Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Interogation



 
Welcome to...

The Interrogation
(or, I Am Willing)

A screenplay

by

Florin Nicoara
www.anoldblackmarble.com
Email: anoldblackmarble@gmail.com








CREDITS; ROLL

Flashing stock footage of various reporters, the desert, and insurgents in the backs of their beat up Toyota trucks holding guns;

          NEWSCASTER
... the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.

Stock footage of masked terrorist, car bombs, explosions, weeping women covered in veils;

          DIFERENT NEWSCASTER
Latest reports say Hasan Bin Hadin, mastermind of the attack on California's largest amusement park that took nearly 3000 lives...

Grainy news footage of Arabs with signs in protests and chants. 

          ANOTHER NEWSCASTER
...all reports confirm Hasan Bin Hadin was captured alive and is recovering in a military hospital.

Hard CUT TO BLACK.

INT. ITEROGATION ROOM – Night

A bright light illuminates the sweaty face of Hasan Bin-Hadin (40s). He has a long beard, his face is rough, wrinkly, and looks worn to leather by the sun.

He is sitting in an old chair, in the middle of the darkness, with his hands cuffed together in his lap and chained to his ankles. He is wearing grungy, stained and dirty, orange prison overalls.

Two men wearing camouflage pants and dark military green T-shirts emerge out of the darkness on either side of the bright light. Only their muscular arms and waists are illuminated, the rest is lost in the darkness. One, suddenly speaks with a harsh tone.

INTERROGATOR #1
Where’s the location of your training camp?

Hasan’s eyes squint with rage and defiance. He is staring through the darkness into the face of his interrogator.   

INTERROGATOR #2
One way or another, you will talk.
         
          INTERROGATOR #1
Make it easy on yourself, and speak now.

          INTERROGATOR #2
Or wait until we break you.

          INTERROGATOR #1
Because we will.

          INTERROGATOR #2
And all your suffering will be for nothing.

Hasan continues his defiant stare.

The Interrogators turn to each other in the darkness.

INTERROGATOR #1
He won’t talk.

INTERROGATOR #2
You think he's that stupid?

INTERROGATOR #1
Look at him. Of course he is. We’ll keep torturing him, he’ll hold out for another... six months.

INTERROGATOR #2
But no one has held out past a year.

INTERROGATOR #1
That’s right. He won’t. But he’ll suffer for that year like the idiot that he is.

Hasan suddenly breaks into prayer.

          HASAN
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

COLONEL VOLK, 40’s, in a civilian suit, no nonsense type, is watching the action in the interrogation room from behind a two way mirror. 

VOLK
Well, the President has approved this. I can’t say I’m crazy about it, but...

He cuts himself off as he turns to look at another man in the room, MAGNUS SORENSON, late 30’s, first impression; he is a Professor.

          SORENSON
I understand your reticence, but without question this is the most important day of my life. If this works, it could change everything.

          VOLK
We’ve had pretty good success with our methods.

          SORENSON
Yes, in getting information, which is important, but what I’m going to attempt is far bigger than that.

          VOLK
     (turning to the door)
Here they come.

The two Interrogators step into the room. Corporal Albert Lorenzo (late 20's), quiet, focused, and Sergeant Mike Zane(early 30's) intense, hard eyes.

The two salute the Colonel with military precision.

          INTEROGATORS
Colonel Volk.

          VOLK
Men, I want to introduce you to Magnus Sorenson. He is a...
     (inquisitive look)
psychology professor?

          SORENSON
Yes masters in psychology and sociology.

          VOLK
...at Uppsala University near Stockholm, in Sweden, right?

          SORENSON
Yes, I’m a research scientists and behavioral specialist.

          VOLK
Professor Sorenson this is Sergeant Mike Zane and Corporal Albert Lorenzo.
     (shaking hands)
They’ve been the primary interrogators for the last six months, since we got him.

          SORENSON
I assume you are using conventional military methods.

          ZANE
We keep to the Geneva Convention, if that's what you’re wondering.

          SORENSON
How about waterboarding?

          ZANE
You're joking right?

          VOLK
     (with a disapproving look
     to Zane)
It’s not very effective. We've not used it in years. It’s more of a scare tactic.

