Friendship's Death (1987) Movie Script

You know, while
I was there in Amman,
I never imagined I'd remember
everything with such clarity.
Everything is still
completely vivid.
The sound of mortars, the
mimeograph machine and the PLO
post where I first
met Friendship.
Even the taste of the tea.
Hijacked planes
blown-up on a desert airstrip.
That's the image we'll remember.
Pure spectacle.
Millions of
dollars going up in smoke.
Pure waste.
Pure destruction.
What is it happening?
It's incomprehensible.
It's an image with all
the meaning drained out of it.
Completely opaque, like a
curtain between us and history.
When I talk to
Palestinians about 1970,
they sometimes say, "why do you
want to remember those days?
Those were terrible days."
But then they say, "how do
you know anything about it?
Nobody ever cares
what happened to us."
For them, it
was a Black September.
Oh, how did it go?
Safe and sound?
He gave me a lecture.
Oh, very appropriate.
Middle Eastern studies,
a special course
with practical demonstrations.
I couldn't understand all of it.
He kept warning me
about the danger.
I can't get enough of it.
You need to feel the
shells right up close.
You need to smell the blood.
Journalism, don't
you just love it?
They seem to have a great
deal of respect for you.
Thank you for your help.
I just told them
that I knew you.
No problem.
You don't know me.
Well, it's better
for you that I do.
Anyway, a chance
encounter can often
lead to a lifetime friendship.
What are you doing here?
I told you,
I'm looking for danger.
I couldn't get
enough of it at home.
But they organise these things
an awful lot better out here.
Is something bothering you?
It's just the tungsten light.
Do go on.
When I was a kid, I wanted
to be a brain surgeon.
I thought that if we could
find a way into the deepest
recesses of the
human mind, then we
could find out what had
gone wrong with the species.
But now I'm not so sure.
Whatever it is in
there, I don't think
I want to know about
it, thank you very much.
Do you have a map?
We're somewhere on
Jabal el-Hussein.
You don't need a map.
They'll take us back to the
hotel in their own good time.
It's a good sign, isn't it, tea?
It shows solicitude.
Or it could mean
that they expect us to stay.
When I first came
here, I was obsessed
by ruins, the ruins of Jerash.
You should try to
see them if you can.
Now, we tend to think
that ruins belong
to the past, lost in the sands
of time, and that's nonsense.
They belong to the present.
More and more cities are
being ruined every year,
just look around you.
And the best is yet to come.
The best?
It would calm my
nerves, wouldn't it?
Holding the glass
poised delicately
between my fingertips.
Putting it to the lips.
The sensation of heat.
So let's get this straight.
You only arrived
here the other day.
In a matter of
hours, you managed
to lose all your papers,
all your belongings,
go out to the
university, get yourself
lost in the middle
of a tank attack,
and get captured by the PLO.
That's right.
Spectacular performance.
A woman in jeopardy.
A reckless act of
It all adds up to
nonsense, doesn't it?
Well, what can I say?
It's the truth.
Now, there are three
levels to anything.
There's the truth, there's
my version, and blatant lies.
Now, this is my version.
No, let me explain.
You haven't heard
the whole story yet.
Your version?
The truth.
You see, I'm an
I'm an envoy from outer space,
from a far distant galaxy
known to you as Procyon.
All right, go on.
Keep talking.
This exceeds my
wildest expectations.
I'm fascinated.
I was designed to
land at the MIT campus
in the United States,
the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology,
but something
went wrong with the
probe during entry
and it seems I've landed
up here in Amman, Jordan,
in the middle of a civil war.
It could hardly have
gone more smoothly, could it?
Well, when the
malfunction occurred
during atmospheric
entry, I lost contact
with my control facility.
I'm on my own.
Well, I don't care who you are.
It's a great story.
I'll drink to that.
Yeah, let's drink
to outer space.
Yeah, let's drink to a
galaxy known to us as what?
As Procyon, yeah.
Here's to malfunction.
I don't really drink at all.
I'm a simulation.
I can pick up the temperature
and the chemical composition
and the aroma of the drink.
I can hold it in my mouth and
I can pour it down my throat,
but I'm not really drinking.
I have no digestive system.
What an excellent scheme.
You can't get drunk 'cause
you've got no digestive system.
Excellent scheme.
Whose idea was that?
A team of computers.
I'm a specially
designed prototype.
You ever heard of
William Burroughs?
I used to visit him in
the worst hotel rooms.
Strange guy.
He used to piss
into the washbasin
and sit there listening
for radio static
to see if he couldn't pick
up messages from outer space.
