Professione: reporter (1975) Script

Excuse me, ma'am, can you tell me where...?

THE PASSENGER


Do you speak English?


Which way?

Left. Left.


Stop. Stop.

What?

Where you going?


How long does it take to get to this place?

Oh, 12 hours, more or less.

What's there? Camp? Yes, a sort of military camp.

And...

How many people? They will tell you when we get there.

Do they have arms?

They will tell you that too when we get there, everything.


No. No.


Shit.

Bitch.


All right!

I don't care!


Water.

Yes, sir.


Come in.

Monsieur, your drink.

Thank you. Put it on the table. Yes, sir.

There's no soap. No, sir.

"No, sir."


Robertson?

Robertson?


Hello. Yes. I want to inquire about flights.

There are only two flights in the week. The next flight is in three days.

All right.


Come in.

Sorry to barge in like this.

I saw your lights on, thought you might like a drink.

Oh, yes, come in.

I saw you on the plane.

I'll get some glasses.

My name's Robertson, David Robertson.

First time I've been in this part of Africa.

Do you know it well?

No, I've never been up here before.

I'm a reporter.

My name's Locke.

Not David Locke? Yes.

I've often read your pieces. I'm very glad to meet you.

Are you down here for a story?

I'm putting some material together.

Pieces of film for a documentary on Africa.

I'm finished now, thank God, or almost finished.

What more do you need?

I'd like to make contact with the guerrillas.

Everybody knows they're fighting up here now.

They just arrested some farmers. I suppose you heard about it.

Yes.

Anyway, I must've taken a wrong trail.

There aren't very many around here.

But you're not a journalist as well, are you?

No, no. I'm here on business.

Business?

In a godforsaken place like this.

Well, I've been in so many places the last few years...

... it doesn't make any difference anymore.

Beautiful. Don't you think so?

Beautiful? I don't know.

So still.

A kind of...

...waiting.

You seem unusually poetic for a businessman.

Do I?

Doesn't the desert have the same affect on you?

No. I prefer men to landscapes.

There are men who live in the desert.

Any family?

No, no family, no friends.

Just a few commitments, including a bad heart.

I really shouldn't be drinking.

How about another one?

Why not?

And now what?

I'll continue on around the world, I expect.

I'm a globetrotter.

I take life as it comes.

I suppose it's different for you, isn't it?

Yeah, it's different.

Still, you must've been around quite a bit yourself.

Yes, I suppose so.

How about Umbugbene?

I bet you've never been to Umbugbene.

No.

Terrible place.

Airports, taxi, hotel. They're all the same in the end.

I don't agree. It's us who remain the same.

We translate every situation, every experience into the same old codes.

We just condition ourselves.

We are creatures of habit, that what you mean?

Something like that.

I mean, however hard you try...

... it stays so difficult to get away from your own habits.

Even the way we talk to these people...

... the way we treat them, it's mistaken.

I mean, how do you get their confidence? Do you know?

Well, it's like this, Mr. Locke...

... you work with words, images, fragile things.

I come with merchandise, concrete things.

They understand me straightaway.

Yes. Maybe.

So where are you going to next?

London, I think, then Munich perhaps.

No real reason, just thought I'd check up on some of the old places.

Haven't been in London for three years now.


Yes, sir?

There's a gentleman in number 11.

He's dead.

Mr. Locke? Robertson.

Oh, yes, of course. The man in number 11...

...I believe is Mr...?

Locke. David Locke.

Yes, exactly.

He was a newspaperman, I think.

This is most unfortunate.

There is no doctor now, and no flight for another three day.

What can we do with him, Mr. Robertson?

I'll be outside.


Mr. Robertson.

Mr. Robertson. Yes.

He's dead, Mr. Robertson.

What are you going to do?

We send body in the city. The heat, you know.

We think have to get done very quickly here.

There are regulations. Is very sad. Yes.

Do you know if Mr. Locke was a religious man?

We have a Catholic mission near here. Do you think?

I'm sure that will do very well.

Yeah.

Library. David Locke? Yep. Okay.


Martin, I think you probably knew David better than any of us here.

In fact, I think he was in Africa making a television film for you.

That's right, yes.