          LORENZO
And feed slop from the media. We have better methods.

          SORENSON
Such as?

          ZANE
Proven methods. Sleep deprivation, irregular schedule on meals, shower, and bathroom access. Extended total silence in the dark, or bright lights and noise; we know what we're doing.

          SORENSON
I see. They may be approved methods, but ahh... just because they do not draw blood does not mean they are not torture. Psychological trauma is far more damaging than physical pain.

ZANE     
I’m going to be blunt with you... Professor. I’m not crazy about you coming here throwing a wrench into our method. It works. It may take months, sometimes years, but it works.

          LORENZO
We always get our information.

          SORENSON
I understand. I’m not here to stop you from doing your job...

          ZANE
Then why are you here?

VOLK
Men! Enough! We are soldiers. We follow orders. Like or not we are following his orders now. I am, and I expect the both of you to do as well.

ZANE AND LORENZO
Yes sir.

Both men salute and promptly turn to leave the room.

Volk turns to Sorenson.

          VOLK
So what do you think?

          SORENSON
Interesting.

Sorenson looks around, and then continues as the soldiers exit.

          SORENSON(CONT'D)
So is this the whole operation? It looks sparse. No more people involved?

          VOLK
No, just the three of us... four now.

          SORENSON
Well us four, but we should also consider my analysts that will be overseeing the video feeds back in Sweden. 

          VOLK
If you put it that way the entire US intelligence body is scrutinizing every move we make, we are under full surveillance.

And nods with his brow at the surveillance camera in the corner.

          VOLK (CON'D)
I was referring to just our "on the ground operation" here.

          SORENSON
Of course, yes.

B.G. Past Volk and Sorenson, through the two way mirror, Zane and Lorenzo are placing a black hood over Hasan’s head. Both soldiers escort him out of the room.

          VOLK
It's part of our strategy. This facility is isolated from the rest of the base. We have literally taken him out of the world. All he knows is his cell, the interrogation room, and the only people he is ever in contact with are Zane and Lorenzo.

INT. CONCRETE HALL – NIGHT

Zane and Lorenzo are walking Hasan with the black hood over his head.

INT. CONCRETE HOLE – NIGHT

Sorenson and Volk are in a cold, damp concrete hole that looks more like a sewer than a cell. There is nothing else in it but the four walls.

          SORENSON
I can’t believe the guy doesn’t even have a bed, especially in such a damp musky concrete hole.

          VOLK
We made sure he was as uncomfortable as possible

          SORENSON
     (looking around)
And no sink. No toilet. Why take it that far?

          VOLK
We want him completely dependent on us. He gets a drink of water, he goes to the bathroom, only when we say so.

          SORENSON
For my method to work the cell has to be completely different.  General Davis has approved my specifications.

          VOLK
Yes, I’ve been briefed, but I don’t particularly get it. A clean white room? A TV? I don’t see how that's going to help?  

          SORENSON
I’ve spent a lifetime understanding the human mind. Everything I do here, even the most minor detail, is specifically designed for our ultimate goal. All of it has a purpose.

          VOLK
If you say so. You're the expert.

          SORENSON
How soon to have it ready?

          VOLK
A week, at most.

          SORENSON
Then I will see you in a week.

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT

The bright light is beaming on Hasan’s face. 

          LORENZO
You know, one day you're going to say it. So say it now. Why go trough all this?

Hasan is glaring at Lorenzo defiantly, when suddenly... he spits at the soldier.

Lorenzo swiftly dodges the deed, but instantly reacts with a hard slap into Hasan's face.

          LORENZO
Keep doing that. And every time you do, you get hit. Dumbass.

          ZANE
Back off a second let me in on this.

Lorenzo steps back. Zane walks up.

          ZANE
Tough guy, huh? You want to know how tough you really are? Do you? Look at you. You're tied up. How did you get here? Cuz you’re tough? Or my bitch? That’s right. You are my bitch.

Zane slaps Hasan hard.

          ZANE
Feeling tough? You think your God's go'na protect you? Where’s your God, huh? I don’t think he likes you very much. He led you right into our hands.
     (beat)
You know why? Because you are a child killer.

