Faraon (1966) Movie Script

Based on the novel by Boleslaw Prus
Screenplay by
Director of photography
Directed by
Erpatre, the Most High Mouth.
The holy scarabs are rolling
a clay ball
towards the sands.
Go on.
With due piety and homage to the Sun,
I have stopped the march.
You are a god-fearing Egyptian,
though you have Hittite features.
We shall not take that road,
for we may crush the sacred beetles.
does that gorge avoid the sands?
- Yes. The gorge is one mile long.
- An awful waste of time.
Look at the army and you will see
we cannot take that road.
My soldiers
do not fear the scarabs.
You Libyans
do not even fear kingly tombs.
But it's unsafe there,
since none has returned.
Holy father, such an obstacle
would not even hold back a donkey.
A donkey will never be Pharaoh.
Thus you will lead the army
through the gorge, minister.
I am not versed
in the tactics of priests.
Come, Thutmose.
Your Reverence,
the gorge is blocked by a canal.
Then fill it in!
Fill in the canal!
Fill in the canal!
I dug that canal myself.
It took me 10 years.
While others
went to the market or danced.
I was promised freedom
if I brought water to this valley.
Do you hear? Freedom!
For me and my children!
Do not fill in the canal!
Light of the Sun, hear me!
May wailing never come
to your chamber,
nor misfortune dog your steps.
May the tide not carry you away
when you cross the Nile.
Merciful sire, o sire!
Most noble sire!
Engulf me, o Earth!
It was a cursed day,
when I saw the light and night!
O, death!
Grind my body to dust,
so I may never be born
a slave again
on the fields of Osiris!
It cannot be my father's will
for his army to march around
sacred beetles because
the minister of war is a priest.
- He is a great warrior.
- What warrior?
A holy minister of war.
And what army is it when
the best soldiers are hired Libyans?
My great grandfather
commanded 30,000 men,
but my father
has only half that today.
And he can barely afford it.
While the priests' coffers
bulge so full with gold
the Pharaoh's treasure
cannot be seen.
O, when I inherit the throne after
my father, may he live eternally...
I shall tread on their necks
with a foot shod for war.
What are you saying?
The whole nation, led by
the priesthood, will be against you.
And who will stand with you?
The army.
Most of them
will support the priests.
- The Libyan Corps.
- They serve for gold.
Half of them belong to priests.
- O Jehovah!
- What are you doing?
- I wished to see the army.
- Who are you?
I am Sarah,
daughter of the farmstead steward.
A Jewess.
You think Jewesses are not
as sweet as Egyptian women?
- I have had 3 Jewish mistresses.
- You lie!
A Jewess
will never be anybody's lover.
Not even the mistress
of the Nomarch of Memphis' scribe?
Even he.
- Nor even the Nomarch's fan holder?
- Even he.
Not even the mistress
of the Nomarch himself?
Who are you?
What do you want?
No. You tell me if I please you.
You have an honest face.
If not I would have taken you
for a Libyan mercenary or a bandit.
He is not yet that.
But he may become the greatest
bandit the world has ever seen.
And if I were as great
as the lord you belong to?
Perhaps you will be.
They are calling us.
And if I were
the Nomarch of Memphis?
Who knows, maybe you are.
Alert in the camp!
And if I were heir to the throne?
O Jehovah!
Ramses! We must fly, Ramses!
I will take you to my house.
Stay with her, Thutmose.
God of Abraham, Jacob
and Isaac, have mercy on me...
We are cut off, Erpatre.
- Is the enemy there?
- The invincible Nitager.
Follow me!
Attack those
who have blocked our way!
Kitarga! Kitarga!
You are victorious, Ramses!
You have proved yourself
to be a great commander.
You are Nitager,
the most valiant of the valiant.
Today you are the most valiant.
He fought like a child
of the pharaohs. He struck first!
And if your commander
had been equally headstrong?
- How would it all have ended?
- Leave the young warrior alone.
He will become a commander,
and will defeat the Assyrians,
who must be vanquished,
if we are to hold them back.
Generals have to win battles,
but ministers must know what
to do if the generals should lose.
Look Ramses:
an Assyrian beast,
taught to kill.
May you live eternally, Erpatre.
Live eternally.
I swear to the Gods
and to you
that our war chariots
shall trample Assyrian soil!
Today the Gods
let me taste the joy
of leading men such as you!
And since it is my will
that you shall always
share my happiness,
I give 5 talents to be shared
among the men!
I give 5 talents
to be shared
among the junior officers.
I give 10 talents
to the minister
and the senior officers.
Tell me, Pentuer.
Where will the heir to the throne
find 20 talents?
Find out for me.
He awards the army, but His Majesty
cannot pay Nitager's forces
returning from the Assyrian border.
And tell me, Pentuer.
Is it right for the Prince
to reveal his will to the army?
As if he were the Pharaoh.
Only a foolish youth
would act this way. Or a traitor.
Take as many men as you need
and re-dig the canal.
Until the job is complete.
May your will be done, sire.
O thee,
who rises above the horizon
and crosses the Heavens.
O thee,
who throws his rays
on our faces.
O thee,
who goes on and on.
O Sun.
O thee,
who multiplies the hours,
days and nights.
O thee,
who lights the Earth
and himself.