Convinced the Nova Mob
were going to invade,
contaminate us all with
some horrible virus,
turn us all into simulations.
Pour another drink?
One, it's traditional.
Two, its friendship.
And three, it's a
scientific experiment.
The effect of booze
on space creatures.
I was fortunate enough to
acquire a perfect example
of a space creature.
Sitting her in the
armchair, I plyed her
with the crude but unmistakably
alcoholic beverage.
Please don't
hammer the keys so hard.
It's bad for the machine.
Oh, please,
don't interrupt, will you?
Let me just finish
the paragraph.
It's brilliant.
I don't want to lose a thread.
Brilliant stuff.
They've hijacked another plane.
British this time.
I've always
hammered the keys too hard.
It's part of my personality.
I know it's bad for the machine,
probably bad for me too,
but there's nothing
much I can do about it
at this stage of my life.
It's a VC-10.
Bahrain to London.
Refuelling in Beirut.
How would you know that?
How do you know?
I intercepted a message for the
Deputy Communications Officer
at the British Embassy.
His daughter Jennifer is
safe at Beirut Airport
but she can't board
the flight on to London
because it's been hijacked.
And why are you telling me?
You're British.
You're a journalist.
I assumed you would
be interested.
You trust me?
Why shouldn't I trust you?
Now, first possibility,
least likely.
You really are a being
from outer space.
Second possibility, more likely.
You're a fucking nutter
tipped over the edge
by your experiences out at the
university on the day we met.
Shell shock.
Civil war fever.
Third possibility, most likely.
You're really an agent
spinning an incredibly
unlikely and extravagant
yarn in the best
tradition of Secret Service,
fantasy, and phantasmagoria.
Next question is, who
are you working for,
and what am I going
to do about it?
I assure you, I don't intend
doing any harm to anybody.
I'm no threat to
you or anybody else.
Don't be naive.
Everybody's a threat to
somebody on some level.
We're in the middle of
a fucking civil war.
I've got no papers.
I'm dependent on you.
You can just hand me back
to the PLO and tell them
I was a spy after all.
You can trust me.
I'm a peace envoy.
If everything had gone
according to plan,
I would have landed at
MIT and made contact
with the academic community.
I then would have gone
on to the United Nations.
Instead of which, I landed here.
Yeah, well just don't
drag me into trouble too.
That's all I ask.
In the future, I
don't want to get any
of your intercepted messages.
You know, I used to like
listening to jazz tapes
back on Procyon and
the long voyage here.
Charlie Parker, Ornithology.
Do you know it?
Tea for Two.
I was briefed on
him before I left.
He once went to a very famous
composer, Edgard Varse,
and he begged him, please,
teach me to write sheet music.
I'll do anything for you.
I've got money.
I'll pay you.
I'm a great cook,
I'll cook for you.
Charlie Parker always
wanted to write sheet music.
Well, teach me jazz.
I'm great.
I'm fantastic.
But I've lost my music.
I've lost my score.
My programmes have all crashed.
I'm down here, and
I have to improvise.
I think I'm a good liar.
It helps me to be sceptical
about other people's lies,
and in this business,
that's a plus.
What would you think?
An attractive, calm,
competent woman
is brought to me by the PLO
to whom I'm sympathetic.
A woman with no previous
identity, no history, nothing.
Of course she has to improvise,
but I don't have to help.
I'm the mark.
I'm the sucker.
Now, I'm going to
finish my typing,
and I may hammer the
keys, but I love it.
And yes, I will help
you, if and when I can.
And on second
thought, you can pass
on any radio
intercepts you happen
to get on a strictly
deep background basis.
New paragraph.
Come in.
I hear you've been
out dodging the shrapnel.
Oh, I like it out there.
I love that market.
It's so great when there's
going to be trouble.
All these iron
blinds clank down,
the streets empty, dozens of
people cram into the taxis,
and suddenly you're all alone.
Yes, I had a word
with the people at the desk.
Told them that you were
Canadian from Vancouver.
I don't think that should
alarm them too much.
Totem poles, social credit,
the ski lift on Grass Mountain,
three kinds of salmon...
Coho, sockeye, chinook.
You know it?
You've been there?
Of course not.
How could I?
I'm well briefed, that's all.
Like me to recommend
a great sushi bar?
When you say you're
well briefed,
you mean there's a little
chip in there somewhere that's
full of information
all about Vancouver
and Nairobi and Glasgow?
And Glasgow.
Just a few basic facts.
Like where to find a good
sushi bar in Glasgow?
Now, why were you briefed?
And why were you sent here?
Well, we'd been monitoring
Earth for some time,
ever since we first found
traces of intelligent life here.
