Death and the Maiden (1994) Script

All the monkeys were back in their cages... in time for the matinee.

The circus will be in town two more weeks.

Thanks to early morning rush hour fog... twenty-three cars, four trucks, and one bike... were in a massive fender bender.

Luckily, no serious injuries.

Highway patrol reports traffic moving briskly.

It's seven o'clock. Here's a recap of today's top stories.

On his second day in office...

President Romero fulfilled a campaign promise today.

He announced the formation... of a commission on human rights violations.

The commission will investigate acts of torture and murder... that took place between 1975 and 1980... under the military junta.

Rumors swept the capital about who will be named... to chair the controversial and powerful committee.

Attorney Gerardo Escobar, civil rights activist... and on the short list for Minister of Justice... met with the president for an hour this afternoon.

...president's office has refused to comment.

Informed sources said...

Mr. Escobar has accepted the committee chairmanship.

In other news, as expected, President Romero appoint...

Quite sure you won't come in?

No, thanks. Home and a hot bath.

Me, too. Sorry for the trouble.

No problem. Then why not drop in someday?

Thanks again and good-bye.

You know it's crazy... I never introduced myself.

Gerardo Escobar.

Dr. Roberto Miranda.

Nice to meet you. If you're ever passing...

Escobar the lawyer? That's right.

It's OK. It's me!

Power's out. Again. Shit.

Did you have an accident?

A flat in this. Can you believe it?

What a nightmare.

You want a towel?

Oh, God.

Who was that?

It was the guy who stopped to help me.

I practically threw myself in front of his car.

He didn't have a lot of choice.

You made a lovely dinner. I'm sorry.

I was going to be here on time. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Not your fault. Stop apologizing.

It's only chicken.

Why are you wet?

I was looking for you... patiently awaiting my captain's return from the sea.

It blew out about a mile past the lighthouse.

Right in the middle of nowhere.

Be a good girl.

How'd the meeting go?

I always forget how deserted that shore road is.

Seriously, if that guy hadn't come along...

I'd still be stuck.

He has a house here? Yeah, on Salt Pond.

Really was very good of him.

He went way out of his way to take me home.

This suit is completely ruined.

What a nightmare.

The phones are out, too.

Shit. I have to call a tow truck.

We have no car.

He drove me to a gas station, but it was closed.

I don't want to leave it out there.

Anything could happen.


You're not having any?

I ate.

I was hungry. I'm sorry.

Now you're apologizing... but you're apologizing for the wrong reasons.

When you get a flat tire... most people... actually all people... go to their trunk and get what?

An interrogation... my favorite thing in life.

A spare tire.

Uh-huh. A spare tire.

In the pouring rain, wearing their best suit... they jack up the car, remove the flat... getting dirtier until, after a grueling struggle... they finally put the spare on.

This is a brilliant narrative, full of surprises.

I didn't know that all people who change tires... wear their best suits.

Just the classy jerks, like me.

A complete physical wreck, I finally get the spare on... only to watch it sag.

You had two blowouts?

No. You're not listening to me.

The spare was flat. You never fixed it.

You didn't notice it was flat until you'd put it on?

Well, that was dumb.

So, your conclusion is I was dumb?

Oh, no, my love, I believe we all agree... including the president... that you are a highly intelligent man... but it was dumb to put a flat spare on the car.

Don't feel bad. Even geniuses do dumb things.

So, did he ask you to head the commission?

God, it's very hot in here, isn't it?


It's the peak of your career.

Not the peak, I hope.

I meant the first peak.

You'll go from peak to peak, I'm sure.

I'm very serious about the spare.

You were supposed to take care of it.

And how did he react when you turned him down?

It's a very complicated situation.

It's much, much more complicated than we thought.

Shit. What am I going to do about the car?

Fuck the car. Great.

Are you going to tell me what you said to the president?

Did you change his mind about the rules?

Why don't I tell you all about it later, OK?

I really don't want to discuss it now.


Oh, come on!

OK. Let's talk. Too late.

Nothing's been decided yet.

I told the president I had to discuss it with you.

You told our brand-new president you had to ask my permission?

Of course.

So you told him about me?

Of course not.

Listen, nobody knows about you.

No, somebody knows about me.

But I'm not talking about them.

Don't lie! I hate that.

What's the point? I know you're lying.

What am I supposed to be lying about?

Of course you said yes.

OK. I'm sorry. God damn it!

Don't apologize.

You think you can pay for anything with those words.

If you were really sorry... you would've said no to this whitewash.

You would've said, "No, Mr. President...

"I won't dignify this betrayal!"

It's not a betrayal. Bullshit.

We have to move very slowly.

I can get the commission to accomplish a great deal.

What will happen to the men you prove were on the death squads?

The evidence will be turned over to the courts.

To the courts.

Yeah. Maybe to that judge who told Maria Bautista... her husband wasn't tortured to death.

He just ran off with a younger woman.

If this happens every night, I can't do this job.

Good. It's a job that's worth doing.

I don't exist.

Once the truth starts to come out...

I can get the president to change the rules.

But you didn't change his mind.

It's still only cases that ended in death.

You have to give me time.

Make love to me. Let's be happy.

Happy? That's real bullshit.

We can.

Just give me time.

Give us time.

I promise you I'll get them for you.

I'll bring you justice instead of a flat tire.

Let's dream of happiness, my sweet girl.

My bride.

My savior. I want to.

I want to help you be brilliant and important.

I want us to live like suburban idiots.

I want to adopt a baby and spoil it.

My beautiful boy.

My beautiful, beautiful boy.

It's a car.

There's a car here. What?

Wake up.

