Europa (1991) Script

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[rumbling]

[music playing]

NARRATOR: You will now listen to my voice.

My voice will help you and guide you still deeper into Europa.

Every time you hear my voice, with every word and every number, you will enter a still deep layer, open, relaxed, and receptive.

I shall now count from 1 to 10.

On the count of 10, you will be in Europa.

I say one.

And as you focus your attention entirely on my voice, you will slowly begin to relax.

Two.

Your hands and your fingers are getting warmer and heavier.

Three.

The warmth is spreading through your arms, to your shoulders and your neck.

Four.

Your feet and your legs get heavier.

Five.

The warmth is spreading to the whole of your body.

On six, I want you to go deeper.

I say six.

And the whole of your relaxed body is slowly beginning to sink.

Seven.

You go deeper, deeper, deeper.

Eight.

On every breath you take you, go deeper.

Nine.

You are floating.

On the mental count of 10, you will be in Europa.

Be there at 10.

I say 10.

You are listening to the noise of rain beating against a large metal drum.

Go closer.

There's a fence and you have to stop.

You are walking across the rail yard, and you've been traveling by train from Bremerhaven, and before that, on a ship from New York.

You are in Germany.

The year is 1945.

[clanging]

[rattling]

I'm your uncle.

You may embrace me.

I have received this letter from your father.

He has the nerve to ask me to find you a job.

My father asked me to give you--

I do not wish to know anything about my brother.

He left our fatherland at a difficult time.

For that, I'll never forgive him.

Family bonds are intolerable.

Well, also I'd probably regret my kindness dearly.

Due to my position, I succeeded to get you a job in Zentropa.

Huh.

Whatever reason you have to apply for this job and why you are here at all, it's of no interest to me.

Uncle, I truly--

Zentropa will give no guarantee that only new material will be used for your uniform.

Your uniform will be delivered within 12 hours.

Remember that the uniform has to be changed twice a year.

The uniform is the property of the company, but paid by the employee.

Give me your wallet, please.

Thanks.


Your wallet.

The German citizens you will meet will only give the impression of friendliness.

But never for a moment believe that it's anything but trying to gain something from you.

All Germans will hate you.

And in my opinion, they are right in doing so.

We-- we are all living at the mercy of the Americans.

The military authorities have tied Zentropa hand and foot.

Your fellow countrymen treat Europeans without much respect.

[gargling]

What are you doing?

Do you want to wake the sleeping?

All these people work at night and they need their sleep.

I just wanted to get a look at--

NARRATOR: You are in Germany, just after the war.

You are cold.

You are covering yourself with the clothes you have in your suitcase.

You have to start your training as a sleeping car conductor.

When you have rested, you will be on your way to your new job.

Get up.

Get up and be on your way.

[music playing]

Then we'll return to here.

Now, we shall receive our papers.


I think I understand unemployment in Germany much better now.

People just can't afford to work here.

This is for railway personnel only.

Stay back.


[music playing]


Come in.

Please sir, Sleeping Car Conductor, the rails to Berlin is our best section.

When I was in America, I was fortunate enough to meet Mrs. George Pullman.

She gave me this bonbondose that Mr. Pullman himself used to carry in his pocket.

Take two.

And crush them, as is the custom in your country.

[rumbling]


[speaking german]


First only.

No.

No.

First class.


Sir.

Sir.

Have you got no decency at all?

The shades must be down now, Kessler.

Please, listen Herr Kessler.

Things will be quiet for awhile.

I'll retire now.

If you would be so kind as to keep an eye on everything.

I'll entrust you the passkey.

I'm in the kitchen if you need me.

And keep in mind that the management's private compartment has been taken, hmm.


[knocking]

PASSENGER: Entre.

[knocking]

Sorry to disturb you, uncle.

I need some help.

Uncle?

Uncle?

[snoring]

[rattling]

Your German is not bad at all, Herr Kessler.

Please continue.

I took the liberty of getting a bit of information about you.

My name is Katharina Hartmann.

As you may know, my family owns Zentropa.

You've chosen an unusual time to come to Germany.

An American in a civilian job is a rare sight these days.

Please excuse my curiosity.

But what are you doing here?

I'm a sleeping car conductor.

I'm just trying to understand why a young American wants to play tourist in these sad surroundings.

I understand you refused to be a soldier?

I had to come here.

Why?

I believe my taking on a job as a civilian here is a small contribution to making the world a better place.

It's time someone showed this country a little kindness.

Are you laughing at me?

No.

I'm smiling.

Because what you say seems to come from a place far away.


