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Four Stories About Death: A Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant

Four Stories About Death: A Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant

Автор Dmitry Berger

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Four Stories About Death: A Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant

Автор Dmitry Berger

Длина:
183 страницы
1 час
Издатель:
Издано:
29 июн. 2012 г.
ISBN:
9780988020924
Формат:
Книга

Описание

This meditation on the subject that has never gone out of fashion is derived from the factual material and includes the last moments of Socrates, based on Plato’s Crito and Pheado dialogues, a Buddhist Monk, based on the reported stories of the Chinese Zen monks, a Ballerina in a Nazi death camp, documented in the work of a German psychiatrist and, finally, the death of Joseph Stalin, based on the recollections by his personal guards. Despite the subject matter the script does not contain elements usually associated with death. It is not approached as something wrong or morbid. It sees death as a reflection of one’s life.

Издатель:
Издано:
29 июн. 2012 г.
ISBN:
9780988020924
Формат:
Книга

Об авторе

Dmitry Berger is not really a writer. Come to think of it, he is not much of anything, despite a long array of various jobs and experience he has had. After twenty-seven years in the USSR, he traded all the excitement of perestroika for the calm suburbs of Ottawa, Canada, where he continues to expand his raging interest in every bit of what is life: from quantum physics to kinky sex, from soccer tactic to American political circus, from the inner workings of our brains to slow roasting back ribs, in order to cram it all into his writings and music.


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Four Stories About Death - Dmitry Berger

Four Stories About Death:

A Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant

Screenplay by Dmitry Berger

Library of Congress Registration Number PAu003070358

Copyright 2006, 2012 by Dmitry Berger

Cover by Dmitry Berger

Smashwords Edition

Although the four stories presented here are loosely based on the reported historic events, they are only the work of fiction.

After all, this movie is not a documentary but a meditation on the subject of death.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. SAGE – Part 1

2. MONK

3. SAGE – Part 2

4. BALLERINA

5. TYRANT

6. SAGE – Part 3

SAGE – Part 1

Back to Contents

INT. THE ATHENIAN PRISON CELL -- NIGHT

FADE IN: In the middle of the black screen, out of focus, appears a reddish glimmer.

As the camera slowly focuses on it, revealing a flickering tongue of flame, a title burns through:

TITLES

Four Stories About Death:

a Sage, a Monk, a Ballerina and a Tyrant

The single tongue of flame coming from a ceramic oil lamp fights the DARKNESS of the prison cell.

The lamp is set on a small table; the flame throws strange SHADOWS on the stone wall, giving the scene the gamma of RED and WHITE contrasted by the deep BLACK SHADOWS.

The table stands at the far wall.

To the right of it, under a window, stands a simple bed.

Someone, wrapped in his tunic, sleeps there.

Only his bare feet can be seen.

To the left of the bed, an old man, CRITO sits on a simple stool.

His elbows are placed on his knees; the hands support his bearded head, clearly grieving.

Crito slowly extends his right hand, as if to touch the sleeping person.

The hand freezes in the mid-air for a second and pulls back.

Crito returns to his grieving position.

The sleeping person, SOCRATES, a 70-years old bearded man, starts waking up, stretching and yawning ever so sweetly, just like a child.

Still in the middle of a yawn, he slowly opens his eyes and sees Crito.

SOCRATES

Crito, my friend. What time is it?

Crito answers in a somewhat forced manner, without changing his posture:

CRITO

Almost dawn, Socrates.

Socrates still yawns and stretches.

SOCRATES

It’s quite early still. Makes me wonder, how did you manage to get by the prison guard?

Socrates lifts his torso off the bed.

Crito feigns a smile and straightens his back.

CRITO

I come here so often that by now he's used to me. And to my generosity toward him, no doubt.

Crito’s fingers imitate coin counting.

CRITO’S POV, Socrates puts his feet on the floor and sits on the bed.

SOCRATES

How long have you been sitting here?

CRITO

For a while.

SOCRATES

Then why didn’t you wake me up right away?

Crito looks down and speaks reluctantly, almost to himself:

CRITO

You were sleeping so sweetly, like a child. Which is to say, as carefree as when you’re awake. I always marveled at your easygoing nature. Now, seeing how even your awful predicament fails to affect it, I can't help but envy you. These days I only wish I could sleep at all. So, instead I come here to watch you sleep. That’s why I couldn't bring myself to disturb your peaceful dream with my bad news.

Crito smirks as to his own thoughts.

He lifts his head and sadly looks directly at Socrates.

Socrates smiles in return.

With a chuckle, Socrates slaps Crito on the knee.

