Trees. White blur. Blue sky.
v/o of exchange between man and young female
Slowly move your eyes that way. And that. What can you see?
Stuff. Grass. Sky.
When was the last time you had sex?
Six years ago.
Tell me the last time someone said something positive. In your view.
Recently. My sister.
And how do you feel about that?
She’s my sister.
Are you telling me the truth?
I can’t think of a reason to.
In bed. Female S and Male.
What are you up to?
Where are you going?
What are you going to nowhere for?
Train. Music. Headphones. Passes suburbs. TV at station. ‘Extremists. Syria. Blah Blah. She looks up. Looks away. Hip Hop blaring. Kids playing on train. School uniform. She glances them as they pass in the aisle. Looks back out window.
S picked up from train station by sister and car of young kids. Piggy backs. Pillow fights.
Bed jumping. Teeth brushing. Bed. Book reading.
Good-bye scene kids/sister.
Packs up home.
Yeah. Sure. No. I’m fine. I’ll be fine.
Bathroom. S and man. Man speaking.
Are these the ears that God gave you?
Is this the nose that God gave you?
Did Jacob bring you these teeth?
I smell Allah right here.
Oh an agnostic mole….
Mirror. Hug. She’s uncomfortable. Half smile.
Waiting on the side of the road. Runs back in. Grabs something. Rain. Looking out rear. Suburbs. Just her eyes. Check in. Eating at the airport. Watching. Flicks through mags. Moves things around in a book shop.
Bags being checked. Security and her checking each other out.
Check in scene hotel. Reception.
Yes. Just two nights. Oh yes. Hands over passport. Oh ok. Great. Thanks for that.
Takes bags upstairs. Sits on the side of the bed after unpacking. Watch her unpack. Arranges things neatly in bathroom and cupboard. Particular. Looks out window of high rise hotel.
Taxi. Middle Eastern country.
Where would you like to go?
Quickly skims travel book.
Where are you from?
Australia. Yes. Yes. Appears pre-occupied. Looks out window. Other world. Radio music playing.
Drop me off here if you can. Pays. Thanks. Thanks.
We see her at resplendent mosque. It dwarfs her and she walks around amongst tourists. Scene getting dressed. We see her look at the inlay and discover the walls. She is in another world. She looks around. Thinks a bit. Hails a taxi.
Ah can you take me to the new bit. The museums.
Scenes outside window. Watch her move her hands. Cross legs. Cut to front seat. Him looking at her in rear vision. Drops her off.
Can you stay here for a bit?
Sure no problem. How long?
Half an hour.
Moves around new modernist museum. Touches things. Looks at art. Sly jokes with the security guards. Gets to the bookshop and turns around. Goes out the doors. Taxi drives up.
Let’s have a look around.
Drives up to luxurious hotel.
I used to work here.
Do you want to have a look?
Not really. Lets just go through.
They check out the large lobby, extensive gardens, patrons getting into cars.
Yeah thanks that might be enough.
He turns car music up loudly. Hip hop. We see her smile for the first time. Closes her eyes.
He turns it up. Smiles.
What’s your name?
She nods smiling eyes closed
Labourers in heat. She is talking to driver in car.
Well someone is building all this. You guys right?
My Dad had a lifetime visa and he gave it to me.
How many of you in the accommodation?
Eight to a room.
She turns and looks out into the dark. People moving about getting on buses.
It would be hot right?
How much do you get paid?
Jesus fucking Christ
Pulls face. See her driving through the early morning, near the airfield, and past the luxury villas.
Lots of British here.
And Australians. The history right. The British were here, right? Good wages. Nice villas.
Did you see the Palace?
Beautiful. I saw it across the water.
You like Abu Dhabi?
Yes. It is very quiet.
It is where the money is. Old families. Where are you staying?
Very nice. You want to ride on a camel?
No thanks. But if you know where the airfield is let me know
He looks at her and then rings someone on his phone. They talk for a bit.
What do you do?
She looks at him.
They travel in silence.Views of the houses as they head to hotel.
See her dropped off.
