Emotional Arithmetic (2007) Movie Script

"If you ask me, do I believe in God?
" Forgive me if I answer,
'Does God believe in me? '"
Derndel. Derndel.
Dinner's ready!
Dinner's ready.
Storm coming.
Not that anyone listens, but I warned them.
- Hi, Mom.
- Excuse me, you forgot something.
- Good morning, Mom.
- Good morning, sweetie.
Have you seen your father around?
He's gone into town.
He had a lunch at the university, remember?
No, he didn't tell me.
I wonder which of his fawning grad
students the old goat is fucking this time.
Mom, please.
Oh, Benjamin. Benjamin, I'm sorry.
You're always caught right between
the crazy bitch and a moral bankrupt.
It's not fair. I'm really sorry, sweetie.
You look great.
- Really?
- Well, actually, Mom, I...
What is the thing that you like
most about me today? Hmm?
- I can't decide with my eyes closed.
- Oh, yes, you can.
Your wicked tongue.
Very good.
Oh, my God.
It's Jakob. It's my Jakob.
He answered my letter.
"Melanie. Yes, the Jakob Bronski
"you read about is the man you think.
" I am your Jakob, as you say.
To my surprise, I am still alive.
" Older than the man you once knew,
but I cannot imagine not seeing again
"my little American girl from Cleveland."
Jakob, Jakob. She's American.
She's from a place called Cleveland.
- And does the American have a name?
- Melanie Lansing.
How do you do, Melanie?
I am Jakob Bronski from...
Well, too many places to mention.
I hope we both live one week more,
so you can teach me
to speak real American English, huh?
That woman is not supposed to be driving,
not with the medication she's taking.
Okay. Jesus, be careful! This is an antique.
Now lift it up, can you?
What's the matter,
are you a weakling or something?
- Is that high enough?
- That's better.
Thank you.
You're doing great. Yeah.
There, there!
- You okay?
- Of course I'm okay.
We can take a break. We're not in a hurry.
No. No, that's good here.
Mom loves the spot over there.
She thought it would make it feel more like
a celebration on Jakob's first night.
All right.
- How long is he going to stay?
- I don't know any more than you do.
It's typical. She hasn't seen the man
since she was a kid,
they exchange a couple of letters,
and she invites the stranger into our home.
I mean, he could have, God knows,
all kinds of medical problems,
not to mention his mental condition.
He sounded fine in the letters.
Besides, he's not a total stranger.
Thirty-five years in the Gulag,
he's a stranger, trust me.
It'll be good for her, Dad.
- Dr. Levin said...
- Don't you " Dr. Levin" me.
Dr. Levin and his good intentions.
Nothing I hate more than good intentions.
Oh, my gosh, you are a giant.
I wasn't sure if I just made that up or,
or what.
Oh, my. What happened to your hand?
Oh, long ago.
It's nothing. Punishment for stealing food.
- Does it frighten you?
- No, no.
It's been so long.
Yes. I brought you a present.
Hello, Melanie.
I would have recognized you anywhere.
- What are you doing here?
- Well, I heard that Jakob Bronski,
Poet of the Gulag, had been freed.
I contacted him in Paris.
I decided to come with him,
spur of the moment kind of thing.
I hope I'm not unwelcome.
I don't know what to say.
Your hair is, it's redder than I remember.
Well, you look different, too.
- It suits you.
- Thank you.
Chit-chat later. Come on.
- How is it now?
- Oh...
Masterly done.
Just in time.
- Who the hell's that?
- I don't know.
Looks like your mother picked up a stray.
Here, let me help you, come.
Mr. Bronski.
Jakob, please.
No, don't worry, don't worry.
David Winters. Welcome.
Thank you.
This is Christopher. Christopher Lewis.
Well, well. The legendary Christopher Lewis.
I was beginning to think you were just
a figment of Melanie's imagination.
I hope I'm not intruding.
- Of course not. You're most welcome.
- Thank you.
Oh, and this is Benjamin. Our son.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
- Nice to meet you, Benjamin.
- Nice to meet you, too.
- You live in a paradise.
- Just don't look too closely. It's a money pit.
Damn place is falling about our ears.
Interesting looking beasts.
- Do you milk them?
- Hardly. They're boy cows.
We just fatten them up
and sell them for slaughter.
Maybe we could put Christopher
in the guest house.
It's a good idea.
I'll just settle you in. Is this all you brought?
