysterical. The father manages to take the boy’s hand.

FATHER
(in Polish)
Please, sweetheart, you have to go.
I’ll see you soon.

In an access of disgust, the sergeant sticks his bayonet
into the boy — or rather, into something offscreen. We hear
a terrible sound, the child grunts. The family gasps in horror.

Danny/sergeant lifts the (unseen) child into the air. Its
SHADOW darkens the father’s face. Drops of blood run down
his cheeks….

Danny/sergeant stares into the father’s face, enraged at the
man’s passivity.

DANNY/NAZI SERGEANT
Fucking kike.

EXT. STREET — DAY

DANNY’S FACE — sweating, haunted, as if he’s just woken
from the previous.

He’s still walking down the street, but now, as if to flee
his thoughts, he steps through a door into…

INT. BOOKSTORE — DAY

A Jewish bookstore. He grabs the first book that comes to
hand, reads for a moment, throws it down in disgust. Picks
it up again, is still reading when…

VOICE
Hey, Danny…Danny…

He looks up at a young man about his own age; wearing a
yarmulke, but otherwise normal, hair clean, beard neatly
trimmed.

YOUNG MAN
It’s Stuart. Stuart Schoenbaum.

DANNY
Shlomo?

STUART
Yeah…

Danny puts down the book, trying to conceal that he’s been
reading it. He offers a hand. Stuart manages to restrain the
impulse to embrace him, but takes the hand warmly.

STUART
Jeez, it’s been since, what, Kenny’s
wedding.

DANNY
Yeah, uh… So how are you? What’s
going on?

STUART
I’m in the rabbinic program at JTS…

DANNY
JTS…?

STUART
What about you? What are you doing?
Something strange, I bet.

DANNY
I’m in a kind of…underground…thing.

STUART
(impressed, excited)
Are you an artist?

DANNY
No, no… Not that kind of…
underground. More a private…
business. Private.

Meaning he can’t talk about it. Stuart nods. Danny notices a
young woman: dark, curly hair, sharp eyes.

STUART
You remember Miriam….

DANNY
Yeah, hey, how’re you doing…

MIRIAM
Hey…

An irony to her. They certainly remember each other.

STUART
She’s at Yale Law — interning with
the district attorney…
(Miriam makes a face)
We’re getting married next spring. In
Israel.

DANNY
Wow, that’s uh…great…

He glances at Miriam; but she has picked up the book he’d
been reading, is leafing through it. It makes him uneasy.

STUART
It’s great seeing you….

MIRIAM
Maybe Danny’d like to come to the
minyan for the holidays….

Danny gives her a dirty look, but Stuart’s thrilled:

STUART
Oh, good idea. We’re davening with
this group from the seminary.
Interesting people, very open-minded,
you might like them. And guess who
comes…Avi! You guys could go at it
again like the good old days.

As Stuart scribbles an address…

STUART
Danny and Avi used to argue about
everything. Torah, Talmud, politics,
girls. It always ended in a fistfight.

MIRIAM
I remember.

DANNY
I always won.

MIRIAM
The arguments, anyway.

STUART
(hands Danny the address)
It’s a K.I. on 101st. In the little
chapel. Try to make it. It’d be fun.

Danny smiles. He has no intention of going. Once they leave,
he picks up the book and resumes reading.

INT. AN EXECUTIVE SUITE — DAY

ROGER BRAND, a high-powered CEO, sits behind a big desk,
speed-reading something through half-glasses. He finishes,
removes the glasses. A New York Times is on the desk.

BRAND
You write that?
(as Danny nods)
Come work for me. You’ve got a lot to
learn; I can teach it to you.

DANNY
I have a job.

BRAND
This? This is a joke.
(tossing down the pages)
I’ll give your group a thousand bucks.

DANNY
You gave fifty thousand to that
college magazine.

BRAND
Fifty’s an exaggeration. Anyway, that
was a different moment. Things were
possible that aren’t now.

DANNY
Actually, I think this moment has
possibilities that —

BRAND
Yeah, I read your piece. It’s very
smart. And very wrong.

Brand’s phone beeps, he touches a button, continues.

BRAND
Forget the Jewish stuff. It doesn’t
play anymore.
(over Danny’s)
There’s only the market, now, and it
doesn’t care who you are.

DANNY
People still need values, beliefs….

BRAND
No, they don’t. Not the smart ones.
(because he likes him)
Look, I’ll give you five grand if you
can document your tax-exempt
status…. But when you fall off this
horse, come see me. I can show you
how to make a lot of money.

DANNY
I don’t care about money.

BRAND
You will.

DANNY
You’re a Jew. Maybe you don’t realize
it, but you are.

BRAND
(smiles, uninsulted)
Maybe I am. Maybe we’re all Jews now.
What’s the difference?

On Danny, troubled by this.

INT. A SMALL LECTURE HALL — EVENING

A half-dozen white lumpen sit at desks. Danny writes “ANTI-
SEMITISM” in large letters on a blackboard. He turns….

DANNY
How many of you think of yourselves
as anti-Semites?
(All the hands go up.)
Good. Actually, the term is a bit
imprecise since technically Jews are
only one of the Semitic peoples….
In fact, Arabs are Semites, as are
the Eritreans, the Ethiopians, and so
on…. But for our purposes an anti-
Semite is someone who hates or is
against Jews…. Now, why do we hate
them?

He looks around. The room is silent.

DANNY
Let me put it another way. Do we hate
them because they push their way in
where they don’t belong? Or because
they’re clannish and keep to themselves?

Murmurs of “Yeah. Both.” But some are confused by this.

INT. SAME — ANOTHER DAY

Slightly bigger crowd, a few middle-class-looking people.

DANNY
…Because they’re tight with money,
or because they flash it around?
Because they’re Bolsheviks or because
they’re capitalists? Because they
have the highest IQs, or because they
have the most active sex lives?

