Waiting for Anya (2020) Script

Please. Please. Please!

Open.

Please.

-Please. -The door. The door.

Remember Grandmere's house.

Please, Papa, no.

Papa, I don't want to go.

Please, Papa, no.

Papa!


Growing up is different for everyone.

For the lucky few, time does all the work.

Others are not given a choice.

This is my story.

The story of when war came to my village, my valley, my world.

Of how I became a man.

Papa always used to tell me, "Never fall asleep, Jo.

"Whittle a stick, "pick berries, read your comic if you must, "but don't close your eyes. Not for one second."

But Papa had not woken at dawn to milk the sheep, and anyway, reading is tiring work, even if I only ever looked at the pictures.


Oh.

What is it?


No!

Bear! Bear! There's a bear in the woods!

Are you all right, Jo?

-Out of my way! -Are you hurt?

Rouf, Maman. He's still up there!

The sheep, Jo. What about the sheep?

I don't know, Grandpere.

I ran away.

Jo? Jo. You're too young to go.

Come and help me in the kitchen, please.


Think it's ready.

Beautiful.

Yes.

You can go.


Souriez!

Grandpere, where's Rouf?

Did you find him?

My son thinks he is a bear.

Settle down now, everyone. That includes you, Hubert.

I just want to thank Jo Lalande for what he did today.

Without him, there'd be no bear.

Who knows what damage it might have caused to our flocks?

Especially one so low down from the mountain.

So, here's to Jo. Here's to the bear.

And down with the Boche.

Down with the Boche.

-Long live the bear. -Long live the bear.

Rouf!

Rouf!


Rouf!

Rouf!

I thought I'd lost you.

So, you came back for your dog.

Very brave of you after all the shooting that went on.

The bleeding's stopped now.

Here boy, come on, Rouf.

-Let's go. -Keep your voice down.

I don't want you frightening any more bears today.

I saw the whole thing, you know.

The bear, the sheep scattering, you scattering.

Relax, it's just bread.

What's your name, boy?

Jo Lalande.

Nice yo meet you, Jo Lalande.

She could have got away, you know.

-Who? -The bear.

Mother bear. She was leading them away from her cub.

He'll smell the milk soon enough.

He won't be able to resist.

Right away down the valley she took them as well, all for this little guy.

He'll die out here without his mother, won't he?

You're right about that, Jo.

Which is why he's coming home with one of us.

What's your name?

What do you want with my name?

I told you mine.

I'll just ask in the village about you.

You won't do that.

Why not?

Because I'll make sure the whole village knows about your little nap.

I told you. I saw it all.

So let's just keep this a secret, huh?

A secret between you and me.

Agreed? We better get going.

And don't be too hard on yourself about what happened today.

You had your job to do, and the mother bear, she had hers.

And besides, if none of it had happened, we never would have met.

-We haven't met.

No, we haven't.

So long.


You're a fool.

Alice...

You promised me you'll only go out at night.

You gave me your word.

The boy doesn't know who I am, what I am, or where are we from.

-We'll be fine. -No.

We won't be fine. Everything won't be fine.

What happens when he goes home and tells everybody about the stranger he met in the woods?

They may be simple country folk but they are not stupid.

You can't keep me locked in here forever.

I never wanted you here in the first place.

I don't doubt that to be true. But Florence did.

She would want me here.

Yes, she would.

And if she was here, maybe she'd knock some sense into you.

Alice, the boy won't say anything.

I've shamed him into secrecy.

You're all I have left, Benjamin.

And Anya.

For all we know, she could walk through that door at any second.

Until then, we wait and pray.

I better go see to the pigs.

Rouf, come on, let's go.

In the occupied part of France, the German Reich has been exercising all rights of an occupying power, and the French Government has governed zonally

and committed itself to facilitate by all means

the regulations pertaining to the rights of the German Reich

and to putting them in place

with the cooperation of the French administration.

-Monsieur, the Germans are here. -The French government

was invited to continue with all authority

-and administrative services in the occupied territory...

Out of here! Out!

...regulation of the German military's authority, That's just what they said. The Germans are here.

T-O-R-P-E-U-R.

Torpeur. Not hibernation, as many people think.

Bears need to wake to feed and protect their cubs.

