Chronicle of a Disappearance (1996) Script

Dhat Production Presents


"The first morning home after a long absence, I'm awakened by the clicking of my aunt's heels.

She's going with my mother to pay condolences."

No one's around, so let's talk...

That stubborn woman refuses to offer her condolences.

I found her sulking on the balcony because she wasn't invited to her granddaughter's wedding.

Yet, her daughter-in-law was invited. Now they hate each other.

Brothers, sisters, brothers and sisters-in-law won't talk!

They were friends, but then she butted in.

She says she wants to see a fortune-teller about her grandchild's name.

The girl's prone to accidents and always gets ill.

Her son was loaded with money, the richest of the brothers, didn't know what to do with his cash.

Now it's getting worse and worse.

She broke her nephew's engagement.

His fianc?e was educated, a schoolteacher, nice figure, sweet, beautiful eyes, she even owns a car.

She works, saves money, she's perfect, just slightly dark.

And who is she, Snow White?

She criticizes her health, says her uncle and aunts died of cancer.

Her mother bore many kids, her father doted on her.

3 handbags, 3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, the engagement cost a fortune.

She says she doesn't want a girl from Shafr Amre. Say it before!

Not after the engagement. They spent a fortune, what a rip-off!

She said her first fianc? kissed her a hundred times.

So what, kisses fly away, he didn't spoil her! To hell with her!

Her sister's mourning isn't over, she wears makeup like a whore, a ring on each finger!

At the wedding, she danced with a scarf, shaking her ass, as if it was gonna come off her body...

She's got varicose veins and sweated like a pig.

Whenever she sat down, she stuffed herself.

She wore a long blouse to hide her fat hips.

Rumors say she steals things in other people's homes.

No wonder her husband keeled over.

Died in his armchair, legs crossed, book on the floor.

My heart broke.

She should die, that bitch.

I'd rather not talk about it.

The Voice of Israel from Jerusalem Al-Qods. Five past seven...

Put it away. Too late!

Don't bust my ass! Fuck off!

Come on, drop it! No!

Don't complicate things!

Don't listen to them! Don't take their money.

Let go! Calm down.


I'll smash your teeth.

I said I'd pay and I will.

Check her.

Open her.

Is it true that a guy from around Nazareth wrote his Ph.D. thesis on how a man pees?

At the last few drops, he shivers and he shakes.

To him, it proves man descends from animals.

He once had a tail... now it's gone.

Yet, he keeps shaking his ass...

as if he still had one.

Is it true?

Welcome back.



Get out of the car.

I shouldn't be ashamed?

I'm never ashamed, buddy!

I'll show you. Me, I'm not ashamed?

Let go. I just want to talk to him.

To say what? Aren't you ashamed?

You're friends. You should be ashamed!

Let go of my arm.

I'll show him!

Come on! Take your jack.


About women and love.

Women shun those who love them, if they don't love in return.

For a woman, the voice of love is stronger than the voice of reason.

To conclude, dear listeners, as they reach maturity, women get less reasonable.

Mother of Ramzi...

Come on in!

"Come on in!"

Don't peel the garlic so soon, it gets yellow.

I have plenty unpeeled.

Nahla, get the garlic...

Shall I peel it? Don't peel it.

They sell ready-to-use garlic in pots.

You can find it in any shop.

20 shekels a kilo.

I peel garlic once a week.

She has nothing to do, so she peels garlic!

20 shekels, so what?

THE DAY AFTER For the Bosnian president, Holbrooke's optimistic mood is encouraging.

The chances of a truce grow nearer as all parties are worn down and no one is winning the war.

The division of the land has been reviewed:

61% to the Muslims and the Croatians, 49% to the Serbs, according to the new agreements.

Alexander Ivanko, spokesman for the United Nations, says...

The main thing is that both parties agree to end the fighting and this tragedy.

But this optimism may not last, as many previous agreements were violated during the Bosnian war.

In Algeria, a booby-trapped car has killed 9 people and injured 19 others.

The bomb went off in front of a hotel in Dra Benkhada...


Nice shot!

Go for it, kid!

Allah is great!

Abu Adnan, you're a master! Charge! Charge!


Great shot. Smack in the middle!

It's Oklahoma everywhere!

Tell me, Jamal, are you related to the Shekshirs?


