LORD OF WAR
A Screen Play
[NOTE: THE ORIGINAL HARD COPY OF THIS SCRIPT HAD
SCENE NUMBERS - THESE HAVE BEEN REMOVED TO
IMPROVE THE FLOW. A NUMBER OF "FINAL DRAFT"
SOFTWARE GLITCHES HAVE ALSO BEEN CORRECTED.]
CLOSE UP on the face of YURI ORLOV.
Late-thirties, maybe the wrong side of forty, cigarette dangling
from his fingers, wearing a conservative suit and tie.
Black smoke wafts in front of his face. He speaks matter-of-factly,
directly into camera.
There are over 550 million firearms in
worldwide circulation. That's one firearm
for every twelve people on the planet. The
only question is...
(taking a draft and stubbing out
...how do we arm the other eleven?
The camera zooms away from his face, revealing:
Yuri alone on a battlefield surrounded by the charred carcasses of
armored military vehicles and other equipment, discarded weapons and
ammunition, desert floor stained with what appears to be blood.
The faint sound of gunfire, some distance away, carries to us on the
A TITLE SEQUENCE FOLLOWS - A CONTINUOUS SHOT FROM A CAMERA
MOUNTED ON THE BACK OF A BULLET CASING - ILLUSTRATING THE
LIFESPAN OF THE BULLET.
- Gunpowder is poured into a metal casing, lead slug mounted on top.
A BULLET is born. A perfect 39mm.
- The BULLET travels along a conveyor belt with thousands of
identical siblings in a Ukrainian factory so grey it's monochrome.
- The BULLET, picked up by a ham-fisted UKRAINIAN FACTORY WORKER, is
tossed into a crate.
- The BULLET, lying in its open crate, rolls down a chute where it's
inspected by a UKRAINIAN MILITARY OFFICER holding a manifest. He
seems to stare directly at our BULLET.
(to his SUBORDINATE carrying a
manifest, in Ukrainian)
Call it "agricultural machinery".
- The BULLET's crate rattles around in an open-bed truck along an
industrial road, passes a decapitated statue of LENIN.
- The crate containing our BULLET is placed on a ship in
the cold grey Odessa harbor. A container door closes, plunging the
bullet into darkness.
- The door re-opens. The BULLET, still in its crate, now basks in
bright, tropical sunshine, surrounded by an azure sea.
- The crate is removed by a pair of slim, dark hands, revealing a
glimpse of the bustling, weathered port of Abidjan in the Ivory
Coast. The crate is one of dozens unloaded from the ship.
- BULLET's POV from another open-air truck, now slogging through a
mud-clogged road in lush rainforest.
- The BULLET is unloaded from the truck in Freetown, Sierra Leone -
immediately grabbed by the young HAND of a RUF soldier.
- The BULLET is loaded into a 30-round magazine which is inserted
into an AK-47 machine gun.
- The BULLET waits - in the gloomy chamber. Suddenly, from outside,
the sound of raised voices and gunfire.
- The BULLET and its neighbors start to rise quickly up the magazine
towards the chamber as the Kalashnikov is fired.
- Our hero BULLET is next. Will it see action?
- Smack. The gun's bolt strieks the explosive cap, gunpowder
ignited, the BULLET driven out of the barrel.
- Shed of its casing - now only a slug - the BULLET emerges into
bright sunshine. It is flying down the main street in Freetown.
- The BULLET gives us a perfect point-of-view of the bullet ahead of
it. They are both flying towards their intended target - a wild-
eyed CHILD SOLDIER, a boy no more than twelve, firing an AK-47
almost as tall as he is.
- The leading bullet narrowly misses, whistles past the boy's ear,
striking the whitewashed wall behind - one more pock-mark in a
building riddled with pock-marks.
- Our BULLET, following close behind, finds its mark, slamming into
the boy's forehead just above his left eye - his expression, oddly
- The BULLET carves through the lobes of the boy's brain
where it is enveloped in blood, finally plunged into
darkness - the bullet's final resting place.
CUT TO BLACK
EXT. ODESSA - MAIN STREET. DAY.
"Towards A Brighter Socialist Future", reads a billboard in the main
Odessa, U.S.S.R - 1980
Fifteen-year-old YURI walks into frame. He spies a long line
snaking away from the door of a barren grocery store.
I was born Yuri Orlovitch in the city of
Odessa in a country that no longer exists.
You might have heard of it - a little place
called the Soviet Union.
A YOUNG COMMUNIST sits in the shadow of a statue of Trotsky in the
Soviet-style plaza, jacket and neckerchief removed in the summer heat,
poring over a Communist text. Yuri approaches, pretends to be
interested in the statue, glances to the Young Communist's book.
(in subtitled Ukrainian, looking over
the idealist's shoulder)
All property is theft.
The Young Communist nods at this kindred spirit. Yuri pats his
comrade on the back, taking the opportunity to steal the boy's red
neckerchief and Lenin pin.
INT. GROCERY STORE. DAY.
Now wearing the pin in his own jacket along with the neckerchief and
a stern expression, YURI strides to the front of the line in the
Where I grew up, everyone was equal. Some
were just more equal than others.
The female STORE CLERK is about to order Yuri to the back of the
line when Yuri flashes the pin.
Intimidated, the Clerk smiles and pulls a special tray from under
the counter. In contrast to the meager offerings on the shelves,
the tray contains bags of sugar, coffee, bananas, even Pepsi.
INT. APARTMENT - ODESSA. DAY.
A Soviet-style apartment building. Front door opens - YURI enters,
shopping bag in hand.
His mother, IRINA, pokes her head out of the kitchen. Yuri holds up
(in subtitled Ukrainian)
Shortages? What shortages?
Irina shakes her head in amazement.
INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM. DAY.
While a parade of weapons in Red Square plays silently on the state-
controlled TV, father ANATOLY and Military Cadet older brother
VITALY, shoulder bandaged, sit at a tiny table, drinking cheap vodka
and listening intently to an illegal shortwave radio - coat hanger
My father was a wounded hero of World War Two, my
younger brother was wounded in Afghanistan - a
war without heroes. I'd gotten out of military
service due to a heart problem - it wasn't
completely a lie.
YURI joins them, careful not to interrupt the broadcoast.
He goes to pour himself a glass of vodka. Without looking away from
the radio, his father's hand grasps Yuri's in a vice-like grip,
preventing him from lifting the bottle.
(impossibly upper-crust British
--Finally, in response to human rights
protests and in an effort to encourage the
United States to sell grain to the Soviet
Union after two successive crop failures, it
is reported that the politburo has consented
to permit a limited number of Jews to
emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel.
And that concludes this edition of news from
the BBC World Service.
Anatoly, deep in thought, switches off the radio. IRINA enters,
puts Yuri's "feast" on the table.
They speak Ukrainian, subtitled.
Trading Jews for grain.
(reaching for a banana)
It's good P.R. - for the Moscow Olympics.
Good for the Jews.
All eyes to Yuri, family confused.
We're not Jewish.
We're Jewish if we say we're Jewish.
The stunned family stares at him - out of the mouths of babes. Anatoly
finally breaks the silence, pours Yuri a drink.
Yuri and the family drink to their new identity.
EXT. CEMETERY, ODESSA. DAY.
A sea of Jewish gravestones.
YURI and ANATOLY bribe the cemetery CUSTODIAN.
There have been few occasions in the
twentieth century when it's been an
advantage to be a Jew.
Under his father's watchful gaze, Yuri takes a rubbing from one of
the headstones - "ORLOV".
INT. UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICE. DAY.
ANATOLY, with YURI at his side, presents the rubbing along with
other crudely forged paperwork confirming their Jewish ancestry to a
CLERK. "ORLOVITCH" now "ORLOV".
The rubbing from the Jewish headstone was my
first forged document. Little about my life
has been kosher ever since.
The Clerk gives Anatoly and Yuri the once-over, then
stamps an emigration visa.
INT. APARTMENT, BEDROOM. NIGHT.
Suitcase in hand, YURI surveys his bedroom for the last time.
A car horn. He glances through the window to the communist-style
plaza below. ANATOLY beckons impatiently to Yuri. VITALY and IRINA
load overstuffed suitcases into an old Russian sedan driven by an
old Russian Military Officer, UNCLE DMITRI.
Yuri stares at himself in the mirror. He replaces his stolen Soviet
pin for a necklace - a Star of David.
INT. BEN GURION AIRPORT - TEL AVIV. DAY.
CLOSE UP on a heavily-retouched photograph of GOLDA MEIR. She's
still not pretty.
YURI stares up at it.
We Russian Jews were supposed to be headed
for Israel but I didn't see much of the
country on that first trip.
We reveal he is standing in a jam-packed, standing-roam-only
Real Jews or fake Jews, eighty-five percent
of us ended up in that other "promised
The Pan American destination board reads: "PA 447 to NEW YORK".
EXT. BRIGHTON BEACH - "LITTLE ODESSA". DUSK.
In the distance, a roller coaster in Coney Island, silhouetted
against the afternoon sky.
"Little Odessa", New York - 1984
The camera travels off the coaster to a restaurant, apartment above
We congregated in New York's Brighton Beach
because of its similarity to the Crimean
Sea. I've always thought it's appropriate
we moved next door to the circus.
INT. "CRIMEAN RESTAURANT" - LITTLE ODESSA. DAY.
A typical Jewish establishment with all its paraphernalia - menorah
on the mantle, etc. The family sits in a small dining room
attached to the restaurant. ANATOLY reads the Torah as he waits
for dinner with YURI and VITALY.
I had no idea my father would take his
assumed identity so much to heart. I guess
he just stayed in character.
YURI, older, as we now know him, studies school work. Long-haired
VITALY watches "Band Aid" on TV.
IRINA puts a plate of mussels in front of Anatoly.
(glaring at the plate,
How many times--I can't eat shellfish. It's
You're not Jewish.
I like it.
(picking up his felt fedora)
I like the hat - to remind us there's
something above us. I like that.
Anatoly dons his hat.
I'm going to temple.
You're not going to temple. You go to
temple more than the rabbi!
Vitaly begins eating his father's plate of mussels. Yuri watches his
I was suffering an identity crisis of my own.
We focus on orientation booklets from a careers fair. Yuri shuffles
between the eagle of the CIA and the dove of the U.N.
My gift for languages made me highly sought
after. The C.I.A. and U.N. were both heavily
recruiting Russian immigrants.
Yuri settles on the dove.
EXT. UNITED NATIONS. DAY.
The idealistic YURI, ill-fitting suit, full of optimism, approaches
the United Nations Building.
Naturally, I went with the U.N. They were
He strides past Luxembourg's gift to the U.N. - a sculpture of a gun
with its barrel tied in a knot. Never gives it a look.
He is greeted at the entrance by an attractive female U.N. Official,
VIVIAN CARLISLE. She likes what she sees.
INT. ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER. DAY.
The blue helmeted YURI is seated in a white U.N. armored personnel
carrier, the background behind him morphs from
one Third World location to another: Third World desert
to Third World rainforest to Third World slum.
The fastest way to find out you can't change
the world is to actually go there.
EXT. NRFL REBEL HEADQUARTERS - NORTHERN LIBERIA. DAY.
Poolside at a recently-captured Southern-style colonial mansion, a
long way from Georgia.
Gbamga, Liberia - 1985
West Africa's Liberia, or "land of the
free", was originally established in the
1800's as a homeland for freed American
negroes. It's been enslaved by one dictator
or another ever since. They even copied
their masters' Southern architecture.
A tatty pile of weapons - some from World War II - sits in front of
a long negotiating table.
YURI, blue beret, observes the CHIEF U.N. ENVOY at the table
opposite warlord ANDRE BAPTISTE, leader of the National
Revolutionary Front of Liberia (NRFL).
Baptiste, 40's, is an imposing figure. In full uniform despite the
heat, he wears a jacket one size too small as if he cannot admit his
extra few pounds. His THIRD WIFE stands next to him, wiping the
sweat from his brow like an intermittent windscreen wiper.
It was my first meeting with the American-
educated Andre Roosevelt Baptiste. While
the warning signs were all there, no one had
any idea what a monster he would eventually
become. I certainly didn't think he would
become my friend.
Baptiste has a U.N. document in front of him, awaiting his
signature, clearly enjoying his moment in the sun.
(referring to the meager pile
--With all due respect, Mr. Baptiste, you
don't seriously expect us to believe that
this represents your entire arsenal.
U.N. ENVOY (cont'd)
This is making a nonsense of the embargo
ratified by all five permanent members of
the Security Council. The escalation in the
build up of arms jeopardizes not only order
in the region but ultimately world order.
(playing to the gallery)
--World order? You say we jeopardize world
Baptiste's Third Wife wipes his brow.
Your idea of world order is when you're
giving the orders to the world.
The Envoy has no response.
Baptiste rises from the table, leaving the unsigned document sitting
Baptiste is accompanied by two armed BODYGUARDS. Yuri's commanding
officer, CAPTAIN VIVIAN CARLISLE, motions for one of her detail to
follow - Yuri.
(irritated by Yuri's presence)
I am only going to the restroom.
They reach the door marked, "MEN".
(aside to his bodyguards as he enters)
This is what they mean by U.N. Observer?
Yuri winces at the remark.
INT. PRESIDENTIAL MANSION RESTROOM. DAY.
BAPTISTE pisses at a urinal. YURI and the BODYGUARDS hang back a
Aren't you going to help me hold my cock?
(glancing towards the urinal)
Doesn't look like a job for two men.
The BODYGUARDS stiffen at the insult. Baptiste stares Yuri down for
a moment, then suddenly bursts into laughter. The TWO BODYGUARDS
also start to laugh - cautiously.
Baptiste washes his hands, stares at Yuri in the mirror, smiles.
You know you are fighting a losing battle,
my young friend. War is nature. If you
take away the guns, we will kill each other
with knives. Take away the knives, we will
kill each other with sticks. Take away the
sticks, we will kill each other with your
(turning to face Yuri)
You cannot stop this bath of blood.
It's not "bath of blood". It's, "blood
Thank you. But I like it my way.
Baptiste smiles and exits, leaving the words ringing in Yuri's head.
EXT. U.N. COMPOUND - MONROVIA. DAY.
A pep rally for the mostly male U.N. PEACEKEEPERS. A stage has been
erected in the rundown Embassy grounds. They chant and stamp their feet
A U.N. OFFICER, acting as M.C., approaches the microphone.
(battling the microphone's
And now, we have a surprise for you. The
83rd West African Peacekeeping Corp is proud
to present, all the way from El Salvador,
the newly crowned Miss World, Ava Cordova.
From behind a jerry-rigged curtain appears the vision that is AVA
CORDOVA. She wears a dress that appears to have been sewn onto her.
She is obscenely beautiful in the squalid setting.
The peacekeepers roar and whistle their approval. YURI, near the front
of the stage, is hypnotized.
Standing closer to Yuri than necessary, despite the crush, is CAPTAIN
VIVIAN CARLISLE (attractive in her own right but pales in comparison
with the Goddess on stage). She catches Yuri's reaction.
(chanting to Ava)
Take it off, baby! Take it off!
Ava steps up to the microphone.
(referring to the sea of U.N.
Baby blue. My favorite color!
A roar of approval from the men.
I suppose I could give you the speech about
"my hope for world peace" but I have a
feeling you don't want to hear that today.
My hope is for a piece of your ass!
They roar again.
(laughing it off)
I don't know if you'll be taking me to bed
tonight, darling, but you can take her.
Ava unfurls a life-size poster of herself in a swimsuit,
flirtatiously holding it up against her body. She tosses other
posters to eager hands.
You're all doing a great job - keep it up. Enjoy the
On stage, a generic-looking ROCK GROUP starts to play a cover from
the 80's - Tears For Fears' "Shout". Ava dances enthusiastically,
Ava appears to make eye-contact with Yuri - blowing a kiss in his
direction. He is paralyzed.
BACKSTAGE, YURI and other Peacekeepers observe AVA escorted towards
a huge, American car. An inebriated U.N. PEACEKEEPER tries to get
As the young man reaches out to her, a slick, handsome BUSINESS
MANAGER shoves him aside.
Don't touch what you can't afford.
The Manager slips into the car beside Ava. The U.N. Peacekeeper and
Yuri watch the car roar away.
(regretting indulging the fantasy)
Let's get drunk.
EXT. DOWNTOWN MONROVIA - BAR. NIGHT.
