The White Countess (2005) Movie Script

Another punishment is waiting for her.
Such disgrace.
Who would have thought
when my son married her...
she would one day bring such disgrace
to his memory.
Even now she's in there,
putting on that powder.
God's watching her. God will punish her.
this shall not go on. I shall forbid it.
It's gone on long enough.
Grushenka, you hear me?
It's gone on too long.
Don't you worry, Mama. God will punish her.
Well, your aunt and I have discussed it.
We've decided, haven't we, Vera?
We're going to make her stop,
and if she won't, then we cast her out.
Isn't that right, Vera?
Don't think about it anymore, Mama,
and don't worry yourself.
You'll only distress yourself.
God will punish her for what she's doing.
It's you who'll be punished.
Why do you talk that way about Mama?
Why do you always say
horrible things about her?
Oh, silence, child. Silence.
You don't understand these things.
Thank God you don't.
If Mama didn't have to go out to work,
then you would have to go instead.
Then who would be the wicked one?
-Oh, silence.
-Where do you think you're going, child?
-I want to go and play.
No. She wants to play
with those frightful Jews downstairs.
-That's what you want to do, child?
-Let me go.
-Can I go downstairs, Mama?
-Yes, of course.
You shouldn't touch her
when you're going to your work.
But Katya is right, isn't she, Grusha?
If I didn't earn money for us,
it would be you who'd have to...
find a way.
And it wouldn't be so easy for you.
Then play something else.
You don't have to play that all the time.
Play whatever you want.
Oh, hello. Your daughter just came down,
did you know?
I know. I hope you don't mind.
Send her back upstairs
when you've had enough of her.
Would you like to stay for a moment?
Look at those rascals.
-I'll make you some tea.
-No, no, no. I must go. I'll be late.
-Thank you.
-Well, take care of yourself.
This city can be dangerous at night.
Oh, I can take care of myself. Bye.
Do you speak French?
Of course you do.
Come on, say something.
This part of town, it's so dull.
Come to the French district.
It's much more fun.
There's more enjoyment, more laughter.
Come on.
Come with me. I'll pay you enough.
You won't regret it.
I'm expected at my work.
They won't miss you tonight.
I'm a rich man.
I didn't know rich men rode the tram.
Everyone rides the tram.
I saw T.V. Soong himself
on the tram the other night.
Besides, I have a limousnie.
It's waitnig just here. At this next stop.
A chauffeur, everything.
Get off and I'll take you where you're going.
Come on.
Some other time...
Hey, don't go!
We have to. We have to stick together.
And not just because we're Russians.
That's not the only reason.
...every time you're with him nit's Victor.
Well, hello again.
-How's your little one?
-Better, thank you. Much better now.
That one.
She went back with that German last night.
I knew she would.
She might as well be on the streets.
That's the third time this week.
You'll sit with me tonight, won't you?
It's a disgrace
the way some of these girls behave.
Have they no shame at all?
Isn't it the same for all of us?
You and me, too?
If you mean Monsieur Verdurni,
you know that was different.
And for you, too.
You're passionate. Love sweeps you away.
We're women, we can't help that.
Masha, all of us here have to fall in love
from time to time.
To feed our children...
and our mothers and our sisters.
Please, please sit with me.
Don't worry. I'll sit with you. It's all right.
Hey, hey, hey...
I told you to get a new dress.
Yes, I found one,
but the shop is keepnig it for me.
That's what you sand last week.
You look shabby.
Sorry. I'll have it tomorrow for sure.
Remember, I've warned you.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Don't you know what time it ns?
Stop the chat!
Hey. You are sitting in wrong place.
I well understand Mr. Robertson's fears.
And he is, of course,
quite right to express them.
I might ask the same questions.
I can only emphasize...
that the problems
concerning our consignments of tea...
are not of great relevance.
Our volume of trade in textiles
remanis by far...
the largest in the Far East...
and we continue to enjoy...
...the special esteem in which we
and our whole history out here are held.
The Japanese always like to posture.
In this case, I don't feel
they really mean anythnig much by nt.
It's just a show of strength.
What we might call samuran bravado.
Oh, Jackson, the very man.
We were just discussnig
the intentions of the Japanese.
Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us.
I'm afraid I've no insights
to offer you whatsoever.
These days I only know what my man
reads to me from the newspaper...
and I try not to have him do that any more
than is strictly necessary.
Well, if you'll excuse me,
I wish you all a pleasant evening.
-Good night.
-Good night.
Thank you, I'll manage. Good evening.
-Pleased to meet--
-Pardon me.
I think it's time
for a tearful parting of the ways...
between Mr. Jackson and the old firm.
We can hardly cast him off just yet, old man.
Not after what happened to him.
I'm all right.
I'd like to go to the little club, please, Liu,
and then on to Del Monte's.
The door is here.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
Excuse me. Excuse me.
-Mr. Jackson.
My, my, this is a surprise.
I didn't expect to meet you
in a place like this.
We better keep this from your dad, eh?
I came to look for you, sir.
I thought you might want a little company.
Oh, that's good of you.
Mr. Jackson, what are you doing here?
A place like this.
this is a dive.
Well, this establishment here, Thomas,
may not be perfect.
Oh, no, it's not perfect at all.
In my opinion, it's a mighty impressive
little place all the same.
Mr. Jackson, a man of your fine reputation--
this is Shanghai, Thomas.
A person can do much as he pleases.
-But I think you might be more comfortable--
-Thomas, my friend...
why don't you go home
and get some sleep?
I don't like you wandernig around
these parts of town.
I feel kind of responsable for you
on account of your dad.
Anything happens to you here,
I feel I would have to answer to him.
Now go on home to bed.
Me, I've got a few things still to do up here.
Well, then.
-Good night, sir.
-Good night, Thomas.
Pardon me.
Excuse me.
-How are you?
-Fine. How are you?
-Dragon, please.
-Thank you. Goodbye.
Please forgive me, sir,
but I couldn't help overhearing.
That young man, he is your protege?
No, hardly.
He, like most people, fanls to see...
all there is to see.
Myself, I tend to agree
with your assessment.
this establishment is not perfect...
but it is certanily one of the best
Shanghai has to offer at this moment.
I believe, sir,
I've seen you around here before.
It's very possible.
We have nothing to match this in Japan.