A torpeur is more of a deep sleep.

Much like many of you seem to be in, each and every morning.

Do they eat people, Miss?

Not unless they're really hungry.

Psst.

They drink milk.

-Who was that lady... -You stay well away from that woman.

You hear me?

No matter what Grandpere has to say about her.

Why don't you like here, Maman?

Because she doesn't like us.

And she's caused enough upset in this village to last a lifetime.


I'm off to see Hubert.

Back before it gets dark. You hear me?

Jo!


That's mine.

We need to talk, Joseph Lalande.

Eat up, boy.

Otherwise, I feed it to the pigs. They're hungry, you know.

So tell me, boy, what did you see in the barn?

Nothing, Madame.

Nothing?

I know your father.

He's a hard-working shepherd when he's not away soldiering.

Takes after his father, your grandfather.

But maybe the less said about him, the better.

I'll ask you one more time, boy.

What did you see in the barn?

I... I was only looking for the bear cub.

You're not answering the question.

No.

You always tell the truth?

No, Madame.

It's a rare thing, an honest boy.

You know, people tend to pick and choose with honesty.

It doesn't mean you can trust them.

I've known about him for... for weeks and I haven't told anyone.

What's to stop you telling them now?

I just wouldn't. I promise.

I'm a Jew. You know what that is?

Aren't they in the Bible?

Yes, we're in the Bible.

But plenty of people think that's where we should have stayed.

Do you know what the Germans do to the Jews?

The Germans forced us to flee our homes and move to Paris.

I thought we were safe.

My little Anya and I.

I was wrong.

Papa.

We always said, if we ever got separated, we would meet at Grandmere's house.

I'm here.

And I'm staying till Anya comes.

So, the little girl?

The girl in the barn is Leah. There are four more on the way.

Four more what?

Children. Jewish children.

Some people collect coins, stamps.

We collect enemies of the Reich.

They get passed down through France.

And when they get here, Benjamin gets them out from under my feet, by smuggling them across the mountains into Spain.

They're safe there.

But if Leah can make it here from Warsaw, then so can Anya.

That's why I'll never give up hope.

One day, Anya will be one of those children.

And until that day, may God protect her

-in Jesus' name. Amen. - Bonjour.

Leah. Leah.

Benjamin.

Let me help you.

Don't worry, Alice.

She'll stay put when then others come.

You better make sure that she does.

And you.

I was thinking of swearing you to secrecy.

A blood oath if necessary.

No. No, Madame.

Then go. And boy, don't you even dream of coming back here.

So what's happened to the bear cub?

I left him in the mountains a week ago.

He was big enough to fend for himself.

I haven't seen him since.

My mind was racing all the way home.

I thought about the bear cub

and whether he missed his mother, about Anya and where she might be.

And then, there was the mystery of the vehicles, winding their way up the mountain to our village.

I had never seen German writing before.

My reading in French wasn't much better, but I could make out the names of three people

from the neighboring village.

Pierre, Mari, Batiste, and then

I read the word "executed."

Quiet please.

Everyone, quiet.

As many of you are already aware, under the orders of the Vichy government, three enemies of the Reich were executed in Bedous.

Me and my men have been posted here in Lescun to make sure that nothing of the like occurs in this village.

From tonight, a 9:30 curfew will be strictly enforced, papers must be carried at all times, and around-the-clock patrols will take place around the border to make sure that no feeling Frenchman or Jew crosses those mountains into Spain.

The parish will provide our garrison headquarters, and for any of you with information, our door is always open.

For those with secrets, rest assured, we will come to your door.

If we find anyone in Lescun aiding the enemies of the Reich, they will face the same fate as the traitors in Bedous.

Hubert! Hubert!

No, no, no. Please. Please.

My son, it's a little joke. He won't hurt you.

If he's so harmless, let him go.

No. No, no.

No, please. No, please.

Boom!

You're right.

He's a funny one, hmm?

9:30 curfew.

We have a job to do, and we will do it.

Ja?

He could have got himself killed, your friend Hubert.

You don't do that with the Germans, it's not a game.

Are you listening, Jo?

I said, he could have got himself killed.

He only did what the rest of us wanted to.

What good would that do?

We don't need another martyr.

There's too many names of good young men on that monument already.