Zane bitch-slaps Hasan again.

          ZANE
You’re a coward. You’re weak. You’re mad at us, but then you go and kill children. That’s why God put you in my hands. To punish you, to make you my bitch.  

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson and Volk enter the room. First thing Sorenson sees is Zane hovering over Hasan.

b.g. Through the glass, Zane slaps Hasan again.

          SORENSON
What the hell? What are they doing out there? I never approved this?

          VOLK
I don’t know. My guys don’t usually slap him around. He must have done something to instigate this.

Past them, through the mirrored glass, Zane steps to the side and leans his face closer to Hasan. Hasan clearly spits into Zane’s face. Zane instantly reacts punching and attacking Hasan violently.

          SORENSON
Whoa, that’s enough! That’s going too far.

Sorenson shouts, and storms out of the office.

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM – NIGHT

          SORENSON
Stop! What the hell are you doing?

Both Zane and Lorenzo are surprised to see Sorenson

          ZANE
You.

          SORENSON
I'm sorry but after the conversation we had?

          ZANE
This piece of shit spit in my face. What did you thing I was going to do?

          SORENSON
You should have never gotten that close. I will not tolerate this kind of abuse, certainly not on my watch.

          ZANE
He’s a fucking terrorist!

          SORENSON
He is a man! Irrelevant of what he has done, he is a man, and still has some rights.

          ZANE
Fuck you! He lost his rights when he killed 3000 kids!

          SORENSON
He lost his mind when he killed those people. And if we treat him the same we’ll lose ours. We stand for something... otherwise we are just like him.

          ZANE
I knew you were going to be a pain in the ass. Freaking hippie mother...

VOLK
Sergeant! We are a nation of laws, and we have to follow the law. I don’t agree with him either, but he is here to make sure what we are doing is in line with treaties we sighed. We are bound by the law.

          ZANE
The law is supposed to protect us, not him! Not a fucking terrorist!

          VOLK
Enough! Do you want to be reassigned?

          ZANE
Maybe! It depends if this... professor turns everything upside down.

          SORENSON
Sergeant Zane. I don’t care what you think of me, but I’m in charge here now, and you will follow my orders, just as you do the Colonel’s.

          ZANE
With all due respect... sir! You are a civilian. You have no authority to give me orders.

          VOLK
But I do. From now his orders are my orders. Can you comply with that sergeant?

          ZANE
Yes sir! Sir!

Zane kicks his heels together, stiffens his body, and salutes with a near karate chop! Then throws his arm away and steps back next to Lorenzo exaggerating his movements to show his disdain.

Sorenson turns his attention to Hasan, and looks him up and down.

Hasan does the same to Sorenson.

Volk signals with his head to the two soldiers to remove Hasan.

Sorenson watches for a moment.

Lorenzo slips the black sack over Hasan’s head.

The soldiers lift Hasan out of the chair.

They walk him away.

Turning to Volk;

          SORENSON
Have you moved him to his new cell yet?

          VOLK
No. We figured we’d give you that honor.

          SORENSON
I want to talk to him there. And can you make sure from now on he wears the Thawb.

          VOLK
The Arab robes you brought?

          SORENSON
Yes.

          VOLK
I don’t see any reason for that. He is a prisoner and his prisoner’s uniform...

          SORENSON
Colonel Volk, you, along with everyone else signed an agreement that you would follow my procedures. Yes?

          VOLK
     (deep disapproving breath)
Yes.

          SORENSON
Now please do so, and I want him wearing it when I enter the cell.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Zane and Lorenzo lead Hasan, in chains, but now wearing a white robe, into the ALL WHITE CELL.

The cell is clean, bright white and the walls are covered in soft white panels.

Lorenzo unlocks Hasan's cuffs from his wrists and ankles.

Zane pulls off his black hood.

Hasan looks around at his new digs, then at his new robe. Doesn’t seem impressed. No reaction.

He sits down on the twin sized cot in one corner of the room.

On the wall at the foot of his bed there is large TV monitor inset into the wall protected by Lexan.

There is NO sink or bathroom in the cell.

Sorenson steps into the room.

          SORENSON
Thank you soldiers. I’ll take it from here.

