Moja dobra drugarica me je zamolila da joj ustupim mesto u mom blogu. To cinim veoma rado. Dakle, moj gost danas,
FADE IN: COBBLES. TOMISLAV JOCIC MOVES QUICKLY. HE IS TEN, WITH BIG DARK EYES.
EXT: TOMISLAV IN FRONT OF CHURCH’S BIG WOODEN DOOR.
TOMISLAV JOCIC (knocking on the door)
Open the door!
EXT: LOGGER CHOPPING WOOD. THERE IS HUGE TIDY PILE BEHIND HIM. HE IS IN SHIRTSLEEVES WITH A WOOLLEN WAISTCOAT.
TOMISLAV JOCIC (holding little booklet in his hands)
It’s St Nikolas’s day today! It says so in the calendar…
Forget calendars…They are political propaganda…No one believes in that any more.
I remember my grandmother taking me to church on this day.
And I don’t remember seeing her.
Because you were in prison…Convicted of stealing church property…
LOGGER (very close to Tomisalv Jocic, with axe)
Yes…but I’m doing community service now!
Where’s the priest?
Doing the morning prayers.
Can I join him?
LOGGER (Continue with chopping wood)
What for? Go home and do some school work.
It’s the summer holidays.
INT: WE ENTER CHURCH FROM BACK DOOR. IT’S VERY DARK INSIDE. THE VIEW IS BLURRED. OLD PAINTINGS OF SAINTS ARE ON THE WALL. WE ARE WALKING TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF THE CHURCH AND SUDDENLY WE HEAR SOMEONE EATING.
CLOSE UP: PRIEST VELJKO EATING PORK (you need to say pork what – pork chops, pork sausages etc) FROM A PLATE? IN FRONT OF HIM. HE IS IN HIS WHITE VEST AND UNDERWEAR. ON HIS RIGHT IS A BOTTLE OF PLUM BRANDY.
INT: LOGGER ENTERS THE CHURCH FROM THE BACK DOOR.
PRIEST VELJKO (burping)
Veljko, can you please talk to him?
PRIEST VELJKO (stuffing his mouth)
Who is he? Why? What does he want?
To come into church.
To come into the church? Why?
Apparently it’s St Nicolas’s day and he is the protector of the village…
Yes. It says so in the church calendar as well.
How many times do I have to tell you that calendars are communist propaganda? We don’t publish them. The Government does…
LOGGER (holding a religious booklet)
I know…but this one was published before 1945...
(Wiping his greasy hands on his white vest)
Give it to me…
PRIEST VELJKO (CONT’D)
(surprisingly, gets up and throws the meat on the floor )
Why didn’t you tell me this before, you motherfucker?
(remorsefully falls on his knees and begins to pray)
Well I didn’t know.
Give me my robes.
The nun took them away to wash
Do I have any others?
The ones with the hole left by the last priest. He was shot in those robes…but I guess they’re fine.
EXT: TOMISLAV JOCIC SITTING AT ROCK STARING AT THE CHURCH FRONT DOOR.
EXT: TOMISLAV JOCIC WATCHES THE DOOR OPENING. HE JUMPS UP, TAKES HIS HAT OFF. WALKS SLOWLY TOWARDS THE CHURCH.
CLOSE UP: VELJKO AT THE DOOR. DRESSED IN HIS FULL PRIEST ROBES
TOMISLAV JOCIC (kisses his hand. Automatically he wipes his mouth with his hat)
The church wasn’t open today even though its St Nicolas’s day…and I…I am …don’t know how to say it…
Well I am …
We’ve never had any of your sort here yet
PRIEST VELJKO (taken a back)
You are too young to be marginalized…
My grandmother taught me the basic prayers…
That’s good! There aren’t many young people who would be able to say that.
LOGGER (TO HIMSELF)
Thank God for that.
And I was thinking it would be very nice to have the church open more often…for people to pray…and celebrate saints’ days..
Oh, dear! The church is God’s place and as such it belongs to everyone, including you. You can come and pray any time you wish.
TOMISLAV JOCIC (unsure)
I came yesterday.
We went to a baptism
The day before yesterday?
We had a funeral to attend…People do die unexpectedly…
My granny came last Wednesday…
PRIEST VELJKO (Losing patience)
Why don’t you go home and see if your granny is still alive. She was a bit fragile when I saw her last.
TOMISLAV JOCIC (scared. Unsure whether to kiss the priest’s hand or not. In the end he kisses the cross on the priest’s belly and the hole shows up)
EXT: MORNING. A ROOSTER IS CHASING A CHICKEN. WE HEAR SOMEONE CHOPPING WOOD.