The audience, confused…

DANNY
Do you want to know the real reason
we hate them?…

INT. SAME — DAY

…More people: white collar workers of both sexes, nurses,
artists. Lapel buttons, bumper stickers, backpacks: “FIGHT
NEW WORLD DISORDER” “STOP THE WTO” “EARTH FIRST!”

DANNY
…Because we hate them.
(as people exchange
puzzled looks)
Because they exist. Because it is an
axiom of civilization that just as
man longs for woman, loves his
children and fears death, he hates
the Jews.
(smiles)
There is no reason. If there were,
some smart-ass kike would give us an
argument, try to prove we were wrong.
And of course that would only make us
hate them more. In fact we have all
the reasons we need in three simple
letters: J-E-W. Jew. Say it a million
times. It is the only word that never
loses its meaning: Jew Jew Jew Jew
Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew….

EXT. NEW JERSEY MEADOWLANDS — DAWN

Danny and Kyle sitting in the tall grass across the
marshlands toward the Manhattan skyline shimmering in the
distance.

KYLE
(sings, looking at watch)
“My country ‘tis of thee, Sweet land
of liberty, Of thee I…”

He points sharply and an explosion occurs thirty yards away.
They run over, pick up the mangled timer. They’re pleased.

EXT. JCC (ANSCHE CHESED) — DAY

A couple of stragglers hurry through the door as we hear…

VOICES
B’Rosh Hashanah yika-teyvun, uv’yom
tsom kippur yey-chateymun…

INT. SMALL CHAPEL — DAY

Rosh Hashanah services. A woman is davening….

WOMAN
And it came to pass after these
things that God tested Abraham…

DANNY…sitting with Stuart and Miriam…

WOMAN (O.S.)
…And said to him, “Abraham.” And he
said, “Here am I…” And God said,
“Take your son, your only son, whom
you love…”

DANNY
(to himself)
It’s not his only son….

ANOTHER VOICE
The only one he loves.

Danny looks at AVI (athletic, smooth-shaven) who grins
sardonically and fakes a punch as…

DANNY
They only kill them when they love them?

AVI
(sliding into a seat
next to them)
What are you doing here, I thought
you were a Nazi.

STUART
Come on, Avi…

AVI
You know what this guy told me once:
Islam and Judaism both start with
Abraham murdering his son: first
sending Ishmael into the desert, then
sacrificing Isaac….

VOICES
Shhhh… Can you please be quiet?

DANNY
And Christianity’s the same, with
minor variations.

AVI
Ridiculous.
(to the people around them)
Folks, don’t listen to this guy. He’s
a well-known anti-Semite.

MIRIAM
Avi, please…

AVI
(snatching off Danny’s hat)
…Look, he’s a skinhead.

VOICES
It’s just a style, Avi…. There are
antiracist skins.

AVI
(laughing)
Believe me, Danny’s the racist kind.
Are you a fascist, Danny? Yes or no.

DANNY
What’s a fascist?

AVI
I rest my case. He’s a Jewish Nazi.
He always was.

DANNY
Whereas Avi’s a Zionist Nazi.

AVI
The Zionists aren’t Nazis.

DANNY
They’re racist, they’re militaristic,
they act like bullyboys in the
territories….

AVI
They don’t have extermination camps.

DANNY
They had Sabra and Shattila.

MIRIAM
Do you hate them because they’re
wimps or because they’re bullyboys?

Danny’s startled by the question, but before he can react…

AVI
(over her, to Danny)
That was the Lebanese, that wasn’t —

VOICES (O.S.)
The Israeli Army knew about the camps.
Sharon encouraged the falangists to
go in there and murder all the —

AVI
You don’t know that. There’s no —

DANNY
Read the early Zionists on European
Jewry; they sound like Goebbels.

AVI
They sound like you.

DANNY
The Nazis did everything the führer
told them. You do everything the
Torah tells you. Or the rebbe.
Identical slave mentality.

Avi lunges at him. They begin pounding each other. Chaos.

EXT. STREET — NIGHT

Miriam and Danny walk down West End Avenue together. He’s
oddly relaxed with her?

MIRIAM
Why did you come tonight? To see me?

DANNY
(after a beat)
To hear them read Torah.

MIRIAM
I thought you hated Torah.

DANNY
That doesn’t mean I don’t like
hearing it.

MIRIAM
Point out all the lies and fucked-up
thinking.

She smiles and even he smiles a little. They walk together,
oddly companionable.

MIRIAM
You know the joke: a Jew’s shipwrecked
on a desert island. When they rescue
him, they see he’s built two
synagogues. They say, for vhat do you
need two synagogues? He says, vun to
pray in, and vun I’d never set foot
in so long as I live, so help me God.
(he nods, he’s heard it)
You pray in the one you’d never set
foot in…and vice versa.

DANNY
I can’t help what I think.

MIRIAM
This is me.

She stops in front of a nice doorman building. He’s impressed.

MIRIAM
Tell me about Lina Moebius.

DANNY
(startled)
How did you…?

MIRIAM
I work in the DA’s office. You go to
those meetings, half the people there
are informants.

DANNY
You mean the Times guy?

MIRIAM
Which Times guy?

DANNY
With the shoes… There was more than
one?

In an excess of paranoia, he walks away. She calls after him….

MIRIAM
Danny…Danny…
(he doesn’t look back)
Shit…

INT. DANNY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Sweltering heat. A fan ruffles Carla’s hair as she lies on
the futon going back and forth between Hebrew/English Torah
and a Hebrew grammar. Danny is on the floor lifting weights.

