The Task of the Translator

Synopsis: Lynne Sachs pays homage to Walter Benjamin's essay 'The Task of the Translator' through three studies of the human body. First, she listens to the musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of a kind-of cosmetic surgery for corpses. Second, she witnesses a group of Classics scholars confronted with the haunting yet whimsical task of translating a newspaper article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. And finally, she turns to a radio news report on human remains.
Genre: Drama, Short
Director(s): Lynne Sachs
10 min

You okay?

I'm so sorry.

No, that's all right.

Really, it is.

You want me to help

you out with this?

Yeah, that would

be amazing. Thanks.

No problem.

Here, let me just help you out here.

These, too?

Okay, here, let me get that for you.



Hey! Hey!

What are you doing?

Come on, boy!



What you're proposing, Connie, is,

to say the very least, extreme.

Very extreme.

I agree, Bob, but in

this particular case,

I truly believe we have

to do whatever it takes.

Come on! Come on!

Okay! Okay!

Come on! Come on!

Move, move, move!

What are you doing?

Get off me.

Please. I don't wanna die.

We all gotta

go sometime, huh?

Four months ago, each of you

little piggies attended auditions

to be on a never-before-seen

reality TV game show.

And guess what?

You won.

Hey. Rhonda Shoemaker.

I think, in life, some people

are meant to be on TV,

and I'm one of them.

My favorite color is yellow,

like the sun.

Hi, I'm Randall,

and I'm totally off-the-hook

gay and proud of it.

You're a cutie, aren't you?

My favorite book is Ok! Magazine.

Hi, I'm Toni,

and I have the IQ of Einstein

and Stephen Hawking,

put together.

I wanna lead our country.

Next question.

My name is Angel,

on loan from England.

Me, too.

He's my brother

Stanton/parole officer.


When Stanton and I were two,

our mother dropped him

on his head.

And he doesn't know.

Well, but I do.

Dixon, 6'2", 200 pounds.

You know, people used to say

I look like Will Smith.

Now they say

Barack Obama. Okay.

The name of the show

is The Task,

and the premise is simple.

To win $20,000 each,

all you have to do is spend

one night in a prison.

That abandoned prison.


Holy shit!


How come I've never

heard of this show?

Like, how do we know this is not

some sort of frat house prank?


This is actually

our third show,

but we won't be

on-air until the fall.

And as for knowing if this is

anything more than a college prank,

you'll just have to play

for the money to find out.

You'll be asked to perform

a series of tasks.

Tasks that will

test your nerves,

your courage and your sanity.

Sounds like fun, right?

What kind of task are

we talking about, dawg?

That I can't tell you.

You either accept the challenge or not.

Feel free to take

the easy way out,

by jumping into

this yellow taxi cab,

yes, the pun is intentional,

and going home.

Make your decision now.

I'm in.

What, you kidding me?

I'll pay you to let me do this.

Where do I sign?

Shit! I can't have no girl

do this while I take off.

My boys will rob my ass

to the grave. I'm in.

I have to look

after my baby sister.

I'm in.

You guys are insane.

Do any of you know the

history of that prison?

Some really fucked up

shit went down in there.

He's right. Some truly

disturbing events

took place on the other

side of those walls.

Like what?

Stick around.

You'll find out.

The total money will be divided

equally between the survivors,

but if all of you make it

through the night,

there will be a substantial bonus.

So the team counts.

Ain't enough money in the world

to make me stay in that place.

So, you're out?

Way out.

Anybody else wanna join him?

Not me.

Well, there's no way

I'm riding all the way

back to the city

with urine boy.

Oh, I'm in.

Just get me

the hell out of here.

Your chariot awaits.

Unlock him.


You guys are idiots.

This is for some

fucking frat party joke

and you're all

gonna be made fun of.

You're all gonna look

like a bunch of losers.

Can't you just see this

video playing at a party?

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"The Task of the Translator" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 May 2020. <>.

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