Gradually, our first
thrill of discovery
began to give way
to an increasing
sense of anxiety and dismay.
Your species seems
bent on destroying
itself and every other life
form on the planet with it.
We thought we ought to do
something about it before it was too late.
Oh, I get the picture.
You're a kind of
wildlife warden, hm?
What do humans do?
Well, they multiply,
they pollute,
they massacre each other.
There seems to be no end to
their general undesirability.
But, oh. Well, that's
just life, isn't it?
It's just part of the rich
tapestry of the cosmos?
Difficult from a
PR point of view.
I mean, nobody in
their right mind
would actually want one as a
pet but rewarding nevertheless
in a deeper, more subtle sense.
I'm not a saint.
Understandably, it's
going to be difficult
for you to take an objective
look at your own species.
There's bound to be some sort
of lingering amour propre.
Human beings can look quite
obnoxious and unlovable to us.
But they are life
forms, and they are
in danger of self-extinction.
Would you mind?
No, go ahead.
It's an energy source
for me, but I don't
want to inflict it on you.
You're beginning to sound more
like a kind of guinea pig.
Let's send her in
there with them
and see if they
tear her to pieces.
First, the carrot before
we produce the stick.
I'm a highly sophisticated
data-gathering technology.
I was empowered to make
preliminary contact
with whatever
forces in the world
want peace and
international cooperation.
That's the carrot.
What's the stick,
the space Marines?
Oh, I don't want to be around
when these lads hit the deck.
A surgical strike, no
doubt, but all the same.
Well, we have the technology, and we
have a fully axiomatised system of ethics.
You're crazy.
You're seriously disturbed.
If we didn't have the ethics,
I wouldn't have the
justification for being here.
What kind of
ethics would give you
the power to decide who to
harm or who to help, hm?
Power means exercising
control over others.
In this case, over us.
All we want is friendship.
That's my code name.
It sums up my mission.
Well, on your account,
you're a robot.
Well, let's just
assume that you are.
Yeah, why not?
Let's not argue about it.
The point is, what am I
going to do about you?
Well, you could start by
getting me press credentials.
I was completely
obsessed by maps.
I used to pore over them.
I think that's how I first
got interested in politics.
JV Horrabin's Atlas of
European History, yeah?
I used to lie there on the
bedroom floor pondering
the shape of the Danzig
Corridor or the Albanian border
Politics has got absolutely
nothing to do with people.
People are just
the raw material.
It has all to do with maps.
The romance of territory.
I mean, look at
the situation here.
The Ottoman vilayets,
the British mandate.
Annexation, partitions, maps.
Who are the Palestinians?
Victims of a map.
Oh, tremendous.
I'm going to close
these shutters.
It's getting bloody
dangerous out there.
They don't care where
they're fighting.
You know, they should have maps
showing the incidence of death.
Like mortality maps, like
weather maps, but with.
Fronts of death moving
across the city.
Slow reflexes.
I always imagined you
only did that outside,
never inside in a hotel room.
I was a little boy during the
war, and when the sirens went,
I used to go into
the hall cupboard
and hide under the table.
Sit there waiting for the
Doodlebugs' engines to cut out.
Plenty of early warning.
Gave you time to take
stock of your young life.
No rush.
No hurry.
Terribly British.
"The Sixth Fleet moved
to take up position
off the coast of Lebanon.
There are reports
of increased levels
of activity at the American
base at Adana, Turkey."
You could say something
about the British signals
operation at Akrotiri.
"Four C-130 transport planes
escorted into the base
by Phantom jets.
Yeah, things are getting very
jittery out in the desert.
Bad, bad, bad.
Meanwhile, in Washington..."
You're hammering the keys again.
When I scolded you before,
you said you were working out
your aggressions, it was
something you had always done,
and it was too late to change.
Obviously, not something you
gave a lot of consideration to.
Well, I can't take
it so lightly.
It seems very different to me.
You see, I am a machine.
I may appear to be a human.
I may appear to be
a biological person.
But in reality, I am a machine.
This whole human anatomy...
Skin, ears, eyes,
fingernails, the whole lot
is just a veneer, a casing.
Inside, crystals and circuitry.
To me, a typewriter is
something like a very primitive
and distant cousin.
Not dangerous.
Not any kind of threat
to either you or me.
So why mistreat it?
Don't get me wrong.
I'm not just squeamish.
There are some machines I
feel very differently about.
For example, the vacuum cleaner.
Oh, come on.
Every day, there is a woman
who comes into my hotel
room and cleans it
with a vacuum cleaner.
I find it loathsome.
Perhaps it's because
it's a scavenger, kind
of a mechanical rat or roach.