CLOSE UP: LOGGER IN THE SAME CLOSE-UP CHOPPING WOOD. THE PRIEST IS SQUATTING IN A CORNFIELD WITH A NEWSPAPER IN FRONT OF HIM.
PRIEST VELJKO (loudly)
Clinton doesn’t smoke? Does he?
LOGGER (pauses for second)
How am I supposed to know?
PRIEST VELJKO (to himself)
Why did he use a cigar then?
CPV: Veljko rips up some newspaper to clean his ass.
PRIEST VELJKO (CONT’D)
Do we have any duties today?
Did the nun get my robes?
Not yet…It’s too early…
Early?! The nun should have finished morning prayers, laid breakfast for the priests and started working in the garden by now.
EXT: OLD WOMAN IN A WHEELCHAIR. ON HER LAP IS PRIEST VELJKO’S ROBE
NUN (kisses his fat hand and wipes her mouth with scarf)
With God’s help.
PRIEST VELJKO (embarrassed)
With God’s help…I do apologise for my appearance…but I have nothing else to wear at the moment…Times are very hard…
You don’t need to apologise…I’ve seen everything in my short life…
I brought your robe…It’s very good quality. Washes very easily and dries very quickly…
Yes. It is very good quality. My nephew bought it in a Chinese market.
I must go…I have to attend to the garden.
Thank you. We wouldn’t know what to do without the nuns’ help around here.
INT: WE SEE PRIEST VELJKO HAVING A BATH IN THE CHURCH NEXT TO THE ALTAR. LOGGER IS HELPING HIM.
EXT: CLEAN PRIEST GETTING ON A DONKEY. LOGGER IS DRESSED IN SIMILAR ROBES BUT OF A LOWER RANK THAN THE PRIEST’S.
PRIEST VELJKO (sombre)
INT: ROOM WITH A CORPSE IN THE MIDDLE. PEOPLE ARE STANDING AROUND WITH THEIR ARMS HANGING BY THEIR SIDES. PRIEST VELJKO ENTERS AND ALL OF THEM CROSS THEMSELVES.
With God’s help.
With God’s help!
PRIEST VELJKO (looking closely at the dead body)
How did he die?
PRIEST VELJKO(Jumps )
Let’s start the ceremony. Do you have red wine and incense?
INT: WOMAN BRINGS IT OBEDIENTLY.PRIEST VELJKO STARTS SINGING. LOGGER REPEATS HIS WORDS OCCASIONALLY. PEOPLE FROM TIME TO TIME CROSS THEMSELVES.
CLOSE IN: PEOPLE CLOSE THE CASKET.
EXT: GRAVEYARD. PEOPLE GATHER AROUND THE EMPTY GRAVE. PRIEST VELJKO IS AT THE HEAD OF THE GRAVE. HE SIGNS, LOGGER FOLLOWS. FOUR MEN LIFT THE CASKET FROM THE HEARSE AND LOWER IT SLOWLY INTO THE GRAVE. WIDOW SCREAMS. THROWS HERSELF ON HER KNEES.
It’s in very good condition.
MAN (With big mustaches, crippled face)
How can it be in good condition if it’s from the 18th century?
People didn’t use it. They weren’t very religious then
Where did you find it?
In the church! Where do you think? In an antique shop?
I’m not sure…Did you try anybody else?
No one can read except you so there’s no point offering it them.
Do you really think I’d buy an 18th century bible for that amount of money just to read it?
MAN (CROSSING HIMSLEF)
Where I would read it anyway? The church is closed most of the time!
You could celebrate red letter days, baptisms, go to funerals…
Yes but the priest does that! He would be out of a job if we started doing it ourselves.
LOGGER (giving up)
Well mate. You don’t know what you’ve just missed
EXT: AROUND TABLE WITH FOOD AND DRINKS. PEOPLE STANDING, DRINKING AND EATING. SOME OF THEM ARE VERY DRUNK. THEY SING FOLK SONGS.
PRIEST VELJKO (waving back at the crowd around the table)
This nation will never change…Who is supposed to pay us?
Do you think she has the money?
Well if she doesn’t I’m sure you can get something else…
Do we have enough flowers?
EXT: WIDOW COMES CLOSE TO PRIEST VELJKO AND LOGGER. SHE GETS AN ENVELOPE FROM HER BRA AND GIVES IT TO PRIEST VELJKO. HE COUNTS THE MONEY IN FRONT OF HER.