Not even in Tokyo.
Shanghan these days is remarkable.
It has several places
of comparable standard.
These places you say
are of a comparable standard...
-just which ones did you have in mind?
-Not far from here, there is the Navy Bar.
-Navy Bar.
-I personally fnid it very interesting.
Then there is the Wha Kim
in the French Concession.
And perhaps...
the Last Chance in Foochow road.
Myself, I'd add the Ching Lieng to that list.
Ching Lieng, I wonder--
Ching Lieng isn't so much to your taste?
It is very interesting,
but in my personal opinion...
perhaps not at quite the same level as...
-well, for instance, here.
-You may be right.
But I like him very much.
I'm pleased
to make your acquanitance, Mr....
And you, sir.
I believe you are Mr. Todd Jackson.
The distinguished American diplomatist.
Not so distinguished.
The same Todd Jackson, I believe...
whom the English Foreign Minister
once referred to as...
-the last hope for the League of Nations.
-That was all a few years back.
A lot's happened since then.
I have no quarrel with your countrymen
anymore, Mr. Matsuda.
Or with anybody else.
Besides, I came in here
to get away from all of that.
I quite agree, Mr. Jackson.
In a place like this, we should be allowed
to forget the world outside...
and its many diffniculties.
At least until the morning.
Hey, I bet you've never been in this place.
Come on.
-Here. Let me show you somethnig.
The bouncers here, they're no good.
Now listen to that.
In the bar of my dreams, Mr. Matsuda...
I'd have the best team of bouncers in town...
and in the whole of Asia.
They'd be hand-picked,
and they'd be well trained.
Only then can you have control. See that?
The bouncers are like your dials, you know.
You control the mood with them.
You can turn it this way or turn it that way.
with a good team of bouncers, a fellow, you
could conduct the place like an orchestra.
Do you know, Mr. Jackson...
the establishment I would most
like to visit just now?
No. Which is that?
this bar of yours.
this bar of your dreams.
Well, who knows? Maybe one day you will.
I'm not a rich man,
but I've got a little stored away.
Now, sometimes I think about it.
So you may really build this establishment?
this bar of your dreams?
right now, I don't have enough...
but, you know, in a town like this,
you can have a stroke of luck, and then....
I thnik about getting up one morning
and taking every dollar I have...
and going out and putting it on a horse.
The women, of course,
you'd have to choose very carefully...
as carefully as the bouncers.
You need a kind of balance
between the erotic...
and the tragic.
Very important to choose
just the right women.
Excuse me, but I must be going.
My driver will be waiting for me.
Mr. Jackson,
perhaps I can offer you a lift somewhere?
No, thank you, my own man will come
and find me before long.
He always does in the end,
whatever I do to try and lose him.
Then may I thank you
for an unusually enjoyable evening?
Mr. Matsuda, this has been a true pleasure.
-I hope we meet again.
-I hope so, too.
-Good night.
-Good night.
Excuse me.
I believe I have the honor of greeting
Countess Sofia Alexeyevna Belinskya.
Forgive me.
It's quite possible you won't remember me...
but we were friends.
Well, that's to say,
we sometimes played tenis together...
at the Skopichenkos' house in Petersburg.
Of course, I was small then.
-I'm sure you won't remember me, but--
-No, of course.
How could I forget
Count llya Vladimirovitch Litvanoff?
You always beat me.
I'm truly flattered you should remember.
How nice to see you again.
I'm sorry. I must return to my work.
Me, too. It was very good of you
to come over like this.
Well, I just happened to see you.
Please, excuse me.
Thank you very much.
Here, take my arm. Leave with me.
Miss, if your intention
was to be kind to a blind man...
well, I thank you,
but I can get along just fine.
If you were proposing something
altogether different...
well, I have to tell you that kind of thing
doesn't interest me so much just now.
I wasn't proposing anything like that.
But if you leave here alone...
there are two villains over there
who will follow you...
hit you over head with their little...
blackjack and then...
steal your wallet
and perhaps your shoes, too.
You shouldn't wear such fine shoes
when you come around here.
You really suppose I'm in danger?
I know it,
but if you leave with me you'll be safe.
They'll think you're my client, and
they don't dare interfere with such things.
Don't worry. You'll be safe...
from them and from me.
I should wear shabbier shoes, you say?
Much shabbier,
and try and look like you have friends...
dangerous friends.
Well, thanks for your advice.
I'm beholden to you.
You Russian?
I was listening just now when you were
talking with your friend, and l....
I'm sorry,
I shouldn't be eavesdropping on people.
You know, it's just that
since I lost the use of these eyes...
-I can't--
-No, no, it's all right.
That's all right.
I know that times are hard for you people.
You've been thrown out of your country,
and no one willing to take you in.
I just want you to know
that I understand why you--
-We carry on.
-He's found me, always does.
Well, tonight you got me out of trouble.
I thank you for that.
I've always tended
to get a little overconfident.
I need someone to check on me
from time to time.
-You have someone like that?
-I don't know.
I guess one time my wife
used to perform that function.
Nowadays I just have my man Liu over there.
He's a clever fellow,
but I guess it's not his busniess...
to stop me maknig a fool of myself.
Tonight, though, you helped me out.
-Thank you.
-A pleasure.
-Good night.
-Good night.
-You said you'd be out here at 11:30.
-Who cares what I said?
-Now it's 12:17.
-What are you? A railway service?
-You said 11:30.
-Do you see her?
You see her? The one I was talking to?
The Countess?
The one I was talking with just now?
-She's still there.
-She's still there?
She's the one.
Liu Chi, she's the one,
the one I've been looking for.
Yes, yes.
Child, come back here. Do you hear me?
-Child, come back here, please.
Come here, child.
Mama, can I please come with you
to the market?
Yes, of course you can, my darling, but keep
your voice down, Uncle Peter's sleeping.
He's not sleeping. He's just pretending.
-When are we going?
-I have to sleep first. I'm very tired.
Mama, I want to go and see the boats
before they're all gone.
All right, but I need to sleep first.
Katya, come here, please.
I told you to stay here. Did you hear me?
Your bed is free.
It was a good night's work.
Dear Sofia Alexeyevna, you sleep on this.
So soft.
But you promised me. You promised me.
And I kept my promise.