CARLA
(slowly, laboriously)
Payn tash-chiton v’ashiytem…

DANNY
(correcting her)
V’asitem…

CARLA
V’asitem lechem pessel to-monat. And
make no graven image of the Lord, or
the form of any figure, or of man or
woman, or beast or fowl or fish or
anything that looks like anything.
Because He’s not like anything. Not
only can’t you see Him or hear Him,
you can’t even think about Him. I
mean, what’s the difference between
that and Him not existing?

DANNY
(still exercising)
No difference.

CARLA
Christianity’s silly, but at least
there’s something to believe in. Or
not believe. Judaism there’s nothing.

DANNY
(to himself)
Nothing but nothingness…Judaism’s
not about belief.

CARLA
What’s it about?

DANNY
About doing things. You light candles,
say prayers, keep the Sabbath, visit
the sick….

CARLA
And belief follows?

DANNY
No. Nothing follows. You don’t do it
because it’s smart or stupid or it
saves your soul. You’re not saved.
Nobody’s saved. You do it because the
Torah tells you do. You submit to the
Torah.

CARLA
Fuck that.

DANNY
Don’t curse in front of it.

CARLA
(flips the book closed)
Why should I submit?

DANNY
You shouldn’t.

CARLA
You think I should just because
there’s no reason?

He looks at her without answering.

DANNY
No, I think you shouldn’t.

CARLA
Judaism doesn’t even need God. You
have the Torah, the law. That’s your
fucking God….
(anticipating his objections)
The book’s closed.

In an access of something, she bites his arm, hard. He
winces, pushes her away. She kisses the place she bit. He
starts to play with her hair….

DANNY
You’re learning the Hebrew really fast.

CARLA
I told you, I’m good at this.

DANNY
Plus you have nothing else to do all day.

CARLA
Oh, am I learning it faster than you
did? Maybe I’m smarter.

He laughs, likes her arrogance. But she misunderstands:

CARLA
Is that funny? You think Jews are the
only smart ones?

As they make out, grow aroused…

DANNY
What…? You think I’m Jewish?

CARLA
It’s all you talk about. Jewish,
Jewish, Jewish. Nobody talks about it
that much except the Jews.

Danny’s taken aback by the simple logic.

DANNY
Nazis talk about it all the time.

CARLA
Do they?

And, of course, she has grown up among Nazis.

DANNY
The real Nazis. Hitler, Goebbels,
they talked about Jews incessantly….
You ever read their diaries?…

CARLA
Is that why you became a Nazi? So you
could talk about Jews incessantly?

DANNY
Believe me, Adolf Hitler couldn’t
possibly have hated the Jews as much
as I do. Not in a billion years. You
know why?

CARLA
‘Cause he wasn’t a rabbi.

DANNY
You want a punch in the mouth?

CARLA
Okay…
(he doesn’t hit her)
Why don’t we light candles on Friday?
Let’s light candles…. And say the
kaddish.

DANNY
Kaddish is the prayer for the dead.

CARLA
I mean kiddush. Let’s say kiddush.
And shave my head, fuck through a
sheet, all that stuff…
(as he walks away)
Come on, just for fun. To see what
it’s like…

INT. SMALL LECTURE HALL — NIGHT

Packed with a well-dressed crowd, very different from the
crowds we’ve seen here before.

DOWN IN FRONT: Mrs. Moebius and Danny talk in low tones.

MRS. MOEBIUS
Half the right-wing money in New York
is here tonight. They came to see you.
If you impress them, if you do what I
know you can, this movement will be
up and running by tomorrow. And on
the front page of the New York Times
in six months.

She straightens his tie, directs him toward the lectern. He
hesitates….

DANNY
We tested the new bomb.

MRS. MOEBIUS
What?

DANNY
We redesigned the timing mechanism.
It can’t possibly malfunction.

MRS. MOEBIUS
Danny, please. Just give your
speech…. And nothing about Jews, okay?

She walks away.

INT. SMALL LECTURE HALL — STAGE — NIGHT

Danny steps to the lectern. The CROWD QUIETS. He stands
silent for a long moment, then closes his eyes and chants
with feeling:

DANNY
Shema yisroel adonai elohenu adonai
echod.

General confusion. Mrs. Moebius and Curtis exchange wary
glances.

DANNY
Who knows what that is?

VOICE
A Jewish prayer.

DANNY
Can anybody imagine why I would say a
Jewish prayer?

ANOTHER VOICE
Because you’re a Jew.

Nervous laughter. Danny laughs with them.

DANNY
That could be one reason. What’s
another?
(no response)
Let me put it this way…who here
would like to destroy the Jews?
(murmurs of approval)
Who wants to grind their bones into
the dust?

A scattering of applause, growing more sustained…

DANNY
And who wants to see them rise again,
wealthier, more successful, powerful,
cultured and intelligent than ever?

Silence. No one wants that.

DANNY
Then you know what you have to do?…
You have to love them.

Puzzled mutterings: “What?… What’s he talking about?…”

DANNY
Did he say love them? Love the Jews?
It sounds strange, I know, but with
these people nothing is simple. The
Jew says that all he wants is to be
left alone to study his Torah, do a
little business and fornicate with
his over-sexed wife…. But it isn’t
true. He wants to be hated. He longs
for our scorn. He clings to it as if
it were the very core and mystery of
his being. If Hitler had not existed,
the Jews would have invented him. For
without such hatred, the so-called
Chosen People would vanish from the
earth….

People react with confusion, uncertainty, suspicion.

DANNY
…And this reveals a terrible truth,
the crux of our problem as Nazis: the
worse the Jews are treated, the
stronger they become. Egyptian
slavery made them a nation; the
pogroms hardened them, Auschwitz gave
birth to the State of Israel.
Suffering, it seems, is the very
crucible of their genius. If the Jews
are, as one of their own has said, a
people who will not take yes for an
answer, then let us say yes to them.
If they thrive on opposition, let us
cease to oppose them. The way to
annihilate them, utterly and
completely, is to open our arms, take
them into our homes and embrace them.
Only then will they vanish into
assimilation, dilution…and love.
(a warning finger)
But we cannot pretend. The Jew is
nothing if not clever. He will see
through condescension and hypocrisy.
To destroy him, we will have to love
him sincerely.