YURI and two other U.N. PEACEKEEPERS get loaded on local beer with
local PROSTITUTES - one of the peacekeepers pouring beer down a
From the shadows across the street, a LIBERIAN MAN observes the
Yuri's colleagues toss some Liberian dollars at a waiter and stagger
drunkenly away from the bar, leaning for support on the PROSTITUTES.
YURI remains at the verandah, exchanges a smile with a YOUNG
PROSTITUTE, at least two years from legal.
He's tempted. He knocks back his drink. He approaches the girl -
presses a few bills into her hand. She picks up her purse, makes to
leave with him but he motions her to stay.
(referring to the money)
(explaining the tip)
For the smile.
Yuri exits alone. The Liberian Man, across the street, follows.
EXT. DOWNTOWN MONROVIA - STREET. NIGHT.
YURI walks down a poorly-lit sidestreet. He feels something in his
back - stops abruptly. His hand reflexively goes to his holster.
He turns. The young LIBERIAN MAN is holding him up with his own
(mixing English and French)
Fuck, no, no, no, no--fuck, no. Money? You
(going through his pockets,
he starts pulling out loose bills)
Fuck, no. Don't shoot. Don't shoot me.
Fuck. U.S. dollars.
(referring to the face on a five
The Liberian puts his finger to his lips to hush Yuri.
The Liberian appears more interested in the gun than the hold-up.
(in flawless English)
The Liberian produces a crisp U.S. twenty dollar bill of his own,
offers it to Yuri.
LIBERIAN MAN (cont'd)
(referring to the face on a twenty
Yuri stares at the money, bewildered.
He shakes his head.
You are driving a hard bargain.
He hands Yuri a second twenty.
No, keep it. Keep the money. Keep the gun.
What do you take me for - a thief?
The Liberian stuffs the money in the pocket of the bewildered
Demand and supply.
(referring to the gun)
There is more I am thinking where this comes
You want more Glocks?
And the Heckler & Koch G-3 assault rifle.
What makes you think I'll do that?
I will come back and shoot you with the
(checking the magazine, referring
to the bullets)
By the way, do you have the hollow point
Yuri stares at the man.
(facetious, nodding to the gun)
You got any color preference for that?
(missing the sarcasm, regarding the gun)
(meeting Yuri's eye)
I will find you.
The Liberian walks away, still admiring his new weapon. Yuri stares
He'd come to the right place - peacekeepers
are armed to the teeth. And nothing but
premium product. The U.N. mostly buys from
Switzerland - where else?
INT. CAPTAIN CARLISLE'S PRIVATE QUARTERS. NIGHT.
CLOSE ON two blue helmets lying beside each other.
YURI and CAPTAIN VIVIAN CARLISLE are under the mosquito netting of a
bed in her private quarters - trying to get each other out of their
respective clothes as fast as possible - mouths and hands
Even in the heat of the moment, VIVIAN is unable to completely let
go of her work.
(between heavy breaths)
What are we doing here, Yuri?
(kissing her nipple)
Whatever you want.
You know what I mean. Here, in this
country. Are we doing any good?
(finally telling her what she
wants to hear)
Would nothing be better?
Satisfied with the answer, she completely gives in to the throes of
passion - pulls him to her.
VIVIAN, satiated, dozes amongst the rumpled sheets, backside
YURI uses the opportunity to take an impression of the key attached
to her belt.
EXT. EMBASSY COMPOUND. NIGHT.
A white armored personnel carrier sits unattended.
The LIBERIAN MAN and two COLLEAGUES approach the carrier's door. It
opens with their newly-made key.
The men start to unload the weapons inside the carrier, spilling a
box of ammunition in their haste.
The camera drifts off the carrier to reveal YURI, behind the
barracks, counting a thick wad of U.S. dollars.
Spying a lone BULLET on the ground, Yuri picks it up. We sense he has
made a decision from which there is no return.
EXT. INT. "THE CRIMEAN" RESTAURANT - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
The BULLET has been turned into a pendant, replacing Yuri's Star of
YURI, wearing a sharp, new suit, enters the family restaurant. One
table of CUSTOMERS - not exactly a thriving concern.
The starting salary for a U.N. interpreter
back then was $32,000. I made fifty K on
"misplaced" weapons on that one trip alone.
I doubt the Secretary General noticed. The
U.N. spends more on lunch.
Yuri kisses father and Maitre d', ANATOLY, who is adding more Jewish
decoration to the window. He bear hugs mother, IRINA, nearly
causing her to drop the plates she is carrying.
My tour as a peacekeeper was the perfect
preparation for war.
Irina notices the change in her son's appearance.
(calling after him)
Who are you? You're not my son. My son
doesn't own such a suit.
Yuri flashes his killer smile in response.
Out of their sight, he slips a hundred dollar bill into the cash
register and breezes into the kitchen.
INT. "THE CRIMEAN" RESTAURANT - KITCHEN. DAY.
VITALY, now chef in the family business, prepares a Russian borscht
in a kitchen unlikely to pass a health inspection.
YURI tastes the food, pretends to gag, spits it out in the sink.
Vitaly affectionately cuffs his older brother - the joke
obviously a familiar ritual.
Yuri takes his brother to the kitchen's rear door.
EXT. "THE CRIMEAN" RESTAURANT. DAY.
At the back of the restaurant, YURI and VITALY sit on the steps
amongst the garbage cans.
You know who's going to inherit the earth?
Vitaly looks at him blankly.
Arms dealers - because everybody else is too
busy killing each other.
YURI plonks a glossy arms brochure in front of Vitaly. He takes in
(regarding his brother)
It's a hell of a fucking career move.
That's the point. I've seen how the world's
And you want to help with that?
You can't stop it.
(warming to his theme)
It's a basic human need - we eat, sleep,
sleep with each other and what else? Fight.
The oldest human skeletons have spearheads
in their rib cages.
Vitaly is still skeptical.
What do you know about guns?
I know which end I'd rather be on.
(adopting a serious tone)
Every day there are people shooting at each
other. I think to myself, what guns are
they using? Why not mine?
I don't know.
(pressing his argument)
Vitaly, I've tasted your borscht, you're no
fucking chef. I can eat here for free and I
still don't eat here. You're doing nothing
with your life.
Maybe doing nothing's better than doing
(referring to an image
of a gun)
Yuri, I've actually fired one of these
Yuri puts his arm around his brother's shoulder.
That's why I need you.
Brothers in arms.
Vitaly smiles, looks sold.
EXT. ISRAEL CENTRAL TEMPLE - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
ANATOLY makes his way to the synagogue. YURI, hastily adjusting his
yarmulke, falls into step.
Finally getting in touch with what's
important, my Son?
However, instead of the synagogue, he is fixed on another
distinguished Jewish man, ELI KURTZMAN, on a street corner also on
his way to temple.
It wasn't God I was trying to get close to.
Anatoly introduces Yuri to Eli, who regards Yuri warily.
Dad's contacts at synagogue landed me my first
Israeli-made Uzis and an introduction to the
biggest of the big guns.
CLOSE ON THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF A TWA 747, TAKING OFF FROM JFK.
INT. CONVENTION CENTER - PARIS. DAY.
A platoon of attractive YOUNG WOMEN in camouflage mini-dresses show off
the latest sniper rifles and grenade launchers.
An ASIAN BUSINESSMAN pitches hardware to YURI. VITALY is more
interested in the girls.
(brochure in hand)
--I can get you the shoulder-fired SA-7
surface-to-air missiles. The older Chinese
model. Not so effective against modern
military aircraft but deadly if used against
a commercial airliner. I'm giving them away
Yuri notices that his vendor's attention has wandered to a suave
older gentleman, SIMEON ZAHAROFF, surrounded by eager VENDORS of all
nationalities. The Asian man joins the enthusiastic throng.
It was the eighties and the Cold War was far
from thawed. Most of the deals were
government-to-government. There were some go-
betweens - freelancers - but it was a mostly
private club with a lifetime club president.
Yuri drags Vitaly away from the sales girls.
That's him. The guy Eli told me about. Simeon
Zaharoff. Brokered deals in the Iran/Iraq war
- both sides, sold missiles to Argentina in the
Falklands. Hets a fucking legend. I've got to
talk to him.
Yuri pushes past Zaharoff's entourage.
A BODYGUARD tries to step between Yuri and Zaharoff.
(stepping between the bodyguard
Zaharoff, irritated, nonetheless humors Yuri.
May I help you?
A mutual friend, Eli Kurtzman from Brighton
Beach Import-Export said to contact you. I
have a business proposal. Perhaps we can
discuss it - over a drink.
Simeon looks him up and down.
You're in the wrong place my young friend.
This is no place for amateurs.
Simeon walks away without another word. Vitaly shrugs. Yuri
(under his breath in Ukrainian)
Yob tvayu mat. (Subtitled - Motherfucker.)
Yuri watches Simeon go, surrounded by flunkies.
Curious how you always revert to your native
tongue in moments of extreme anger...
INT. HOTEL ROOM - PARIS. NIGHT
Camouflage minidress and beret are now discarded on the floor - a
contrast to the blue helmet seen earlier.
YURI and VITALY are getting it on with two SALES GIRLS.
We pan from one couple in the living room, Vitaly, to the one in
the bedroom, Yuri.
We focus on Yuri, in the midst of the act - hears his brother's
moans in Ukrainian.
Boh...Boh. Oh, Boh! (Subtitle: God...God.
Yuri smiles at Vitaly's cries. Something catches Yuri's eye on TV.
CLOSE UP OF A TV SCREEN
showing images of the aftermath of the suicide bombing at the U.S.
barracks in Lebanon.
Vitaly and I found our niche in under-the-
counter gunrunning - regimes suffering under
EXT. STREET - BEIRUT, LEBANON. DAY.
A street lined with shelled buildings.
Beirut, Lebanon - 1986
Through one of the shell holes, we glimpse YURI and VITALY with a
The job wasn't so different trom the U.N. I
was just as neutral working for the ununited
nations. An equal opportunity "merchant of
death", I supplied every army but the
We track with them, only getting occasional glimpses through the
holes as they make their way through the war-torn streets of
We got our start in Lebanon after the
They enter a building carrying a crude rendering of a Coke sign -
"Taste Life." The model drinking the Coke is Ava Cordova.
INT. BEIRUT WAREHOUSE. DAY.
Inside the warehouse is a ten foot high, unruly pile of junked
When the United States leaves a war zone,
they generally don't take their munitions.
It costs more to bring it back than buy new
YURI and VITALY usher the CUSTOMER over to an industrial scale
loaded with assorted weapons.
I sell by the kilo.
The CUSTOMER checks the combined weight of the weapons.
They're second-hand weapons but they're
Both men pullout calculators and start haggling over the price.
For all my language skills, I soon
discovered that what talks best is money.
As long as you can speak dollars, dinars,
drachmas, rubles, rupees, pesos, escudos,
lira, krones, kwanzas, trancs, guilders,
deutshmarks, yen and pounds-fucking-
sterling, you can communicate anywhere in
Money is finally exchanged. Yuri and Vitaly leave the Customer with
his munitions pot-pourri.
EXT. BEIRUT WAREHOUSE. DAY.
CLOSE ON a row of military decorations on an army jacket.
U.S. Army Officer, COLONEL OLIVER SOUTHERN, in dress uniform,
adjusts the ribbons on his chest in the side mirror of a U.S.
armored personnel carrier.
YURI approaches. In full view, he hands the Colonel a cut of the
The Colonel places the money in the same pocket decorated with
EXT. STREET - BEIRUT, LEBANON. DAY.
YURI and VITALY walk back along the shelled street, Yuri recounting
what's left of the money.
(irritated by the meager amount)
This is bullshit money, Vit - small fucking
What do we do, go more legitimate?
No. More illegal.
Vitaly nods thoughtfully.
What I'd give right now for a plate of red
cabbage and potatoes.
The wall explodes with gunfire.
Yuri and Vitaly drop to the ground, money flying.
The machine gun fire subsides, a shower of dust, fragments of brick
and hundred dollar bills still floating to the ground.
Vitaly, first to recover, draws his own handgun, sneaks a look
through a shell hole.
On the other side of the wall, a firing squad of MILITIAMEN has
executed one group of MEN, lying contorted, slumped against the
wall. Their bound hands and feet give the bodies a macabre
Yuri is scrabbling in the dust for the cash.
The Militiamen prepare to execute another six men. Men? We focus
on one HANDSOME YOUNG LEBANESE BOY, barely in his teens.
Vitaly, gun poised, goes to intervene. A HAND, stuffed with cash,
stops him. Yuri.
The brothers' eyes meet.
(whisper, motioning for them
It's not our fight.
Vitaly's eyes well with tears.
After one look back to the teenage boy, Vitaly reluctantly complies
- running with Yuri, heads down, away from the scene.
As they run, the wall explodes again with gunfire.
CLOSE ON RONALD REAGAN
- a cardboard cut-out planted in a sand dune.
YURI and VITALY carry a crate from a taxi onto the desert floor in
Somalia. A group of MUSLIM FREEDOM FIGHTERS eagerly surround the crate -
Yuri hands the Leader an Uzi machine gun.
I sold Israeli-made Uzis to Muslims.
The Muslim Leader tests it - shooting up the cardboard REAGAN.
His fighters applaud, Yuri and Vitaly slightly embarrassed.
EXT. HIMALAYAS. DAY.
A helicopter strains in the thin air to land on the Siachen Glacier
in the Himalayas.
YURI and VITALY, in thick parkas, emerge from the helicopter into
I sold to both Pakistan and India in their
fight tor the most inhospitable land on
INDIAN TROOPS, unseen at first due to their white camouflage
uniforms, descend on the chopper - eager to unload the new guns and
Yuri gasps for breath in the thin air. An INDIAN SOLDIER gives Yuri
a hit of oxygen as Vitaly supervises the unloading.
How's it going?
(admiring a new gun)
We're making terrific progress - most
casualties from avalanches and frostbite.
Make sure you thaw out the guns before you fight.
Yuri nods, takes another hit of oxygen.
EXT. BORDER TOWN - CONGO. DAY.
The town is deserted. YURI and VITALY are confused as they prepare
to unload an arms consignment from a truck.
We had our set-backs. It's not called
gunrunning for nothing.
Up the street, a celebration is taking place - a band, balloons,
Finally, a Congolese man, JOHN "CANNIBAL" NGAWE, appears at the
The conversation is in French.
(from the boat)
Cannibal, what's going on?
Cease fire, man. Cease fire. It's over.
What?! What do you mean it's over?
Truce. We're friends, man.
(looking to his unopened crates,
more and more agitated)
Friends?! You can't be fucking friends.
Last week I spoke to you on the phone. You
said you would not rest until every last
rebel was dead. You called them vermin.
You said would piss in their mouths, you
said you would exterminate them like
cockroaches. Just last week, you said this!
That was last week, man.
Cannibal starts to walk away.
Cannibal, don't you fucking walk away from
Cannibal flashes Yuri a peace sign.
Fuck you, Cannibal!!
Yuri looks to Vitaly.
(referring to the truck)
Maybe we can offload it - the Balkans.
(nodding in agreement)
At least when they say they're going to have
a war, they keep their word.
EXT. NORTHERN AFGHANISTAN. DAY.
YURI and VITALY stand at a checkpoint in the rugged mountains. Guns and
ammunition are strapped to donkeys tended by MUJAHIDEEN FIGHTERS. An
AFGHANI OFFICIAL inspects the cargo.
I even shipped cargo to Afghanistan when
they were still fighting fellow Russians.
But I never sold to Osama bin Laden. Not
for any moral grounds. Back then he was
always bouncing checks.
I hope you're not thinking of selling these,
(shakes his head)
There's a hundred thousand bullets here.
I'm kind of trigger happy.
Vitaly hands the Official his documentation - clipped to it, a thick
wad of bills.
The Afghani Official smiles. He returns to his mud-brick border
station beside the confiscated merchandise.
Yuri focuses on a swimsuit calendar hanging on the mud wall - Miss
May is AVA CORDOVA.
And everywhere I went, Ava Cordova kept
following me around. We were as
international as each other.
EXT. FREIGHTER SHIP. DAY.
We tilt up from the water to find YURI on the deck of a freighter,
ploughing the ballpoint blue seas off the coast of Colombia.
North of Barranquilla, Colombia - 1989
Operations like mine provided the only way
for certain regimes to conduct a respectable
VITALY holds onto a railing trying to stave off seasickness, not
helped by standing downwind from Yuri's cigarette smoke.
The freighter I was standing on carried 113
tons of weapons and ammunition for delivery
to one of the poorest nations in Latin
America in direct contravention of half a
dozen international arms embargoes.