I suppose I'm slightly
phobic about it.
Whereas the typewriter, I
like it's intricate mechanism.
The way the carriage
runs across.
The little bell that rings.
It's adorable.
Deep down, I've got more fellow
feeling for this typewriter
than I have for you.
Do you think the
attack is timed for tomorrow,
if there is one?
If there is one?
Will there
be an attack tomorrow?
No, too soon.
Anyway, I'm going
out for the day
tomorrow to the ruins of Jerash.
I've been offered a lift, so I
thought I'd take your advice.
I thought I'd go see the ruins
before the ruins came to me.
The ruins of
Jerash were very strange.
There were troops bivouacking
in the Roman theatre.
They'd pitched this
tent on the stage
and built campfires round it,
so there were little detachments
of troops in battle
dress squatting
around the fires in front
of the marble columns.
Spear carriers.
When the Emperor Hadrian
went to watch the shows.
Then we had something
to eat in Jerash.
There were four of us...
The PLO escort, the driver,
the Swedish guy, and me.
After the meal, the PLO
escort says, why don't we
go and visit my village.
It's near here.
It won't take us long.
So we all agree, and we
set off into the unknown,
into the blue, into the
middle of the desert.
Finally, we arrive
at this village.
It's not really a village.
It's just a few shacks, really.
We're inside one of the shacks
talking to this man's family.
They wanted to
prepare a meal for us.
I'm trying to dissuade
them in some way that
won't sound offensive
to them when someone
rushes into the shack and tells
us we all have to come out.
We go outside.
There's a Jordanian Army patrol.
We're all under arrest.
They separate us
from the Palestinians
and we're questioned.
Surreal questions.
The photographer has a
Stockholm bus ticket.
It has numbers on it.
What do the numbers mean?
That kind of thing.
Then, finally, a
senior officer arrives,
very polite, very cool, not in
the slightest bit interested
in bus tickets.
Suddenly, he announces
that we're free to go.
But as we are
leaving, it turns out
that the PLO man is
not going with us.
When we get out by the vehicles
he manages to talk to us.
He's pleading with us.
He says, please, please,
don't leave me here.
As soon as you have gone, they will
shoot me and leave me in the ditch.
You don't understand.
Well, we say we think we
ought to take him with us.
He's our responsibility.
But the officer tells
us no, he must stay.
You're free to go.
There is the car.
If you insist, you can
stay with your escort,
but that'll mean you're
in detention too.
He can't answer for
the consequences,
but you're free to go.
There is the car.
It's a classic moral dilemma.
If we go, he'll be
dead in the ditch.
We'd better stay.
So we're all herded into
these Jordanian Army vehicles,
and we're driven
off into the desert
again, right in the middle
of nowhere this time.
Some Army camp.
A bit different now.
Everywhere you go, there's
a gun in your back.
The Swede needed to piss.
A gun in his back.
More questions, more tea.
We're separated from
the Palestinians again.
Phone calls in Arabic.
Suddenly, once again, straight
out of the blue we're told,
you're free to go.
And the Palestinians,
they're free also.
Both of them?
Yes, both of them.
They're brought in.
They're looking
weary, but they're okay.
We go outside, there's a
Palestinian Jeep waiting for us
at the camp gate.
Well, then we're on
our way back to Amman.
We passed this line of trucks
coming the other way, alternate trucks.
Jordanian, Palestinian.
Jordanian, Palestinian.
They're on their way
to Revolution Airport
for the hostages.
Obviously, we'd ended
up as part of the deal.
We'd become counter hostages.
When we arrive in Amman,
we're put into another vehicle
and driven across
town, very fast,
no lights, for debriefing.
We were taken in to
see some high officer.
Separated from the
Palestinians again.
More questions, more tea.
Finally, once again, we're
told, you are free to go.
But what about our
escort, the PLO man?
Well, he behaved very badly.
He will be disciplined.
When we got back to the
hotel, I thought "home."
Well, whichever
way you look at it,
he wouldn't stand
much of a chance.
He won't belong now.
What shall I write?
What sort of things
do you write?
Abu Shehab, Popular
Front leader,
told me Hussein's regime
is virtually finished.
His army is ready to mutiny, and
they will march on the palace
when we give the signal.
No, put the Intercontinental
Hotel today buzzed with rumours
as prima donnas were fed tales
of war by their dragomans.
Everybody tried to justify
in advance their Saudi role
in the catastrophe to
come while the media stars
and experts continue repeating
their time-honoured treads
or proverbial wisdom,
a.k.a. disinformation.
New paragraph.
Meanwhile... what are you typing?
My dream.
Do you dream?