And now there will be three more from Bedous.

There's always a price to be paid.

How can you say that?

This village has paid enough of a price already.

And this house is still paying, and for what?

You may have a death wish, Henri, but I don't.

Maman, I can't sleep.

Give me strength, please.

Jo, put her back to bed for me.

Maman.

Come on Christine, back to bed.


He'll be back, Lise. I promise.

Don't make promises you can't keep.

Madame! Madame!

Did I not make myself clear?

I had to come, I had to tell you.

German soldiers. They're in the village.

And they've got patrols up in the mountains.

Where's Benjamin?

He left last night with Leah.

Which crossing does he take?

Which crossing?

He takes the Col de Laraille.

God bless you! God bless you, boy.


Benjamin!

Benjamin!

Benjamin!

Stop shouting.

Benjamin?

Keep your voice down.


Am I ever going to get rid of you?

What happened?

Soldiers everywhere. I had to carry Leah.

I turned it.

We have to get you down.

But what about the soldiers?

I saw them leaving.

They'll know no one can make it across the mountains in this.

Then take Leah down. You can't take us both.

And I can't lose her. I won't.

Not again.

You can make it.


You saved us.

Oh, Jo. Thank you.

There you are, ma chere.

How are you getting on there, Amelie?

Okay, remember everyone, plants are like human beings.

They release acid carbonate...

Do you have any questions?

No one?

I assume that means you've done a very good job.

I'm very impressed. This is great work.

Your handwriting has improved a lot.

Name, bitte. This is your only rifle?

As if they haven't humiliated us enough.

Guten tag, Hubert.

The last thing we want is to make them feel at home.

They're invaders. Never forget that.

And if it is rifles they want, then rifles is what they'll get.

Grab this.


This is so when the time comes...

If the time comes at least I'll be taking one of them with me.

Give us a hand. Push.

Go to the other side.

Hubert, give me that.

Give me the old one.

Killed a few of your lot with this in the Battle of Verdun.

Make sure to oil it.

Verdun, did you just say?

That's right.

Verdun.

Might have been shooting that at me, then.

You weren't at Verdun.

You would have only been a child.

Sixteen.

But not for long.

Alice.

Alice.

You're looking younger than ever.

You old goat.

Allow me.

Yes.

Take this.

You're looking very pleased with yourself.

I have just come to the realization that my genius knows no bounds.

And what brought you to that conclusion?

This is our little secret. Isn't it, boys?

We're all allowed our little secrets.

Guten tag, Hubert.

-Uh-huh. -Can he manage that?

Strong boy he is.

From good stock as well, you know.

Lend him to me.

What for?

He can do my shopping.

I don't know, Alice. With his father being away and all that...

I've got the sheep.

I'll be doing the transhumance this year.

You're too young to be up the mountains all summer with the sheep, Jo.

I'd pay him.

Half a kilo of honey a week.

When do you want him to start?

Now.

Come along, boy. I won't bite.

My mom never gets this much food with her ration tickets.

Madame Jollet is quite the capitalist.

She'll make allowances as long as you can pay.

Is it enough for Leah and the others?

Barely.

And we have three more children arriving any day now.

When can Benjamin take them?

He can't. Not for months with that ankle.

And even then, they'll never get them past the patrol.

We can't take these children back to where they come from, and we can't take them where they need to go.

I'm sorry, Jo. You're the only one I can ask.

Each week, the widow's shopping list got longer

and the bags got heavier.

I was not allowed to see the children, but I knew their numbers were growing.

With the Germans patrolling the mountains, there was no way of getting them across to Spain.

And then, the winter came.

Everyone in the valley knew it was too dangerous

to try and cross in winter.

But the Germans continued their patrols nonetheless, whatever the weather...

Much like me.

I would make the journey

to Widow Horcada's every week, come rain, come shine.

Hey!

How many times? Give me the shopping list.

Tell her it'll be double next week.

And you keep your hands to yourself.

Good morning.

Bonjour.

Corporal Hoffman. Cigarettes?

The boy was here first.

But Corporal...

I insist.

You have a large family?

It's for Widow Horcada, Corporal.

Jo here does her shopping.

Widow Horcada.

I do like a woman with a big appetite.

I can't believe it myself.