Is that all?
That was what I have been told to give you.
Fine. What about some money for this young man who sang so beautifully?
WIDOW (embarrassed, gets some more money from her bra, without an envelope)
This is all I’ve got.
PRIEST VELJKO (grabs the money)
It’s all warm! Here we are, you beautiful young singer. Take it.
(Turns to widow)
EXT: TOMISLAV JOCIC HOLDING HIS GRANDMOTHER’S HAND IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH DOOR.
I told you. It’s never open.
They must be busy.
But it’s God’s place and should belong to everyone.
What happened with God today then? Is he asleep? Angry with us?
GRANDMOTHER (On her knees)
EXT: PRIEST VELJKO ON THE DONKEY. LOGGER WALKS IN FRONT OF THEM.
Easter is coming.
Catholic or ours?
Ours. We don’t celebrate the Catholic Easter. Or do we? Have you learnt anything since you came to work for me?
Yes I have learnt a lot but our Easter is in 8 weeks time…
Yes and we should start visiting people before they spend all their money!
We’ll open the church and the confessional…
INT: PRIEST VELJKO IS SITTING IN THE CONFESSIONAL. ON THE OTHER SIDE IS A WOMAN CONFESSING HER SINS
I was unfaithful to my husband three times…
Don’t worry about it….Leave 100 dinars to the church and repeat Our Father three times. God will forgive you.
CLOSE UP: THE WOMAN CLOSES THE DOOR AND WE SEE A SMALL NOTICE:
“IF YOU ARE BORED WITH SIN COME IN.” SOMEONE HAS ADDED “IF NOT PLEASE CALL THIS NUMBER“.
INT: WE HEAR PRIEST VELJKO’S LOUD VOICE IN THE CHURCH.
Yes you lied to me.
CHILD (sitting nervously on the chair)
I can’t hear you!
You stole apples from the church garden.
I can’t hear anything! Do you want to swap places?
CHIILD (CONT’D FROM THE PRIEST’S PLACE)
Admit that you slept with my mum!
You’re right! You can’t hear anything from in here.
INT: PRIEST VELJKO NODDING OFF. YOUNG WOMAN ENTERS THE CONFESSIONAL.
With God’s help.
With God’s help.
I need advice…I slept with priest Slavko in his church. Is that a sin?
Of course it’s a sin. You belong to this church! Go home and repeat Our Father ten times. Always cross yourself. And always think of this church!
INT: PRIESST VELJKO SNORING. TOMISLAV JOCIC ENTERS THE CONFESSIONAL.
With God’s help.
PRIEST VELJKO (Looks through screen)
It’s you…Yes…With God’s help.
I have decided…
To join the party?
Take your pick. There are so many of them at the moment.
Oh no…I was thinking…
To come out as a gay?
You don’t want to join any party, you are not gay…why did you come then?
I wish, I want to become a priest.
That’s nice. What do you want me to do ?
I want your blessing.
Our life is very difficult. There’s no money in the profession. You get paid for Christmas, Easter and saints’ days. And if you cover one village they usually all of them celebrate the same saint’s day and you get paid three times yearly. Have you considered a foriegn country? Most of the people there don’t understand religion…
I want to stay here…
PRIEST VELJKO (MOVES CLOSELY TO SCREEN)
A patriotic priest…You’ll probably get paid in chickens, jumpers, flowers…
I don’t care…I want to stay with my people and teach them.
Teach them what?
The basic slav rules: do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet anything which is not yours, be faithful…
You are young and naïve…but come on Wednesday and you will get my blessing.
INT: WE ENTER THE CHURCH THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR. ALL THE LIGHTS ARE ON AND THE CHURCH IS SHINING. PRIEST VELJKO IS WEARING A GOLD AND RED ROBE. PEOPLE ARE ALL DRESSED UP AND HOLDING A BOX OF MARLBORO LIGHTS. TOMISLAV JOCIC IS STANDING IN FRONT OF PRIEST VELJKO.
We gather today to give our blessing to this young man for his desire to become a priest. Can we please start?
INT: CHURCH CHOIR SINGS. PRIEST VELJKO IS READING FROM BIBLE. LOGGER KANDISE???????
EXT: DONKEY TIED TO A BLOOMING PLUM TREE. WE SEE AN OLD WOODEN ICON ON THE BACK OF THE DONKEY. THERE IS A NOTE:
“BLESSED MARLBORO LIGHTS ONLY 100 DINARS. PLEASE ASK LOGGER FOR FURTHER INFO“.