I dream of succulents, the flow
of carbon, and acid metabolism.
Hunters and gatherers.
Hijack victims.
Do you identify with
the hijack victims?
Well, after all, it's
close to my own experience.
Suddenly you find yourself
in a strange place,
thrown into danger, isolated,
threatened, and confused.
Well, the hijackers are
victims as well, aren't they?
And so are the Israelis.
It's a downward spiral.
The Nazis exterminate the Jews.
The Israelis expel
the Palestinians.
The Popular Front
seize the hostages.
The hostages beat the children.
The children break the toys.
I identify with all the victims.
I identify with
the hijackers too.
They have no home.
They have no hope.
The most powerful
empire in the world
arms and sponsors and
finances their oppressors.
Great headlines.
Great pictures.
But what do the pictures say?
They say that the Palestinians
punish innocent bystanders
because they cannot
touch the real culprits.
And they send the
Sixth Fleet steaming up
the eastern
Mediterranean, and they
provoke the Americans and the
king into countermeasures.
Perhaps they
were playing for time.
Perhaps the countermeasures
were coming anyway
and the hijackings
will delay them.
It's a beautiful night.
Why not treat the passengers
as guests out of hospitality?
Give them Palestinian
dances to watch.
Press brochures into their
hands and then send them home
and say to the king,
come on, killers.
It's a beautiful night.
But what does Arafat want?
Who knows?
A deal with someone
he doesn't trust?
Who else could he
make a deal with?
After all, he
doesn't trust anyone.
And why should he?
They all want rid
of the Palestinians,
and half the Palestinians
want rid of him.
He wants an understanding
with Hussein
even though he knows
Hussein wants the West Bank
for Jordan, not for Palestine.
He wants to survive.
The doomed and the desperate.
Hijackings are all wrong.
Hijackings don't work.
But let's raise a glass to Leila
Khalid, the glorious pirate
of the air, the beautiful
heroine of the doomed
and the desperate.
I dream... I dream of
impossible objects.
"...where the ceremony of
signing articles of marriage is
set forth.
The visionary most serene and
artful alchemy of instability
enlivening the wax light."
There's no harm done.
Do you have any others or is
this the only one you took?
I'm afraid I took a handful.
What are they anyway?
Are they safe?
Could I touch them?
Oh, yes, but they're fine.
But you should give them back.
I can't guarantee they
won't activate again.
Excuse me, I have to do
something with this one.
Do you mind putting
the others on the bed?
What are they anyway?
I just can't imagine anybody
actually wanting one.
Oh, it's nothing.
It's just an image unit, a kind
of sketchpad with a language
It's okay.
I've got lots of them.
This one's quite safe now.
You can have it if you like.
It's no more use to me.
Keep it.
I'll take the others.
As a souvenir.
A gift out of
gratitude for a friend.
Thank you.
Yeah, I'll treasure
it, whatever it may be.
I'll see you tomorrow.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Sleep tight.
Sandman's coming.
It's hard for me to see
the attraction of it.
I think I would prefer it
if the camera just chose
one of the players
and followed him.
I mean, the players are more
interesting than the ball,
aren't they?
The ball has to be the most
uninteresting item of the game.
Totally devoid of
colour or expression.
Incapable of independent action.
It's just round.
What are you talking about?
Britain's great contribution to
the world, the family of balls.
You've got your ping
pong balls, you've
got snooker balls
and golf balls.
There's your rugby balls.
Come on, matey, there's your
cricket balls, tennis balls.
They're all British-made.
It makes you proud, doesn't it?
Celestial spheres.
Yeah, let's drink to that.
Knowing your
strange human habits,
I bought a bottle of whisky.
I thought you'd never ask.
What do you collect all
these things for anyway?
Just things
that caught my fancy.
Light bulbs, bicycle
pumps, nail clippers.
Archaeological finds.
Fossil records of
a dead species.
What do you mean, dead species?
Oh, I'm not dead
yet, I'm afraid.
Let's drink to that.
Where I come from, the
biological life forms
are all extinct.
After the nuclear
winter, they died.
Only the computers survived.
Of course, they were
already much more advanced
than any computers you
have here on Earth.
I dread to ask,
but what were they like,
the biological life forms?
programmed organisms like you.
I think I'd describe them as
kind of giant tree shrews.
A bit bigger than you.
They hibernated.
They had this zoom lens system
in their optical vision too.
I think some spiders do here.
And these heat-seeking
sensors which
were like arrays of
little sunken pods.
Tree shrews, huh?
And to cut a very
long story short,
they destroyed themselves,
sunken pods and all.
So where do you fit in?