I kept the dress for you.
Many people wanted it. Do you understand?
I kept it for you. Now you pay $5.
But you promised me I could have it for $3.
-I didn't promise you that, madam.
-I need it for my work.
Many people want this dress.
I have to come here every single day.
-I come in the morning at 4:30.
-And this is why I need this.
-And I go back at night, at 11:30 at night.
-And you told me yesterday....
I have to work very hard to feed my children.
You have the dress. It is beautiful.
It is very, very nice color.
-Are you going on the boat?
-Where will you go?
-Up to Soochow.
-You should go.
-We're going soon.
So long.
May I look?
Go ahead.
Come, darlng. It's time to go.
Mama, you got the dress!
I got it.
Here you go.
You know which one's going win?
Most defnintely. I'm betting....
I thnik you're right.
You know, sir,
I was thinking of having a little flutter.
Good, good.
I'm glad to see a little recklessness
entering your spirit, Thomas.
this city is starting to work on you at last.
I'm glad to see you so cheerful.
As a matter of fact,
I was getting kind of anxnous...
because, you see, I've come here to....
I've come here to have a little flutter myself.
Are you thinking of placing a large bet?
Substantial enough. Thank you, Jimmy.
You know, Thomas,
there comes a day when you say there are...
some things that you want to do in life...
and you'll never do them
unless you take a risk.
Hold everything that you have in your hand
and just take a risk.
sir, are you intending to place
a very large bet?
There are some in this city
who would not consider it large...
but it's just about everything that I have.
But I think that--
No, we're not in Vermont, Thomas.
Don't cluck around me like an old hen.
Mr. Jackson? Mr. Jackson?
I'm Fu Chuan Fang. We met in Naiking.
A League of Nations conference.
I was sorry to hear about your misfortune.
Thank you.
this is my friend, Thomas Crane.
How do you do, Mr. Crane?
Gentlemen, may I introduce
General Shen Yinchu...
and General Ji Deng?
Ni men hao, gentlemen?
Although it's many years too late, let me
thank you from the bottom of my heart
for your dedication in finding
a just solution to our nation's problems.
Mr. Jackson has been a true friend
to all Chinese people.
A just solution to your nation's problems.
And where has it got us?
All that clever meddling
we diplomats got up to back then...
and now your nation in chaos...
and Japanese occupying the north...
and your people in civil war.
Excuse me, gentlemen.
I must go and place a bet.
Mr. Jackson.
Good afternoon, Mr. Jackson.
-Mr.... Mr....
Exactly. Good to see you again, sir.
And I'm particularly pleased
to run into you, Mr. Jackson.
Because I am leaving Shanghai tomorrow.
this gives me a chance to say goodbye.
Even though our acquaitance was brief...
I very much enjoyed our discussion
the other night.
So did l.
-Well, it's a pity you're leaving.
-I hope to be back in a year or so.
Perhaps we will have a chance
to continue our research then.
In fact, Mr. Matsuda, I had hope that
if you return to Shanghai in a year's time...
we can go one better
than just continuing our research.
Today, you see, I've had a little luck and....
My God!
-I've had a great deal of luck.
-I see, Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Matsuda,
I don't mind telling you right now...
that I feel more than a little frightened.
Let me say this to you today...
that if you return to Shanghan
one year from now...
you will be a most welcome guest
in my own establishment.
The bar of your dreams.
So I may have the pleasure, after all.
The bar of my dreams.
You're a very nice man,
but you know the rules.
You're breaking my heart.
Please, you need to get a ticket.
Next time you come.
Next time come and ask for me.
-Oh, hello.
-Excuse me.
You remember me?
You looked out for me the other night,
and I very much appreciated nt.
You're most welcome.
I see you took advice about shoes.
Shoes? Oh, no, I hadn't intended to.
I just think thnigs have got a little
worse for wear without my noticing.
So shall we dance?
Well, frankly, I was wondering
nf you might just sit and talk...
-for as long as the dance.
-Oh, certainly.
Shall we go here?
Excuse me one moment here.
-ls this okay for you?
-this is good, nice here.
Good. Well, look...
I have a proposal to make.
Oh. I see.
Oh, no, no, no.
Not that kind of proposal. No.
It's just that, well...
I'm intending to open an establishment.
It's something that I've been planing
for some time...
and it wouldn't work without you.
It wouldn't work without me?
Whatever do you mean?
The place that I'm gonig to open...
it'll be a bar, you know,
a little dancing and a little music and....
But it won't be like this.
It'll be nothing like this.
My place will be
just the way that I've seen it...
up here, inside...
and I need you to be my centerpiece.
And I would do what for you, exactly?
Just be there and, I think,
dance with a few customers...
and talk with them and host them.
That's strictly all that I'd ask.
I'll see that you're well remunerated for it...
and you wouldn't have to earn money
in any other way.
You realize, don't you...
I'm not the only Russian Countess
in Shanghai reduced to this sort of lnfe.
I know that, I know.
But it's you.
You're perfect.
And you're what I need.
I'm perfect?
But how can you know what I'm like?
Well, we met the other night.
You take it from me,
I know what I'm looknig for.
-will you consider nt?
-Consider it?
I'd accept happily
nf I'm really so perfect for you...
but you can't even see me.
You should at least
try to feel what I look like.
Blind people do that, don't they?
No, no, no, no.
There's no need. There's no need.
I know exactly what you're like.
the bar...
It's all up here...
But instead,
maybe we could have that dance.
You can dance all right?
Well, to be frank,
I've not tried it since I've lost my sight.
But I think that with you helping me,
I'll be all right.
So let's dance.
-Excuse me.
-What are you doing?
-Excuse me?
-Dance with a blind man?
You try and stop us.
Blind men have very good ears.
You can't dance here.
Even if you speak Chinese.
You will disturb the other guests.
If you have any objections, kindly go to hell.
You tell him.
-Okay, let's find these people in here.
-I don't need to worry about him anymore.
Thibaut de Passavant,
he's here in Shanghai.
Sister Anastasia told me yesterday
after church.
Thibaut de Passavant?
What a charming man.
Beautiful man.
-You certain he's here in Shanghai?
-Snster Anastasna was qunte sure.
He arrived at least four months ago.
He's posted to the French Consulate.
I wnsh we could see him,
but he can't come here.