Yes. I'm afraid I can't stay.
I just can't believe that you're all here.
- I never thought I'd see you again.
- I'm finished!
Ah, my son. Timmy.
And what exactly did you finish, Timmy?
The carrots, I peeled them all.
So you're the man in charge of food, huh?
So we're saved.
Well, shall we?
- Here, Mom, let me take this.
- Oh, thanks.
- Are they the Russians?
- Kind of.
- Would you like to see the lake?
- Yes.
- Do you think he knows how to swim?
- I'm sure he does.
- Where are your parents?
- When I came home
they were gone and then I was taken here.
What about your parents?
You see?
It's magic.
You are now officially
one of God's chosen people.
Chosen for what, you ask?
An interesting question.
His father was always running
after the authorities, questioning everyone.
Trying to find a reason why they were there.
"Why, why, why?
" Why him? Why us, why all these people?
So, why?"
One morning, he was gone.
No explanation.
Just disappeared, you know.
Christopher just sat there in a corner,
all skin and bones. Just waited.
Wouldn't move, wouldn't talk.
I forced him to eat and to follow me around.
And then one day, you arrived
and his eyes lit up again.
He just needed to come here, you see.
And you turned into a beautiful woman.
I guess you know that.
- No.
- Yes.
Inside, too. You are very brave
and beautiful. I can see that.
Do you think they did something to us?
Oh, yes.
Bathroom's in there, and more blankets in
the closet if you get cold.
A trifle rustic, I'm afraid.
Makes a bit of a difference,
from England, right?
No, no, it's really...
It's beautiful here, thank you.
- Actually, I live in Paris.
- Paris! Oh!
So, what do you do?
- I'm an entomologist.
- Bugs?
- Insects.
- Insects. Any old insect?
- Wasps.
- Wasps, well.
You'll find lots of yellow jackets
around here.
So why Paris?
After everything that happened,
I would have thought you'd want
to be as far away as possible.
That's a good question. My work, mostly.
I did go back to Drancy once.
It's a housing estate now.
Laundry hanging from the windows,
children playing soccer.
Guess people have to live somewhere.
You've put it all behind you now, then.
Drancy, the whole experience?
- What do you mean?
- Well, I mean no tragic aura,
no black pit of depression,
no compulsive returning to the past?
I admire that. Move on, that's the trick.
So they say. So what about you?
Melanie tells me that you're
a teacher at the university?
I was. A history professor.
They made me retire last year.
I'm suing them for discrimination.
Take it all the way
to the Supreme Court if I have to.
- Why?
- Why not?
So how do you find her?
She seems
unchanged to me.
Really? She did have a difficult time.
She must've told you on the way down.
She didn't say anything about that.
I'd better let her tell you,
get it from the horse's mouth.
Anyway, it's good to have you here.
I suppose you're like a long-lost brother.
Her only family really, you and Jakob.
Does she ever talk about Drancy?
No. Not to me. Not that I haven't asked.
But, no, she won't talk about it. Not really.
Maybe she can't.
And I understand that.
- Well, if you need anything, just shout.
- Yes. Thank you.
- I'm Irish.
- Ah. And I'm American.
- What's your name?
- Melanie. And you?
- Christopher.
- Where's your star?
I'm not a Jew. I'm here by mistake.
Quick, come!
Here. This is your room.
Is that from the garden?
Yes, yes, I picked this
all from around the house
- and then over here, look, you've got...
- Wonderful.
Thank you. Some pajamas
and your toothbrush and
your slippers and shaving...
Well, I have my things, you know.
I know, but you can't have much
in that tiny little suitcase,
and I thought maybe when you're rested,
not now but when you're rested,
we could go to town
and I'll get you some proper clothes,
and maybe some shorts.
- Shorts?
- Shorts.
And here, look, this is where you can work.
Look, you can sit right here
and write and see the view.
- Oh, Melanie, I do not write anymore.
- Since when?
It was an experiment, you know.
They gave me drugs,
and all of a sudden I started writing.
It was like a river flowing out of me.
A river of words and I couldn't stop it.
But then...
They gave me electroshocks.
And, after it, I found it hard to concentrate.
The words just dried up,
and since then I haven't written anything.
So I am a...
What is the word? I'm a fraud. You know.
Well, maybe the words will
come back to you here.
This is for you. Open it.
Look there, in front.
" For Melanie, a light in the darkness."
Thank you.
Now I think I will rest.
Thank you.
- Here.