Maybe she has some guests we don't know about.

Please, monsieur. You're only buying cigarettes.

I'll wait.

Tell me, madame. The rations, have they gone up?

I expect you know better than me, Corporal.

I only know that trading on the black market is illegal.

But this is not the black market.

This is a friend helping a friend.

It looks heavy.

I'm fine, thank you.


Let me give you a hand.

So this widow, where does she live?

Way down in the valley. I can manage.

How far?

Three... Five kilometers.

It's nothing.

Besides, a little walk will do me good.

Where I live, Jo... It's Jo, right?

We too are surrounded by mountains and trees, so this is like home.

If she sees you with it, I won't get my honey.

Honey?

The widow, she pays me with it.

If she sees you carrying one of the bags, I won't get any.

I haven't had honey since I left home.

Apple blossom honey.

That's what my wife makes.

And my girls, I have three daughters.

They eat it so fast.

If I'm lucky, they leave me a spoon to lick.

Especially my oldest, Anna.

She's the clever one.

She goes to Berlin to work the telephones.

Well, no honey for me today.

But one day, I shall taste it.

I'm like a bear, Jo.

I like honey, and I like mountains.

In my mountains, we have bears

-and eagles. -Oh, we have eagles, too.

Well, we should go up there someday.

You and me. Look at the eagles with my binoculars.

Would you like that?

So it's a promise.

Wiedersehen, Jo.

You know what that means?

Until we meet again.

What?

We need you to bring your grandpere up here.

What... Why?

We have six children in the barn.

The cow has gone dry, and this is our last jar of honey.

After a week, we won't have anything.

So the pigs will have to go.

With the money we make, maybe we can survive for another few months.

But what about Benjamin?

I'll be out of sight.

As will the children.

What Henri doesn't know won't hurt him.

Grandpere won't buy the pigs. He's a shepherd.

He can't stand the smell of them.

Don't you worry!

You just bring your grandpere up here.

I couldn't believe it when Grandpere bought the pigs.

No one could.

They were the talk of the village.

More than the Germans, who were proving difficult to hate.

I tried my best for Papa's sake, mostly.

But they came to Mass, gave us sweets, played pelota.

It was easy to forget why they were there.

"She could not have been a good, honest old woman, "for first she looked in at the window, "and then she peeped in at the keyhole, "and seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch.

"The door was not fastened.

"Because the bears were good bears

"who did nobody harm."


What do you think you're doing?

Out of my way.

What is going on?

-Maman! -What's this all about?

We are searching all houses.

What on Earth are you looking for? We have nothing to hide.

Orders from Lieutenant Weissmann.

Don't touch that. They're private!

Excuse me.

From a labor camp. Your husband?

He's a prisoner of war.

He choose to fight against the Germans, Fraulein.

Is that a letter from Papa?

Maybe his son, too, wants to fight against the Germans.

Maybe I will.

Why didn't you tell me, Maman?

They're not his words.

The guards write the letters.

I want to read.

-Stop that, Jo! -I want to read!


Grandpere?

What the devil are you doing here?

Soldiers. They're searching houses.

-How far? -I don't know. Soon.

Henri, you warned me this day would come.

For the first time in my life, I wish I was wrong.

-You better go. -I'm not leaving you.

I have young Jo here to keep me safe.

Jo, fetch some bread.

You have to eat. Boys are always eating.

What about Benjamin and the children?

I'll worry about them.

I'm sorry, madame. It just came out.

Don't be sorry about a thing.

Your grandfather's an old goat, but he's a hard man to lie to.

He knows?

Honest men, like honest boys, are very hard to find.

Go on, eat.

So why was he only wearing...

Eat, Jo.

Madame.

He's your grandson?

He's my shopping boy.

Fire, huh?

As you can see, he's quite useful.

You live alone?

Apart from the pigs?

My husband died in the Great War.

"The Great War."

Strange that in my homeland, it isn't referred to in such favorable parlance.

My I offer you a drink, Lieutenant?

Coffee, please.

Very useful, indeed.

You have to tell me where I can get one.

I want mine to have a steady hand, though.

Like mine.

German stability.

Why are you searching our houses?

It's a fair question shopping boy's asking.

There's been a theft from the barracks.

Munitions have been stolen.