Olga, dear, I've been thinking about this.
Things are so different.
Perhaps we should pay a call on Thibaut.
No, dear. No, no. I don't think so, no.
It would be for him to call on us.
That's the correct way.
Yes, yes, of course...
but it is all so different these days.
-So perhaps we could call on him instead.
-No, dear, no. That's not correct.
We can't call on him first,
and he can never call on us here.
-Peter, dear, what is your opinion?
-Dear, no. We can't see him.
That's an end to nt.
Please don't distress yourself, Aunt Vera.
Once we get to Hong Kong,
our friends will visit us again...
you'll give recitals, there'll be card parties,
everything as it used to be.
What's the matter?
The Oblomovs.
When they were here,
they were having to live just like us.
Now look at them,
living the life they used to live.
How do you know that?
They wrote to us.
Ania nicoleyava wrote to us.
You read her letter.
Do you want me to read it to you again?
Mama, where's Ania's letter?
Where did you put it?
She took the trouble to write to us
just to tell a pack of lies.
Don't you worry, Aunt Vera.
Once we get to Hong Kong,
thnigs will be the way they should be.
What a relief that will be.
To be rid of the shame
that's been brought on our family.
It's a mercy my son didn't live to see this.
Are you all right?
Yes, I'm fine. I just need a little air.
Is Katya all right?
She's enjoying herself.
sit down.
Please excuse me.
I have to finish these jackets by 5:00.
Yes, of course.
right, it's open.
Mr. Matsuda.
The bartender.
I first came across him last summer
in a place off the Avenue Joffre.
And as for the strongarm boys,
the bouncers...
well, I spent a long time hand-picking them.
Different boys that I had seen
ni different places.
I'd always kept them in mind,
the ones that I knew I'd one day want to use.
I think that outright violence...
will destroy a perfectly blended mood
in seconds.
But a vague and ever-present
possibility of violence...
that's something else,
and that can be effective.
Wth a good strongarm team
you could do it.
I was always convinced of that.
You brng in the rougher elements,
but then you keep them under control.
The other important ingredient is,
well, what do you call it?
The vague promise
of an intimate encounter?
You have to judge it finely, though.
You have to choose women with real care.
So that lady...
she's a Russian?
Perhaps an aristocratic lady
who chose to give up her homeland?
-That is why you named this establishment.
-Yeah, you got it.
She is the Countess Sofia
Alexeyevna Belinskya.
She has everything that I wanted
for this place.
She has the allure,
the tragedy, the weariness.
She knows that history has no place...
for her kind anymore.
She's perfect.
My centerpiece.
You must be a happy man, Mr. Jackson.
In a little over a year,
you've managed to realize your dream.
I thought for a while that I had...
that I had really achieved
what I'd always wanted...
but I was never quite happy.
For a long time,
I couldn't put my finger on it.
I just knew, I just knew that something....
There was something missing.
And just a few days ago,
I realized what it was.
There's no political tension in here.
You are saying
that without this political dimension...
-your establnishment--
-No, it'll never be more than a confection.
Just a pretty confection, you know.
A few Chinese Reds.
Some of their Nationalnst enemies
and maybe a few of your countrymen.
Maybe some of mine.
I can see it. I can see it all in here.
But right now, I just can't see a way forward.
How do you get such people in here
all at the same time?
I mean, a fellow can't just take a gun
and force them to come in.
Mr. Jackson, please be careful.
-No, no, no. Stop.
-All right.
How often do I have to tell you
I can get around fine?
Yes, but not this morning.
The men have moved everything.
-It's all different.
-Good, well, you've warned me.
Now sit down and carry on playing.
I just need something to sit on.
Watch out.
That woke me.
I'm sorry, I didn't know you were still here.
Why are you sleeping here again anyway?
You have a nice house to go to.
And you slept in your clothes again.
And what about you?
Why aren't you at home in your bed?
There's no bed for me till morning,
and my daughter....
Sorry, I was forgetting our agreement.
I've told you, there's no agreement.
I just sand once
I thought that we'd get on best...
if we confined our friendship
to within these walls.
And I'd say
that's worked out pretty well so far.
And for you to hear about my life
beyond this place...
I suppose it spoils your picture of me...
that perfect one you have inside your head.
I don't know what's gotten into you
this morning.
Playing the piano first thing,
and now all this talk.
I'm sorry. I didn't know you were upstairs.
Forget it.
Anyway, it's a nice way to be woken up.
What you were playing, it sounded pretty.
You know, I've known you a whole year,
and I had no idea you played so well.
My Aunt Vera taught me.
She was wonderful pianist.
I've forgotten so much.
Our friends used to send their children
to her for lessons.
I don't even know
if she could still play now.
She hasn't touched a piano for years.
I'm sorry. I should go.
My bed will be ready now,
and I need to sleep.
Well, then, till tonight.
I've known you for a whole year, and I still
don't know how you lost your sight.
I had an accident several years ago.
But as you see, I don't let it
inconvenience me too much.
What sort of accident?
Well, now that would be going against
our agreement.
Why do you have such heavy doors?
You think they'll keep out the world?
Well, that's my intention.
I'll see you tonight.
It's my intention.
Let me out!
Where's my family?
My family is in there.
Three years already.
In some ways it seems much longer.
Daddy, can I ask you something?
A promise?
As for the....
...give you the privilege
of taking t away, sir.
Lovely scarf...
Iovely coat...
120 pounds.
It's a lovely price.
Are you sure it would sell?
Tell me about your English teacher.
He was from England.
He was not as strict as Mrs. Henderson.
And you should work more on your reading.
Mary, what do you think?
And then she wouldn't be so cross with you.
I'd be locked up
if I told you what I was thinking.
Hello? How do you do?
Come on, Katya.
Katya, come on.
-That was him, wasn't it?
-Come on, Katya, we'll be late.
The blind man.
-That was our blind man, wasn't it?
Come on, Katya.
Why didn't he speak to us?
He just didn't.
You said he was a nice man.
He is a nice man.
Then why didn't he speak to us?
Come on, Katya. Mrs. Henderson's waiting.
And he looked at me again and said,
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. "
He said,
"You don't half look bad, you don't. "
I said, "Who do?"
He said, "You don't. " I said, "I do?"