[music playing]

What's this?

Partisans.

Executed by your countrymen, I believe.

I thought the war was over.

There are those who try to fight a lost battle.

Will that be all?

No.

Please stay.

Please sit here.

We are approaching a tunnel.

It's ridiculous.

I've been on trains all my life.

But I'm so frightened of tunnels.

Could I persuade you to stay until we've passed through?

Once the electric light went out.

[whistle blowing]

[music playing]


Give us a hand!

I must have fallen asleep.

It's very embarrassing.

You see, normally I have problems falling asleep.

But when I hear the sound of the wheels on the tracks I become drowsy.

And now and then, I fall asleep for a moment or two.

And when I wake up, I'm ice cold.

It's frightening.

And then there's the feeling that I don't know in which direction the train is moving.

I don't know if we're going forwards or backwards.

Or what I thought was forward, has suddenly become backward.

Know I mean?

My dear uncle, what's happened seems to me to be a simple switch.

You lost track of things for a moment.

And in the meantime, the train has just turned around.

You see, it's easily explained.

NARRATOR: You have traveled through the German night.

You have met the German girl.

On the street above, it is daylight.

But as you go on with your job in car 2306, there is little to see.

Go deeper.

On the count of three, there will be a message for you of great importance.

One.

Two.

Three.

This invitation, it came by messenger.

I don't know.

But you have been invited to dinner at 7:00 PM at the home of the Hartmann family.

You are already late.

Naturally, I'll accompany you.

An invitation like this is a great honor.

I demand that you behave correctly.

It's of the utmost importance.

The Hartmann family founded Zentropa in 1912.


Are you a Catholic, Mr. Kessler?


The enemy believes as much in his cause.


Come.


I really admire the Americans.

Mr. Kessler, did you know that manufacturers in Germany were owned by Americans during the war?

The Pater is praying for Mariakirche in Westhafen, that the explosions may not harm it.

[explosion]

May I call you Leopold?

Of course, sir.

[ringing]

I'm afraid there's one of your fellow Americans at the door.

Come in, Alex.

Welcome, Alex.

Max, you must fill in this questionnaire.

May I introduce you to one of your countrymen, who has just been employed in our company?

Mr. Leopold Kessler, Herr Alexander Harris.

How do you do.

In fact, it's actually Leo I came to meet.

I understand you're of German descent.

I'd be the last one to blame you for that.

You meet so many sensible Germans these days.

Coffee, Alex?

Oh, no, no, later.

I've got some information on you.

I know about your AWOL.

I've come to ask you to do us a small favor.

What's that?

Well, your job with the railways could be an advantage to us.

I don't know what you've heard about the Werewolves.

But you should know that sabotage is still going on, as well as liquidations of Germans who cooperate with the Allies.

All I'm asking you to do is to keep an eye open for us and report back to us.

Here, I brought you this.

Ah, excuse me, sir.

But I can't except a gun.

Why not?

Well, if I wanted to carry a weapon I would have come here earlier.

Oh.

I wouldn't make a move in this country without a weapon.

OK, it's a deal.

You keep your eyes on the Nazis for me.

I'll go and have that coffee with Max.

Colonel Harris, my father apologizes.

But he cannot bid you goodnight in person.

He is indisposed.

Hm.

Just see to it, Larry, that your father fills out that questionnaire.

I've made arrangements for someone to come and verify it on Friday.

Father is taking his bath.

He's always retiring to his bath when he's upset.

The Colonel is forcing him to fill out this stupid questionnaire.

So what's it all about?

They ask you about your relation with the Nazi party.

And father has to have a perfectly clean record if he wants to retain his position.

And the Colonel knows that father will have to lie to keep Zentropa.

[knocking]

There's one thing I want to confess to you.

I fooled you a little the other day when I pretended that the tunnel frightened me.

It was the sight of these hanged people that touched me so deeply.

After all, they were only fighting for their country, like most of the world has been doing.

And suddenly it's a crime.

[music playing]


NARRATOR: You have left the house.

Behind you is the German family.

You see before you the questionnaire that is designed to test the guilt of the country.

Friday, you will be back.

[clacking]


The children are with me.

OK.

[speaking german]

Compartment 13 has ordered a bottle of sekt.

The name is Ravenstein.

By the way, no guests on duty.

I'll see to it that a fine of seven mark is deducted from your salary.


Leo, help me.

These people will kill me.

What's going on here?

We have dismantling orders for all the heaters on this train.

But it's freezing outside.

War debts for Scandinavia.

Take it easy, old man.