- No, no, no. I can find my feet.
You must not spoil me.
I'm not that old, just tired.
I'm just so happy that you're here.
And this is your home now, you know.
You can stay here as long as you want.
Thank you.
But now you have to talk to Christopher.
Because I've never seen a man so nervous.
On the plane he kept on talking and talking
and talking until my ears were hurting.
So shoo.
Rest well.
you keep this notebook from now, okay?
We need names, height, weight,
where they are from,
all ages, yeah?
Because we are witnesses.
Someday people will want to know
what happened here.
And we must be able to tell them.
You understand?
Come, take it.
Now to work, huh?
Christopher, you take care of her, yeah?
- Yes, Jakob.
- Okay.
"November 22nd, 1942.
" Four buses arrived at 11:15 this morning.
- "Two hundred and thirty-four adults."
- Okay, come.
"Fifty-two children."
Hey. Have you called that
beautiful mother of yours today yet?
- Yes.
- Oh? What did she have to say?
Everything's fine. She says hi.
And when is she coming?
Soon, soon, soon. You have been saying
"soon" for so many moons now.
You know, I was talking to Jakob, and
he's a little tired right now from the trip.
But I'm going to take him into town
and get him some new clothes.
So I was thinking, maybe when you get
a moment, not now but later, you could
bring up that great big dresser that's down
in the basement,
you know, and he could use that.
- Did you take your pill this morning?
- Look at that. That is amazing! That's art.
- Mom?
- That's incredible.
- Mom?
- What?
You should take your pill.
"You should take your pill."
You are so bossy. Yes, you are.
How's your father doing with all this,
by the way?
Why don't you ask him?
- He's apprehensive. What do you expect?
- About what?
About Jakob, his health,
how long he's going to stay.
And about you,
and whether you're up to it
in your condition.
- Hey, do you think I'm crazy?
- Sometimes.
That was so honest.
That is so honest I'm going to have
to bite your head off.
- No!
- Or take a big snap at your fingers.
- No!
- Yes, I will!
Come here.
I'm gonna get you this time.
Look, I'm catching up.
I gotta go into town
and get some stuff for tonight.
I could do that. Let me do it.
Really, it's okay.
And I'll ask Christopher if he wants to go,
and then I could show him around town.
Don't you think that's a good idea?
Stop worrying. I'll be fine.
Hey. I'm gonna go into town and pick up
a few things. Is there anything you want?
No, no.
Oh, all these great minds,
- still fighting, still arguing.
- About what?
Now in this case, Jacob struggles
with the angel. Genesis, chapter 32.
Biblical scholars all have
different interpretations.
I mean, most see this one
as some sort of a prophetic dream,
not a real event at all.
You see, in his prophetic dream, Jacob sees
himself grappling with the angel,
but it is such a clear and tangible vision
that when Jacob wakes up,
he can actually feel
the blow inflicted on his body by the angel.
You all right with all of this?
So you're going to stop being grumpy then?
- No. Yeah.
- And being cynical,
and maybe be a little more sociable?
You're not suggesting that I tap dance
every time
someone says something wonderful
about life?
- Careful.
- Oops, sorry.
Actually, I would love to see you tap dance.
Come in.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Everything okay?
- Yes, yes, it's wonderful here.
Cows giving you any trouble?
Look, I'm going to go into the village
and pick up a few things for dinner.
I thought maybe you'd wanna take a ride?
- That would be wonderful, thank you.
- Okay.
I can't believe that...
That you've become a farmer.
I'm not a farmer,
it's David's kind of hobby, you know, and...
I should probably
help him out a lot more than I do
since he had a heart attack in the spring,
and he's not supposed to do too much,
but you know, he doesn't listen to anybody.
And I'm always afraid I'm gonna find him,
I don't know, dead,
alone out in front of
a cow somewhere or something.
He's going to be 70 next month.
But it sounds like
you've got a really good life here.
Oh, we do, we do, it's, you know, we're two
old warriors on the battlefield of marriage.
We wouldn't know what to do
without each other.
So you're happy? Together?
Can we go see the frogs now?
- Frogs?
- He told me he would.
- You told him you would?
- Yes, I did.
Why don't you ask your grandfather,
'cause we're going to go
into town and get some stuff for dinner.
- I can't believe you have a grandson.
- I can't believe it either.
If you are about to request a visitation
with our friends the frogs,
the moment is not good.
So how's your sex life?
