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LOVE IN TIME by Tony Scott

Based on real people and inspired by actual events

10965 Rochester Avenue, #304 Los Angeles, CA 90024 tonyscottwriting@gmail.com (424) 279-8699

INT. HIGH RISE APARTMENT - DAY SUPER: SUMMER, 2007

(2007)

ALAN Robinson, 48, white, stands in an apartment with an expansive view of the Chicago lakefront. He looks at a wall with many photos, but noticeably absent recent family photos. Next to the photos, a framed diploma from Millsaps College Bachelor of Arts, and another from Northwestern University Masters of Arts in Literature. Next to the diplomas: a framed Atlantic Monthly article: Mississippi: The Insular Society, and a framed New York Times Sunday Book Review: Brothers of Different Colors Alan focuses longingly on one photo: 8 teens in 70s clothes: 5 black and 2 white boys, one black girl. They are happy and smiling, arms around each others shoulders. Alans mobile phone RINGS. He answers.

ALAN OK, be right down. Alan ends the call and grabs a carry-on bag. INT. HIGH-RISE HALLWAY - DAY Alan waits impatiently for the elevator. watch. He wears no wedding ring. He looks at his He runs down

Alan touches his neck, and curses in silence. the hall to unlock his apartment. INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM - DAY

A necklace with two medallions sits on the counter. medallions: a Jewish Hai, and a St. Judes medal. Alan rushes in and puts on the necklace. INT. TAXI - DAY

The

He runs out.

A black TAXI DRIVER, late 50s, looks at Alan in the rear view mirror as he hops into the cab. OHare. ALAN Im kind of late.

2. Alan stares out the window as the taxi drives down Michigan Avenue. A protest slows traffic to a crawl. A mass of people carry signs: MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW! SHOULD BE LEGAL. Shit. TAXI DRIVER I forgot all about this. LOVE

Alan sees gay and lesbian couples holding hands. Some of protesters catch Alans eye. They smile and wave. ALAN (muttering) Good luck trying to get the world to change. The taxi driver looks at Alan in his rearview mirror. TAXI DRIVER Going somewhere fun for a vacation? ALAN My thirty year high school reunion. Really? TAXI DRIVER Where?

ALAN Mississippi. The Taxi Driver gives Alan a suspicious, questioning look. Alan sees the driver look at him, and looks out at the marchers, not wanting to engage in explanations. ALAN (V.O.) When I tell folks I grew up in Mississippi, I often get a shocked reaction. I understand why. DISSOLVE TO: MONTAGE: ARCHIVAL VIDEO, NEWSPAPER HEADLINES AND PHOTOS OF MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLES -- Civil Rights marchers being set upon by police with dogs ALAN (V.O.) Mississippi used to be the very definition of hate. So they wonder if Im a racist monster, too. -- KKK members burning a cross, holding Confederate flags.

3. -- A lynched black man hanging from a tree ALAN (V.O.) We had plenty of hate when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. -- Newspaper: -- Newspaper: Africa Raid Two Blacks Killed In Jackson State Riots Police Officer Killed In Republic of New

ALAN (V.O.) But thats not all we had. -- The photo from Alans apartment: 8 teens in 70s clothes: 5 black and 2 white boys, one black girl. They are happy and smiling, arms around each others shoulders. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SIDEWALK - DAY Super: JACKSON MISSISSIPPI, FEBRUARY 1970 ALAN ROBINSON, a small white boy of 11 wearing glasses, walks dejectedly on a sidewalk covered with frost-coated leaves. VELMA GEARLES, a tall black woman of 62 with a kind face, walks beside Alan. She wears a maids uniform under her coat. VELMA Now that they mixed everybody up, maybe youll make a friend. ALAN Most likely, some more enemies to pick on me. VELMA Come on. Now whatd I tell you about people picking on you? ALAN Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me. VELMA But dont you forget: If somebody picks up a stick... ALAN Im gonna pick up a stone!

4. Velma and Alan LAUGH. They turn the corner to a modern, single story school. school name on the wall: PEARL SPANN ELEMENTARY. The

A school bus filled with BLACK CHILDREN, their faces nervous and anxious, pulls in the drive. WHITE PARENTS and CHILDREN stare with expressions ranging from curiosity to disgust. A group of WHITE ADULTS hold signs: No Busing; Save Our Schools. They boo and yell epithets. Alan and Velma watch as black children get off the bus. Velma looks at Alan, who is nervous. VELMA Baby, you just follow the Golden Rule, and remember what Dr. King said about judging people, and youll be alright. Alan takes a deep breath and walks to the school entrance. He turns to wave to Velma, who blows him a kiss and waves. INT. 5TH GRADE CLASSROOM - DAY Thirty fifth-grade STUDENTS, one-third black, two-thirds white, sit in self-segregation on opposite sides of the room. Alan walks in and shrinks into a seat in the back. TOMMY STEFANI, a big, white bully of 12, speaks to a laughing GROUP OF WHITE BOYS. TOMMY I bet these Coons cant even read. BLACK STUDENTS overhear, but hold their tongues in fear. MR. PEOPLES, a black man in his 40s with a commanding presence, enters the classroom. The STUDENTS go silent. Mr. Peoples writes his name on the blackboard. disappointment at the class. MR. PEOPLES Everybody pick up your stuff and line up against the wall. Students line up, blacks along one wall, whites another. He looks with

5. MR. PEOPLES (CONTD) The Supreme Court has ordered Mississippi to desegregate. Thats going to include inside my classroom. Mr. Peoples opens his class roll book. MR. PEOPLES (CONTD) Miss Adams? A black girl raises her hand. Mr. Peoples points to the first desk in the first row. The black girl sits. MR. PEOPLES (CONTD) Mister Anderson? A white boy raises his hand. Mr. Peoples points to the next desk. The boy sits, eyeing the black girl with suspicion. LATER Eight students remain standing. MR. PEOPLES (CONTD) Mister Robinson? Alan raises his hand, as does BRIAN ROBINSON, 11, a black boy with a beaming smile and excitable eyes. On top of Brians stack of books is a Bible. MR. PEOPLES (CONTD) (to Brian) Which Robinson are you, son? Im Brian. BRIAN

Mr. Peoples turns to Alan. MR. PEOPLES And you must be Alan? Alan nods shyly. TOMMY Look, its the Robinson brothers. STUDENTS GIGGLE. Alan turns red with embarrassment.

Brian looks at Tommy with the strength of conviction. BRIAN The Bible teaches us that were all brothers of different colors.

6. ALAN (muttering) Yeah, all humans are --course that eliminates Tommy. The students LAUGH. Burn! Mr. Peoples stifles a smile.

WHITE BOY He got you, Tommy.

Tommys face seethes with anger as he glares at Alan. INT. SCHOOL LUNCHROOM - DAY Groups of children -- WHITE BOYS, BLACK BOYS, WHITE GIRLS, and BLACK GIRLS -- eat at separate tables. Alan walks out of the lunch line. He passes near a table with Tommy Stefani and OTHER WHITE BOYS. They spread out to make it clear he is unwanted. Alan sits at an empty table. He opens a notebook and starts to write, taking bites of food dejectedly. A tray is set down opposite Alan. Brian stands behind it.

BRIAN This the table reserved for the Robinson Brothers? Alan is delighted to have Brian join him. Tommy looks at Alan and Brian with disgust. INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY ALAN and other STUDENTS exit the lunchroom. Tommy Stefani nods to another WHITE BOY, who gets ahead of Alan and sticks out his foot. Tommy pushes Alan over it. Alan falls hard, sprawling onto the floor. spitting words like venom at Alan. TOMMY Go to Hell, Nigger lover. Alan holds back tears as the legs of other STUDENTS pass. A pair of legs stop. A black hand extends to Alan. Alan looks up to see Brian, takes his hand, and stans up. Tommy bends down,

7. Alan starts a soul handshake. Brian grins, and they turn it into a complicated soul brother hand shake, just like theyve seen on The Flip Wilson Show. INT. ALAN ROBINSONS HOUSE - KITCHEN SUPER: AUGUST, 1975 An unassuming house. Alan and Brian, now 16, eat red velvet cake and drink Cokes at the table. Alan has soft, thick hair past his ears, and wears goldrimmed glasses. Brian, athletic and handsome, wears his hair short and natural. Next to them is ISAAC Dreyfus, a tall white teen of 16 with a Jew-fro. Alans mother BELLE, early 40s, attractive in a farm-girl beauty way, walks in carrying a schoolteachers book bag, and goes to talk to Velma, who washes dishes at the sink. Sly & The Family Stones EVERYDAY PEOPLE plays on the radio. ALAN You hear they cancelled the Sly and the Family Stone tour? Why? ISAAC

ALAN Apparently Slys been showing up stoned out of his mind at their gigs... If he shows up at all. BRIAN Looks like Tower of Power is the only mixed band left out there. Isaac takes their plates to the sink. ISAAC Thanks, Velma. (to Alan and Brian) Why dont we put a band together? BRIAN A mixed band? In Mississippi? Thatd mess with peoples minds.

8. ALAN Peoples minds around here need a little messing with. ISAAC (excitedly) Brian can handle keyboards and vocals, and you can lead the horns. ALAN Uh, earth to Isaac -- just what would you do? You cant sing worth a lick, and theres not much use for violin in funk or rock. Oh yeah? ISAAC

Isaac mimics playing PURPLE HAZE by Jimi Hendrix on violin. ISAAC (CONTD) (singing) Erk, Erk, Erk, Erk, Erk, Erk, Erk, Erk. Da Da Da Dum, Da Da Dum. Isaac drops to his knees and writhes around like Jimi Hendrix as he plays air violin. Alan, Brian, Belle and Velma stare, dumbfounded. and jumps up. ISAAC (CONTD) Oh come on, yall, dont be putzes. I can run sound and lights. Dad has lots of used equipment at the music store I can borrow. Alan and Brian look at each other, considering. The radio plays PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE. Alan and Brian grin. moves to the song. They jump up and do Temptations dance Isaac stops

Isaac, Belle and Velma look on, clapping. Alan and Brian do a Temptation Spin - one spinning clockwise, the other counterclockwise. DISSOLVE TO:

9. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL, FRONT YARD - DAY Alan and Brian complete their Temptation Spins. ALAN AND BRIAN (singing together) YEAH, PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE, WHEREVER HE LAID HIS HAT WAS HIS HOME. AND WHEN HE DIED, ALL HE LEFT US WAS ALONE. Alan and Brian bow as Isaac and a MIXED GROUP OF TEENS clap. Tommy Stefani watches contemptuously with THREE WHITE TEENS. TOMMY Alan wont even have to put on blackface if the monkey show goes on the road, with all the black that rubs off on him when hes down between those Niggers legs. Alan shrugs off the insult. to put him down. Tommy struts up to Alan, itching

TOMMY (CONTD) Your Daddy must be rolling over in his grave. Hard to believe a hero had such a pussy for a son. The mention of his father re-opens a deep wound in Alans heart. Brian stares menacingly at Tommy. Back off. BRIAN

TOMMY Whatcha going to do, preachers boy? Pray for me? BRIAN My father marched with Dr. King, and he strongly believes in nonviolence. But I dont. Isaac joins Brian and Alan. Me either. ISAAC

Alan freezes -- clearly hoping to avoid a fight. Tommys three white teen friends come forward, fists clenched.

10. CURTIS, a black teen of 16 built like a linebacker, wearing a Black Power raised fist T-shirt, and FOUR BLACK MALE TEENS watch nearby. Curtis nods to his friends. Curtis and his friends join Brian. Two pull Afro picks with stainless steel spikes and wooden handles wrapped in duct tape from their pockets, making sure they are visible. CURTIS There a problem here, Brian? Brian looks at Curtis. He turns back to Tommy.

BRIAN No problem. Is there, Tommy? Tommys followers back off. Tommys face hardens in anger. He turns and joins his friends. ALAN (to Curtis) Thanks, man. CURTIS I wasnt here for you Honkey. BRIAN You got it wrong, man. Isaac are cool. Alan and

CURTIS Theyre white. Kept in power by the same Highway Patrol Nazis and Jackson Pigs that murdered my older brother at Jackson State. As Curtis and his friends leave, one looks back at Brian. Uncle Tom. BLACK TEEN

Brian seethes. Alan and Isaac dont say anything for fear of making it worse. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, MATH CLASS - DAY Alan, Brian, Isaac and other students are at their desks. MS. YORK, a cute, petite 22 year-old teacher who could be mistaken for a student, writes an equation on the blackboard. NATHALIE DUBOIS, a pretty, stylishly-dressed 16 year-old black girl with a big Afro, nervously enters. Brians eyes light up with interest as he watches her.

11. NATHALIE Excuse me, Ms. York? Im Nathalie DuBois. Im sorry Im late -- Im still trying to find my way around. MS. YORK Oh, I just met your Mother this morning in the faculty lounge. Shes quite an amazing woman. Nathalie puts on her perfect teen face. Thank you. NATHALIE

Nathalie moves to take a seat. Her sweet countenance turns to irritation. Its not the first time shes been overshadowed by her mother. MS. YORK I hope we wont be repeating what youve studied in Switzerland. Nathalie drops into a desk next to Alan, certain everything will be a repeat in this backward place. Alan appraises Nathalie with a mix of surprise and curiosity. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS - DAY Alan, Brian, Isaac, and Nathalie leave math class. BOY bumps into Nathalie, scattering her books. NATHALIE (shouting) Tu es completement imbcile! Merde. Alan kneels to help pick up one of her books. ALAN You need to brush up on your English curse words. Merde wont get you shit around here. NATHALIE This whole place is shit. dont need your help. And I She picks A running

Nathalie angrily snatches the book from his hand. up her books and struts away around the corner.

12. INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY Nathalie stops to re-stack her books. boys talk about her around the corner. She overhears the

BRIAN (O.S.) Damn, what a fox. Short and sassy. Nathalie is pleased by the compliment. ALAN (O.S.) Yeah, but she acts like she thinks her shit dont stink. Alan, Brian and OTHER STUDENTS LAUGH (O.S.). Nathalies pleasure turns to hurt. INT. BOYS LOCKER ROOM - DAY Alan, Brian, Isaac and other STUDENTS change clothes. ALAN Did yall see Belinda in her flag girl outfit? I swear, her legs go up to her ears. ISAAC Oh hell yeah. Id love to get a taste of that -- I bet shes sweet. ALAN Boy, you have no idea what youre talking about. ISAAC Like you do? BRIAN Hey, Isaac. Wanna know what it tastes like? What? ISAAC

BRIAN (mock whispering) Bacon. Brian and Alan LAUGH and give each other high fives.

13. ISAAC Yall are so funny, I forgot to laugh... I guess Ill just forget to tell you what I found out about Miss Short and Sassy. BRIAN Aw come on, dont leave us hanging. ISAAC From here, doesnt look like you have much that can hang. Brian gives Isaac a funny, scowling dirty look. ISAAC (CONTD) Her daddy just got hired as a Department Head at the Med School. Used to work for the W.H.O. in Geneva. And Mrs. DuBois is apparently from some old-line black society family down in New Orleans. Has a Masters degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. Brian and Alan are impressed. ALAN How did you find all this out? ISAAC The custodians know everything that goes on around here. BRIAN Anything about Nathalie? ISAAC I know one thing -- that little princess is way out of your league. BRIAN Aw man, thats cold. You watch -Ill be taking that princess to the prom. Who could possibly resist my handsome, charming self? Brian stands, chest puffed out like Foghorn Leghorn. ALAN Pigeon puh-leeze. Dream on.

14. INT. ALANS HOUSE, GARAGE - DAY Alan, Brian and four BLACK TEEN MUSICIANS play Stevie Wonders LIVING FOR THE CITY. BRIAN (singing angrily) HER BROTHERS SMART, HES GOT MORE SENSE THAN MANY HIS PATIENCES LONG BUT SOON HE WONT HAVE ANY TO FIND A JOB IS LIKE A HAYSTACK NEEDLE CAUSE WHERE HE LIVES THEY DONT USE COLORED PEOPLE LIVING JUST ENOUGH, JUST ENOUGH... A POUNDING rattles the closed garage door. Alan waves his hands to stop. Isaac opens the door.