Yuri makes a call on his cell phone.
To keep authorities in the dark, I often spoke
in code. Rocket launchers were "mothers", the
rockets "children". Assault rifles were
"apples". The AK-47 was "the Angel King".
The Angel King will arrive
tomorrow...Hallelujah to you too.
Yuri hangs up. His phone rings with an incoming call.
Yes?...Slow the fuck down--what do you mean,
tipped off? They know where we are?! Where
Yuri grabs a pair of binoculars. On the horizon, a fast-approaching
speed boat - INTERPOL AGENTS visible on the racer's deck.
VITALY and the CAPTAIN, also spying the Customs Boat, join Yuri at
Do we run?
We have to get out of here.
No, no-one's going anywhere.
(to the Captain)
Slow--dead slow. Buy me time.
Yuri swings into action, frantically dials another number on his
satellite cell phone.
(barking an order to a CREWMAN, referring
to the Panamanian flag)
Get that fucking rag down!
The CREWMAN hastily complies. Yuri's call is answered.
(trying not to sound too
It's Yuri. I need another handle for this
tub...something in our weight class.
(to an elderly Latin PAINTER,
pointing to the stern)
You, over the side!
(the painter hesitates)
The terrified PAINTER makes for the stern where he's hurriedly
Yuri returns to the phone call.
Yes, it's got to check out...you got a
shorter name!...what?--Kono? How do you
spell that?...K-O-N-O. That's good!
He hangs up.
(to the PAINTER, already blacking
out the name, KRISTOL)
The PAINTER, nods nervously from his precarious perch, starts to
Yuri sneaks another look through his binoculars. The Customs Boat
is closing fast.
(back into phone)
What are we flying?...Dutch? Later.
(hanging up, to Vitaly)
Vit, get me a Dutch flag!
Yuri checks the Customs Boat again.
Damn, they're hauling!
He checks the Painter's progress.
(agitated, grasping the line of
Faster! Or I send you in!
(checking the binoculars again)
The Painter's hand is shaking.
Vitaly is frantically rummaging through a trunk containing dozens of
VITALY (cant' d)
I don't have Dutch.
I've got Belgium.
What the fuck use is that?!
(panicked, gesturing to the stern)
He's painting a name registered in the
You got France?!
(confused, finding the tricolor)
Turn it on its side.
Vitaly turns the flag sideways - now a makeshift Dutch flag. Vitaly
Yuri looks forward. The Customs Boat has almost reached the bow of
The flag is hoisted. The Painter, barely completing the last "O" of
"KONO", is hauled back on deck.
That's it! Everybody look innocent--now!
The CREW resume their normal duties as the Customs Boat slows to a
crawl itself, at close quarters with the freighter.
The heavily-armed INTERPOL AGENTS eyeball the rusted vessel.
YURI focuses on the senior agent - JACK VALENTINE. While the other
agents wear sunglasses, long hair, tattoo or personalized uniform,
Valentine is completely by the book. His Interpol windbreaker clean
and zipped to the neck.
They say every man has his price - but not
every man gets it. Interpol Agent, Jack
Valentine, couldn't be bought, at least not
with money. For Jack, glory was the prize.
The Customs Boat ominously circles the freighter like a hungry
EXT. INTERPOL BOAT. DAY.
VALENTINE never averts his eyes from the ship.
Not exactly "The Love Boat".
Another AGENT hands him a phone.
It's clean?...It doesn't look clean. I'm
EXT. FREIGHTER / INTERPOL BOAT. DAY.
From the railing, YURI watches the Interpol boat draw alongside the
freighter. He surreptitiously makes another phone call.
(anxious whisper into phone)
It's Yuri. Phone in a sighting of the
Kristol south of Aruba.
The boat is secured to the ladder that runs down the side of the
VALENTINE checks his sidearm, climbs the ladder.
EXT. DECK - FREIGHTER. DAY.
Yuri spies a life ring emblazoned with the word "KRISTOL". He flips
it around as Valentine and the other agents board.
Valentine strides past Yuri to a container, nods to an agent to open
it. The large metal door opens to reveal a large container full of
grain - grain spilling onto the deck.
Valentine is about to plunge his hand into the grain when a mobile
A CREWMAN calls to Valentine from the bridge of the Interpol boat.
(referring to the phone)
Sir, sighting of the Kristol due north.
Valentine hesitates, returns to the ladder.
As the agents go, they fail to see the pile of grain shift in the
container exposing a crate of assault rifles hidden there.
EXT. RAILING - FREIGHTER. DAY.
Yuri and Vitaly watch the Interpol boat leap away.
On the FREIGHTER, we focus on the terrified PAINTER standing beside Yuri -
a pool of urine appears from the trouser leg.
Yuri pretends not to notice, slaps the Painter on the back.
CLOSE ON the word, "KONO". From the "O", a paint drop runs down the
EXT. BARRANQUILLA HARBOR, COLOMBIA. DAY.
YURI and VITALY supervise the unloading of the freighter from the
They are alerted by the sound of a battle raging somewhere on the
outskirts of the docks.
A Jeep, full to overflowing with heavily-armed NARCO-GUERRILLAS
suddenly appears at the far end of the dock and speeds towards them.
A military vehicle full of COLOMBIAN SOLDIERS chases the Guerrillas
several hundred yards behind.
The Jeep full of Guerrillas screeches to a stop by the freighter.
The NARC LEADER grabs a box of unloaded ammunition.
Hey, pay before you play.
The Leader smashes the box on the concrete - bullets spilling
Hey, fuck you!
(jamming his handgun in Vitaly's
Yuri tries to play peacemaker.
(reasoning with the Narc Leader)
No, you don't fuck him--
The Narc Leader turns and shoots Yuri in the side.
Yuri shudders with the impact. The enraged Vitaly lunges towards
the Leader but Yuri, despite his wound, holds him back.
No, Vit. No.
(to the Leader, referring to the
Help yourselves. Free sample.
Vitaly nurses Yuri to the ground.
The GUERRILLAS ignore them, frantically re-load just in time,
immediately start shooting at the approaching government vehicle.
The government vehicle throws a vicious 180, almost toppling over.
The Guerillas, now back in business, take off after the government
Yuri lies on the dock, genuinely surprised by the sight of his own
The first and most important rule of
gunrunning is never get shot with your own
INT. WAREHOUSE - BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA. DAY.
YURI, now heavily bandaged around the waist, and VITALY keep a
watchful eye as the NARC LEADER inspects crates of machine guns and
The second rule is always ensure you have a
foolproof way to get paid. Credit card,
check, cash. Preferably in advance, ideally
to an off-shore account. It's why I choose
my customers so carefully. Say what you
like about warlords and dictators, they tend
to have a highly developed sense of order.
They always pay their bills on time.
The Narc Leader nods his approval.
(referring to Yuri's wound)
I apologize for earlier.
WORKERS start loading the crates into a truck. The Narc Leader
hands Yuri the suitcase.
It's all there.
Yuri snaps open the suitcase - inside six kilos of cocaine.
What is this?
Six keys of pure.
I can't hand this to my fucking bank teller
at Chase Manhattan.
(hair-trigger temper flaring
You should be thanking me.
(waving his cell phone)
Have you checked the street price today?
With the seizures at the border last week,
it's jumped thirty percent.
I sell guns. I don't sell drugs.
The Narc Leader walks away.
(calling after him)
I've got standards.
The Narc Leader ignores him, climbs in his Jeep and drives off. The
truck, loaded with munitions, also exits.
Yuri and Vitaly are left alone in their warehouse.
(staring at their "remuneration")
Yuri shrugs, slices open one of the packs of cocaine. He takes a
bill from his pocket, rolls it into a tube.
He goes to hand Vitaly the tube but his brother has already rolled
Vitaly dips his tube into the coke - snorts, keeps snorting - a
longer inhale than should be possible for a human being.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA. NIGHT.
Six kilo-sized coffee cans. YURI, still bandaged, is pouring the
coffee down the toilet and replacing it with the bags of cocaine,
mumbling Ukrainian profanities as he works.
The last bag is missing.
INT. HOTEL HALLWAY. NIGHT.
In the hotel corridor, YURI discovers the door to the adjacent room wide
Inside, the room is vacant.
INT. BOLIVIAN BUS. DAY.
YURI, clearly fuming, is standing in a standing-roam-only Bolivian
public bus along with an assortment of PEASANTS, MIGRANTS and
On the wall of the bus Yuri notices a cellphone ad featuring AVA
I found Vitaly twelve days, two thousand
miles and 150 grams later in a Bolivian
INT. VITALY'S ROOM - BOARDING HOUSE. LA PAZ, BOLIVIA. DAY.
The outline of Ukraine drawn with cocaine.
VITALY, out of his mind, pupils the size of nickels, humming a
Ukrainian folk tune, is putting the finishing touches to the map
from his badly depleted bag of cocaine.
with him, two BOLIVIAN PROSTITUTES, who appear to have passed out or
A pounding on the door.
Vitaly! Open this fucking door!
Vitaly, absorbed with the task at hand, appears not to notice. Yuri
breaks in the door.
(happy - way too happy)
(to the comatose prostitutes)
It's my brother, Yuri. He's my big brother.
Yuri stares at the cocaine map.
What the fuck is that?
(indicating the direction he is
going to snort)
I start in Odessa, work my way to the
(staring at the map, appalled)
--You'll be fucking dead before you reach
Yuri opens a window, the cocaine blows off the table.
Vitaly freaks out, slams the window so hard it shatters. (The
Hookers still don't rouse.)
You fucking fuck!
Vitaly desperately tries to snort the cocaine out of the shag pile
carpet - the straw constantly clogging with carpet fibers.
Blood oozes from Vitaly's nostril. Yuri gazes down at his pathetic
EXT. ST. JOSEPH'S DRUG REHAB CLINIC. DAY.
An exclusive rehab center. A title appears:
Upstate New York - 1989
YURI's car pulls up outside, Vitaly in the passenger seat.
Get out of the car.
Vitaly doesn't budge.
I promised our parents.
Vitaly, you're going to have a good time.
This is a top place. Two Ford models
checked in last week and that cute weather
girl's been here since July.
Yuri relents, pours a gram onto the dashboard. Vitaly snorts it off
(as he wipes his nose)
You're a good brother.
Vitaly kisses Yuri.
Two ORDERLIES open the car door, escort Vitaly away.
Yuri watches his brother in the rearview mirror - shepherded up the
I never understood what separated the
recreational drug user from the habitual,
the functional addict from the
dysfunctional. But for the grace of God, it
could have been me snorting lines as long as
the Belt Parkway.
INT. CATHOLIC CHURCH - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
IRINA lights a candle in front of the Virgin Mary.
Vitaly never got completely clean despite
the prayers of my mother...
INT. SYNAGOGUE - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
ANATOLY prays in front of the menorah.
...and father. In fact, my younger brother
was the only reason my father ever had to
question his new religion.
INT. AIR MAROC JETLINER. DAY.
An EXECUTIVE sits in his Business Class seat. On the tray table in
front of him, calculator and spreadsheets.
After Colombia I became a one-man-operation.
A sole proprietor as you say on your tax
return - that is if you're foolish enough to
fill one out.
He exchanges a collegial smile with YURI who has similar
entrepreneurial paraphernalia in front of him.
By then I'd mastered my craft. Selling arms
is not so different to selling vacuum
cleaners. You advertise, pound the
pavement, take orders.
The businessman's smile dissolves when he catches a glance at the
brochure lying next to Yuri's "Day-Runner" - glossy photos of
A MONTAGE OF SCENES - ILLUSTRATING THE ANATOMY OF AN ARMS DEAL.
It takes place in an unidentified country in North Africa.
Of course, a good arms dealer also has to be
a political scientist. I go by a seven-step
YURI gets off a plane.
One: identity a government and an opposition
where the opposition is ignored.
YURI immediately picks up a newspaper, eager for the latest news.
Two: Wait for a radical group to break away
from the opposition.
YURI is buoyed by the front page news, over-tips the NEWSPAPER
Three: Immediately approach the radical
group and offer them arms.
YURI meets a group of REVOLUTIONARIES in a backstreet bar, shows
them an arms catalogue.
Four: Whether they buy or not, inform the
government that the radical group approached
you and offer the government arms.
YURI meets a GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL in the parliament buildings, shows
him the same catalogue.
Five: Whether they buy or not, re-approach
the radical group and offer them more arms
but now at a higher price. Increasing
tension is a means of generating demand and
the ideal situation is to sell to both
YURI meets the REVOLUTIONARIES a second time in the same bar - this
time they are more enthusiastic and Yuri has his calculator out.
Six: If they start shooting at each other,
the escalation is underway.
YURI, now accompanied by bodyguards, is escorted into the government
buildings, where he's given a fat envelope.
Back at the bar, YURI is given an even fatter envelope.
They are consuming small arms and ammunition
and the cash register is well and truly
YURI stands at his hotel window, sneaking a look through grimy
venetian blinds. A street battle is taking place.
However, in Yuri's mind the sound of the gunshots is gradually
replaced by the sound ot a cash register. Each time a gun is fired,
the register rings.
Yuri shuts the window.
Seven: Don't forget that the success of a
radical group in one country can inspire a
radical group in a neighboring country.
Yuri boards a plane, taking off for a new conflict zone.
INT. AIR MAROC JETLINER. DAY.
YURI leans back in his Business Class seat - eyes closed. They
suddenly blink open. He feels someone watching him.
Sure enough, he is face-to-face with AVA CORDOVA - staring at him
from a magazine cover in the seat pocket next to him.
INT. MODEL AGENCY. DAY.
A gallery of MODELS from the late-eighties on VOGUE, HARPER'S
BAZAAR, ELLE magazine covers, blown-up and framed on a white wall.
An AGENT with a window-office overlooking Park Avenue talks on the
phone. In front of her, the headshot of AVA CORDOVA.
--There's really no one else you'd consider?
Christie and Brooke are both available...not
the right look? It's just that Ava doesn't
generally do print.
The agent examines an envelope stuffed with cash.
However, since you are willing to double her
rate and pay cash in advance. She loves
working with Herb and you say the campaign
will only be seen in Asia?
(examining a first class plane ticket
Destination: St. Barts)
I certainly can't see her objecting to the
(inspecting an itinerary)
What is the product again...?
INT. ARMS SHOW CONVENTION HALL. DAY.
YURI talks on a phone as he browses at an arms show. He stops at a
display of handguns.
The product? Er,...Colt .45.
INT. EDEN ROCK HOTEL - ST. BARTHELEMY, FRENCH CARIBBEAN. DAY.
An idyllic beachfront hotel.
AVA CORDOVA enters an empty reception area. The RECEPTIONIST hands
her a fax - Ava's face falls.
YURI sits by the deserted pool, observing her entrance.
It cost me twenty for the fake booking,
another twelve to buy out the hotel. You
can't force someone to tall in love with you
but you can sure make ita damn sight
INT. HOTEL RESTAURANT. DUSK.
A large restaurant overlooking the ocean.
AVA and YURI are the only guests, both eating alone. They make eye-
contact - exchange polite smiles.
EXT. PRIVATE BEACH. DAY.
AVA strolls down to the beach, deserted, save for YURI - sunbathing
some distance away on one of the hundred empty sunbeds.
Ava dives into the water. Behind his sunglasses, Yuri watches her.
Towelling off on a sunbed of her own, Ava glances over to Yuri. It
seems crazy not to speak to each other. Ava breaks the ice.
(calling to Yuri)
Popular hotel, huh?
Yuri smiles. Ava approaches, extends a hand.
Yuri Orlov. What brings you to St. Barts?
A photo shoot. At least, that was the plan.
But the photographer's plane got stuck in
Miami. Hurricane - though there was nothing
in the news.
(gazing out at the ocean)
Those things can come out of nowhere.
The job's cancelled and there's no flight
back to New York 'til Tuesday.
Yuri pretends to ponder her predicament.
You can hitch a ride with me if you like.
Ava regards him cautiously - likes what she sees.
(picking up his own camera)
In the meantime, why don't I take your
Ava smiles, poses playfully for him.
In my experience some of the most successful
relationships are founded on lies and
deceit. Since that's where they usually end
up anyway, it's a logical place to start.
EXT. ST. BARTHELEMY AIRPORT. DAY.
A limousine approaches a Lear jet parked on the tarmac of the one-
runway airport. YURI and AVA exit the car.
I nearly went broke trying to convince her I
was anything but. I knew Ava was not the
kind of woman to be seduced by a ride in a
private jet unless you owned the jet.
