Burn Country

Synopsis: After being exiled from Afghanistan, a former war journalist settles in a small town in Northern California and takes a job with a local newspaper. But when he attempts to cover local crime, he stumbles into local corruption that puts himself and others in danger.
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Director(s): Ian Olds
Production: ACE Productions
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min


God, I am so sorry. I had no

idea what that was going to be.

No, no, really, it is okay.

Oh! How can people stand

to watch that kind of crap?

Probably permanently damaged your

opinion of us as a race, as a town.

No, really, it is all new to me.

I'm happy to see it.

- Wonderful performance.

- Thank you.

Really great.

Come on. We got to be

to work in an hour.

Ugh! I have totally failed

in my duty as a host.

I'll make it up to you,

though, I promise.

We'll give you a real

California welcome yet.

Listen to this.

"The actor is in

a wretched state,

"exploited like a prostitute.

"But just..."

You really liked it?

Yeah. I thought

it was very free.

It was that.

Sit, sit, please.

This is your home now too. I

want you to feel that way, okay?

Thank you.

That's very kind.

Can I pick you anything up

on my way home?

Except cigarettes. I won't

participate in a suicide.


Um, no, thank you.

It's fine.

What time do you have

to be there tomorrow?


You nervous?

Uh, I'm prepared.

I know I keep saying this,

but I'm glad you're here.

Thank you.



Hey! Hey!


I kick your ass, dude!

Osman. Holy sh*t.

Joseph. Joseph Kidd.

Oh, good to be

finally meeting you.

I'm honored, truly.

Sierra, this man is a hero.


What did you do?

Nothing, I don't know...

I can't believe you're here!

I just have to ask.

Are you okay?

Yes, I'm fine.

"Fine." Christ.

What a world, right? You ever

see such a sleepy newsroom?

Look alive, people.

This man spent half his life

reporting from a war zone.

Dodging bullets while you

were slapping at flies.

Seriously, you're all over

Gabe's piece for the time.

Great work.

Heart-stopping sh*t.

Well, I... I was mostly

just arranging travel for him

and interpreting

for him on that.


Well, pull that chair up and

close that door, will you?


What can I do for you?

First, I want

to thank you again.

To you, to Gabe, I say thanks.

Of course, of course.

I'm still coming up with ideas,

but I thought maybe I could

start with early impressions.

Maybe the first day in town, or

something short about the play.

The play?

Of course, that's not all.

It's just to begin.

Part of a whole series.

But everything is so new. It's

so very bright in my mind.

Very strong.



Did you... did you go?


Gloria took me,

and she didn't know what it was.

But it was ecstatic.

The actors were working

very hard,

doing tasks I didn't

understand, but still work,

hard work of some kind, and

they were speaking Polish.

I don't know why, but there

was a man and a machine,

and the man was nude with a hat.

And it was...

Very American.

That sounds insane.


But I think it could be

a good first assignment.

A first... wait. Yeah.

Again, that's just one idea.

I know I sound very vague,

but I have to tell you,

I'm very nervous...

Because I'm just

very grateful to you...

Oh, sh*t.

Did Gabe tell you

I could give you a job?


Oh, Jesus.

This is embarrassing.

Well, I don't have to write

about the play.

No, no, no, I...

I think you misunderstand.

There's no money.

But I thought...

I'm sorry, man.

There's really nothing.


Thank you for your time.

Oh, wait. The blotter.

I can give you 50 bucks a week

to write a police blotter.

What's a police blotter?

"July 28.

"Sebastopol resident

Ben Dewey, 17,

"was apprehended

after an off-season hunt

"for wild boars

ended poetically."

"August 2nd.

"An illegal bonfire ended

in near tragedy

"when a 26-year-old woman

from San Francisco

"mistook the smoldering embers

for her ride back to the city.

"Thanks to our Valiant

police department,

"she was able to board a bona

fide vehicle the next morning."

"Valiant." I like it.

I don't even know what this is.

You don't have to do it.

He tell me to just use

the police report.

You don't even

have to leave the house.

I can't sit around copying reports for

$50 a week. I need to do something.


I know it sounds silly,

but before,

when I'm thinking

of the California,

it looked different in my mind.

What, like big tits and sand?