What is it? What?

OK. I'll go. Don't.

It's OK. It's OK.

Who is it?

It's Dr. Miranda. I've got your tire.

Oh, Christ. What?

It's OK. It's nothing. I'm coming!

It's the guy who stopped to help me with the car.

It's OK. It's OK.

Christ. Just a minute.

I forgot to take it out.

Of course. I'm so stupid.

I drove home and got into the shower before it hit me.

Oh, I woke you. No. I was just, uh...

Is your power out, too?

Yeah. The whole peninsula for a change.

This is very kind. It's no problem.

I could've picked it up.

How? On your bike? You have no car.

I couldn't call, and you needed the tire.

I'm really sorry for what I've done to your weekend.

Stop that. You're being nice... but it isn't necessary to keep apologizing.

I'm all alone.

My wife took the kids to her mother's.

The house is so empty...

I probably wouldn't be able to sleep.

Want to know the truth... the real, real truth?

Truth is, I'm a fan of yours.

I was so stunned when you introduced yourself...

I couldn't say anything.

On the way home, I heard the news on the radio.

I'm thrilled to meet you.

On the radio? What did you hear?

About you and the commission.

You're doing the most important work.

I couldn't resist the temptation to come tell you.

What exactly did you hear?

You're going to chair the commission.

That's not supposed to be announced.

Oh, well...

I wouldn't worry. They said it was rumors.

Leaks, I guess.

This was on the news?

I followed your career ever since you petitioned... on behalf of the missing prisoners in...

Anyway, I just want to tell you what a thrill.

A real thrill... a mud bath and a sleepless night.

No, no. I'm serious.

With you on the commission... there's a real chance for our country.

Well, I hope we can do some good.

I'm sure you will.

So you see, I'm glad to be of use.

I had an ulterior motive.


Listen... this time, you have to have a drink.

I can't send you into the dark and stormy night... without some reward.

I shouldn't. It's late. Just one drink.

I'm afraid my wife's already in bed so...

Oh, shit. I woke her, too.

No, she's still awake.

I have to turn my lights off.

To tell you the truth... she gets a little nervous because of the bad old days.

We both used to get pretty freaked... by that knock on the door in the night.

Oh, God. I should've left the tire and gone quietly.

No. You just taught me a very valuable lesson.

Please, sit down.

In a democracy, the midnight knock can be friendly.

Want a whiskey? A teeny-weeny drop.

More than just a drop.

I'm just going to go check on Paulina.

Excuse me.

Are you asleep?

I'm very tired. What?

I'm almost asleep.

Come out and say a quick hello. He's harmless.

Are you too tired?

Must be from listening to the news.


Never mind.

I'm afraid my wife's almost asleep... but she sends her thanks and apologies.

I know I must seem ridiculous. Why ridiculous?

I am ridiculous, especially when my wife's away.

She would've told me to go to bed.

"Bring it in the morning.

"You'll wake those poor people, scare them half to death.

"You think Escobar's a great man.

"Don't give him a heart attack."

I suspect we're all lost without our wives.

You must be excited about the committee.

Now I know who's running it, I'm very optimistic.

Yeah, I am pretty optimistic despite my being on it.

You're modest, too.

That doesn't surprise me.

Don't you think this could be a real turning point?

It's a step in the right direction.

Even though we can't put those bastards on trial... because they gave themselves amnesty... we can make their names public.

A ground rule is the names aren't going to be made public.

Really? It doesn't matter.

The names will leak out.

Their kids will know. They'll ask...

"Is it true you did those horrible things?"

Those fucks will have to face their own flesh and blood.

Maybe. That's a kind of justice.

It's possible, well, likely, people will get so pissed off... when they hear the details of these crimes... they'll revoke this bullshit amnesty.

Any move in that direction is dangerous.

The army has only stepped aside. They haven't disbanded.

My wife must be letting in some air.

It's stuffy.

The storm didn't really cool things off.

I think we're being too merciful.

I'm for killing the whole bunch of them.

Really? With all due respect, I can't agree with you.

Isn't that what the death squads proved?

Killing doesn't end it for either side.

Still out.

The president says the army is very, very unhappy... making a lot of veiled and not so veiled threats.

How depressing. Maybe you're right.

Maybe my idea about the children learning the truth... is just a fantasy.

You've taken my point too far. If you really want to know... the president told me... this is between us...

Oh, I won't tell.

Not even my wife.

Especially not your wife.

The president told me... in actuality, there are hundreds and hundreds of people... ready to make statements.

Now, once this begins, with luck, it could snowball... and we could know everything.

Jesus. You may be in danger.

Danger of what? Well, you said so yourself.

They're out there. They have a lot to hide... and they have the guns.

Stop! That's my car!

God damn it! That's my car!


I'm such an asshole.

I'm yelling, "Stop, that's my car" to a thief.

He's glad it's my car. That's the whole point.

I'm sorry.

It's probably some kids out for a joyride.

This time, I really do have something to apologize for.

My wife took your car.

She went for a tire?

I don't understand. Where did she go?

She's pissed at me.

Jesus. 'Cause you had a flat?

I thought my wife was unreasonable.

No, she took money.

Had some in the house. She took it all.

Well, that's weird.

Well, then, she's a woman. Why am I surprised?

Is she coming back soon?

Is this a twenty-four-hour deal or a week or what?

How will I explain this to my wife?

This has never happened before.

We fight. We have fights, but she's never...

Oh, shit.

I really thought that she understood.

She's left me.

Fuck women.

She'll be back.

Well, that's the bad news.

Oh, come on. You love her.

I didn't think I'd feel this shitty.