O thee,
born of no one,
who gives birth to himself
on the horizon.
O thee,
eternal Son of the Heavens.
O thee, Osiris-Ramses.
O thee, Osiris-Ramses.
I am pleased, Ramses,
that you returned hale
from your arduous journey.
May Your Majesty live eternally
and fill both worlds
with your works.
My military counsellors
have told me
of your work and good sense.
Your deeds will not go unrewarded.
You shall receive 10 talents,
a great chain
and two Libyan regiments.
What of the Delta Corps, father,
I was due to receive?
We shall repeat the manoeuvres
in a year.
And if you make
no mistake commanding the army
you shall receive the corps.
I am never alone with you, father.
Always there are strangers
between us.
I wish to be alone with you, father.
What do you wish to tell me?
One thing, father.
Herhor is my foe.
He accused me in front of you
and exposed me to shame.
Herhor is my faithful servant
and your friend.
Thanks to him you commanded
the troops during the manoeuvres.
He made the men
march around beetles!
Should a priest
favour the army over the Gods?
so as not to disturb the scarabs,
the canal was destroyed
and a man perished.
- That man took his own life.
- But it was the fault of Herhor!
30 men died of exhaustion
in the regiments
you so skilfully mustered.
And several hundred are sick.
You speak not
as a state dignitary who cares
for canal-building
and the lives of labourers -
but a wrathful man.
If wrath arouses me,
it is because
I see how Herhor
and the priests hate me.
Herhor will not even give me a corps.
He wants to command the army!
I command the army
and the country.
All orders and judgements
flow from me.
I act for Osiris in this world
and make all decisions.
Concerning my heir,
my minister and my people.
You are downcast, sire.
We have been together a day,
and I have not yet seen your smile.
Cares are like a treasure
to be hidden away.
While we watch them ourselves,
even sleep flees from us.
Our elders teach that a man
will even renounce rank for a woman.
But a woman cannot help
in serious difficulties.
If she does not love
like I love you, my lord.
I know you love me, but...
Can you make His Majesty
appoint me commander?
Can you even give me
the corps I asked for?
It is true I may not.
I cannot do any of that.
You may bring me cheer.
Robe yourself
like a Phoenician dancer,
and dance and caress me
like she would.
We, daughters of Judah,
may not dress immodestly.
Nor dance, nor sing?
Crying is the first voice of man
on this Earth,
and wailing the final farewell.
Man enters a life full of woe,
and enters the place of rest
full of regrets.
And no one asks
where he would stay.
Where is a man with no cares?
Where is a man
who lays himself
to rest saying,
"This was a day
I spent without sadness".
How you have changed.
You are now a man.
We meet so seldom
I might forget your face,
if I did not hold it in my heart.
This is not good.
Mother, such a greeting makes me
afraid to present my request.
- It must concern money then.
- I need 10 talents.
So your Jewess
has become so greedy.
No so. But I pledged
the army a reward I cannot pay.
Be cautious, Ramses.
Those women would choose
death before a stranger's bed.
And if they ever lie
with enemy commanders,
it is only to achieve their ends
or kill them.
Those are priests' words!
So you are the enemy
of the priesthood!
You, their beloved pupil.
- I still bear their rods' marks.
- Your grandfather was a High Priest!
Because my grandfather
and father were Pharaohs,
I cannot endure Herhor's power!
I see not
the future ruler of Egypt in you.
Who would remain if you
drove the priests from the court?
Who will be your eyes in the
Lower and Upper Land? Abroad?
The priesthood shall be my servants.
Not ministers.
Thanks to them, your father
has reigned for 33 years
- and avoided costly wars.
- For priests!
For the Pharaoh and country!
Do you know what is happening
to our treasures?
I know!
But I also know,
that one successful war with Assyria
could fill our coffers,
as the Nile floods our fields!
No. You, Ramses, are still a child.
I will not even blame you
for your impious words.
Please, send the Jewess away
and ask the priests
to lend you the money.
- I would sooner ask the Phoenicians.
- Do as you wish.
But remember, Pharaohs
have died after a few months
and great dynasties fallen.
Because those Pharaohs favoured
the incense burner over the spear.
Ramses, this is Dagon,
the most honest Phoenician
- banker in all Memphis.
- Greetings, new Sun of Egypt!
May you live eternally, and your fame
reach the distant shores,
whither sail our Phoenician ships.
When Thutmose told me
that you wanted to see his slave,
such joy entered me
I would not let my chariot driver
beat the donkeys.
And I gave a ring to the slave
who washed my hands.
Your Royal Highness,
how did you acquire that silver jug?
- From Azarius, son of Gaben.
- That Jew!
Your Royal Highness
trades with Jews?
- He is a merchant like you.
- O Baap Tamer! O Ashtoreth!
Azarius a merchant like me?
O my feet, why did you bring me here?
Kill me,
cut off my hand if I ever cheated
but do not say
the son of Gaben is a merchant.
will you lend me 15 talents?
Ashtoreth! 15 talents.
That is such a burden
I must sit down,
in order to think it over properly.
One talent is a huge sum.
For how long, sire?
For a year.
I say at once: three years.
Only His Majesty
could pay it back in a year.
Not a young prince,
entertaining merry noblemen
and beautiful women.
O, those women!
- At what interest?
