Japanese Story (2003) Script


Mum. What time is it?

No, no, no, I'm up.

I just haven't had any coffee yet.

Do you remember Mary Coulter?

She was an aunt of that funny kid with the limp.

He used to go to school with you on the bus.


But do you remember him?


He's put a nice notice in here.

"In a while, crocodile. Love Rick."

They must've said that to each other.

It's quite nice, isn't it?

It doesn't do so much for me.

I like it.

Everyone I've ever known and loved is in this book.

You didn't know Sammy Davis Jr..

I did. I met him at a party.

He kissed my hand and told me he was very pleased to meet me.

That's not knowing somebody.

It was to me.

I'm sure he meant it at the time.

At least he said it.

Which is more than your father managed in 20 years.

Anyhow, your job is to put the final clipping in here, mine, and then it will be complete.

And that's it.

A life.

It's sick being that preoccupied with deaths.

There's nothing sick about death.

It's part of life.

Your problem is you think it can be avoided.

It can't.

I've left my washing in your laundry.

Hand me the, yeah, glue stick.




Get it done?

Well, I would've if it hadn't crashed.

Baird's looking for you.

What for?

He didn't say.

He seemed a bit flustered.

How unusual.

Let me get this straight.

First he was coming here, and you were doing it.

Then he was coming here, and we were both gonna do it, and I was just gonna be around as backup if you needed it, technical support, that kind of thing.

Now, he's not coming here, I'm doing it, and you're not doing it at all.

Yeah, something like that.

Come off it, Baird.

I'm not traipsing around the bloody desert with some Japanese prick who doesn't know his ass from his elbow and wants a glorified tour guide!

I'm a geologist, not a bloody... geisha!

You haven't factored in the landfall properly here.

Why can't he come?

He doesn't want to. I don't know.

Well, have you asked him?

Of course I've asked him.

What does he want?

How would I know?

Sandy, he's Japanese.

Yeah, they're not interested in exploration.

They're not gonna buy it.

Is this the original data?

We need this deal.

Well, you do it! It's Jamie's fifth birthday!

For God's sake!

Just, Sandy, don't fuck it up.


God, and how do you say that?

Tachibana Hiromitsu.

And which one's the surname?

I don't know.

Some bloody partnership.

Sandy, it's-- it's me. It's Baird.

Look, um...sit tight till you hear from me.

I'm not sure where he is.

I'll keep you posted.

It's Baird, by the way.


It's Eddie with a message for Sandra.

I really enjoyed the other night.

It was great.

Perhaps we could do it again.

I'll be back in town on the 9th and then again on the 15th and 17th.

Hope to hear from you soon. Bye.

Hi, it's Jane. It's 2 p.m.

Just wondering about strategies for the tennis Thursday night.


Call me.

Sandy, it's me. It's Baird.

Listen, I've got him on a plane.

He's in Alice Springs, but he'll meet you there in Hedland.

Okay, bye.

Sandy, you've obviously left work.

I guess you won't be playing tennis if you're going to the Pilbara.


I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, okay?

I'm really really sorry. It can't be helped.

It's work, you know--

It's the finals, Sandy.

I'm sorry, okay?

Just say no.

You ever heard the word?

How many times?

Hey, do you know anything about the Japanese?


Hey, Jane, come on, there'll be other finals.

Tell me about the Japanese.

Got any decent coffee?

Yup. Sure. Help yourself.

Yeah, but can't he get a taxi?

You could've told me sooner.


Mr. Tachibana Hiromitsu?


Hi. Thank God.

Sorry I'm late.

Time just got away on me.


That's it.

I'm Sandy Edwards from Edwards and Baird.

Nice to meet you.

Is this your luggage?


It's okay, we'll just put it in the back.

We're not going very far.


This okay?

No, you...

Is it hot enough for you?


How are you finding the heat?

Does the hot weather bother you?


Yeah, I don't like it much myself.

At least we've got air conditioning in here when the stupid thing gets going.

Bugger it.

I might just see if I can find the news.

Stupid bastard.

I've got a little puppy I want to give away...

Yesterday's stars, today's stars...


Yes. Private. Absolutely.