But I feel I must begin by saying...

... how terribly upset I was by the news of his death.

It was so unexpected. He was still very young.

If you were asked to sum up...

... what it was that made David such a good journalist...

... what would you say?

First, I suppose it was his background.

Being British but educated in America gave him...

...a different perspective. A kind of detachment.

And then he had this great talent for observation.


Going on a holiday? Sort of.

Where do you want to leave the car? I don't know.

Where are you going? I haven't made up my mind.

Here's a list of our offices. Have a look in it.

Yugoslavia. I'll go to Yugoslavia.

Dubrovnik? Yes. Dubrovnik. That's nice.

How long for? For the rest of my life.

Why don't you buy a new car?

Thank you.

Here you are.

Thank you. Thank you.


Mr. Locke.

David.

David.

What the hell do you think you're doing?

Are you crazy? Yes.

Rachel, where are you going?


Mr. Robertson?

Mr. Robertson.

Did something go wrong at the airport?

We were expecting you to contact us, sir.

Yes.

I'm afraid there was a slight muddle.

Is it all right for us to talk now, then?

Talk?

I suppose so. Yes.

This is Mr. Achebe.

We are very grateful for your help, Mr. Robertson.

You have taken enormous risks for our sake.

Did you manage to get everything we wanted?

Have you got the papers?

The papers? Oh, yes.

You better take a look at them and let me know what you think.


Yes.

Oh, excellent. Excellent.

You got the FN rifles as well, excellent.

A pity about the anti-aircraft guns.

Yes.

Well, that's very good.

Glad it's all there.

Sorry about the anti-aircraft guns. I hope it won't be too much of...

...a drawback.

Oh, no, their planes aren't very effective at the moment.

We evade them easily enough.

Our main problem is the military assistance...

...the government is getting from Europe.

Yes, well, it's not surprising.

Here's the first installment, Mr. Robertson.

Don't you want to check it?

No. I'm sure it's all right.

The second installment will be paid as agreed in Geneva.

You know the number.

And our next meeting will be in...

In Barcelona.

The arrangements for that remain unchanged.

I have heard a lot about you, Mr. Robertson.

I realize that you are not like the others...

...that you believe in our fight.

This will be of great assistance to our people.

Of course you realize the present government has agents...

...who may try to interfere with you.

In that case, I hope you will try to get in touch with us.

We will help in any way we can.

Thank you.

Give my regards to Daisy.

To whom? To Daisy.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

Bye. Thank you.


Jesus Christ.

Sorry.


Yes, in the lab, 4:00. All right, thank you very much.

Rachel.

Is it all right, me coming in like this? Of course it is.

May I watch? Please do. Yes, come sit over here.

Use the other stool.

All right? Suppose so.

Mr. President...

... could you comment on the recent arrest of foreign nationals?

This matter...

... is in the hands of the courts.

It is up to the law to make its comment.

Does the United Liberation Front still control the northern provinces?

In other words, are the guerrillas still fighting?

Perhaps.

For once...

... the official terminology correspond with the actual facts.

And the facts are these:

This is no longer a problem.

Intellectuals and journalist like to make publicity out of it.

To give it some kind of political substance.

That's enough of that.

Are you seeing a good many of David's interviews?

All right, thanks. Go to lunch now.

So...

I'm glad you dropped by.

What do you think of my idea?

A portrait of David? Yeah.

Why do you want to do it?

A way to remember him. Yes?

Besides, I think it might help in pulling this material together.

You don't seem very enthusiastic.

Oh, it's not that.

It's just that, you know, reporters, interviews...

David really wasn't so different.

I was there, you know, that interview.

I went to see him, but only stayed for one day.

I don't mean to sound disloyal...

... but he accepted too much.

We hadn't been very close the last couple of years.

I don't know why I'm talking like this.

I'm sorry. I hope you make your film.

Do you love him? Yes, I think so.

Just didn't make each other very happy.

There is no fighting anymore.

The situation is practically normal.

All that remain is a couple of hundred gangs...

...in the hands of some common bandits.

Will the opposition party be allowed to nominate candidates...

...at the next election?

There is no opposition. We are a unified nation.

Do you think...? I think this country...

...is on the road to a great future.