I'm close. I got it.

What are we doing here?

I'll be just a minute.

You stay here in the car.

I don't want to have

to deal with him again!

I don't want to deal with it!

No, but I don't want him

in the house!

Come on, come on, come on!

He's not in the house now,

all right?

He's not in the house now.


I don't want him here anymore!

Where are you headed, Maddie?

I don't want him in this house!

Where are you headed?

I don't want him in this house!

I know...

I don't want him

in this house anymore!

No! I want him out!

Okay, okay...

They're pushing him around...

Who are you?

It was just your boy here?

No! No! There were no people here!


I'm a...


I can't do it!


From where?

I can't do it! I can't do it!



You come all the way

from somewhere to see me?

Oh, I'm with Gloria.

- They were here!

- Maddie, who was here?

Were there other people here?

There was other people here?

Yeah, is she going to take her?

I don't know.

Yeah, she got to take her.

She needs some authority, man.

She's mad.

Maybe you should report that,

then maybe someone will...

What's that accent?

You said where you were from,

but I... I forgot.

Oh, here she comes.

- Here she comes.

- Whoa! Whoa!

Huh? Huh?

Whoa! Whoa!

Oh, now she's a penitent!

A minute ago she's doling out

some weak-ass sub-ninja sh*t

with a kitchen knife,

and now look at her.

Lindsay, would you just

calm down.

F*** that.

Osman, could you please

get back to the car?

Yeah, I can take care of myself, mama!

Please, I asked you to stay...


Calm down now, huh?

Okay, it's me.

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Whoa! Easy!

Take that,

foreign correspondent!

Lindsay, let him go!

Oh, come on, Glor! Come on!

Let him go!

Ah, f*** it!

F*** it!

You okay, mama?


You okay? Huh?

He hurt you? Did he hurt you?

Are you okay?

You going to be

all right, Maddie?

Why don't you guys go in

and get some rest, all right?

To the car.

To the car.

- Hey. Mr. reporter man.

- Don't turn back.

Just walk. Just walk. If you report

any of this, I will kill you.

Come on, come on.

Up, up, up, up, up.

All right, all right.

Let's see, what do we got here?

Let me see.

Back home, if she had brothers,

they would go

to his house tomorrow

and they would put him

in the ground.

Nah, Lindsay's not bad

when he's not high.

And when he is,

he's a truly impressive magnet

for heartache and trouble.

The man can build

a damn fine hot tub.

Finds all the wood himself.

Yes, well, I don't think it is

talent to find wood in the forest.

He'll apologize to you.

Hey, Osman.


I like you.

I wasn't sure at first.

But it's nice to see you angry.

Hey, no heroics in the future.

We can take care of ourselves.

Good night.

Police blotter?

That f***er.

I'm not complaining.

I'm just... Deferent

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Ian Olds

Ian Olds is an American film director. His directing credits include the documentary Occupation: Dreamland, which follows the 1/505 company of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fallujah, Iraq in early 2004 during the Iraq War. Olds also created the documentary Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi, which depicts the working relationship between American journalist Christian Parenti and his Afghan colleague Ajmal Naqshbandi during the War in Afghanistan. Occupation: Dreamland won a 2006 Independent Spirit Award. Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi earned Olds the Best New Documentary Filmmaker award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Feature-Length Documentary at the 2009 Madrid International Documentary Film Festival. The film was nominated for a 2009 Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. HBO Documentaries acquired rights to the film.In 2012 Olds and actor James Franco co-directed the film Francophrenia: (or: Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is), which repurposes footage taken of Franco on the set of the American soap opera General Hospital.Olds has also directed several short narrative films that were screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Olds edited Franco’s split-screen feature adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.Olds was awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2011 San Francisco Film Society/Hearst Screenwriting Grant, and a 2006 Media Arts Fellowship sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.Olds received his MFA from Columbia University’s Film Division in 2006. He was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine in 2009 and was a 2011 Fellow at the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. more…

All Ian Olds scripts | Ian Olds Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Burn Country" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/burn_country_4840>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Burn Country

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    Who directed the movie "Dunkirk"?
    A Christopher Nolan
    B Martin Scorsese
    C Steven Spielberg
    D Ridley Scott