Thank God.

I'm sure we've got plenty of interesting things for you to see.

Yeah, we recycle all the water on this plant.

We try not to waste anything.

It's bore water from the De Grey River.


Yeah, the De Grey River doesn't flow for most of the year, but it's always flowing underground, you know?

We can load up to 10,000 tons an hour.

We mine almost 70 million tons a year.

About 900 million over the last 30 years.

Now, your company owns eight percent of that entire enterprise.


Baird. No, not yet!

Half of everything that goes out of the harbor flows to Japan.

Yeah, I'll call you later.

Isn't that right, Tom?


Yes. See you.

We can handle 20 ships of up to 260,000 tons of dead weight simultaneously.

The turnaround time for a carrier is 65 hours.

Average loading time is 25 hours.

Last year, we shipped just over 68 millions tons.

So, what's on tomorrow?

You going out to the mine?

Yeah, why not?

It's only five hours away.

Seen it all, Cassandra.

The biggest open-cut iron-ore mine in the world.

And I'm sure Miss Edwards will show you a very good time, Tachibana-san.

I'll certainly do my best, Mr. Tabachana.

Go on, mate.

Show us how it's done.

Go on, get up! Get up there!


Come on. Give us a rendition.


So, what's he really here for?

Stuffed if I know.

I'm just trying to sell him our software.

You tell me.

No idea.

♪ Danny Boy

♪ The pipe The pipes are calling ♪ What?

♪ From gren to gren--

Glen to glen.

♪ --And down the mountain side Hey, brilliant, mate!

♪ The summer's gone

♪ And all the roses falling

♪ It's you...

♪ It's...

♪ It's you must go

♪ And I must bide

♪ Must bide

You all right?

Get up.

Can you get up?


Come on, get up.

You all right? Can you walk?

Hai. Hai.


Hai, hai, hai, hai.

Come on.


Come on!


Hai, hai.

Are you gonna chuck?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Hai.

All right.

Hold on.

Okay, in.


Get in.

Mr. Tachibana!

Hai, hai, hai.

Sit up!

Move your arm.


Yeah, of course I do.

I've just gotten in, so don't give me any crap, okay?

I had to eat bloody karaoke and drink sake all night.

You know what I mean.


Get real, the guy's a jerk, a real jerk.

Boring as bloody cat shit.

Yeah, well, it's a bit hard to sell if he won't even talk about it.

Did they phone you or what?

And they said they wanted to look at our stuff?

What do you mean, "not exactly"?

Well, look, if you want him to come and see, you fucking come and show him yourself, okay?

Yes, of course I will!

Okay. Thanks. Thanks heaps.

Yep. Bye. Bye.


I hate karaoke.

When is the first town?

How long?

No town between Hedland and Newman.

It's just five hours of driving.

That's it.

Do you need to stop?

Stop? What for?

To go to the toilet or anything.

No town, no toilet.

Hot enough for you?


You could fry a lizard in this heat.

Welcome to Newman, Tachibana-san.

Would you like to have lunch, or tour the mine first?

The original hill was 185 meters above plain level, and the final pit will be about 325 meters below plain level.

It's 5.5 kilometers long and not quite 1.5 kilometers wide.

Very good blast.

Very impressive!

This is the stuff we're after.

Feel the weight of that, 68 percent of that.

This is crap, this program.

You ought to get ours.

This is our software.

You want to see some of it?

Tomorrow, I will go there.


Tomorrow, I will go there.


To where this piece of ore came from.

That's a bit tricky, mate.

We can't do that.

It is possible?

Well, yeah... but it's a bloody long way.

I could arrange it, but you probab--

Yes. You can arrange it.

Thank you.

Miss Edwards is driver.

I'm not going out there.

Forget it.

It's just a lot of debris and a desert.

In Australia... you have a lot of space, no people.

In Japan... we have many people, no space.


You ready to go?

There is nothing.

It scares me.


We go further.

Further where?


What, straight out there?

There's barely even a track.

We don't have a permit.

Yes, we go there.

No, this is it.

This is as far as we go.

You get out! I will go!

Look, there's no one else around for miles.