I thought I'd feel relieved. Relieved?

Be careful.

Let me tell you something. She has not been easy.

She's got a lot of reasons, but she's crazy.

They all have reasons, and they're all crazy.

You know what Nietzsche said?

I think it was Nietzsche. I always say it was Nietzsche.

It's probably Freud.

I mean, he said everything.

If it's quotable, it's probably Freud.

You're very funny when you're grief-stricken.

That's the only way to suffer.

What did Nietzsche say, or whoever else?

Whoever said...

"We can never entirely possess the female soul."

I don't know what the fuck that means.

Sure, you do.

You go insane wanting them.

It doesn't matter what it costs you.

You pay the price... but you still don't get what you expect.

What do we expect?

Approval. What do we get?

No. Don't tell me. I know, I know.


Guilt? Right.

Boy, that's interesting.

We each get something different.

Each man gets the very thing to keep him coming back for more.


And you?

Me, I get my balls cut off.

Your balls? That's what keeps you coming back?

Sure. I want them back.

Did you hear the phone? No. It's not working.


Should be fixed by now.

I hate this.

All these fucking things don't work!

Hey, come on, man, take it easy.

I hate this house.

It's like her.

We're both too fucked up... to know what to think about anything anymore.

Let's get some sleep.

What a disaster I've made of your life.

Not my life. Just one night.

I know I shouldn't really say this...

'cause you're feeling so terrible... but I'm enjoying myself.

She'll be back in the morning. You'll see.

Then you'll have a headache.

And it won't just be the booze.

Well, at least we became friends tonight.

We sure did.

Oh, God, I'm drunk.

Let me show you the spare room.

No, no, no. I'll be all right.

You sure? Sure.


Shut up, bitch.

Dr. Roberto Miranda.

So that's your name.

I've waited so long to be... properly introduced.

Keep still, motherfucker!

You know, I thought you'd be bigger.

I had a friend at school named Miranda.

Anita Miranda.

They were from St. Esteban. Maybe you're related.

They were a very respectable family.

Many of them were doctors.

Do you know Anita?

That's right. That was my tactic, too.

Admit nothing.

Well, Anita and I, we were going to be doctors... just like you.

You don't recognize me.

Well, why should you?

It's been forever.

My hair was different then.

Very light brunette.

Almost red.

Very long.

I'm not surprised.

What time didn't change, I have.

I didn't want you to recognize me.

I didn't want to recognize me.

Still don't know?

I'm hurt.

But I was touched... when I found this in your car.

Let's listen to it.

For old time's sake.

Out here, my love.

I didn't get my diploma when I was released.

I didn't go back to school.

You can guess why.

Shouldn't require much imagination on your part.

Look at me!

Luckily, Gerardo was waiting.

Well, I shouldn't say waiting, exactly.

But let's just say he still loved me... so I didn't have to go back.

You know how long it's been... since I listened to this quartet?

If it's on the radio, I turn it off.

Once, I ran out of a dinner party just to get away.

It made me sick... physically sick, to hear it.

But it's time for me to reclaim my Schubert... my favorite composer.

And to think I threw out my entire collection.

Don't touch him!

What is this? It's a miracle.

He's delivered himself like a surprise Christmas present.

What's going on? It's him.

Who? The doctor.

The doctor who played "Death and the Maiden."

The doctor who... Yes. It's him.

You were blindfolded.

The voice. His voice? That's it?

That's it. That's it?

That's enough for me.

Paulie, you're ill.

I'm not ill. You're ill.

All right, but I can be ill and recognize a voice.

Jesus fucking Christ! Are you trying to kill me?

It's him. I'm telling you, it's him.

Your memory of a voice doesn't prove anything.

His voice, his laugh... his favorite phrases.

I would recognize him anywhere from his pet phrases.

It may be a teeny-weeny thing, but that's the real, real truth.

Paulie, this isn't funny. No, it isn't funny... not a bit.

He's bleeding.

Want me to clean you up, Doctor?

My angel of mercy?

"She can take more.

"Give the bitch another five volts.

"Her sweet cunt is still wet."

Paulie, this is about me. You're angry with me.

About you?

I knew you were vain, Gerardo.

You're angry because I ignored your feelings... because I said yes to the commission.

I know his smell.

Remember that? Remember?

You like my love bites. You told me so.

You hungry, bitch?

You want some meat?

I'll give you some meat.

I'll give you a big, fat sausage.

Christ, Paulina.

That's how your new buddy talked to me.

This has got to stop.

Even if he is guilty, you can't torture him like this.

Torture? Head of the president's commission... you call this torture?

You know so little about your subject.

Give me the gun.

As you would say... I'm sorry.

While you're holding the gun, we have nothing to discuss.

The minute I give up the gun, all discussion will end.

Paulina, please.

Stop saying my name as if I'm a child.

You're behaving like a child, as if there are no consequences.

What you're doing will destroy any hope... of exposing the real criminals.

He is the real criminal.

Listen to me.

I'm in no hurry. I'm listening.

What revolted me most about the old regime...

You can call them fascists. I won't tell the press.

Let me finish!

What revolted me was that they ignored the evidence... and never allowed the accused to defend themselves.

No matter how sure you are... no matter how terrible the accusations... he has the right to defend himself.

But I have no intention of denying him that right, Gerardo.

I'll give him a chance to defend himself.

What are you talking about? He's tied to a chair.

Look who I've gotten to be his attorney... one of the most talented in the nation... a future Minister of Justice, no less.

If only I had been that well-represented.

Don't you agree, Gerardo Escobar, Esquire?

He has a better chance to defend himself than I did.

Go ahead.