David! Yeah.

Half an hour. Okay, see you later.

You didn't like that, did you? No.

You involve yourself in real situations, but you've got no real dialogue.

Why didn't you tell that man he's a...? A liar?

Yes. I know.

But those are the rules.

I don't like to see you keep them.

Then why did you come?


Yes. Hello, Avis?

This is Mr. Robertson. Oh, yes, hello, how are you?

Yes, but I'm not going to Debrovnik.

No. No, I'm going to Barcelona.

That's right. For the rest of my life.

Same to you. Thank you.

Goodbye.

Hey.

Is beautiful.


My name is Robertson.

I've been waiting for someone who hasn't arrived.

I've seen so many of them grow up.

Other people look at the children...

...and they all imagine a new world.

But me...

...when I watch them, I just see the same old tragedy...

...begin all over again.

They can't get away from us.

Is boring.

Where did you learn to speak English?

You want me to tell you my life?

Yes. All right.

One day very far from here...


commissioned officers are charged under M. A...


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. I know.

What about David's things? Have they arrived yet?

No. They called to say it'd take about a week, at least.

Usual muddle. Yes, I know.

They asked if I knew someone called Robertson.

Evidently he stayed at same hotel as David did.

Can you find him? Possibly.

I'd like to talk to him. So would I.

So why don't you try and forget all about it?

Yeah. I know it's stupid.

I didn't care at all before.

Now that he's dead, in some strange way I do.

Perhaps I was wrong about him.

If you try hard enough...

...perhaps you can reinvent him.


Martin Knight, please.

When? Really?

Rachel Locke.

Yes.

Oh, but that's marvelous.

How did he find out, from Avis?

Hotel Oriente.

Thank you.

You will let me know if anything else happens?

Great. Bye.

And what was that?

Martin.

He left this morning for Barcelona.

He may have found Robertson.

You still looking for him?

Yes.


Excuse me. I was trying to remember something.

Is it important?

No.

What is it, do you know? I came in by accident.

The man who built it was hit by a bus.

Who was he? Gaudí.

Come.

He built this house for a corduroy manufacturer.

They used this room for concerts.

Wagner.

Do you think he was crazy?

How could you come in here by accident?

I was escaping. Oh, from what?

Well, I thought someone might be following me.

Somebody who might recognize me. Why?

I don't know. Well, I can't recognize you.

Who are you?

I used to be somebody else...

...but I traded him in.

What about you?

Well, I'm in Barcelona.

I'm talking to someone who might be someone else.

I was with those people...

...but I think I'm going to see the other Gaudí buildings alone.

All of them? They're all good for hiding in.

Depends on how much time you've got.

I have to leave today. This afternoon.

I hope you make it.

People disappear every day.

Every time they leave the room. Goodbye.

Can we give you another car, Mr. Robertson?

This one really ought to be serviced.

Oh, fine. Yes.

As long as it's a large car.

Oh, by the way, Mr. Robertson.

I have a message for you. A what?

A message.

It's from Mr. Knight.

It can't be for me.

I'm sure it's not a mistake. Here.

He said he didn't know you...

...but he wanted you to get in touch with him.

He's staying at the Hotel Oriente.

The same as you, I think.

Will the Fiat 125 be all right? Son of a bitch.

Are you sure that he said that he didn't know me?

I'm quite sure, Mr. Robertson.

Thank you very much. I don't think I'll be needing another car.

I'm... I'm sorry.


Hey. Have you decided not to disappear?

No.

That's why I came. I thought perhaps you could help me.

This way.


How can I help you?

How can you help me?

It sounds crazy because I can't explain it.

But there is someone following me.

Another one? No. The same man.

Someone I don't wanna meet.

I've bought a car.

Second hand. Third hand.

I'm leaving Barcelona, but I have to get my things from the hotel.

That sounds rather easy.

Except that he's probably waiting for me.

So you want me to get the jewels and secret documents?

Yes.

I'll give you the keys to the car and my passport and a thousand pesetas.

I don't know who else to ask.

Okay.


Excuse me. Excuse me. Could I talk to you for a moment?

What is it? I'm sorry to intrude like this...

...but I understand you're a friend of David Robertson.