CLOSE ON the tail of the jet - the name "ORLOV AIR".
(holding her skirt in the wind to
protect her modesty)
This is your plane?
That is my name.
They enter the plane.
Of course I was lying. The plane was a rental,
like the car and even the suit I was standing
in. At the last minute, I bribed the crew for
As the plane picks up speed on the runway, the name "ORLOV" smears.
Luckily, by the time we landed, Ava wasn't
looking anywhere but in my eyes.
INT. LEAR JET. DAY.
YURI and AVA sit beside each other on a white leather sofa in the
customized cabin drinking Cristal champagne.
Yuri glances through Vogue magazine - a photo spread on Ava. Ava
takes in the plane's sumptuous appointments.
(pretending to be impressed with
I had no idea.
He hands her back the magazine.
I'm sorry I didn't recognize you. You must
think me very rude.
Don't apologize. I put on clothes for a
At least you aren't taking them off.
(smiling at his irreverence)
I would be if half the photographers had
But I can't complain. I'm paid to say,
(meeting his gaze)
What about you?
Nothing so glamorous. I'm in transport -
international air freight mostly.
What, like UPS or something?
Something like that.
(glance to her champagne flute)
Business is good.
Like you, I can't complain.
They both drink. A thought occurs to Ava.
But if you did?
Well...I don't know.
It's just that I travel all around the world
but I can't help feeling sometimes that I'm
Ava regards him closely. He's echoed her thoughts. Yuri pours Ava
(raising his glass)
Without it, I'd never have met you.
She meets his eye.
This is no accident, is it, Yuri?
Yuri freezes - doesn't answer.
It feels like fate.
(never averting his eyes)
I don't believe in fate.
What do you believe in?
Yuri gazes at her a moment - he answers her question with a kiss.
Ava does not pull away.
INT. LEAR JET - BEDROOM. DAY.
CLOUDS rush by the faces of YURI and AVA, heads close to the plane's
They make love in a wall-to-wall bed built into the rear of the jet.
The camera moves past the couple through one of the plane's windows,
and the clouds begin to rain.
EXT. ISRAEL CENTRAL TEMPLE - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
Confetti. YURI and AVA run through the paper shower as they descend
the steps of a synagogue in Brighton Beach.
We married in a synagogue to make my father
happy. In the eyes of my Catholic mother,
it was worse than living in sin.
Yuri and Ava kiss his parents, ANATOLY and IRINA.
As the happy couple reaches the limousine, VITALY - out of rehab and
out of his mind - fires an AK-47 into the air as a salute.
The GUESTS drop to the ground - the only ones left standing are Yuri
Yuri stares daggers at Vitaly, helps Ava to her feet.
(explaining to the guests)
(meekly echoing the remark -joke
The guests nod, uncertain.
One more time, Vitaly.
Vitaly lets go another burst.
(reassuring word as he whisks Ava
into the car)
I'm sorry. I should have said something.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT. DAY.
YURI carries AVA over the threshold of their new home to cheers of
the assembled GUESTS.
ANATOLY and IRINA gape in amazement at the grand house. They draw
their son aside.
(touching his yarmulke)
Always remember, son, there's something
(looking up, gently joking)
Sure, Dad. A forty-thousand dollar crystal
Anatoly forces a smile. Irina presses a gift into Yuri's hand.
Mom, we don't need anything.
You need this.
Irina takes Anatoly's arm, they walk away.
Yuri, alone for a moment, opens the package - a small Roman Catholic
Bible, conveniently bookmarked at the Ten Commandments.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT. DAY.
A newborn baby boy, NICOLAI, plays in the wrapping paper of opened
gifts beneath an extravagantly-decorated Christmas tree.
New York - December 25, 1991
I was still living way beyond my means,
mortgaged to the hilt, using one credit card
to payoff another. Anything to keep Ava in
the style to which she had, thanks largely
to me, become accustomed. Then suddenly all
my Christmases came at once.
A family Christmas - Anatoly, Irina and Ava open gifts. Baby Nicolai
wriggles on a blanket, trying to reach a piece of tinsel.
(to Irina, regarding a nativity
scene on a Christmas card)
Jesus was Jewish. You're worshipping a Jew.
Irina ignores him. She regards a gift - a silver goblet set from
Ava, this is too much.
Yuri likes to spoil you.
Nicolai crawls an inch. AVA beams proudly.
Nicki! You did it. Good boy!
That's my grandson.
Ava looks around for Yuri.
Yuri. Don't you want to see what your son
No reply. Ava wraps the piece of tinsel around the baby's head.
A loud shout from the other room.
Tak! Tak! Tak-fucking-tak! (subtitle:
Ava scoops up the baby. With Anatoly and Irina, they go to
On the television, MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, is making his famous speech,
officially ending the Cold War.
Yuri kneels in front of the TV as if it is an altar.
What the hell's the matter?
It's over! It's over!
The Cold War, the Soviet Union, the Evil
Empire. Mikhail's saying "no mas". He's
throwing in the towel. It's over.
Yuri kisses Ava, Nicolai, Anatoly, Irina, kisses the TV.
(referring to Nicolai)
Your son is crawling.
Yuri's too busy kissing Gorbachev's birthmark.
He gazes at the TV, revelling in the plan taking shape in his head.
In the living room, AVA and IRINA play with NICOLAI. YURI and
ANATOLY drink Johnnie Walker Black label.
(contemplating the day's events)
At least there'll be religious freedom.
I think I'll go back for a visit.
(trying to sound casual)
Do you stay in touch with Uncle Dmitri?
(face lighting up)
Dmitri Volkoff? Now and then.
How is he?
The luckiest man alive. You know he was one
of the first men at Chernobyl. Off-duty, at
his daughter's wedding, he was roaring
drunk. He was the only one who survived.
Later they found that alcohol in your blood
He's still a General in the army?
Major General. He got promoted. Two of his
rivals were also there that day. I told you
- he's the luckiest man alive.
He may be luckier than you think.
Yuri goes to pour himself a drink. Anatoly grabs his son's hand the
way he did many years earlier.
(lowering his voice)
We're not fools, Yuri. What's between you and
your wife is your own business but I don't
think you're going to Odessa to open a
(meeting his son's eye)
Is this how you want to be remembered?
You're only remembered when you're dead.
Yuri knocks back his vodka, tries to lighten the mood.
I'll bring you back some caviar.
It's not kosher.
A crash. VITALY and a call-girl, ANGEL, dressed in a low-cut fairy
dress, stumble through the front door - both the worse for drink and
Merry fucking Christmas!
Angel laughs. The family gazes at Vitaly and his friend, appalled.
Vitaly, who is this?
Her name really is Angel. She's a fairy.
Let's stick her on top of the Christmas
Vitaly and Angel laugh. No one else does.
Vitaly collapses on the floor. Nicolai cries.
VITALY (cont' d)
(at a loss for anything better)
I love you all.
Yuri firmly escorts Angel to the door and pays her off.
EXT. ST. JOSEPH'S DRUG REHAB CLINIC - UPSTATE NEW YORK. DAY.
YURI drops VITALY back at the exclusive rehab center.
By now Yuri knows the routine. He pours a gram onto the dashboard.
I'm going back to Ukraine.
Vitaly snorts it off the dash.
I miss Odessa. I miss you.
I miss you too.
Vitaly kisses Yuri.
(meeting his brother's eye)
Be careful, Yuri. Those things you sell,
(tapping Yuri's chest where his
heart should be)
Two ORDERLIES open the car door, escort Vitaly away. Yuri stares
INT. UPPER EASTSIDE APARTMENT. DAY.
AVA and NICKI kiss YURI goodbye.
EXT./INT. PUBLIC STORAGE FACILITY - MANHATTAN. MORNING.
YURI enters a public storage facility, opens a locker with a
There's no problem leading a double life.
It's the triple and quadruple lives that get
you in the end.
He produces several passports from the locker, shuffles the
passports like playing cards.
Back then I carried a French, British, Israeli and
Ukrainian passport and a student visa for the
U.S., but that's another story.
The locker also contains five identical briefcases - presumably he
can tell them apart.
I also packed five different briefcases
depending on the region of the world I was
EXT. BORDER CHECKPOINT - IZMAYIL, UKRAINE. DAY.
Light snow falls. YURI, driving a brand new Mercedes, waits in a
long line of cars at the border.
Izmayil, Ukraine - January, 1992
The end of the Cold War was the beginning of
the hottest time in arms dealing. The Wall
had fallen. The arms bazaar was open.
Those forty-five years had generated the
highest weapons build-up in history. The
Soviets had tanks and guns coming out the
demon hole - huge stockpiles and now no
A Border Guard approaches Yuri's car window.
(in English, checking Yuri's
Yuri hands the Guard his passport. Inside, a credit card
The guard smiles.
BORDER GUARD (cont'd)
Cash or check only.
Yuri smiles, hands him several U.S. bills. Yuri's passport is
promptly stamped. He is waved past the line of cars.
It's good to be home.
EXT. ODESSA MILITARY BASE. DAY.
YURI, briefcase in hand, meets his Uncle DMITRI at a barracks. (NB:
Dmitri always carries a hip flask of vodka as if there is a constant
threat of radiation poisoning.)
Nephew, come here and hug the luckiest man
The General gives him a great bear hug. Dmitri registers the
apprehensive look on Yuri's face.
What? Did you think I'd be glowing? Don't
worry. You can't catch it.
Yuri kisses Dmitri on the cheek to reassure him. Over his shoulder,
Dmitri notices the car.
(referring to the car)
This is the SLK?
0 - 60 in 4.8.
Dmitri is impressed.
INT. ODESSA MILITARY BASE - OFFICE. DAY.
YURI has a stack of VCR's, cartons of cigarettes, Johnnie Walker
Black Label on the table in front of DMITRI who drinks from his hip
flask throughout the conversation.
I can't just sell you government property,
Yuri. I have to report--
--Report to who? Moscow? As of last week
Moscow is in a foreign country.
New flag, new boss.
There is no new boss yet. They're too busy
squabbling over who gets the presidential
holiday home at the Black Sea.
Dmitri can't deny it.
(talking like an evangelist)
It's beautiful. The ones who know don't
care any more. The ones who care don't
(nodding to a safe built
into the floor)
Show me your inventory.
Dmitri hesitates, knocks back his vodka, then opens the safe -
produces a document.
INT. ODESSA MILITARY BASE - ARMORY. DAY.
Crates of machine guns from floor to ceiling. DMITRI gives YURI a
tour of the armory.
How many Kalashnikovs do you have?
(referring to the inventory in
(looking over Dmitri's shoulder)
Is that a "4"? It doesn't look like a "4"
to me. It looks more like a "1".
(missing the point)
No, it's a "4".
It's whatever we say it is because no one
else knows the difference.
Dmitri finally gets it. Yuri examines a Kalashnikov.
10,000 Kalashnikovs for a battalion. Your
stocks are dangerously depleted, Dmitri.
You should order more from the factory.
This is too much for Dmitri. He stops, confronts Yuri - takes back
the AK-47 Yuri is inspecting.
Someone will work this out, Yuri. What
We'll cut them in. Anyway, what could
happen - you're the luckiest man alive.
EXT. ODESSA MILITARY BASE. DUSK.
The sun sets over a grassy field. YURI sits alone - closely
inspects a Kalashnikov.
It is a strange moment between a man and his favorite gun.
As we hear Yuri's thoughts, we are treated to lovingly shot close
ups of the weapon and its features often seen in slow motion: Sun
glistening off the chromed barrel. Folding metal stock arcing
elegantly into place. Precise docking of the 30-round curved
Avtomat Kalashnikova, model of 1947 - more
commonly known as the AK-47 or Kalashnikov.
It's the world's most popular assault ritle
- a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly
simple nine pound amalgamation of forged
steel and molded plastic. It doesn't break,
jam or over-heat. It will shoot whether its
covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so
easy, even a child can use it. And they do.
The Russians put the gun on a coin.
Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the
end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has
become the Russian peoples' greatest export
- after that comes vodka and suicidal
novelists. One thing's for sure, no one was
lining up to buy their cars.
We reveal where Yuri is sitting - on the roof of a rusting Russian
sedan, the Vaz 4-door. A goat is eating the upholstery.
Yuri checks on the crates of AK-47's being loaded into a convoy of
trucks. In the background, the armory, full a week ago, is now
virtually empty. Yuri smiles a satisfied smile.
His reverie is interrupted by the sound of a car horn.
A commotion at the gate. Another large, black Mercedes is parked
there, DRIVER leaning on the horn.
YURI smiles as he sees the passenger emerge from the car - SIMEON
Of course my idea was not entirely unique.
I had rivals.
Simeon angrily confronts the SOLDIER at the gate.
DMITRI puts on his cap, about to investigate. YURI stops him.
He's a friend of mine.
Dmitri shrugs and complies. Yuri strides towards the gate.
EXT. ODESSA MILITARY BASE - GATE. DUSK.
SIMEON, flanked by two hefty BODYGUARDS, is in the face of a YOUNG
The Officer is flanked by three SOLDIERS, Kalashnikovs resting on
Do you know who the fuck I am?
(thick Ukrainian accent)
Who the fuck cares who the fuck you are?
I demand to see your commanding officer.
You don't demand shit.
Simeon reconsiders his position.
Just give me back my papers.
(papers clearly visible in his
The Officer turns on his heel and returns to his guard station with
the passport, starts watching TV. The Bodyguards make to follow but
the Soldiers close ranks, barring their path.
You're late, Simeon.
YURI breezes past the Soldiers with an easy familiarity. He enters
the guard station as if he owns it.
From beside his car, Simeon watches as Yuri jovially discusses the
situation with the Young Officer. After a moment Yuri slips the
Officer money in exchange for Simeon's passport.
Yuri emerges from the station and returns the passport to the
I invited you for a drink once before.
Perhaps now you will accept my invitation.
INT. ODESSA HOTEL BAR. NIGHT.
YURI and SIMEON sit at a table near the back of the bar. Yuri flirts with
the BARMAID delivering drinks and a shellfish appetizer.
(to Yuri, impressed)
You sell guns?
Maybe you'd like to come to my room and see
The Barmaid giggles and exits.
Simeon is clearly disquieted by the change in the balance of power or
maybe it's the bad early-nineties pop music. His BODYGUARDS sit
at the table behind.
You look a little lost, Simeon. Is the
world changing too fast?
I am here, aren't I?
Not all of you, I think.
Simeon's look begs explanation.
You've gotten so rich selling for the CIA,
you can't get that ideology completely out
of your head. The empire was evil for too
I can't deny, it takes some getting used to.
Last week we were trying to beat their
brains in and now we're going into business
There's no place in gunrunning for politics
anymore, Simeon. I sell to leftists,
rightists. I'd sell to pacifists but
they're not the most regular of customers.
Yuri leans forward.
Of course, you're not a true internationalist
until you've supplied weapons to kill your own
Simeon regards the young man with a mixture of fear and admiration pours
himself another drink.
I understand you have Ukraine in your pocket
but there are the other satellite states.
Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Belarus. Instead
of cutting each other's throats, it may be
more profitable to work together. What do
Yuri smiles - the proposal is the victory he has been seeking.
I think you are the amateur now. I think
you suffer from a philosophical disadvantage
- you have a philosophy. I think you should
go with your instincts - your first
Simeon is confused.
I am the same man who was not good enough
for you before. I am not good enough for
Simeon blanches. Yuri gets up.
Simeon holds his rival's arm.
The problem with gunrunners going to war is
there's no shortage of ammunition.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - ODESSA HOTEL. NIGHT.
YURI and the BARMAID never make it to the bed. Still clothed, they bang
each other against the door of his hotel room.
Back then, it was all for sale...
EXT. UKRAINE MILITARY BASE. DAY.
Row after row of tanks, armored personnel carriers and helicopter
gunships in mothballs.
Helicopters, torpedo boats, armored
personnel carriers, whole tank divisions.
DMITRI, flask in hand, and YURI are given a tour of the surplus hardware
by one of Dmitri's brother officers.
(haggling over the gunships)
--I'll tell you what I'll do. Buy six, you
get one free.
What about tech support?
Yuri and Dmitri come upon an oily-faced BOY, perched on the cockpit
of a helicopter gunship - he wears an ill-fitting uniform, several
sizes too big.
Son, get off there before you get hurt.
He's the tech support.
Thirteen. Almost fourteen.
Kids grow up fast around here.
(nodding to the gunship)
He can take it apart in his sleep.