          LORENZO
You sure you don’t want us in here? He is out of cuffs.

          SORENSON
I’ll be fine.

Lorenzo nods, and with Zane, step out and close the cell door behind them.
    
Hasan is sitting on the cot staring at the wall in front of him ignoring Sorenson. 

Sorenson seats at the end of the cot, near the TV, facing Hasan.

          SORENSON
What do you think about your new cell?

No reaction from Hasan.

          SORENSON
You’re probably no fan of television. But you have not seen the light of day in six months. Nor a plant, a bird, or even some color, other than uniforms. The military might think that’s ok, but I don’t. So that’s why that TV is in here.
     (beat)
You won’t be watching movies, or the news, nothing violent. Just images of the world, plants, the sky... color. I don’t believe in torturing a man’s mind, and we need those things to stay sane.
     (beat)
I am Magnus Sorenson, a Professor from Sweden, not an interrogator. I’m not here to question you.      (beat)
I know your background. I know you are an educated man. So you know my country’s recent history. Sweden has been neutral in almost all recent wars. We also have a large population of Muslim migrants who have made a good life for themselves there. I hope you can see me in a different light than you see Americans, because I’m not an American.  

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk is standing in front of a monitor watching.

He is shaking his head in disapproval.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          SORENSON
I’m here because I can change things. I’m an expert in my field, but more important, I am an advisor to the Swedish government. My government listens to me. I have a lot of influence on them, and they on America. And right now I’m sitting next to you, which means, you have the opportunity to influence me. You see my point?

Sorenson takes a break and studies Hasan for a reaction, but still nothing.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane steps in and walks up next to Volk.

          VOLK
What are you doing in here?

          ZANE
I’m too damned curious. I want to see what this clown is doing.

          VOLK
Is Lorenzo still by the door?

          ZANE
Yeah. Hasan’s too weak anyway. He won’t do anything. Plus I’m sure he’s happy with his new room and television.

Volk gives him a long look, but does not seem to disapprove.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          SORENSON
The sad truth is, the tactics they are using, will work. They will break you. We all break. So why not do something more, have a conversation with me and your words will reach the UN.

Waits for a response from Hasan but none there.

          SORENSON
I know what you want.

Hasan finally looks up at Sorenson.

          SORENSON
Freedom from the West. Isn’t that what your martyrs died for? Isn’t that why you are locked in here? Because you decided to fight for your freedom from the west.

INT. DARKNED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane frowns giving Volk a nasty disapproving look.

Volk twists his head to the side uncertain.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          SORENSON
I understand why you are ignoring me, but let me put it this way. You believe you did what you had to in this life, and now you await your death. You know your people can’t have freedom from the west, so death will be your freedom. You will die, you will go to heaven and be with god. So I get it. Why would you waste a minute talking to me?
     (beat)
But you are going to be here a while. You are not an old man.  You may live another thirty years.  That’s a long time to talk to no one, ever.

Sorenson lays back and simply waits.

Doesn’t do anything just lays there...

...on the cot...

...and waits.

Hasan has not moved. He is where he sat, staring at the wall.

FADE OUT;

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk and Zane are staring at the monitor. 

          ZANE
This is stupid. What’s he going to do, just sit there like an idiot for the rest of the day?

Volk looks at his watch, then back at the monitor.

          VOLK
It's been an hour. Who knows, maybe?

          ZANE
We could be pressing him. We’re close. Hell he could have broken by now. But no, instead we are watching a Professor watching an insane man looking at paint dry. How the hell did this get approved?

INT. WHITE ROOM – DAY

Sorenson rises on from his laid back position.

          SORENSON
It’s time for me to leave. Tonight they will show you a documentary on this TV. That’s it. Plants, animals, nature, think of it as food for the mind. That’s what the TV is for. I know you don’t believe me, and I agree with you. Trust is earned and that takes time. I will earn your trust, in time. Starting today you and I will spend many hours together.

Sorenson walks to the door and knocks on it.

Lorenzo lets him out.

FADE TO BLACK

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Start of LONG PUSH-IN SHOT.  Hasan is laying on his bed staring at the TV monitor on the wall opposite him.

His eyes are distant and lost with seething rage bubbling behind them.