A huge, scowling white POLICEMAN stands outside, holding a billy club. In the driveway, a WHITE COUPLE in their 50s glare at them. Belle walks into the garage from the kitchen. POLICEMAN (to Belle, with a sneer) You the lady of this house? Belle isnt intimidated. BELLE How can I help you? POLICEMAN What are these boys doing here? BELLE These young men are my sons friends. And my guests. POLICEMAN Well, theyre disturbing the peace. Alan doesnt understand. ALAN But we had the garage door closed. POLICEMAN Boy, nobody around here wants to hear that jig-a-boo music.

15. ALAN Jig-a-boo music?

What the...

The policeman points his billy club at Alan. POLICEMAN (interrupting) Dont you sass me, boy. Brian is scared. He gives Alan a pleading look and shakes his head no. Alan notices and backs down. ALAN (sarcastically) Im sorry. Sir. The Policeman looks at Alan with disgust and spits. POLICEMAN Yeah, you sure are. Dont make me come back again. The policeman goes to talk to the White Couple. BRIAN Jeez, Alan. Dont ever do that, man. The police might not take it out on you. But they wouldnt hold out for a New York minute coming after the rest of us. Alan looks at the other band members, who nod in agreement. BELLE Brian, do you think your father might let yall practice in Woodworth Chapel? Brian looks at the Policeman in anger. BRIAN Im sure he will now. ALAN Lets mess with their damn minds. Alan stares down the Policeman and White Couple with angry determination as he slowly closes the garage door. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, MATH CLASS - DAY In her seat, Nathalie studies a thin booklet of instrumental music. Alan looks over as he sits in his desk.

16. ALAN Hey, you study music? Nathalie SIGHS, and answers without looking at him. Yes. NATHALIE

ALAN That cello music? Nathalie looks at Alan, surprised. Brian, sitting a few desks behind, watches them talk with interest. NATHALIE Youre right. The Bach Cello Sonatas. Howd you know? Alans eyes light up as he looks at Nathalie. ALAN I saw it starts out in bass clef, but changes to tenor clef, so I figured it had to be for cello. NATHALIE How do you know about tenor clef? ALAN I had to learn it for brass quintet. We play a lot of Baroque. NATHALIE You like classical? ALAN Im not prejudiced. I like all kinds. Alan, embarrassed,

Nathalie considers Alan with curiosity. points at the score.

ALAN (CONTD) Ive never seen that symbol though. What does it mean? NATHALIE Up-bow. When you push the bow towards the cello. Nathalie points to another place on the score. NATHALIE (CONTD) This means down-bow -- when I pull the bow away.

17. ALAN It makes a difference? NATHALIE (laughing) If I do it right, it does. The bell RINGS and class begins. Brian is unsure of what is happening between Nathalie and Alan. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY Alan and Nathalie walk in the hall crowded with STUDENTS. ALAN You playing anywhere now? NATHALIE No, but I have a try-out on Saturday for the Jackson Symphony. ALAN Really? You must be pretty good. When you get famous, will you sign your albums for me? NATHALIE (laughing) How about this. If I make it in the Symphony, come hear me play. Ill be in the back. Way, way in the back. ALAN Its a deal. See you later. Alan starts to go down the stairs. Nathalie waves and continues. Alan turns and runs back up. ALAN (CONTD) Hey -- Brian and I have a funk band together. Would you be interested to hear us practice sometime? Nathalie turns to look at him. NATHALIE Uh, I dont... ALAN Itd help to have someone who knows something about music listen to us.

18. Nathalie hesitates and considers his invitation. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, MRS. DUBOIS CLASSROOM - DAY MRS. DUBOIS, an attractive black woman of 40, sits at her desk in an empty classroom, grading papers. Shes perfectly put together, the epitome of studied elegance. Alan KNOCKS on her classroom door. ALAN Mrs. DuBois? MRS. DUBOIS Yes, how may I help you? ALAN Im Alan Robinson. I was wondering if I could still turn in samples for the Literary Magazine staff? MRS. DUBOIS The cut-off was yesterday. Why didnt you turn them in on time? Alan hesitates, embarrassed. ALAN Around here, people think guys who write are kind of -- strange. Strange? MRS. DUBOIS

ALAN Yeah, you know... sissies. MRS. DUBOIS Hemingway wrote prose and poetry. Think theyd consider him a sissy? ALAN No, theyd just think he was a nogood drunk who killed himself. Mrs. DuBois CHUCKLES as she considers Alan. MRS. DUBOIS You remind me of a young man I once knew in France... Tell you what, Ill take a look.

19. Alan hesitates. He hands her a thick spiral notebook. Mrs. Dubois flips through in surprise at how much he has written. ALAN I dont know if its any good. Ive never shown anybody else. MRS. DUBOIS Then Im honored. ALAN Hey, dont tell anyone else, OK? Mrs. Dubois smiles at Alan conspiratorially. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHT The table is formally set with china, crystal and silver. The radio softly plays classical chamber music. At the table, DR. PRESCOTT DUBOIS, a mid-40s Black man wearing a tie, Mrs. DuBois and Nathalie bow their heads. DR. DUBOIS ... and St. Jude, I humbly beg you to come to my assistance and grant my earnest petition -- that the Boston Red Sox may finally win the World Series once again. Amen. Dr. DuBois crosses himself with an impish look. Nathalie tries to keep from laughing as she crosses herself. Mrs. DuBois crosses herself. Shes not amused.

MRS. DUBOIS I dont think its appropriate for you to ask St. Jude to intercede on behalf of your baseball team. DR. DUBOIS Why not? St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes, after all. And the Red Sox have been suffering since 1918. Thats pretty hopeless, isnt it? MRS. DUBOIS I doubt Father Andrews would see it like that. Why? NATHALIE Is he a Cincinnati Reds fan?

20. Mrs. DuBois is completely put out. Nathalie and Dr. DuBois give each other a pleased look, knowing theyve tweaked Mrs. DuBoiss sense of propriety. A BLACK MAID in uniform comes in and pours wine. NATHALIE (CONTD) Some guys from school invited me to listen to their band practice after my audition tomorrow. Where? MRS. DUBOIS

NATHALIE Woodworth Chapel, over at Tougaloo College. MRS. DUBOIS Nathalie, just remember, most black people around here arent Catholic. DR. DUBOIS Itll be good for Nathalie to meet some nice young black men, Catholic or not. (to Nathalie) But no drinking or drugs. Promise? Nathalie looks at her father as if he has no clue. NATHALIE Daddy, theyre practicing in a church. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY The band sets up on stage in an old chapel. The chapels wood ceiling and wood-paneled walls show the patina of age. LATER The band exuberantly plays I WANNA TAKE YOU HIGHER by Sly & the Family Stone, slightly out of sync and off-key. Isaac mans a sound board in front of the band. The song ends. DWAYNE, a short 16 year old black guitarist, gives KEITH, a skinny 17 year-old black drummer, a high-five. BRIAN Thatd most definitely get folks to get up and dance to the music.

21. ISAAC We should enter the music showcase next fall. If we make it to the state level, first prize is $5,000, and a recording session at Malaco. ALAN A lot of folks will be unhappy. ISAAC About what? Alan looks at his friends and gives a small LAUGH. ALAN That we even exist. And if we win? Theyre gonna have shit-fits. The band members LAUGH. INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM - DAY The auditorium is nearly empty. In seats near the stage, the AUDITION COMMITTEE -- five middle-aged white adults -- talk. One chair and a music stand are on the stage. Nathalie walks onto stage carrying her cello. She wears an elegant, summery dress. MRS. COCHRAN, a middle-aged white society matron, notices Nathalie. MRS. COCHRAN Try-outs for Junior Symphony are next weekend, dear. NATHALIE Im here for the regular Symphony. MRS. COCHRAN Are you sure? NATHALIE Of course Im sure. The adults react in disbelief. The CONDUCTOR, a white man in his 50s with a vaguely European look, SHUSHES them. CONDUCTOR What do you have for us? NATHALIE Bachs Cello Suite Number 1, in G Major. The Prelude and Allemande.

22. The Conductor nods his head for her to go ahead. Nathalie takes a seat. She adjusts her strings for a little too long as she tries to overcome her nervousness. Nathalie takes a deep breath and starts to play. and passion are immediately evident. Her talent

The Conductor and Audition Committee listen enraptured. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Nathalie walks in happy, carrying her cello in a fabric gig bag. She joins Isaac at the sound and light board. On stage the band plays HIGHER GROUND by Stevie Wonder. Brian and Alan sing together on the final chorus. The song ends. LATER Alan, Brian and Isaac pack up gear on stage. onto the stage holding her cello gig bag. NATHALIE Hey, you guys are pretty good. Thanks. ALAN Howd your tryout go? Nathalie walks Nathalie CLAPS and CHEERS.

Nathalie beams with pride. NATHALIE Youre looking at the Symphonys new fifth-chair cellist. ALAN Wow, thats great! ISAAC Uh-oh, now shell never talk to the likes of us again. Why? ALAN

ISAAC (bad English accent) Dont you know old chap. We simply arent civilized enough for a Princess of such refined tastes.

23. NATHALIE

Stop it.

Alan pretends to take off a hat and make a sweeping bow. ALAN Your Highness. May this humble minstrel have the honor of playing for your pleasure again one day? NATHALIE If not, then off with your head. Nathalie pulls her bow from her cello bag and turns to Brian. NATHALIE (CONTD) Master Robinson, kneel before me. Brian kneels and looks at her. Nathalie knights him with her bow. Alan watches their interaction closely. NATHALIE (CONTD) I name you my Royal Conductor. I command you to only play funky music while my people eat cake. All four LAUGH. Brian stands back up.

BRIAN Seriously, if were going to play more funk, we need a dedicated bass player. We need Dwayne on guitar, and my feet cant hit the bass pedals fast enough on those songs. ALAN Whats the matter Twinkletoes -yo feets be failing you now? Brian acts put out. Isaac and Nathalie LAUGH.

NATHALIE Hey Alan, I heard people say youre light on your feet. Maybe you should take up the bass pedals. All go silent. Alans face falls. He leaves the stage.

ISAAC You are one cold-hearted bitch. Isaac runs after Alan.

24. NATHALIE What did I do? Brian looks at her with disappointment. BRIAN Around here, saying a guy is light on his feet is saying hes queer. Brian strides away after Isaac and Alan. But... Nathalie is upset. NATHALIE She puts her bow in her bag and leaves.

EXT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL, PARKING LOT - NIGHT Alan ambles alone in the warm Indian Summer night. He carries his trombone case. He sees Nathalie sitting on the hood of his mothers beat-up Chevy Nova. ALAN What do you want? NATHALIE To tell you Im sorry. Alan puts his horn in back and slams the door shut. ALAN Why? Because you think Im light on my feet? Lots of girls like you seem to think that. NATHALIE I didnt know what it meant... And Im not like lots of other girls. Nathalie slides off the hood and lightly touches his arm. Alan looks at her hand on his arm. NATHALIE (CONTD) I know how words can hurt. You should have heard what people in Europe used to say about me when they thought I didnt speak French. Yeah? ALAN Like what?

25. NATHALIE One woman told her friend how cute I was -- for a little black monkey. ALAN What did you do? NATHALIE I thanked her politely in French, and said that she was cute too -for a fat old Ass. Alan LAUGHS. NATHALIE (CONTD) Look, Ive heard what they say about me in school... Shes a spoiled little princess; shes too smart for her own good... ALAN Shes got her nose up in the air... NATHALIE Shes trying to be white... ALAN Shes a stuck-up rich bitch... NATHALIE But the best was: She acts like she thinks her shit dont stink. Nathalie looks at Alan askance, with a poker face. ALAN I... I didnt mean anything by that the other day. Im sorry. Nathalie holds her poker face for a second. She breaks up.

NATHALIE Got you!... Hey, its OK, because I know thats not true. Both LAUGH. As they stop, they look at each other in a new way, with affection. An awkward silence passes. ALAN Uh, I should be getting home. My Mom needs to drop me off at work. Where are you parked?

26. NATHALIE Just over here. Nathalie gets into a new Mercedes S-class sedan. ALAN See, I knew you were rich. you arent stuck up. Even if

NATHALIE Dont get excited. Its my Moms. Nathalie starts the car and lowers her window. ALAN Folks around here wont know what to think when they see you driving this fancy car around. NATHALIE (laughing) Then they better get used to it, cause here I am baby, black and proud! Nathalie and Alan wave as she drives away. Alan continues to stare until the cars tail-lights disappear in the night. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Alan stands behind the counter of the empty store. in a notebook. INSERT - NOTEBOOK PAGE ALAN (V.O.) A butterfly touched my arm, my mind opened to its charms. Im afraid, Im afraid, Im falling. The butterflys golden hue, made my heart beat anew. Im afraid, Im afraid, Im falling. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL, PARKING LOT AND FRONT YARD - DAY Belle and Alan get out of her car. Alan has his trombone case in one hand, books and a record album under his arm. He writes

27. BELLE Dont forget, I have detention study hall duty this afternoon. ALAN No problem, Ill just practice in the band room until youre done. Alan sees Nathalie walking towards school with PATRICE, a pretty black girl of 17. Curtis and SEVERAL BLACK MALE TEENS hanging out in front of the school ogle Nathalie and Patrice. Alan hurries towards Nathalie and Patrice. ALAN (CONTD) Hey, Nathalie! Nathalie and Patrice turn to see Alan coming towards them. PATRICE How do you know Alan? NATHALIE Alan and Brian invited me to listen to their band. Theyre good. PATRICE Brians nice, but dont let his preacher-boy exterior fool you. NATHALIE Patrice, I can handle Brian. PATRICE Yeah, I bet hed just love for you to handle him. Nathalie LAUGHS as Patrice continues on towards school. joins Nathalie. ALAN I thought you might like this. Alan hands Nathalie the record album: MINGUS AH UM. They slowly stroll together to the school entrance. Curtis and his friends watch them with surprise. NATHALIE Whos Charles Mingus? Alan

28. ALAN One of the most amazing jazz bassists and composers around. He mixes classical and jazz idioms. He originally started on cello, then took up bass when he was 15. Really? NATHALIE

Alan looks at Nathalie with nervous anticipation. Nathalie, pleased with the gift, gives Alan a smile of thanks. Curtis malevolently stares at Alan and Nathalie. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY Alan and other STUDENTS make their way to classes. Tommy Stefani and SEVERAL WHITE BOYS hang out near his locker. Mrs. Dubois stands in her classroom door. MRS. DUBOIS Alan, can you see me after school? Sure. ALAN

Mrs. DuBois goes back into her classroom and closes her door. TOMMY (to his friends, loudly) I guess once hes gone black, he cant go back. ALAN Why dont you go back to the swamp you crawled out of? Tommy pushes Alan angrily up against the lockers. pale with shock and fear. TOMMY Dont mess with me, faggot. Tommy punches Alan in the stomach. He and his friends quickly leave as Alan doubles over. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, MRS. DUBOIS CLASSROOM - DAY Mrs. Dubois is seated at her desk. Alan stands next to her. Alans notebook is on top of her desk. Alan goes

29. ALAN You really think its good? MRS. DUBOIS Very good. Good enough to get you noticed by Ivy League schools. ALAN We could never afford that. We may not even be able to afford Ole Miss, and my Moms already teaching here and Night School. MRS. DUBOIS How about your Dad? Whats he do? ALAN My Dad died in Vietnam. MRS. DUBOIS Oh, Im so sorry. I didnt know... ALAN It was eight years ago. They say he died some kind of hero, but I dont think theres much thats worth dying for. An awkward silence passes. MRS. DUBOIS Well, if you serve as Assistant Editor of the Literary Magazine this year, and become Editor next year, it could help you earn a scholarship. ALAN I dont know what to say. yes, of course. Great. Alan hesitates. MRS. DUBOIS Then its settled. He hands Mrs. DuBois a piece of paper. I mean,

ALAN Uh, I have another poem I just wrote -- would you take a look at it for possible publication? MRS. DUBOIS Butterfly?