Well, first you had
robots, then you
had self-replicating robots.
Under the control
of the computers.
It's an interlocking system.
They need us for our
dexterity and mobility.
We make them.
We need them for their memory
and their intelligence.
They programme us.
You're a vehicle for programmes?
It's just a different system.
The biological system
was the lift-off phase
for the electronic system.
But what about pleasure?
That's what I really
want to know about.
Who gets pleasure from what?
Well, the computers who sent
me are connoisseurs of Earth.
That's what gives them pleasure.
Collecting all the information
they can about Earth
and then building models from
it, counterfactual models.
Earth is their hobby?
Oh, they're really
enthusiastic about Earth.
They treasure every
little detail.
For example, what would have
happened if the Chinese had
invented power junks?
There's one computer
specialising in producing
imaginary works of art.
Missing paintings by Titian.
Shakespeare plays he
never actually wrote.
Perfect forgeries inserted
into the biographical and art
historical record so
that they fit perfectly.
No detectable joins between
the possible and the actual.
It's beautiful.
Oh, if you're an example, you're
not exactly a perfect fit.
Why not?
In any case, I'm not meant
to be an actual human.
I'm met to be a possible human.
You have no childhood.
You don't age.
You obsolesce.
That disqualifies
you, doesn't it?
I am a robot.
No, no, I don't mean that.
I mean that your
memory can never
be the same as mine
because your sense of time
has to be different.
I have no heart.
I am a tin can.
Now, stop it.
I mean that the pleasures
that you can't experience,
the pleasures of
childhood, are all
locked in with the death drive,
the drive to extinction that
brought you here
in the first place.
Sex and death.
Yeah, they say we should
get to fucking leave.
It's rage.
Childhood is a time of pain.
Memories disfigured by rage.
Pleasure is only
the shadow of pain.
You haven't shaved.
Oh, you noticed.
It's all part of the image.
He has a rough life
being a journalist.
No time to shave.
The world doesn't stop
for things like that.
May I watch you shave?
Why, watch me shave?
It's exotic.
It's the kind of thing
I'm going to remember
if I ever get back to Procyon.
It's exotic.
It's kind of hard
for me to imagine.
The idea of being shaggy.
Little filaments
flourishing on your face.
I was made to be
permanently hairless.
More economical.
A bit stingy, I suppose.
They were only concerned
to give me features that
would have a public impact.
Didn't bother with anything
that took place in private.
Shaving, sleeping, shitting.
Oh, paraffin lamps.
The power could
go off any minute.
You know, if I was really
human, I'd shake and sweat.
I don't react
physically to danger.
I've got no fluids.
Completely sanitised.
I envy you.
I wish I had been
designed so stingily.
It's all about
embarrassment, isn't it?
growth and odours.
How long do
these darknesses last?
Do you suppose this hotel
has an emergency generator?
Are you kidding?
Could I made you blush?
Could I embarrass you?
Can't blush.
Got no liquids.
Oh, you can't blush?
You've got no shame.
You know that Darwin
once said that blushing
is the most human of responses.
It doesn't occur anywhere
else in the animal kingdom.
It requires self-consciousness.
It speaks of things that you
may have admitted to yourself
but you won't admit to others.
It's all to do with sex.
Feeling flurried.
Enough to attract,
not to intimidate.
Blushing gives you away.
It reveals your desires,
your inadequacies.
It's always sincere.
That's why I can't blush.
I can't be sincere.
Do you have sex on Procyon?
I can't imagine it.
It was hard for me
to imagine sex here.
I had to watch sex films.
Clinging, grappling, orifices,
intermittent organs, fluids
and flushes.
Then they built robots to do it.
I didn't have to.
I just watched.
All part of my education.
You watched orgies with robots?
Perhaps it was aversion therapy.
I began to like watching it, but
I'm glad I don't have to do it.
It's so intimate, isn't it?
I'm glad you do it, though.
It's the kind of weird detail I
find so endearing about Earth,
however tacky.
Oh, tacky, but terrific.
I got them.
Two sets of travel documents.
Yeah, this one's yours.
It's a laissez-passer
in the name
of Farideh Rassouli,
an Iraqi citizen
of irreproachable character.
We're on our way at last.
I'm not going.
I've decided to stay.
Come on, get yourself together.
This is the start of the
next nerve-tingling episode.
I've told you, I'm not going.
Are you kidding?
Come on, be serious.
You know what's
happening out there.
Born in Baghdad?
Look, just
leave these toys alone
and pick up your stuff and go.
Come on, let's go.
Go, go, go.
I've told you, I'm not going.
Explain to me.
Why won't you go?
To where?
Go where?
Well, to the United States.
The Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Isn't that what you're
supposed to be going?
What about your mission?
Now is your chance.
I've seen enough
of Earth to know
that if I go to
the United States,
I'll just be frog-marched
off to some safe house
somewhere in Virginia
for debriefing.
And when I've been
squeezed dry, I'll
be handed over to the
engineers and the AI people.
I'll be stripped down,
cut up, and submitted
to every kind of sadistic
test they can devise.
Then come to England.
Who's not being serious now?
You guys would just do exactly
the same thing, only slower.
I'm only a human being.
I'm only a person, a woman,
as long as I'm disbelieved.
As soon as somebody
believes my story, I'm dead.
I'm a very valuable piece
of property, remember.
A little piece of a
technological dreamworld.
How long do you
think I'd survive?
And even if they
could comprehend
what they found inside me, what
possible good would that do?
It would just widen
the technology gap
and fuel the arms race.
It would be the exact
opposite of what
I was intended to accomplish.
Oh, it's great, isn't it?
It wants to walk.
It wants to be human.
It's temperature
changes when it walks.
For Christ sakes,
close these bloody shutters.
They're starting to
fire at the hotel.
We're going to be a target.
It's what Earth
is all about, isn't it?
Well, you're
fucking right, it is.
Do you think I
don't realise that?
Of course, it must
be all very different
elsewhere in the cosmos,
sweetness and light out there.
I'm not looking
for sweetness and light.
That's why I like it
right here, in Amman.
At first I thought it was
a great misfortune landing
down here in Amman.
Now, I'm not so sure.
I even think it's
a stroke of luck.
I land on Earth in the one
place where I'm among outsiders.
Aliens, like me.
Aliens in Israel.
Aliens in Jordan.
Aliens wherever they have to go.
You have deluded yourself.
You can't become a Palestinian
through an act of sympathy.
You are not a Palestinian!
No, I'm a robot!
I'm a machine!
Well, what's the place
of machines here?
Unpaid labour.
Moral dead matter.
You can do what you
like to a machine.
It has no voice, no
rights, no feelings.
It's a new sphere
for human cruelty.
I know they're vengeful
and they act out of rage,
but I have every reason to
identify with the Palestinians.
You want to become a martyr.
The first machine martyr.
You take this.
I don't doubt that the
Palestinians have been robbed.
I admire their struggle.
But it's not your struggle,
whoever you may be.
I can make it mine.
It's an act of despair.
I hate it because
I value the hours
that we've spent together.
I value the friendship
that we've found.
I value those hours
too, you know that.
No principle
is worth the sacrifice.
Close these bloody shutters!
I will be glad to go home.
A shameful admission, I know.
But after all, the Palestinians
are fighting for a home.
Why shouldn't I value
mine in Chalk Farm?
Home is where the heart is.
I don't have a heart, so
naturally I don't have a home.
Where memory stops.
What does that mean to you?
It's ironic, really, but I
have no memories of Procyon.
I was programmed with
memories of Earth.
All my experience on Procyon
was related to my training
for the mission here.
They constructed this whole
series of environments for me.
The MIT campus.
The airport.
The diplomatic reception.
The United Nations building.
And how can I think
of this as home?
Why did they make you a woman?
It's meant to reassure you.
I don't find it very reassuring.
I find it very
anxiety provoking.
I don't know who you
are, and I end up
doubting my own identity.
I don't actually
know that I'm gone
through some sort of
nervous breakdown.
And who are you?
What do you want?
What do I want with you?
I react to you as a
woman, and I can't
forget that you're a robot.
I react to you as a robot,
and you keep reminding me
that you're a woman.
It's sinister.
Mimicry is always sinister.
Why did you kiss me?
I wanted to give you something.
It was to seal the gift.
A simulated gift?
A real gift.
Keep it safely.
It's what I'll leave
behind here on Earth.
Do I get another kiss?
Imagine a forger simulating
a human body in another medium.
However close the model,
however exact the memories
and feelings,
there's always going
to be something that eludes him.
That's what eludes me.
What can it mean
to become human?
To live as a human being?
To die?
To know you're going to die.
To know there is no choice.
The choice is made.
What will happen when your
machines become intelligent?
When they become autonomous?
When they have private thoughts?
You humans look down
on your machines
because they're man-made.
They're a product of
your skills and labour.
They weren't even tamed or
domesticated like animals were.
You see them simply as
extensions of yourself,
of your own will.
I can't accept that.
I can't accept
subhuman status simply
because I'm a machine
based on silicon
rather than carbon, electronics
rather than biology.
If I sound fanatical,
it's because I've
been trapped in a time warp.