Take off his gag.

Consult your client... and prepare his defense.

It's OK. I'll handle it.

Move away. Let me untie his hands.

Move away, or I'll kill him.


Get him some water, Gerardo.

There's a mike built into this.

At least that's what the man in the store told me.

I want everything on the record, scrupulously recorded.

Little did I know how handy this would be.

Nothing like cold water, huh, Doctor?

Beats drinking your piss. You have to stop her.

Move away from him.

This is unforgivable.

Hold it. Everyone be quiet.

It's working.

We already have a statement from the good doctor.

He tells us tying a person up... and preventing him from speaking is unforgivable.

You know what, Doctor?

I agree.

It is unforgivable.

Please. Proceed with your statement.

I don't know you. I've never seen you before.

I don't know what it is you think I've done.

Obviously, she's insane.

She's not responsible for what she does... but you're a lawyer.

If you don't stop this, you're an accomplice... and you'll pay the price.

You threatening? I'm not.

Yes, you were.

Let me make this clear.

The time for people like you making threats is over.

Out there maybe you bastards are still running things... but in here... in here...

I'm in charge!

Understand? Me.

Is that clear?

I'm sorry. I didn't mean it as a threat.

It's OK. He's not resisting. Hear him out.

Quick! Get it!

Get the gun!

You didn't do anything. You just stood there.

Of course he just stood there. He's the law.

My God. This is some kind of game.

You're part of it.

Paulina, I beg of you.

Tie his legs.

He's OK like that.

Tie his legs and do a good job.

Use the green rope.

I don't know who she is.

I don't even know what she thinks I've done.

You want to hear the charges?

I accuse Dr. Roberto Miranda... of overseeing and approving systematic beatings... and the use of electric shock on Paulina Lorca.


I wasn't married then... although Gerardo recruited me into the student resistance.

He was my fearless leader, but you never knew that.

If I'd given you his name... he wouldn't be heading an investigating committee.

Some other lawyer would be investigating his death.

And in addition, I accuse Dr. Miranda... of raping Paulina Lorca on fourteen separate occasions... each time playing Schubert's "Death and the Maiden"... on a wobbly turntable over cheap speakers.


You never told me you were raped.

I was. Of course I was.

This is crazy.

I've nothing to do with any beatings or tortures.

Paulie, we have to talk.

When was this? In 1977.

I wasn't even in the country.

I was in residency in Barcelona for three years.

1975-78. Check with them.

Sure. I'll write a letter. Make a call!

Why don't we just drive to the police station... ask them to call for us?

Oh. We can't drive, either.

We have no car.

Our car had a flat... and your car has also had an accident.

Went right through the guard rail and down the cliff.

I don't think you could've survived such a crash, do you?

You're an expert on how much punishment the body can take... before death is the result.

That's what they called you in for, wasn't it, Doctor?

This is insane. Is this a trial?

You're willing to be an accomplice... to kidnapping and murder, too?

I have to talk to you.

For God's sake, go ahead, talk.


In your chambers?

All right, on the deck.

What a sad and beautiful man Schubert must have been.

Only thirty-one when he died.

Did you know he was homosexual?

Of course you do.

You told me.

"He was a faggot.

"You don't like faggots. You like a real man's cock."

I'm a gentleman. I'd never say anything like that to a lady.

Enjoy it. We won't be long.

Why didn't you tell me?

Why didn't you ask?

You knew. You're an expert.

You've listened to hours of testimony.

They did it to us all.

You told me everything else the doctor did... how he supervised the torture...

I told you nothing. Nothing?

Actually, very little. Almost nothing.

All these years because you took it for granted that I knew?

There's a difference between knowing the facts... and hearing the details.

If I'd told you, he'd always be between us.

We'd never be alone.

I understand.

Remember how young we were?

I miss us, Gerardo.

So we're here, Paulie. We're still here.

I understand what you feel, but even if he is guilty...

Even if?

Do you realize what you've done?

Yes, darling. Absolutely.

This is kidnapping, assault.

We'll go to jail for twenty years.

Think what that'll do to the movement.

It's the kind of excuse the authorities look for.

We've given enough to the movement.

I've given enough.

If you thought you recognized him... why didn't you tell me?

You wouldn't have believed me.

It doesn't matter.

It matters to me. More than anything.

You have no proof.

What will you do with him? Put him on trial.

This isn't a trial. It's terrorism.

Do you love me, Gerardo?

We're supposed to be different. We can't use their methods.

I'm giving him all the guarantees he never gave me.

He has a lawyer. I'll listen to his defense.

That's bullshit. You've already convicted him.

The evidence is your own testimony.

Lf you want the real truth... The real, real truth.

You're not a reliable witness.

Because I'm crazy.

Any court would tear you to pieces.

Five years ago in the Taveli Cafe... you heard a voice you recognized...

I never said it was him.

You panicked on a bus when a man touched your shoulder.

Stop it. You can be cold, Gerardo.

I'm being truthful. Isn't that what you want?

It's too serious to spare your feelings.

You're not killing him.

Kill him? You really think I'll kill him?

Why did you crash his car?

I didn't crash his car.

It's parked on the road.

I made that up to make him think I mean business.

I'm not the secret police.

I have to create the illusion of threat... or he won't take the trial seriously.

What are you trying to do to me?

Oh, my baby. My poor, gentle baby.

I'd never do anything to hurt you... or the commission.

I don't want to stop you... from finding the bodies of the missing... or getting the crimes on record.

I love you.

You're my life.

But you're only investigating... the cases of those who are dead, who can't speak.

I can talk now. I'm free for the first time... since I was buried alone with this terror... until...