- A trifle,
you need not trouble yourself with.
For 15 talents
Your Royal Highness will give...
5 talents a year, and after
three years I take it all back.
You loan me 15 talents
and after three years
take back 30?
By law, the sum of the interest
equals the loan!
Is that not too much?
Too much? I would be ashamed
to take any less from the heir.
- When will you bring it?
- Bring it? I shall do better.
I shall organize the payments,
and you will not have to
concern yourself with such vulgar
matters. And you will lease me
three farmsteads in Lower Egypt
for three years.
I must first ask
how much profit they earn me.
Your Highness does not trust me?
No. But...
So it is settled!
Now we need a scribe
and sixteen witnesses
to confirm the transaction.
Very well,
- as long as it turns out well.
- Wise words.
May you live forever.
My life
passed without torment
or care.
Like a pleasant day
by the River Jord...
You were gone so long, sire.
Hard years are coming for Egypt.
Internal conflicts threaten us,
which only
wisdom and virtue can resolve.
But worse.
If you declare war on Assyria
in the next 10 years,
their army will destroy everything
that has existed here for centuries.
The Assyrians are a cruel people.
You have cast a great fear on us,
but not shown us salvation.
Peace with Assyria.
What are the conditions?
Assyria will surrender Israel to you.
And Phoenicia?
Should Pharaoh attempt
to seize Phoenicia,
within a year Assyrian horses
will be swimming in the Nile.
Egypt cannot renounce
claims on Phoenicia.
If Egypt does not renounce Phoenicia,
she is sure to fall,
- and internal strife will quicken it.
- What strife do you mean?
You should know better than I,
a foreigner.
The people are downtrodden
by the great.
Piety is declining.
Many people think about war
on foreign soil.
Conclude a treaty with Assyria.
Amon knows how loathsome
such a treaty would be to me.
But if fate is really against us
we will have to conclude
a treaty.
If my own son
pushed Egypt towards war,
I would crush my own son.
If I hit it, I will humble Herhor.
If I hit it...
I will defeat the Assyrians.
If I hit it, I will one day be Pharaoh
like Ramses the Great.
O Jehovah!
Your mother is there.
And if your honourable mother
wishes to speak to you?
My mother is very fond of song.
You may win her over
by singing a Jewish song.
How great is the Lord,
how great is the Lord...
Do you see it? He is sailing
to meet us with his Jewess!
He would not be the son
of high priests and pharaohs
if he did not fight against our laws
and possibly misguided customs.
If he were not in that boat,
I would destroy it!
How great is the Lord,
how great is the Lord,
- Lord, o, Israel.
- A pretty, stupid creature,
who does not think
and cannot influence the Prince.
If only the omniscient Amun
would speak through your mouth.
The Prince has not lost his head over
her. Sarah is with child, however...
How do you know?
And if it is a son?
If it is a daughter, we will
give her the dowry of a noblewoman.
If it is a son,
he will be a Jew.
My grandson... A Jew?
The time will come
when Israel will need a king.
Then we shall give them one.
You are an eagle,
who sees all with a single glance.
I am grown weary.
Were I not concerned for your
tender years and the future of Egypt,
I would die today.
It gets worse every day.
For that reason, Ramses,
it is time for you to begin to rule.
You must learn
the exacting art of ruling a country
and keep watch over your foes.
May you attack them like an eagle
swooping on a partridge.
You want to lead the Delta Corps.
From today,
you are their commander.
My father.
Allow me, Honourable Prince,
to congratulate you.
Herhor insisted
I gave you the greatest province.
You have my gratitude,
noble Herhor.
Remember one thing, Prince.
Kingly wisdom is a priestly secret;
only a pious man may possess it.
Let he, who enters here
calm his soul.
On behalf of He who created all.
And gave life
to all the creatures on it.
I am the one who created the waters
and the great deluge.
I am the one who...
Come with me.
Who is the parent.
I am the one,
who created the Heavens.
And the mysteries of the horizons,
and put the souls
of the Gods into them.
I am the one,
who makes it light
when I open my eyes.
And when I close them
darkness falls.
When I give the order
the Nile flows.
But the Gods do not know
his name...
Prince Hiram of the
Phoenician High Council.
Dagon, banker to Prince Ramses,
heir to the throne.
I, Hiram, greet you, sire.
I wish you a wealthy life
and great success.
I, Dagon, greet you, sire.
I wish you what you wish me.
- You want to quarrel already!
- Rabsun,
- am I quarrelling?
- Better only to speak of business.
Why are you so aggrieved today?
I should be called
"The Honourable".
And I "Your Highness"
for I am a Prince.
In Phoenicia, perhaps!
In Assyria you would be nothing,
like Phoenician trader.
But what would you do
with such a wild man
who might impale you on a stake?
In Egypt I share the same couch
as the heir to the throne.
I own a hundred ships.
But His Majesty the Pharaoh,
has 20 thousand cities,
towns and villages.
Typhon possessed you?
You count Pharaoh's estates,
- while trouble threatens Phoenicia?
- I want to know what misfortune.
Berossus! Berossus.
Advisor to the Assyrian Princes
and the King.
Berossus spent the night
in the Temple of Ptah.
Our spies said
Assyria wants to seize Phoenicia
and give Israel to Egypt.
- Which is why Berossus is here.