Yuri shrugs, shakes the Major's hand.
EXT. HILL OVERLOOKING ODESSA HARBOR. DAY.
THE POV FROM A PAIR OF BINOCULARS - in the crosshairs, JACK
VALENTINE, at a surprise checkpoint, staring through binoculars of
Who are you?
YURI, on his belly to avoid detection, slithers back to the roadway
- hands the binoculars to a YOUNG SOLDIER.
DMITRI stands beside the convoy of trucks parked barely out of view
of the checkpoint, including Yuri's Mercedes and a huge open-bed
tractor-trailer carrying a Russian Hind helicopter gunship.
(angrily to Dmitri)
I thought we were supposed to be watching
for these checkpoints.
How can I? You keep selling my helicopters.
You're too greedy, Yuri.
We have to go back.
Dmitri regards the trucks, each one longer than the road is wide.
We'll be going in reverse. We can't turn
around for a mile.
The YOUNG SOLDIER on lookout calls to them.
Yuri grabs the binoculars. Sure enough, Valentine and his agents
are climbing into their Interpol Jeeps and driving towards them.
We shoot it out?
(shaking his head)
And start an international fucking incident
- no, no, no.
So we run.
No. I've got paperwork.
Not for the gunship. Yuri, you know the
penalty for sanction-busting - selling a
Yuri gazes at the Russian Mi-24V helicopter gunship, bristling with
It's not a military helicopter. It's a
Yuri turns to the Boy referred to as "tech support".
YURI (cant' d)
Get to work, Son.
The boy pulls a wrench from his pocket.
SEVERAL MINUTES LATER
The Interpol Jeeps crest the rise and pull in front of the convoy -
VALENTINE and his agents exit, guns drawn.
DMITRI and the UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS stiffen, their weapons also at the
ready. An uneasy stand-off.
YURI gestures for calm. He greets Valentine warmly - offers his
In reply, an Interpol Agent unceremoniously slams Yuri into the side
of his truck.
Again Yuri waves off Dmitri and his men, about to come to his aid.
Yuri courteously hands over his passport and other documentation to
the skeptical Valentine.
(regarding the photo closely)
Mr. Orlov, always in the wrong place at the
right time. We've met before. Off the
coast of Colombia.
(feigning memory loss)
What was the name of that freighter - I
can't remember. Was it the Kono or the
(hesitates, he's actually forgotten)
The crew called that vessel a lot of names - none of
them repeatable in polite company.
Valentine turns his attention to the helicopter - now devoid of its
weapons. An Interpol Agent escorts Yuri at gunpoint.
(noting to the gun in his ribs)
The new MP-5. Do you need a silencer for
Valentine ignores the banter, inspects Yuri's documentation.
The end-user certificate for this aircraft
states Burkina Faso. Nice. Did you type it
It's for humanitarian missions.
You're a humanitarian?
Yuri shrugs - why not?
(not buying it for a second)
This is a killing machine.
Not any more.
(in broken English)
Listen to the nephew.
It's true. Yuri has had the armaments detached.
Didn't you get the memo? The war's over.
What can they do with military hardware but
convert to civilian use?
(trying to lighten the mood)
The only way you could die from this baby is
if a food drop hits you.
Valentine's face hardens at the flippant remark.
Still at gunpoint, Yuri is escorted to the smaller second truck in
the convoy. Stacked inside the container are the helicopter's
hurriedly removed missiles and the Boy.
(referring to the missiles)
Also going to Burkina Faso?
(pointing to the document)
But to a different client at a different
Valentine, incensed, throws Yuri up against the truck himself.
What do you take me for? A complete fucking
(eyeing Valentine's gun pressed to
Not complete, Sir. And while I hesitate to
tell you your job, I must point out that
when shipped separately the weapons and the
aircraft both comply with the current
Interpol trade standards and practices.
You expect me to believe this is a
I can see how certain people might interpret
it as suspicious but thank God we live in a
world where suspicion alone does not
constitute a crime.
Valentine regards Yuri closely - this foe is more formidable than he
Valentine looks to the gun in his hand, contemplating crossing the
line. He finally holsters his gun.
(tosses the documents on the road)
Yuri Orlov. You and I are going to be
seeing a lot of each other.
I can hardly wait.
(climbing into his Jeep)
Watch out for the time you don't see me.
Yuri, Dmitri and the Boy watch Valentine speed away.
(perfect American accent)
What an asshole.
Yuri looks to the boy, askance - a Yuri in the making.
EXT. ODESSA HARBOR. DAY.
YURI supervises the loading of the cargo onto a freighter. Checking
the empty trucks, he is just in time to see SIMEON and his HENCHMEN
climb into their car, parked beside his own car, some distance away.
As he drives off, Simeon and Yuri make brief eye-contact.
Yuri looks for DMITRI, exiting a nearby restroom - carrying his hip
flask as usual, the worse for drink.
(referring to the departing
What was he doing here?
(zipping his pants)
Trying to beat your offer. I sent him on
his way. He doesn't understand the concept
Dmitri glances at the SOLDIERS around the docks.
Speaking of loyalty, too many people know.
I have to make pay-offs.
Don't worry. There're more VCR's. I left
them in your new car.
Dmitri's face lights up. Yuri hands him the keys to the SKL.
Even your enemy was admiring that car. I am
the luckiest man alive.
Dmitri hands his hip flask to Yuri. Yuri watches Dmitri walk to the
car and climb in for a test drive.
A look of realization on Yuri's face.
(screaming to Dmitri)
The car erupts as if it has been punched by a fist beneath the
Recovered from the blast, Yuri runs up to the burning car but is
beaten back by the flames.
EXT. DOCKS. NIGHT.
CLOSE ON a bent Mercedes medallion, now worn around the BOY's neck.
He regards it forlornly.
YURI, numb, still carrying Dmitri's hip flask, makes a call from a
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT - MANHATTAN. DAY.
A darkened bedroom. AVA is fast asleep in her bed, curled up with
The phone rings. Half-asleep, Ava reaches for it.
Yes, I'll accept the charges.
We cut between the two sides of the conversation.
(glancing to a clock - 3am)
You forgotten what time it is?
Sorry. I, er...
(talking about anything other than
what's on his mind)
How was your audition?
They're going in another direction. The
direction of someone who can act.
Don't say that. You're good.
And you're biased.
Ava grabs her robe - goes to the balcony so as not to disturb
(sensing something amiss)
Where are you? Is everything okay?
Rough day at the office.
Come home. We miss you.
(more desperate than he intended)
Asleep in our bed. It's lonely without you.
From a bar down the street comes the sound of gunfire - MOBSTERS
firing at other MOBSTERS escaping in a car.
Yuri tries to cover the phone but Ava overhears.
Yuri, what's that?
It's always a party where you are.
More gunfire interrupts.
I'd better go. I just wanted to call--hear
your voice. Kiss Nicki for me.
I love you.
But Yuri has gone.
EXT. ODESSA HARBOR. DAY.
The freighter slips out of the harbor.
In Ukraine since 1992, $32 billion worth of
arms have been stolen and re-sold. One of
the greatest heists of the 20th Century.
EXT. DOCKSIDE - MONROVIA. DAY.
Crates of munitions are unloaded from the freighter onto waiting
trucks under YURI's supervision.
The primary market was Africa. Eleven major conflicts
involving 32 countries in the past decade - a
gunrunner's wet dream.
Yuri sizes up the MILITIAMEN loading the arms.
My best customer was self-declared president
of Liberia, Andre Baptiste. Even though
we'd met before, I was in no hurry to meet
him again. He'd gotten a reputation for
routinely hacking off the limbs of those who
opposed him. His seven-year civil war has
been described as "a relentless campaign of
sadistic, wanton violence unimaginable to
those unfamiliar with the details of man's
capacity to visit the abyss." That kind of
sums up Andy for me.
As the final truck door is secured, a customized Lincoln
Continental convertible comes flying around a corner - stereo
blaring, deliberately terrorizing the locals on the dock.
The car slides to a stop beside Yuri. It contains ANDRE BAPTISTE
JNR., a handsome young man with sunglasses, a mirror for an
earring and a facial tattoo. Also in the car, two BODYGUARDS and
a pair of LIBERIAN TEENAGE GIRLS dressed in Dallas Cowboy
Mr. Yuri, I am Andre Baptiste Junior. My
father would like to meet you.
Thank him but I have other business. A busy
It is not optional. My father is easily
Yuri ponders for a moment. The machete in the Bodyguard's hand
makes up his mind.
What do you know? My schedule just freed up.
A bodyguard takes Yuri's suitcase. Yuri is barely in the car before
it screeches away.
As the car roars along the highway on the edge of control, we hear
But if I thought I was scared of Andre
Senior, I knew I was scared of Andre Junior.
Like father, like son. The guava doesn't
fall too far from the tree. He was a heavy-
drinker, a womanizer with a penchant for
cheerleaders and a lover of fast American
automobiles which he drove recklessly and
with total impunity around the streets of
the capital. Oh yes, he was also a
cannibal. They say Andre would eat a
victim's heart while it was still beating to
give him superhuman strength. I could've
told him he'd get the same effect from a
pastrami sandwich at Carnegie's Deli.
Andre announces his arrival in the main street of Monrovia with a
burst of gunfire. The city, a violent clash of cultures. Goats and
Monrovia itself was like being on another
planet. Planet Monrovia. From the
temperature it was obviously a planet close
to the sun. I rarely saw another white man
even at my hotel that was soon dubbed the
"Little Kremlin". And I never left town
alone. Outside town, was the edge of hell.
I didn't want to even gaze into it.
The car pulls up to Monrovia's premier hotel. A DEAD BODY on the
ground attracts no attention whatsoever.
This is your hotel.
A PORTER, carrying Yuri's suitcase, steps over the dead body.
ANDRE JNR. (cont'd)
Can you bring me the gun of Rambo?
Part One, Two or Three?
I have only seen Part One.
The M60. You want the attachable grenade
Please. And the armor piercing bullets.
(revving the car)
I will be back to get you in an hour...or
two. It's Liberia.
We left a welcoming present in your room.
Yuri nods, uncertainly.
INT. HOTEL AFRICA - LIBERIA. DAY.
YURI enters the hotel.
At the reception desk, two HOTEL PORTERS watch a small, portable TV
- CNN coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial - gruesome evidence photos.
HOTEL PORTER #1
(never averting his eyes from the
My God, he nearly cut off her head.
HOTEL PORTER #2
When I get to America, I will not live in
The CONCIERGE hands Yuri a key.
INT. HALLWAY / HOTEL ROOM. DAY.
YURI goes to open his hotel room door - hears music from inside,
Two stunning LIBERIAN GIRLS sit naked on the bed bopping to
Madonna's lILike A Prayer".
In the most AIDS infested region of the
globe, where one in four is infected,
Andre's idea of a joke was to put a young
Iman and a young Naomi naked in my bed and
no condom within a hundred miles.
Hello, Mr. Yuri.
We'd be happy to make you happy.
The two goddesses drape themselves around him.
Don't worry, we don't have anything.
How do you know?
Do we look like it?
(fending them off but with little
What if I have AIDS? Don't you worry?
Gloria's lips gently touch his.
You worry too much.
Faith begins to unbutton his shirt.
Why worry about something that can kill you
in ten years when there are so many things
that can kill you today?
Gloria's hands go to his belt buckle, start to unfasten it.
How can we make you happy?
With great reluctance Yuri reaches behind him and opens the door.
EXT. HOTEL - CORRIDOR. DAY.
FAITH and GLORIA, still buck-naked, are tossed into the hallway,
their clothes flung after them, door slammed shut.
INT. BAPTISTE'S PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE - MONROVIA. DAY.
A Glock .45, Heckler & Koch .40 and a Beretta 9mm sitm on the ostentatious
mahogany desk in front of President of Liberia, ANDRE BAPTISTE - a few
pounds heavier, still wearing the same size uniform. ANDRE JNR. watches
over his shoulder.
Andre Baptiste examines each handgun methodically.
In front of him, a pensive YURI, taking in his surroundings. Half a
dozen gun-toting ELITE GUARDS keep an idle watch. Several HOSTESSES tend
to a refreshments table. On a nearby sofa, a LIEUTENANT flirts with one
of the hostesses.
Baptiste glances over to the Lieutenant, irritated.
(providing a commentary)
--that's the Beretta, comes with a 36
cartridge, easy-operating clip--
Baptiste tests the loading mechanism.
The Lieutenant on the sofa is still not paying attention.
Baptiste casually points the gun at the Lieutenant and shoots him in
the head - a large portion of his brain splattering across the
Jesus, why did you do that?
Baptiste, clearly not used to having his actions questioned, turns
the gun on Yuri. He's next.
What did you say?
Yuri, staring down the barrel of the Beretta, recovers fast.
(feigning anger, gesturing at the
Now you're going to have to buy it.
(grabbing the gun from Baptiste)
It's a used gun. I can't sell a used gun.
Baptiste is taken aback. He suddenly bursts into laughter.
A used gun. That's a good one.
The other Officers laugh uncertainly.
The Lieutenant's body is dragged out - leaving a smear of blood
across the marble floor.
Baptiste, seemingly oblivious to the carnage he's wreaked, resumes
talking to Yuri, in a measured way as if he's discussing the sad
state of punctuality in contemporary society.
(confiding in Yuri)
There's no discipline with the young boys.
I try to set an example but it's difficult.
I blame the MTV.
Yuri nods, disguising his terror.
Baptiste, checking his Rolex Oyster, rises from his desk.
Let me show you something.
EXT. BAPTISTE'S PRESIDENTIAL MANSION. DAY.
The camera tracks along the MILITIA - however only the very tops of
their heads are visible.
I had heard of the "Boy Brigades", "Small
Boy Units", "Kalashnikov Kids". The theory
was that a bullet coming from a fourteen
year old is just as effective as one trom a
forty year old.
ANDRE BAPTISTE haggles with YURI as he inspects his troops ranging
from twelve to fourteen. Yuri, averts his eyes from the boys,
uncomfortable reviewing soldiers a head shorter than he.
OLDER SOLDIERS fill the ranks behind.
I can't pay your asking price, Yuri. We are
not a rich people and the market is already
flooded with your Kalashnikovs. In some
places you can buy one for the price of a
You can't just look at the unit price. You
forget the ancillary costs. End user
certificates need to be forged and
notarized, shell companies set up, insurance
purchased, pilots and crews hired. Not to
mention the bribes. You can't get a nut
and bolt out of the Eastern bloc without a
bribe. There's one bribe for the nut.
Another for the bolt. This is an expensive
Andre interrogates Yuri's eyes.
I pay in timber...or stones.
Baptiste produces a handful of uncut diamonds from his pocket. Yuri's eyes
widen at the sight of the very precious stones.
(regarding the stones)
I'll take the stones. It's hard to get a
tree trunk in my hand luggage.
Andre smiles. He turns to his new Lieutenant.
(referring to the inspection)
Very professional, Lieutenant.
(dismissing the troops)
Yuri and Andre watch the troops disperse.
I know you're planning a new offensive. If
you delay a week I can get you the armored
personnel carriers we talked about. They
would give you a significant strategic
Andre nods, grateful for the free tactical advice - regards Yuri in
a new light.
They say I am the lord of war. But perhaps
it is you.
It's not "lord of war". It's "warlord".
I like it my way.
Andre smiles again. They are going to be fast friends.
He leaves Yuri alone to examine his uncut diamonds in his hand.
Diamonds are far less bulky than hundred-
dollar bills. You can get a million dollars
into a cigarette box.
EXT. ART GALLERY - MANHATTAN. DUSK.
A GO-BETWEEN emerges from a gallery with a wrapped painting, hands it to
YURI, waiting in a limo.
By the mid-nineties, my wealth had caught up
to my lies about my wealth - even surpassed
Yuri pays the Go-Between in cash, places the painting in the trunk.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NEW YORK APARTMENT. NIGHT.
YURI enters the front door, drops his luggage at the door.
AVA, talking excitedly on the phone, hangs up, runs to greet him.
VITALY, in the background, cocktail in hand, with another dubious-
looking GIRLFRIEND, is examining another of Ava's paintings.
Yuri, I just got off the phone with the
dealer. I sold my first painting.
Yuri and Vitaly greet each other with a nod.
Fantastic. Who bought it?
Someone important. They want to remain
(asking in a way that does not
expect an answer)
How was your trip?
You know. Same old, same old.
(quickly changing the subject)
Where's Nicki, in bed?