Well, that's fairly blunt.
Well, there's no point
beating around the bush as they say.
Well, most of my friends are wasps...
- What?
- I mean, the ones that buzz.
How did that happen? That is so
weird. Come on, there have been girls.
I bet you've dated lots of girls.
Have you ever been in love?
Yeah. Once.
Really. Well, what happened?
She, um... She married someone else.
What are you doing?
- Hold on.
- Jesus Christ.
- Hello, Christopher.
- Hello, Melanie.
Goddamn son of a bitch,
bastard piece of shit!
- Did you have a good rest?
- Yes. I slept.
I envy you, you know.
- Yes, all this.
- Oh, yeah, life is easy here.
- I understand Melanie was your student.
- That's right.
No, I envy you living out your life
with someone you love.
Oh, yes, yes, of course.
I'm not quite sure if it's about love anymore.
Sorry to disappoint you.
No, no, don't be sorry.
Hello, Juliet.
Let's get something special for Jakob.
Maybe caviar or vodka?
- Do you think he drinks?
- Um, I don't know.
- But you know what he would like?
- What?
- Cheeseburgers.
- Really?
- Yup. And chocolate pudding.
- And cookies.
I know he'd like that.
And we have to get asparagus.
- Why, if it isn't Melanie Winters!
- Jane. How are you?
- I'm just great.
- Great.
I didn't know you were out.
Yes, I escaped.
People are looking for me right now.
- You look just fabulous.
- Thanks.
Who's your friend?
Aren't you going to introduce us?
Right. Sorry.
Jane Radley, one of David's conquests.
And this is Christopher.
We were at camp together.
- Christopher Lewis. Nice to meet you.
- What a cute accent!
So what do you think
of our provincial little town?
- It's very nice.
- I know. Pretty pokey.
But it's home.
Great seeing you. Very nice to meet you.
- You, too.
- Say hi to David.
Sure. Bitch.
- At camp?
- Well, what do you say?
I mean, we met at Drancy.
Drancy, which is a camp.
I mean, nobody knows.
If it was Dachau or Auschwitz maybe,
but a little transit camp outside of Paris,
nobody's ever heard of it.
We're second-rate survivors.
What do you say?
I say I was at Drancy with Melanie.
Well, it works when you say it.
- This is stupid.
- Why?
Because you're not supposed
to separate the yolk from the white.
That's not why eggs were invented.
Son of a bitch!
Are you all right?
- That wasn't loaded.
- No, I found the bullets and loaded it.
No need to worry.
I never held one of these before.
- Wasn't this the gun that won the wild west?
- Something like that.
I'll just take that. Thank you. Put it away.
I used to hunt with the
director of the psychiatric clinic.
Really? He trusted you with a gun?
Oh, yes. I was his tame Jew.
I see.
That lady back there, Jane.
What did she mean when she said she didn't
know that you were out?
She loved your cute little accent.
David said that you'd been...
That you'd had a troubled time.
Seemed to think you might tell me about it.
There's a comfy little clinic
that I check into every now and then
when I'm having a breakdown.
What kind of breakdown?
How many different kinds
of breakdowns are there?
I'm sorry.
It's okay.
- Are you all right?
- Yeah, I'm all right. It's okay.
She's okay. I think I should drive.
- Thought I heard a shot.
- That man's a maniac!
No wonder they stuck him in a loony bin!
- Jakob?
- Yes, Jakob! Who the hell else?
He found my rifle
and was taking potshots in the barn.
Can you believe it?
- Dad, calm down.
- Calm down? We'll all be...
We'll all be dead by morning,
shot in our beds.
I don't care who the hell he is.
He's dangerous. I want him out of here.
I know, I know. I'll be accused
of being a heartless, fascist animal,
but that's the way it's got to be.
Where's Timmy?
He's in his room.
Being a victim of some terrible apocalyptic
event does not make you a saint.
Doesn't work that way.
I know that's the crazy equation that's been
ruling our house for God knows how long,
but it's a crazy equation, nonetheless.
It's gotta stop.
Ben, he's got death written all over him.
- Oh, come on, Dad.
- I can smell it on his clothes.
Oh, wonderful. Apart from everything else
she's not taking her crazy pills.
I tried, can't force it down her throat.
Excuse me,
but, tell me, are these shoes for running?
Yeah, well, kind of.
Oh, good. Very good because...
This is the foot of a young boy in Moscow,
my neighbor.
