Written by Guillermo Arriaga (April 9, 2005)
EXT. YUSSEF AND AHMED'S HOUSE -- MORNING
Day breaks. Hassan (50) arrives at a solitary house made of
adobe, in the southern deserts of Morocco, carrying a satchel
and a large bundle wrapped in cloth.
He walks past a corral made out of branches, where several
goats bleat, and knocks on the front door.
2 EXT. YUSSEF AND AHMED'S HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
Abdullah (40), opens.
Good morning Abdullah... I brought
He holds up the bundle.
3 INT. YUSSEF AND AHMED'S HOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER
Abdullah's family is inside the house. There is a room, a
small table and a simple kitchen. Yasira (38) is roasting
some goat meat assisted by Yamil (16) and Zora (17), her
Abdullah and his sons, Yussef (13) and Ahmed (14), are sitting
on the floor around the small table, looking at a well-
conserved .270 caliber Winchester 60 rifle.
It's almost new.
He takes out several boxes of cartridges from his satchel.
Three hundred cartridges...
He opens a box and shows them one of the golden bullets.
The hunter who gave it to me said
you can hit up to three kilometers
How much do you want for everything?
One thousand dirhams.
One thousand dirhams? I'll give you
one thousand and a goat.
Abdullah and Hassan exchange a look and Hassan smiles.
EXT. YUSSEF AND AHMED'S HOUSE -- DAY
Hassan and Abdullah's family are behind the house. Hassan
stands with the rifle in front of a rock some twenty yards
away and he turns toward Abdullah.
With this rifle, your sons will be
able to kill plenty of jackals.
He aims at the rock and pulls the trigger without holding
the rifle properly. It is clear that he doesn't know how to
fire a weapon, and the shot cracks loudly. The rifle kicks
and hits him roughly in the shoulder. The bullet flies far
wide of the rock. The women laugh nervously.
Rubbing his shoulder, Hassan turns to Abdullah.
Let one of your sons shoot.
Abdullah looks at his boys and points at the younger one.
Let Yussef shoot.
When Hassan is about to hand Yussef the rifle, Ahmed cuts
him off, upset.
I want to shoot first.
Father and son exchange an angry glance. Hassan, without
realizing it, turns and gives the rifle to Ahmed. The boy
grabs the gun:
it is heavier than he thought.
Look, load it like this.
Hassan opens the chamber, inserts the bullet and then closes
it. Once it is loaded, he points at the safety.
This is the safety. Push it in when
Ahmed nods. Unsure of himself, he raises the rifle and,
almost without aiming, fires. The shot kicks up dust far
from the rock. His sisters laugh.
If he doesn't hit the jackals, at
least he'll scare the shit out of
Ahmed lowers the rifle. His father grabs it and gives it to
Yussef grabs the rifle and loads it confidently. He lifts
the rifle with ease and takes his time aiming. He seems
innately skilled at the maneuver. He shoots and the bullet
hits just below the rock.
Abdullah celebrates the shot and mockingly turns to Hassan.
Now this kid shoots a hell of a lot
better than you.
5 EXT. GOAT CORRAL -- LATER
Yussef takes one of the goats out, ties and ropes it and
gives it to Hassan. Abdullah supervises. Yasira approaches
and gives Abdullah a bag.