I've got him, Gerardo... and he's the one I wanted, the worst of them.

The others were thugs. I expected them.

But he was a doctor... supposedly there to make sure they didn't kill me.

He talked about science and philosophy.

He liked to quote Nietzsche. Nietzsche?

"I think it was Nietzsche."

He was so friendly, so thoughtful.

After a horrible session, he gave me a shot.

To soothe me, he said... to ease my suffering, he said he would play music.

I want to tell you.

Do you really want me to? Because I can.

You really think you can stand it?

Well, I told you I was... blindfolded.

They had me tied to a table... face up... except when they decided to put me face down... in a bucket of my own shit, but this day... the first day the doctor came... they were being kind.

They had all these wires, electrodes all over me... and a metal rod, like a penis, inside me.

When they shock you... first it burns, and then... and then your body jumps... and it hurts where you're tied.

I was trying to scream more where it hurt less... a little trick, but it didn't work.

The doctor came in.

He told them I'd had enough.

He sent them away.

He gave me a shot.

I felt warm. That pain was gone.

I didn't think it could go, but it was like magic.

He cleaned me up.

He put something on my wounds.

He told me I was safe... and that he would play "Death and the Maiden."

Did I like Schubert?

"Oh, yes," I said. "I love his music."

I thanked him.

I thanked him and thanked him... and we listened together... like a couple of people who care about each other... and for the first few minutes, he didn't do anything.

Then I heard him moving around.

It sounded like his belt dragging on the floor.

I heard the change in his pockets jangling.

I heard the whisper of his clothes coming off... and, suddenly, he was on top of me... slobbering sick ideas.

He pushed himself in.

And, God, it hurt... like fire.

I screamed.

I screamed as hard as when they shocked me... but he wouldn't stop. He wouldn't stop.

I love you.

Let me hold you, Paulie.

I don't trust you.

Understand? I can't.

I'm sorry. I know you hate me saying it, but I am sorry.

And after he'd finished... he turned the music off and said good-bye... with one of his pet phrases...

"No bones broken, right, baby?"

I know it's him.

I'm positive.

What do you want?

My first thought was that I wanted to rape him.

That's what I thought... that he should know what it's like... but a woman can't rape... so I thought it would be something you would have to do.

Paulie, please.

It would be difficult for you.

After all, you need a certain amount of enthusiasm.

Stop it.

Then I wondered maybe I should use a broomstick.

That's enough.

I know it's ridiculous.

It's ridiculous because no revenge can satisfy me.

That's what they're about... crude power and control.

I don't want to fuck him.

I don't want him dead. L...

I want him...

to talk to me.

I want him to confess.

To confess?

I want to get him on videotape... confessing to everything he did, not just to me, to all of us.

After he's confessed, you'll let him go?

I don't believe you.

You have to. You have no choice.

If he repents, I will let him go.

You and your commission will be safe.

With a taped confession... he won't send thugs or go to the police... or the video would be all over the TV... and I'll let him live.

As you say about our sad country, Gerardo...

I will let the past become the past.

We'll get on with our lives?

Yes. We'll have to. We'll have to live with him.

What if he refuses?

Tell him if he refuses, then he's dead.

Is that a real threat?

What happened to you can't be condoned in any way.

You have to do this. You have to convince him.

There's no other way.

What if by some incredible miracle... this is just some crazy coincidence?

What if he's innocent?

If he's innocent, then he's really fucked.

Will you please turn that off?

Know that I'm not allowed to come near you.

She's got the gun on us both.

Don't kid yourself. You're an accomplice.

You can end it.

This is a charade.

You're playing good cop/bad cop.

I'm a victim, too.

Not from where I sit.

Dr. Miranda, are you...

What happened to Roberto?

We're not friends anymore?

Are you aware the secret police used doctors... as torture session consultants?

Everybody knows.

The Medical Association denounced it.

I signed their petition.

You weren't asked to participate?

I told you.

I wasn't even in the country.

Oh, this is hopeless.

If you don't want to die, you'll confess.


She's promised if you confess and show remorse... she'll let you go.

My God. You're no different from them... threatening to kill me if I don't confess.

You're supposed to be a democrat, a lawyer... a man who believes in justice.

What's she got on you? What's her power over you?

It's not power.

What is it?

Gratitude and love.

She saved my life, OK?

What's this all about?

Why was she tortured? What did that...

You know why.

I don't. I don't understand anything!

What's that in my eyes, blood?

Is that blood?

Wait a minute.

Listen, he's bleeding.

I'm going to wipe it off. Is that OK?

Go ahead.

What's going on? Tell me.

What's this about?

Remember one of the underground newspapers, "Liberation"?

Sure. Thanks.

Really? You said you were in Barcelona in 1977.

Everybody knew about those papers. Come on.

I don't know whether one was called "Liberation."

I just remember people talking... about protest papers later when l...

It's OK. It doesn't prove anything anyway.

It doesn't matter.

There were seven illegal broadsides.

I was the editor of the student paper "Liberation."

We protected ourselves. No one knew each other.

Paulina went to the blind drops each week... and brought me our anonymous contributors' articles.

She was the only one who knew my identity... which is what they wanted.

If she'd given them my name...

But you know all this. You're playing games.

I am not. I admire you both!

I'm on your side!

I respect what she's been through.

Please, check on me. Isn't there a way?

She wants a confession.

Confession? How?

How can I confess to something I haven't done?

Then make it up.

That's the only way she'll pardon you.

She's got nothing to pardon me for.

Don't you understand? Christ!

It's not her, it's you.

You're too fucking civilized to admit it's you.

You think I'm guilty. You want revenge.

