Darkling (2022) Movie Script

Based on a true story...
Dear Mr. President,
I sit here, under the table in
pitch darkness, and I'm terrified.
Even if I could light the candle,
it would give just little light around it.
but everything else would
still remain surrounded by darkness.
That's how powerful
this darkness is.
Papa, what is that?
Don't go out.
Milutin... what is it?
-Mom, what happened?
-Stay there!
Get the key!
Hi, Vukica.
Milica, what happened?
Go up there.
-Go to Milutin.
-Milica is coming?
Send them over here. Now!
I want them to see this!
Move it!
-Come here.
Let me show you something.
Look at this.
You'll wait until they kill us, too?
Is it dead?
-Calm down, Milutin.
-Don't you "calm" me!
Don't look here.
Look there!
If you don't see it, I can show you!
Come here! Now!
Take a look at this. See?
Right here. See this?
-Take a better look! Here.
This ground here, trampled.
This is a boot print.
Understand? See now?
A boot print.
-We haven't slept all night.
-I photograph.
-I write report, down at base. Okay?
-Report?! Do you hear me?
It's getting worse every night!
I want to speak to your commander!
-Milutin, report first.
-Report what?
What about my missing son?
And my son-in-law?
How many reports have you written?!
When will we go away from here?
When your dad comes back, darling.
All you care about is a report!
What am I to do with my cow
now, when she lost her calf?
This animal feeds my family!
She'll stop giving milk now!
Do you hear?
Milutin, I arrange the cow
with the Command.
No need.
These guys already arranged it.
You don't care if we live or die here.
All you care about is a report!
Why didn't you call?
The phone doesn't work.
No battery. No electricity.
-Ciao, Luca.
-Ciao, signorina.
We didn't have any last night.
I can charge the telephone
in the camp.
I'll go and get it.
I want you to
arrange for night watch here!
Then you'll see the way we live here,
in the darkness! Understand?!
I'm not leaving this place until you
find my son! And her husband! Get it?!
Hop in.
Bring some wire, too, for the fence.
-Thank you.
-No problem.
-Why haven't you picked Andjelija up?
-They said in the base, no need.
-No need what?
-Pick up anyone.
Stay there.
How about some music?
-Where's Andjelija?
-They didn't pick her up.
Our pig disappeared last night.
Give me your whistle.
-Good morning, Zivan.
-Good morning.
Good morning.
Good morning.
-Good morning, Zivan.
-Good morning.
-Good morning, children.
-Good morning.
Good morning, darling.
Good morning.
Zivan has prepared
some candles for you to take home.
Put them in your bags right away.
Children, today we are going to do
a special assignment.
It is very important
so we have to do our best,
We are going to write
an essay called "My life in Kosovo".
You are writing to the President of our
country, so pay attention to orthography.
The best essay will be read out
in the United Nations.
We don't want to embarrass ourselves.
Don't forget to put the date.
I want you to write about your feelings,
about the way you live
and what do you want in your life.
Milica, you have a lot to say
about the reasons
for moving out of your village.
I believe it has to be known.
This is a chance to present our side
of the story to the world.
We don't have much opportunity
to speak about our life here.
That yesterday our
Andjelija and her family have left here.
Just a many others
have left this place earlier.
Maybe this will help
that no one leaves anymore
and that those who left
return one day.
I'm eleven years old.
I live in Kosovo.
The house where I live now
is not the one I was born in.
Our house was in another village
and it was made of bricks.
We had running water and a bathroom.
That house was set on fire, so my Mom,
Dad and I moved in here, with my Grandpa.
Since Easter,
electricity is cut off every day.
We cannot even recharge
the telephone battery,
We barely sleep at night.
People here live in great fear.
The authorities in charge for us
say that we don't need to worry,
because they are protecting us.
They gave us whistles,
to blow in case of emergency.
My best friend Milan
has modified our whistles.
Now they sound like blackbirds.
There are plenty of blackbirds
in these woods.
This way, we can communicate while
others think that the birds are singing.
But what's the use of whistles?
Whistles can't protect from fear.
No one can.
There are only six kids in this school,
after what happened in March this year.
Everyone else have left.
The others take over from here.
My time as commander here is over.
O Lord, have mercy and save our children
that are still here with us:
Milica, Natalija, Ruzica,
Radovan, Smiljana, Milos.
and all of our still living parents,
Marta, Jelica, Vukica,
Milutin, Lazar, Ilija, Igor,
as well as the dead
and the missing ones,
and give rest, Lord,
to the soul of Your servants.
and forgive them all transgressions
and grant them Your Kingdom in Heaven.
My folks decided to leave.