ON THE AUDIENCE, befuddled. A HAND goes up. Danny nods to it.
The man steps forward, and we see that it’s Guy Danielsen of
the Times. Danny is shaken….

GUY
But if the Jews are strengthened by
hate, wouldn’t this “destruction” you
speak of — by love or by any other
means — in fact make them more
powerful than they are already?

DANNY
(after a beat)
Yes. Infinitely more. They would
become as God.

Murmurs of confusion, outrage… “God??!!!” Danny notices
the TALLIS crawling out from under his shirt, stuffs it back in.

DANNY
It is the Jews’ destiny to the
annihilated so that they can be
deified….
(the murmurs swell)
Jesus understood this perfectly. And
look what was accomplished there with
the death of just one enlightened Jew.
Imagine what would happen if we
killed them all!!
(over the rising outrage)
So, let us say together… Shema
yisroel…

One or two voices respond, but must people shout him down.
Mrs. Moebius is outraged. People are throwing things,
shouting. The meeting degenerates into chaos.

INT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT — DAY

Danny talks to Mrs. Moebius. Offscreen we hear a TV.

MRS. MOEBIUS
Are you out of your mind?!

DANNY
I was just trying to make a point. If —

CARLA (O.S.)
Oh, my God…
(calling)
Lina…

MRS. MOEBIUS
I’m relieving you of all duties. I
don’t want you working for us anymore….

DANNY
You can’t. Do you know how many
people I’ve brought into…the
movement…?

CARLA (O.S.)
Lina, come here!

INT. KITCHEN — DAY

Carla watching a small TV on the kitchen counter. Danny
arrives, followed by Lina and Curtis as we hear…

REPORTER (O.S.)
According to police, he had just left
the restaurant and was walking the
block and a half back to his office,
when the gunman stepped out of this
doorway, fired seven times at point-
blank range…then fled on foot.

DANNY
(a terrible premonition)
Who was it?

Mrs. Moebius impatiently signals him to silence.

REPORTER (O.S.)
…Paramedics arrived within ninety
seconds, but Mr. Manzetti was
declared dead at the scene.

At the mention of Manzetti’s name, Danny goes white.

ANCHOR’S VOICE
Ilio Manzetti was one of the
respected and influential men in New
York. As an investment banker,
diplomat, adviser to presidents and
mayors, he helped shape public policy
and private finance for more than
three decades. He’ll be missed, Phil.
This is Michael Port with New York 1.

Danny’s knees are weak, his hands cold, his stomach rises….
He becomes aware of the others, staring at him in amazement.

DANNY
(stunned)
Do you think I…

MRS. MOEBIUS
Danny, please, we don’t want to know.

She and Curtis walk out of the room. Stunned, shaken, Danny
leaves in a different direction. The TV plays to an empty
room…

ANCHOR’S VOICE
The assailant is described as a white
male in his late 20s….

EXT. MOEBIUS BUILDING/STREET — DAY

Danny wanders out the door in a daze. His cell phone RINGING.
He has to search his pockets, then fumbles to turn it on….

KYLE’S VOICE (PHONE)
You finally killed a Jew, man. How’s
it feel?

DANNY
Kyle…I can’t talk right now….

He hears a CAMERA SHUTTER and MOTOR DRIVE. He turns….

EXT. ACROSS THE STREET — DAY

GUY DANIELSEN & A PHOTOGRAPHER.

They’re coming toward him.

GUY
Did you kill Ilio Manzetti?

DANNY
No.

Suddenly Danny runs after the photographer, they struggle….

PHOTOGRAPHER
Not the camera, don’t hurt the camera…

Danny opens the camera, rips out the film, exposing it.

GUY
Did you kill him?

Danny glares at him without answering, walks away. Guy
hurries after him….

GUY
Two days ago you addressed a Nazi
rally. Last week you went to a Torah
study group.

DANNY
What were you, following me?

GUY
How do you reconcile the two?

DANNY
I don’t. Look, stay out of what you
don’t understand.

GUY
Explain it so I can.

DANNY
You work for the New York Times. Your
whole job in life is not to understand
things like me.

GUY
I don’t think you know what you are.

DANNY
(walking on, fast)
Yeah, and what are you? A Times man?
A Presbyterian? Impotent? A prick?

GUY
Who killed Manzetti?

DANNY
If I tell you, will you pull the
story? Not write about me?

GUY
It’s too late…. If I didn’t,
somebody else would.
(as Danny just snorts)
Yom Kippur starts at sundown. Will
you go to synagogue?

DANNY
(turns on him, threatening)
Get the fuck away from me.

Guy backs off. Danny crosses the street.

VOICE
Hey, Danny, just one more!

He glances back. It’s the PHOTOGRAPHER who has reloaded and
now SNAPS a shot AS DANNY TURNS AWAY and keeps going….

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN — DAY

Danny and Miriam walking together among the trees.

MIRIAM
You’re telling me you killed him? You?
Killed him? Bullshit. What kind of
gun did you use?

DANNY
(guessing)
A forty-five.

MIRIAM
It was a nine millimeter.

DANNY
You’re lying.

MIRIAM
So are you… But they’ll believe
you….
(as they walk)
Lina Moebius is saying the whole
thing was your idea. That you
proposed it in a meeting at her house.
(when he doesn’t deny it)
Ah, Jesus, Danny… What were you
thinking? Are you glad Manzetti’s
dead? Do you really want to kill Jews?
You want to kill me?