Walks to hotel beach. Swims. Lies in sun. Mosque across water etc. Close up face looking up into sun. Crinkled. Pensive. Observing those around her staff etc. Waiters. Music as background. Earphones in one ear. Explodes into sound. Contrast with surrounds. She and black waiter look at each other and away.
Early morning chauffeured car.
No I want to go here
There? What for?
I just want a look.
There’s nothing to see.
Just a look.
Stop here. Why aren’t we on the other road?
It’s quicker this way.
I want to go on the old one.
This is quickest.
But it isn’t the new highway
I am telling you
It is taking longer.
View her looking at poles, consulting a map.
You should stop here.
I don’t want to.
It is where all the Russians
No. I want to go further down.
Why do you want to come here?
See her in the viewing castle on the right side. Looking over the mouth of the Gulf.
I am going to stay here.
They argue over money. He leaves in a huff. She hires a car. We watch her fill car at petrol station and move around the new pipeline area. Stops. Takes notes. Checks maps on iPad. Battery goes flat. Shakes her head. Buys paper map and consults regularly.
See her check into nice hotel. looking over Gulf. View of the lights at night. She sits and drinks wine looking out over Gulf. Rubs her face. Content. Exhausted.
Bathing in the sea the next morning. Water. Light. She looks long over glistening water. This is all slow languid, contrast to her other behaviour. Ships moving slowly behind her.
See her putting pictures together of the Persian Gulf pipelines. Tents in the dust as she drives. Looks in rear vision mirror. Stops. Consults map. Keeps driving.
Looks at map of Oman and South Farujah.
Getting off plane. Bahrain. Straight to museum. Touches the map floor. She is looking for something. See her at mosque. Fatima writes Koran inscription in her Koran. They smile at one another.
Argues with driver.
Let me have a look. Why did you take me this way, I wanted to go around this way.
Looks back at naval base
No, I don’t want to I need to get into the interior.
Arrives hotel. See them looking under cars for bombs, arrival of VIP’s in cars in hotel.
Naval Cadets graduation. In hotel lobby. She looks at the whole scene. Families etc.
Goes to room. Looks out over pool. Opens balcony. Rests chin on rail. Watches water until it goes dark. Again, savouring the view, almost proximity to water.
See her amongst oil biz/interior in car. On highway. Bumping around in taxis, throwing out orders where to turn etc. Reality of excavation.
Sobbing uncontrolled by pool. Face covered with towel.
Scene bubble bath.
Looks immersed in thought. Perplexed. Runs hands over side of bath. Can see view of Gulf from bath.
Christmas Day. Hotel. Young man ushers her into car.
Welcome to Qatar.
Thankyou. And your name is?
Isa. Can you just follow those trucks for a bit I need to see a few things.
Looking very much like Jude in Passage To bumps around in a little car around area, base. Laughing as they go one way, hit a roadblock, go past a base, on beach with locals, eating dust. Talking as they drive. How many kids etc married etc. He is bemused/amused looking at her.
Would you like to look at the Canals?
Canals? Sure. Tomorrow. I’m just a bit beat today.
Checks into hotel. No hot water.
Cock sucking jerks.
Storms down to reception.
Two girls behind her.
Subtitles: Merry Xmas sweetness. They laugh. I have never seen a European before. Laugh again. She gives them a dirty look. Mutters
Go fuck yourself arseholes.
Woman at reception interrupts
Madam we have upgraded you to a better room.
She looks uncomfortable after the last exchange.
Goes back to room. Has a massive room with a view of the city. Collapses on bed. Looks to ceiling in thought. Wrestling with the contradictions.
Lies awake trying to work it out.
Isa waits for her patiently outside the hotel next morning.
Yes. She is wearing a pantsuit, silk top and flat shoes.
Views of them around the city. New built area, canal, taking photos, shopping centre, base, workers on the public works, bus shelter, eating near bus shelter, gold market etc, old mosque, Museum of Islamic Art.
See them sitting out looking over water as sun goes down.
Do you need anything else?
No. That was fantastic. Thankyou.
Children riding past on bikes. Green vibrant grass. Families, tourists etc.