Explosives that, in the wrong hands, could be used against us.

After the fairness with which we have treated the people of Lescun, it would be quite a stab in the back for the village to turn against us.

So the sooner we can find what's been taken, the sooner I can put the individuals responsible against the wall, and the rest of us can all go back to being friends again.

Yeah?

After you, madame. Please.

You know, I really don't like farms, shopping boy.

They stink.

Stink of shit. It amazes me how you people spend your lives surrounded by stinking animals.

But if I had something to hide, I would put it somewhere that stinks.

Clever thinking, wouldn't you say so, shopping boy?

Jo.

Jo?

My name is Jo, monsieur.

Jo. Okay.

Please, he's just a child. He's innocent.

Oh, I understand.

He's your lifeblood.

Bring you all that shopping, week in and week out.

Rain or shine.

You're protective of him.

Why you're knitting him the jumper.

It is for him, I assume.

I do hope it fits you, Jo.

That's mine.

Give the boy his book, then.

Read to me a little.

A boy with a book can surely read.

"Once upon a time in a large forest, "close to a village, "three bears lived.

"A great big papa bear, "a middle-sized maman bear, "and a wee little baby bear."

A shopping boy and a scholar!

I really must get myself one.

Madame.

Where are they, madame?


Who is it?

Grandpere?

Leah!

Hello, Leah!

How long have you been here?

Almost one month now.

It was all your grandpa's idea.

My father's old brandy store.

Your great-grandfather used to do a bit of smuggling when I was your age.

Perfect for hiding things.

It is safe for now.

But today was a warning, Alice.

We've got to get the children across the border.

No. We have to be patient.

We bide our time as agreed.

You might make it on your own, Henri, but not with the children.

We have to wait.

That's all we can do.

I have never been able to persuade that woman around to my way of thinking.

-Why didn't you tell me? -Tell you what?

Because she told me not to.

And because sometimes, it is safer not to know.

And why didn't you tell me?

Same reason.

-And remember... -Not a word to Maman.

Not with a hundred of bleating sheep around us.

Ha!

Hello, Hubert. Hello, Jo.

Haven't seen you the past weeks.

Busy with the lambs?

Grandpere does most of it.

The old man with the newborn and you down here swinging the hammer?

Widen your stance. Get more power.

Don't need your help.

-Do you wanna look?- Yeah.

I told you on Fridays I have a few hours off.

I do not forget my promise.

What promise?

The eagles.

Take Hubert.

As you wish.

Hubert, you wanna come look for eagles?

Let's go.

Grandpere was always telling me, hard work is good for the soul.

But not matter how hard I swung the hammer, my anger remained.

I couldn't forgive the Corporal for what he was part of.

Jo, Jo!

Eagle! Eagle!

I don't know where he gets his energy. I'm exhausted.

-Eagle! -You saw the eagle, didn't you?

Eagle.

Hubert spotted her first.

On the ground she was. Proud.

On the rock, like a stag.

She took off as we approached.

So we followed her up the mountains...

...till she nested.

You found her nest?

Yes, we did.

What about her young? Did you see any chicks?

Not this time.

Maybe next week.

Auf wiedersehen.

Wiedersehen, Jo.

Eagle. Eagle's nest.

Yeah.


Did you hear about the Allies bombing Berlin?

His daughter was there.

She did not stand a chance.


I'm sorry about what happened to your daughter.

Do you like poetry, Jo?

Silly question. I don't like it much either.

But there's one poem.

A German poem about the mountains.

"Over all the hills, peace comes anew

"The woodlands still all through.

"The birds make no sound on the bough.

"Wait a while, soon now...

"peace comes to you."

-It's... -It's a lie.

Some things, even the mountains cannot solve.

Since I hear about my daughter, Jo,

every day, I ask myself many questions.

It's the easy part. Answering them, no so much.

"What are you doing here, Wilhelm?"

"I'm guarding the frontier."

"Why?"

"Simple.

"To keep the Jews from escaping."

"But why do they want to escape?"

"Because they fear for their lives."

"And who threatens their lives?"

"I do."

"And what happens when they get captured?"

"Concentration camp."

"And what happens there, Wilhelm?"

How do you answer that, Jo?


At least we achieved something today.