30. Alan gives a nod of acknowledgment. Mrs. DuBois reads. He waits nervously as

MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) To feel the real impact of poetry, I like to hear it read by the poet. Mrs. Dubois hands the piece of paper back to Alan. takes it reluctantly. LATER ALAN ...One look from you and Ill know, That you could be mine, and if so, Ill be brave, and fall in to love. Alan is embarrassed. Mrs. DuBois smiles appreciatively. Alan

MRS. DUBOIS So, whos the lucky object of your affections? ALAN Uh -- nobody. MRS. DUBOIS Hard to believe anybody could write with such feeling about nobody. ALAN Well, she doesnt know... Its an impossible situation anyway. Mrs. DuBois gives a slight, knowing smile. MRS. DUBOIS Well, I think its perfect for the magazine. Embarrassed, Alan signs the poem and hands it back to Mrs. DuBois. She puts it in a folder with other work. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) And welcome to the Literary Magazine staff. Mrs. DuBois smiles at Alan and extends her hand. Alan shakes her hand gently. He looks at her almost worshipfully. ALAN Thank you, Mrs. DuBois.

31. INT. HALLWAY - HIGH SCHOOL - DAY Nathalie stands at the edge of the closed classroom doors window, closely watching Alan and her mother. INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM, BACKSTAGE - NIGHT Musicians get ready for the concert. Alan looks around backstage. He walks up to a male CELLO PLAYER in his 50s. ALAN Excuse me, have you seen Nathalie? The Cello Player sneers. CELLO PLAYER Little Miss Affirmative Action? Alan stares hard at him, disgusted. down, ashamed. The cello player backs

CELLO PLAYER (CONTD) Last I saw her, she was out back. EXT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM, LOADING DOCK - NIGHT Nathalie stands on the loading dock, wearing a black dress, completely stressed. Alan opens the docks back door. Nathalie? ALAN

Nathalie glances at Alan, and turns back around. Alan takes off a shoe to block the door from closing and hops to her. ALAN (CONTD) Whats wrong? NATHALIE I... forget it. Alan looks at her with concern. Nathalies face weakens.

NATHALIE (CONTD) Ive never played before a big audience before. If I goof up, Ill embarrass my parents. ALAN Come on, youre not going to goof up. Even if you do, your parents will still be proud of you.

32. NATHALIE You dont know them. Everything we do has to be an example for our race. Its like Im in the Miss America pageant 24 hours a day. Nathalie holds back tears. Alan lightly touches her arm.

ALAN Tell you what. If you goof up, look up at me in the balcony, and Ill pretend to have a heart attack. I guarantee no one will remember you goofed up after that. Nathalie LAUGHS and starts to relax. NATHALIE Youre crazy. Alan and Nathalie look at one another with affection. INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT A handful of ORCHESTRA MEMBERS warm up on stage. Dr. and Mrs. DuBois come in early and make their way to prime seats, to the surprise of the all-white audience. Dr. DuBois reads a medical journal. Mrs. DuBois opens her folder with submissions for the Literary Magazine to review. Dr. DuBois COUGHS. DR. DUBOIS Do you have a lozenge? Mrs. DuBois hands Dr. DuBois her open folder and looks through her purse. Dr DuBois begins to read. DR. DUBOIS (CONTD) Whats this? Mrs. DuBois finds a lozenge and hands it to him. MRS. DUBOIS Oh. A poem by my new Assistant Editor for the Literary magazine. Dr. DuBois finishes the poem, and hands the folder back. DR. DUBOIS A bit overly romantic for my taste.

33. MRS. DUBOIS I like it. And not just because he might have a little crush on me. DR. DUBOIS A high school student? MRS. DUBOIS You dont think Im still pretty enough to be noticed by young men? DR. DUBOIS Thats not what I meant. MRS. DUBOIS Im just teasing you. Two rows behind the DuBois, a well-dressed WHITE COUPLE sit. They look at Dr. and Mrs. DuBois with distaste. WHITE WOMAN (loudly, to her husband) I hope they know you dont crunch on pork rinds during the Symphony. Mrs. DuBois turns and gives the White Woman a hard stare. The White Woman gives a nasty look back. Mrs. DuBois starts to say something. Dr. Dubois puts his hand on her arm and shakes his head no. INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT The ORCHESTRA plays Mahlers 3rd Symphony. Alan sits in the balcony, focusing on Nathalie, the only black musician. Nathalie plays intensely during the finale. reverberate through the hall. The audience APPLAUDS. The last notes I... I...

Relief and pride wash over Nathalie.

INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM, ELEVATOR - NIGHT Alan, Isaac, and Isaacs father MR. DREYFUS, slender and in his 50s, enter an elevator with other SYMPHONY PATRONS. ALAN Whatd you think, Mr. Dreyfus? MR. DREYFUS (slight French-Jewish accent) (MORE)

34. MR. DREYFUS (CONT'D) Not bad. People will think we have some culture here in Mississippi. One FEMALE SYMPHONY PATRON whispers to another. FEMALE SYMPHONY PATRON If he thinks were so backward, he should have stayed in Europe. Mr. Dreyfus turns to face her in irritation. MR. DREYFUS Unfortunately, some people in Europe werent as friendly to Jews as most people are here. FEMALE SYMPHONY PATRON Why, I didnt mean to imply anything. I just love the Jewish people. Yall are so -- biblical. Mr. Dreyfus, Isaac and Alan look at her in disbelief. INT. JACKSON CIVIC AUDITORIUM, BACKSTAGE - NIGHT The musicians pack up. JAMES, a jovial, overweight, balding, white bass player in his late 30s, walks to Nathalie. He holds up an electric bass gig bag. JAMES For my favorite French speaking black teenage cellist. As you requested. NATHALIE James, Im the only French speaking black teenage cellist you know. JAMES That doesnt change the fact that youre my favorite. James tries to hand Nathalie the gig bag. JAMES (CONTD) Its one of my old Fenders. Nathalie looks around to see if anyone is looking. NATHALIE Uh -- can I pick it up tomorrow? Im with my parents tonight.

35. JAMES What -- afraid they wont let you become a funky bass diva? NATHALIE Are you kidding? Playing cello was all their idea. They only listen to classical music. JAMES Well watch out, playing electric bass can be addictive. You start off doing some light bass lines. James holds up the gig bag and pretends to play the bass. JAMES (CONTD) Then you tell yourself, Hey, whats the harm in trying something a little harder? I can handle it. Before you know it, youre hooked -bass-lining hard-core funk. James starts to dance funky and pretend to play as he sings UP FOR THE DOWNSTOKE by Parliament. JAMES (CONTD) (singing) GET UP FOR THE DOWN STROKE, EVERYBODY GET UP GET UP FOR THE DOWN STOKE, EVERYBODY GET UP Other musicians look on -- some with amusement, some with disgust. Nathalie LAUGHS. NATHALIE Oh yeah, my parents will love that. INT. DUBOIS MERCEDES - MOVING - NIGHT Dr. DuBois drives. Mrs. DuBois sits in the front passenger seat, Nathalie in back. MRS. DUBOIS Can you believe some of the outfits people wore tonight? So tacky. NATHALIE Most people here cant afford to shop in Paris like you do.

36. MRS. DUBOIS Well, I just think that if they go to the Symphony, they should make more of an effort. NATHALIE Some people come for the show, not to show off. Mrs. DuBois sniffs. Dr. DuBois gives Nathalie a back off glance in the mirror. An awkward silence passes. DR. DUBOIS You looked very professional on stage tonight, sweetheart. NATHALIE Thank you, Daddy. MRS. DUBOIS I just love Mahlers 3rd -particularly the last movement. NATHALIE Mahler called the last movement What Love Tells Me. Its supposed to be played slowly, tranquilly, and deeply felt. DR. DUBOIS (teasing) Did you know your mother received a deeply felt poem from a secret admirer at your school? MRS. DUBOIS Prescott... Mrs. DuBois gives Dr. DuBois a hard stare. intrigued. NATHALIE Somebody wrote you a poem? INT. ALANS HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT Belle sits at the table in a cheap quilted robe, grading homework. Alan comes into the kitchen. BELLE How was the Symphony? Nathalie is

37. ALAN You should go sometime.

Great.

BELLE How did Mrs. DuBois daughter do? Nathalie? ALAN

BELLE Mrs. DuBois has been bragging nonstop about her all week. Alans eyes cant conceal how he feels about Nathalie. ALAN When Nathalie plays, she looks -so poised and confident. BELLE (teasing) You dont like that girl, do you? ALAN Oh, come on Mom, get real. Belle is skeptical. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, STUDY - NIGHT Nathalie, wearing a silk robe, sneaks into a traditional woodpaneled study. She quietly closes the door. Nathalie sits at the desk and turns on a small desk lamp. Mrs. DuBois folder is on the desk. Nathalie opens the folder and reads Alans poem. She is confused. Nathalie finds a blank piece of paper and a pen. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE - NATHALIES ROOM - DAY The bedroom door is closed. propped up on her desk. The MINGUS AH UM album is

Nathalie sits practicing fingerings on an un-amplified bass. Nathalie! MRS. DUBOIS (O.S.)

Nathalie quickly hides her bass under her bed, and picks up her cello and bow. Mrs. DuBois sticks her head in.

38. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) Dinners in ten minutes, honey. Mrs. DuBois closes the door. Nathalie pulls out her bass.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL, LUNCHROOM - DAY Nathalie and Patrice eat lunch and talk. A few tables away, Isaac and Alan eat. Alan steals glances at Nathalie. Brian walks to Nathalie and Patrices table and sits with an exaggerated flourish. BRIAN Why hello, lovely ladies. Nathalie is flattered. Patrice has heard it before.

BRIAN (CONTD) I wanted to see if the two of you would like to join us for Communion Supper after services Sunday. PATRICE I guess you forgot I go to Pickens every Sunday to see my Grandma? Patrice knows Brian didnt forget, and he knows she knows. BRIAN How about you, Nathalie? Alan watches but cant hear from his table. He sees Nathalies face light up with apparent interest in Brian. NATHALIE Our family always does a special roast for family dinner on Sunday. But I might stop by for dessert. BRIAN Thatd be great. And youre always welcome to come over earlier. Alan is conflicted about Brians interaction with Nathalie. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY AND AUDITORIUM - DAY From the hallway, Nathalie sees Alan at a piano on stage, arranging a score. She flattens herself against the wall, out of his sight.

39. Nathalie pulls a compact from her purse, picks her hair, and smiles to check her teeth. Nathalie walks into the auditorium to the edge of the stage. NATHALIE Hey, Alan, whats up? Alan is surprised but happy to see Nathalie. ALAN Working on an arrangement of Superstition. Were going to try it on Saturday. NATHALIE OK if I stop by? Alan is thrilled. Sure. ALAN

INT. NATHALIES ROOM - NIGHT Nathalie plays her un-amplified bass as she listens to Stevie Wonders SUPERSTITION over headphones. She repeatedly stops and starts the record as she plays along. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY On stage, BAND MEMBERS practice phrases from SUPERSTITION. Nathalie walks in. She wears a winter coat and carries her bass gig bag. NATHALIE Hey guys. Heard you might need a bass player. Can I try out? Brian and Alan are surprised. Dwayne, the guitar and parttime bass player, starts laughing. Shee-it. DWAYNE A Sister playing bass?

NATHALIE Want me to show you what a Sister can do? I bet I can play anything you put in front of me. DWAYNE OK Foxy, youre on. I cant wait.

40. Nathalie takes off her coat to reveal a sexy top and skintight jeans. Isaac WHISTLES in appreciation. Nathalie unzips her gig bag and slings the strap for her bass over her neck. She steps onto the stage. NATHALIE Mind if I plug in? DWAYNE Sure, Baby. Be my guest. Nathalie plugs into Dwaynes bass amp. The bass makes a horrible screech and loud hum. Several guys SNICKER. Nathalie angrily adjusts controls, and plucks her strings. NATHALIE Give me the score, and lets do it. Alan hands her a music score. Nathalie looks it over.

NATHALIE (CONTD) Brian, can you give me an extra eight bars before you come in? You sure? BRIAN

NATHALIE Of course Im sure. O-kay. BRIAN Keith, hit it.

The drummer Keith plays the intro drum beats of SUPERSTITION by Stevie Wonder. Nathalie turns to Dwayne. NATHALIE Just try to keep up, Baby. Nathalie launches into the bass line, playing straight at first, then improvising. Impressed, the guys groove to her playing. Alan grins and nods to Brian. LATER The song ends. Brian is exuberant.

BRIAN I think weve found our new bass player. What do you think, guys?

41. KEITH She can play, no doubt. But I dont know man -- a chick? Alan? BRIAN What do you think?

Nathalie looks to Alan, who looks back admiringly. ALAN I think shes perfect. Nathalie turns to Dwayne. NATHALIE So, am I in, my Brother? DWAYNE Welcome to the Robinson Brothers Band, my Sister. The guys CLAP and WHISTLE. returns it happily. Isaac gives Alan a thumbs-up, who

Alan turns to see Brian and Nathalie hug. His happiness turns to disappointment. He focuses on making corrections to the music score on his stand. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY At the table, Dr. DuBois reads the paper. Mrs. DuBois sips a cup of tea. Nathalie eats breakfast hurriedly. She gets up and picks up her cello case, and walks out the door. NATHALIE The Concertmaster called a special practice for the strings today. MRS. DUBOIS On a Saturday? NATHALIE He wants us to be perfect for our last concert of the season. Dr. DuBois doesnt look up from his paper. DR. DUBOIS Have a nice day, sweetheart.

42. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY The band plays CANT HIDE LOVE by Earth Wind & Fire. looks at Nathalie meaningfully as he sings. BRIAN (singing) YOU CANT PRETEND THERES NOTHING THERE GIRL, I LOOK IN YOUR EYES, I SEE YOU CARE Nathalie looks away, embarrassed. Alan wistfully watches Nathalie and Brian look at each other. Brians father, REVEREND ROBINSON, 50 and serious looking, walks in sit and listen to the band from a pew near the stage. He claps as the song finishes with a big horn chord. ALAN Hey there, Reverend Robinson. Hi, Dad. BRIAN Brian

The rest of the band nod and wave to Reverend Robinson. REVEREND ROBINSON Howd yall like to play for our college Graduation Party on May 7th? BRIAN I thought you had a band lined up? REVEREND ROBINSON They cancelled on us -- got a chance to record up in Memphis. Alan looks around at the other band members. DWAYNE Im not sure were ready, man. BRIAN If youre scared, we can put you in back so no one can see you. Dwayne starts to flip Brian the bird, but remembers where he is. He makes a face at Brian and scratches his head instead. KEITH I guess I can get off work.

43. Alan looks at Nathalie, who nods enthusiastically. ALAN (to Reverend Robinson) Lets do it. REVEREND ROBINSON O.K.! A week from Friday. Eight Oclock, in the Auditorium. INT. STEINS CLOTHING STORE - DAY Isaac talks to an older Jewish couple in their 60s, MR. STEIN and MRS. STEIN, as band members try on flashy clothing. -- The guys try on bell bottoms, fringed vests, rayon shirts, and platform shoes. They go in and out of dressing stalls, laughing and joking with one another. -- Brian and Alan pop out of adjacent dressing stalls, wearing matching white Elvis jumpsuits, Afro wigs and sunglasses. They dance in synchronized Elvis moves. The band members shake their heads and violently wave their hands no. -- Nathalie sticks her head through drapes of a dressing stall. Everyone stops to look at her. Nathalie flings open the drapes and strikes a pose. She wears platform boots, a miniskirt, and a tight halter-top with a deep v-neck that shows off her bare mid-riff. The guys pretend to have heart attacks and fall to the floor. Nathalie breaks up LAUGHING. Isaac and the Steins LAUGH as they watch the bands antics. ISAAC (to Mr. and Mrs. Stein) Thanks for helping my friends out. Well be sure to mention Steins on the flyers -- should be almost a thousand people there. MRS. STEIN (whispering, deep Southern accent) Isaac, its OK to be nice to the Schvartzes -- its good business. But theyre not your people.