On the TV screen, images of mountains, seas, and colorful animals flow one after another all to the tone of David Attenborough’s soothing voice.

FADE IN;

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane, Lorenzo, and Volk are playing cards overlooking the monitor spying on Hasan.

INSERT: Hasan is laying in his cot.

          ZANE
When’s that asshole supposed to be here?

          VOLK
Any minute now.

          ZANE
Why did the brass agree to this?

          VOLK
Classified. Until you guys get full clearance, this conversation ends here.

          ZANE
Colonel, to be perfectly frank, I don’t give a shit why the higher ups agreed to this. The man is trouble, hell he’s not even American, and you heard what he said to Hasan, what he things of us?

          LORENZO
I don’t understand why you hate him so much.

          ZANE
Because... he’s an idiot. He’s a fucking liberal bleeding heart idiot. Hasan’s a terrorist not a goddamned boy scout. He wants to coddle the man because he has rights. This psycho lost his rights when he killed 3000 kids.

          LORENZO
You just like torturing him, and you’re mad cuz Sorenson stopped you.

          ZANE
Fuck you man!

Lorenzo responds with a gesture of “Well?”

Zane infuriated throws his cards on the table and jumps to his feet.

          ZANE
Fuck you! That’s bullshit and you know it.

Volk jumps in.

          VOLK
Sergeant, at ease!

          ZANE
Yes sir.

          VOLK
Are you forgetting we are under surveillance? Everything we do and say is being recorded.

          ZANE
No sir. But I am not doing this for joy, I'm doing it for my country.

          VOLK
I don’t give a fuck who enjoys what! We are here to do a job and we are going to do our job. 

The door opens and Sorenson steps in.

          SORENSON
Hello gentlemen. Am I interrupting?

          VOLK
Not at all.

          ZANE
No, we were just having a polite conversation about you.

          SORENSON
I’m sure you had only good things to say Sergeant Zane.

Zane nods dismissively, while Lorenzo is gathering the cards off the table.

Sorenson approaches Volk's extended hand for a shake.

BACKGROUND; The soldiers leave the room.

          VOLK
Welcome back Professor.

          SORENSON
Thank you. After my first visit I thought you would never want to see me again.

          VOLK
We are here for the same goal. I understand that.

          SORENSON
Yes of course. Well, it's been two weeks, any more confrontations?

          VOLK
You mean Zane. Look, he is one of the best interrogators I’ve ever worked with. He has his own ways, and they work. He is stubborn, but he is a good soldier and follows orders. His resistance is mostly because he doesn't understand why you are here. Fact is, I don’t like keeping him in the dark, but those were my orders.

          SORENSON
Unfortunately it has to be this way for now. Zane’s character will be helpful as long as I can keep him within certain bounds. Hasan needs to be stuck in between him and me.

          VOLK
Good cop bad cop routine? I can't say that I am impressed.  

          SORENSON
Yes true, on the face of it, but in reality it's a bit more than that... the documentaries? How’s he responded to them?

          VOLK
He's watched every one of them without resistance.

          SORENSON
Good. That’s better than I expected. I’d like to see him now.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Hasan is once again staring at the wall in front of him.

Sorenson is sitting where he was before, at the foot of the bed.

Silence.

Both men are just sitting there.

INSERT; Fish eye surveillance view from the ceiling of the two men just sitting there.

Sorenson studies Hasan.

          SORENSON
Well this is fun.
     (beat)
But if it's what you want we can do this for the next thirty years.

Another moment of silence.

          SORENSON
I get to walk out of here at the end of the day, but you're stuck. If I were you I'd make the best of it.

Hasan flinches. His brow frowns.

Sorenson waits patiently.

Hasan slowly turns his head more towards Sorenson.

          HASAN
Why are you here?

          SORENSON
To talk. To find common ground. You act as if we are aliens from different worlds. Are we not all brothers after all? Did not god create us all?
     (beat)

Sorenson waits for a response.

          HASAN
What do you know about God?

          SORENSON
Everything. In fact I’m willing to bet I have the Koran memorized better than you, and not just the Koran, all religious texts. And you know what I learned? That all religions believe in the same God. Different names, different clothes and rituals, but that's because these things are culture. Religion is just the local culture, but God, God is the same everywhere. That’s what I know about God. Like I said, more than you.