There's just you and me. That's it, okay?

Mr. Suzuki from Iron and Steel Company Kobe sends his regards.

Go back now?

We go back now?

No, we can't. Why not?

You think I can just stop and turn around in this?

If you stop, you're stuffed!

Now, shift your camera.


Come on.


Well, this is good.

There's nothing to stick the winch onto.


Bloody hell!

Don't you know anything?

Listen, if you want to get out of here, you better get off that phone and get out and do some digging, and I'm really sorry that I'm not being very polite, but I'm serious!

Do you think we could talk about how we're gonna get out of this bog?

Okay... now!

Okay, hang on! Hang on.

I'll yell when I'm ready!

Are you ready?

Okay, okay.

Okay. Okay, now, ready?


One, two, three, go!


Forget it! Forget it!

We're gonna have to make a dead man.

Bloody stupid electric piece of shit!

Can I use your phone?


Hiromitsu, can I use the phone?

One more time.

Try again.

I clear more, and I push harder.

You drive stronger.

More acceleration--

Mr. Tachibana, I don't think that's going to work.

It's bogged!

It's up to the axles.

The winch is burnt out.

It's not gonna get unbogged!

We need to get help.

No. No help.

I can fix.


I don't think this is gonna work.

People die out in this country... often.

Lots of people, all the time.

You can die of dehydration and heat exhaustion in no time at all.

Nobody'll look for us out here.

Can I just ring and tell somebody where we are?

No problem. I am fixing it.

Look, I won't-- I won't say we're stuck, okay?

I'll just say where we are and that's it, okay?

Nothing about being stuck.

I'll just call my friend.

Nobody official.

Just my friend Jane.



No. It's not working.

I can't make it work.


Some problem.

What problem?

Don't know.

Not working.

I will walk back and find someone.

How far have we come?

No, Hiromitsu, there's one thing about the Australian desert.

You never leave your vehicle.

How far have we come?

I don't know. 50 kilometers.

12 hours walk. No problem.

For God's sake.



"Survival in arid Australia."

"Do not leave your vehicle."

And you know what else?

It's gonna get cold.

Really cold.

"Minus 5 degrees at night."

Stand up.



Coldest just before sunrise.

Good morning.

You should put your shirt on.


That sun'll burn you when it kicks in.

Yes! Yes! Whoo!

We did it! We did it!

We did it!

Get in! Get in! Get in!

Quick! Quick! Quick!

Come on!



♪ On the road again

♪ On the load again

♪ On the road again

♪ On the load again

♪ I just can't wait To get on the road again ♪

♪ Road again

♪ I just can't wait To get on the road again ♪

♪ The life I love

♪ Is making music With my friends ♪

♪ Friends

♪ Friends

♪ And I just can't wait To get on the road again ♪

♪ Again That's good.

Thank you.

We go again? Okay. Okay.

One, two, three.

♪ On the road again I wanted to kill you Hai. after we were bogged.


With my bare hands.

Hai. What is this "hai"?

Hai? Yeah, "hai." I mean, what does that mean?

Ha It means "yes."


But...not "yes" like in English.

It means, "I am listening.

"Go on.


Hai is "what."

Hai is "I don't know."

Can be just thinking.

And sometimes... it means "no."

But no one says no.

Just hai, which means "yes."

Even if they mean no?


In the desert...

I was wrong.

It is very bad to make so many mistakes.

So I must fix them myself.

I'm sorry.

And that's why you couldn't ring?


And then I read the book.

I begin to understand... and then...I am possessed.

Like a man who has the strength of many!

Very strong.

Never felt so strong!

And you...

You don't even want to speak to me.

No. I want to kill you.

But without me, you are alone.

And then you die.


Yes. You die.

In the dessert.



It's desert, not dessert.

Dessert's something that you eat after dinner. It's sweet.

That's dessert, but desert is "desert."



No. Des-er-- Des-ert.





Yes, that's it.

Desert. Desert.

Desert. Desert.

What was that?

Thank you for teaching me better English.

No worries.

Now you cut it. Go on.


I'm starving.

Me too.




What do you call this?

Baked beans.

Very nice.