44. Isaacs face turns to stone. INT. HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL FIELD - DAY Two HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL TEAMS are on the field. On the scoreboard: Callaway Chargers: 2 ; Murrah Mustangs: 6 Brian, Isaac and Alan sit in bleachers next to the all-female PEP SQUAD. The CROWD around them is dejected. Brian grabs pom-poms from a PEP SQUAD GIRL. the front of the bleachers. Brian waves the pom-poms at the CROWD. BRIAN Lets go Chargers, lets go! On the other side of the Pep Squad, Nathalie and Patrice watch Brians antics. Mrs. DuBois comes into the stands. She sees Nathalie and Patrice, waves, and walks up the bleachers towards them. Nathalie panics. NATHALIE Patrice, I need you to cover for me. I told my Mom I was going to be with you on Friday night. What? PATRICE Brian continues He runs down to

Mrs. DuBois sits with Nathalie and Patrice. to try to rally the CROWD. MRS. DUBOIS Doesnt look good for the Chargers today. Isnt that Brian Robinson down there? Yeah. NATHALIE Hes Mr. Energy.

MRS. DUBOIS He seems like a nice young man. Nathalie, why dont you invite Brian and other black student leaders over for a barbeque sometime this summer?

45. NATHALIE OK, Ill work on that. MRS. DUBOIS Do you girls have anything big planned for tomorrow night? Patrice looks at Nathalie for help. NATHALIE You know how it is at pyjama parties, Mom. PATRICE Yeah, well probably be up all night talking about boys -- and who has a crush on who. Whom. MRS. DUBOIS Who has a crush on whom.

Mrs. DuBois gets up to leave. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) Try not to stay up all night -Nathalie needs her beauty sleep. Nathalie is irritated, but smiles sweetly. As Mrs. Dubois walks away, Patrice turns to Nathalie excitedly. PATRICE Girl, just what kind of trouble are you getting yourself into? INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE AUDITORIUM/DANCE HALL, STAGE - NIGHT The BAND MEMBERS sets up behind drawn curtains on the stage. Brian walks onto stage and motions them to him. BRIAN (whispering hoarsely) Youre not gonna believe this... What? ALAN

BRIAN Doc said its laryn... Brian cant get it out, and finally croaks hoarsely. BRIAN (CONTD) Overdid it at the game.

46. DWAYNE Were gonna have to cancel.

Shit.

KEITH Then we better run out the back. Those folks are ready to par-tay. The band members faces drop in disappointment. ISAAC I have an idea... INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE AUDITORIUM/DANCE HALL, STAGE - NIGHT An all-black CROWD of hundreds impatiently wait. A sign on the wall: TOUGALOO CONGRATULATES THE CLASS OF 1976 In the bleachers at the sound and light board, Isaac dims the lights. He speaks into a microphone. ISAAC (V.O.) Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters -- The Robinson Brothers. The band plays the intro of FIGHT THE POWER by the Isley Brothers. The crowd SCREAMS and WHISTLES in recognition. Curtains open on the darkened stage. UNKNOWN MALE SINGER (singing) TIME IS TRULY WASTIN' THERE'S NO GUARANTEE SMILE IS IN THE MAKIN' YOU GOTTA FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE Isaac turns on one spotlight, only on the singer: Alan. ALAN (singing) GOT SO MANY FORCES STAYIN' ON THE SCENE GIVIN' UP ALL AROUND ME FACES FULL A' PAIN The crowd GASPS, and almost sucks the oxygen out of the room. The audience goes silent. A few BOOS from the crowd. MALE TOUGALOO STUDENT Get out of here, Ofay.

47. Isaac lights the entire stage. The crowd sees the rest of the band is Black. But the crowds silence is deafening. ALAN AND THE GROUP (Alan singing) I CAN'T PLAY MY MUSIC (Group singing response) THEY SAY OUR MUSIC'S TOO LOUD (Alan singing) I KEPT TALKIN ABOUT IT (Group singing response) WE GOT THE BIG RUN AROUND (Alan singing) I TRY TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES (Group singing response) AND GOT KNOCKED TO THE GROUND (Alan and Group singing) BY ALL THIS BULLSHIT GOING DOWN Most of the crowd CHEER wildly. Others look at the band with suspicion. A few pointedly leave. Alan looks to Nathalie, who gives a big smile in admiration. He glances at Brian, who nods with approval. In the bleachers, Isaac grins like a mule eating briars. LATER Alan passionately sings SO VERY HARD TO GO by Tower of Power, mimicking great soul singers moves. A group of BLACK GIRLS crowd the stage, reaching out their hands towards Alan. The song ends. The crowd CLAPS, WHISTLES and SCREAMS in appreciation. Alan beams and takes a big bow. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE AUDITORIUM/DANCE HALL, STAGE - NIGHT The band breaks down their equipment. Alan put his trombone in its case. Two sexy black COLLEGE GIRLS wearing skin-tight clothes to show off their curves go to Alan. Excuse me. COLLEGE GIRL 1 Can I touch your hair?

Alan looks around and sees the College Girls. Uh, -- me? ALAN

COLLEGE GIRL 1 Yeah baby, you.

48. Alan stands, tongue-tied. Nathalie watches as she packs up.

ALAN Uh, -- sure. I guess. The girl reaches out and touches Alans hair. Oooh. COLLEGE GIRL 1 Tina, you have to feel this.

The other girl comes close to touch Alans hair. Uh-hmm. COLLEGE GIRL 2 All your hair so soft? He blushes deep red.

Alan is completely flustered.

COLLEGE GIRL 1 We dont make you nervous, do we baby? We wont bite... COLLEGE GIRL 2 Unless course you want us to... The guys in the band SNORT and LAUGH. ISAAC Dont yall wanna touch my hair? Nathalie steps over to save Alan, staring down the girls. NATHALIE Alan, can you help me with my amp? Sure. ALAN Can you excuse me, ladies?

COLLEGE GIRL 2 No problem sugar, you go help that little girl. Well still be up after all the kiddies go to bed. The girls sashay away. COLLEGE GIRL 1 That boys awful cute. Looks so innocent, too. COLLEGE GIRL 2 So tender, I could just eat him up. The girls laugh wickedly. Alan blushes and smiles nervously. Nathalie sees Alan smile, and angrily zips up her gig bag.

49. NATHALIE Brian, will you walk me to my car? Brian is surprised, but happy for a chance with Nathalie. Uh, OK. BRIAN

Alan watches Nathalie and Brian leave, dumbfounded. EXT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL, PARKING LOT - NIGHT Alan puts his horn in his mothers car. A Mercedes sedan glides slowly towards him. The drivers window rolls down. NATHALIE This is getting to be a habit. What is? ALAN

NATHALIE Me apologizing to you in the parking lot. ALAN I thought I did something wrong. NATHALIE Nah, you didnt. Now if youd gone off with those hoochie-coochies, Id have lost all respect for you. ALAN They were just teasing. NATHALIE No they werent. Really? them... ALAN Maybe I can still find

Alan looks over his shoulder. Nathalie stares in disbelief as he holds his gaze. Alan turns back to her. ALAN (CONTD) (laughing) Gotcha!... I wouldnt know what to do with girls like that. Id have a heart attack or something.

50. NATHALIE Yeah, youd have something, thats for sure. Something that would take a shot from a Doctor to cure. Alan and Nathalie LAUGH together. NATHALIE (CONTD) Hey, Ive been playing around with a melody on my cello. If I play it, can you transpose it and create a chord structure? Sure. ALAN

NATHALIE Meet here at 2 tomorrow? ALAN Can you drop me off at work after? My Mom needs the car tomorrow. NATHALIE (Southern Black accent) Why sure, if I can touch your hair. Nathalie gives Alan a wink and a sly look, and drives away. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Nathalie sits next to the piano and plays a slow ballad on her cello. Brian walks into the chapel. BRIAN (hoarsely) Hey, Nathalie. Whatcha doing? NATHALIE Waiting for Alan. He was supposed to help me with a song I wrote. INT. ALANS HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY Alan paces, anxious and frustrated. The clock on the wall shows 2:55. Car horn HONKS. Alan runs out the door. INT. BELLES CAR - DAY Belle sits in the drivers seat. Alan jumps in, agitated.

51. ALAN (shouting) Mom, youve made me late! promised... BELLE Honey, Im sorry.

I had a flat.

Alan hits the car door panel with his fist. Damn it. Belle is confused. Calm down. BELLE Whats your problem? ALAN Just go, OK?

INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Brian sits at the piano, Nathalie in a chair with her cello. Nathalie plays a phrase on her cello. Brian re-plays the phrase on the piano. Brian writes the notes on a score. BRIAN OK, lets add some chords. Brian begins to play the song BUTTERFLY. INT. BELLES CAR, MOVING - DAY Belle and Alan drive through the Tougaloo College campus, ablaze with azaleas, tulips and magnolias in bloom. Belle pulls into the Woodward Chapel parking lot. BELLE Honey, please tell your friends Im sorry for making you late. Alan hops out and runs towards the Chapels back door. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Nathalie stands next to the piano as Brian continues to play. NATHALIE Nice. I have some lyrics I think will work. Can you start over?

52. Brian starts over, playing slowly and with passion. opens a sheet of paper and sings BUTTERFLY. NATHALIE (CONTD) (singing) A BUTTERFLY TOUCHED MY ARM, MY MIND OPENED TO ITS CHARMS IM AFRAID, YES IM AFRAID, IM FALLING EXT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Alan reaches the Chapels back door. NATHALIE (O.S.) (singing) THE BUTTERFLYS GOLDEN HUE MADE MY HEART BEAT ANEW IM AFRAID, IM AFRAID, IM FALLING Alan is shocked to hear his poem sung as lyrics. He tries to pull the door open, but it is locked. He runs to the front. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - DAY Alan runs into the vestibule and stops. the stage in anger. He stares towards He hears Nathalie sing. Nathalie

Nathalie sits on the piano bench next to Brian. NATHALIE (singing) I IMAGINE TOUCHING YOUR LIPS HOLDING YOU TIGHT TO KISS IM AFRAID, SO AFRAID IM FALLING ONE LOOK FROM YOU AND ILL KNOW THAT YOU COULD BE MINE, AND IF SO, ILL BE BRAVE AND FALL IN TO LOVE Brian finishes playing. He turns to look at Nathalie. Just like you.

BRIAN Thats beautiful.

Brian moves to kiss Nathalie, who gently resists.

53. NATHALIE Brian... I... ALAN (O.S.) You have no right. Nathalie jumps up from the piano bench and sees Alan. looks back and forth between Nathalie and Alan. ALAN (CONTD) Go to hell. Both of you. Alan storms out. NATHALIE Alan... Please, wait... EXT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE CAMPUS - DAY Alan sits on the steps of an old three-story mansion of Italianate style with an ADMINISTRATION sign. Nathalie runs out of the Chapel. She sees Alan and stops. She walks to the steps, and sits tentatively next to Alan. Alan ignores her, staring into space. A silence passes. Brian

ALAN How the hell did you get my poem? NATHALIE I saw it in my Moms folder. It inspired me to write the melody. wanted to surprise you. ALAN Well, you surprised me. Happy?

NATHALIE Was it supposed to be -- private? What? ALAN

NATHALIE (softly) Did you write it -- for her? Alan stares at Nathalie in disbelief and disappointment. No. ALAN

54. Nathalie puts her hand on top of Alans hand. NATHALIE It seems like Im always having to apologize to you. Alan pulls away. ALAN You and Brian will make a nice couple. Hes a really good guy. NATHALIE Yeah, he is. But... Nathalie gently turns Alans face towards her. NATHALIE (CONTD) (whispering) I imagine touching your lips. EXT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL, FRONT STEPS - DAY Brian stands in front of the Chapel. He sees Alan and Nathalie kiss. Alan pulls Nathalie into a tight embrace. Brian sadly walks back inside. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - DAY STUDENTS go from one class to another. Curtis and his friends hang by the side of the building, furtively smoking. Brian nods at Curtis as he passes him in the courtyard. Curtis is surprised, but gives Brian a nod in return. Alan sees Brian, and chases after him. Curtis watches Alan and Brian with interest. ALAN Hey, Brian, wait a minute. Brian looks over his shoulder at Alan and keeps walking. Alan reaches out and puts his hand on Brians shoulder. Brian jerks to shake it off as he walks. Alan gets in front of Brian, forcing him to stop. stares coldly at Alan. ALAN (CONTD) Look, I want to apologize. Brian

55. BRIAN Apologize? For what? My ass is probably too black for her anyway. ALAN Hey man, thats not cool. BRIAN You go have yourself some fun slumming it with a Sista -- till you meet a nice white girl. Brian steps around Alan and storms away in silence. Alan is stunned and torn apart as he watches Brian walk away. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL, PARKING LOT - DAY Alan and Isaac climb into a big pick-up truck. A gun rack is in the back window. On the window, Israeli and American flag decals, a National Rifle Association sticker in between. ISAAC I dont get it, man. You and Brian were tight. What happened? They close their doors. Alan speaks to Isaac. Isaac shakes his head and laughs in disbelief as he starts to pull away. Alan nods, dead serious. The pickup screeches to a halt.

INT. ISAACS PICK-UP TRUCK - DAY Isaac is shocked. ISAAC Holy shit, man. Are you crazy? INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY A sea of STUDENTS swarm the halls between classes. Curtis gets books from his locker. Nathalie and Alan approach one another and bump as if by accident. Nathalie secretly passes something to Alan. Curtis sees Alan and Nathalie bump into one another. His eyes stare as if they could burn holes through steel.

56. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHT Dr. and Mrs. Dubois and Nathalie eat dinner. MRS. DUBOIS Nathalie, you know Alan Robinson? Nathalie almost chokes. She looks up in surprise.

MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) He wrote a very thought-provoking essay called Mississippi -- The Insular Society. Im working with him to polish it, but I think its good enough to submit to Ebony or The Atlantic. You should ask him to let you read it. NATHALIE Ill try to remember when I see him in class.... By the way, can I use the car Saturday? Patrice and I need to do some research at the Library for our history final project. EXT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE, PARKING LOT - DAY Alan waits anxiously in the summer heat holding an ice chest. Nathalie drives the Mercedes into the lot. Alan gets in and slumps below the window line as Nathalie pulls away. EXT. THE PEARL RIVER - DAY Nathalie and Alan recline on a blanket overlooking a slow flowing river. The ice chest is open, food on paper plates. NATHALIE She just gushes about what an great writer you are. Its embarrassing. ALAN I wonder how shell react when you gush about what a great kisser I am? NATHALIE Hey, did I say that? ALAN If Im not, why dont you teach me?

57. Nathalie leans over and gives Alan a deep, passionate kiss. They slowly pull apart. NATHALIE Hmm. Not too bad. But you definitely need more practice. Oh, damn. ALAN I just hate practicing.