Why are you punishing us all?

You can't...

Stop it!

Where's the food?

No, please.

You can't take it!

It won't be anyone in the village.

Boys, I'm afraid I'm very busy.

You really mustn't come here.

And we are not to go looking for eagles again.

The Lieutenant has forbidden it.

You know my brand.

Thank you, Hubert. That's very kind.

Hubert wants you to open them.

I'm really not in the mood for jokes.

-What is this? -He makes them.


Run along now, the pair of you. I really must get back to work.

No. Stop it!

Just leave this. Just leave this!

There are no resistance fighters here.

Please, not the vegetables!


Have they said when the line will be open?

Nobody knows. Not even the Germans.

So they steal our food and leave us to starve.

No one's going to starve.

We're going to get the children into Spain.

Don't be naive, Benjamin.

Are you going to do that with a sick child?

Jo, were you at least able to buy the medicine I asked for?

I'm sorry, Lukas.

I'm really sorry.

You see, Jo, like us, they thrive where there's no light.

A few more of these, and we'll have enough to make Lukas a pot of mushroom tea.

We'll soon have him breathing better.

-What did you do? -Me?

All of you. Why do they hate you so much?

If the Tiber rises too high, the Nile sinks too low, the cry is always, "The Christian to the lion."

They hate us because they can.

And do you hate them?

I pity them.

"One day, after they made their porridge for their breakfast, "and poured it into their porridge bowls, "they walked out into the wood

"while their porridge was cooling."

I have to admit that, at the time, I didn't understand what Benjamin meant

when he talked about the Nile and the Tiber

and the Christians and the lion.

"She could not have been a good, honest woman..."

But I soon learned to pity a man

if he's so full of hate, as one returned to live in my home.

There's someone here to see you, Jo.

Papa!

At least you recognize me, huh?

You can't blame Christine.

She was only two when you left us.

Let me look at you, hmm?

You have grown so much.

Come here.

Jo. Grandpere.

That might look like a crippled hand, Jo.

But to me, that was my ticket home.

The Germans sent him home because the bastards couldn't work him anymore.

Bedtime, Christine.

-No, no, no. -No.

You go to bed now, please.

Listen to your mother, young lady.

Let her stay a little longer, Lise.

Well, it's late. It's been a long day.

And it's a special occasion.

My father just came home. Hmm?

Jo stepped right into your shoes.

You would have been real proud of him.

Maybe he's missed school more often that he should have, but Mademoiselle Audap understands.

-Who? -My teacher.

She replaced Monsieur Balis after you left.

And Hubert helped him, of course.

You remember Hubert?

Of course I do.

And I didn't exactly sit on my behind for four years.

You looked after more than just the sheep in those mountains, Henri.

What is this?

Your father's been courting.

Courting? Who?

Widow Horcada.

Again? I don't believe it.

-Where are you going? -Out.

But you can't. It's late.

And you're not well.

There's a curfew. If the Boche catch you, they'll...

They'll do what, Papa?

Lock me up? Shoot me?

Four years I was in that camp.

I won't let them make a prisoner of me in my own home.

Please, Georges!

I don't want to lose you again.

-Okay. -Papa!

Georges!


Please, please. Continue.

When the church doors were open

and the village square was filled with the sound of Bach, we knew that summer was fast approaching.

Father Lasalle's music seemed to lift the spirits

of the entire parish.

All except the Corporal, who would sit outside the cafe, consumed with questions

while my Papa drank inside.


Three beers, please.

Look who came to welcome me back home.

Hmm?

Good evening.

You must join our little party.

To victory.

To peace.

Binocular.

Not now, Hubert.

And where did you get them, Hubert? Hmm?

-Where did you get them, Hubert, huh? -Papa!

-What? -The Corporal.

He's a friend of yours, too? Hmm?

Good night.

Auf wiedersehen.

It's okay.


Georges?

Ah.

Come back to bed, Georges.

Hilarious.

Give me that.

I've been hearing things about you I don't like, Jo.

Leave him be.

I said, I've been hearing things I don't like, Jo.

Don't you dare blame my boy for any of this.

Your boy? You can have him.

-Take that back. -You stay out of this.

Michel, he told me how you went off with that German Corporal up the mountain together.

I was only watching eagles.