I'm sorry. Poor darling. He tried to stay
I'll kiss him goodnight.
This calls for a drink.
(still giddy at the news)
My first painting. I'm officially an
He watches Ava showing off more of her paintings to Vitaly and the
I figured I was a patron of the arts and of
everything else Ava had tried and failed at
after modelling. Acting, her own cosmetics
line. I didn't sabotage her careers but I
can't deny it was convenient for me in
maintaining a low profile. She was a
beautiful bird in a gilded cage.
INT. BEDROOM - NEW YORK APARTMENT. NIGHT.
YURI kisses his sleeping son, NICOLAI, now three years old.
He places a gift at the end of his bed - an expensive-looking
At the same time he spies an object in Nicolai's toy box - a toy
INT. KITCHEN / LIVING ROOM - NEW YORK APARTMENT. NIGHT.
YURI tosses the toy gun in the trash.
VITALY, still in the kitchen, catches him - pretends he didn't see.
How are you, brother?
You know, still the resident family fuck-up.
Someone has to do it.
They watch Ava in the living room sharing a joke with Vitaly's
She knows, right?
We don't talk about it.
Vitaly looks askance.
How many car salesmen talk about their work,
how many executives at cigarette companies?
And both of their products kill more people
every year than mine. At least mine has a
safety switch. If those guys can leave
their work at the office, why can't I?
Shit, you're good. You almost had me
(to his girlfriend, knocking back
We're going, baby.
Yuri and Ava are alone at the window, overlooking Central Park. He
hands her a fresh glass of champagne.
(raising his glass for a toast)
To Manet, Monet...and Ava Cordova.
Ava grins, goes to drink when she notices two huge diamond earrings
laying at the bottom of the glass.
The trip went better than expected.
(fishing out the damp baubles)
Yuri, they're beautiful.
But what am I going to wear them with?
I know just the outfit.
INT. BEDROOM - NEW YORK APARTMENT. NIGHT.
CLOSE UP on the diamonds dangling from AVA's ears. She wears the
earrings and nothing else as she and YURI make love.
I didn't know how much she knew and how much
she ignored. I was a good provider and as
far as she was concerned - loyal. Despite
the other women, I always made love to Ava
as if she was the only one.
INT. HELICOPTER - MANHATTAN. MORNING.
From an unmarked helicopter, JACK VALENTINE and his INTERPOL AGENTS
shadow a Mercedes sedan as it weaves through midtown traffic.
INT. SEDAN. MORNING.
YURI rides in the back seat of the sedan, scouring the world affairs
sections of several newspapers.
A thought interrupts his homework.
He opens the sunroof a crack, spies the helicopter tailing the car.
He closes the roof.
(to the DRIVER)
EXT. PARK AVENUE. MORNING.
The sedan enters the underpass beneath the Helmsley building - for a
moment the car hidden from aerial surveillance.
(to the Driver)
This is good.
The Driver pulls over, never coming to a complete stop before Yuri
bails. Horns blare at the illegal drop-off.
(to the Driver from the sidewalk)
Take them on a tour of the Tri-State.
Yuri grabs Ava's painting from the trunk and the sedan pulls back
out into daylight minus Yuri - the occupants of the helicopter none
Yuri hails a taxi.
INT. HELICOPTER - MANHATTAN. MORNING.
VALENTINE observes the sedan cruising through the heart of Yonkers.
Where in God's name is he going? Is he
INT. PUBLIC STORAGE FACILITY. MORNING.
With some reverence, YURI props Ava's painting against the wall of
his private sanctuary, then goes about his business - shuffling
passports, deciding who he will be.
EXT. NEW YORK APARTMENT. DAY.
AVA, dressed in a robe, all smiles, pours herself a cup of coffee.
She sips the coffee at the window, glances down.
In the courtyard below, INTERPOL AGENTS are picking through the
garbage cans under the supervision of AGENT VALENTINE. Valentine
curiously examines the toy gun.
The smile is wiped off Ava's face. She makes brief eye-contact with
Valentine before stepping back from the window.
Slightly shaken, she picks up the phone and dials.
INT. COCKPIT - ILYUSHIN-76 CARGO PLANE. DAY.
The cargo hold of an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane. It's so overflowing
with weapons, many are strapped into the passenger seats.
Sierra Leone - 1999
I was now the best merchant of death alive. I
didn't own my own plane. I owned a fleet -
running guns into Liberia, Sierra Leone or the
Ivory Coast at least once a week.
Unfortunately, my friends at Interpol were
also starting to find West Africa on the map.
Most trips I had phoney paperwork. If the
deadline was tight, I had no paperwork at all.
In the cockpit, an American PILOT and CO-PILOT keep an idle watch on
their instruments as they fly over the endless plains of Sierra
Leone. YURI sits in the jump-seat, reading the Wall Street Journal.
(to his co-pilot)
--Even taking into consideration the pay-off
to the parents, a week with a girl in
Burkina Faso is cheaper than a night with a
girl in Jersey.
Plus, they're cleaner--
--and a lot of them speak better English.
Personally, I prefer a language barrier--
An unmarked military jet appears through the starboard window. The
voice on the radio is familiar.
--Charlie, Echo, India. Descend for landing
on heading zero...two...nine.
The Pilot picks up the radio, looks to Yuri. Yuri shakes his head,
dialling his satellite phone. Yuri's call is answered.
(into phone, trying not to sound
Colonel Southern, it's Yuri. Sorry to call
you on this number but I've got an Interpol
The jet outside the window falls back.
INT. A PENTAGON OFFICE. DAY.
A mid-rank office dominated by a computer terminal. We look over
COLONEL SOUTHERN's shoulder. He is admiring a new medal. Two other MEN
IN SUITS sit opposite.
(into phone, measured voice)
I can't know you right now. It's not a good
Southern hangs up.
INT. COCKPIT - ILYUSHIN-76 CARGO PLANE. DAY.
YURI, hearing the response, explodes.
(gaping at the phone in disbelief)
Not a good time!
Suddenly machine gun fire strafes the Ilyushin - bullets tearing
through the fuselage, perilously close to Yurirs very combustible
The jet appears again at the window.
--Charlie, Echo, India. Comply immediately.
That was your last warning.
Where was the first fucking warning?!
Rock your wings if you intend to comply.
(to Yuri, anxious)
I'm putting us down.
You land and we're all going away! I don't
We're in a flying fucking bomb! They're
firing bullets at our bullets! Forget about
going away! They shoot again, we're going
away for good! I'm putting us down.
(knowing he's right)
The pilot responds on the radio.
This is Charlie Echo India. Descending
on heading zero two nine.
The Interpol jet takes the lead towards a small airport. Yuri surveys the
terrain below, getting his head back in the game.
(pointing out a narrow highway)
Not the airport. There. The highway. It's
our only fucking hope.
A pothole could set us off.
Don't underestimate yourself. You're the
The pilot doesn't buy it but reluctantly changes course anyway.
INT. INTERPOL JET. DAY.
From his own wingseat, VALENTINE observes the Ilyushin's detour,
landing on the highway.
I can't land there.
(to the pilot)
He can't get far. I want a truck waiting on
EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY.
A heavily-trafficked highway. WOMEN carrying water jars on their
heads, a thin COW pulling the carcass of a car, VENDORS selling dry
meat, CHILDREN playing war games.
The pedestrians look up to see the lumbering Ilyushin making its
final approach - they scatter.
The Ilyushin weaves on landing, hits a bone-jarring pothole.
INSIDE THE PLANE - boxes of grenades, bullets and other munitions
jump dangerously up and down.
Finally, the Ilyushin pulls up safely on the highway, engines
shutting down. YURI's head appears out of the cockpit window.
Curious LOCALS, recovered from the shock, are gathering at the side
of the road.
(to the pilots, sizing up the
We're going to be okay.
The PILOTS are already halfway out of the plane door, grabbing
supplies as they go.
(calling out from the window)
Where are you going?
As far from the evidence as I can.
The pilots start running down the highway.
Wait, you idiots! There's not going to be
any evidence! Stay with the plane!
The pilots ignore him - run for their lives.
YURI is left alone. He turns a lever marked, "CARGO BAY".
EXT. CARGO BAY. DAY.
The rear cargo bay opens. YURI stands beside his incriminating
(to the gathering locals)
Help yourselves. Be my guest. No charge.
One LOCAL MAN tentatively approaches the cargo bay. Yuri hands him
an AK-47 and a box of shells.
More SIERRA LEONESE LOCALS emerge from the side of the road,
seemingly out of thin air.
Yuri hands out more guns.
(to other locals)
Take the whole crate.
Two men oblige, ferrying the crate away.
The other locals become bolder, then brazen.
Soon it's a free-far-all. Men, women and children swarm all over
the plane pilfering the arms and anything else that isn't bolted
down - also a lot that is.
Yuri has to exit the plane to avoid being trampled in the rush.
EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY.
YURI buys a Fanta from a vendor - exchanging it for a box of
He sits on a soda crate for a front row seat at the chaos.
Yuri has a calculator out - totalling his losses.
(muttering under his breath,
shutting off the calculator in
What a fucking disaster.
Yuri sees the pilot seats being stolen.
Hey, not those! You don't touch the plane!
Not the fucking seats...
Glancing up the highway, Yuri sees an approaching cloud of dust -
VALENTINE and two truckfuls of heavily-armed Interpol Agents.
Too late. The last of the guns and ammunition are being carted away
on the back of a thin cow.
Valentine's truck fishtails to a halt beside the stripped plane.
Valentine is first off the trucks and into the plane's cargo bay -
Other INTERPOL AGENTS fan out - futilely questioning locals.
Miraculously the weapons have vanished into the bush.
Valentine calls out to the last fleeing local - a BOY with a
The boy stares back, defiantly inflates the life preserver.
The entire cargo has gone. An errant bullet falls off a shelf in
the plane and rolls down the floor - Valentine picks it up.
YURI sits innocently on his soda crate.
A frustrated African Interpol Agent, MBIZI, wound-up by the chase,
rushes Yuri - slams him to the ground.
You run from us.
(flashing a machete in Yuri's
Can you run with no legs?
Valentine rushes over, pulls Mbizi off Yuri.
No, Mbizi. No, no, no.
Valentine drags Mbizi out of Yuri's earshot. Mbizi still wants a
piece of Yuri - Valentine preventing him getting to the gunrunner.
Let me disappear him, Mr. Valentine. He is
a devil. Let me disappear him.
I can't do that.
Look where we are. Who will know?
Mbizi stops struggling against Valentine.
Turn your back, Mr. Valentine. I will go to
hell to stop him.
(to his Agents)
Find the pilots.
Mbizi and another Agent reluctantly head off in a truck.
Valentine returns to Yuri who is dusting himself off. Valentine
handcuffs Yuri himself, picks up the soda crate and sits Yuri back
I've spent my whole career on the right side
of the line. You're the first man I've
encountered who makes me seriously consider
What's the charge?
What are you doing in Sierra Leone?
I'm on safari.
(referring to the bullet)
Shooting wildebeests with submachine guns?
Are you with the park service? Hunting
without a license - is that the charge?
You're trafficking arms.
Trading. But without evidence who can say?
Trade or traffic, you make a fortune by
keeping the poorest people on the planet
killing each other.
(hesitates, unsure whether to
waste his breath - wastes it
Do you know why I do what I do?
Yuri remains handcuffed, sitting on the soda crate - dwarfed by the
cargo plane. Valentine paces beside him.
There are more prestigious assignments, you
know. Keeping track of the nuclear
arsenals. You would think it more critical
to world security. It's not. Nine out of
ten war victims today are killed by assault
rifles and other small arms - like yours.
Those missiles just sit in their silos.
Your AK-47 - it's the real weapon of mass
Yuri regards his interrogator curiously. Despite the sun beating
down, he feels obliged to give him his version of the facts of life.
I don't want people dead, Agent Valentine.
I admit, a shooting war is better for
business. But I'd prefer people to fire my
guns and miss. Just as long as they're
He regards Valentine with something approaching pity.
I realize the unspeakable things that are
done with my weapons. I also understand the
unspeakable things that are done with
Williams Sonoma carving knives and Wilson
baseball bats and they aren't taking those
off the market any time soon. People will
always buy guns. Why not mine?
Valentine appears to have no answer.
Can I go? You've got nothing on me--
(unable to resist)
Now Valentine smiles.
I am legally permitted to hold you for
twenty-four hours without charging you.
Yuri looks away, knows where this is going.
You may ask, why do I bother to do that? I
can assure you, it is not because I enjoy your
company. And you may be surprised to learn
that it is not for any vindictive motive. No.
The reason I delay you for every second of the
permissible twenty-four hours, is that I am
delaying your deadly trade and the deaths of
your victims. I don't think of it as taking a
day from you but giving a day to them. Some
innocent man, woman or child somewhere has one
more day on this earth because you are not
Valentine looks to his watch.
See you in twenty-three hours and fifty five
Valentine walks away. Yuri is left to ponder the notion.
We see time lapse photography of Yuri waiting out his twenty-four
hours, under armed guard on the highway - stretching his legs,
eating a suspicious-looking sandwich, going to the bathroom, the sun
arcing across the sky - all the while his plane is being
cannibalized by the locals. Finally the time lapse slows back into
Valentine returns in a Jeep with Mbizi and other Agents.
You'll be pleased to know your colleagues
were no more co-operative than you.
Valentine opens the back of the Jeep. Lying in the back, the bodies
of the two PILOTS shot and stripped.
The locals got to them before we could.
Yuri turns away from the sight. His handcuffs are removed.
Returning Yuri's documents, Valentine notices a photo of AVA and
NICKI in the wallet.
Valentine and the Agents get back in the truck and drive away.
EXT. HIGHWAY. DUSK.
YURI starts to walk down the deserted highway alone - his cargo
plane is now just another carcass in the jungle.
A CONVOY of armored personnel carriers barrels past him - the color:
U.N. white. The lead car slams on its brakes, bringing the train to
a stop. A woman pokes her head out of the window - CAPTAIN VIVIAN
Yuri! Yuri Orlov!
(giving her an embarrassed hug)
What are you doing here?
(approaching the window)
You know. Fighting the good fight.
An aid program?
Uh, yes. In fact, I've just had some
transport problems. You couldn't give me a
ride to Monrovia, could you?
Sure. Climb in.
Yuri steps back into a vehicle with which he is very familiar.
VIVIAN (cant' d)
We're pulling out. It's too dangerous.
It's a shame. We were really doing some
Yuri nods in understanding.
INT. HOTEL AFRICA - YURI'S HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.
A weary YURI enters his room. Sitting on the green sofa - bound and
gagged, face reduced to pulp, silver hair matted with blood -
ANDRE JNR., a FLUNKY and his CHEERLEADERS appear from behind the
door, laughing at his shocked reaction.
Andre! What in heaven is he doing here?
A gift for you.
Yuri stares into the old gunrunner's terrified eyes.
ANDRE JNR. (cont'd)
You got here just in time. I was afraid he
would die before you got a chance to kill
He offers Yuri a Beretta.
Who do you think informed on you - cost you your
plane? He came to meet my father, hoping to take
Yuri spits on Simeon.
You stupid old fuck!
He killed your man when he tried to kill
Andre again offers Yuri the Beretta.
You want us to let him go?
No. No. I...
Andre offers him the gun a third time. Yuri refuses it.
So you do want him dead. You just don't
want to kill him yourself? I understand.
Andre grabs Yuri and presses the gun into Yuri's palm, clasping his
own hand over Yuri's.
We'll do it together. A bonding experience.
Andre forces Yuri's finger onto the trigger as he aims at the
terrified Simeon - eyes pleading.
Yuri attempts to pull his hand away but Andre is too strong.
You can stop if you want - but
you do. Just say the word.
Andre stares at Yuri not Simeon.
ANDRE JNR. (cont'd)
Yuri opens his mouth but no word comes. Andre presses Yuri's finger
onto the trigger.
The gun goes off. A splash of blood across the sofa's green
The gunshot echoes around the room. Simeon is very dead.
(surveying the blood-spattered
I'll get you another room with a nicer view.
INT. HOTEL AFRICA - LIBERIA. DAY.
YURI collapses on the bar - gestures to the BARMAN who immediately
pours a line of cocaine in full view.
YURI hoovers it up.
I started doing a lot of cocaine in West
Africa. I wasn't medicating myself. I was
simply playing catch-up. I was constantly
dealing with people who are chemically
imbalanced without the aid of chemicals.
It's just a matter of etiquette. It's rude
to act sane in a room full of lunatics.