Alan pulls Nathalie to him, and rolls on top of her as he kisses her. He moves his hand towards her breast. Nathalie grabs his hand to stop him. Alan half rolls off. NATHALIE Give me a little more time, OK? Alan smiles and nods. Nathalie kisses him, and pulls his hand back to her breast. INT. WOODWORTH CHAPEL, TOUGALOO COLLEGE - DAY A Sunday service is underway. The Black CONGREGATION is dressed to the nines in their Sunday best. On stage, Minister Robinson and the CHOIR sit in silence. Brian plays piano. Velma sings a slow, gospel version of YOULL NEVER WALK ALONE by Rogers & Hammerstein. The balcony door cracks open. Alan stands in the doorway, half-hidden. He sees Velma, and looks at Brian pensively. VELMA (singing) THOUGH YOUR DREAMS BE TOSSED AND BLOWN, WALK ON, WALK ON WITH HOPE IN YOUR HEART, AND YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE, YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE. CAUSE... The song morphs into a gospel version of Carole Kings YOUVE GOT A FRIEND. The Choir stands, and sings exuberantly with Velma. CHOIR AND VELMA (singing together) YOU JUST CALL OUT MY NAME AND YOU KNOW WHEREVER I AM I'LL COME RUNNING TO SEE YOU AGAIN

58. Brian plays piano, face full of joy. the Spirit and claps in time. The CONGREGATION feels

CHOIR, BRIAN AND VELMA (singing together) WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER OR FALL ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL AND I'LL BE THERE YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND. YEAH YOU GOT A FRIEND IN JESUS, YOUVE GOT A FRIEND... Brian looks at the congregation. He is surprised to see what looks like a white person hiding in the balcony doorway. Alan steps back and quickly closes the door. EXT. PARK, OUTDOOR CONCERT PAVILLION - DAY On stage, the Jackson Symphonys CHAMBER ORCHESTRA plays to a small CROWD in the summer heat. In the crowd, Alan and Isaac enjoy the performance. watches Nathalie play on stage. Alan

The concert ends. Alan claps and winks at Nathalie, who grins and gives a small wave. Isaac whispers in Alans ear. ISAAC You need to be careful, man. Somebodys bound to notice. Alans face becomes serious, and nods in acknowledgement. INT. VELMAS HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY The house is neat and tidy, with old but serviceable furniture. A picture of Dr. King and President Kennedy grace the wall over a television; a picture of Jesus on another. DOORBELL RINGS Velma slowly walks to the door, a fan in her hand. Velma opens her door to see Alan through her screen door. Nathalie stands behind with a nervous smile. VELMA Alan? Whats up, baby? all right? Everything

59. ALAN I... I want to introduce you to a friend of mine. Velma looks at Nathalie warily, evaluating whether shes trash or class -- and good enough to be around Alan. Nathalie realizes shes under Velmas scrutiny. Velma turns on practiced Southern politeness. VELMA Yall come on in out of this heat. Can I get you some iced tea? Alan walks in, oblivious to the tension. Velma looks to see if any neighbors watch as she closes the door. Nathalie sits on the couch, Alan nervous beside her. Velma politely but coolly serves red velvet cake and iced tea. Nathalie takes a bite of cake, and waxes ecstatic. NATHALIE My gosh, no wonder Alan talks about your red velvet cake all the time. Velma is pleased, but not surprised by her praise. NATHALIE (CONTD) Could you teach me how to make it for him? Velmas countenance softens as she realizes Nathalie truly wants to make her boy Alan happy. Of course. VELMA Id be glad to. Jazz

Time passes as Velma and Alan tell Nathalie stories. and Swing play on Velmas record player. LATER Alan takes the cake plates to the kitchen to wash.

Velma puts on MY BABY JUST CARES FOR ME, sung by Nina Simone, on her record player. She dances The Stroll by herself to the happy music. NATHALIE Mrs. Gearles, can I ask you another favor?

60. VELMA So long as you dont ask for my top secret fried chicken recipe. NATHALIE Its... I dont know how to dance. VELMA They dont dance in Europe? NATHALIE I mean I dont know American-style dances. Like youre doing. VELMA Well, were gonna have to fix that. Velma pulls Nathalie up from the sofa. VELMA (CONTD) This here is The Stroll. You get this down, youll learn swing easy. Nathalie looks unsure. Alan watches as he dries dishes.

ALAN Velma taught me, and Ive got two left feet. NATHALIE I think I may have three. Nonsense. VELMA Just follow after me.

Nathalie clumsily follows Velmas steps. After a few tries, she starts to pick it up. Nathalie beams at her progress. Alan joins in, and all three dance together, Alan trading off between Velma and Nathalie. The song ends. VELMA (CONTD) I havent had fun like that in a while. Let me get some more tea. Velma goes to the kitchen. On the record player, Nina Simone sings the slow, sad love song I LOVES YOU PORGY. Nathalie and Alan look at each other awkwardly. ALAN Care to dance?

61. Alan and Nathalie begin to dance in a formal posture. They slowly move closer and closer as they dance to the passionate song, until their faces touch. Velma watches the young lovers from the kitchen. She stops making noise so as not to disturb their magical moment. ALAN (CONTD) (whispering) We should go soon. I dont want to get you in trouble. NATHALIE Give me just a little more time? Nathalie hugs Alan tighter and puts her head on his shoulder. They dance into a world of their own, at least for a while. LATER Alan, Nathalie and Velma say good-bye at the front door. Velma hugs Nathalie, and looks at Alan. VELMA Alan, you be sure to bring Nathalie back around. Shes always welcome. Nathalie goes to her car, happy for Velmas approval. Velma holds back tears as she tightly hugs Alan. Shes happy he found someone, sad hes growing up -- and worried sick. VELMA (CONTD) (whispering) Shes a nice girl, baby. Real nice. But be careful. Promise? Alan hugs Velma tighter. He kisses her cheek.

ALAN Thank you, Velma. Alan hurries to Nathalies car. Velma smiles and waves as they depart. Velmas face turns to deep concern. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Nathalie and Alan are on opposite sides of the check-out counter. They lean close as plot together. As they drive away,

62. NATHALIE Why dont we apply to Northwestern, up in Chicago? They have great music and writing programs. And most people up there wouldnt mind about us. ALAN I doubt I could afford it. Nathalie looks at Alan in a coy, teasing manner. NATHALIE Maybe you could be my roommate. Just to save money, of course. Alan LAUGHS. ALAN Great. Then all my Baptist relatives could condemn me for living in sin. But at least they wouldnt be able to damn me to hell for marrying a Catholic. NATHALIE (Southern Belle accent) Living in sin? Now whered you get that idea? Dont you know Im a good Southern girl? ALAN Oh, now you tell me. NATHALIE Why, Id lock my bedroom door and sleep with a pistol under my pillow every night to protect my virtue. Nathalie pulls a Gun Buyers Guide from a magazine rack. holds it to show Alan. NATHALIE (CONTD) Think this can help me choose a pistol thatll fit under my pillow? Alan runs around the counter, grabs her and tickles her. Alan and Nathalie kiss. Alan gives her a play-spank. ALAN Get on home, you little devil, before you put my honor -- and your virtue -- to the test. She

63. Headlights shine through the store window. hear a loud TRUCK ENGINE RUMBLING. Alan and Nathalie

Alan and Nathalie pull apart. Alan quickly goes back behind the counter. Nathalie hides in the back of the store. A trashy-looking WHITE MAN in his 30s walks in. He wears a Tshirt with a cartoon Confederate soldier holding a Rebel flag. Under the soldier, the words: Forget, Hell! The White Man picks up a cold six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. He slams it on the counter along with a five dollar bill. Alan rings him up, and hands the White Man his change. Thank you. ALAN (CONTD) Have a nice night.

The White Man gets close to Alans face. WHITE MAN You best be careful, son. ALAN What do you mean? WHITE MAN If the two of you were on fire, Id be wishing I could piss gasoline. The White Man grabs his beer and strides out in disgust. Alan watches with concern as the truck pulls away. EXT. SOFTBALL FIELD - NIGHT A hot summer night. An athletic, all-black, coed church softball team is on the field: Tougaloo Disciples on their uniforms. Brian plays center field. The CRACK of a bat hitting a ball. The CROWD roars.

Brian runs to the edge of the field as the ball comes towards him -- should be an easy catch. He jumps a second too late and just misses the ball, which goes over the fence. The CROWD goes wild. Isaac, in a Stars of David uniform, runs around the bases, dancing and pumping his fists in the air like Rocky Balboa. The rest of the Stars of David erupt from the bench. They exuberantly sing HAVA NAGILA. FANS in the stands join in.

64. The SCOREBOARD KEEPER changes the number next to Stars of David from O to 1. The number next to Tougaloo Disciples is 19. LATER Brian and Isaac amble through the parking lot. ISAAC I know you missed it on purpose. Brian knows hes been caught. He fears Isaacs reaction.

ISAAC (CONTD) Thanks, man. Our team needed it. Even if you did whup our asses. Brian is pleased and embarrassed. ISAAC (CONTD) You know, I miss the Robinson Brothers. We were good. BRIAN Yeah, folks did dig us. ISAAC Maybe this isnt my business, but dont you think you and Alan could bury the hatchet before school starts back up? Brian stiffens and starts to walk away from Isaac. ISAAC (CONTD) I know about Nathalie. BRIAN He couldnt keep from bragging, could he. ISAAC It isnt like that, man. He really cares about her. And Alan and I dont have it like you. BRIAN What do you mean? ISAAC Oh come on. You could have your pick. All the girls love you.

65. Brian does his Foghorn Leghorn impression. BRIAN Why, of course, son, of course. Whats not to love? ISAAC Pigeon, puh-leeze. Brian LAUGHS. ISAAC (CONTD) After what happened to my Dads family, theres no way I can go out with a girl who isnt Jewish. And around here, those pickings are slim to none. Im sure to die a virgin if I dont go off to Tulane. BRIAN How about Esther? She seems to make herself pretty available -- if you know what I mean. Now thats a girl with a whole lot to love. Isaac looks disgusted. ISAAC Only if you got me blind drunk first. And gave me a gun so I could shoot myself afterwards. Brian LAUGHS. ISAAC (CONTD) Alans had it just as bad, if not worse. You know most white girls around here only like dumb jocks. Isaac and Brian continue in silence to their cars. ISAAC (CONTD) Hes hanging way out there, man. All by himself. Brian looks down as he considers. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY Nathalie gets books from her locker. Curtis, wearing pimp clothes, sashays up behind her and leans on the lockers.

66. CURTIS Hey, Sweet Cheeks. Youre lookin mighty fine after the summer. Nathalie stops, rubs her finger in one ear, shakes her head, and does the same to her other ear. She turns to Curtis. NATHALIE I think I may have a hearing problem. Did you just hear some idiot call me Sweet Cheeks? CURTIS Oh hell, baby, dont be like that. Give a Brother-man a break. Nathalie looks from side to side around him. NATHALIE I would -- but I dont see a man. CURTIS Whats the matter? cause Im black? Dont like me

NATHALIE Baby, its not because youre black. I dont like you simply because youre you. Nathalie slams her locker door shut and walks away. CURTIS Screw you, O-re-o. One day youre gonna regret not being solid with your Black Brothers and Sisters. As she walks away, Nathalie raises her hand up in a black power fist. She rotates it, and raises her middle finger. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, AUDITORIUM - DAY The auditorium is empty. Alan sits at the piano on stage, writing on a score. Nathalie looks over his shoulder. NATHALIE I can barely read your scribbles. Whats that word? ALAN Tumbling.

67. NATHALIE You sure youre not practicing illegible handwriting so you can be a doctor? My Mommad love for me to marry a doctor. ALAN How about if we just play Doctor? Nathalie LAUGHS and picks up an acoustic bass. NATHALIE In your dreams. Alan plays piano, and Nathalie plays bass to IF IM WITH YOU, an up-tempo ballad in the style of Stevie Wonder. LATER ALAN & NATHALIE (singing together) IF IM WITH YOU THE WORLDS A BETTER PLACE, ITS ALL RIGHT The song ends. Alan and Nathalie look at each other with the deep admiration of young love. ALAN I think we have a good shot in the contest. We make a pretty good team as singer song-writers. NATHALIE Not just for that. Nathalie gives Alan a kiss on his cheek. In the shadows backstage, a large male figure watches. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY Alan walks in a nearly empty hallway. approach behind him. Two large BLACK TEENS

As Alan passes the Boys bathroom, the teens grab him. One BLACK TEEN covers Alans mouth and pulls him into the bathroom. MARK, the other teen, stands guard at the door.

68. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, BOYS BATHROOM - DAY Curtis vainly picks his hair in the mirror. He turns to look at Alan as he struggles against the teen holding him. Curtis grabs Alans head by his hair, pulls a switchblade from his pocket, and puts the blade tip next to Alans eye. CURTIS You even look at her again, Muthafucka, the two of you wont be looking at anything ever again. Alans face steels in resolve. His eyes burn as he stares at Curtis. He summons up every bit of courage he has. ALAN You hurt her -- Ill kill you. You? CURTIS Yeah, right.

Alan tries to kick Curtis, but lands only a glancing blow. Curtis sneers. He punches Alan in the face, breaking his glasses and bloodying his nose. Alan slumps, nose dripping blood onto the floor. He raises his head to stare at Curtis with a look that could kill. ALAN (shouting) I mean it. Stay away from her. BRIAN (O.S.) What the hell? Alan? Curtis sees Brian trying to get past Mark at the door. CURTIS This is none of your business. Its between me and this Cracker. Brian bristles and pushes his way in angrily. BRIAN Im making it my business. off, or deal with me too. Shit. Mark runs. MARK Teachers coming. Back

69. Curtis kicks Alan in his crotch. Alan GROANS in pain. The teen holding Alan lets him drop and runs, followed by Curtis. Alan rolls on the floor in agony. Brian goes to help Alan. FOOTSTEPS approach.

MRS. DUBOIS (O.S.) I want the rest of you boys to come out, right now. You know smoking is not allowed in school. Alan, bleeding and in pain, pleads with Brian. ALAN Say you didnt see anything. Please. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, PRINCIPALS OFFICE - DAY Alan sits on a couch, Belle next to him. PRINCIPAL SMITH, a distinguished black man in his early 60s, leans on his desk. A SCHOOL NURSE tries to clean Alans bloody nose. Ow. ALAN

BELLE You didnt see who did this, and have no idea why they beat you up? Alan shakes his head. Principal Smith frowns in disbelief.

INT. ALANS HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY Alan, nose bandaged, eye bruised, sits with Brian and Isaac. Belle stands at the door, holding a briefcase. Velma, dressed in pants and polyester shirt, stands next to her. VELMA Belle, dont you worry, go ahead to your class -- well be just fine... Howd you young men like fried chicken and potato salad for dinner? And I can make red velvet cake for dessert. ALAN Sounds great, Velma.

70. Velma begins to prepare dinner. Belle leaves.

As soon as Belle is gone, Isaacs face turns to rage. ISAAC We cant let him get away with it. Brian and I can get some guys... Velma looks at them with concern. VELMA (interrupting) Will yall let an old lady butt in? Isaac, Brian and Alan are surprised Velma has overheard. VELMA (CONTD) I used to tell Alan that sticks and stones could break his bones, but names could never hurt him. But if somebody picks up a stick... ALAN You said I should pick up a stone. VELMA When youre just a child and a big bully is picking on you, that makes it fair. But when youre grown up, folks play for keeps. The boys consider what Velma tells them. VELMA (CONTD) Back in 64, this trashy white girl flaunted herself at my nephew Will. She got what she wanted, and came back for more. Then Will got caught at her place. Damned KKK strung him up from an big ole oak tree at the edge of the colored section of town, with a noose made of barbed wire. They cut off his privates, and set him on fire. Hung up there for two days before folks got over being too scared to cut him down... The boys are sickened, and chastened. VELMA (CONTD) Please, just let it go. LATER

71. Isaac and Brian help Velma clean up. Brian sits down with Alan as Isaac dries dishes with Velma. BRIAN Hey man, sorry. I was messed up. ALAN Thanks for being there for me. Alan and Brian do their special soul shake. ISAAC Think the Robinson Brothers can ride together again? ALAN Lets mess with their minds. All three clasp hands together. INT. WOODWORTH CHAPEL, TOUGALOO COLLEGE - DAY The Robinson Brothers Band is set up on stage. bruised from his beating, passes out a score. Alan, face

As Alan gives a score to Nathalie, he looks at her with obvious affection. ALAN (to everyone) This one is going to showcase Nathalie. The TRUMPET PLAYER and SAX PLAYER give each other a knowing look. Dwayne looks at the score and CHUCKLES. DWAYNE We gonna showcase her bad-ass bass playing? Or her bad. Little... Brian pretends to get righteous. BRIAN Boy, you betta shut yo mouth. Dont you know youre in the house of the Lord? DWAYNE Sorry, Rev. Just testifying to the gospel truth, and praising one of the Lords beautiful creations.

