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

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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…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Burn Country" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Feb. 2023. <https://www.scripts.com/script/burn_country_4840>.

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