- Dagon, you could help
at Pharaoh's court.
And prevent the treaty
- with Assyria being struck.
- By myself? Never!
- I stand by you.
- Phoenicia will supply the gold.
- What will I receive for my work?
- What?
10 ships.
- How much will you earn?
- It is too little?
- I'm asking how much!
- I hope you breathe your last.
I will give you twenty ships.
So forget about the burnt ones.
Very well, I will do it. To forget...
- ... how much I might have earned!
- Let us talk about Phoenicia.
Ramses will soon become Pharaoh.
And may start a war with Assyria.
- But do not push him into a war.
- Why, I cannot multiply myself!
But make sure all the heirs' cooks
want a war.
All the heir's barbers,
bath attendants,
scribes, officers, and chariot
drivers want a war with Assyria.
And make sure Ramses hears it
even when he sleeps.
It will be done.
- Do you know his mistress?
- A silly girl!
We could find him a clever one.
I know one! Kama.
The Phoenician priestess?
Sacrilege by her,
would mean death.
May you be blessed, o Nile.
O holy river,
which springs up in this land.
You come in peace
to give life to Egypt.
By the will of His Majesty
the Pharaoh and the priesthood,
you have learned
many secrets about Egypt
known to deities, the rulers
of the country, and the temples.
The wisdom of the Gods
has shown you
that not only the state coffers
but also the army has diminished.
And those sources of power
will continue to diminish.
Once, the coffers
of the Pharaohs were full,
we had land and people,
when our land
was rich and powerful.
That was 400 years ago,
before the 19th dynasty
began its victorious,
happy wars.
Our soldiers defeated our enemies
and our Pharaohs were esteemed
as far as the Euphrates River.
Our peasants worked
like beasts of burden.
Thousands of them
fought and died.
At the same time,
the desert sands engulfed our lands.
God speaks through you, Pentuer.
Our triumphs became Egypt's tomb.
This is today's Egypt, Ramses.
These are today's peasants.
Come closer, heir to the throne.
Skin and bones.
They will not swell the coffers
of your country, Ramses.
Remember Egypt carries
a venomous serpent in its breast.
This serpent,
sucking the blood of the people,
the fortunes of the Nomarchs
and the Pharaohs' power
is the Phoenicians.
The Phoenician gold trade.
They take all this land
and 32 people
against a single talent of gold
loaned for three years.
Look how much land
and how many people.
Now look at my hand.
This gold nugget is one talent.
- Your countenance is not cheerful.
- Be not wrathful, sire.
The soldiers
have not been paid for a week.
They report that His Majesty's health
has seriously declined.
The priests told me nothing.
But they say you pledged
to drive out the Phoenicians.
Can it be true?
It is true, then.
Poor Phoenicia.
But also poor Egypt.
- I do not understand your laments.
- You do,
since you decline
to answer my question. But...
I shall keep my promise.
You shall have a hundred talents.
You are concealing
something from me.
I would like you to explain.
Assyria is to subjugate us.
You have gone mad, honourable man.
Assyria to seize Phoenicia?
- What are we to do? We, Egypt?
- Egypt has already agreed.
A matter like this needs
the Pharaoh's and my permission.
And it will happen. The priests
have concluded an agreement.
- Which priests?
- His reverence, Herhor,
Pentuer, Mefres
and High Priest Berossus,
supported by King Assar.
Beware, old man.
You accuse the highest men
of treason.
You are mistaken, sire.
The high priests
and the minister of war
have the right to strike deals
with neighbouring powers.
I will not believe your words,
Your Reverence, until you prove it.
The Assyrian delegate Sargon
is due any day.
He will seal
what the priests decided.
What reward
will Assyria give Egypt?
Those are words worthy of a king!
That is a bad exchange for Egypt.
Assyria will not only have Phoenicia,
but almost all of Asia,
and Egypt only gains Israel.
If Pharaoh declared war
on weak Assyria,
and won it,
he would have a huge,
faithful army,
100,000 talents in unpaid tributes,
and 100,000 talents
from conquered countries.
With that money
he could buy back
the properties held
in pledge by the priests
and take away their power.
If a treaty existed,
it would have to be a secret.
One of the four priests
would then be a traitor to Pharaoh,
- and his co-conspirators.
- There may be a fifth,
- who spied on them.
- And sold you the secret.
Pity you do not know
the power of gold, sire.
They would fear punishment,
as servants of the Gods.
I have seen many temples
in many lands,
and many great and small
statues in them.
- But I have never met any gods.
- Blasphemy!
I myself felt
the God's touch.
- Where?
- In the temple.
You lack experience, sire.
Surrounded by a web of intrigue.
I wish to give you one service.
Come to the Temple of Ashtoreth
one night.
Come alone, and you will see.
But do not betray me, nor yourself.
The Gods may forgive
the betrayal of their secrets.
People - never.
Who is it?
I want to know.
It is I.
- Did you touch me with your hands?
- Indeed.
You are Kama?
The priestess of the flame?
And your laws are so cruel;
they do not let you love?
Were I to break the law,
Phoenicia would curse me
and the Gods
would take their revenge.
What concern
are your Gods to me?
- When did it happen?
- When was your honourable son born?
The second day of the feast of Seti.
Herhor was present at the birth.