72. The guys all LAUGH. Nathalie play-hits Dwayne.

INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHT Nathalie, Dr. DuBois and Mrs. DuBois are at the table. A UNIFORMED MAID serves carved meat from a platter to each. NATHALIE Im going to be in the talent competition at school Friday afternoon. Can you make it, Daddy? MRS. DUBOIS It hardly seems fair to the other students. Youre a professional, after all. DR. DUBOIS I should be able to make it. are you going to perform? NATHALIE Let me surprise you. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, AUDITORIUM - DAY A CROWD of students and faculty fill the seats. Belle chats with other TEACHERS. Dr. and Mrs. DuBois are seated nearby. Principal Smith stands on stage in front of closed curtains. PRINCIPAL SMITH And now for the final performers in this years talent competition -The Robinson Brothers. Dr. DuBois looks questioningly at Mrs. DuBois. DR. DUBOIS Isnt Nathalie going to perform? MRS. DUBOIS He must be mistaken. As the curtain opens, the Robinson Brothers rip into a blisteringly fast version of WHAT IS HIP by Tower of Power. The crowd CHEERS in recognition. Dr. DuBois and Mrs. DuBois are stunned to see Nathalie performing in the band. Nathalie grins at them. What

73. Dr. DuBois taps his leg and nods in time with the song. DuBois controls her emotions, and holds her face blank. LATER The song ends. Chants from the crowd of MORE, MORE, MORE. Principal Smith nods to the group to go ahead. Nathalie plays the funky bass intro to FIRE by the Ohio Players. The crowd SCREAMS. BRIAN (singing) FIRE.... UH FIRE... WOAH, WO-AH, WOAH THE WAY YOU WALK AND TALK REALLY SETS ME OFF TO A FULLER LOVE, CHILD, YES, IT DOES, THE WAY YOU SQUEEZE AND TEASE, KNOCKS TO ME MY KNEES CAUSE YOURE SMOKIN BABY, YEAH As Brian sings, Nathalie struts across the stage. She turns and shimmies in her skin-tight white jeans. She kisses her index finger and touches her butt as if it is smokin. The audience goes wild. Nathalie eats it up. Dr. DuBois follows her out. Mrs.

Mrs. DuBois angrily leaves. LATER

The song finishes. The crowd gives a standing ovation. The band members join arms, grin and bow, basking in approval. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, AUDITORIUM, BACKSTAGE - DAY As the curtain closes, the band high-fives one another. Belle comes backstage exuberant. and hugs Brian. BELLE Im so proud of yall! BRIAN Thanks, Mrs. Robinson. Belle moves to hold Nathalies hands in congratulations. She hugs and kisses Alan,

74. BELLE And Nathalie. Now I know why Alan talks about you all the time. Come visit sometime, OK? Alan is pleased as punch at Belles praise of Nathalie. Nathalie appreciates the invitation, but is unsure what Alan has told his mother, or how much she may have figured out. NATHALIE Thank you, maam. Id like that. Nathalies parents come back stage. Nathalie goes to them, high from the performance, but nervous about their reaction. NATHALIE (CONTD) So, what did you think? DR. DUBOIS Im not that familiar with popular music, but you seem quite competent. Mrs. DuBois, expressionless, turns to Dr. DuBois. Lets go. MRS. DUBOIS Nathalie is crushed.

Dr. and Mrs. DuBois leave.

Alan looks at Nathalie with concern, wishing he could go give her a big hug, and make her hurt go away. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHT At the table, Dr. and Mrs. DuBois and Nathalie are silent as the UNIFORMED MAID serves. NATHALIE Look, I know... MRS. DUBOIS (interrupting; in French; subtitled) Dont ever discuss family matters in front of the help. Nathalie sits back, chastened. The Maid finishes serving and walks out, closing the door behind her. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) (switching to English) When did you learn to play bass?

75. NATHALIE Over the last few months. The fingerings are different from cello, but Ive got it down now. Dr. DuBois carefully takes a sip of wine. DR. DUBOIS You should focus on cello if you want to go to a conservatory. Mrs. DuBois cuts her food without looking at Nathalie. MRS. DUBOIS And you made a fool of yourself acting like that on stage. Youll have to quit. NATHALIE But theyre counting on me. The state finals are in two months. The winners get $5,000 and a recording session. Thats a lot of money for the guys. MRS. DUBOIS You should have talked to us about it first. The answer is no. NATHALIE Thats it? The answer is no? you kidding me? Are

DR. DUBOIS I dont like the tone you are using with your mother, young lady. NATHALIE Ive done everything youve ever asked. I took up the cello, made the Symphony, and I have perfect grades. Now Im doing something I love, and all you can say is the answer is no? MRS. DUBOIS Control yourself. NATHALIE Im not just your damned puppet. Nathalie pushes her chair away noisily and storms out.

76. INT. ALANS HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT Alan and Belle eat. BELLE Yall were great -- I bet youll win the whole thing. Thatd be a nice early Christmas present. ALAN Thanks, Mom. I hope so. BELLE Does Nathalie have a boyfriend? Alan hesitates, nervous. ALAN Uh, Im not sure. BELLE Im surprised. Id think a girl like that would have her pick. Alan ignores her and keeps eating. Belle looks suspicious.

INT. NATHALIES ROOM - DAY (TWO DAYS LATER) Nathalie lies in her bed, staring into space. A soft KNOCKING on the door. Dr. DuBois cracks it open.

DR. DUBOIS May I come in? NATHALIE Its your house. Dr. DuBois comes in and sits on her bed. DR. DUBOIS That was quite a surprise you gave us Friday. NATHALIE Sorry. I have no idea why I thought you might be happy for me. DR. DUBOIS Were only trying to do whats best for you. Nathalie gives him an angry look of complete disbelief.

77. DR. DUBOIS (CONTD) It took some convincing on my part with your Mother, but were going to let you do it. Nathalie sits up and hugs her father. NATHALIE Oh Daddy, thank you. DR. DUBOIS Hold on, there are conditions... If it interferes with your school work, its over. NATHALIE I understand. DR. DUBOIS And no slacking off cello practice. Promise. NATHALIE

Dr. DuBois gives Nathalie a kiss on the forehead, and looks at her with affection. DR. DUBOIS OK, get ready for Mass. Ask Father Andrews which Saint we should pray to for your band to keep winning. Youre too good to be considered one of St. Judes hopeless causes. Nathalie can barely contain herself. MONTAGE: ALAN AND NATHALIE ENJOY BEING IN LOVE -- At a white fraternity dance at Millsaps College, the band highlights Nathalie on bass on Give Up The Funk by Parliament. The frat boys and white sorority girls love it. Alan beams with pride at Nathalie. -- During a break, Alan and Nathalie steal a kiss in the shadows of the fraternity house. A drunk white sorority girl sees them and gives them a shame on you gesture with her fingers. Alan and Nathalie are embarrassed. -- A Symphony practice finishes. Nathalie quickly packs up and rushes out, waving goodbye to James, the bass player, as comes over to speak to her. James is disappointed.

78. -- Nathalie drives her car to the back of a church parking lot. Another car flashes its lights. Nathalie parks and gets into Alans Moms car. The two make out passionately. -- The band plays Dance To The Music by the Sly & The Family Stone to a mixed AUDIENCE of all ages and colors at a concert in the park. The AUDIENCE dances to the music. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, MATH CLASS - DAY STUDENTS chat before school begins. and Isaac talk. The school bell RINGS. TAP, TAP from the wall speaker. A voice CLEARING THROAT. Brian, Alan, Nathalie

The Students listen with interest. PRINCIPAL SMITH (V.O.) Good morning. Im sure youre all interested to hear the results of the Homecoming Court nominations... So without further ado, our Senior Class Homecoming Court members are: Suzanne Blaylock. Princess Cotton. And Nathalie DuBois. A stunned Nathalie looks around as the Students CLAP. A white female student runs over SQUEALING to hug Nathalie. ISAAC Hey, way to go, Nathalie! MS. YORK Congratulations, Nathalie. Brian gets up and extends his hand to her. BRIAN Congratulations. Nathalie gets out of her desk, and gives Brian a hug. BRIAN (CONTD) (whispering) Im truly happy for both of you. Nathalie kisses Brian on his cheek. Brian returns to his seat and nods to Alan in silent congratulations. Alan gives a small, troubled smile back.

79. INT. DREYFUS HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Round loaves of challah bread and candles grace the table. Nathalie, Alan and Brian are excited to be a part of the Dreyfus festive and exotic Rosh Hashanah seder. Isaac and Mr. Dreyfus bring food on platters. wears a necklace with a Hebrew Hai. Mr. Dreyfus

As Mr. Dreyfus passes a platter of apples and honey to Nathalie, his left forearm shows a black-blue tattoo: 184203. Nathalie sees the tattoo and gives a sharp intake of breath. Mr. Dreyfus smiles sadly to reassure Nathalie she hasnt done anything wrong. MR. DREYFUS When they gave me this tattoo in Auschwitz, my father, God rest his soul, looked at it and said: Dont worry, youre going to make it. Why? NATHALIE

Mr. Dreyfus holds his arm out. MR. DREYFUS Alan, add up the numbers. Alan, Brian and Nathalie look with interest. 18? ALAN

ISAAC Eighteen is the number associated with Hai -- like the one Dad wears around his neck. BRIAN What does that mean? ISAAC Living. And my Dad was the only one in his family to make it. Alan, Nathalie and Brian are stunned. Wow. ALAN What a coincidence.

80. MR. DREYFUS I believe many things we think are coincidences happen for a reason. LATER The teens clear dishes as Mr. Dreyfus relaxes. NATHALIE The other girls boyfriends are escorting them. Why cant you? ALAN They dont have to hide from everybody. NATHALIE (optimistically) Exactly. If were in the open, people might hate it, but they couldnt hold it over us anymore. ISAAC Weve got professional haters around here. Yall might not be so lucky next time. Brian sadly shakes his head in agreement. NATHALIE What do you think, Mr. Dreyfus? Mr. Dreyfus thinks hard before responding. MR. DREYFUS Isaacs mother, God rest her soul, said that when we show our love for one another, we show our love for God, and prove his love for us... But only the two of you can decide. It wont be easy either way. A silence passes as they contemplate his words. EXT. DREYFUS HOUSE, BACKYARD - NIGHT Nathalie and Alan are alone on a brick terrace. NATHALIE This is insane.

81. ALAN Just a few more months, then we can go off to college together. NATHALIE Thats almost a year from now... Maybe youre just ashamed to be seen with me. What? ALAN You know thats not true.

NATHALIE Do I? Youre the one always backing down. Even your Mom invited me over to your house. Why havent you? ALAN You havent invited me to your familys Sunday roast yet, either. NATHALIE Only because youre too scared of being seen with me in public. Alan gently touches Nathalies arm. ALAN Nathalie, Id do anything for you. Anything. But this? Its... Nathalie looks at Alan with disappointment. NATHALIE Maybe we shouldnt be seeing each other at all. Nathalie goes back inside. Alan watches in anguish.

INT. DUBOIS MERCEDES - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS Nathalie and Brian drive through an upper class white neighborhood in silence. BRIAN I couldnt help but overhear. You were kind of hard on Alan. Hes... Police SIRENS and LIGHTS.

82. POLICE OFFICER 1 (V.O.) (over loudspeaker) Pull over. Now. Nathalie pulls over. Two white POLICE OFFICERS creep up to the car, guns drawn and cocked. POLICE OFFICER 1 Roll down your windows and put your hands out where we can see them. Nathalie is scared to death. BRIAN Whatever you do, dont argue. Nathalie and Brian stick their hands out their windows. POLICE OFFICER 1 Out of the car, one at a time. You first, boy. Open the door from the outside. Slowly. Then get out, hands above your head. Brian carefully gets out. slams him onto the hood. POLICE OFFICER 2 grabs him and

POLICE OFFICER 2 You think you could get away with stealing a car like this, boy? NATHALIE (screaming) This is my parents car! Police Officer 1 looks at Nathalie in disbelief. LATER Nathalie sits in the car. Police Officer 2 holds a handcuffed Brian next to the car. Police Officer 1 walks back to the car. POLICE OFFICER 1 It checks out. You can let him go. Police Officer 2 roughly un-cuffs Brian, who rubs his wrists and gets back into the car. Police Officer 1 hands Nathalie the car registration.

83. POLICE OFFICER 1 (CONTD) You should stick to driving where you belong. Nathalie seethes as the Police Officer walks to his car. The police car pulls away. Nathalie breaks down crying. Brian reaches over to comfort her. BRIAN Im sorry. I should have thought about this before we came. Black folks, in a nice car... Nathalie bangs her hands against the steering wheel. turns to Brian, crying in anger and frustration. NATHALIE When is this shit going to stop? EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD AND STADIUM - NIGHT A CROWD of thousands fills the stadium. On the field, the MARCHING BAND is in a V formation. Alan is in uniform near the foot of the V. The band plays MEMORIES. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (over loudspeaker) Ladies and Gentlemen, our Senior Class of 1977 Homecoming Court. THREE YOUNG COUPLES, all 17 or 18, including Nathalie and Brian, line up on the 50 yard line. The girls wear ball gowns, the boys tuxedos. SUZANNE, a slender white girl with long blond hair, and DALE, a tall, handsome white teen, march across the field. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONTD) Our first senior Homecoming Court member is Suzanne Blaylock, escorted by Dale Crowson, President of the Thespian Society. PRINCESS COTTON, a beautiful black girl, and GARY WALKER, an athletic black teen, cross the field. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONTD) Our next Homecoming Court member is Princess Cotton. Princess is escorted tonight by Gary Walker, captain of the baseball team. She

84. Brian and Nathalie begin their walk up the 50 yard line. Nathalie glances at Alan as she and Brian pass. pretends to play as he looks at her longingly. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONTD) Our final Homecoming Court member is Nathalie DuBois, escorted by Brian Robinson, President of the Black Students Association. Alan stops playing as Brian and Nathalie near the steps to a raised stage. Alan walks towards the stage purposefully. As Nathalie and Brian climb the steps, Alan throws his band hat off and runs. Members of the band see him. Some stop playing in surprise. Nathalie and Brian reach the top of the stage and turn to the crowd in the stands. ALAN (shouting) Nathalie. Wait. Brian and Nathalie, as well as the other couples on the stage, turn to see Alan bound up the stairs. The Band Director stops the band. Total silence. Alan

Nathalie and Alan stare at each other. BRIAN (whispering, nervous) Man, what are you doing? Alan hands Brian his trombone, grabs Nathalie, pulls her to him, and kisses her. GASPS of shock come from the CROWD. PRINCIPAL SMITH (O.S.) (over loudspeakers) What in the Sam Hill... BRIAN (muttering) Oh Lord Jesus, please protect them. Principal Smith runs down the stadium steps. Stop! PRINCIPAL SMITH Get off that stage.

85. In the stands, a WHITE MAN in his 50s stands up. WHITE MAN RACE TRAITOR! Get away from that Nigger bitch. A BLACK MAN in his 40s runs towards the White Man. BLACK MAN Who you calling Nigger, Cracker? WHITE AND BLACK STUDENTS jump up to look at the parents. WHITE CO-ED Just let them be -- theyre not hurting anybody. WHITE STUDENT NIGGER LOVER! A COKE cup lands on the stage, splattering its contents all over Nathalies dress. The Crowd erupts in pandemonium: pushing, shoving, yelling. Racial epithets and fists fly. POLICE and SECURITY GUARDS wade in to separate those they can. In the stands with his two henchmen, Curtis glares at Alan and Nathalie, face boiling with rage. His hands slowly clench into fists. INT. FOOTBALL STADIUM, LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT A white TRAINER tapes a black FOOTBALL PLAYERS ankle. Principal Smith holds Alans arm in one hand and Nathalies in the other as he marches them into the locker room. Get out. PRINCIPAL SMITH

The Trainer and Football Player look up, uncomprehending. Now! PRINCIPAL SMITH (CONTD)

The trainer helps the player up, and they hobble out. Principal Smith slams the door closed. PRINCIPAL SMITH (CONTD) Your little stunt has ruined Homecoming for everyone.