Too much to eat.

I want to go have a shower.

I'm sorry.

Hai, hai.



Can I just come in and get the rest of my clothes?

Yes, yes.



Today, we go here.



Show me.

It's written in Japanese.

Yes. Japanese map.

Mundabu-- How do you say?



No, "gana."



Mulla-- No.


Bloody hell.

I'm gonna have to phone home.

Off with the map now.

No more map.

"Historic town.

First port of the northwest."

I should like very much to see.

In the war we thought you blokes were coming after us.

We had stuff stashed away up in the hills.

Evacuation plans.

People tying knives to the ends of broomsticks.

Ridiculous, really.

Now you blokes own the place.

There was a time there when nobody would buy anything made in Japan.

The wife, she'd go into a shop and turn the thing over, and if it said "made in Japan," she'd put it back on the shelf, wouldn't buy it.

Still don't, I guess.

Only country to have a trading surplus with your lot.

Funny thing, life, isn't it?

That'll be $90, thanks.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Do you love your wife?

No need to say it.

When you say it... then, not so true.

You give up.

It's bad for you.

No photo?

No photo.

Very old rock.



I came to Australia...

I was sad.

I have... heavy obligations.


I must get through it.

Here in the dessert...


You have shown me... something beautiful.

Thank you.

Now I'll teach you a new Australian colloquialism.

Are you ready?

Last one in's a rotten egg!

It's beautiful!

No, no, no, no, no, no!




God! No!





My God.






God, I'm so sorry.

No, no, no, no, no.


My God!



My God.




Have you got a hospital here?

Yep, but it's shut.

Been shut for about three years now.

The government reckoned they'd run out of money.

What about an undertaker?

Are you feeling that crook?

Well, there's Jimmy Smithers down the road.

He's got a cool room out in the back, if you want to use it.

This way?

Just down the road, past the pub.

How far?

Only about 200 meters.

Excuse me.

Are you...?

Is your name Jimmy Smithers?

Yeah. Yeah.


What would you do...?


What's the right thing to do... if you've got someone who's dead?

I mean, is there a correct procedure, or...?

Well, it depends.

He's not dead till the doc certifies him.


Is there a doctor here, or...?

No, no. We fly him in.

We just, you know, whack 'em in the cool room until he gets here.


I mean, do-- do you...?

Where's he from?


He's Japanese.

Well, he was, anyway.

Still is, I suppose.

He's well-dressed for this sort of country.

Sandy, this is James. He's a lawyer.

There will be an inquest.

And Tony, for the certificate.

The, um, death certificate.

He's a doctor.


It's quicker than the bloody flying service.

I couldn't get them moving at all.

Um...look, we've got to get this thing sorted out before the family gets here.

The consulate's shut, so we won't be doing anything tonight to it-- to him.

I've rung Japan.

His wife's on the way.

So, what happened?

Are you all right?

Is everything all right, you know, with you?

Christ, those things are scary.

Can't see a bloody thing, and the noise, it's--

Sorry, mate, I'm--I'm Bill Baird.

I'm the other director of the company that was showing the poor bugger around.


This is Tom Goodwin. He's come over from...

Where was it?

It was about an hour out the highway.

The wife got me on the CB.

Thank you so much.

No worries.

Okay, Sandy, where is he?

They've got some ice packs on the plane, the, um, helicopter whatever, to keep him from going off.

I mean, Tony, you'd like to see him now, wouldn't you?

Wouldn't be a bad idea. Yeah, sure, sure.

I'd like to go over a couple of things with you, Sandy.

Did you get a statement?



Well, that's a good idea. I'll go with you, Tony.

G'day, mate. Jimmy Smithers.

G'day. Bill Baird.

Sorry about the phone message.

Was it awful?

Can't you eat?

No. I'll eat it.


Think of his wife and family.

Imagine what she's going through.

Maybe I should send her a card.

Have you got an address I can send it to?



Do you have an address?

The poor woman's probably beside herself.

You can't do that.

Why not?

You can't send a condolence card to a complete stranger.

You don't know her. You don't know her culture.

You don't know anything about her or her marriage!


I know she was married to him.