Hasan’s eyes are locked on the wall ahead of him.

          SORENSON
I already told you who I am, so you should understand I know human needs. No matter how different our cultures might be, in the end we all want the same thing. Freedom, respect, and to be equal in this world.
     (beat)
Do you feel equal in this world?

          HASAN
It is you who makes inequality in this world.

          SORENSON
Yes, and I will never deny that. We’ve done our share of evil, but then why would you copy us?

          HASAN
     (indignant)
We are not copying you! You are being punished.

          SORENSON
My friend, the West has been punished for thousands of years. The dark ages, the plague, invasions, WWI, WWII, the Muslim Ottomans in the East, the Muslim Moors in the West, yet we survived them all. But the key thing is we never blamed anyone for our misfortune. When was the last time you heard a European blame Ottomans or Moors for anything, even though they killed millions of our people.  
     (beat)

Hard stare at Hasan. 

Hasan turns away displeased.
         
          SORENSON
That is what I want for the Middle East. For people like you to open your eyes and stop blaming everyone else. You're not perfect, nor are you a little child. Everyone makes mistakes, the wise learn from them, spoilt brat children puff up like toads and stare at white walls. So what are you? Wise, or a toad?

Sorenson again awaits a response. 

Hasan holds his stiff stare at the wall... but his face, it cringes.

SORENSON
I'm here because there has to be a way for our cultures to get along. We're not aliens, we're men. You and me are the same. We both hate one another for what we have done in the past. I can forgive. Can you? Or are you weak and small?

Hasan's face is cringing. He is visibly shaking, struggling to hold his rage back.

          SORENSON
I'm not weak... like you. I can forgive because I know the power of friendship. You and me, if we can do that, right here right now, we guarantee the future. We guarantee that in the future, our cultures can live in peace. But it has to start somewhere. Someone has to have the courage to be first. Do you understand that? Courage? The courage to do the impossible. Do you? Because I do.

And with that Sorenson reaches out his hand for a shake. 

Hasan is visibly shaking. His face muscles are flickering
under his skin from stress, frustration, and confusion. 

But Hasan does not budge. He leaves Sorenson hanging.

INT. DARKENED ROOM – NIGHT

Zane and Volk are watching the screen.

          ZANE
Ridiculous. I told you this... professor was an idiot. The only way that scumbag would be friends with us is if we all got down on our knees and bowed east, five times a day... with them as our masters.

          VOLK
I like what he's doing. I'm curious to see where it leads.

          ZANE
Don’t tell me you buy this hippie’s mumbo jumbo?

          VOLK
I’m following orders soldier, as you should.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Hasan is still quiet, still staring at the wall.

Suddenly he turns to Sorenson.

          HASAN
You think I’m an idiot? A fool? You think I don’t know what you’re doing? For six months they torture me. And now you show up, no more torture. You put me here, give me a Tawab and your stupid television, and now you are my friend. You think that I don’t understand what you are doing. You think I don’t realize this is just another trick? I am not an idiot.

          SORENSON
Am I?

Hasan rolls his eyes to the unexpected response.

          SORENSON
Do you think I came here thinking you'd agree with me, hug me and love me?
     (beat)
I know exactly who I’m dealing with. You are a killer, a murderer. You are so demented by hate, that you can kill children without even a thought. Of course I knew you would resist.

          HASAN
Then you know you are wasting your time. You can not change me.

          SORENSON
I know that. I’m not here for you. I’m here for me. I’m here to take from you, not to change you. If you change and become wiser as result, that’s your choice.
     (beat)
Well, what do you think?

Hasan snaps his head away displeased.

But then turns back.

          HASAN
I think you are a fool.

          SORENSON
In a way that's true, for a simple reason. When someone takes, they inadvertently give more back.
     (beat)
Don't believe me? I'll prove it. It’s how God set up this world. When you take, on the flip side, you give back, whether you want to or not.
     (beat)
Look at you. When you took those 3000 American lives, you gave America reason to attack your home. As a result 20,000 of your people died. You took 3000 of ours, and in doing so, gave 20,000 of yours. 