86. ALAN It wasnt a stunt. NATHALIE We ruined Homecoming? By kissing? Whats wrong with you people? The locker room door bursts open. Dubois storm in. Belle, Mrs. Dubois and Dr.

MRS. DUBOIS Nathalie, who put you up to this? Alan and Nathalie look at each other. They clasp hands lovingly and tightly, and turn to face their parents. Mrs. DuBois looks at Alan in shocked surprise. She GASPS, grabs Nathalie, and pulls her away. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) I am not going to let you ruin your life with some poor white boy. NATHALIE Hes not just some poor white boy. I love him. BELLE Just because you came from money doesnt make you better than everyone else. MRS. DUBOIS Keep him away from my daughter. ALAN No one is going to keep me away from Nathalie. DR. DUBOIS You come close to her again, boy, there will be serious consequences. ENOUGH! PRINCIPAL SMITH If looks

Everyone stops. They all glare at one another. could kill, this would be a massacre. PRINCIPAL SMITH (CONTD) All of you -- in my office Monday morning at 8 AM. In the meantime, youre both suspended.

87. ALAN

For what?

PRINCIPAL SMITH For... Youre just suspended. INT. BELLES CAR - MOVING - NIGHT Belle drives in silence. Alan sits in the passenger seat.

BELLE Do you really love her? Yes. ALAN

An awkward silence passes. BELLE You realize youll have to raise your kids Catholic. Alan turns to look at his mother with surprise. ALAN Thats what youre worried about? BELLE Well, Im not thrilled shes black. Thats going to cause plenty of complications. But you cant help who you fall in love with... Just promise me you wont convert. Alan doesnt know what to say in response. INT. NATHALIES ROOM - NIGHT Nathalie lies on her bed, angry and impassive. sits on the edge of her bed. MRS. DUBOIS A lot of people would love to bring us down, to keep us in our place. NATHALIE Youre no better than them. MRS. DUBOIS That isnt fair. Mrs. DuBois

88. NATHALIE Youre right, that isnt fair. Youre worse. You judge your own people by how light their skin is, and how much money they have. MRS. DUBOIS I accept everyone as equals. NATHALIE I guess those brown paper bag parties you went to in college where they only let in lightskinned blacks dont count, huh? A long silence passes. MRS. DUBOIS I had a white boyfriend at the Sorbonne. We were in love... At least I was. NATHALIE What happened? Mrs. DuBois sadly remembers her lost love. MRS. DUBOIS We were together for a year, and he finally took me to meet his family. They were perfectly polite, perfectly proper. And cold as ice. NATHALIE Things change. MRS. DUBOIS Not in my lifetime, they wont. Nathalie stares at her mother, expressionless. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) This will destroy your fathers career, and our family. Do you want to do that? Mrs. DuBois reaches out to touch Nathalies shoulder. She jerks away and turns onto her side away from her mother. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) Fine. But as long as youre under my roof and were paying for your life, youre under my rules. (MORE)

89. MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) You can go to school, church and symphony. But no more of that ridiculous band, and no more Alan. NATHALIE You cant control me forever. Mrs. DuBois gets up and goes to Nathalies door. MRS. DUBOIS After you finish high school, youll be free to do what you wish. But if you choose to be with him, youll be on your own. We are not going to pay for you to ruin your life, and ours. Mrs. Dubois leaves. Nathalie angrily hits her pillow.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL, PRINCIPALS OFFICE - DAY Principal Smith sits behind his desk. Mrs. DuBois, Dr. DuBois, Nathalie, Belle and Alan are seated across from him. PRINCIPAL SMITH There are rules that are written, and rules that are unwritten. ALAN Just try to expel us with that argument. Ill have the ACLU all over you. NATHALIE Im sure the NAACP would be interested too. DR. DUBOIS Nathalie, youve said enough. MRS. DUBOIS My husband and I do not condone this relationship. Were transferring Nathalie to St. Josephs, but an expulsion will ruin her chances at colleges and conservatories. NATHALIE I dont want to go to St. Joe!

90. DR. DUBOIS Youre lucky we dont ship you back to boarding school, young lady. Principal Smith leans back in his chair and considers. INT. HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY - DAY The families leave the Administration office. MRS. DUBOIS Prescott, Ill be right along. Dr. DuBois takes Nathalie by her arm. Nathalie breaks away and runs to Alan, and throws her arms around him, crying. ALAN (whispering) We need to buy time. Pretend to go along, or they might send you away. Dr. DuBois tries to pull her from Alan. DR. DUBOIS Come on, Nathalie. Dont make this any harder. ALAN (whispering) Just remember, I love you. Nathalie kisses Alan. She allows her father to pull her away, looking at Alan over her shoulder as he does so. MRS. DUBOIS Alan, Im sure you understand that under the circumstances, Im have to ask for your resignation from the Literary Magazine. Alan looks at Mrs. DuBois malevolently. Screw you. ALAN

Belle steps in front of Alan and slaps him across his face. BELLE Dont you ever talk like that again, you hear? Apologize. Alan looks at Belle and Mrs. DuBois with shock and anger.

91. ALAN I thought you were different. thought youd understand. Apologize. BELLE Right now!

ALAN (sarcastically) I apologize for living. And I resign from your stupid magazine. Alan storms through the crowded hall in anger. stare and whisper to one another as he passes. INT. VELMAS HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Alan slumps on the couch. Velma sits next to him. Cokes and plates of red velvet cake are untouched on the coffee table. ALAN Were going to go to college together up North. VELMA They may not say it to your face, but lots of folks up North think the same. ALAN Well be together. Well be OK. STUDENTS

VELMA Baby, sometimes love isnt enough. Velma looks at Alan with deep affection and concern. VELMA (CONTD) If yall do this, youre going to need a lot of strength, and whatever friends you can get. I cant help much, but if I can... I couldnt stand to see my sweet baby boy get hurt. Tears roll down Velmas eyes as she reaches her arms to Alan. Alan and Velma hug tightly. ALAN Thank you, Velma... You know... VELMA I know, baby. I love you too.

92. INT. DREYFUS MUSIC STORE - DAY Mr. Dreyfus watches as the DuBois Mercedes parks. gets out, Mrs. DuBois waits in the car. Nathalie comes to the counter carrying a cello bow. NATHALIE Monsieur Dreyfus, bonjour. MR. DREYFUS Bonjour, Mademosielle Dubois. me find Isaac. Let Nathalie

Mr. Dreyfus walks to the door to the back. Isaac? MR. DREYFUS (CONTD)

Isaac comes out. Mr. Dreyfus nods towards Nathalie and walks to the front of the store. NATHALIE Hows Alan? ISAAC Devastated. He keeps trying to call, but your Mom always answers. NATHALIE They watch my every move. Im begging them to let me play with you guys one last time for the contest. I think I can convince them. But in the meantime... Nathalie hands him her cello bow. NATHALIE (CONTD) My bow seems to need to be fixed. Isaac looks at the bow in disbelief. ISAAC How did this happen? NATHALIE (smirking) I have no idea. But you guys can fix it, right? How long will it take? ISAAC You could pick it up Thursday. The hairs are cut.

93. NATHALIE Keep it till Saturday.

Around 11?

Isaac is confused. A smile of realization crosses his face. He nods in understanding to Nathalie. INT. DREYFUS MUSIC STORE - DAY (ONE WEEK LATER) Mr. Dreyfus sits at his desk. Isaac stands at the counter. Through the window, he sees the DuBois Mercedes pull up. ISAAC Its showtime! Nathalie comes in and walks to the counter. ISAAC (CONTD) The coast is clear. The door to the back room opens. Alan crawls to the counter. He stands up behind shelves, blocked from view. ISAAC (CONTD) (to Nathalie) Let me go get your bow. Isaac goes to his fathers desk for the bow. Nathalie and Alan stare at each other longingly. Hey, baby. NATHALIE

Alan, emotions palpable, begins to raise his hand to touch her, but remembers he has to hide and pulls his hand back. ALAN I need to see you. like this. For real. Not

NATHALIE I have a Symphony rehearsal on Wednesday from 6 to 10. Its the only thing they let me go to on my own... I could miss it. Isaac comes back to the counter gives Nathalie her bow. Nathalie pretends to look at it. ISAAC You guys need to hurry up. Looks like Mrs. DuBois is getting antsy.

94. ALAN Im supposed to work Wednesday. ISAAC I can work your shift for you. Alan looks at Isaac. ALAN Thanks, man. Ill owe you one. NATHALIE Can you get us a place? can be together? Where we

Alan realizes with shock what Nathalie is suggesting. Through the window, Isaac sees Mrs. DuBois open her car door. ISAAC Uh oh, trouble. Shes getting out. Isaac turns to his father. ISAAC (CONTD) Pops, I need you to intercept Nathalies mom. She speaks French. Turn on the charm. Mr. Dreyfus rushes to meet Mrs. DuBois as she comes in. MR. DREYFUS Ah, you must be Madame DuBois. understand you spent time in France. Parlez vous Francais? I

Thrilled to demonstrate her sophistication, Mrs. DuBois responds in French. MRS. DUBOIS Oui, naturellement. Mr. Dreyfus distracts Mrs. DuBois by speaking to her in French. Nathalie looks past Isaac towards Alan. You sure? ALAN

NATHALIE Pick you up at five thirty. At the store. Isaac, what do I owe you? ISAAC On the house.

95. NATHALIE I have to give you something, or shell get suspicious. Nathalie pulls $20 from her pocket and gives it to Isaac. NATHALIE (CONTD) (whispering, to Alan) I love you. ALAN (whispering) Love you, too. Nathalie and Mrs. DuBois leave the store. MR. DREYFUS Au revoir, Madame DuBois. Isaac hands Alan the $20. ISAAC For your love nest. I sure hope you know what youre doing, man. INT. TOUGALOO COLLEGE WOODWORTH CHAPEL - NIGHT Alan and Brian sit together in a pew. BRIAN Youre asking for a world of hurt. This isnt just about wanting to mess with peoples minds, is it? Alan hesitates. No. A silence passes. BRIAN You tried praying about it? ALAN You know Im not much for religion. I know. BRIAN But it couldnt hurt. ALAN

96. INT. CURTISS CAR - NIGHT Curtis, Mark, and the other BLACK TEEN who helped beat up Alan wait at a stoplight for a left turn signal. On the opposite corner, Nathalie drives the DuBois Mercedes into the Tote-Sum parking lot. Mark points her out. MARK Hey man, isnt that Oreo Princess? Curtis sees Alan as he runs out of the store, waving at whoever is inside. Alan hops into the front seat of the Mercedes. Nathalie immediately pulls away. Alan slumps below the window line. Curtis tenses up and squeezes his steering wheel as if trying to choke the life out of it. The left-hand turn light changes. Curtis floors the accelerator, burning rubber as he drives in the opposite direction of Nathalies Mercedes. The BLACK TEEN in the back is thrown from one side to the other. BLACK TEEN What the hell, man? At a turnaround, Curtis swings his car across oncoming traffic. Oncoming cars HONK and slam on their brakes. Shit! MARK You trying to get us killed?

Adrenaline surging, Curtis drives like a man possessed through slower traffic. The Mercedes has disappeared from sight. EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT The DuBois Mercedes pulls into the parking lot of a old motel with the sign: MAGNOLIA INN. Nathalie and Alan get out and approach a door. hand, hesitates and turns to Nathalie. ALAN We dont have to, you know. Alan, key in

97. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Alan and Nathalie enter. A table lamp illuminates peeling wallpaper and worn carpet with indeterminate stains. The sounds of trucks ROARING by seep in. A rose lies on top of turned-down bed sheets. An ice chest sits on a table: in it, a bottle of champagne. ALAN Im sorry its not nicer. Its fine. NATHALIE

ALAN I wish it were, especially for your first time.... I guess I shouldnt... I mean, you were living in Europe and all... It is for me, but its OK, if its not... Nathalie turns and puts her finger on his lips. NATHALIE Its my first time too. Alan and Nathalie kiss, tentatively at first, then with passion. They slowly break away, uncertain how to proceed. Nathalie sits on the bed. Alan is nervous. And Champagne.

ALAN I got some music.

Alan turns on a portable cassette player next to the ice chest. It plays APRIL IN PARIS. He pulls a bottle of Champagne from the ice chest. NATHALIE Howd you get that? ALAN Isaac borrowed it from his Dads cellar. Its French. Alan looks around. ALAN (CONTD) Damn it, I forgot the glasses. Its OK. NATHALIE We can improvise.

98. Nathalie hops off the bed and goes into the bathroom. comes back with two disposable plastic glasses. She

Alan opens the bottle and pours Champagne into the glasses. They raise their glasses to toast, and take small, tentative sips of Champagne. ALAN Care to dance? NATHALIE With you -- anytime. Nathalie and Alan dance in a clutch without speaking. Neither knows how to make the next move. Nathalie looks at Alan. She slowly unbuttons Alans shirt, and kisses his chest. Alan pulls Nathalies sweater off, exposing her bra. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Isaac stands behind the counter, reading a newspaper. A loud CAR ENGINE is heard as bright headlights shine in. The car engine continues to RUMBLE. Isaac shields his eyes and looks out. The door CHIMES. Curtis strides in angrily, followed his friends. stiffens. CURTIS Where are they, muthafucka? INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Alan and Nathalie lie on the bed, half under the covers, still in their underwear. ALAN Let me feel your face. I read blind people do it so they can visualize someone. I want to burn your face into my mind. Alan sits up and puts his fingertips at the top of Nathalies forehead, and closes his eyes. Isaac

99. With the lightest of touches he slowly, sensually outlines her face. Alan drags his fingers along her jaw to her lips. Nathalie trembles as Alans passes fingers pass over her lips. She gently kisses his fingers. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT A viscous fight ensues between Isaac and Curtiss two henchmen. Curtis pulls his switchblade and moves closer. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Can I try? NATHALIE

Alan lies down on his back. Nathalie sits on her knees, closes her eyes and traces Alans face with her fingertips. As she finishes, she bends to bring her lips close to Alans. NATHALIE (CONTD) (singing in a whisper) ILL BE BRAVE, AND FALL IN TO LOVE Alan pulls her to him. They kiss passionately and roll over.

INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Curtiss henchmen hold up Isaac. His face is beaten to a pulp. Isaac looks at Curtis, and shakes his head no. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Alan, on top of Nathalie, holds her head in his hands and looks at her. She nods her head yes. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Curtis grabs Isaacs head by his hair. Isaac spits in Curtiss face, splattering him with blood. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Alan stares at Nathalie with intense passion and thrusts.

100. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Curtis stares at Isaac in rage. With an underhand swing, he drives his knife into Isaacs chest below his ribs. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Nathalies eyes go wide as she feels Alan enter her. Alan looks at her with concern. Nathalie closes her eyes and pulls their bodies together. INT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT Isaacs eyes go wide with shock and pain. Curtis sneers. Isaac closes his eyes as his body slumps into Curtis. FADE TO BLACK: FADE IN: INT. DUBOIS CAR - MOVING - NIGHT Nathalie drives. Alan slumps below the window line in the passenger seat. They hold hands across the console. ALAN I applied to Northwestern. Think I can still be your roommate? They look at each other and tightly squeeze their hands. Blue lights flash through the windshield, illuminating Nathalies face. She stops the car. Alan sits up, alarmed. Three police cars with lights blazing are parked at the Tote-Sum. Alan jumps out. EXT. TOTE-SUM CONVENIENCE STORE, PARKING LOT - NIGHT Alan runs towards the entrance. ALAN (screaming) Isaac!