He said, "Yes, you do, you don't. "
Well, young lady. How are you?
Mama says you are
sometimes bad-tempered.
I suppose she might be right.
Is that why you don't speak to us just now?
I guess it wasn't very good-mainered of me.
I'm sorry.
Mrs. Henderson is teaching me
to read and write English.
-One day I'll write you a letter.
-Write me a letter?
Can't be the only reason
you're learning English, can it?
But I must write you a letter.
It's very important.
Why is it so important
that you wrnte to me, my dear?
Because you must take us on a boat trip.
-Boat trip?
-Up the river.
-To Soochow.
-Katya, that's enough.
A boat trip to Soochow?
will you take us?
Me and Mama and Aunt Vera?
Come, we must go.
-Goodbye, blind man.
-I'll see you later.
Can I ask you something?
-A promise.
Well, depends what it is.
When I'm grown, and I'm married...
and I have children of my own...
promise you'll stay with us.
Promise you'll live with me forever.
Don't you think your husband
will have something to say about this?
Please promise me.
All right.
If that's what you want.
He said, "Which ain't?" I said, "That ain't. "
He said, "That ain't?"
I said, "Yes, it is, it ain't. "
I said, "But be careful when you try her,
she's a flyer...
"f you buy her, you've a bargain.
You can take the tip from me. "
He said, "What makes you say so?"
I said, "Say so, I should say so. "
You know, Olga, dear,
I do wonder if we are making a mistake.
About what?
You know about what.
Thibaut de Passavant.
-After all, he is an ambassador now.
-No, just a consul, dear.
Peter, dearest, what is your view?
Should we not pay a little visit
to the French Embassy?
It's a consulate.
It's only a consulate, dear.
Olga, dear, there are large beans,
and there are small beans.
In my view, a bean is still a bean....
will you deal the hand, please, now?
I need to speak to you.
Last night, while you were out,
I found Katya playing with your rouge.
She put some on her face.
So? Children have to play.
Your rouge.
Aren't you horrified?
We've talked about this before.
You have to be more strict.
In the evening, when you are dressed
like that, you're not to let Katya near you.
-But how can I? She's my daughter.
-Don't you see where this is leading?
Do I have to spell it out?
If you love her,
you'll know what I'm saying is right.
What do you say?
I suppose you're right.
Then you have to do your part.
She's not to come near you
when you're like that.
Grusha, I'll do as you say.
You're right, I see it.
But you must promise me something.
If something happens to me,
will you love her?
I mean, treat her gently and kindly
at all times?
You swear to me now you will. Swear it.
Of course I will.
She's my brother's child.
She looks like him. his eyes--
Swear you'll love her and be gentle to her.
I swear it.
Thank you.
Thank you, Grushenka.
You're late.
No, my darlings, this isn't so late.
Very good. Show it to your mama.
Mama? Mama?
Let me in!
Come here, Katya.
Let me in! I've made you a new painting.
-Why have you locked it?
Come here.
She's busy.
Let me see.
It's beautiful. Is it a soldier?
Is this one of our dear Czar's guards?
What a funny uniform he's wearing.
Come on.
You want me?
-No, no.
-Come back.
Well, you're very quiet tonight.
I was just wondering if,
when I'm too old to be here like this...
if my daughter will be here instead,
in my place.
I was just thinking, that's all.
-Well, I'm sure that she--
-But you don't want to hear this kind of talk.
We have our agreement after all...
and I'm sorry about what happened
at the cafe this afternoon...
disturbing you like that
when you're enjoying your radio.
You and your daughter,
do you walk that way often?
-Through Frenchtown?
I sit in that cafe a lot.
Not always outside like that but l....
I'm there a lot.
Mr. Jackson?
Please excuse me.
But I was told I might find you here.
Mr. Matsuda, won't you join me for coffee?
No, thank you. But if you'll excuse me...
I shall impose myself on you
for just a moment.
Please, come and sit down.
Mr. Jackson.
I've been thinking about your establishment.
What you said that evening
I visited you there.
-About it missnig--
-Political tension, you called it.
How to bring political tension
to your establishment?
The idea struck me at the time
as a little eccentric.
But it has ntrigued me ever since.
I believe there is a way.
And what is that, Mr. Matsuda?
I'm in touch with a certain person...
a Chinese gentleman who exercnses
a degree of influence in Shanghai.
It is possible he might be able to assist.
How exactly would he do that?
My acquaintance is in a position...
to persuade many people
to do what he requests.
You mean that he's a hood?
You might say so.
And he can persuade the various factions
that I want to come into my place?
Snmply an idea.
Why would he want to help me?
Why? Because....
Because l, in turn,
have the means to persuade him.
What kind of work is it that you do,
Mr. Matsuda?
Please, I would very much like to help you.
Particularly now that I can see
what you might achieve.
It could be something quite wonderful.
I would suggest
you introduce first some communists.
Not, of course, known members of the Party.
This would be too much.
I can suggest certain people to you.
MagaZine editors, writers...
men suspected of communist links.
Then, after some time, when
our Red friends are comfortably installed...
you could then introduce certain individuals
associated with the Kuomintang.
Please give these two camps plenty of time
to get used to each other.
And only then you might add
some Chinese soldiers...
a few Japanese merchant sailors...
perhaps one or two Japanese businessmen.
But please be cautious.
This will be
a most difficult balance to achieve.
This room, these people,
they are your orchestra.
I wouldn't have succeeded
without your assistance.
No, I did nothing.
-Your help was everything.
I'll always be beholden to you.
This is a wonderful achievement,
Mr. Jackson.
-But I wonder if This will be enough.
I wondered if before long
you would wish to return...
-to a broader canvas?
-Broader canvas?
There's no broader canvas out there,
Mr. Matsuda.
I was told you were present at Versailles...
-at the time of the great treaty.
-That's right, I was.
I was very young, I was very junior,
but I was there, yes.
I, too, was just starting my career
at that time.
I dreamt of being allowed to go
with our delegation.
As a secretary, a servant, anything.
I dreamt of it.
Of course, I was not able to.
But even now I think about Versailles.
After the horrors of that terrible war...
the greatest leaders
from the greatest countries of the world...
gathered together...
Laying down the foundations
of our future civilization.
How fortunate you were, Mr. Jackson,
to have been there.
That's all behind me now.