- Thutmose!
- Sire?
Summon the regiments
from the coast.
I wish to inspect the troops.
The Memphis Palace tells us you,
o Prince,
are to receive Sargon,
emissary of King Assar,
who has come
with Priest Istubar to kiss
the feet of his Royal Highness,
your father.
Very well. With pleasure.
I shall ask them when Assyria
will pay us its unpaid tribute.
- Would Your Highness do that?
- Absolutely.
We need tributes
and they do not want to pay.
In the name of His Eminence Herhor,
I forbid any such talk!
What is your right, Priest, to talk
to me in the tone of a superior?
Herhor has nothing to say to me!
One more word.
Can you explain why Assyria
should not pay the tributes,
and refill the state treasury?
Assyria's army
is three times that of Egypt.
I see.
But if Egypt is so weak we may not
even mention Assyrian tributes,
how can we be sure
the Assyrians will not attack us?
Treaties can be used to defend us.
There are no treaties for the weak!
Treaties only have power
when supported
by spears and swords.
Bring Sarah and my child here.
I wish to see my son.
Merciful Lord, you are a king,
but you are also a good God,
so you may not harm your priestess.
I have waited
outside your house several times.
No one would guess my king
was only a few steps from me.
To what do I owe
this great honour?
Tell me why
I was shown my living portrait
in the temple.
Because they love you, sire.
And show you that
if you are in danger
and want to deceive your foe,
you can have your own shadow.
I would not survive by myself?
Ramses the Great
had two other bodies,
apart from his own, for his foes.
Those two shadows died
but he lived.
- You are beautiful.
- I will die because of you, lord.
- I will bring you to my palace.
- I will be your slave, lord.
But not today.
And not here.
Who told you
I no longer love you?
Do I know? An evil soothsayer
and my own heart!
- Sarah, you would cry the Nile out...
- I will not.
Your new soothsayer, frightening
you with tales of Phoenician women.
Not Phoenician women,
but Phoenicia. They are wicked!
I was told Phoenicia wants a war
between Egypt and Assyria!
Why would they want a war?
Why? They will supply you
and the Assyrians
with weapons, goods and news,
and expect to be paid for it!
They will loot the slain and wounded.
They will buy plundered goods
and slaves from the soldiers.
Egypt and Assyria will be ruined,
and Phoenicia will have
new treasures!
The Phoenicians sting like a viper.
If Ramses the Great
used a lion in battle,
then I can use a viper
against Egypt's foes.
I, Sargon, commander and kinsman
of the most powerful King Assar,
come to greet you,
heir of the most powerful Pharaoh,
bringing you gifts in friendship.
Sire, the Venerable Sargon
waits for your gracious reply.
Answer him thus.
Why does he speak to me
as an equal?
Urakata sela.
- He is the cousin of King Assar.
- And I am the son of the Pharaoh.
- Lord, whither does this lead?
- To war.
May the emissaries rise.
I shall not be happy till I have
100,000 severed Assyrian hands.
Hiram sent a letter
from your high priests.
You will no longer serve Ashtoreth.
You are free.
Do you think it is gold?
- Do you greet me thus?
- I know my brothers.
They counterfeit gold,
rubies and sapphires!
- Your safety is in this casket.
- What do I care?
I am bored and fearful!
It is as if I were in prison!
- Do you lack something?
- Lack?
I lack light, air, laughter,
songs and people!
O vengeful Goddess,
how severely do you punish me!
Do I not love you? Is the honour
that you belong to me not enough?
If you loved me,
I would be the first lady!
You would put me
where the Jewess Sarah resides!
And you would guard me - not her!
By Ashtoreth's altar I was first!
And here? What?
All bow down before the Jewess!
Before my firstborn son.
And he is not a Jew.
- He is!
- You are insane.
- You know my son cannot be a Jew.
- And I tell you he is!
He is a Jew, like his grandfathers!
Like his uncles! His name is Isaac!
Shall I be rid of you?
Very well.
Be rid of me, if ever I lied!
But if I speak the truth,
drive her away!
Give me proof.
Go to her. And ask.
Your firstborn son is called Isaac.
Isaac! Isaac!
Greetings, sire.
what is the name of your son?
What is the name of your son!
- Indeed, you know, sire. It is Seti.
- Look me in the eyes.
You lie! My son,
the son of the Pharaoh's heir
is called Isaac.
And he is a Jew! A base Jew!
- The priests ordered me thus.
- Which priests?
The Most Venerable
Herhor and Mephres.
They said he must become
the first Jewish King!
Herhor and Mephres.
Herhor and Mephres!
The Jewess is no longer a lady,
but will serve the one who replaces
her! Take her to join the slaves!
God of Abraham,
Jacob and Isaac, take pity on me!
You swore
you would run away with me.
- Lykon.
- If you become the Prince's mistress,
- I will strangle you.
- Let me go.
Priestesses are for priests,
not for strangers.
You are also a stranger to us.
I cannot be a stranger to you.
Your priests created me.
They taught me to walk like him.
- Talk like him.
- Be quiet.
I hate him.
You have never resembled
the Prince as much as today.
The politics of the priests
has caused this.
The Libyan regiments are demobilized
and are burning villages.
Do not look at me like that.
- I am happy, sire.
- You will marry an elegant lord.