101. A large black POLICE OFFICER grabs Alans arm. ALAN (CONTD) Wheres Isaac? Is he OK? DETECTIVE SIMS, a slender mid-30s white man, rushes out of the store. DETECTIVE SIMS Who are you? ALAN I work here. Wheres Isaac? Alan struggles to get away from the Police Officer. DETECTIVE SIMS Isaac tall, white, black hair? Alan stops struggling. DETECTIVE SIMS (CONTD) (softly) Sorry, son. Hes dead. Looks like a robbery that went wrong. Alan stares at Detective Sims in shock. He tries to break free from the Police Officer, who bear-hugs Alan to stop him. POLICE OFFICER You dont want to go in there. Alan drops to the ground, completely torn apart. Nathalie runs from the car to kneel next to Alan, horrified. EXT. JEWISH CEMETARY - DAY Rain drizzles. MOURNERS including Belle, Velma, Patrice, Alan, Brian, and all the other Robinson Brothers band members stand near a grave site. All except Nathalie. Mr. Dreyfus, his coat lapel torn on the left over his heart, stands at the edge of the grave. A RABBI hands him a shovel. He shovels dirt on the grave. Alan waits in line behind other mourners. place dirt on the grave. ALAN Good-bye Isaac. Im so sorry. His turn comes to

102. Alan stumbles away, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Brian tries to follow, but Alan puts his hand up and shakes his head no. Alan continues on alone. INT. DUBOIS HOUSE, NATHALIES BEDROOM - DAY Nathalie lies on her bed, eyes bloodshot, face tear-stained. KNOCK on her door. Hey. Patrice opens the door and comes in. PATRICE

Nathalie looks, but does not answer. PATRICE (CONTD) You werent at the funeral. NATHALIE My parents wouldnt let me go. Patrice sits on Nathalies bed. PATRICE I -- I know who did it. Nathalie sits up, startled. PATRICE (CONTD) You know my cousin Mark, hangs out with Curtis all the time? Nathalie nods nervously, afraid of what will come next. PATRICE (CONTD) Hes about to turn himself in to the Police. NATHALIE Mark killed Isaac? Why? PATRICE No, not Mark. But he was there, the dumb fool. Nathalie looks at Patrice expectantly. PATRICE (CONTD) Curtis did it. He was looking for you and Alan. Nathalie is horrified and enraged. She sobs uncontrollably. Her rage turns to sorrow.

103. INT. DREYFUS HOUSE, KITCHEN AND FAMILY ROOM - DAY A group of JEWISH MEN dressed in black suits talk softly to one another in the family room just off the kitchen. A KNOCK on the door interrupts them. A JEWISH MAN in his early 60s opens the door. Alan stands outside, nervous, holding a casserole. The man nods, and shows Alan to the kitchen. Mr. Dreyfus sits silently on a low wooden box. RABBI FELDMAN, a bearded man in his 50s, comes to Alan. RABBI FELDMAN I saw you at the funeral. Youre Isaacs friend, arent you? Alan nods hesitantly. RABBI FELDMAN (CONTD) I think Mr. Dreyfus would like for you to be with him. But in our tradition, we dont speak to the bereaved unless they speak first. Alan sits on the floor next to Mr. Dreyfus. The only sound is the ticking of a grandfather clock, which shows 5:15. INSERT CLOCK TOLLING 7:30 Finally, Mr. Dreyfus speaks to Alan. MR. DREYFUS You have done a great mitzvah coming here to be with me. The burden of Alans guilt crushes him. ALAN But if I had worked instead... MR. DREYFUS (interrupting) Then the animals who did this to Isaac would have done the same to you. Those, I can never forgive. Mr. Dreyfus looks away, remembering.

104. MR. DREYFUS (CONTD) When I was in Auschwitz, I wasnt much older than you and Isaac. All we had was sadness, and death. Mr. Dreyfus looks at Alan. MR. DREYFUS (CONTD) Can you tell me about a time when you and Isaac were happy? Alan looks to Rabbi Feldman, who nods to Alan. ALAN Did Isaac tell you how we fooled everybody at our first concert? LATER Mr. Dreyfus and Alan talk quietly as JEWISH MEN come in and out of the kitchen. Hours pass. Mr. Dreyfus puts his hand on Alans. MR. DREYFUS Will you help me up, and say Kaddish with me? Alan helps Mr. Dreyfus to his feet. ALAN But... I dont know the words. MR. DREYFUS Its OK. Say it in your mind, with your heart. God will understand. Rabbi Feldman signals the men, who join them in the kitchen. MR. DREYFUS (CONTD) (in Aramaic) Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba... Alan closes his eyes and bows his head. INT. NATHALIES BEDROOM - NIGHT At her desk, Nathalie holds the MINGUS AH UM album Alan gave her as she listens to the mournful GOODBYE PORKPIE HAT.

105. Nathalie looks at the photo on her mirror: The Robinson Brothers Band after winning the school talent show: happy, arms around each others shoulders. INT. BELLES CAR - MOVING - NIGHT Alan drives by the DuBois house. One bedroom upstairs has a light on. Alan parks on the street, unsure what to do. INT. NATHALIES BEDROOM - NIGHT The song ends. The record player shuts off.

Nathalie puts the record in the album. She takes the photo off her mirror, and puts the album and photo in a box. Tears stream down Nathalies face as she closes the box. Nathalie puts the box in her closet, empty except for her electric bass in its gig bag. She sadly looks at her bass. Nathalie turns off the closet light, and shuts the door. CUT TO BLACK: FADE IN: EXT. DUBOIS HOUSE - DAY Frost covers the windshield of Belles car. throws a paper on a driveway, waking Alan. A black PAPERBOY

Alan sees Dr. DuBois put a suitcase in the trunk of their Mercedes. Mrs. DuBois and Nathalie come out of their front door. Nathalie carries her cello in its case. Alan runs towards them. Nathalie! ALAN Mrs. DuBois moves to intercept him.

Mrs. DuBois turns to Nathalie, frozen on the driveway. MRS. DUBOIS Nathalie, get in the car. Alan tries to go around her. Mrs. DuBois grabs him.

MRS. DUBOIS (CONTD) Get off my property. Alan breaks free. Mrs. DuBois falls.

106. Dr. DuBois runs and tackles Alan to the ground. DR. DUBOIS If you hurt my wife, Ill... Nathalie runs to them. Daddy! NATHALIE Stop it!

ALAN Let me go... NATHALIE EVERYBODY STOP! Dr. DuBois and Alan stop struggling and stare at Nathalie. NATHALIE (CONTD) Daddy, you have my promise. Dr. DuBois glares at Alan as he gets up. DR. DUBOIS Dont you dare try anything. Dr. DuBois helps Mrs. DuBois up. They watch Nathalie and Alan with suspicion as they back away. Nathalie? ALAN Whats going on?

Nathalie looks at Alan with deep pain. NATHALIE Its all my fault. If I hadnt pushed you... That night -Isaac... They were looking for you. What if it had been you? Alan is stunned by the revelation. NATHALIE (CONTD) Im going back to Switzerland before anyone else gets hurt. Alan realizes Nathalie is serious. Desperation takes over.

ALAN No. We can go away together. Get away from here. Forever. Anywhere you want.

107. NATHALIE If were together, it will destroy our families. And ultimately, us. ALAN We wont let that happen. Well have each other. Itll be enough. I promise. Nathalie wishes it were true, but knows it wont be. pulls a small box from her coat. NATHALIE I was going to mail this to you. Ill pray every day for him to help and protect you. Alan hugs Nathalie tightly, as if his life depends on it. ALAN Please -- dont go. NATHALIE If you really love me, please -let me go... Let us go. Nathalie puts the box in Alans hand. runs to the car, heartbroken. She breaks away and She

Alan watches, stunned and devastated, as they drive away. BLACK NEIGHBORS point and talk. When the car disappears from his view, Alan opens the box. INSERT BOX IN ALANS HANDS Resting on satin fabric, a medallion with a relief of a Saint. On the medallion: SAINT JUDE -- PRAY FOR US. INT. ALAN ROBINSONS HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY At the table, Belle stares into space out the back window. KNOCK on door. Belle opens the door and sees Brian. BELLE Hes hardly talked in days. Brian nods solemnly.

108. INT. ALAN ROBINSONS HOUSE, HALLWAY - DAY Brian KNOCKS softly on a closed bedroom door. Alan opens the door. He looks like death warmed over. Alan and Brian look at each other silently. Neither knows what to say. Brian pulls Alan into a hug. EXT. ALANS HOUSE - DAY A beautiful Southern spring day, dogwoods and azaleas in bloom. Alan takes garbage cans to the street. Alan opens his mailbox and takes out a fat envelope with the symbol: Northwestern University. He opens the envelope. INSERT ACCEPTANCE LETTER FROM NORTHWESTERN Congratulations, We are pleased to offer you admission to Northwestern Universitys College of Arts and Sciences for the Fall Quarter, 1977. BACK TO SCENE Alan opens the trash can and tosses the letter and envelope. INT. DREYFUS MUSIC STORE - DAY Alan tidies up shelves. A despondent Mr. Dreyfus sits at his desk, staring into space. MR. DREYFUS Alan, maybe you should go away to college. I could help. I had saved for Isaac... ALAN Thanks, Mr. Dreyfus, but I dont want to leave. Im going to go to Millsaps, here in town. EXT. BRIANS HOUSE - DAY The summer sun beats down. Brian and Alan bake in the heat next to a car packed to overflowing. ALAN Im gonna miss you, man. But Im glad youre getting out of here.

109. BRIAN Why dont you come with me? The Robinson Brothers could ride again. ALAN Maybe later... They both know thats not likely to happen. ALAN (CONTD) You do good up there. Show em youre not as dumb as you look. BRIAN Or even worse, as dumb as you look. Alan and Brian do their special soul shake, and pull into a hug. Neither wants to let go. EXT. TEMPLE BETH ISRAEL - DAY SUPER: SEVEN YEARS LATER Alan, in his mid 20s, pushes a frail-looking Mr. Dreyfus in a wheelchair. Congregants greet both of them fondly. INT. ALANS HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT Alan furiously types at the table, completely focused. Blank sheets of paper are stacked on one side of the typewriter, typed pages upside down in a box on the other. The top of the box sits on the table. On the top, handwritten words: BROTHERS OF DIFFERENT COLORS Belle comes in and gives Alan a kiss on his head. focused on typing. INT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT Mr. Dreyfus lies in a hospital bed, pale and near death. Alan sits by him. Mr. Dreyfus takes off his necklace with the Hai medallion. He pulls Alan to him and puts the necklace over his head. MR. DREYFUS May God look favorably upon you, and may He grant you peace. Alan stays

110. Mr. Dreyfus kisses Alans forehead. Mr. Dreyfus and Alan hold hands, bound together not by blood, but by a love just like that of father and son. INT. TEMPLE BETH ISRAEL, RABBIS OFFICE - DAY Alan stands, wearing a dark suit with a torn left lapel. Rabbi Feldman sits behind his desk. ALAN Rabbi, I know its not exactly according to the rules, but would you teach me the Kaddish? The Rabbi considers. He gives Alan a reassuring look.

RABBI FELDMAN Under the circumstances, I think God will understand. Rabbi Feldman hands a piece of paper to Alan. INSERT ALANS HANDS HOLDING AN ENGLISH VERSION OF THE KADDISH RABBI FELDMAN (O.S) (CONTD) Follow after me: Yitgadal v'yitkadash ALAN (O.S.) Yitgadal v'yitkadash... DISSOLVE TO: INT. TAXI - NIGHT (BACK TO 2007)

INSERT ALANS HANDS HOLDING A PRINTED INVITATION CALLAWAY CLASS OF 1977 30 YEAR REUNION Come Celebrate With Your Classmates! FEMALE TAXI DRIVER (O.S.) Alright, were here. Thatll be eight dollars. BACK TO SCENE Alan (48) sits in a taxi driven by a middle-aged black FEMALE TAXI DRIVER.

111. Alan watches as couples -- black and white -- enter the once lily-white Jackson Country Club, exchanging heartfelt greetings, hugs and handshakes of old friends. Alan puts the invitation in his blazer pocket. driver a ten dollar bill as he gets out. Thank you. FEMALE TAXI DRIVER (CONTD) And welcome home. He gives the

INT. JACKSON COUNTRY CLUB, BALLROOM - NIGHT A sign hangs over a stage set up for a band: WELCOME CLASS OF 1977 - 30 YEARS! A CROWD of nearly a hundred mingles. Alan nervously scans the room. He waves at Brian, now 48. Brian hurries over. They do their special soul shake, and pull into a hug. BRIAN So good to see you, man. ALAN You too, brother. And its just like yesterday. Neither wants to let go. But you

BRIAN Someones looking for you. should know...

Brian looks over Alans shoulder and stops talking. NATHALIE (O.S.) Hello, Alan. A raft of emotions cross Alans face. He nervously turns and sees Nathalie. She may be 48, but to Alan, shes just as beautiful as the girl he fell in love with 30 years ago. LATER Nathalie and Alan sit together as others socialize and dance in a swirl of activity. Nathalie pulls a fragile folded paper from her purse and gives it to Alan. He opens it. INSERT PAGE It is Alans poem, Butterfly. BACK TO SCENE

112. Alan looks at Nathalie, deeply moved. Nathalie touches his arm, and Alan sees her left hand, her bare ring finger indented from a ring worn for years. NATHALIE (CONTD) Ive read all your books. I really liked Brothers. Thank you. ALAN That means a lot to me.

NATHALIE You dont say much about yourself on your book jackets. Do you have any kids? ALAN No, just me and Gretchen. Alan pulls out his iPhone and hands it to Nathalie. INSERT IPHONE WITH PHOTO OF A DOG ON SCREEN Nathalie smiles, and gives the phone back to Alan. NATHALIE Youre not married? ALAN I was. For eight years to a gal I met in grad school. But I guess we were better friends than lovers. Were still pretty good friends. How about you? NATHALIE I married the perfect man, at least according to my Mothers standards. Handsome, good Catholic family; Morehouse undergrad; Yale law. Im sure we looked like a great couple. Nathalies smile fades. NATHALIE (CONTD) But he was so perfect, he seemed to think the concept of fidelity shouldnt apply to him. Im sorry. ALAN

113. NATHALIE Its OK. I have a beautiful daughter from it -- Camille! Nathalie smiles, opens her purse, and pulls out a photo. ALAN Almost as beautiful as her mother. NATHALIE Shes a senior at Northwestern. Double degrees -- Music and Econ. Made Principal Oboe as a Freshman. Alan smiles and hands the picture back to Nathalie. ALAN You have every reason to be proud. Nathalies smile turns to sorrow. NATHALIE Except for how I ruined so many lives. Ill never forgive myself for that. Alan takes Nathalies hands to reassure her. ALAN It wasnt you. Brian walks onto stage and speaks to the keyboards player, who gives his seat to Brian. Brian plays the intro to Stevie Wonders Ribbon In The Sky. BRIAN Id like to dedicate a song to two good friends. Alan and Nathalie, I think its finally time for your Homecoming dance. ALAN (to Nathalie) Care to dance? NATHALIE With you -- anytime. As they get up, Alan takes off his necklace and gently places it over Nathalies head. Nathalie touches the medallions and picks them up to look at them. She smiles in recognition. Nathalie looks up at Alan with deep affection.

114. BRIAN (singing) OH SO LONG FOR THIS NIGHT I PRAYED THAT A STAR WOULD GUIDE YOU MY WAY TO SHARE WITH ME THIS SPECIAL DAY WHERE A RIBBON'S IN THE SKY FOR OUR LOVE Alan clasps his hand over Nathalies on top of the medallions. They move tightly together, and dance into a world of their own. BRIAN (CONTD) (singing) THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE AND FAR MORE THAN A LUCKY CHANCE BUT WHAT IS THAT WAS ALWAYS MEANT IS OUR RIBBON IN THE SKY FOR OUR LOVE, LOVE WE CAN'T LOSE WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE WE'LL FIND STRENGTH IN EACH TEAR WE CRY FROM NOW ON IT WILL BE YOU AND I AND OUR RIBBON IN THE SKY RIBBON IN THE SKY THERES A RIBBON IN THE SKY... FOR OUR LOVE FADE OUT. THE END