          HASSAN
I gave you nothing! You killed them in cold blood.

          SORENSON
You can lie to yourself. You can lie to me, but you can't lie to God. This is how he set up this world. When you take, you give. You gave your people death and misery. You did that. You are responsible for their deaths.

Hasan is squirming in his seat.

          SORENSON
But what if you could give your people something else? What if you could give them real freedom from the west? At that you failed. Because of you, there are more American military bases in your country than ever. Instead of freedom, you gave your people death.

          HASAN
     (grinning his teeth)
Leave.

          SORENSON
You say you are a freedom fighter, for your people, but everything you’ve done has led to more death and suffering for your people. You keep fighting the same battle, and you always lose, and your people lose even more.

Hasan is fidgeting in his seat. He looks ready to blow.

          SORENSON
If something fails, over and over again, why is it that you can’t figure out a better strategy?
You said you're not an idiot. Well, don’t smart people, by definition, being smart, solve problems? All you've done is create more problems for yourself and your people.
     (beat)
Maybe you really aren’t as smart as you think. And don’t listen to my words, look at what your choices got you. You are my prisoner. Maybe you are an idiot.

Frustration, resignation on Hasan’s face.

Another moment of silence.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk and Zane are watching the monitor.

Zane twists his face in surprise emphasizing it with a look to Volk.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          HASAN
Leave.

          SORENSON
Leave? Since when are you giving orders?

Hasan turns his head to fully face Sorenson.

          HASAN
I thought your game was to pretend to be my friend. You are not doing a very good job. You are making me mad.

          SORENSON
Why would I want you as a friend? You killed 3,000 people. Half of which were kids. Don’t be mistaken. I’m a scientist and you are a lab rat. You are just an experiment to me.

          HASAN
Then get out, and leave me in peace.

          SORENSON
Peace? How can I leave you in something, you don’t have.
     (beat)
I don't mean because YOU are a prisoner. You have no peace because you failed. You failed at life. You want freedom from the West, but because of you, the West invaded your land and now you’re rotting in one of their jails. There is no bigger loser on Earth, than you right now.
Tell me, how are you going to give people freedom from this little cell?
     (beat)
How?

Hasan’s face starts to cringe more and more.

          SORENSON
You failed because all you have is hate and violence. Now you are waiting for your execution. You succeeded; at destroying yourself and your people.

Hasan’s face is trembling. His eyes are watering.

          HASAN
     (strained breaking voice)
Please leave. Please... leave.

          SORENSON
You failed, and you can’t even see the obvious in front of your eyes. You can’t see there is one more option. I’ll give you a clue.  India a hundred years ago.
     (beat)
India got its freedom from the British, and it all started with one man, Gandhi. He never once used a gun, but he succeeded, where you failed. He threw an empire off his back, while you, with millions of dollars, and an army of insurgents, failed. There’s never only one road to a destination. Maybe it is time for you to open your eyes and see a different path.

          HASAN
Leave. Leave, I’m warning you.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk looks up from the screen to Zane.

          VOLK
Is Lorenzo still at the door?

          ZANE
Yeah.

          VOLK
Why don’t you go back him up. This looks like its gon'a blow.

Zane nods and heads out the door.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          SORENSON
The truth hurts. It's my favorite quote, and I can see you are hurt, because I’m being truthful with you. It's human nature that when we fail, the last thing we want is to be remained of that truth. Right now you can’t handle it, and you refuse to accept that I’m here to help you, even if it is only indirectly. My experiment is as much for your benefit as mine.

Hasan lets out a deep breath, and starts squirming uncomfortably, struggling to hold in his rage.

He starts hyperventilating.

Then with new vigor in his eyes he turns to Sorenson.

          HASAN
Get out! Leave me! Get out of here? Get out!

Hasan jumps to his feet and starts ripping at his Thaub. He violently rips it open and starts shouting.

          HASAN
Leave! Never return! I want my old cell! I want you gone!

Sorenson gently rises to his feet, while at the same time the cell door swings open and Lorenzo steps in, but...

Sorenson lifts up his palm gesturing at him to stop.

Lorenzo does, just as Zane steps in behind him.