You are wrong, sire.
I am happy,
but not because of my betrothal.
Why then
are you marrying Thutmose?
I shall be nearer Your Highness.
And be able to see you more, sire.
Erpatre. Mephres and Mentezuphis
ask to speak to you.
- Will Your Highness hear us out?
- You think I am in my cups?
Go to Thutmose.
Today the whole of Egypt
is so insane, so stupid that drunks
- have the most sense.
- Does Your Highness know,
that 5,000 Libyan soldiers
are to be demobilized.
I did not know.
- You did not deign to inform me.
- Your Highness questions the orders
- of His Majesty the Pharaoh?
- No!
Not His Majesty, but those
traitors who, taking advantage
of my father's sickness,
want to sell the country to Assyria.
Let us, o Prince,
return in a few hours.
No. There is no need.
I know what is happening
on our Western border.
Or rather not I,
but my cooks do.
And stable boys.
And scullery maids.
So perhaps you will deign,
Honourable Fathers,
to inform me of your plans.
The Libyans are planning
to attack Egypt.
- I see.
- The will of His Majesty
and Minister Herhor is for
Your Highness to gather your army
and destroy the rebels.
- Am I now commander-in-chief?
- It is as you said.
- I may join your councils of war?
- This very moment.
Be seated.
Why have you demobilized
the Libyan regiments?
Others will be demobilized
so His Majesty
may earn 4,000 talents annually.
And I thought you did that
to please the King of Assyria.
You astonish us, o Prince.
The pharaohs' souls
would be more astonished
if they heard that in Egypt, where
royal authority has been shackled,
- a Chaldean trickster is plotting.
- What you talking about?
I speak of Berossus.
The great secret of your temples!
King Assar's spy has forced
a shameful treaty on us.
It could only be signed
after losing
everything in battle.
Madmen! O, pious ones!
Wake up, commander.
The army is waiting.
Amun Ra...
I am the one,
who, when he opens his eyes,
brings light!
And when he closes them
darkness falls.
I am the God,
Amun Ra.
I am the one
who created
the Heavens and the Earth.
And gave life
to all the creatures on it.
I am the God,
Amun Ra.
Live eternally, o our commander.
Live eternally. Erpatre.
It is the cry of an army
that loves its victorious commander.
I do not even know how I won it.
Do you know, Tehenna,
how Egypt punishes treason?
I know I deserve death, sire.
And I accept it on your decree.
I am afraid the triumph
has gone to the young lord's head.
Perhaps we ought to stop it.
Do not stop the celebrations.
If I may, sire.
Strange things have come to pass
since you left the city.
Your Phoenician Kama
fled with the Greek Lykon.
Do not be roused, sire.
This Greek is an awful criminal.
He is as like me as a reflection.
And now the most terrible event.
Remember that Egypt's foes
cannot see your sadness.
The Jewess Sarah, is dead.
Your son is also dead.
The Greek Lykon killed him.
Hold your feelings, sire.
As befits a triumphant commander.
This place fills me
with astonishment and regret.
I once thought that I would build
something more worthy
than the pyramid of Cheops.
But where would I get so much gold?
So many people?
Do not envy Cheops, sire.
It took 30 years to build his tomb,
and what was gained?
Who did it heal? Or feed? Or clothe?
Half a million died building it.
How much blood,
tears and pain?
It is not
if the pyramids were necessary...
... but that the will
of the Pharaoh be done.
Yes, Pentuer.
The pyramid is not
the tomb of Cheops, but his will.
Do you, sire, wish to prove
your power in a like manner?
Why are you so kind to me, priest?
The Gods warned me you could save
the people of Egypt
from their misery if you so wished.
Why do you care for the people?
I came from the people.
My father and brothers
took water from the Nile...
... and were beaten for it.
- How may I help the people?
- The people work too hard.
Their taxes are too high.
They are poor and downtrodden.
The peasants!
Always the peasants!
For you, the only ones who deserve
pity are those the lice bite.
Why do you not count
the pharaohs who were murdered?
But you do not remember them.
And my father? And I?
Death is no more merciful to me
than to your peasants.
O Lord, o Lord...
Why are they praying at this time?
Tell me instead why they pray,
since no one hears them.
In peace to the West.
O Lord, go in peace.
We will see you again,
when the day of eternity arises.
For we shall go to the land
which unites
all people with you.
To the West,
to Osiris' chambers.
You go to the West.
To the West.
The oxen that pull
the funeral chariot.
Our lord goes to the West
after you.
To the West, to the West,
to the land of the just.
Greetings, Pharaoh,
ruler of the world.
- What are you saying?
- May God
pour wisdom and strength on you,
and happiness on your people.
The oxen go to the West,
pulling the funeral chariot.
Greetings to you,
Lord and Ruler of the world.
And live eternally as Pharaoh
en-Ptah-Ramses XIII.
According to the will of His Majesty
my father and the laws of Egypt,
I assume government in praise of the
state and happiness of the people.
I see you wear the golden serpent.
Why do you wear
the symbol of royal power?
I ask you, Your Eminence.
Why the royal serpent on your mitre?
Egypt lacked a ruler for one day.
During that difficult time I was
ordered to bear the holy relics.
So the government and servants
could swiftly join the Gods.
Your Majesty,
please listen to my humble request.