The Barman nods to a patron at a corner table - a SEASONED FIGHTER
- no more than eighteen years old.
He bought you "brown-brown", Mr. Yuri.
(wiping his nose)
What is it?
A mixture - cocaine and gunpowder.
What does the gunpowder do?
It's magic. They give it to the small boys
before battle - they do anything.
Some other time.
You have to try it at least once, Mr. Yuri.
The Barman starts chopping another line.
Because it's your gunpowder.
Sure enough the Barman pours the gunpowder from one of Yuri's 39mm
shells into the cocaine.
The SEASONED FIGHTER, assault rifle slung over his shoulder,
intimidating air, sidles up to Yuri - stares him down. Yuri has no
option, does a line.
He washes it down with a swig from a vodka bottle, raises his glass
to the fighter.
The Barman puts on a Ukrainian folk song. Yuri picks out one of the
PROSTITUTES in the bar, starts dancing.
He drunkenly dances with one PROSTITUTE after another - the dance
almost violent, the prostitutes flung aside, none lasting more than
a few seconds - caught in the arms of the other PATRONS.
To Yuri, the bar swims before his eyes.
The music stops. Yuri, wild-eyed, looks at the stunned bar room.
(to no one in particular, whipping his
vodka bottle off the bar)
I'm going for a walk.
EXT. MONROVIA. NIGHT.
A MONTAGE OF SCENES FROM YURI'S P.O.V. IN HIS ALTERED STATE. [A
MIXTURE OF FORMATS INCLUDING SUPER-8 & VIDEO, SHAKY HANDHELD
FOOTAGE, OVER-EXPOSED FOOTAGE, BLACK & WHITE FOOTAGE EDITED OUT-OF-
SEQUENCE WITH JUMP CUTS AND FLASH FRAMES]
YURI staggers towards the edge of town - still swigging from his
A ROOM WITH A CURVED CEILING ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF MONROVIA
YURI, eyes unable to focus, stares at a WOMAN'S FACE in front of
him, moving back and forth. The gyrating stops.
Yuri realizes he is lying in the mouth of an enormous cement pipe on
his back, a prostitute on top of him. She gets to her feet,
adjusting her dress.
Yuri panics, hurriedly zipping himself.
(a mixture of French and English)
I didn't fuck you, did I? Did I fuck you?
(in French, as she counts Yuri's
It's not what I would call a fuck.
The prostitute tosses a couple of bills back to him. Yuri ignores
the money, staggers after her.
Are you sick?
She ignores him.
Are you sick?!
Yuri staggers to his feet - wanders aimlessly across a field.
A DANCE IN DUST SOMEWHERE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF MONROVIA
Two dozen pairs of feet chase each other on a dirt field to cheers
from a crowd. The dust clears, revealing a bundle of cloth and
string doubling as a soccer ball. The game is between two
indistinguishable teams of MONROVIAN YOUNGSTERS on a makeshift dirt
field, goalposts constructed from tree branches lashed together.
YURI wanders onto the field, joins the game without asking. The
players humor him by letting him have the ball.
Yuri dribbles up field, takes an enormous swipe at the ball, misses
completely, clattering to the ground.
The crowd and players laugh. The game goes on. Yuri, also laughing
but in a far more desperate manner, picks himself up and wanders
A LIBERIAN BAR CALLED "ZANZI-BAR"
YURI throws up at the back of a saloon flimsily constructed from
rusted corrugated iron.
Rinsing out his mouth with vodka, he is distracted by the sound of
two little GIRLS arguing.
GIRL #1 (O.C.)
GIRL #2 (O.C.)
GIRL #1 (O.C.)
GIRL #2 (O.C.)
Ask the foreigner. The foreigner will know.
The GIRLS approach Yuri - no older than seven, formal white dresses,
hands politely behind their backs.
Sir, will my fingers grow back?
One of the girls shows Yuri a healed stump where her hand should be.
Yuri runs away.
A MODERN SCULPTURE SOMEWHERE IN MONROVIA
YURI passes in front of an abstract arrangement of holes that turns
out to be a building pock-marked with gunshells.
Suddenly a FACE appears in one of the holes - SIMEON. The gunshot
wound in his forehead still evident. Yuri gasps.
Simeon turns and walks away - revealing a large exit wound in the back
of his head.
Yuri pokes his head through the hole but Simeon has vanished. Yuri
turns back to find himself trapped by TWO MEN in flip-flops, shorts,
Gap T-shirts and AK-47's.
Through Yuri's eyes the two men look like four. The two/four men go
through Yuri's pockets, take his watch, shoes.
Yuri is oddly compliant - clumsily helping one of the thieves fasten
One of the men, tired of Yuri's antics, aims his gun at Yuri's head.
His colleague stops him.
Don't. He's Andre's.
(keeping his gun raised)
(seemingly beyond caring)
Yeah, fuck Andre.
The man fires at Yuri. The gun jams. Yuri looks almost
disappointed. The man tries again. Again the gun jams.
(referring to the gun)
I'm sorry. They don't usually do that. Let
me have a look. Maybe I can fix it.
The man whips the gun across Yuri's face.
A PATH OUTSIDE MONROVIA
YURI, face streaked with blood and dirt, wanders aimlessly through
the brush outside Monrovia.
A HYENA appears on the dirt path in front of him - teeth bared,
Yuri stares at the wild dog - starts to quietly cry. Tears roll
down his cheeks.
The hyena runs away. Yuri is alone.
EXT. MONROVIAN DOCKS. DAWN.
A vacant-eyed YURI sits in the shadow of an enormous stack of arms,
unloaded from a freighter.
A presidential motorcade appears on the dock. ANDRE BAPTISTE
emerges out of his Mercedes Jeep, gun in his hand. He strides up to
Yuri, you fucked up! I am going to shoot
your face off with your own gun.
Yuri doesn't flinch.
(unfazed, regarding the man)
Not bad. Andre's latest double?
The man's face falls. The real ANDRE BAPTISTE emerges from the car with
(to Yuri, standing beside his
How did you know?
He's too eloquent.
You have no heart.
Baptiste brandishes a copy of the New York Times.
Have you seen the news? They accuse me of
rigging elections, but after this in your
Florida with your Supreme Court of
CLOSE ON the headline, "U.S. SUPREME COURT REVERSES RECOUNT RULING".
ANDRE BAPTISTE (cont'd)
--now the U.S. must shut up forever.
Yuri just smiles.
More good news. That's the last aid
shipment. The war is so bad, the U.N. is
Andre shrugs. He regards the inactivity at the dock.
Why is nothing happening?
(reluctant to give his father bad
No trucks. They are trapped on the front
There are trucks. You just have to get all
that food out of them.
Yuri gestures down the dock where food is being loaded into trucks
marked, "HUMANITARIAN AID"
Andre Baptiste and Andre Jnr. are clearly taken with the idea.
Killing certain humans can be considered
(thinly disguised reference to the
Isn't that right, Mr. Yuri?
Andre Baptiste hands Yuri his payment - a slim briefcase containing
a pouch of uncut diamonds.
After surviving the last few days I'd started
to feel like I was invincible. But there was
a weapon that could hurt me.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT. DAY.
From behind the cover of a sofa NICOLAI shoots at an unseen foe, his
finger as the gun.
The camera pans around the room to find AVA in an armchair opposite
I don't believe you.
Valentine is unfazed.
Can you prove any of it? Where is your
I was hoping you could help us with that.
(opens an old file containing a
copy of a newspaper clipping,
I understand your parents died tragically in
(meeting Avars gaze)
That regime has startling similarities to
several of the regimes supplied by your
Valentine rises to leave. Ava holds Nicolai, her mind reeling.
INT. FASHION SHOW - NEW YORK. NIGHT.
Impossibly thin MODELS strut along a transparent lightbox of a
runway, flanked by SOCIALITES and PAPARAZZI.
Projected on the wall behind them, the words, "FASHION AGAINST HATE
- Dress Not To Kill" and various images from the world's warzones.
Each outfit is enthusiastically applauded.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
And now, one of the sponsors of tonight's
evening, former Miss World, Ava Cordova.
AVA appears from behind the wings in a designer gown. She modestly
accepts the applause - gradually becomes aware of a projection on
She turns to see the projected image of a CHILD holding an AK-47.
When she turns back, tears are rolling down her face.
INT. NEW YORK HOUSE. NIGHT.
Back to us, AVA naked, sits on the end of her bed, clothes laid out
YURI, still carrying his suitcase, appears in the doorway. He drops
Ava, what's wrong? Where's Nicki?
(still with her back to us)
He's with your parents.
Yuri senses something very wrong.
Why aren't you dressed? I thought we were
He finds a robe from the closet - gently places it around her. She
pulls it off her shoulders.
(turning back to look at him)
I can't wear the clothes. I can't wear the
jewelry. I can't drive the car. I can't
live in this house. Everything1s got blood
Yuri pulls the robe back onto her shoulders, walks to the window.
Don't be so melodramatic.
Ava pulls the robe to her, follows Yuri to the window.
Of course I'm melodramatic. I'm a failed actress,
remember? We need to talk about it.
Why? We never have before.
Now we do.
Yuri notices the Interpol business card on the bedside table.
These people - you can't trust them--
--I've talked to your parents. Why do you
think they don't want your money? They know
where it comes from. We all know.
Yuri sighs, resigned.
I sell people a means to defend themselves,
Ava. That's all. I don't hold a gun to any
one's head and make them shoot--
--Yuri, I see the news. Sierra Leone--
--I don't sell machetes.
--What do you think is pointing at the
victims when they use those machetes? I see
the pictures. Yuri, the guns are bigger
than the boys.
There's nothing illegal about what I do.
I don't care if it's legal, it's wrong.
Ava meets his eye.
AVA (cont' d)
I can accept the drugs. I can even accept
the other women. I can't accept this.
Yuri looks away.
It makes no difference if I stop. Someone
will take my place the next day.
Let them. We have enough. You're not that
little boy in Odessa anymore, lining up for
a loaf of bread--
--It's not about the money.
What is it?
He doesn't answer - perhaps he doesn't have one. Ava looks out of
the window at their expensive view.
I feel like all I've done my whole life is
be pretty. All I've done is be born. I'm
not just a failed actress. I'm also a
failed writer, failed artist, failed
businesswoman. I'm not much good as a
mother. Come to think of it, I'm not even
that pretty any more. I've failed at
(turning back to him)
But I won't fail as a human being. I'm
The words finally register with Yuri.
You can't leave. I'll stop.
(as if trying to convince himself)
Ava is skeptical. He holds her, reassures her.
I've been thinking about it for a while. A
(as if trying to convince himself)
I'm making more from the oil and timber
She interrogates his eyes for the truth.
You will? You promise?
(changing the subject a
millisecond too fast)
Now get dressed. We'll go out.
Ava picks up the dress off the bed.
Yuri gazes at her.
By the way, you're wrong about not being
pretty any more.
She turns back and smiles.
EXT. FIFTH AVENUE AT CENTRAL PARK EAST. DAY.
A YOUNG INTERPOL AGENT, carrying a tray of coffee, approaches a
plain panel van parked outside Yuri's apartment building.
For the next month I stopped running guns.
I went legitimate.
The van door opens to reveal VALENTINE and other INTERPOL AGENTS,
wearing headsets, monitoring a scanner device. The agents read
porn to keep themselves amused - except Valentine.
No wonder Valentine was confused.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT. DUSK.
YURI toys with his old BULLET pendant as he talks on the phone.
For once the spreadsheets in front of him deal with oil and timber.
Thank God there are still legal ways to
exploit developing countries.
With the cordless phone to his ear, Yuri wanders to the kitchen. He
tosses the pendant down a trash chute.
Back in the den, Yuri punches a calculator as he continues his phone
But the only problem with an honest buck is
they're so hard to make. The margins are
too low. Too many people are doing it.
Finally we are privy to the conversation.
--Impossible. Two and a quarter? I can't
make a profit at two and a quarter. Why
don't you take my oil and I'll fucking pay
Yuri hangs up, stares down from his apartment window.
Valentine's panel truck drives away.
Night has fallen over Central Park - criss-crossed by a necklace of
lights. Yuri continues to stare out of the window.
He is perplexed by the sight of a diplomatic motorcade parked in front of
Before he can make sense of it, the house phone rings.
Yuri, the President of Liberia is in the
Yuri, stunned for a millisecond, recovers with a smile.
(glance to his watch)
INT. LOBBY - UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT. DAY.
ANDRE BAPTISTE is admiring his new uniform in a gilt edged mirror.
ANDRE JNR. is flirting with two TEENAGE GIRLS - residents of the
building. The perplexed DOORMAN stares at the motorcade outside his
door - flashing lights on the police escort.
(to the girls)
--You should come to Liberia with me
tomorrow. It is beautiful this time of
Liberia. Is that on Long Island?
YURI, ashen-faced, hurriedly exits the elevator into the ornate
lobby - strides up to Andre Snr.
(nervous as hell)
What the fuck are you doing here, Andre?
We're here for the peace talks at the U.N.
(pulling him out of earshot of the
curious Doorman, anxious whisper)
So at the same time you thought you'd drop
in on your arms dealer?!
Is that what you still are? You're a hard
man to get hold of all of a sudden.
--But now you mention it, we are doing a
little shopping while we're here - that is
if you open for business.
(anxious look past Andre to the motorcade
on the street)
They've got to be watching.
Of course they blame me. They always blame
me. They are on a--
(unable to resist)
--hunt for a witch?
(a smile, for once correcting
"Witch-hunt". But I have been granted
diplomatic immunity due to the escalation
That is why I need you. They are making
life difficult to re-supply. It will
require a man of your unusual ingenuity.
I can't help you. I'm sorry.
He shakes Yuri's hand firmly.
ANDRE BAPTISTE (cont'd)
But you should know that our present
difficulties compel us to be unusually
Yuri realizes that Andre has placed a huge uncut diamond in his
ANDRE BAPTISTE (cont'd)
Farewell, Lord of War.
You still haven't brought me the gun of
Andre Baptiste and his son breeze out of the lobby.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
YURI enters, sits in an armchair. AVA and NICOLAI are cuddled on
the sofa - Ava reading him a fairytale.
(looking up from the book)
Was that about the oil or the timber?
Ava smiles, carries on reading.
Yuri looks to his hand - we rack focus to the uncut diamond. Yuri
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT - GARBAGE ROOM. NIGHT.
YURI, still in his suit, stands in a dumpster, searching.
At four and a half months a human fetus has
a reptile's tail - a remnant of our
Amongst a pile of rotten food he finds his necklace containing the
You can fight a lot of enemies and survive
but if you fight your biology you always
Yuri places the bullet around his neck.
INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT. MORNING.
AVA is fastening eight-year-old NICOLAI's coat, readying to go out.
YURI, half-dressed, appears in the hallway.
Hey, not even waiting to say goodbye? I'm
leaving in ten minutes.
Sorry, Nicki has swim practice.
Nicolai kisses his father.
See you, big guy.
Ava kisses Yuri.
Personally, I'm glad you're going. You've
been here so long you're starting to get on
(taking the teasing good-
This oil concession should be wrapped up by
Thursday. I'll be back for the weekend.
We'll go somewhere - the sea.
That would be fun.
A thought occurs to Yuri.
You trust me, right?
Yuri's turn to interrogate her eyes. Ava smiles.
She looked me directly in the eye the way
I've looked in the eyes of a thousand
customs officials, government bureaucrats
and footsoldiers from every law enforcement
agency in the world - and she lied without
Yes, I trust you.
She'd learned from the best.
Ava gives Yuri a final kiss, hurries Nicolai out the door.
INT. MERCEDES SEDAN. DAY.
From the rear seat of a Mercedes sedan we observe YURI exiting the
apartment building and entering a waiting Mercedes sedan of his own.
(to the DRIVER)
We reveal AVA and NICOLAI in the car. Yuri's car pulls away and
Ava's car follows.
Where are we going, Mama?
It's a game.
Like hide and seek?
EXT. PUBLIC STORAGE FACILITY. DAY.
YURI locks his storage locker, observable from the street, and exits
the facility carrying a passport and briefcase.
I can always sense when I'm being tailed. I
know what to look for. But then I'd never
been tailed by the woman I love.
Returning to his car, Yuri fails to notice that AVA has witnessed
his routine from her own car.
Instead of following the car, Ava exits with Nicolai.
INT. PUBLIC STORAGE FACILITY. DAY.
AVA, NICOLAI in tow, approaches Yuri's locker.