Out there, what there is,
Mr. Matsuda, is chaos.
Mistrust, decent, hatred,
viciousness and chaos.
There's no broader canvas out there.
Nothing a man can go
and compose a pretty picture on.
What you have achieved here,
inside these walls...
is certainly very satisfying.
But for myself,
I still dream of a broader canvas.
Just what is it you wish to paint
on This canvas of yours, Mr. Matsuda?
I'm not myself a great painter.
I hope only to play a very humble part.
But it is my wish...
my cherished dream...
to see Japan become a truly great nation...
as great as Britain or France...
or your nation, Mr. Jackson.
But such things needn't concern us here.
It is a great pleasure for me, Mr. Jackson...
to be able to come and relax
in This wonderful atmosphere...
forget about my responsabilities.
I've looked everywhere for it. I can't find it.
I'm sure Olga's lost it.
What is it? Aunt Vera, what's wrong?
The hat.
Baroness Santachiara gave it
to your mama in Paris.
I'm sure she's lost it.
Grushenka, dear, do you know where it is?
I'm sure Mama hasn't lost it.
But what do you want a thing like that for?
An old hat like that?
If she hasn't lost it, that's what I'll wear.
What do you mean? Wear it where?
I'll wear it to the French Consulate.
I'll wear it tomorrow.
Aunt Vera,
we are not gonng to the Consulate.
Peter and I will go to the Consulate.
We'll go tomorrow.
-Darling, you have to understand--
-Grushenka, you can't stop us.
And your mama will not stop us.
Peter and I have decided.
Aunt Vera, everything is different now.
They will laugh at you. And in that hat.
I will not hide myself away any longer.
I may be poor. I am the
Princess Vera Artalinovna Belinskya.
I will go to the Consulate...
and we will pay our respects
to our old family friend...
Monsieur le Comte de Passavant.
Peter, take another look.
Look. Right there.
Excuse me.
But aren't you...
Yes, I knew it.
The Prince and Princess Belinksy.
How extraordinary.
I passed you as you came in.
I thought it couldn't be you, but it is!
It's Antoine.
Young Antoine.
Antoine Jacquier.
Antoine Jacquier?
Young Antoine.
Can it really be you?
My dear Princess!
My dear Prince!
How delightful to see you again!
But what are you doing here?
We've come to pay our respects
to M. de Passavant.
But what a surprise
to find you here in Shanghai.
Do you remember coming to see me
every Tuesday and Thursday?
Have you continued playing the piano?
Regrettably, I'm rather out of practice.
You'd be cross with me, Princess.
You used to scold me when I didn't practice!
I haven't forgotten.
You were only ten years old.
I knew it was him.
You were both so kind, so generous to me.
I think of you often...
that marvelous house, your family.
But now you...
You are here.
Vera and Peter met an old friend of theirs
today at the French Consulate.
It was quite by chance,
but he's promised to help us.
It seems to be absolutely true.
I have his letter here.
He'll help us?
He says he can arrange everything.
Passports, papers,
tickets on a ship to Hong Kong...
even letters of introduction. Everything.
Of course, such things cost money.
None of it is for Monsieur Jacquier himself,
he emphasizes that.
He's listed all the costs.
We might not have another chance.
For a long time now...
-ever since I had This job, I haven't had to--
Think of Katya.
It might be her last chance.
-I can't promise, but I'll do what I can.
-People are afraid of the Japanese.
By next week,
the situation might be out of his hands.
I'll do what I can.
Watch it!
Mr. Jackson? Sir?
Well, well, Thomas.
Haven't seen you for a while.
Where have you been?
Well, sir, a lot of us have been saying
the same thing about you.
We don't see much of you these days.
Mr. Jackson,
I did want to have a word with you.
Frankly, sir, the company directors
have been expressnng concern...
for some tnme now about...
well, about your way of life.
You've probably been aware of This.
My way of life?
What's that?
You mean all This?
I guess so.
You don't see any of This, do you, Thomas?
I mean, you look at This
and you see nothing.
Mr. Jackson, there was a meeting
of the board This afternoon.
Certain people feel your association
with the company...
ns no longer necessarily--
Of course, there's the matter
of that Japanese fellow.
-Mr. Matsuda?
-Matsuda, yes.
I don't understand you, Crane.
As far as I was aware,
the United States and Japan are still allies.
But as you must know, sir,
Mr. Matsuda nsn't any Japanese.
What do you mean?
You didn't know?
My dealings with him
are entirely at the personal level.
Mr. Matsuda is a man...
who is much feared and loathed
by the Chinese authorities.
In Northern China
they remember him well enough.
Whenever he showed up,
a Japanese invasion wouldn't be far behind.
So as you can see, sir,
your friend's presence here in Shanghai...
isn't exactly regarded as a good omen.
Even the Japanese here
don't like to be seen with him.
Mr. Matsuda and I,
we share certain interests...
passions. We've become friends.
That's nothing to do with politics
or armies or fighting.
That all belongs out there.
And as for the rest of it, your meetings,
your dinners, your receptions...
hell, I never intended to be a businessman.
They wanted to use my name
to make an extra dollar.
So I let them. That's all.
If things have changed, well,
then to hell with them.
So, sir, do I take it you don't intend to--
Damn right, I don't intend to.
I don't intend anything!
Thomas, look around you.
Don't you see all This?
All This?
You don't.... You don't see...
the beauty?
Mr. Jackson, before I came out here,
I'd heard a lot about you.
I came out here hopnng to learn from you.
I believe you're trying to tell me....
Are you trying to tell me that I'm something
of a disappointment to you?
Frankly, sir...
I can't believe you're the same man
my father respects so much.
Good night, sir.
So This is where you hide yourself
these days.
You remember me?
I used to see you on the tram.
I thought you only went
to the French Quarter.
I go wherever there's laughter
and happiness.
Wherever there are
charming beautiful ladies.
And I must say, my dear
you're particularly charming tonight.
Thank you.
Well, then.
What do you suppose our
little orchestra will play next?
If it's something slow,
then I insist you dance with me.
But only if it's slow.
with some women, one should only dance...
And you, my dear, are one of them.
Who the hell do you think you're talking to?
Who let you in here?
-I'm sorry, I said something wrong?
-You think I can't hear?