While I was waiting for my visa,
and he asked me if I could
send him some shoes just for running.
I didn't know there was such a thing.
Tell me, where can I buy shoes like that?
Pretty much any shoe store.
I can go with you to get some if you like.
- Yes, thank you very much.
- Excuse me.
It's okay. It's okay.
Breathe slowly.
In and out.
That's it. That's it.
Why did you come?
I came for Jakob.
To see that he got here all right.
- I owed him that.
- Why did you come?
I came to see you.
To see how your life worked out.
I wasn't exactly...
I wasn't ready to see you.
- I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Melanie...
- Did you think that you could just...
You know, come here,
and just out of the blue
after all this time and I would just...
Nothing would happen?
- I'm sorry, I didn't... I just didn't...
- You see, I was drowning.
And David said
he wanted to take care of me.
He knew how messed up I was,
but he said it was okay,
- that he still wanted to take care of me.
- I could've taken care of you.
No, I... I was already married
when I got your letter.
Do you understand?
I was going to have a baby.
It was... It was just too late. It was just,
it was just that simple. It was too late.
- I could have loved you.
- No, don't say that! Stop it!
I mean, don't you know how hard it was
for me to get my life together
after all this time? Don't you know, without
you, how hard it was for me,
to get my life together? Don't you know?
Don't you know that?
I want to go home... I want to go home.
I need to go home.
Melanie. Melanie Lansing.
- Nationality?
- American.
You must be handed
to the American authorities.
Christopher Lewis.
- Christopher Lewis.
- And what is your nationality, Christopher?
- I'm Irish.
You're free now.
- We're from the Red Cross.
- Sorry, but you will have to wait.
- What?
- This way please.
No! No! No, but, I don't want... No!
- Christopher!
- Melanie!
- Christopher!
- Melanie!
Don't let go! I'm not losing you!
- Don't touch her! Melanie!
- Christopher!
- Christopher!
- Melanie!
- Christopher...
- Melanie!
We are the Red Cross.
- Melanie?
You're on a farm here. You gotta get
used to a little shit on your shoes.
- Hey, what's the matter with him?
- Nothing.
Did you have an argument?
What's going on?
You are a baker as well.
I'm trying to.
She writes letters.
Keeps track of all the names and numbers
of all the political victims of oppression.
You're in there somewhere.
Let's see...
There's a picture of you.
You, Mom and Christopher, in Drancy.
First time I saw this picture I thought...
I thought you were my grandfather.
- Come in.
- We have to talk.
- Can't it wait?
- No, not really. It's Jakob.
I found him in the barn this afternoon
with my gun. He's not stable.
Of course he's not stable! Look at his life!
Melanie, I know what he means to you,
and I understand, but we're not equipped
to look after a crazy old man.
I'm not asking you to do anything,
- I'll look after him.
- It's you I'm worried about.
Old and painful memories.
I'm sorry, I think he should go.
You're not serious.
The man survives Auschwitz,
a Russian work camp,
and a psychiatric hospital.
Now you're telling him that he has to go
because he might stir up painful memories?
I owe him my life!
He's not going anywhere. He's now part
of this family and you better get used to it!
Do you love me?
What do you think? Of course I do.
Then why don't you ever say it?
Please, Melanie. No, no, no. Don't do that.
Don't do that, please.
I love you.
How old were you
when you first got to know?
I was 11.
Came back from school...
My mother had left the book on the table.
I was alone, so I opened it.
Found this picture.
My mother had never mentioned anything
to me about her childhood.
Nothing, not a word. I got scared.
All these people.
Their faces.
Their eyes.
I ran away.
Later my father found me hiding in the barn.
He took me back to his study
and told me that one day my mother
was handed over to the French authorities
and sent to this place called Drancy.
He gave me the whole Drancy lecture.
How it was set up by the French,
eager to collaborate with the Nazis
in getting rid of the Jews.
Jews like us, he said.
Last stop before the death camps.
Didn't seem real to me. I was a child.
He wasn't really talking to me,
he was talking to one of his students.
He told me about her parents.
Americans living in Paris at the time.
They were deported, never to be seen again.
The only thing I could think of
was, " Why wasn't she telling me?"
Did you ever ask her to tell you?
No, we keep on living as if
it's obvious that I know everything.
But I don't.
Now take him gently. Okay, that's it.
Okay. See how beautiful he is.
Okay. Do you want to put him...
Do you want to put him into his bed?
- Okay.