Mom can't take it anymore.
Neither can mine.
But we have to wait for Dad.
-Where are you going?
-Some place in Serbia.
Us two don't have where to go.
Our house is the next one,
after Smiljana's.
Natalija, your house is the nearest one
to the church. Milos, tell them.
My Mom and I are staying.
If we all stay,
they'll have to do something for us.
We have to stick together.
Hello, there.
What on earth brings you here, Blagoje?
Don't be so harsh, Milutin.
I came to help.
How can you help?
I know what happened.
I've got here the wire for your fence.
Let us in, we'll explain everything.
Milutin, you have to stay here!
You think your lousy five meters
of barbed wire will make people stay?
We need you here!
You can't leave! Hello.
Why don't you come here to live?
We'll all get together,
it'll be fine, listen to me!
-There you go. It's charged.
-Thank you.
Come in, please.
May I?
-How about coffee, Vukica?
-Of course. Have a seat.
Milutin, we are still
searching for your folks.
Don't worry,
your case will be solved.
Legally, KFOR can't do a thing.
A year has to pass from the day
since they disappeared
before they proclaim them dead.
-That day will be soon.
This is from the... municipality.
They are giving each of us
something to get through.
And this is from me.
For the kid.
Is there anything else you need?
-They killed my calf, man!
-So, we'll buy you a cow!
-Who will buy it? You?
-The Government.
Don't you see that we can't even go
to the toilet?! They will kill us all!
That's not the way it goes.
The Italians are here to protect us.
Don't talk nonsense.
My daughter's house
has been set on fire.
Who is protecting us?
Thank you.
-Batteries for the radio.
-Thank you.
Will you do it?
What time is it?
It is six o'clock and nine minutes.
Six o'clock and nine minutes.
Are you finally going to tell her?
-I can't. You do it.
She expects to hear it from you.
Not from me.
Thank you.
Thank you.
It's hot!
Great coffee! The one I brought?
Excellent. Really excellent.
Today, there is electricity?
What was that, Milutin?
This gave you a scare, didn't it?
Have you found anyone out there?
We live like that all the time. They throw
rocks at us even when you're here!
Because of this rock,
you will stay here overnight.
If they protect us, as you say,
then you tell them to stay here tonight.
-I don't speak Italian.
-Milutin, the bird bring the rock.
What would a bird do with
a large rock like this?!
Okay... the report.
One for you...
One for me.
See the report?
Everything will be fine.
No need to worry.
Everything's under control.
Tell her now,
you won't have another chance.
-Where are you going?
-It's almost dark.
So, you run away when it gets dark?
What? What do you want to say?
Wait, stop!
Do you hear me?
Where do you think you're going?
What am I supposed to do with this report?
You just come here, make a mess
and you go when you feel like going!
What about us? Where can we go?
What can I do with my girls?
We've got nowhere to run.
Blagoje, do you hear?!
I'll speak to their commander
about sending someone here.
Everything will be fine.
Tell him he can't count on us anymore.
It's only fair.
-We can give you a lift to the church.
In case of another blackout, call the
camp. The telephone is now working.
We won't be coming back.
Take care, my friend.
See you tomorrow?
This morning,
we didn't pick Andjelija up.
They went away.
Smiljana will go away, too.
Everyone will go away.
Even Milos' mother.
What about Milos?
He promised he will stay.
There, you see?
If Milos will have to go,
are we going to go away, too?
He promised he won't go.
But if he will have to go?
We've got no place to go.
We don't get to decide on this.
Come on. Hurry.
Papa, come on. Push.
How much longer do we
have to wait here for Dad and Uncle?
There you go.
Watch out for Bogo.
Mom, come here!
Would you like another one?
What is it?
The Italians?
No, not the Italians.
-Stay there!
-Help me with this.
-Don't go out.
Come on!
What does this guy want?
Looks like he wants us to get out.
We're here for the girl, sir.
Where are the Italians?
We came for the little girl.
Take her to school.
They came for me.
Where are Mauricio and Luca?
I'm Jim.
So, we're gonna be looking after you.
-What is he saying?
-They're our new escorts.
Where are the Italians?
Italians? Gone.
No more Italians.
What do you mean, no Italians?
What about the report on missing people?
Who's gonna get that done?
I don't understand a word.
-I don't know how, Grandpa.
You're not going anywhere
till we sort this out!
Stop making a fool out of me!
They keep rotating you
without any real results!
Stay here and watch me go inside.
You can't come inside this way.
I boarded up the door! Wait here!
The only way I can get to the barn
is through the house.
Jesus Christ, what is this guy doing?
I've no idea.