Who? David Robertson.

Yes, in a way, but who are you?

Well, I've been trying very hard to find him.

I thought you might know where he was.

I gather from the hotel that these are his things.

Yes. I'm sorry. My name's Martin Knight.

I'm a television producer from England.

I've come all the way out to talk to him, but I can't find him.

I see.

Well, I'll take you to him. Really? That would be very kind.

Thank you. I left a message for him...

...at the Avis office, but there seems to have been some misunderstanding.

I think he mentioned you.

You mind following in a taxi?

I have to pick up somebody else with some more stuff.

All right. Thank you so much, that's very kind of you.

I'll just get a taxi.


Was it difficult? Well...

Thank you. Come on.


Is that your suitcase?


Can I ask you one question now?

One you can, yes. Only one, always the same.

What are you running away from?

Turn your back to the front seat.


I've run out of everything.

My wife.

The house.

An adopted child.

A successful job.

Everything except a few bad habits I couldn't get rid of.

How did you get away with it?

There was an accident.

Everyone thought I was dead.

I let them think so.

There is no way to explain it, is there?

Now I think I'm going to be a waiter in Gibraltar.

Too obvious.

Maybe a novelist in Cairo. Too romantic.

How about a gunrunner? Too unlikely.

As a matter of fact, I think I am one.

Then it depends on which side you're on.

Yes.

I just sold 5000 hand grenades, 900 rifles...

...and a great deal of ammunition to some people...

...fighting a secret war in an obscure part of the world.

I like it. You like that one?

You like.

How about you?

I'm a tourist become a bodyguard.

I'm studying architecture.

Studying architecture? Yeah.

What kind of impression do you think you make...

...when you first come into a room?

They look at me. Just think I'm all right.

Nothing mysterious.

You learn much more packing someone's things.

Yeah, it's like listening in on a private phone conversation.


A room.


How do you feel? Happy.


That man said he was looking for David Robertson.

Who did?

The man who was following you.

What else? Nothing.

He said he was a television producer.

And wanted to talk to you about a friend, that's all.

You've got a date with Marina...

...at 3:00 on the 10 of September, don't forget.

At the Plaza de la Iglesia, San... San Ferdinando.

And another next day, in a place called Osuna, with Daisy.

Osuna. Yes.

At the Hotel de la Gloria. Very picturesque, perhaps.

I won't be there.

What a pity, all these girls: Lucy, Marina, Daisy.

Daisy again. Daisy seems to be your favorite.

I think this Daisy is a man. A man?

Yes.

Yesterday when we filmed you at the village...

...I understood that you were brought up to be a witch doctor.

Isn't it unusual for someone like you...

...to have spent several years in France and Yugoslavia?

Has that changed your attitude toward certain tribal customs?

Don't they strike you as false now and wrong, perhaps, for the tribe?

Mr. Locke...

...there are perfectly satisfactory answers to all your questions.

But I don't think you understand how little you can learn from them.

Your question...

...are much more revealing about yourself...

...than my answer would be about me.

I meant them quite sincerely.

Mr. Locke, we can have a conversation...

...but only if it's not just what you think is sincere...

...but also what I believe to be honest.

Yes, of course, but...

Now we can have an interview.

You can ask me the same questions as before.

Everything all right? Fine. See you later.

Martin, you're back.

What luck. I've been trying to find you.

I want to see this again. What?

This one. What's this?

Oh, that one.

What happened? He disappeared.

Who, Robertson?

It was as though he was frightened of something.

Frightened? Yes, I don't know why.

I think we should get in touch with the embassy.

They might be able to tell us something about him.

Yes, I know. What?

I was supposed to collect David's things there tomorrow.

Mrs. Locke.

Good afternoon. Please sit down.

Mrs. Locke...

...may I offer you my government's most sincere condolences.

Thank you.

We have his things here for you.

Now, about your inquiry.

I understand you were asking about Mr. Robertson.

David Alfred Robertson. Yes.

Can you help me?

He was probably the last man to speak to my husband.

Robertson is involved in illegal arms traffic in our country.

Arms traffic?

Could he have killed my husband?

No.

We are sure of the doctor's report. Your husband died from a heart attack.

