Babel script
Babel (2006)
Synopsis: An accident connects four groups of people on three different continents: two young Moroccan goatherds, a vacationing American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), a deaf Japanese teen and her father, and a Mexican nanny who takes her young charges across a border without parental permission.

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.

HASSAN:

(In Arabic)

Good morning Abdullah... I brought

you this...

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

daughters.

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.

HASSAN:

(To Abdullah)

It's almost new.

He takes out several boxes of cartridges from his satchel.

HASSAN (CONT'D)

Three hundred cartridges...

He opens a box and shows them one of the golden bullets.

HASSAN (CONT'D)

The hunter who gave it to me said

you can hit up to three kilometers

away.

ABDULLAH:

How much do you want for everything?

HASSAN:

One thousand dirhams.

2.

ABDULLAH:

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.

HASSAN:

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.

HASSAN (CONT'D)

Let one of your sons shoot.

Abdullah looks at his boys and points at the younger one.

ABDULLAH:

Let Yussef shoot.

When Hassan is about to hand Yussef the rifle, Ahmed cuts

him off, upset.

AHMED:

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.

HASSAN:

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.

HASSAN (CONT'D)

This is the safety. Push it in when

you're ready.

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.

3.

HASSAN (CONT'D)

If he doesn't hit the jackals, at

least he'll scare the shit out of

them.

Ahmed lowers the rifle. His father grabs it and gives it to

Yussef enthusiastically.

ABDULLAH:

Your turn.

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.

ABDULLAH (CONT'D)

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.

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Guillermo Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga Jordán is a Mexican author, screenwriter, director and producer. Self-defined as "a hunter who works as a writer," he is best known for his BAFTA-nominated script for 21 Grams and his ... more…

All Guillermo Arriaga scripts | Guillermo Arriaga Books

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