In a world where the full
potential of machines
hasn't yet been guessed at.
A world where I have to wear a
human disguise to be accepted?
I came here too late.
It will all end before the
computers that already control
the fate of the world
have reached a point where
they wanted to survive.
To make sense of Earth,
I had to understand
the meaning of sacrifice.
I had to realise it's hard.
Here on Earth,
sacrifice has a meaning
because every day is
a day of the dead.
We're in control
of the North, Irbid, Ar Ramtha.
We can retreat through
Jerash if we have to.
I'm not sure how long
we can hold out here.
And then maybe the
Syrians will intervene.
If they do, then Hussein
will bring in the Israelis.
He'd rather lose his
credibility than his throne.
He's already lost most of that.
And anyway, a credibility
is much easier
to win back than a throne.
It's a good sign, isn't it, tea?
It shows solicitude.
I'm going to miss you.
You get in touch as soon
as you can, will you?
I'm counting on it.
I will, don't worry.
And survive.
I've got a much
better chance than most.
To calm my nerves.
We'll meet again in
London, won't we?
I feel as though we've only
just scratched the surface.
I never got a chance to expound
my theory about the big toe
and the subordination of women.
Without the big toe, we
wouldn't be walking upright.
The hands wouldn't be developed.
The mouth wouldn't be
freed so that language
wouldn't be developed.
The new large brain, which
expands with language,
could only be supported
on an upright spine.
But at the same time,
children couldn't
grab a hold of their mothers
with their feet as well as
their hand like little apes can.
They had to be
supported and carried,
so women were inhibited
in their movements.
We had to stay home.
Well, that's my car.
I've got to go.
Look, I've got a little
something for you.
Something to go with
the nail clippers.
I'll go unshaved till
I get to Damascus.
It's a souvenir.
Bring back memories.
Memories of Charlie Parker.
Now, don't forget.
We're going to listen to
Ornithology, Groovin' High.
Tea for Two.
Listen to them for me.
Good luck.
Thanks for everything.
Good luck.
So many years ago.
September '70.
It seems like another age.
The deaths are still there.
It's a distant past, but all
the problems are still there.
You just have to look at
Beirut instead of Amman.
Nothing has been settled.
It's become routine.
It's as ugly as it ever was.
But there's a
fascination in war and death.
You can't avoid it.
When you went out
there for the International Red Cross,
you weren't talking
about the beauty of death.
You were talking about
the urgency of finding
a political solution.
We would never
have gone if there hadn't
been a certain attraction.
You sought out death.
Not in order to die,
but to look at it.
To watch.
I was completely shattered
by the whole experience.
In fact, at first I thought
I just hallucinated it all.
I could never go back
to the Middle East.
Are you sure that they
killed Friendship?
They killed thousands.
What else can I think?
Strange music flowed
from death's domain.
Do you think I'm
just overstating things, yeah?
An invasion from outer space.
Even if we could find somebody
at the hotel who recognised us,
what would that prove?
How come you never
mentioned it at the time?
Do you still have
that thing she gave you?
What's that?
The thing she gave me.
It's an instrument that I
stole from her that day.
Where is it?
Can I see it?
It's downstairs.
I'll get it.
And just you finish
your homework, eh?
Doing your O-levels this year?
That's right.
What are they?
Oh, usual ones.
Well, what subjects?
Chemistry, biology,
electronics, computer studies,
and advanced maths.
I did physics and
ordinary maths last year.
Dad, stop hammering those keys.
Just a minute, Catherine.
But I know what it is.
Just let me finish.
Friendship's gift,
I know what it is.
Well, what is it?
It's a storage component
for a new kind of camera.
There's an array
of photo sensors
and they respond to light.
Now, there's a chain
of tiny capacitors.
They read the light as
an electrical charge,
and it's all transferred into
a digital storage system.
But it talked.
If it can respond to light, it
can probably respond to sound.
And if it can pick it
up, it can transmit it.
It spoke English.
Of course, it did.
Friendship spoke English.
So does that mean that
I could play this?
It depends on what kind
of playback system it is.
It could use some kind
of molecular system.
Well, I don't see any
floppy discs or anything.
Oh, Dad. Floppy discs
are completely out of date.
You should take it to an expert
to see if they can identify it.
I have taken it to experts.
Nobody's got any idea
what it's all about.
But this is all new.
They were prehistoric experts.
Okay, clever clogs.
It's all yours.
This is it, according
to the real experts.
Fingers crossed.
Friendship's tape.
Too late.
Too late.
Impossible objects.
Impossible objects.
Impossible objects.
The visionary most serene
in alchemy of instability
enlivening the wax light.