Film Script

My current project, rather autobiographical

Filmproject by Damir Lukacevic & Viktor Pavel Berlin, 1998

Gedreht auf Jamaika 1/97

Tomash, a foreign boy of 11, is ashamed of himself and his mother Jana. He learns to accept himself the way he is, reestablishes the love to his mother and finds a friend.

SHORT SUMMARY based on the 5th version of the treatment

The Story is located in a small German Town in the 1970s. It starts with a boy on a pear tree (his off-voice) Tomash is a boy of 11, whose attractive czech mother Jana runs a restaurant. He is ashamed of her, because she has a thick slavic accent, drinks too much and has constant problems with boyfriends and the financing of the restaurant -and of course the western way of life. Due to her own childhood deprivation Jana is unable give her son the stability and love that he needs. Nevertheless she is very proud of Tomash and wants him to display his wit and intelligence in front of the halfdrunken guests.

When her boyfriend Volker tries to tells Tomash what to to, she defends her son Volker leaves her after a fight. Tomas gets to watch his mother being beaten up and/or left by her partners. He wants to be like other children, who have fathers, families and a normal childhood. He feels alienated and wanders around, seeking whatever, finding at least a ventile for his built up aggression.

The boy is being sent to a posh expensive boarding school by Jana, who feels, she is not a good mother. Tomas had spent time in a "boyshouse" before and therefore doesn´t want to go. He has no choice, though. The other kids give him a hard time, humiliate and harrass him. One boy -Peter Mayen- spits food into Tomash`s face. Tomash freaks and whacks Peter on the head with a chair. He has to see a psychiatrist, of course with no result. At school Tomash is ashamed too, because he has the wrong brand of runners and has to show the other pupils on the map, where his homecountry is. Teacher Cornelius is a very strict and unlikeable character, a very prussian "Hard but hearty"-Type and Captain of the Reserve.

At the boarding school he gets to befriend a 12 year old girl named Ariane. She is thin, tall and wears thick glasses (her parents are blind). Ariane is an outsider just like Tomash. He gets to trust her and shows her a pear-tree that he´s found on one of his lonely walks. The Tree is very important to the boy, who likes plants a lot.

The tree is basically his only friend until now. Tomash and Ariane smoke cigars together, they´ve bought in a local shop. Nearby they see a man planting some poles in order to build a fence around some stables and a shack. It is Dieter, a baldheaded guy with a big mustache in his early 40s. The children have seen him before: when Tomash blew up an ant-hive with small firecrackers in front of Ariane, Dieter came by and told the boy not to hurt small and helpless creatures.

The children get picked up on Saturdays by their parents to spend the weekend at home. One Saturday Tomash has to remain in the Boarding School for his mother has no time or finds no driver to collect him. Next weekend Jana picks him up. The driver of the sportscar is her new lover, black Ex-GI Ronnie. Also in the car is Jana´s father, a seedy drunkard, who hardly says a word. On their way back they buy a turkey. Ronnie wants to treat them to a real american Thanksgiving-dinner. The man, who sells the turkey, is Dieter. Friendly he waves at the boy, who´s waiting in the car. Tomash turns away.

Back at the restaurant, which has been renamed and redecorated, much to the disliking of the old conservative houseowner-lady. Jana´s good friend Claudia, a pretty call-girl and the 2 Rapps (Father and son) help with the last preparations for the reopening party. Old Rapp works with the Brewery, which supplies Jana with beer etc. Both, he an his son, make a pass at Jana, who turns them down. She is in love with Ronnie, though she thinks he´s a naive dreamer and a nerd when it come to business.

The party hasn´t really started when the houseowner already calls for the police -the music is too loud. Jana always freaks when she sees uniforms. The Party goes down the drain. Jana might lose the restaurant, the locals have already sent a petition to Mr Rapp of the Brewery. Jana gets hysteric. During the trouble with the cops, Tomash´s grandpa urinates into the boy´s Stereo and Ronnies pop corn burns in the kitchen.