- Okay. Put him in there.
He's crawling out yours.
They're getting out.
Are you okay?
Yeah. Yeah. I'm okay.
- Where are they gone?
- They're back in here.
Okay, be careful with the nest. That's it.
I was thinking I should leave in the morning.
If that's what you want.
I think it would be better for you.
"If you ask me, do I believe in God?
" I will say, 'Not yet'
- " I have counted the perfect miracle
- " The perfect miracle
- " Of ten fingers and ten toes
- " Of ten fingers and ten toes
- " On a newborn baby
- " On a newborn baby
"And drunk the love
in your dark eyes
" Until my own eyes wept
"And yet I've seen that baby
Torn howling from his mother's breasts
" And seen a thousand more fade into smoke
" While choirs sang"
" While choirs sang"
"And flowers grew."
You forgot again, Jakob.
"And flowers grew."
" And if you ask me, Do you believe in God?
" Forgive me if I answer,
Does God believe in me?"
Dinner's ready!
Are you talking to yourself?
No, I am talking to Juliet.
- Cows can't talk.
- No. But they can listen, you know.
Is that why you stay here all the time?
I suppose.
My grandfather says
it reminds you of your jail.
Well, he might be right, you know.
My grandmother was in jail
when she was little.
That's why we have to be nice to her.
Yeah, but then you have to be
nice to me, too.
Okay. Dinner's ready.
Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- Thank you, Timmy.
Dinner's ready!
- Thank you.
- Good Scotch.
- Yeah. Single malt.
My doctor... My bloody doctor
keeps me on a strict regime.
But since we're celebrating,
I don't give a damn!
What doesn't kill you
keeps you stronger.
Down the hatch!
Have a drink, for Christ's sake. Lighten up.
We're supposed to be celebrating.
Now, what shall we drink to?
I know. To Melanie.
- Dinner's ready.
- Thank you!
Thank you very much! What's this?
Oh no, no, no! Where is it? Where is it?
Where is it? Where is it? I got you!
You'll never get my button! No, no, no!
So, Jakob.
How did you end up in a psychiatric ward?
- It's a long story. Not very interesting.
- Well, I'm interested.
I killed a man.
A prison guard.
They were taking the women prisoners out
one by one and raping them.
I expected they would kill me,
you know, but...
The judge said
I was an incurable psychopath
and instead they gave me drugs,
And other things.
- It's amazing you survived.
- I am hard to kill.
Dinner's ready! We're all waiting!
Finally. We were about to start without you.
Thank you.
I'm so lucky to be at a table
with so many handsome men.
To Jakob.
- To Jakob.
- To Jakob.
- To Jakob.
- To Jakob.
And to the miracle that brought you to us.
Bon apptit.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Looks wonderful.
- This doesn't smell good.
You know, I can never eat asparagus
without thinking of you, Jakob.
Oh? Me? Why?
Well, in this camp
we were always, always hungry.
And even if there wasn't any food, Jakob...
Jakob would sit us all down nicely
at this table and pretend to be
an imaginary waiter in a fine restaurant,
do you remember?
- With the little pretend napkin...
- With the pretend napkin over his arm.
And he would announce the items
on the menu and say,
" Tonight we have Sole Meunire,
Beef Wellington,
- "...and asparagus."
- And I always wanted dessert right away.
It was an anti-starvation therapy.
Yes, the famous death camp humor.
- I told you it was going to rain.
- It's not going to rain. Not yet anyway.
Jakob, I have a surprise for you.
Go ahead. Open it.
Help him, Christopher.
Open it, open it, open it, open it!
It's the book that you gave me
all those years ago.
I gave you a book?
It's the book that you gave me
when I first got to the camp.
I gave you a book?
Here, look.
I'll show you. It's... Okay, here it is.
" September 16, 1943, raining again.
" 512 arrived this morning.
" 247 men, 116 women,
" 48 children,
and a newborn baby in a cardboard box.
"467 left by train at 8:00 in the morning..."
You see? "Write it all down."
That's what you said.
" Be a witness because someday someone
will want to know what happened here,"
and I did. You see,
all the details, all the names,
all the ages, everything.
I put it right in here for you.
I mean, even after they took you away.
Look, I kept doing it. See, after you left?
I didn't forget. You see, you have
to remember, Jakob. I did it for you.
I remember.
I can't believe that... I don't know...
I don't know how
you've held on to it all this time.
My memory...