Eagles? My own son, friends with the filthy Boche?

You're a collaborator.

-And you're a monster! -Eh?

Stop it, Georges! You think it was easy for us?

-We have to survive! -Georges, enough.

Let me tell you something about your son.

-No, no, no! -This "collaborator."

What's going on? Please, don't, please.

You know how Jo does Alice's shopping?

And what?

That food is not for Alice.

It is for seven children.

Seven Jewish children, hiding in a cave, up in the woods.

Some of them have been waiting two years, near enough to be taken over the border.

All that time, your son has been keeping them alive.

Not only he's kept them alive, but he's kept his mouth shut!

So don't you ever call him a collaborator again!

I can't believe this.

How can you keep this from me?

Because you, you would have only tried to stop him!

But these poor children,

are they still in the cave?

A patrol could find them at any moment.

You think we want to keep them there?

There's just no way to get seven children past the patrols without being seen.

Well, maybe you don't have to.

People see what they want to see.

They're too lazy to look for anything else.

Take a man drinking before noon, he's a drunk, not a grieving husband.

And an old spinster in black is a widow, not a saint.

And a boy laden with shopping is an errand boy, not a hero.

What are you getting at, Lise?

Well,

a child herding sheep is a shepherd.

Not a Jew.

You're mad!

Disguise children as shepherds?

Absolutely not!

Madame.

There must be 500 sheep in the village.

It's chaos when we move to high pastures.

Who will notice a few more children shepherding them?

And once you get to the herds, you're that close to Spain, you could spit into it.

Everyone knows only the men drive the sheep.

Not the Boche.

They've been here two years, and couldn't tell the first thing about shepherding.

What if somebody talks?

You're involving the entire village.

It only takes one person to panic.

-It's a possibility. -No!

These are children's lives we are talking about.

It's not a possibility. The answer is no!

Alice, you have to let them go.

Henri, what if something happens to them?

We have waited long enough.

This is our best chance!

How will we get them down from the cave?

You may not like the sound of this.

And he said, "I am the good shepherd.

"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

John 10:11.

For three months, every summer our village loses many of its menfolk to the mountain.

It's a time of solitude,

a time for reflection,

and the beginnings of months of hard work.

So, in two weeks, to celebrate the eve of this great migration, Mademoiselle Audap and the school choir

will be giving one of their short concerts, and I want you all here.

A gathering of the entire community.

That invitation also extends to our long-term lodgers.

I know you're a music lover, Lieutenant, and if the whole village will be here, then, why not the garrison?

Thank you, Lieutenant.

The concert will begin at 8:00.

Spread the word.


Time to go. Follow me.

Let's go. Come on.

To the village.

We're going to the village.

Let's go.


Allez!

Quiet! Allez!

This way. Wake up!


Come in, quick!

Thank you, Mademoiselle!

I'm afraid the concert lasted a little longer than we all expected.

Goodnight, and God bless you.

-Benjamin and Leah? -Up in the hayloft.

And the rest?

Hidden, before the last church bell rang.

Quiet, Jo. She needs some sleep.

You'll be in Spain tomorrow.

No.

I'll take the children to the border, and then come back.

She's getting close.

I can feel it.

I know I won't have to wait for my Anya much longer.

But when she gets here, you'll have to go to Spain.

Both of you?

We'll cross the mountains one last time.

Maybe buy a farm somewhere in the hills.

Somewhere where we can have cows, sheep, pigs.

Alice would never forgive me if we didn't have pigs.

And then we can make up for the time we lost.

Don't worry, Jo.

I'm not going anywhere just yet.

I wish you didn't have to go at all.


Au revoir, Leah.

When will we know?

By dawn, hopefully.

Alice will send message.

When Benjamin returns.

Hubert. Hubert. Shh. Hubert, stay quiet.

Hard climb for an old man.

Then perhaps you should have stayed down in the village.

Perhaps. Hello, boys.

Bonjour.

You mind if we fill our canteens?

I could do with a drink.

Be quick. If I remember rightly, you also like a drink.

You see, I too am from the mountains.

To you the transhumance. To me, the alpwirtschaft.

I expect it's the same the world over.

Back at home, we have only the cows and the horses, no sheep.

Cows are like yours.