SOCRATES

I’m intrigued, Crito. Look at me. I’m a frail seventy-years old man, locked up in this prison, awaiting my execution any day for offending the Gods, no less, and corrupting the youth. At least according to the judgment of our great Athenian court. The only reason I’m still enjoying your company is that the sacred ship sent to Delos a month ago has not returned yet. And the law prohibits killing convicts until it does. Yet, you’re saying there is the BAD news? And at this early hour, really?

CRITO

Yes, dear Socrates, isn't it ironic that the same law that condemned you, afforded us this month. What a blessing! What a gift to us all, who love you, to share your company and your wisdom a little longer.

Socrates glances at him and chuckles.

SOCRATES

I bet my guess will be an easy one. The sacred ship is here, right?

Crito silently nods with utter sadness.

SOCRATES

Well, in this case, I'll be out of here.

He playfully forms his hands into a shape of a flying bird and waves its wings.

CRITO

By the will of Gods, the sacred ship isn't here yet. However, the advance party from the ship has already arrived with the news to let the city prepare for the festivities. Meaning there’s time still left for us to do something. Otherwise, by tomorrow you, Socrates, will have to end your life.

SOCRATES

Whatever the Gods will, shall be so. Come on, Crito, you sound as if it's such a big surprise, all of a sudden. What else have we been doing here since my trial but waiting for exactly that?

He smiles and returns to his catlike state of relaxation.

SOCRATES

However, I don’t believe it's going to happen today. I don't think the ship will be here before tomorrow.

Crito reacts with hope:

CRITO

What makes you think so?

Socrates lies down and makes himself comfortable on the bed.

SOCRATES

I deduce it from the dream I just had.

CRITO

What was your dream?

Socrates’ profile projects a shadow on the wall, while he conveys his dream:

SOCRATES

A vision of a beautiful woman in a white elegant dress. Just as the Goddess in Iliad promised Achilles a return home, she told me thusly.

He theatrically recites the poetry as if read by the Goddess:

SOCRATES

Oh, Socrates, on the third day, you shall go to the fertile Phthia.

Crito looks bewildered.

CRITO

This strange dream makes no sense to me, Socrates!

Socrates gives a smile of understanding.

SOCRATES

Yet to me, Crito, the meaning is perfectly clear.

He laughs.

SOCRATES

It turns out to be fortunate that you let me sleep, after all.

Crito sits up straight and shakes his head in disappointment.

CRITO

Oh, yes, all too clear. If you say so!

SOCRATES

That and the known fact that our city government is never able to get anything done on time.

He laughs.

Crito is stunned.

CRITO

You joke?! How can you joke when your time is running out?

SOCRATES

Come on, Crito. Wouldn’t it be silly for a man of my age to worry about whatever little is left of his time?

Crito’s face becomes solemn and his voice acquires a defiant tone:

CRITO

Nonetheless, people of any ages, even as old as you are, would lament their misfortune if they had to face your dreadful fate.

Socrates makes a funny face as he thinks for a moment.

SOCRATES

That is quite possible. But they are not me.

Crito stares at his friend's smiling face.

His own face reflect inner struggle.

Suddenly, Crito breaks down.

CRITO

Indeed! O, my beloved Socrates, you're such an unusual man! So, how can I let this injustice happen to you?! I won't and neither will any your friends.

SOCRATES

Why, Crito? After all this time of accepting our fate, you're now losing your nerve.

CRITO

I never accepted your fate, Socrates. None of your friends and followers did. For to accept it is to condone injustice. All this time since your verdict we've tirelessly worked on plans to save your life, to right the wrong done to you.

Socrates snickers.

SOCRATES

And also you did a great job hiding them from me.

CRITO

Because you flatly refused to even discuss them from the beginning.

SOCRATES

Haven't I given you my reasons for that? Did you find my arguments not convincing enough?

CRITO

Who could ever refute your arguments? No wonder the oracle declared you the wisest man alive. But is it really the time to be concerned with higher wisdom when ordinary smarts would do just fine? Because we're talking about a choice between life and death.

SOCRATES

Wouldn't it be rather proper for anyone, who's about to die and thus removed from distractions of everyday life, to be more concern with higher wisdom? Anyway, at some point in life, death may be the right choice. After all, we only live once and can only die once. Therefore, I think it's important to make sure whatever we do is right. Even more so now, since I may not get another chance to fix my mistakes if I do wrong.

CRITO

Don't you think if you die you'll definitely deprive yourself of this chance? Would that be right, Socrates?

Socrates gets excited.

SOCRATES

Now you're talking as someone who's spent a lifetime with

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