That night Tomash hears Jana and Ronnie making love. He looks at the postcards that his father sends him every now and then from Czechia.

Jana told Tomash, that his dad has a show on the radio. The boy starts searching thru the channels, find a czech voice. Later Ronnie and Jana have a harsh argument. He can´t take it anymore. In the morning after some shouting in front of the house he leaves her. The Houseowner-lady watches with a happy glare.

Tomash, wo watched everything from the window, aims at the old lady´s appletree with his air-gun. He shoots the fruits, knowing they´ll rot in no time. And it just looks like worm-holes, his voice (in the Off) explains.

Jana pities herself. In the kitchen she pretends to slash her wrist, another one of her fake-suicide atempts. Tomash stares at her, he doesn´t know how to cope with this. They have an argument. He says, he wants a normal mother, a nice caring woman -just like Claudia. Claudia just happens to enter the kitchen.

Jana accuses her of trying to steal her son. Claudia is puzzled. She sees Jana´s light wound and gives her some first aid.

The boy is driven back to the boarding school by Claudia. Jana is in the car, too. She tries to explain her problems to the boy, but he gives her a cold goodbye.

Tomas is playing with Peter Mayen, the boy he whacked on the head earlier. They have an unspoken peace-agreement. Now the play with toy soldiers. Peter suddenly grabs a box of darts and starts throwing them at Tomash, who is hit in the foot.

Tomash, Ariane and Peter decide to go for some adventure and sneak into Dieter´s shack near Tomash´s pear-tree. Ariane waits at the fence. She is to alarm the boys in case Dieter should come back with his pick-up truck. The boys find a porn magazine. The woman having sex with a black guy looks a bit like Jana, says Peter. Tomash tears up the pages and urinates on them. There´s also newspaper clippings, that portray Dieter as a robber, who spent 8 years in jail. When Peter starts shooting at the turkey with a toy-gun Ariane shouts at him. The three have an argument. Tomash defends Ariane´s point of view. Dieter´s truck comes back. The kids just manage to escape.Tomash and Ariane flee onto the nearby pear-tree. They´re afraid and hold each other tight. The situation changes as Ariane shows Tomash her small breasts.

Tomash can´t react appropiately. He shows the girl a childish trick: playing with his spittle. Ariane wants to kiss him. Tomash climbs down the tree and runs away.

Tomas enters the gym with the ugly sneakers his father sent him by mail.

The boys do a sports contest -some kind of race. Ariane watches Tomash´s efforts. They look at each other. Suddenly Mrs von Marwinski, who runs the Boarding school, enters and asks Ariane to follow her out.

When Tomash meets her at her room she´s already packed all her belongings.

Arianes´s blind parents take her out of the school. Tomash is very disappointed and also angry. He feels betrayed and rejects the girl´s proposal to become pen-friends. Still he helps her to carry the suitcases to the car. As she drives off he watches her trhu a window, where he is watering the plants. The children wave each other godbye.

Tomash and Peter Mayen break into a department-store. Tomash climbs thru an open window and opens the door for fattish Peter. Peter is interested in money. Tomash rather destroys the goods on display. They hear a security guard with a dog aproaching. Peter enters an elevator to make his escape. But Tomash just sits down on chair. He´s ready for whatever is to come.

At the police headquarter´s juvenile crime department, Tomash is interrogated by Detective Blessing who compares the boy to the terrorists on a poster. Blessing is a very nasty cold character. He has the boy locked up in a little cell, that used to be a shower-room. The installations are still there. Later, Tomash hears his mother shouting outside. She wants back her son and curses at Blessing, who simply calculates the figures for the fine of each curseword. She is frantic. Tomash hears his mother´s voice and desperately bangs against the door. Finally Jana leaves brokenhearted. Sometime later that afternoon Tomash is released.