Yeah, I think you're guilty.

She recognizes your voice, your smell... all those peculiar little phrases of yours.

She remembered that you liked to quote Nietzsche.

And there's this.

For God's sakes, I've got dozens of tapes in my car.

I'm not alone quoting Nietzsche or my smell.

It's ridiculous. She's making it up.

She's paranoid. She's delusional.

You said so yourself. She's crazy.

But so's the whole country.

I have to take a pee.


I have to go to the bathroom.

Listen, I'm not sure about anything right now... but I'll tell you something.

I do know that she's serious.

All I said was I have to go to the bathroom.

No tricks, you understand?

You want me to pee in my pants?

He wants to go to the bathroom. Can I untie his hands?

Number one or number two, Doctor?


Well? Do you have to go wee-wee... or is there something more substantial in you?

Forget it.

A trick. That's what I thought.

It's not a trick.

God damn it, I have to pee, you cunt.

That's the Dr. Miranda I know so well.

All right, I believe you do have to pee.

Untie his legs.

Do it. Untie them and step away from him.

Don't move a muscle till I tell you to.

Don't make this any more grotesque than it already is.

Gerardo, shut up.

Take this.

Walk ahead of us to show the way.

Guest bathroom, I think, for our guest.

Get up slowly and move slowly.

If you make any sudden movements... the gun might go off, even if I don't mean it to.

I can't, not like this.

Yes, it's very difficult, isn't it... to live without privacy or pride?

You'll get used to it. Paulina.

Quiet, Gerardo.

I guess we have to try again later.

It isn't hard to humiliate or be humiliated, is it, Doctor?

Not that difficult to lord power over people.

It's no great achievement.

All done?

I guess I'd better wash my hands.

Oh, God!

Don't shoot. Don't shoot!

Don't move! Don't fucking move!

Get the phone.

Hello, Mr. Escobar?

Pablo Milar, the president's executive secretary.

We've been trying to reach you for hours.

We've had a storm.

All electricity and phones were out.

Could you hold for the president, please?

The president? Yes, of course I will.

I said don't move.

Sorry. I couldn't help it.

Don't make a sound.

I won't. I swear. Be careful, please.

Shut up!

Yes, sir.

Sorry to wake you.

That's quite all right.

There's been a leak about your appointment.

It was on the news.

As usual... don't think this is out of the ordinary... there have been death threats.

Death threats to you?

I'm afraid death threats against me... are a daily, even boring occurrence.

I mean death threats against you.

As a precaution, we're sending some men to your beach house.

There's been a storm?

Yeah. Everything's still out. The lights are still out.

Probably the road's impassable. So maybe...

They'll get through, but not until about... What time?

About six o'clock in the morning.

It's unnecessary. I'm safe here.

Why not send your men to my city apartment?

I'll be there Sunday night.

Couldn't stop them if I wanted to, and I don't.

Who was it?

I have to talk to you.

Don't move.

The president is sending cops here to protect me.

What? Why?

It's a precaution. It doesn't matter why.

They'll be here by six. We've only got...

Shit. You better hurry.

That's less than four hours. They may even get here sooner.

We don't have time to get this confession.

Fine. We'll kill him right away.

You're going to kill him?

Everything's taken care of.

We push him off the cliff onto the wrecked car.

It'll look like an accident. You're serious?

Lt'll look like he lost control.

Push him off the cliff. Maybe he'll hit rocks.

We'll do it where I wrecked the car.

You said you didn't do anything to his car.

I had to say that. It's easy.

You lied to me?

There's no time for this. It's simple. We push him.

With his hands tied?

We'll climb down, untie them... put him in the water, or the car.

Which is better? In the water, he'll bang around.

Are you crazy?

Well, you know me.

Climb down? Move his corpse?

The tide will take his body.

They'll still know it was murder.

What am I saying? I'm not doing this.

You promised not to kill him. You only wanted a confession.

You don't want to push him off the cliff?

No. It's premeditated murder. I won't do it.

Well, if you won't... you'd better get the confession quick.

Why don't you use the phone?

It's working now, right?

In the middle of the night?

Barcelona, it's daytime there.

And say what?

Ask for the administration office... for Elena Galvan, the Deputy Secretary.

You're wasting time. She knows me.

She'll tell you I was in residency in '77.

It won't matter.

I was there when your wife was under arrest.

Arrest. That's a good euphemism.

I couldn't have had anything to do with it.

Please, just make the call.

It's not going to convince her.

She's mad. She needs therapy.

You are her therapy.

You're telling me that if I confess... she'll forgive me and let me go?

Forgive you, no. Let you go, yes... if your confession convinces her... and she truly believes you're remorseful.

My hands aren't getting any circulation.

Can you loosen them, please?

That's it. Fuck it!

I'm going to count to five, then I'm telling her... there's nothing more I can do to save you. One...

You're scared your career... Two...

...will be destroyed if I get out alive.

If you confess, we have no worries. Three...

Stop counting. I can count. Four is next. It's stupid!


All right. All right!

What do I have to confess to?

Don't start.

I don't know what to say.

Just imagine it.

But I don't know what she expects.

If I make it up and it's wrong, she may kill me anyway.

I know a few things. Maybe I can help you.

Why don't you ask her?

Ask her what?

What she wants in the confession.

I'll write down exactly what she wants, OK?

No. She wants it to be genuine.

How can it be genuine?

I am innocent.

I don't see why you need to hear everything from me... to get him to confess.

I'm your lawyer. I need facts.

I don't want you to be my lawyer.

I want you to be my husband.

I'm trying to be, but you're never satisfied.