I can hear every damn word
you're saying to her.
In that case, you must know I said nothing--
What do you take her for? Dance with her?
You're not fit to breathe the air around her.
Get out of here! Get out!
Get out! Who let you in here?
I don't want you in here!
Get out of here!
Get out! Get out of here!
That man....
I'll leave you alone.
But you stay up here and sleep.
I don't think you've been sleeping enough.
How is he now?
Let him rest.
-Feeling better?
-Oh, yes. Yes, I am.
I'm grateful to you.
I rather let myself down,
and I let all of us down.
You've been different lately...
-not yourself.
-I guess that's right.
As it happens, I've notnced
that you haven't been yourself, either...
these last few evenings.
-ls your daughter well?
Yes, she's fine.
I've been thinking lately
maybe my relatives are right that...
I've done what I had to do for Katya.
But now perhaps I am harming her...
just by being near her.
You shouldn't be thinking these things.
But she copies me...
and I don't want her to have...
a sad life.
You shouldn't be having these thoughts,
not even for a minute.
You belong with each other.
I had a daughter.
I lost her.
You asked me once...
a while back, how I lost my sight.
Do you want to know?
Yes. I'd like to know.
My daughter, Christina...
she was around the age your Katya is
right now. No, maybe she was a little older.
I made her a promise once.
I made her a promise, and it was foolish...
because I wasn't able to keep it.
When I'm grown, and I'm married...
-and I have children of my own.
Promise you'll stay with me.
Promise you'll live with me forever.
It was instantaneous.
That's what you're saying?
She wouldn't have suffered.
I was afraid.
See, I was afraid...
that she might have had a little time
while she was lying there.
Time to realize...
that I'd let her down...
once again.
Oh, but she didn't.
You know, I was thinking.
I'd like to meet Katya again.
Maybe This time, we can meet properly.
I was thinking, perhaps if you wanted...
the three of us, we might go to
the public gardens one Sunday afternoon...
and we can listen to the brass band.
Do you think that Katya might like that?
Yes, I think she would.
And I would, too.
When you used to be a dilpomat--
Diplomat. Dip-lo-mat.
Sometimes, people will say "diplomatist."
Were you always a diplomat?
When you were young?
No. Before that,
I worked for the U.S. State Department.
What that means is
I worked for the American President.
And then I came out here to China,
because I wanted to be a diplomat.
When you were a diplomat,
did you go on boat trips?
-Boat trips?
-Now, Katya....
On boats that go to Soochow
and places like that.
-did you ever go?
-Well, yes, we did go.
We did go a few times, in fact,
and it was good.
We had a good time in Soochow.
will you take us soon?
Me and Mama. Aunt Vera, too.
You don't have to take the others.
Katya, stop annoying Mr. Jackson like that.
-I'm not annoying him.
-No, no, she's not annoying me.
Well, let's see...
maybe one day we'll do just that.
A boat trip.
-Well, why not? It's very pleasant upriver.
-will you take us?
Well, maybe your mother and I
can talk it over.
A boat trip!
Well, I'm not promising anything.
The other evening,
you asked me what was on my mind.
-You wanted me to tell you.
I need to...
fnnd $300. Very soon.
That's what was on my mind,
along with all usual things.
How do you intend to raise it?
I'll earn it, somehow.
-It's for something important?
Well, I guess
you're not going to tell me what.
You wouldn't like to hear about it.
Mr. Feinstein!
Katya. My sweetheart.
How are you?
-Countess Sofia, good afternoon.
This is my employer,
my friend and employer, Mr. Jackson.
This is our neighbor, Mr. Samuel Feinstein.
Very good to meet you, Mr. Jackson.
I've heard a lot about you from Katya here.
Really? How do you do, sir?
If you'll excuse me for a moment,
I'll just go and see to the store.
How's that, Katya?
will you lead the way, my friend?
Thank you.
Jew! Dirty Jewnsh scum!
It hasn't been a good day.
Not a good day at all. A lot of arguments.
I'm so glad the Countess
has found a good employer.
Do you have to put up
with a lot of that around here?
Was someone shouting something bad?
I didn't listen. Lucknly, I'm hard of hearing.
Driving around on that old wreck
ruins your eardrums.
Well, maybe that's just as well.
I suppose you left Europe
to get away from that kind of thing.
To get away from that kind of thing?
Mr. Jackson,
we had a terrible journey coming here.
The children lost their dear mother
and their grandfather.
But we're here now. It's safe.
They can learn and play and grow up.
That kind of thing...
after what we've endured, what is it?
Nothing. I don't hear it.
The children don't hear it.
Yes? I'm here.
I had them put it in This tired little bag,
'cause I didn't want you getting robbed.
I'm not expecting a child.
I realize you might have thought that.
I don't want to deceive you.
-It's not for that.
-No, no, no.
I didn't think it was for anything like that.
I realize I might be helping you
go away from here...
away from me.
-You see, it's just--
-No, no, let's just leave it like This now.
No questions and no answers.
How much longer
do you think you can hide away in here?
I grew up with people
who believed in big heavy doors...
just like you.
But those doors
weren't so strong in the end.
I know.
Back when we first met...
you offered to let me touch your face...
so I could...
I could see what you looked like.
You remember that?
Yes, I remember.
Well, I was wondering if I could now...
take you up on that offer.
All right.
If you like.
Strange to think that all This time...
I never knew how beautiful you were.
But then, you see, I'm a blind man.
Thank you.
So what do you think? Am I magic?
No, you cheated.
Ths was announced yesterday.
Though it is barely a week since Sir James
declared it an impossibility...
for the Great Powers to stand back...
and leave the city
to the mercy of Japanese troops.
The question present just now is this.
What actions are realistically open
to any of the Powers?
Is it really practical
for Great Britain or France...
or indeed, the United States...
to take up arms at this time?
We're going to Hong Kong.
There's a boat tonight.
-Katya, we need to tie our things together.
Come and help me.
The boat is leaving tonight.
We don't have much time,
but we must take This boat.
There will be no other.
Sofia, nt's been decided.
You will want a little longer. Want here.
Decided? Decided by who?
The family.
Hong Kong is British,
very hard to buy the correct papers.
In the end...
we weren't able to buy papers for you, too.
you're leaving me behind?
Only for a little while, then we send for you.