DANNY
I was just talking. I — look, I
can’t help what I think.

He doesn’t know how to answer, walks away from her to the
railing overlooking the water. He stares into the current
flowing past. Finally Miriam joins him….

MIRIAM
All right, what if all along you were
actually infiltrating the Nazis — to
expose them….

DANNY
But I wasn’t.

MIRIAM
And only talked about killing
Manzetti to convince them you were an
anti-Semite. If you’d had any idea
somebody would take it seriously, you
never would have said it.

DANNY
I can’t say that.

MIRIAM
Think about your father. Your sister.

DANNY
The truth doesn’t mean anything to
you, does it?

MIRIAM
Danny, I’m trying to — save you.

DANNY
(over her)
Fucking kike.

Miriam is stung. She can’t believe he said that. Still, she
gets a small tape recorder out of her purse, hands it to him.

MIRIAM
Try to get Lina Moebius on tape,
telling you to do something.
Something violent… That’s right, I
don’t care about truth. I care about
you.
(looks at her watch)
Kol Nidre’s at six-thirty. I’ve got
to meet Stuart. We’ll be at the
minyan tonight and tomorrow. If you
need me, come there….

Danny watches her walk away, then turns to the railing.
Ideally a FERRY is pulling away from its slip and heading
out across the harbor. He watches it, then looks down at the
current moving past. He reaches a decision, throws the tape
recorder into the water, turns and walks away….

INT. DANNY’S APARTMENT — LATE AFTERNOON

Danny stops just inside the door. The place is spotless. The
desk has been pulled out from the wall, covered with a snowy
cloth and set for a Sabbath meal: brass candelabrum, challah
under a satin cover…and two place settings.

Carla is pouring wine into the kiddush cup. She’s wearing a
modest dress, her hair is pinned up with a piece of lace.

DANNY
What’s going on?

She turns, startled; she hadn’t heard him come in.

CARLA
It’s erev Yom Kippur…. We’ll have
dinner, then go to shul. Atone for
our sins.

He grabs a couple of olives off the table, eats them as he
goes through his closet, stuffing a couple things in a bag….

CARLA
Come on, we can be like Eichmann. He
studied Torah. He hated Jews.

DANNY
(in the closet, looking)
Is it like Eichmann? Are we goofing?

CARLA
I don’t know. I just want to try it.

DANNY
Shit…
(looking in other places)
Did you talk to your mother today?

CARLA
No. What are you looking for?

DANNY
Nothing.
(indicates table as he
keeps looking)
Why are you doing this?
(back to the closet)
I thought God didn’t exist.

CARLA
He commands it whether He exists or
not…
(off his silence; with
difficulty)
Look, we can fight him and be crushed.
Or we can submit.

DANNY
(from the closet)
And be crushed.

CARLA
Yeah, okay. But what if…what if…
submitting…being crushed, being
nothing, not mattering, what if
that’s the best feeling we can have?

He finds it (a kittel), stuffs it in the bag.

CARLA
Look, just light the candles with me.
Then we’ll eat. You have to eat.

DANNY
You eat first, then you light.
(exasperated, he has to
explain)
Once you light, it’s Yom Kippur,
which means you’re fasting, so you
can’t…eat.

He trails off, looks at her. She’s everything he ever wanted,
and he’s already lost her.

DANNY
A woman of valor, who can find her?
Her price is above rubies….

He walks out, leaving the door open. Carla starts to call
after him, but then doesn’t. She turns back, lights the
candles and awkwardly reads the prayers….

EXT. STREET/PAY PHONE — SUNDOWN APPROACHING

Danny on a phone. Behind him, Jews hurry home for the
holiday. He hears a BEEP…

DANNY
Miriam, it’s me, Danny…. Come on,
the holiday hasn’t started, pick up
the —
(as someone does)
…Is Stuart davening Ne’ilah
tomorrow at the minyan… ‘Cause he
always does… Tell him I’m doing it
instead….

She argues (we hear her VOICE not her words)…Danny cuts
her off.

DANNY
Miriam, I’m davening…. He gives me
any trouble, I’ll beat the shit out
of him right there in the room. I’m
serious….

She’s still talking when he hangs up and walks away.

INT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT — NIGHT

Lina and Curtis with Billings and Drake, who looks bad…

LINA
Why didn’t you tell us?

DRAKE
(never considered it)
I was hurt. I just…

BILLINGS
He went to his friends’ place and I
laid up there ‘til he was better.
Then he called me.

CURTIS
You should’ve gone to the police.

LINA
I don’t think Drake wants to talk to
the police. Do you?

DRAKE
I’ll take care of him myself.

The phone RINGS. Curtis answers, listens, covers the mouthpiece.

CURTIS
Daniel Balint.

She takes it with a dramatic gesture.

LINA
(takes the phone)
Hello…?

INTERCUT WITH:

EXT. PAY PHONE, 65TH STREET — NIGHT

DANNY
Lina… It’s happening. Tonight.

LINA
What is happening?

DANNY
Beth Shalom. Like you wanted.

LINA
Beth Shalom? What are you talking
about? Who is this…?

DANNY
Lina, you said if I was going to
plant a bomb, I should —

A CLICK as she hangs up. He’s pleased. He steps away from
the phone. He’s carrying a grease-stained bag and is across
from…

TEMPLE EMANU-EL…KOL NIDRE being sung by a soprano within;
and ORGAN accompanying her.

EXT. 5TH AVENUE AND 65TH STREET — NIGHT

In the synagogue across the street we hear KOL NIDRE being
sung by a soprano; an ORGAN accompanying her. Danny looks up
at the temple.

FLASHCUT: EXT. FOREST ROAD — DAY, 1943

Looking up as the Nazi sergeant holds the boy on the bayonet
over the father’s head. But now Danny is the father, and the
father is the sergeant.