God damn the best of the Shekshirs!

And to the Abu Sallams? Not at all.

God damn the Sallams and the Abu Sallams, they're vile!

What about the El Sutalis? No.

God damn them all!

I'll fuck the best in the family, one by one. Wait and see.

What about the Mer'ebs? With those, yes.

The Mer'ebs deserve the greatest respect.

Good people.

Really good people.

They're the best, I swear to God.

Are they really related to you? Yes, yes.

God bless families like that!

Nothing can be said against them!



Don't do it!

Is he your son or not?

He's not your father?

What's the matter with you? Calm down!

You fight with your own son?

Drive carefully.

Put the gear on neutral.

Take off the hand brake.





That's where Jesus is said to have walked over water.

Now it's a gastronomic sewer, filled with excrement, shit of American and German tourists who eat Chinese food.

It forms a crust on the surface of the lake.

Anyone can walk over water and make miracles now.

I'm encircled by giant buildings and kibbutzes.

As if that wasn't enough, my collar's choking me.

An odd bond unites me to those people, like an arranged marriage, with this lake as wedding ring.

Not long ago, those hills were deserted.

At night, when I gazed at the hills from the monastery, I contemplated a particular spot, the darkest one on the hills.

Fear would grab me, a fear with a religious feeling.

As if that black spot were the source of my faith.

Then, they settled on those hills and illuminated the whole place.

That was the end for me.

I began losing faith.

I feared nothing any longer.

Now, my world is small.

They've expanded their world and mine has shrunk.

There's no longer a spot of darkness out there.

Now, I will tell you a story, a story that could be made into a film.

APPOINTMENT WITH THE WRITER I visited Grandpa who was in the Turkish army for 3 years.

"Grandpa, tell me a story about Istanbul."

"Listen, grandson, I'll tell you a story you'll never forget.

We were stationed 15 minutes away from Istanbul.

At lunch, the lentils were full of black worms.

I had five coins and was fed up with the worms.

I crossed the street, went by a bookshop, a clothes shop, and reached a public garden.

There, a man with sparkling pans, cooked lamb heads, nicely spiced, with saffron and all.

He'd serve me a head in two hot loaves of bread.

I'd sit on the nearest bench, eat, throw the remains in the bin and go home.

The beauty of Istanbul is beyond compare."

Three or four years later, I went to grandpa and asked:

"Tell me a story about Istanbul?"

I thought he'd tell me a story with young people, adventure, and a tall green-eyed girl...

He said: "Here's a story you'll never forget.

Istanbul is the flower of all cities, it's unique.

We were stationed 15 minutes away from Istanbul.

At noon, lentils with worms, I couldn't eat.

Had five coins, crossed the street, passed bookshop, clothes shop and reached the garden where a man dressed in white with sparkling pans, gave me a lamb's head with pepper and saffron.

I'd sit on a bench and eat."

Days went by and his story wouldn't change.

Then, when we left town, they went to Lebanon and we stayed in Nazareth.

After the Israeli invasion, Grandpa was allowed to visit us.

He'd grown old, we were glad to see him.

I went close to him, after the welcoming and the tears:

"Grandpa, tell me a story about Istanbul."

He nodded and I looked into his eyes.

Human eyes never change.

Everything about him had changed, but not his eyes.

He said: "I'll tell you about Istanbul, the flower of the world.

We were stationed 15 minutes from Istanbul.

At noon the food was full of worms.

I had five coins.

I didn't touch the food, went by the bookshop, the clothes shop, into the garden where the man with sparkling pans made lamb heads with pepper, saffron and nutmeg.

I'd eat it with hot bread and throw the wastes in a bin...

Listen, grandson, nothing compares to Istanbul.

Istanbul is the flower of all cities."



It's raining culture.


Why do we fight? We were friends once Why do we fight? We were friends once Listen to your heart And you'll hear the truth Listen to your heart It holds the truth We've come a long way, you and I Why do we fight? We were friends once Why do we fight? We were friends once

In love, there is peace

If there is peace, there is love

Come, let's be friends again We are brothers

There's a reality here which is extremely difficult to grasp, now topped by a fascinating new dimension.

A STOP AT THE AMERICAN COLONY People here can't stand one another.

Never forget this is a land of conflicts since the beginning.