Since the electroshocks,
many, many things are lost, you know.
I... I'm sorry.
Melanie, he doesn't remember.
Or else, perhaps he just wants to forget.
- Forget?
- Yes. Forget. Put it behind him. Move on.
Forgetting isn't such a bad thing, you know.
No, you must remember and
fight for the living...
Or else it won't count for anything,
all of this, and it will happen
again and again, and again. That's what you
taught us, Jakob, don't you remember?
I mean, I'm right, am I not? Christopher?
I mean, if not, then, well then why?
Why are we alive? Why us?
I'm not really hungry.
Can I go to bed now?
Yes, sweetheart, I'll take you up. Come on.
Sweet dreams. Take good care of him,
and I'll see you in the morning.
And we'll have asparagus for breakfast.
You have no idea what it is to be with her.
She's... She's...
Everything that happens, happens to her.
Melanie feels the pain of the world
as if it were her very own.
- Dad.
- Jesus Christ, we have...
six million Jews living upstairs in the attic.
Along with the victims of Pol Pot,
the killing fields.
They're all there in the attic.
Next to her, suffering from a migraine
becomes an act of treason.
And it's true.
How can anyone pretend to be in
pain after all you went through?
I guess that's my story. The story of a man
who never had the right to suffer
because the pain his wife endured
was so much greater than any other.
You are an indirect victim
of the atrocities of war.
Yes, maybe. But what about us?
Your husband, your son? Your family?
Do we have to be tortured
or dead first before we matter?
Ben, that looks beautiful.
Thank you.
- Look, I'll help you bring stuff down, okay?
- It's okay.
Look, honey, I'm sorry.
Your father and I, it's okay.
It's just, it's our life. It's not yours.
What do you mean?
It's always been my life.
I'm sorry. It's not the time for this.
- Where are you going?
- Just down to the hotel.
I need to be with some strangers.
Don't wait too long, it's gonna get cold.
- It's okay, Mom.
- Okay.
I love you.
Too many numbers, too many details.
Too many smiles, too many eyes,
too many words.
I was wrong.
You were a child.
I should not have said, " Remember."
I should have said, " Live."
Melanie, I just want you to know that...
That I'm there too.
Walking through the gates of Drancy.
That was the day my life stopped.
Could you believe it?
I still miss it.
Not the... Not the inhumanity
or the barbarity or the brutality, but...
Just the sheer joy of being alive.
With you.
I never got a chance to say it.
I should never have let you go.
I was a kid.
Do you still remember us sometimes?
I'm afraid. Are we going to die?
Don't be afraid. We'll die together.
I can't sleep.
I'm afraid
if I close my eyes,
I'm afraid I won't wake up.
Well, eat.
If you don't want to die, you have to eat.
It's the only solution.
Better? No?
A beer.
Oh, uh...
You twist it.
It's good. Some kind of spice?
- Yeah, I think it's nutmeg.
- Nutmeg? Brilliant.
I saw you that day, you know.
The day you bribed the guards.
What did it take?
A pack of Lucky Strikes?
To take our names off the list
and put yours on?
I never got the chance
to say thank you, Jakob.
Two packs of Lucky Strikes.
And you're welcome.
It was a good bargain.
I was happy, you know. I am happy.
- You sacrificed your life for ours.
- It was a gift.
Thank you, Jakob.
- Good morning.
Tell them your theory about Don Quixote.
- Which one?
- You know, the one about him being Jewish.
Oh, good God, nobody wants to hear that.
Oh, yes, we do, it's fabulous.
I love when you say that.
Yeah, tell us your theory.
- Oh, right.
Yeah, come on,
tell us your theory.
Yeah, tell us your theory.
Well, it's not just my theory,
it's scholars' as well.
Cervantes calls his hero Don Quixote
the " Man of La Mancha."
Well, La Mancha is a region in Spain,
but mancha also means stain,
and the theory is
that the Spanish Inquisition were convinced
that the Neo-Christians were marked
by the blood of their Jewish ancestors.
And if you look very closely,
you'll see that the book is full of little clues
and codes and secret messages
that indicate that something
very mysterious is going on.
I mean, it's fascinating! Really!
- Good morning.
- Morning.
Good morning.
- Coffee?
Well, you just missed David's theory
on Don Quixote...
Goodbye, Melanie.
Goodbye, Christopher.
Can we go see the frogs now?
Oh! Ah!
No, I'll keep it till the next time.
let's go.