They killed my calf.
I'll defend this with my life!
-I understand you're very upset.
-My son and my son-in-law disappeared!
They sent you to start
the investigation all over again!
I know!
That's why they sent you!
-Watch your step.
-They sent you here to cover it up!
So no one will ever know their destiny!
I'd rather die than let you do that!
Is that clear?!
Do you hear me?!
You just keep harassing us, bastards!
Papa! The chickens are gone!
The chickens are gone!
So, that's why you came?
To drive us way from here!
It's all your fault!
This is all because of you! Damn you!
You're responsible for this!
-You bombed us!
-Come here!
-You'll let us die here, like dogs!
-Over here. Here.
Please, we will look.
I need you to be way over here.
These people are fucking crazy. Let's just
check it out and get out of here.
Looks like wild animals
killed their chicken.
Looks like they got out through here.
You think it's wolves?
Are there wolves around here?
We made a record of it.
We'll send you the full report.
Here... battery. Empty.
No. Sorry, that's against the rules.
Sorry. It's against the procedure.
It's nothing personal.
Take care. There are wild animals out
there and they're dangerous.
Okay. You got your whistle?
Your whistle?
You blow that whistle if the phone doesn't
work, or something happens.
Alright? You understand?
Okay. Let's go.
Don't just sit there.
So, what are we going to do now?
They are playing with us.
All of them.
What about this?
Are we going to eat this?!
I can't go on like this, Papa.
I won't stay here, neither will my child,
neither will you.
We're all going away!
Don't look there.
Look around you!
See how we live!
Do you hear me?!
Listen to me, please.
Listen to me.
Hey, stop!
-We're not stopping here.
-We have to pick Milos up!
I need you to sit back, Milika.
We can't stop now.
-Milika, let's go!
Milos, get out!
We'll be late for school!
Milika, there's nobody there.
They've gone, sweetie.
The house is empty.
They've already gone.
There's nobody there.
Let's get back to the vehicle.
We gotta get the other kids.
Okay, sweetheart?
Natalija, Smiljana and Milos
had to leave yesterday.
Their families were against
the Italians being replaced.
As long as there's one of you here,
this school will be open.
Have that in mind.
Do you have where to go?
We've got nowhere to go.
Grandma said to ask you
if we can stay here, in the church.
We can help
with whatever you need.
We'll need help.
You, Milica?
Your mother called.
I would like to leave,
she would go, too,
but we're waiting for my Dad
and my Uncle to come back.
Mom, what about Dad?
He'll find us.
What about our cow?
You said we can't leave her.
The soldiers will take care of her.
That's better than being in the barn.
What about Bogo?
Bogo will come with us.
Darling, this is very important.
You have to help me convince Grandpa
that we all have to go.
You have to tell him.
You want to go now,
just because Mauricio is gone.
Don't you ever say that again.
Stop that. Stop it!
Stop that!
Thanks for coming.
-He's not leaving?
Here, have a seat.
I'm listening, Milan.
I can't hold you here any longer.
You're not the one who's holding us.
The Americans are now in charge
and that's not temporarily.
Most of our people have already left.
Only you and Jelica are left.
And her grandchildren.
They will be with me, in the church.
Milica says that
there are people you could stay with.
Children say all sorts of things.
We've never had a second home.
Milutin, I'm here to help.
Listen to him, Papa. Please.
You've been here for more than a year
and how did you help so far?
Did you manage to get someone to tell me
about the fate of my son and her husband?
-You know that no one can tell that.
-I don't know, Milan!
I wanted to go to work the land.
But Jovan didn't let me.
He said, 'Me and Stevan will go...'
Don't start with that, now.
Don't start with that, now.
I'm not leaving this place
till they get back home.
Does everybody understand?
Milutin, sacrifice is for the living.
We are alive, Papa.
See this?
Since she lost her calf,
this is all we get from our cow.
They dragged all my animals away,
dried up the garden with some poison...
That's exactly why we have to go!
We can't live like this anymore!
Milutin, there's no life
for us here anymore.
I'm sorry if I left you no choice.
I only wanted the best.
Forgive me.
Papa, please come to your senses.
Wait, wait...
Let me do it.
We've been abandoned, Milan.
All of us.
Pack your things and go.
Let's go.
Go now, they're waiting for you.
-It's almost dark.
The weekend starts tomorrow.
The soldiers won't be around till Monday.
-Come on, Papa.
-You can come with me now to the church.
Let's go.
You can go whenever you want to.
And wherever you want to.
Ask your granddaughter what she wants.
Just look at her and ask her.
For once, ask her.
Milica, come here.
Tell your Grandpa what you want.