But the horses, they have golden manes and tails, we call them halflingers.

Just like you, we take them up to the high pastures in summertime.

Except of course, we do not all go together.

It's always been done.

But the women and children, surely have not always driven the animals?

You see, in Bavaria, it's only the men.

But you?

You Germans always ask so many questions?

We like to be thorough.

So... you alone up here every summer?

Yes.

And all this work you do yourself?

Everything.

Care to explain?

I...

You were saying?

Take the donkey down once a week with the cheese.

Pick up the supplies.

It must be hard work.

Hans.

We need to get going.

Need to get the boys back before curfew.

You should get that mended.

Let's go!

Let's say I have 12 apples. I can't eat...

By dawn hopefully, Alice will send message when Benjamin returns.

By dawn hopefully, Alice will send message when Benjamin returns.

By dawn hopefully, Alice will send message when Benjamin returns.

Is everyone following me?

Jo?

I don't think you've been entirely with us this morning.

Whilst I appreciate you're not a natural mathematician, I...

Jo!

-Jo! Jo! -What is it, Hubert?

Jo!

All of you, stay where you are.

-You're Jews? -We are.

You'll be escorted to the station by Corporal Hoffman.

Get them a horse.

You are the Corporal?

For God's sake, you want them to walk?

They can have mine.

Fetch him, would you?

Now, please, Jo Lalande.


And then?

That is not my concern.

Column, move out.

Thank you.

The children?

-Safe. -Then what happened?

What happened, Papa?

The little girl.

I've never seen anything like it.

She clung to him like she would drown if she let go.

I don't want to go!

Jo, we had to bring her back with us.

We had to go back to the hut.

Benjamin was so calm.

The donkey bolted immediately.

Braying loud enough to wake the dead.

And your friend, he didn't flinch.

He didn't flinch when that bear came out of the trees.

He looked it straight in the eye.

Like he knew it will not attack them.

He just wanted to say hello.

No milk today, old friend.

And in one moment, the bear was gone.

I went after the donkey.

And when I came back, they were surrounded.

Someone's got to go tell Alice.

And I don't know if I have the heart.

We'll go together.

Then better get yourself back up the mountains.

Those sheep won't milk themselves.

-Okay. -No!

I'll go.

Some things, even the mountains cannot solve.

I wanted the Corporal to be wrong.

So, like Papa before me, and Grandpere before him, I spent the summer's three months in the high pastures,

alone, with just my flock and my thoughts.

My first transhumance.


On my brief trips home, all talk was about the war.

The Americans and British landing on the beaches, -Soviets advancing from the east.

Everyone sensed that it would all be over soon.

But to me, the Germans lost the war in our village

the day they captured Benjamin and Leah.

In an instant, the uniforms became the only thing

that anyone could see.

Their smiles were ignored, their small acts of kindness forgotten.

There was no hope of victory after that.

Don't worry, no one can see us.

He gave them back?

But the little cup he made me, I shall keep forever.

I will take it home when all this is over, to remind me of this place.

Of you, of him.

They were taken to one of those camps, weren't they?

-Jo, I have no answers. -You have no answer?

Or you don't want to think about the answer?

-Jo, I... -He was my friend.

They both were.

He was waiting for his daughter, so they could escape together to Spain.

You knew, didn't you?

I thought there was someone or something you didn't want me to see.

There were seven children in here.

And they escaped.

All except Leah.

Well, at least we achieved something.


Monsieur Sarthol, have you seen Hubert?

-What is it, Jo? Huh? -Hubert!

Tell him to come when you find him.

Oh, I saw him. He went towards the graveyard.


Right flank! The boy, he has a gun!

Don't, Hubert, don't!

No, Hubert! No!

Wake up! Hubert!

He didn't mean it! He didn't mean it!

He didn't mean it!

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Jo!

Ah, my love. These are for Grandmere.

Okay, Maman.

You're a star, Jo! Put it on the table.

You have some post here as well, Madame.

Will you open it for me? And stop calling me Madame.

I'm Grandmere maintenant.

Another letter from the mayor of Pau...

Well, you can put that in the bin.

Were you expecting a telegram?

No.

What does it say?

"I'm on my way."

Benjamin.

Anya.


Grandpere! Grandmere!


Anya!