Without going back... You must.

Everybody does here. It's an age-old problem.

This has been a land of conflicts for thousands of years.

There's never been a period of... It was never peaceful. Never.

Think about it, if you mix these different approaches, sociological, historical and religious, you get an abstract of the most complex situations now on this planet.

That's what makes it interesting. Yes, but exhausting too.

You end up totally confused.

At first, I thought I understood.

When you get here, you think "there's that side to it and this side," but the more you get to know all the factors underlying such complex phenomena, the more you realize what a mess it is.

Everything is political. Nothing is innocent.

Anything you do or say will be interpreted.


Think of me as your father.

We are Arabs. We have our traditions. If a girl wants to study, she should stay with her parents until she marries, so her honor is safe.

You, God bless you, you're tall and pretty, you're 20 or 22.

What more do you want?

Get married and live your own way. Study but be protected.

Young men are modern. They study, let their wives study.

But you girls are taking it upside down.

Believe me, I care.

I instantly took a liking to you.

You're a nice girl, well bred, and very pretty too.

I'm worried about you.

I have room for many a friend.

Everybody knows and respects me here, you know.


- Is it still available? Who's speaking?

My name is Adan. I'm calling about the flat for rent.

Eden, nice name. What kind of a name is it?


Really? You don't sound like it.

- Thanks. Is the flat still for rent? No. I'm sorry Adan.

- Concerning the flat, is... Yes. Who's talking?

Adan. I'm from the east of the city, if that tells you anything.

Hello, Adan. Your Hebrew is very good.

- Is the flat still for rent? Yes and no.

Actually it is, but the decision is not up to me.

Can I see it?

Listen, I know it's hard for you.

You sound nice. I wish I could help, but I doubt it'll work out.

Shalom. Concerning the flat...

Yes, it's still available, but I'm busy.

This evening then?

No, the owner's religious. He keeps the Sabbath.

Tell me, would he have a problem renting to an Arab?

Yes, he's got kids. Another vision of the world.

He intends to bring them up his own way.

- Concerning the flat... At last, a Russian who speaks Hebrew What's your name?

- Not Russian. Not Russian?

But what's that accent of yours?

- The Country Agency, shalom. Shalom. Concerning the flat...

Too late, sweetheart. But I've got a better one.

Wait, there's something you should know.

- So why not live on the east side? My business. You're an agency or what?

- Listen, you sound... Nice?

- You don't sound... Arabic?

- Why not come by? To see if I don't look like one?

Shalom. Concerning the flat. I'm Adan.

- Adan? What sort of name is that? Why?

- It's not Jewish, is it? No.





I'd like to introduce film director Elia Suleiman back from his voluntary exile in New York.

He chose his homeland for his new film about the peace.

We'll ask him to tell us about his film's subject, his narrative technique and the cinematographic language he'll be using.

What's up?

Just having dinner with some friends.

Want to join us?

Now I'm busy. I'll call you back.

Have you got the money?

One calling Sorrel. Over.

Sorrel speaking.

Read you. Over.

Assignment report. Over.

Mission accomplished. All okay. Over.

The black shroud of grief Has veiled the whole city Even the sea that flooded the ship Could not quench the fire of my grief Oh, our flag Unfurl and answer our quests

We're back, dear mother of love Oh tears, flow Oh loved ones, come and join us

Alas I Let my tears be a tribute The stream of pride has dried out We've drowned in a sea of regrets No one found the hidden tears to comfort me

Here's the powder.

It goes in here. Connect the wire to the transmitter. Switch it on.

JERUSALEM - TO BE OR NOT TO BE One calling all. Wild Plant's transmitter in strange hands.

Get to Zone 4, wait for orders. Over.



One calling Crow. Sending Sorrel for cover. Over.

Crow to Sorrel. Over.

Sorrel to Crow. Over.

Crow in position. Over.

Covering in 3 seconds. Over.

One to all. Action. Turn transmitters off.


Assignment Report.

Crow to One: two front doors, four doors, four windows, a balcony, a fan, a phone, a picture with a hen, four seats...


Four old wooden chairs, a computer, a stereo, a desk, two wicker armchairs, a Japanese textbook, a painting with tulips, a white painting, Sonallah Ibrahim, Carver, Karl Kraus, a fishing kit, Mustapha Qamar, Samira Said, Raghi Allama, nylon curtains, a guy in pajamas, over.