Poor Gerardo.

There's never any pity for me.

I'm always wrong. I'm sick of it.

I want to get through this and get on with our lives.

Is that so wrong?

I wanted to tell you the day I was released.

Even though I was a mess and in pain, I ran to see you.

Let's start with the day of your arrest.

Did you love her?

Christ, we don't have time for this. They're coming.

I have to interrogate him.

He'll have to write the confession, we tape it.

Did you love her?

You forgave me.

How many more times can we go over this?

I never asked if you loved her, just if you fucked her.

That was stupid. You were in bed together.

What did I think you were doing?

We'll die from so much past. There's too much pain.

We must deal with him. He's the monster.

How many times did you fuck her?

Give me the gun.

I'll kill him. I'll blow his fucking brains out.

Will that make up for it?

No. I just want the truth for once... no evasion, no tact.

Was that the first night she'd spent with you?

So how many times did you fuck her?

I didn't know you were alive, Paulie.

That's an excuse. I want the truth.

You'd been gone for two months.

You're going to shoot me now?

That's your new way of having a conversation?

We'd been lovers for a month.

I don't know how many times we had sex.

Were you in love with her?

You want the real, real truth?

Yes. Tonight, I want the truth.

I can't remember.

I can't remember.

I can't remember anything about how I felt since that night.

You came back beat up and crazy.

You were half-dead... taken punishment a thousand times worse... than anything I could have taken... and you did it to save my life.

How do you think I feel?

I would have given them your name to save my skin.

They would have broken me on the first day.

So you see, I don't really remember anything... about how I felt since that night you came back.

But I love you.

I love you.

It's been the logic of my life.

I have a feeling it's going to destroy me.

It was about two in the afternoon.

I'd made the pickup... on the corner of Huerfanos near the bookstore.

I heard them get out of a car behind me.

There were two of them... and one came up and took my arm... and said, "Hey, girlie, you're having a busy day."

The other put a gun in my ribs... and said, "Let's go away for the weekend."

I smelled garlic on his breath.

It's weird. I'd wondered what he'd eaten.

I didn't resist.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night.

I get so angry I want to hit myself.

The street was crowded, crowded with students.

Maybe they would have fought for me.

I didn't cry out. You were supposed to.

You told me, "If they come for you, yell your name."

"I am Paulina Lorca, and they're kidnapping me.

"This is an illegal arrest."

I was a fool. They would have shot you.

They probably would have.

That was the problem.

You see, I wanted to live.

I wanted to see the future.

I wanted to be there to enjoy my happy ending.

I wanted to live for that glorious day... when I would once again rejoin the man I love...

and live in a free country.

You don't have to describe the room.

She never saw it.

She was tied to a table, a wooden table.

Was it long enough for her whole body?

Oh, for Christ's sake.

Whatever I don't know, just leave out.

She was tied with ropes.


That's right.

They beat her with iron rods on her back and thighs.

They burned her breasts with cigars.

Oh, Jesus Christ.

They put a rod... a metal rod in...

Go on.

I took part in ninety-four interrogations.

They told me the prisoners were dying.

They needed someone they could trust to care for them.

Why did they want to keep us alive?

He's supposed to be making a statement.

I want the truth. That's all I want.


"I believed they had a right to medical attention...

"and at first, that's all I did.

"I tended to their wounds.

"I checked on their health...

"but after a week, they said they needed my help...

"in supervising interrogations."

Who needed your help?

This is not going to work.

I thought we agreed he was only going to talk about what he did.

I didn't agree.

We haven't got time.

All right, go on.


"I tried to protect the prisoners...

"from the worst tortures to prevent permanent damage...

"and to lessen the chance of death...

"from shock and sudden heart failure.

"I made sure that a sufficient amount of food and water...

"was given so there would be no deaths from starvation."

This isn't a confession. It's a fucking testimonial.

Sounds exactly like the confession of a torturer.

You expect them to face the truth?

Tell them about me.

About me.


"After three weeks, the daily sixteen-hour sessions...

"began to rub off on me.

"I tended to be impressionable...

"to be influenced by my surroundings...

"and the people around me.

"I lost my sense of my own identity...

"and my own moral code."

You liked it! Tell the truth.

Jesus. Give him a chance.

All right, go on. Get to it.

"When l..."


"When I first saw Paulina Lorca, she was in very poor condition.

"She had had no food or water for three days.

"She was tied by ropes to a wooden table.

"She had been severely beaten on her back and thighs.

"She had burns on her breasts.

"She'd also been subjected to electric shocks...

"on her torso and genitals.

"I convinced them she would die...

"if the torture and starvation continued.

"I asked them to leave me alone with her...

"so I could gain her trust.

"I had tried this successfully...

"with a number of other prisoners.

"I tended to their physical plain...

"I tended to their physical pain.

"I played music to soothe their minds.

"Paulina Lorca was a very beautiful woman."

That's why you raped me? Because I was beautiful?

It's my fault, right? You left the ugly ones alone.

Would you stop interrupting?

You don't understand.

I obeyed women, honored women all my life.

That's bullshit!

You're going to die, Doctor.

I let your lawyer convince me to spare you... if you made an honest confession... but you're playing games.

You're deliberately making mistakes to look innocent.

He gave me all the details. They came from you.

I never told him I was tied with ropes.

You're lying. This is worthless.

You're right. They tied you with wires.

Are you sure? I'm sure.

Wires... it was wires.

What did you tell him, Gerardo?

I didn't tell him anything.

I know you prepared him.

I knew you were going to, so I lied to you.

What did you tell him?



You didn't tell him... so how did he know it was really wires?

Because it was wires.