He lunges at the Nazi, knocking him down, tearing at this
throat. The sergeant screams….

NAZI SOLDIER
(in German, to his fellows)
Kill him!

Danny bites through the Nazi’s jugular as bullets rip into him.

INT. FIFTH AVENUE AT 65TH/INT. KYLE’S CAR — NIGHT

Kyle’s car is parked on the Central Park side of
Fifth….Danny gets in the passenger side. Kyle is behind
the wheel, wiring an explosive device. Danny hands him the
grease-stained bag.

DANNY
How’re we doing?

Kyle holds up a solitary pipe bomb.

KYLE
That’s all we’ve got left.

DANNY
It’ll be enough if we use it right.
(checks his watch)
Okay, the service’ll go about another
hour. Say an hour for the janitors,
then one more just to be safe…
We’ll go in at midnight.

Kyle has extracted a cheeseburger and shake from the bag. As
he starts in on them, he realizes Danny isn’t eating.

KYLE
Didn’t you get anything?

DANNY
I’m not hungry…. Come on, let’s
drive around…. We don’t want to be
spotted here.

Eating, Kyle starts the car, pulls away….

INT. MOEBIUS APARTMENT — SAME TIME

LINA
(white with fury)
He is trying to set us up.

Curtis picks up a cell phone and dials.

LINA
(to Drake and Billings)
I want him dead by tomorrow night.
That lies within your capacities,
correct?

Billings nods. Drake unconsciously licks the center of his
lower lip. As they leave, we see that he limps horribly.
When they’re gone…

CURTIS
(into phone)
Yes, I believe that a bomb is going
to be planted tonight at Temple
Emanu-el on 65th Street…. By the
same man who killed Ilio Manzetti…
His name is Daniel Balint….

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE/INT. KYLE’S CAR — DRIVING — NIGHT

POV inside van. Fifth is quiet. Temple Emanu-el again,
straight ahead. But now we see SECURITY GUARDS near the door.

KYLE (V.O.)
Oh, what is this shit?

DANNY (V.O.)
Keep driving. Don’t slow down.

KYLE (V.O.)
Christ…

POV speeds up, whips past the synagogue.

DANNY (V.O.)
Not too fast.

KYLE (V.O.)
You said they didn’t have night guards.

DANNY (V.O.)
They don’t. I checked twenty times….
Somebody must have talked.

KYLE (V.O.)
Who even knew?

DANNY (V.O.)
Mrs. Moebius.

KYLE (V.O.)
Why? Why would she?

DANNY (V.O.)
The Manzetti thing must have scared
her. She thinks she’ll get implicated.

KYLE (V.O.)
So what do we do with the device?

The Plaza straight ahead…

DANNY (V.O.)
Take a right on 59th…
(as the car turns)
We’ll put it someplace else.

KYLE (V.O.)
Where?

ON DANNY’S FACE

DANNY
I have an idea….

INT. A DARKENED BLDG (JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER) — NIGHT

A pencil-beam flashlight moves through the darkness. We
follow it. The light enters a space where SOUND ECHOES….

DANNY (V.O.)
Over here.

INT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER ROOM — NIGHT

A PENCIL BEAM shows Kyle on his back attaching the bomb to
some kind of wooden floor cupboard. He’s worried about the
paltry amount of explosives.

KYLE
It’s all reinforced in here. It’s not
going to blow out the way we want it….

Danny is too preoccupied flipping through a machzor to answer.

KYLE
If I went back to the lumberyard, the
guy’d give me all the dynamite I
wanted. Untraceable, you wouldn’t —
need to…

DANNY
No, it has to be tomorrow. You won’t
get this many of them in here for
another year. It’ll be fine.

KYLE
It’s not going to be fine. It’s —

DANNY
Just do it.

Kyle sighs, goes about doing it, he HEARS SOMETHING and freezes.

KYLE
What’s that?

Danny clicks off the light. A SILHOUETTE on the windows…

DANNY
It’s just somebody on the street.

Light on. Relieved, Kyle turns his attention back to the bomb.

KYLE
When do you want it to go off?

DANNY
Seven-thirty tomorrow evening.

KYLE
So that’s what? Nineteen thirty
minutes…what time is it now…

Kyle checks his wristwatch, sets the timer to eighteen hours
eighteen minutes. It begins counting down.

EXT. SYNAGOGUE — NIGHT

Kyle and Danny come around the corner, get in Kyle’s car
parked near the side door.

EXT. EIGHTH AVENUE NEWSSTAND — NIGHT

A stack of papers, the early edition of the Times. As Danny
grabs one, he notices a stack of tabloids….

FRONT PAGE: The Manzetti crime scene with screaming headline:
“MANZETTI SLAYER JEWISH NAZI.” Next to this another tab:
“JEW KILLS JEW?”

Danny grabs a Times, flips it over… We see only his face:
registering this, unsurprised. He opens the paper….

INSERT: TWO PHOTOGRAPHS

The sweet-faced bar mitzvah boy we saw at his father’s
house… And a BLURRY PHOTO of Danny walking away from Guy
Danielsen and the photographer outside Mrs. Moebius’s house.
Danny’s face is not clearly seen.

TILT UP TO DANNY

Calm. He tucks the paper under his arm beside the machzor
and crosses Eighth Avenue toward a cheap hotel….

CHEAP HOTEL — NIGHT

Carrying the papers, Danny goes through the door.

INT. HOTEL ROOM — EARLY MORNING

Danny at the window, staring out. The TV plays behind him.

On TV — A REPORTER INTERVIEWING MRS. MOEBIUS

REPORTER
…You’re saying that when he first
appeared at your house, you had no
idea he was Jewish….

MRS. MOEBIUS
None whatsoever. But I have to admit,
I’m not terribly surprised.

REPORTER
What do you mean?