I want to go away from here.
All of us.
Milutin, there's not much time.
See you on Monday.
Milica, let's go.
Come on.
Get going.
Come on.
Let's go.
Come on, let's go. Come on!
I'm going alone, then!
Do you hear?!
I'm going!
Milica, I'm going!
I'm going!
I'm going!
Is this what you wanted?
To keep us here?
Are you really that selfish?
You were already on your way.
Why did you come back?
Do you want to kill us all?
Listen, I was born here
and I will die here.
But I wasn't, neither was Milica.
This is not our home!
Now, what? You want to go
to your own home?
Face it!
Jovan and Stevan are not alive!
They will never come back!
Turn that phone off!
Don't waste the battery.
I lit the last candle.
I feel like this small flame,
flickering with the slightest breeze
and it can blow out at any moment.
Mom will be angry with me
for lighting the candle so early,
for wasting the light,
but I want to finish
this letter as soon as possible.
The teacher told us
you will talk about Kosovo and Metohija
to people who decide our fate.
That is why I'm writing this letter
to you, Mr. President,
because I have just one wish left.
I want to have my Dad back.
Please, read this letter
and help me find him.
One day, he went with uncle Stevan
to work the land and he never came back.
His name is Jovan.
They told us that some people
have seen him in some village.
I'm writing this letter to you,
but in fact, I'm writing it to him.
I hope he will hear it
somewhere, on the TV.
He will know that we are still
waiting for him to come back to us.
Vukica, put the coffee on.
Mom, I have to pee.
Do it here.
I can't do it here.
You have to.
Don't force her.
She doesn't have to do it here.
Get inside, quick!
Get back! Back!
Vukica, light!
Hold the gun!
Quick! Take the kid!
Get inside!
There's someone outside!
They are in the yard!
Come on, darling.
Vukica, give me a hand!
Move it!
Put the kid under the table!
Come on, pull!
Come on! Harder!
They're outside the house!
Through the trap door! Now!
-No, I'm scared! It's dark!
-Come on!
Milica, listen to your mom!
There, honey.
Go down there, now!
Come on.
Papa... Papa, don't go out there.
Grandpa, don't go!
-Mom, don't go!
-Just stay there. I'll be right back.
Papa, don't go out there!
-Let me go!
-Don't go out!
-Let me go!
Get back down there!
Let me go!
Don't! Papa!
Please, don't!
Let me go!
Go back down there! Go!
Don't go out there! Please!
Don't go out there!
Get away, you bastards!
I'll kill you!
-Papa, please come back!
-Stay away from here! I'll shoot!
-I'm going out now!
-Don't, please!
-Get out of my yard!
-Come back here!
Bogo, do you hear me?! Bogo!
Wake up, Bogo!
Papa, please don't go there!
Come back here!
Don't go there!
I'll kill you all!
Don't go up there, please!
Papa, there's no one there!
You'll never drive us away!
Mom! Bogo is dead!
Go back inside!
Go back inside! Now!
Take this, bastards!
Papa, please!
-For us!
-I've got nothing left here!
Grandpa, don't go!
Please, stay!
You want me?!
Well, here I am!
I'm coming to get you!
Is it me you want?! Is it?!
Well, here I am!
Get out! Let me see you, devils!
You took my son away!
Take me, now!
I'm coming, devils!
I'll strangle you with my bare hands!
You think I'm scared of you?!
I'll show you! I'm not scared!
Come on, Mom!
Come on, Mom!
We have to go!
Help me with this!
Bring that rakia.
Pour it over the wound!
Do it.
Milica, come back here!
Let's go down there!
Mom, wake up!
Come on!
Come on, jump in!
Jump! Now!
Wait, wait...
Move this!
-I can't!
-Come on!
Push! Push!
The last time I saw you,
I was little and I was scared
of the shadows in the dark.
I'm big now, and I know,
if I stare in the dark long enough,
the dark shadow will disappear.
I will wait for you every day
until you show up on the door,
take me in your arms
and give me a big kiss, Daddy.
That's why
I'm not scared at all anymore.
Yours, Milica.
Breathe, breathe!
-Vukica, breathe!
-Roll her on her side!
Get some water over here!
-Breathe, breathe!
-Sprinkle her face!
She's breathing!
During the March 2004 pogrom
against the Serb population,
and despite the presence of
the international peace keeping force,
Albanian extremists have expelled
more than 4000 ethnic Serbs
from Kosovo and Metohija.
More than 600 houses were leveled
and 35 Christian Orthodox
churches were burnt down.
19 people were killed.
Several hundred people are still listed
as missing. Their faith is still unknown.