One calling Crow. What was in the house?

A pilot.

An air-head.

An intellectual.

- Any problems? Hell no! We forced him to land.

Meet us at the Blue-White. Back to the hive.


Sorrell to One, listening. Over.

In six minutes, Saladin St. Sounds of explosion at n8.

One to all. Wild Plant cruising.

Crow to Blue Eye. I'm receiving him from cinema Alhambra.

What a film Over.

Sorrel to all. Wild Plant in Shim'on Hatzadik Street.

Crow to all. Wild Plant in Sheikh Jarrah.

One to all. Wild Plant in Al-Zahra Street.

We lost him. Over.

We lost him. Over.

We lost him.

How did it go with the square guy?

He was following us in his slippers.

- Did he say anything? Nothing. A real wimp.

Just followed us in his slippers.

Whereas you're a real tough nut! Over.

Two patrols on emergency call in Saladin Street.

Crow calling One. I'm in Queen Shlomtzion Street.

Sorell to One. Tribes of Israel Street.

They're sending us back there? What about the cops?

They're just like sugar cubes.

Drop them in your tea and they'll melt.

Move it, boys, and no blunders! Over.

Crow in Paratrooper's Street. Two more seconds.

One to Crow. Sorrel in Antara Shaddad.

Taking Nablus Road. Stopping at Omar Ibn el-aas.

Crow to One. I'm in Sultan Suleiman Street, heading towards Ibn Sina Street.

Wait for orders. Over.

To Peak Units, One speaking.

Incident at Solomon pools.

All patrols to the area, fast. Over.

To Blue Eye, this is One. Blue Eye, this is One.

Incident at Solomon pools.

All patrols to the area, fast. Over.

To Congo Units, this is One.

Incident at Solomon pools.

All patrols to the area, fast.


Sorrel to One. Got you. We're on our way.

All units proceed to incident area. Over.

All units immediately to the area.

Sorrel to all. Clouds at the Damascus Gate.

Crow to One, I'm in Saladin Street. What do I do?

To Congo Units, this is One.

All units proceed to Abu Tor.

All patrols to Abu Tor immediately. Over.

To Congo Units, this is One.

All patrols to Mount of Olives.


Crow to One. What a mess!

Finch calling Sorell. Where am I?

To Congo Units, this is One.

Withdraw immediately from Jerusalem. Over.

To Congo Units.

Jerusalem is no longer unified. Over.

To Congo Units.

Jerusalem is not unified. Over.

To Congo Units, this is One.

Jerusalem is nothing special. Over.

To Congo Units.

Oslo is not coming.

Oslo is not even calling.


To all patrols. Now, for a change, we'll sing you a song.

As long as a Jewish soul Still yearns in the innermost heart And eyes turn eastward Gazing towards Zion Then our hope is not lost The hope of 2000 years To be a free people In our land The land of Zion and Jerusalem

Finch in position with Sorell. Weather is calm. Over.

Sorrel calling One. Assignment report in six seconds.

For the moment, weather is calm. Over.

Finch to Sorrel, north side. Robber's ladder required.

One calling Sorrel. Transmission jammed.

One to Sorrel. Can you read me?

Sorrel to One. Spotted unknown woman. Normal?

Finch to One. Green skirt on the scene. What do we do?

One to Sorrel. Can you read me?

Transmission jammed.

Storm on Mount of the Temple. Back to the hive.

All units to the hive.

Storm on Mount of the Temple. All units to the hive.

All to the hive. Over. All to the hive.


Let's return to peace

Let's find love again with God's mercy

Let's make peace, we are brothers May God bless you Oh, night of farewell

As the night went on My heart asked me What is the matter?

I said: the beloved has deserted me

You left your scent on the flower I kept it as a token of your love You picked it with your own hands In your hands, roses glow brighter You brought forward The hour of farewell I wept and my heart asked me: Why?

I said the beloved has deserted me


The verse of the day: Man eats with pleasure after the Kippur, his sins have been washed away and the prayers of Israel have been answered.

Then we go and plant the first stake for the Feast of the Tabernacles.

This concludes our programming.

Have a nice evening and goodnight.