I hope we could help you in some way.
She smiles. Looks away.
Thanks. I learnt alot. Thanks for taking me
It’s no problem.
They pack up and slowly fades with lights of water/city.
Cut to breakfast view just of waiter. S asking questions. Sumptuous spread. She is very much the privileged guest.
His face view. Fills screen.
and i come here oh I am from I think it is oh you must go it has the best food. really wonderful fruit. and there is alot of happening.
Oh yes we know all about him you know about our batsman very good and he has been smart because
Loud noise plane goes over. They stop. She stares as it moves through sky.
Do you like it here? Good tips?
Travelling by car through Iran. Large rocks. Dry. Goes past Bushrer. Talks to guys fishing. Gets pulled up by police.
Where are you from? Take me to Shiraz. Travelling huh? What are you doing on this back road? Having a look. Alright you can go. Laughs.
She looks at the fishing boats moving quietly on the pier near Bushrer.
South Pars father, son and grandfather on beach having dinner/tea. Beach. She is in car watching. She looks over to North Pars and there is flashback of her driving up to those gates across water.
See her driving in the dark through gas oil areas. South Pars/Iran. Very dramatic. Hades feel to it. Lights. Gets lost. Getting frantic as getting darker. No petrol and trying to find way off highway.
Hey is there anywhere I can sleep around here?
Men on motorbikes. Small town. Sure. Sure. Follow me. Take her to an old house. Wait here. She waits unsure what is about to happen.
Man This is Mayor
Man with smiling face puts his head in window.
Takes her through winding streets to his house.
She waits as they prepare food. They sit together with young boy and girl and eat. Western TV on in the background. Little conversation as she doesn’t speak Farsi and he doesn’t speak English. The wife takes a photo of her and smiles. She is unsure whether this is for security purposes.
Subway. Dubai. Getting off. Looking at maps. Laughter from the carriages. Gets off.
Crowd at Xmas Eve Mass. In garage. Watch service. She walks back and catches water taxis to old area and then gets off. Walking through diplomatic area.
You want a ride?
Sure. Where are you from?
v/o as she is looking out window and the latest attack in Syria…Western intervention
Anything I can do
hands her a card
Looks at him as he drives off in battered car.
Phone conversation in hotel
It’s terrible about Syria.
She is quickly trying draw on maps
What did you do Christmas Day?
Went to the races.
Flashback horses around field early morning
I hope that’s not all
I was up early
Flashback endurance vets etc lobby
See her looking at map Turkey/Kurds/Syria and then back into region she is in.
Are you meeting anyone?
Yes. Some nice people.
Flashback: taxi drivers, hotel reception – your hotel has been paid for. She looks around wondering who paid for it.
Image comes through from home at Christmas feast, kids, pull faces, kisses computer.
Bye Bye eat some chocolate flummery for me
Phone conversation later. V/O as she is walking through large shopping centre in city, labourers building outside glass skyway
Can you explain
No I can’t.
Why is it important
I don’t really see why
Where will you
I don’t know
Half crooked smile, grimace. She looks uncomfortable in the surrounds and awkwardly leaves. Bag half thrown around the shoulder. Ends conversation.
Looks out onto street. Just see road and traffic. Hear the sound of her footsteps on the pavement. People on phones, linking arms, gossiping, young women walking.
See her panting on bed. Alone. Face. Sound of the panting is deafening. Like a throb. Hear the throb of the heart. Hands shaking. Fade to black.
Family celebration.Flashback. Country home. Marquee.
He’s doing extremely well
Third on the way
Assistant director at this small theatre
I don’t know how she juggles it all
They’ve bought up property on the Northern side of
Yeah I mean I think it is all part of the Northern
How much did you get for that?
The problem was when they started selling the national
The poles and wires
And then to top it all off they have to decide how to divide the property between
She’s better now, in remission and they have trained nurses
Oh thank goodness
They’ve got this massive forward pack
So then he goes to get the tractor out and bogs the new truck
I saw you last night
It was a ghost
I think he will be alright
Does she need glasses because
Oh shit no
Because god isn’t that a brutal wake-up
And then when he turned around I took off
Only forty k’s
Oh it’s ridiculous
And then he had the audacity to say
How the hell are people going to travel that far?