She tries a combination - fails. Tries another - fails. A third -
I can put myself in Ava's place. She might
have understood if the combination was the
last four digits of my social, my birthdate,
even her birthdate but not Nicolai's.
Ava looks to Nicolai, tries one more combination, reluctantly.
CLOSE ON the numerals on the lock - "10...6..."
My son's birthday unlocked what the government
would later describe as, "a catalogue of
"90". The lock opens.
(whisper, to herself)
Not that. Not that, Yuri.
Ava opens the storage room door - at first struck by the exhibition
of her paintings inside the locker. Shaking the image from her
head, she turns her attention to the briefcases and other documents.
She shuffles through the passports in horror - different photos of
Yuri, different names: "George Eagleman", "Georges D'Aigle", etc. Who
is her husband? Is he any of them?
INT. "THE CRIMEAN" RESTAURANT - DAY.
VITALY is back at work in the kitchen of the family restaurant.
YURI approaches - Vitaly senses something amiss.
Come to see how the other half lives?
I miss your borscht. Mom and Dad say you're
You too. They said you went legitimate -
hard to believe.
That's because it's not true.
Vitaly is hardly surprised.
Yuri glances to his parents, ANATOLY and IRINA, at the restaurant
counter, folding napkins - observing their two sons.
They avert their eyes.
Only you know. I'm leaving tonight - on a
job. I want you to come.
I can't. I'm thinking of opening my own
Maybe this trip will help. It's good money.
(looking to his parents)
I've given my word.
They don't have to know. We'll tell them
we're going for a little "r" and "r".
Why do you need me all of a sudden?
West Africa's fucked-up.
(off Vitaly's look)
More than usual. I can't trust anybody. I
need someone to watch my back.
The notion touches Vitaly. Yuri closes the deal.
"Brothers in arms".
Vitaly looks to his PARENTS. They stare at him until he averts his
Vitaly can't refuse his brother.
EXT. HIGHWAY - SIERRA LEONE. DAY.
A fork in the road. Two large trucks slog through the bush -
take the left fork.
Sierra Leone - 2000
YURI, VITALY and ANDRE JNR. are in the cab of the truck, beside the
Andre is admiring his new M60 machine gun with attachable grenade
launcher - the gun of Rambo.
(concerned by the route)
Where are we going?
RUF - "freedom fighters".
Yuri stares out of the window.
Every faction in Africa calls themselves by
these noble names - "liberation-this",
something or other". I guess they can't own
up to what they usually are - "federation-
oppressors". Often the most barbaric
atrocities occur when both combatants
proclaim themselves "freedom fighters".
The truck passes a checkpoint marked by two skulls.
EXT. REFUGEE CAMP - SIERRA LEONE. DAY.
A tent city. A Jeep packed with young, machete-wielding FREEDOM
FIGHTERS circles the refugee camp, taunting and terrorizing the
The mostly WOMEN and CHILDREN are trapped by the circling Jeep.
Whenever a refugee attempts to escape, they are driven back by the
increasingly manic, shrieking rebels.
Yuri's two trucks are parked on the roadway above the camp where the rest
of the REBELS are massed - a rag-tag mob wearing over-sized sneakers,
carrying machetes and the occasional AK-47.
At a small folding table a REBEL LEADER negotiates with YURI and
ANDRE JNR. The Leader places a pile of uncut diamonds on the table.
VITALY is more interested in the camp - observing the circling Jeep
full of Rebels and their smirking comrades on the highway.
From a distance, he spies a WOMAN and YOUNG SON make a desperate bid
for escape from the camp. Two REBELS, on foot, give chase. The
woman appears to be pregnant.
Vitaly watches in horror. The Woman is quickly overtaken and hacked
to death. Then the Boy. Vitaly can't look, turns away.
Vitaly comes to a horrific realization.
He hurries to Yuri, still negotiating with the Rebel Leader.
Yuri, I need to talk to you.
(to the Rebel Leader)
Vitaly draws Yuri out of earshot.
(irritated by the interruption)
We can't do this deal.
The fuck we can't.
(referring to the camp)
Look over there. As soon as we leave,
they're going to die.
(averting his eyes from the camp)
It's not our business.
They killed a boy just now - as young as
The suspicious Rebel Leader and Andre Jnr. approach the two
What's the hold up?
(trying to keep his poise)
There is no hold up. I'll be right there.
Yuri draws Vitaly further away.
Vitaly, it's what we always know - we can't
control what they do.
Today we can. They're right there - close
enough to touch.
What do you think they'll do if we back out
- they'll kill us.
And if we go ahead - they'll kill them.
The Rebel Leader approaches again - this time he's not leaving.
What is he saying?
Vitaly realizes the futility of the discussion, backs down.
Nothing. You're right, Yuri. You're right.
(getting his head back in the
Did I hear you say 300 IPG's, 500 assault
rifles and 800 grenades? I thought it was
1,200 grenades. I'd better check.
Yuri pats his brother on the back, returns to the negotiating table.
Vitaly heads for the trucks.
For once we follow Vitaly. Andre Jnr. regards Vitaly warily.
INT. TRUCK. DAY.
The prongs of a hammer on a box of grenades. VITALY is prying open
Andre Jnr. appears behind him - M60 poised ominously on his hip.
What are you doing?
Something for Yuri.
Step away - slowly.
Vitaly closes the lid - a ruse. He picks up the hammer and in one
sudden, violent motion swings it across Andre's face, smashing his
jaw, teeth flying, Andre's body flopping like a rag doll.
Vitaly grabs two grenades from the box, pulls the pin from one and
bowls it into the truck.
The truck explodes in a fireball - instantly incinerating Andre Jnr.
Yuri's head whips around. The Rebel Leader's head whips around.
Vitaly dashes for the second truck.
The REBEL LEADER opens fire, raking Vitaly with machine-gun fire -
still trying to run with legs torn to shreds.
A second hail of gunfire - all REBELS firing. Vitaly's legs betray
him. He collapses to the ground in a pile of blood and dust.
We focus on Vitaly's still FACE - he has taken enough bullets to
kill him three times over. But he is not quite dead.
Agonizingly slow, he raises the grenade hand to his mouth - pulls
the pin with his teeth.
CLOSE on Vitaly's HAND, trying to summon the strength to throw the
A hand appears, grasps Vitaly's hand - gently but firmly removing
The Rebels keep their guns trained on Yuri, unsure where his
loyalties lie. Yuri holds the fate of the camp in his hands - he
could still toss the grenade, destroy the second truck, sacrifice
Yuri stares to his brother and then to the grenade in his hand. He
reaches down and delicately takes the pin from between Vitaly's
The eyes of the brothers meet for the last time. Yuri inserts the
pin into the grenade, disarming it - the life goes from Vitaly's
Yuri removes any last doubt by tossing the disarmed grenade to the
Yuri walks away from Vitaly's dead body and returns to the
negotiating table - Yuri now the living dead. The Rebel Leader
looks to the two trucks - one burning, one not. He removes half of
the diamonds from the table.
EXT. TRUCK. DAY.
YURI sits in the cab, staring out of the window as the truck drives
Vitaly broke the cardinal rule of
gunrunning. Never pick up a gun and join
The truck turns the bend. In the background, true to Vitaly's
prediction, the rebels descend on the tent village, firing
indiscriminately with their new weapons.
Yuri hears the sound - we detect a barely perceptible flinch.
INT. REAR OF TRUCK. DAY.
A lone gun crate, emptied of its contents has been put to use as
VITALY's makeshift coffin.
Coffins are hard to come by in Sierra Leone.
Demand is so high. Fortunately, we had a lot
of boxes just the right size.
EXT. SIERRA LEONE MARKET. DAY.
"America's Funniest Home Videos" plays on a TV set. The canned
laughter appears to be almost directed at YURI who is making a long-
distance call on a geriatric telephone.
We aren't privy to the conversation.
I don't know which is worse, Jewish guilt or
Catholic guilt. My parents were like God's
We pull back to reveal the makeshift coffin sitting at Yuri's feet.
But I could not deny them the chance to say
goodbye to their eldest son.
INT. J.F.K. AIRPORT - CUSTOMS BAY. DAY.
CLOSE ON the screen of an X-RAY machine. Innocuous oversize cargo
passes in front of the screen - a surfboard, a double bass, then the
crate containing VITALY's body.
For twenty Monrovian dollars a doctor removed the
lead from Vitaly's body and wrote a bogus death
certificate. I should have paid more.
The OPERATOR of the machine, stops the conveyor belt.
I've smuggled millions of rounds of
ammunition and the bullet that lands me in
jail is found under my dead brother's rib.
In Vitaly's chest, a bullet.
INT. J.F.K. AIRPORT - CONVEYOR BELT. DAY.
The other oversize items move down the conveyor belt for collection
- YURI waits with two burly PORTERS.
No other items are appearing - finally the coffin containing VITALY.
Two ATF AGENTS appear behind Yuri.
(flashing some ID)
Yuri Orlov, we're with the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
(resigned smile, regarding the
insignia on their jackets)
Believe it or not, I only use the first two.
The agents are not amused - handcuff Yuri.
You have the right to remain silent. Use
They march him away.
INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT. DAY.
A phone rings.
AVA, out in the hallway, surrounded by suitcases, looks to the
phone, senses the identity of the caller.
She hustles NICOLAI out of the door, closes it behind her. The
phone continues to ring.
INT. MANHATTAN CENTRAL JAIL. DAY.
YURI, on a payphone, in the jailhouse corridor, reluctantly hangs
up. He makes another call.
INT. "THE CRIMEAN" RESTAURANT - BRIGHTON BEACH. DAY.
ANATOLY, lighting a candle, picks up the phone.
Anatoly looks at the telephone receiver in his hand - without
another word he passes the phone to IRINA. ANATOLY walks away.
Both my sons are dead.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY.
CLOSE ON a SLUG in an evidence bag tossed onto a table - by VALENTINE. The
Agent can scarcely contain his excitement.
YURI sits at the small table, stares at the slug.
One of yours?
Yuri doesn't take the bait.
Two other AGENTS sit at the back of the room observe the
(referring to a document)
Curiously, the death certificate says he
died of heart failure.
Maybe he did.
(referring to the slug)
If I saw one of those coming at me, l'd have
The flippant comment gets under Valentine's skin but he keeps his
temper in check.
We performed the autopsy and released your
brother's body to your family. You tried
to do something decent, Yuri. You went
against your nature. And now it's cost you.
(unable to resist)
Your brother's funeral is looking a lot like
Falsifying a death certificate? That's not
going to hold me.
You're right, as usual.
Yuri not so cocky now - waits to see where this is going.
(putting a copy of the New York
Times in front of Yuri)
Have you seen today's paper?
A front photograph of VALENTINE posing beside Yuri's documents including
his five BRIEFCASES. The headline reads, "MERCHANT OF DEATH IN CUSTODY".
Caption - "Catalogue of carnage."
(pacing, lauding it over Yuri)
Fake end-user certificates, cut-out
companies, all meticulously catalogued.
There's hardly a dictator, warlord or despot
anywhere in the world you aren't on first
name terms with.
(producing another evidence bag
containing Ava's diamond earrings
and an engagement ring)
Your trophy wife gave us the prize. She
also provided us with these - which we
suspect are conflict diamonds.
Yuri takes all this in.
She has agreed to testify against you.
Yuri nods - picks up the newspaper. But instead of reading about
his own front page news, he opens the paper, turns to World Affairs
- various items on the warzones at the end of the millennium.
Yuri reads, takes his time. Valentine cannot believe his audacity.
Finally Yuri reacts. A broad smile - his killer smile.
This. Tell me that I am everything you
despise, that I am the personification of
evil, that I'm responsible for the breakdown
of the social fabric of society and world
order, that I am a one man genocide. Say
everything you want to say to me now -
because you don't have long.
Valentine is infuriated by Yuri's casual demeanor.
Are you not paying attention or are you
delusional? You've broken every arms
embargo written. There's enough in those
briefcases to buy you consecutive life
sentences. You'll spend ten years going
from a cell to a courtroom before you even
start doing your time.
Yuri is looking away, apparently completely unconcerned. His
attitude further angers Valentine.
You don't seem to fully appreciate the
seriousness of your situation!
(snapping back - his emotion
My family has disowned me. My wife and son
have left me. My brother is dead. Trust
me, I fully appreciate the seriousness of my
situation. But I promise you I won't spend
a single second in a courtroom.
Valentine laughs derisively.
You are delusional.
Yuri is still unfazed. He leans forward to close the deal.
I like you, Jack. Well, maybe not. But I
understand you. You feel your loyalty to
your badge has finally been rewarded. But
you haven't counted on the people who gave
you that badge.
Valentine's turn to hesitate.
(meeting Valentine's gaze)
Let me tell you what's going to happen so
you can prepare yourself.
Yuri nods to the interview room door.
Soon there's going to be a knock on that
door and you're going to be called outside.
A montage of scenes - Yuri's prediction plays out accompanied by his
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY.
A knock at the door and an AGENT nods to VALENTINE.
In the hall there will be a man who
INT. HALLWAY - JAIL. DAY.
Sure enough, a decorated military OFFICER talks to VALENTINE in the
hallway as Yuri describes.
First, he will compliment you on the fine
job you've done, how you're making the world
a safer place and then he is going to tell
you that I am to be released.
We observe valentine's reaction - vigorously arguing with his
You are going to protest, you will probably
threaten to resign.
The Officer, still turned away from us, tries to calm Valentine.
INT. HALLWAY - JAIL. DAY.
The door to the interview room opens.
But in the end I will be released.
Yuri exits the cell to freedom.
We return to the present.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY.
VALENTINE's eyes burn into YURI.
(glancing to the open newspaper)
The reason I'll be released is the same
reason you think I will be convicted. I do
rub shoulders with the most vile, sadistic
men calling themselves leaders today.
(referring to the newspaper)
But some of those men are the enemies of
Valentine is starting to get a sick feeling.
And while the biggest arms dealer in the world
is your boss, the President of the United
States - who ships more merchandise in a day
than I do in a year - sometimes it's
embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the
guns. Sometimes he needs a freelancer like me
to supply opposition forces he can't be seen
supplying. You call me evil, but,
unfortunately for you, I am a necessary evil.
There is a long silence. Then,
A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.
Valentine and Yuri exchange a look. Valentine rises from the desk.
I would tell you to go to hell. But I think
you're already there.
Valentine turns on his heel. He is at the door when Yuri finally
What if I'm not? What if I sleep fine at
night? What if I sleep better than you? I
think that's what truly scares you.
Valentine doesn't look back, exits. Sure enough, the Officer is in
the hall as Yuri predicted - COLONEL SOUTHERN.
EXT. MANHATTAN JAIL - REAR EXIT. DAY.
A car trunk closes on Yuri's five briefcases and other documents.
YURI is escorted out the rear entrance of the city jail to the nondescript
sedan by COLONEL SOUTHERN. As he's ushered into the car, Southern hands
Yuri yet another briefcase.
COLONEL SOUTHERN ushers Yuri into the car, hands him yet another briefcase
as the car door closes.
INT. NONDESCRIPT SEDAN. DAY.
YURI rides alone with the briefcase on his lap.
Most people are happy just to get out of
jail. I expect to be paid to leave.
Yuri opens the case - BALES OF CASH.
I'm not a fool. I know that just because they
need me one day doesn't mean they won't make
me a scapegoat the next. But I was back doing
what I do best.
EXT. MANHATTAN. DAY.
The nondescript sedan melts into rush-hour traffic.
EXT. SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST - DESERT CHECKPOINT. DAY.
A checkpoint in the desert - the fence a literal line in the sand.
YURI accompanies a convoy of trucks. He is joking with a BORDER
OFFICER - back to doing what he loves.
The Border Officer inspects the crates in a truck, reads the
manifest marked, "UMBRELLAS - QTY: 4,040 units".
Umbrellas - to Saudi Arabia?
Yuri hands the Officer a plain, brown paper bag. The Officer looks inside
- a wad of cash.
Have a safe trip.
The Officer waves the convoy through.
EXT. DESERT - BATTLEFIELD. DAY.
The desert where we first found YURI, the aftermath of a battle. He
speaks directly to camera once again.
For someone who's never fired a gun or been
in a battle, I have suffered many
casualties in my life. I guess that's how I
survived. I never went to war...
His thought is interrupted by a burst of gunfire.
...especially with myself.
Yuri walks away through the charred munitions and black smoke.
In the distance the sound of sporadic gunfire.
FADE TO BLACK