I don't have to accept this.

We got to distribute all the blankets we have to the passengers.

We'll get the children to help.


[child crying]


A security check before the zone crossing.

Can we see the passenger list?

Sure.

Here we are.

You got the newly-appointed mayor of Ravenstein and wife in 13.

Thank you.

A security check before the zone crossing.

Security check before the zone crossing.

[music playing]

[whistle blowing]

This paper's expired.

Do you have another piece of paper?

You can't cross the zone with this.

This guy's ID is no good.

[gunshot]

No!

[gunshots]

NARRATOR: One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

Six.

Seven.

Eight.

Nine.

Ten.

You are at a party.

[music playing]

Leo.

I heard about that little episode.

I understand you handled it very well.

I didn't do anything.

That's just it.

We'd have a lot less problems if everyone behaved like you.

By the way, we've already appointed a new mayor.

The children were turned over to me by this man, a man who claimed to be a friend of the Hartmann family.

Yeah, yeah.

They're not stupid, those Werewolves.

Listen, I can hardly recognize Max.

He's been staring out that window for more than an hour, waiting for the 9:15 to come in.

It's pathetic.


[music playing]

[honking]


The form must be verified by somebody from the Resistance or by a Jew.

[music playing]


Max, you have to turn around.


We handed out 13 million questionnaires and found that 80% of the Germans in our zone have Nazi sympathies.

Max Hartmann is important for the reconstruction of the transportation system.

I admit I made a little private arrangement with that Jew.

He broke into an American food depot.

And he's quite thankful that I got him out of trouble.


Shh.

Come, let's get out of here.


What?

[music playing]


Father has given Larry this train for one of his birthdays.

Larry never touched it.

It was quite rude.


That thing with the questionnaire, it was a farce.

Colonel Harris forced the Jew to sign.

I know.

I could see that father had never seen this ugly man before.

I'm sorry that father had to go through such a farce.

You're so good and understanding.

I find that a little provoking.

Allow me to test your tolerance, Mr. Kessler.

Or more correctly, I was a Werewolf.

So now you know.

I have no doubt that my secret is safe with you.

I was foolish enough to get involved with these people.

I realized right away that it was a terrible mistake.

But to get out was not easy.

Maybe it was just to spite father.

I've been very lonely with this secret.

But it's all over now.

I've broken with them forever.

But I had to tell you.

Don't you understand?

Mr. Kessler, you once said to me the time had come to show a little kindness towards Germany.

Now, Mr. Kessler, I ask you to prove your open mind and show a little kindness to me.

[music playing]


[yell]

Checkmate.

Again.

Again?

You know, we've played chess about 15 times together and I've beaten you every time.

Doesn't that bother you, Father?

Hm.

You know, sometimes it's very difficult for me to understand Germany.

We've bombed you to pieces.

And yet you all behave as if there never was any war at all.

Max Hartmann and I have been very close friends.

And now, I risk everything, including court-martial, just to help him keep his position in Zentropa.

Do you think he knows about this?

Frankly, I don't think he cares.

Damn you, Max.

Get out of that bathroom and talk to me.

Max, you can't treat me like this.

[knocking]

Open that door and face reality for once.

Come on, Colonel Harris.

He can't do that to me.

Papa.

[knocking]

Papa.

Papa!

Mr. Hartmann!

Mr. Hartmann!

[speaking latin]


[music playing]

Of course, I don't know what happened upstairs this evening.

But from the way that the kitchen personnel reacted, it wasn't very pleasant.

I'm inclined to believe that my nephew bears a large part of the responsibility.

Actually, I've taken a rather substantial risk in getting you this job.

My reputation is at stake.

And all this at a time when the letter we've been waiting for so long has finally arrived.

This means that your application for the examination has been accepted and is to be executed in nine or 10 weeks.

As the test is comprehensive, and the grading particularly severe, I recommend you to, as soon as you finish these shoes, go through the regulations.

Excuse me, Herr Kessler, but I've found this pair of Crockett & Jones outside [inaudible].

I'm sure that must be a misunderstanding.

Well, they're polished.

I don't think so.

Where is the chalk mark?

Chalk mark?

Chalk mark!

A chalk mark on the sole is the passenger's guarantee that the shoes have been polished and that they've been polished by the conductor of a car.

I can't see how a chalk mark can be the passenger's guarantee of anything.

No, no, no.

That you've come here with your background in American culture, American way of thinking, that I ask you, kindly, kindly, Herr Kessler.

Without humility, you will not get anywhere.

Besides, we guarantee the chalk marks also indicate the traveler's compartment.