The roses look fantastic mine always look like someone dragged a bag over
We’ll drain the pool
I might as well I’m the only one who cleans it
Tell me about it
Did you get to the wedding in Dubai?
Nothing out there. Bloody sand!
Burj Khalifa with all your mates
Apparently with links to the royal family
Bullshit. She’s probably a maid from Sri Lanka with Russian connections
Only 2000 in the immediate family
Mum! The kids need nose jobs!
You’re a bunch of uneducated
Need to build a ski slope out here
We’ll freeze the weir!
Cold beer at the bottom.
I’d go over but I’ll end up with a Filipino maid
His name is Manuel
Cut to piano late at night. Everyone quietly listening, some packing up, singer joining in. Others join. Back to solo. Trails off.
Slowly pack up say goodnight.
It was such a great night
No well I wouldn’t have done it without all the help I had and the people lucky we had that lamb because
And those two arguing out there like two old men
Didn’t have a beautiful voice? I’m just so glad she’s got the confidence now to do it
We’re a lucky lot
I’m just glad they finally got rain
And can’t you tell
Great to have you kids around
Grave. Walks into country cemetery. Silos in background. She looks uncomfortable. Not sure what to do. Lies down. See sky POV.
Dream sequence. Sister and S. Bed.
We had our differences
What differences (tears streaming down face)
Don’t cry, it is her birthday
Doctor’s office. Sister and S.
So what do you I think I should do
What you should do?
I don’t know
Sister looks through her
Do you want some jelly
Ha a shard
Tears roll down face on bed close up.
Country shop. S and owner.
Hi gorgeous! Looking beautiful as per usual
Now come on
What are you eating out here? There must be a Swiss clinic out here
What is he feeding you at home
Work that’s what he is feeding me
Five star women looking like European royalty
Please. I went to this amazing concert just amazing playing with you know, the best in the world and we had these seats right in the middle
And I said well why don’t we try and meet him backstage
And we managed to slip through the back and there he was!
Oh my god
So I said we come from this small town so would you like to join us for dinner
Oh my god no!
And so off we went to this small Italian in the side of the middle there right near the old basement and got home at 4am!
You’ve got to be kidding me
I mean seriously at my age!
You loved every minute of it
I had to tell you, I mean it’s not every day you get to hang with the best of the best
You are too much
Letting her out a bit too much I think
How did you manage that?
And not only that, he actually played with her in Malaysia
Choir. Backdrop. Kids. Adults visibly upset.
Thin figure turns and looks. Her sister.
She looks around. Slowly leaves.
Driving out stops cars and bawls.
Kid beside her not sure what to do. Zoom in on his face.
She is bawling on wheel.
Scene of TV comedian humour/stand-up/play
S frowns. Walks away.
Why are you leaving?
You sound like everyone else.
It just sounds like everything I have heard before.
I mean, if you want to use my IP while congratulating yourself on being the dramaturg of the Century go for it.
What are you
Always so protective of you.
You’re so cool. Don’t.
See her wearing leather jacket looks out into dark alone
What do we get from all this coolness? I mean what do we get?
Cafe two women talking. S sitting beside them.
And you know I feel so alone.
And the mortgage
Yeah. The mortgage.
You know the pressure
I just feel also that she didn’t really treat me like she should
I mean, what did I do to her? She’s immature and we’re busy renovating the investment property that Craig bought
Camera turns faces her. Looks through her.
Voice becomes background she is just staring into the cold and wind.
Sister. Aunt. Mother.
See her fold up clothes getting dressed.
Scene with mother
Where are you going?
What would I go out for?
I was just interested
I heard there was a good film
We’ll need to go over and sort out things tomorrow with
Yes. Yes I know
Because otherwise we won’t have time
They are doing good things and helping the people of
See you tomorrow. Come up for breakfast.
Mutters to car.
Hands shaking, body trembling storms to road. Tries to compose herself. Mutters driving in car. Yelling and silent monologue. Tears.