He walks home to find the two Rapps removing the Brewery´s sign from the wall of the building. A note on the restaurant´s door reads "Closed". Later the two Rapps and Jana get drunk in the restaurant. She has apparently lost her Restaurant Licence. Tomash wanders around thru the darkness. As if sleepwalking he crosses a road with heavy traffic. The car-drivers blow their horn, trying to avoid the boy. He finds himself near his pear-tree. He run towards the tree, climbs up and finds a sleeping position. Dreamlike surreal image of the naked boy, who is slowly covered by leaves, that fall from the tree.

Early next morning autumn drizzle wakes the boy. He shiveres. Suddenly he sees Dieter. The man calls him down. The boy refuses. Dieter walks off only to return with a chain-saw, forcing the boy to climbs down the tree. Otherwise he´d chop down the tree. Dieter grabs the still naked boy and drags him towards his hut. Tomash screams like an animal. Dieter is angry because Tomash and his friends broke into his hut. Now he´ll teach the boy a lesson. He forces the kid into one of his small turkey cages. Dieter talks calmly to the angry. Tomash tells him, he hates him, and that adult always abuse their power when it comes to children.

Tomash starts to cry bitterly. Dieter ist surprised and touched. He releases the boy and offers him his friendship. But Tomash is still angry and starts knocking down pieces of the furniture and stuff.

Dieter only intervenes, as Tomash starts banging against the birds´ cages. Dieters explains: the birds are for us to eat, not to torture. He gives the boy new clothes and in order to celebrate their new friendship they butcher a turkey.

The beheaded animal flutters thru the compound. Tomash -at first horrified- laughs with Dieter as they try to catch the dying animal.

They´re eating. Tomash asks Dieter if he wouldn´t want to become his new father. Then he tells Dieter about the police and Blessing. He´s afraid of being sent to a borstal. Dieter calms him down.

Dieter drives the boy home in his pick-up truck. Next time he´ll get to know the boy´s mother, Dieter promises.

Tomash enters the apartment thru the open door. No sounds to be heard, no answers. He finds Jana half dead on the floor. This suicide attempt is no fake.

Realizing she took pills, he fills a glass with water and salt and forces the mixture down Jana´s throat. He tries 999, engaged. Then calls up Claudia.

In order to find out what pills Jana took, he searches a drawer and finds a collection of postcard -the same kind of cards his dad sends him from czechia.

There is also czech stamps and a postal rubber stamp. Tomash realizes, that his mother and not his father sent him the postcards. (Jana wanted to expres her love that way and also give the boy thru his father something to hang on to).

Claudia arrives, drives Tomash and Jana to hospital. The boy hugs his mother.

Jana remains at the hospital. Claudia drives Tomash home. He asks her to stay.

The two in Jana´s bed. Claudia in clothes, the boy in his pyjama. She holds the boy having him conjugate some Latin for school. When he falls asleep she leaves.

Tomash in hospital, waiting for his mother. Suddenly a door opens and Jana comes running followed by a doctor. Jana and Tomash make their escape to a taxi-stand and drive home. She explains: those jerks wanted to put me in a loony´s home.

In the empty restaurant. They talk about everything and find their love for each other. Jana admits that she wrote all those "czech" postcards.

Dusk. Mother and son have an improvised party. They dance to german schlager schmaltz in the restaurant´s garden section. Dieter pays a visit and gets to know and to like Jana. The old houseowner lady comes by and tells Jana to get out by next weeks. But Jana still laughs. Then her laughter turns into crying. Dieter and Tomash console her.

They move out. The two Rapps wave goodbye.

Tomash in his boarding school. He packs his gear in order to leave.

Peter Mayen waves goodbye. The head of the school hands Tomash an envelope, a letter from Ariane.

Jana and Dieter convert his shack into a garden grill restaurant.

Tomash on the pear-tree reading Ariane´s letter. He realizes (OFF) there actually are people who care about him. Finally the pears are ripe. He eats one.

© Viktor Pavel 2017