You see? I'm not crazy!

Get the gun!

Don't move! I don't want to shoot.

Back off! Get that light out of my eyes.

I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm not a killer.

I don't want trouble.

Up! Up!

I just want out.

Back off!

To the window!

The window!

I'll go to the door, and then I'll leave.

You won't get hurt. No. You wouldn't hurt a fly.

Listen! I just want to get out of here.

You can keep your idiotic confession... and your ridiculous tape.

You can watch it every night.

It'll make great therapy.

If I see you on the beach... you'll forgive me if I don't smile.

I don't care what games you play in this fucking madhouse...

I just want out.

You fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Gerardo, get up.


What'll we do?

Take him to his car.

The confession game is over.

I believe I was the winner.

What are you doing? Quiet.

That's it. We're taking him.

You got your confession. You got what you wanted.

Let's forget tonight ever happened.

That's not what I want. It's phony.

It's phony because he's innocent.

He didn't even want the tape.

He didn't want it because it's absurd.

It looked staged.

A man with a bandage talking like a robot.

Get up.

Get me that dish towel.

Paulie, wait. Wait, wait.

I have to think.

You think. I'm going.

What are you doing?

Let me make this call. Let me call Barcelona.

We've got time.

It'll only take a couple of minutes.

You won't give up being a lawyer.

Paulie, please.

Is that what you need to do it?

What time is it?

Ten after five.

Five minutes.

That's all the mercy we can spare.

Our Lady of Sorrows. Personnel office, please.

Not personnel.

I'm sorry. What did you say? There's no personnel office.

You want administration. I'll transfer you.

Who do I want?

Deputy Administrator's office.

Ask if Elena Galvan is there.

Hello, is that administration?

Not again. No. This is the cafeteria.

Shit. They just cut me off.

This is bullshit!

We have to do it now. Let me try again, OK?

He isn't finished.

Just let me try again.

Wait. I beg you!

You should know how useless begging is.

Wait. Wait.

Let me check. I'm almost through.

You've got to stop her.

You have my confession. You told me you made it up.

Yes, but you have the tape. I'll keep quiet.

He can't decide which lie to stick to.

Either you were there in April '77 or not.

What can I say?

If I'm guilty, you'll kill me. If I'm innocent, you'll kill me.

If I'm innocent, you're screwed.

If I'm guilty, you'll kill me for revenge.

Justice, not revenge.

It's not justice! You're not dead!

No. I wasn't that lucky.

Our Lady of Sorrows.

You just tried to transfer me to the administration office... and connected me to the cafeteria.

You want the cafeteria?

No. I want the administration office.

What extension do you want?

I don't know the extension.

Who do you want in administration?

I want to speak to... Wait...

I want to speak to Elena Galvan.

No. The person I want is the Deputy Administrator.

Hold on, please. Thank you.


I have an application for employment... from a doctor who said he did his residency with you... from 1975 to 1978.

Could you confirm that?

The records office will confirm it.

I don't want your records.

I just want a routine confirmation... he did his residency at your hospital.

You can fax the records office. Their number is...

Is there somebody there called Elena Galvan?

Elena Galvan?

Yes. I'm Elena Galvan.

Do you remember a doctor named Miranda?

You do?

Yes. Dr. Roberto Miranda.

Was he there in April 1977?

Yes. In '77.

Thank you.

It's true, Paulie.

I just spoke with Elena Galvan.

He was there, just like he said.

She remembers him.

Thank God.

You had it ready, didn't you?

You had it all set up.

Gerardo, is it the truth?

Is it the truth, Gerardo?

You told me yourself the army's been preparing alibis.

You said some of them have fake visas.

So this one has a crony at the hospital... who conveniently remembers... fifteen years later... where he was the very month he was raping me.

This is it.

We're going to end it here.

Look at me.

Isn't it bright enough to see me?

Don't you know me?

Didn't you tell me your ugly thoughts?

Didn't you tell me your secrets?

Didn't you rape me?

Didn't you put your cock in me?

How many times?

Many times. I raped you many times.

Fourteen times.

You played music.

Yes, I played music. I wanted to soothe you.

I was good at first. It took weeks.

I was strong. I fought it so hard.

No one fought as hard as I did.

I was the last one, the last one to have a taste.

No one died, I swear.

I saved many, and I made it easier on them.

That's how it started. That's how I got into it.

They needed doctors.

My brother was in the secret police.

He told me they needed someone to make sure nobody died.

I washed you.

You soiled yourself.

You told me, "I'm dirty," and I washed you clean.

The others egged me on.

"Come on, Doctor, you're not going to refuse free meat."

I couldn't think straight.

And inside, I could feel I was starting to like it.

They lay the people out... flesh on the table in the fluorescent light.

You didn't know.

It was bright in those rooms.

People lying totally helpless, and I didn't have to be nice!

I didn't have to seduce them!

I realized I didn't even have to take care of them.

I had all the power.

I could break anyone.

I could make them do or say whatever I wanted.

I was lost.

I got curious.

Morbid curiosity.

How much can this woman take?

What's going to happen to her vagina?

Does it dry up when you shock her?

Can she have an orgasm afterwards?

I liked being naked.

I would undress slowly.

I would let my pants fall... so you could hear what I was doing.

I liked you knowing what I was going to do.

I was naked in the bright light, and you couldn't see me.

You couldn't tell me what to do.

I owned you. I owned all of them.

I fell in love with it.

I could hurt you, or I could fuck you... and you couldn't tell me not to.

You had to thank me.


I loved it.

I was sorry it ended.

I was very sorry it ended.

I can't do it, Paulie.

I just can't.