Take these shoes, for example.

Where do they belong?

Now, I've lost track of--

Aha, there you are.

And how will you find out?

Well, I could always ask one of the passengers.

[cough]

When I return, I want to see all the shoes marked with compartment numbers.

And under no circumstances will I tolerate any disturbance of the passengers.

[door slamming]


[music playing]

NARRATOR: You are being led through the train.

You are led through carriages you never knew existed.


I'm waiting for an explanation.

[loud rumbling]


[speaking latin]


MILITARY ANNOUNCER: This is the American occupation force.

[speaking german]

Law 1067 of the military government forbids gatherings and processions.

[speaking german]

Please disperse and go home or you will be arrested.

[speaking german]

[gun shots]

Disperse and go home or you will be arrested.

[speaking german]

The ceremony is over.

The coffin is to be turned over to the occupation forces for confiscation immediately.

[speaking german]

[speaking latin]

[gun shots]

Go back to America, please.


You stay away from her.

[laughter]

Open the door, please.

Please open the door.

[music playing]


NARRATOR: You lover her.

She is so strong, and yet so vulnerable.

I want you to go forward in time.

Go forward one month in time.

Be there on the count of three.

One.

Two.

Three.

[german singing]


Goodby Herr Kessler and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Father.

Priests are a necessary discomfort.

[bell ringing]

[speaking latin]

[music playing]


Marry me, please.

Yes.


[applause]

NARRATOR: It is New Year's morning, year one.

You are on your honeymoon in the Hartmann family's private compartment.

You have been making love.

You have enjoyed the tenderness of your wife.

But now she's asleep, and you are alone.

For the first time, you experience the fear of being on a train with no possibility of getting off, and no idea of where the journey may end.

[moaning]

Stuttgart, Leipzig, Berlin, Wiesbaden, Hamm, Hannover, Hamburg, Frankfort, Duisburg--

[speaking german]


What's the matter?

Nothing.

I'm so glad you got this compartment for us.

I've traveled so many times in it.

My father showed me all of Germany from here.

Kat, I know so little about you and your family.

And yet you know more than others.

I don't believe your father could be threatened to take his own life.

You see, for father, transport was a sacred word.

The most important thing for him was that the wheels kept on rolling.

But they were rolling.

Yeah.

But the war made father old and strange.

And he saw the whole of Germany as his model railway, running around, and round, and round, and round, and round.

And he wanted to believe that the cars were just as empty as toy trains.

But even though he did his best, it was not possible to repress the fact that Zentropa during the war transported Jews in cattle trains to concentration camps, and American officers first class afterwards.

In the end, it was all too absurd, even for father.

But listen, I just--

Shh.

Jesus Christ, what a dump!

[laugh]

NARRATOR: The two of you are moving into what can be provided for a newly married couple.

The place is OK with you because she is there.

And as you go on with your job, and are back on the tracks, you'll feel stronger.

One night, there is a call for you in the middle of the Berlin/Frankfurt run.

Answer the call in the middle of the Berlin/Frankfurt run.

Hello.

Hello, Leo.

Kat, is everything all right?

Where are you?

I'm in the villa, in Frankfurt.

What are you doing there?

Can you come over here?

I'll be in Frankfurt in half an hour.

Are you OK?

We'll talk when you get here.

[rumbling]

Kate!

Kate!

Kate!

Kate!


Where's my wife?


[speaking german]

Excuse me.

[speaking german]

Here you are.

[speaking german]

Up you go.

Suitcase, sir.

I've reserved compartment three for you, Colonel.

Please take a seat and I'll come to you once we're off.

There is a package for you.

We don't approve of such things.

[knocking]

Come in.

Sit down, Leo.

Now, talk to me.

Well, I--

[knocking]

Excuse me.

I would like a word with the conductor.

Excuse me.


Sorry about the interruption.

So what is your story?

Remember the Ravenstein incident?

Germans killing Germans, that doesn't break my heart.

[whistle blowing]

I met that man again, the Werewolf, at the Hartmann villa tonight.

Yes.

And--

Excuse me.

[loud rumbling]

Kat, what's going on?


You must place the bomb during the stop at checkpoint Urmitz!

For Christ sakes, Kat.

[speaking german]

The bomb has to go off in the middle of the bridge, which is under repair.

The train will go very slowly.

Leo--

I love you.

[music playing]


[speaking german]

Kessler, do me a favor.

Stop messing around with me.

What sort of information do you have for me?

Is it that brown bag that you wanted me to see?