- The High Priests' Council speaks.
- Go on.
A pharaoh needs
the high priest's blessing
to fulfil his highest functions.
The High Council
begs Your Majesty
to appoint a priest to substitute
you in religious ceremonies.
Thank you for reminding me of this.
War and state matters
prevent me from taking part
in religious ceremonies.
Thus I must appoint a substitute.
Who are you, Your Eminence?
High Priest in Hathor's Temple.
You will be my substitute
in religious ceremonies.
What are you doing
to the sleeping one, brother Anubis?
Scraping the feet
of my brother Osiris,
so earthly dust
will not soil the Heavens.
He appears in the clouds,
to separate Heaven from Earth,
and then unite them.
What are you doing to the
sleeping one, brother Anubis?
I am cleaning earthly matter
from my brother Osiris,
that he will be more beautiful.
God incarnate in all things,
the spirit of Shu in all the Gods.
He is the body of a living man.
That was a Nubian priest, who entered
the Labyrinth during the times
of Your Majesty's grandfather.
The last person here
was your father, Ramses XII.
According to ancient custom
and your will,
we have brought you here, sire.
It is the Labyrinth's chief treasury.
All this is kept
for times of danger?
You speak the truth,
Your Majesty.
And who decides
if such times have come?
If they were to come?
A meeting of native Egyptians
must be called.
The Pharaoh takes his place
with 13 priests, 13 Nomarchs
and 13 merchants,
officers and peasants.
You would give the treasure
to that meeting?
We would give the sum,
if the entire meeting agreed
that Egypt were in peril.
I want to improve
the lot of the Egyptian people.
Firstly, by giving them
a day of rest after six days of work.
The people would bless you, sire.
But the state would lose
10,000 talents a year.
We have already
reckoned that in the temple.
You are right, Venerable Mephres.
Which is why, holy men,
I need help.
You remain silent,
Your Eminence?
I cannot guess where
we would get 30,000 talents.
- The treasury of the Labyrinth?
- Those are the treasures of the Gods.
To be taken in times of great need.
If not the people,
then I need that sum.
Your Majesty could gain
more than 30,000 talents in a year.
And Egypt twice as much.
Expel the Phoenicians
and demobilize
the Libyan regiments, sire.
If that is your counsel,
I will do without it.
Your forebears carved in granite,
not on papyrus,
that gifts given to the Gods
will always belong
to the Gods and the temples.
And to you.
As much to us, as the state
belongs to you, Your Majesty.
Stay here.
Tell me.
You are the son of peasants
and you know there are fools
among the priesthood.
Tell me why you
support them against me.
For thousands of years
the priesthood has cared for Egypt.
And made the country what it is.
How have they managed to do so,
in spite of their faults?
When they are the bowl in which
the light of wisdom burns.
Destroy that bowl and you might
quench the light that has burned
over Egypt and the world
for thousands of years.
I will not join the fight,
because I would either betray you
or God, the creator of wisdom.
Be seated, Lykon.
This is the price
we can buy him with.
- You have a good police force.
- Better than in the Labyrinth.
Appoint me chief guardian there,
and you will have
the best guards.
Do you know
why I summoned you?
Take our lands and our families,
but we have no money.
Today Phoenicia
is gathering gold and jewels
to pay the Assyrians,
according to the treaty
your priests signed.
They are still deceiving you, sire.
They send letters to King Assar.
I will deal with
the priesthood's obedience.
Give me proof
that you speak the truth.
Look, sire.
Here is the truth.
It is...
High Priest Samentu,
the man I spoke of, Your Majesty.
You told Hiram of the treaty
between our priests and Assyria.
It was I.
The temple walls
are riddled with holes.
You can hear
what they saying in the cellars.
- You detest the state of priesthood.
- And they detest me.
I serve Set, the God of evil.
Can the priesthood
be brought down?
400 years ago Pharaoh Amenhotep IV
defeated the priests
and took the treasures.
No one stood up for the priests.
- Who helped Amenhotep?
- The simple priest Ey.
Who inherited the throne
after Amenhotep's death?
That proves Amenhotep
was a weak ruler.
How would you
get rid of the priests?
By seizing
the chief treasury of the Labyrinth.
And then?
By trying Herhor and Mephres
with high treason.
For keeping secret relations
with Assyria.
- What about proof?
- Hiram sends secret letters.
You are a true sage.
The people love you,
Your Majesty...
... and are sure to rise
against the priests.
The army is faithful to you,
like to no other pharaoh.
You have the Phoenicians,
and the treasures of the Labyrinth.
Could you find the Labyrinth?
I have many clues,
and will find the rest.
I know where to look.
The people are massed
in front of the palace gates.
Let us respect the ancient customs.
Let the gate be opened.
I permit everyone to stand.
Guardian of the Labyrinth -
step forward.
Each delegate will receive
two stones: a black and a white.
Anyone wishing you to take
the treasury of the Labyrinth,
will choose the black stone.
Anyone who does not wish it,
will choose the white one.
Have them throw the stones
into the jug.
If but one stone is white,
they will not open the Labyrinth.
I have more regiments
than there will be votes against me.
Open the Labyrinth.
Release the gold of the Labyrinth.
Open the Labyrinth.
Here is my will.
The crowd must attack
the temple in two days.