MRS. MOEBIUS
I think anti-semitism today is
largely a Jewish phenomenon. Wouldn’t
you agree?

Danny can’t help smiling at her audacity.

REPORTER
In the Third Reich, weren’t a number
of high-ranking Nazis of Jewish origin?

MRS. MOEBIUS
Yes, and they were said to be the
most virulent proponents of the Final
Solution. Really, who but a Jew would
want to kill Ilio Manzetti simply
because he was Jewish? Who thinks
about such things?

REPORTER
The papers are going to report
tomorrow that your colleague, Curtis
Zampf, has been a federal informant
for the past two years. Do you
believe that?

MRS. MOEBIUS
(enigmatic smile)
Curtis is always more complicated
than he seems. Even now.

REPORTER
(to the camera)
And so, on this, the most solemn day
of the Jewish year, a former yeshiva
student is being sought in connection
with a monstrous hate crime that —

The set is CLICKED OFF with the remote. In the darkened
screen, we see Danny take his bag off the bed and go out the
door.

EXT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER — LATE AFTERNOON

As Danny approaches, a STOCKY YOUNG MAN on a folding chair
outside the front door checks him out.

DANNY
Gamar tov.

The Stocky Young Man beckons him on. As he passes, Danny
spots a gun and shoulder holster inside the man’s zippered
jacket.

INT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER — DAY

Several Yom Kippur services are going on in different rooms.
And we hear different groups of VOICES. And one reading…

VOICE
…They cast lots, and the lot fell
on Jonah…

Danny puts on his kittel — a white prayer coat.

INT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER, 2ND FLOOR/INT. SMALL
AUDITORIUM — DAY

About forty WORSHIPPERS, most in their 20s and 30s. Danny
slips into the back, spots Carla up front with Miriam and
Stuart. He’s shocked, appalled….

CARLA — trying to follow along the prayer book, suddenly
Danny is leaning over her shoulder from the row behind.

DANNY
(desperate whisper)
What are you doing here?

People sitting nearby HUSH him; he ignores them.

CARLA
Miriam called, looking for you. She
said you might come, so I…

DANNY
You gotta get out of here.

CARLA
You don’t own this place.

STUART
Listen, Danny, you can’t just barge
in and —

DANNY
Shut up…

MIRIAM
You shut up. Who do you think you are?

DANNY
(to Carla, low, urgent)
There’s a bomb here. It’s going to go
off at seven-thirty.

CARLA
Oh, please…

The SHUSHING becomes louder…. She turns away.

VOICES
It’s Yom Kippur…. People are
davening…. Can you take it
outside…. You have some nerve….

Danny looks around at the scolding, angry, pious faces….
He hates them. He sits back and closes his eyes.

EXT. FOREST ROAD — DAY, 1943

The Jewish father (played by Danny’s father) is ripping open
the Sergeant’s jugular as the soldiers shoot him. One of the
soldiers (who is now Danny) says:

DANNY/NAZI SOLDIER
Kill them. Kill them all.

The soldiers begin firing…. But now, three Israeli
commandos appear, Danny, Avi and the security guard we saw
outside. They fire Uzis at the Nazis, who fire back.

Danny the Nazi soldier and Danny the Israeli commando fire
at each other at point-blank range. The SOUND fades and we
hear SCRAPING CHAIRS, MURMURS, VOICES….

INT. SMALL AUDITORIUM — SUNDOWN

Danny wakes with a start. People are about to resume after a
break, but there’s some confusion. People are talking to
Stuart, who keeps glancing toward Danny….Danny finds his
machzor and gets up…as he approaches the bema, Stuart
comes to meet him.

STUART
Danny, listen, people expect me to
daven; they don’t want someone they
don’t know — leading their prayers.

DANNY
Get out of my way.

Stuart backs down. Danny steps onto the bema, opens the machzor.

MURMURING VOICES
What’s going on?… Who is this?…I
thought Stuart was davening….

DANNY
(to the room)
Page 766.

He glances at a clock at the back of the room: 6:14.

DANNY
Yis-gadal, v’yis-kadash sh’mey raba…

People join in, but one man, in back, is outraged.

ENRAGED MAN
Jesus Christ, you know who that is?…
You see the paper?

MALE VOICE (O.S.)
(gently teasing)
You’re reading the paper on Yom
Kippur, Barry?

Chuckles.

ENRAGED WIFE
I saw the paper. That’s not him, that
guy was darker…. This is somebody else.

VOICE (O.S.)
That guy wouldn’t go to shul, Barry…

ENRAGED MAN
You want to bet? I’ll bet you
anything…
(he’s SHUSHED, “Could
you, please…”)
Let’s go, we’re leaving….

ENRAGED WIFE
Oh, for God’s sake, you leave.

ENRAGED MAN
I’m going to get a cop.

He stalks to the door but doesn’t leave, turns back as if
compelled to watch this outrage…as….

DANNY
Da-amiran b’alma, v’imru amen…

He begins the silent amidah, taking three steps backward,
then three forward, bowing as he prays so that he sees the
watch on the lectern…. It says: 6:16….

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. A ROOM — SUNDOWN

Kyle on hands and knees, gasping for breath, his face bloody.
DRAKE sits in a chair, injecting methamphetamine into the
vein of his forearm. Billings comes through the door with a
newspaper.

BILLINGS
I got one….

He squats beside Kyle, shows him the Times story about Danny.

KYLE
Are you kidding me??

BILLINGS
Now do you know where he is?

Kyle thinks, glances at a watch: 6:47.

KYLE
Yeah, I bet I do.

INT. SMALL AUDITORIUM — TWILIGHT

The windows have darkened. The congregation is on its feet
chanting the AVINU MALKENU, the climactic prayer of the day.