I know she's probably sad.

I don't have to be Japanese to know that.

For heaven's sake.

I've been a wife. I've been a widow.

I mean, some things are the same the world over.

That's bullshit, Mum!

You don't have to be here, you know.

No one expects you to work.


What are you doing?

I'm just getting some of this stuff in order.

What's this?

I'm just trying to get all this stuff we've had to do in order.

What stuff?

Um, it's the things for Hiromitsu.

There's been quite a few odd kind of details to attend to.

A hundred and forty-three dollars from a dry cleaner.

"Express courier, $79.15."

Who's this Mr. Anderson?

Why does he want to know

"the precise location of the incident"?

Incident? Is that what they're calling it?

The dry cleaners were for his clothes.

We couldn't send them back like that.

Like what? Why not?

They were covered in red dust.

Filthy and--and--and crumpled.

Apparently, his wife and family would've had a fit.

The Japanese--

The Japanese what?

And we had to send all his personal belongings to his wife's hotel.

That's some of the couriers.

What, you've sent all of his stuff?

Already? I thought it was coming here.

It did, and it-- It was. It did.

And then we had to do something with it.

We couldn't just let it sit around where anyone could go through it. so we thought it best--

Who thought?

Baird. I suppose.

It had to be done. We didn't know--

Why didn't anyone tell me?

Nobody told me!

I was there too, you know.

I was there when it happened! It happened to me too!

Sandy, I'm sorry. I am so sorry.

I thought you'd like to have it taken off your hands.

Didn't anyone think I might like to have a say, you know?

"The incident," they're calling it.

The incident! I mean, even the photos.

You've got to get them back. At least get them back.

I can hardly go and demand the photos back, Sandy.

Why not?

It's rolls of undeveloped film.

She might not ever get them developed.

Surely, she's entitled to a few photographs of the last days of her husband's life!


What the hell were you doing out there anyway?

Look, Sandy.

Whatever happened out there...

Jesus, I don't know, that's not something that anyone wants to have to go through.

A lot of people...

You did a good job.

You handled it.

You did everything that you had to do.

It must've been...

Why don't you take a break?

Take a few days off.

We can handle things here.

And we'll get other deals.

No problem there.

You did well.

You did really well.

You did a great job.

No one doubts that around here, honestly.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.



Right, so white's for Chinese?

No, no, no, it's okay. It's my mistake.

So for Japanese, you have...?

Look, I tell you what. Can I give you a call back?

All right. Yeah. Fine.

No, I've got that number.

Excellent. Okay. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.


I'd like to be involved.

I think it would help.

Sandy, I'll call you over.

Mrs. Tachibana.

That is Sandy Edwards.

She was the one who was with your husband, showing him around when he passed away.

Sandy, come on over.

Mrs. Tachibana, Sandy Edwards.

Sandy Edwards, Mrs. Yukiko Tachibana.

I'm sorry.

Can I-- Can I get you a drink?

No, thank you.

Mrs. Tachibana would like to have the coffin sealed now.

Thank you.

Everything will be taken care of.

I hope it's to your satisfaction.



What? What is it?

Nothing, okay?

"Hiromitsu loves Sandy."

I just need a signature here from you, mate.



Going to Tokyo, right?

No. Kyoto.

Yeah. Right. Sorry.

Excuse me? Can I just...


I'm so sorry.

I should've--

I should've not let it happen.

It was my fault. My responsibility.

I'm so sorry.

Thank you.

Christ, what did you say that for?

It's true.

Is that your photographs?

Don't know.

I'm glad that's over and done with.

Let's get out of here?

You go back. I'll get a taxi.

You're kidding me. What for?

Life's short.

I don't know, just...

To say goodbye.



I'll see you back at the office then?

I'll see you at the office.

Thanks, Baird.

Are you sure you...?

I'm sure.

Dear Sandy:

By the time you read this letter...

I will be on the plane going home to my wife and children.

I'm sorry you have to read my funny writing.

I hope you are well and happy.

Now I can be good husband, good father, good man.

But today...

I stand in the desert...

The sky is so big... so blue.

There is so much space... and my heart is open.