Prepare extra supplies
of free wine and food.
Tehenna, send four Libyan
regiments to the Labyrinth.
If the crowd threatens the Labyrinth,
surround them with troops.
You, Thutmose, deploy
three regiments near the temples.
Minor disturbances are permissible.
The people may gather
in front of the temples today.
Let us imprison
Herhor and Mephres at once.
No. Hiram will give me Herhor's
letters to the Assyrians in two days.
I will have proof of his treason
and be able to imprison them.
The temples and Labyrinth
are more important.
I have been in the Labyrinth twice.
But the treasury may be flooded
at any moment.
I will return there one more time.
The army may not occupy
the Labyrinth until I say.
You have heard everything.
Yes, sire.
Show no mercy.
Forgive neither Herhor nor Mephres.
While they live,
you may die.
A lion may be soothed,
a Phoenician bribed, a Libyan tied up,
but an Egyptian priest,
who has tasted luxury and power,
is immune to anything.
Your calm astonishes me.
Almost the entire population
is against us.
The people are like barley -
they go with the wind.
And the army?
What army will not fall
before Osiris?
I know. But I see neither Osiris nor
the wind that will blow us support.
- What have they to fear?
- They will be afraid of Osiris.
And the one who goes blind
that day will be happy.
Pharaoh wants the people
to storm the temples.
We need to speed up the attack.
We must make sure
they attack us tomorrow.
Do not begrudge gold.
The crowd must attack the temples
at noon tomorrow.
Tomorrow at noon.
- No one can be here.
- And yet...
Think about Lykon.
We must go further.
Who goes there?
What is happening?
Was my soothsayer mistaken?
When you cannot be a trickster,
Mephres, you are only an idiot.
And here you are
a trickster and an idiot.
A trickster, because you persuade
people that rogue has second sight,
and an idiot,
because you think they believe you.
Why don't you say you know
the plan of the Labyrinth perfectly?
You lie.
I am here, for I found
the plans in the Temple of Set.
You found yours
in the Temple of Ptah.
Tie up that traitor and liar.
You will remain an idiot
until your death.
He can stay here.
Like the others.
Faithful Egyptians.
To the health of our Lord.
Drink, faithful Egyptians,
to the health of our Lord.
May he live forever.
Long live Ramses XIII!
The Statue of Isis
turned its face to the wall.
The water
has gone as red as blood.
One more proof of a traitor.
When your army enters the temple
great misfortune will befall Egypt.
The audacity
of the priests is a greater ill.
Be merciful.
If you break them you will destroy
the wisdom that elevated us
- over other peoples.
- I do not want to harm them.
Their wisdom and piety does not
vex me, but Egypt's poverty,
which starves and fears
the Assyrians.
Ramses. My son and dearest lord.
Drive out the bad counsellors.
You still have time.
O Lord of the two worlds, the mob
has begun to storm the temple.
Give the order.
The army is to seize the temples.
They must be taken by noon.
And Herhor and Mephres imprisoned.
Your Majesty!
There will soon be an eclipse.
Repent, ye heathens.
Whether a believer or a pagan,
I beseech you in the name of
the Gods to leave the temples alone.
Open the gate.
We want to know what treason
you plot against our lord.
- Release the gold of the Labyrinth.
- My son...
Prostrate yourself and beg
the Gods to forgive your sacrilege.
You beg the Gods to protect you!
Down with the priests.
O Gods!
I entrust the holy temples,
against which traitors and heretics
are rising up, into your care.
I turn my face away
from this accursed people.
And may darkness fall on the land.
- That dark circle is the Moon?
- So say the sages.
- And the darkness will soon be over?
- Certainly.
I must restore to favour
those who study the stars.
My son!
My son!
On the soul of your father,
on our Gods I implore you,
humble yourself.
Beg the Gods for forgiveness.
My son!
Humble yourself, humble yourself...
Humble yourself!
May your name
be praised threefold!
Have pity and show
your face to the hapless people.
I will listen
to the prayers of the priesthood
one more time,
for I am merciful.
If you wish to see Kama again,
do as I say.
- Who are you?
- Guardian of the Labyrinth.
You know the plans
of the Labyrinth, as we do.
Herhor sent you...
I know I will not build a temple
greater than Amun's
nor a pyramid
more splendid than Cheops'.
I inherited a weak and sickly state.
I must make it strong.
And may it become a monument that
will match the greatest in the memory.
What will you do if Thutmose
fails to capture the temples?
I shall stow my crown in a chest,
don my helmet
and seize it myself.
You do not even know, Hebron,
what you mean to me.
After your ministers and generals.
I would like to have
as many hands as leaves,
as many mouths as flowers.
So I might caress your eyes,
your feet,
your breasts all at once.
For a king
whose throne is endangered,
you have strangely free thoughts.
A moment's caress
is worth a year of government.
Open the gate for Thutmose.
High Priest of Amun of Thebes.
You stand accused of high treason.
The Pharaoh will judge you.
If the young lord
wishes to learn the plans
of the eternally living Ramses XII,
let him approach
the High Council.
I summon you to follow me,
if you do not want me to make you.
May the Gods protect you
from the punishment you deserve.
- Are you coming?
- I wait here for Ramses.
Then wait!
English version: DubbFilm
Translation: David French