Oh, you'll be all right, my dear.
Sofia, it's for the best.
In Hong Kong,
family has a chance to start afresh.
We have old friends there.
We'll be accepted in society.
Katya will have a future there, a real future.
But none of This will be possible
if you are with us.
Surely you've thought of This.
It would be soon known what you did here.
We should go back.
We have an evening's work ahead of us.
We should go back immediately.
What's wrong with you today?
We should not go
to The White Countess This evening.
No customers coming.
Listen, Liu,
I'll decide where I go and don't go.
Mr. Jackson...
for a long tnme,
I do what you want me to do.
I see what you want me to see.
But today...
I tell you, it's time to stop. No more.
We go back.
All right, well, if you feel so strongly...
I'll just get there by myself.
Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson!
Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Fenistein.
-We're leaving.
We're gonng to Hong Kong.
Why didn't you go with the others?
Why are you still here?
It's all right. It's for the best.
-They've left you.
And Katya? What have they told her?
Countess Sofia, answer me.
Where does Katya think you are?
They told her I was coming...
coming right behind.
And that I would meet them at the dock.
And I told her, too.
Countess Sofia, you must get her back.
But it's for the best.
-What future is there for her otherwise?
You must get her back.
Then the two of you
can leave Shanghai with us.
-Leave? Leave where?
For Macao.
You must get Katya back and leave with us.
But how?
Glass please, gentlemen.
Be careful.
Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Matsuda.
It would appear
you are understaffed This evening.
So it seems.
I guess there's something
going on out there.
Mr. Jackson...
my car is outside.
Please allow me to take you to a safe place.
That's kind of you, sir,
but I have my customers to attend to.
And that'll be your broader canvas.
You know, Mr. Matsuda,
it's almost like you've made a fool of me.
All This time, you were helping me
perfect This little miniature here...
you were busy, out there,
getting on with your broader canvas.
Mr. Jackson...
it meant much to me
that for a small moment in our lives...
we were able to be friends...
and create something of beauty
here together.
It would sadden me to think
you believed I have deceived you.
All right, well, maybe I don't.
But I feel a fool all the same.
And soon your broader canvas will come
and crush my little world in here.
Just like nt's crushing
all those other little worlds right now.
But that is in the nature of things.
Now please, Mr. Jackson...
there isn't much time.
I urge you to leave with me inmediately.
No, thank you, Mr. Matsuda.
This is where our paths have to divide.
In that case, Mr. Jackson...
I'll bid you goodbye.
Mr. Jackson...
since we may never meet again...
perhaps you would allow me to put to you
something of a personal nature.
Feel free.
I realize I may be intruding...
but it has been my privilege to observe you
at close quarters for some time.
And I wonder if perhaps...
the time has come for you
to consider constructing another world.
Perhaps a world with your Countess.
The real White Countess, Countess Sofia.
This one here...
I fear its days are now numbered.
But it's too late now, Mr. Matsuda.
I let her go.
God knows
where she and Katya are by now.
Perhaps it is not too late.
I saw the Countess on my way here.
Like the rest of the crowd...
she was going
towards the sea guardian docks...
just a few minutes ago.
Now, sir...
if you'll excuse me.
I wish you every good fortune.
Excuse me.
Which way to the docks?
Which way to the docks?
Docks? This way.
Excuse me, gentlemen.
I'm just trying to find my way.
Thank you.
Katya! Katya!
Don't worry, my darling.
She'll come very soon.
But why isn't she here?
You promised.
You promised she'd be waiting.
Excuse me.
Have you seen a Russian family?
A little girl.
Mr. Jackson!
Mr. Jackson!
But we can't go yet.
She's coming, isn't she?
Where's Mama, Aunt Vera?
-Mr. Jackson, Mr. Jackson, it's me.
-Feinstein. The Countess' neighbor.
-Oh, yes, yes.
-Mr. Jackson, they've taken Katya.
-Who has taken her?
The family.
They've left Countess Sofia behind.
She's down there looking for her.
No, want.
Mama! Mama!
-Katya, get down, chnld!
-Why is Mama so late? She has to hurry.
She'll be here soon.
And if she doesn't come,
we'll want for her on the boat.
She'll board by another boat.
There are some steps here.
Turn right. Excuse me.
-Step. Step.
-Mr. Feinstein! Diplomat!
-Come on. Right now, sit down right away.
Katya, your mother's with me.
She's not coming.
-Go away, you dirty Jew! Get out of here.
-Katya, don't listen to that.
Katya, your mother is not coming with you.
-Katya, come with me.
-What do you want with us?
Go on! Leave!
Don't listen to them.
Go back to your sewers.
Boatman! Go, go, go!
Your mother's not coming.
Leave! Go on!
She's with me. She's looking.
Your mother is with me.
-Look, Katya.
Come on. Your mother's wanting.
It's time to take that boat ride.
-Give me your hand.
-Our boat ride.
Katya! Katya! Katya!
Katya! Katya, my darling!
Mama, where have you been?
I'm so sorry, Mama was wrong.
We'll leave together somewhere else.
Katya Belinskya!
Not my baby!
Try to sleep. Close your eyes.
We'll be going soon.
Mr. Feinstein?
-Yeah. I'm here, Mr. Jackson.
-Here you go.
Thank you so much.
Look, what are you doing?
Why don't you stay still?
Well, actually, I was trying to find you.
Why do you have to wander off?
You'll have a stupid accident.
You're right. I'm sorry.
I'm acting irresponsibly.
Here. That's for you.
Thank you for comnng to help us earlier.
I wasn't expecting to see you there. It was...
a surprise.
Well, as a matter of fact,
I wasn't coming just to help.
I was hoping....
Well, I realize I'm.... Look, here I am...
a blind man...
out alone in the dangerous world.
I was wondering if you...
that is, you and Katya, I was thnnknng...
you mnght like to help me.
And if you'd do that,
I thought I'd do my best to help you.
I realize This is...
it's not the ideal time
to be discussing such a matter.
No, it's a good time. A good time.
As you say, we can help each other.
And we can start by you staying here...
and not doing something
to get us all in trouble.
Okay. Okay, Countess.
I'll stay right here.
Wake up! Hurry!
Hurry! Come on!
It's just me.
This is hardly the boat ride we talked about.
I'm sorry.