The situation is a bit more complicated than I thought.

Kessler, God damn it.

Can't you stay put for a minute?

Excuse me.

Excuse me.

[speaking german]

On your way to the platform, sir?

Excuse me.

Jesus Christ!


[whistle blowing]

[music playing]


Uncle, there's something I got to tell you.

Where is your cap?

I do not have the authority to decide whether this examination can proceed without you having your cap.

But I know that if you want to carry out the job of a sleeping car conductor with your head uncovered, I had no choice but to put you off the train immediately.

There's something I got to tell you.

The last thing I desire is private conversation on duty.

[panting]

NARRATOR: You have carried out the orders.

Now, relax.

I want you to sink down into the soft cool grass on the railbed.

Look up.

Look at the stars.

See how the stars resemble illuminated cities on a map, or maybe it is the fading lights of human lives.

But you are here to help the lights burn brighter, not to put them out.

At any price, you must make this good again.

Run for the bomb!

[panting]

[music playing]

Out of the way!

Out of the way!

Out of the way!

Hold it, boy.


Don't you want your promotion at all?

There is a high ranking military officer in number three, if you didn't know.

He has put in a complaint about you.

This will be noted in your exam.

It's going to be difficult for you now.

NARRATOR: The exhausting run has made you sick.


NARRATOR: Your clothes are soaked with sweat.

And you're afraid of fainting.

NARRATOR: Your heart is pumping faster and faster in panic.

Can I have a glass of water, please.


NARRATOR: You cannot breathe.

On the count of three, you faint.

One.

NARRATOR: Two.

Three.

[groaning]

One second of infinite rest.


[speaking german]


Kat is sitting in compartment one, if you wish to talk to her.

Kat.

Excuse me, Colonel.

There must be some misunderstanding.

My wife is handcuffed.

I'm afraid there is no misunderstanding, Leo.

I'm sorry.

I once told you that your connections with the railways could be of help for me.

You couldn't know that it was your association with the Werewolf Katherina Hartmann that really interested us.

We needed your help to keep track of her when we found out that it was Kat who wrote the anonymous letters of threat to her father.

Tell the Colonel that you're not a Werewolf.

Please believe me when I tell you that I really cared for you.

What are you saying?

You know, they say a werewolf is only a werewolf during nights.

In the daytime, it's a human being.

I know I can't make you understand what it is that makes a man turn into an animal because you don't accept that it ever happens.

During nights, I wrote the letters to father.

During days, I regretted it.

I didn't him to die.

But it hurt me so much to see him suffer at the feet of the Americans.

And Larry?

He must have followed me to the meeting at the villa.

It was him or us.

So our marriage was just part of a plan to blow up this train.

No, that's not true.

I really loved you.

You know, there were times when all I wanted was for us to leave and forget about Germany.

But, Leo, it didn't work.

I'm sorry, Leo.

I-- I did what I had to do.

But it's your fault too.

The bridge would have been so easy for you.

Easy?

Nothing could have happened to you.

And what about all the people on the train?

What people?

Everybody on this train has been through the war, just like me.

You can't compare yourself to us.

Everybody has killed or betrayed, directly or indirectly, hundreds of times, just to survive.

Look into their eyes and you see what I mean.

Kat, you're talking about an awful crime.

But the way I see it is that you are the only criminal.

I haven't done anything.

I'm not working for either side.

Exactly.

I'm sorry to say this.

But I got this rotten feeling that everyone's been screwing me ever since I got here.

And that makes me mad.

And now, it's my turn to say something.

[speaking german]


[knocking]


NARRATOR: Think it over.

[knocking]


Your problem is not important.

[loud rumble]

Because I don't want this train to go to Munich, Bremen, Frankfurt, or fucking Auschwitz.

I want it to stay right here!

You'll have to excuse me.

I need some time to think.

Isn't this the Neuwied bridge?

It might be.

There have been some diversions.

Back into your compartments now.

[gunfire]


[rumbling]

[explosion]

[screams]

[gasping]

[coughing]

[pounding]


[loud scream]

NARRATOR: You are in a train in Germany.

Now, the train is sinking.

[rumbling]

You will drown.

On the count of 10, you will be dead.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

[choking]

Five.

Six.

Seven.

Eight.

Nine.

Ten.


In the morning, the sleeper has found rest on the bottom of the river.

The force of the stream has opened the door and is leading you on.

Above your body, people are still alive.


Follow the river.

As days go by, head for the ocean that mirrors the sky.

You want to wake up, to free yourself of the image of Europa.

But it is not possible.

[music playing]