Danny, leading the prayers, looks up at Carla, Stuart,
Miriam…near the front, chanting with him. He looks at the
clock: 7:21.

Suddenly it seems impossible to go through with this. He
stops praying, but no one notices….

EXT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER — TWILIGHT

As Kyle, Drake and Billings approach, the place seems to
glow with an inner radiance. Drake and Billings hold weapons
at their sides.

The stocky security guard sees them coming and gets up,
reaching for his gun. Billings and Drake stop. Kyle wishes
he weren’t here.

Everything suspends for a moment as, within the building,
three distinct GROUPS OF VOICES can be heard, each chanting
the AVINU MALKENU at a slightly different point in the prayer.

Drake raises his gun and fires.

INT. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER — SMALL AUDITORIUM — TWILIGHT

People are chanting AVINU MALKENU so fervently that the
GUNFIRE outside seems only a faint POPPING. No one
particularly notices. Danny, freaking, doesn’t hear the
gunshots. He tries to address the people in the front rows….

DANNY
Wait a minute…

But the praying is too loud, too strong. No one stops or
listens. He steps down off the bema….

DANNY
Stop praying. You’ve got to get out
of here…. All of you…

A few people in front are puzzled by his strange behavior,
but the rest keep chanting. Stuart comes up to Danny….

STUART
You wanted to daven. Now daven….

Danny glances over people’s heads at the clock: 7:25. He
doesn’t notice…

THE DOOR

BANGS open. DRAKE stands there, .357, bleeding profusely
from the head, the swastika on his lips. At first, only a
few people notice, they stop praying.

PEOPLE
(panic, confusion)
Who’s that?… What is he…oh, my God…

Avi is the first one out of his chair, walks right at Drake.

AVI
(calm, forceful)
Put down the weapon. Put it down….

Drake shoots him. Avi goes down, writhing in pain. Screams,
panic. People come at Drake, but he grabs an 11-year-old
girl, puts the gun to her head.

DANNY
Drake! Up here…

Everyone turns, including Drake — who’s blinded by the
blood in his eyes, but recognizes the voice.

ENRAGED MAN
See, he knows him. The Nazi bastard…

Drake moves unsteadily toward the front, pulling the girl
with him. A WOMAN (a doctor) goes to tend Avi, who is still
conscious. People begin to slip out the back, taking
children. Others stay, looking to jump Drake, but he keeps
the .357 on the little girl.

DANNY
(to Carla, Miriam, Stuart)
Get everybody out of here. Fast.

He steps back onto the bema, separating himself from the
others and drawing Drake’s attention. The clock reads 7:28.
Outside we begin to hear SIRENS….

DANNY
Drake…

Drake refocuses, pulls the girl on…. From the hall, we
hear OTHER GROUPS in the building, chanting….

VOICES
Avinu malkenu, choney-nu v’aneyenu…
Avinu malkenu, choney-nu v’aneyenu,
ki eyn banu ma-asim…
(Our father, out king, graciously
answer us though we are undeserving…)
— nu va-aneynu…

At the front, Drake wobbles. People start forward. He cocks
the gun against the little girl’s head. She’s weeping silently.

DANNY
Drake, I’m right here….

Drake looks. Danny reaches out a hand. Drake points the .357
at him and FIRES, missing. A HAND grabs the little girl,
pulls her to safety.

The room is nearly empty now, save Miriam, Carla, Stuart, a
few others. The AVINU MALKENU can still be heard from the
hall….

ENRAGED MAN
(from the door)
Let them kill each other. They’re
animals.

ENRAGED WIFE
Barry, for God’s sake…

Drake wobbles from loss of blood. Nearly drops the .357.

Danny glances at the clock: 7:30. What is it, another dud??

Drake FIRES again, hits Danny in the shoulder….

CARLA
Danny!

She runs forward. The shoulder hurts; he calls to the others….

DANNY
GET HER OUT OF HERE!

Miriam, others, grab Carla, pull Carla toward the door.

Drake comes toward Danny, trying to lift the .357 for the kill.

VOICES
Cha’nainu v’anainu, ki ain baw-nu
ma’ah-seem…

Danny grabs Drake’s gun hand, forces it up in the air. The
gun goes off. Plaster rains down on them.

Drake dies. Danny catches him under the arms.

He looks at the watch: 7:32. He relaxes.

VOICES
(fervent)
…Asey imanu tz’dakah va’chesed…
Asey imanu tz’dakah va’chesd, v’ho-
shi —

The instant before the prayer ends…it’s cut off by a
sudden silence. Then a FLASH of light…

The SCREEN GOES WHITE…

CARLA’S VOICE
Danny, no…

INT. STAIRCASE, YESHIVA — DAY

Where we saw Danny leave the school as a 12-year-old. Now
LOOKING DOWN, we see Danny as an adult, coming up them two
at a time.

FOLLOWING DANNY as he races up. His old teacher, RAV
ZINGESSER, appears on a landing above….

RAV ZINGESSER
Danny, good to see you…I wanted to
take up that discussion we were
having…
(as Danny hurries past)
…about Abraham and Isaac.

DANNY
I can’t right now….

But as he nears the NEXT LANDING, there is Zingesser waiting
for him again…

ZINGESSER
You remember what you said, that
Isaac actually died on Mt. Moriah?
I’ve been thinking maybe you’re
right… Died yet was reborn in olam
ha-bah….

Danny goes past once more….

But now, LOOKING DOWN at Zingesser as he appears above Danny
yet again. As Danny nears the landing…

ZINGESSER
Danny, stop…
(as Danny goes by,
calling after him)
…Where are you going?… Don’t you
know, there’s nobody up there?

As Danny passes the camera we PAN to watch him still racing
upward. beyond us into the darkness….



THE END[amazonjs asin=”B00008AOSA” locale=”JP” title=”The Believer VHS Import”]



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