Did my husband realize who he was? I don't think so.

Robertson is associated with the United Liberation Front.

A rather... What shall I say?

A rather radical organization, a man called Achebe.

They're very troublesome people. Very unintelligent.

However, Robertson has vanished. But he was in Barcelona.

When did you contact him there? Three days ago.

Do you plan going on looking for him?

Yes.


Haven't been in London for three years now.

Wouldn't it be better if we could just forget old places?

Forget everything that happens and just throw it all away, day by day?

Unfortunately the world doesn't work that way.

Well, it doesn't work the other way either.

That's the problem.

What's on the other side of that window?

People will believe what I write. And why?

Because it conforms to their expectations...

... and to mine as well, which is worse.

Well, in India, you know, they...

Hey, I think your tape recorder's...

Yes. I must have... Still running, you know.

Yeah, sorry.


Plaza de la Iglesia. This is it.

I should go alone from here.


No one.


What the fuck are you doing here with me?

Which me?

The only one I know. There are no others. All the rest of that's just...

Let's go and eat.

The old me is hungry. No.

Why? Because I'm not interested...

...in giving up.

Hope you make it.

Make it what?


Hey.


Do you believe in coincidence? I never asked myself.

I never used to notice it. Now I see it all around.

Do you know something? What?

I saw you before. Where?

In London. What I was doing?

Reading. Then it must have been me.

What are you thinking? Nothing.

Excuse me, señor.

Is that your white car parked outside? Yes. Why?

A policeman is looking for the owner.

Shall I tell him to come in?

No. I'll go.


He's looking for a white convertible with Madrid plates.

He doesn't know why. He want us to go with him.

I go, it's better.

Señor, are you looking for the car or the person in it?


They're looking for David Robertson.

There is a woman named Rachel Locke.

She thinks he is in danger.

In danger of what?


Señora Locke?

Señora Locke? Yes?

Señora Locke?

Señora Locke. Yes.

Front desk.


Yes. Do you have a double room for the night...

...for myself and the young woman? Did you give any other information?

Thank you.

What about the embassy? Did you try them?

What did they say?


The police.


There's a hole in the pan. What's that?

It's a metal pan under the crankcase...

...the oil all will run out.

What should we do?

Well, reach the first place, get a mechanic and repair the car.

It will run?

Slowly.

Isn't it beautiful here?

Yes.

It's very beautiful.


We can't go up there. The car won't make it.

The police will come soon, I know.

We better go.

There's a boat leaving from Almería to Tangiers.

Listen.

You can't be like that, just escaping.

So keep the appointment.

No one will be there, like the other places.

But Robertson made these appointments.

He believed in something.

That's what you wanted, didn't you?

But he's dead. But you're not.

Okay.

We can both go.

No.

You take the bus...

...to Almería.

Catch that boat, go to Tangiers...

...and leave a message for me at American Express.

I'll meet you there in three days' time if you turn up.

Okay.

Take care.


Closed.


Thank you.

Is there any luggage? No, no baggage.

Thank you, Mr. Robertson.

Mrs. Robertson has arrived a few hours ago.

Mrs. Robertson? Yes.

We don't need your passport, one is enough.

We have put you in adjoining rooms for a night.


What can you see?

A little boy and an old woman.

They are having an argument about which way to go.

You shouldn't have come.

What can you see now?

A man scratching his shoulder.

A kid throwing stones.

And dust.

It's very dusty here.

Isn't it funny how things happen?

All the shapes we make.

Wouldn't it be terrible to be blind?

I know a man who was blind.

When he was nearly 40 years old he had an operation...

...and regained his sight.

How was it like?

At first he was elated...

...really high.

Faces...

...colors...

...landscapes.

But then everything began to change.

The world was much poorer than he imagined.

No one had ever told him how much dirt there was.

How much ugliness.

He noticed ugliness everywhere.

When he was blind...

...he used to cross the street alone with a stick.

After he regained his sight...

...he became afraid.

He began to live in darkness.

He never left his room.

After three years he killed himself.


What the fuck are you doing here with me?

You better go.

Okay.


Is this David Robertson?

Do you recognize him?

I never knew him.

Do you recognize him?

Yes.