Lorenzo gestures at Zane to stand down, which he does.

Sorenson casually, yet antagonistically, steps toward Hasan.

He gets closer and closer.

His face is now just inches from Hasan’s face who looks like he is about to pop a vain in his forehead.

          SORENSON
(calm soft tone)
If you really are smart, then use me. Show me that you are capable of a bit of strategy, more than just banging you’re head against a wall. You've got two choices. Use me, to get your word out to the world, or rot in here and let these guys take pleasure in torturing you.
     (beat)
Are you really as smart as you think you are?

Sorenson walks past Hasan in his ripped up robe and steps out of the cell.

The soldiers close the door.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson walks up to Volk who’s been watching everything on monitor.

BCKGOUND; On the monitor Hasan is where he was left, still standing stiff as a board, his robe ripped and hanging off his shoulders.

          VOLK
Didn’t look like it went too well in there, did it?

          SORENSON
Actually it went perfectly.

          VOLK
Are you sure? I thought your plan was to soften him not alienate him even more.

          SORENSON
He doesn't trust anything we do. If I tired to buddy up to him, he would shut me out. He needs to believe I’m sincere, even if that makes me a monster in his eyes.

          VOLK
I guess you are the expert. But this is not what I expected.

          SORENSON
No it is not. And I guess from your point of view it is only going to get weirder from here.

          VOLK
But you know what you’re doing?
    
          SORENSON
Absolutely.

          VOLK
All right.

All spoken with a tone of levity.

INT. INTEROGATION ROOM – NIGHT

A match strikes, lighting up in the darkness.

A hand lifts it up to a cigarette.

Zane takes a puff, then looks up at Hasan who is in the interrogation chair. 

          ZANE
Wan'a smoke?
     (beat)
Come on, I know you smoke. Here. What’s a cigarette between enemies?

Zane leans forward.

Zane gently extends the cigarette to Hasan’s lips. 

Hasan stands stout.

Zane encourages him with a lift of his brows.

Hasan squeezes his lips in rejection.

Zane shrugs his shoulders, “OK”, and pulls away.

But then leans forward again and encourages him with another gesture.

Hasan stares him in the eyes defiant... but then suddenly;

...leans forward to take a puff.

Zane quickly...

CLOSE UP ON HAND; ...flips the cigarette and pokes its hot tip into Hasan’s right eye.

Hasan groans as he forcefully flicks his head away.

He squirms in his chair. He can’t lift his chained arms to his face, so he rubs his eye on his shoulder.

          ZANE
Ooo... my bad. Did I get you in the eye?
     (beat)
Damn cigarettes. They do say they're dangerous.

          HASAN
Hal-lam alha mekhel em.

          ZANE
What? What was that? Sorry I didn't understand. Was that pig Latin? You speak pork?

Zane stares at Hasan as he is still rubbing his eye on his shoulder.

Hasan stops. His eye seems OK, but he does have a slight burn on his eyelid.

Hasan looks off to the side.

          ZANE
Your eye looks fine. I don’t even see a mark. You’re not hurt. You’re probably more disappointed you didn’t get your puff. Boy, all you got in life are disappointments. Yesterday, your buddy, Professor Sorenson... another disappointment. Turns out he’s not your buddy. He hates you. And you know I hate you. Lorenzo here... he hates you.

Zane nods to Lorenzo, to which Lorenzo nods in agreement.

          ZANE(cont’d)
The whole world hates you. And you know what?
     (beat)
God hates you. Yup. Those kids... you killed at the amusement park, those were God’s children. God made you. God made me, but I’m a free man, and you're my prisoner. That's how I know God hates you... but he loves me.
     (beat)
Did you know I have a daughter? You had what, five, with two wives, but they're all dead now. They died because of you. Yup. You killed them.
     (beat)
But my daughter, she's safe, and protected, because of me. She will always be safe and protected, because God loves me... but he let your children die, bullet ridden and burnt... because God hates you.
     (beat)
That’s it. I got no questions today. Just wanted to remind you how much the whole world, and God, hate you. Your buddy, Professor Sorenson, he’s on his way. He’ll be here in a little bit, to remind you, how much he hates you too.

Zane stands up and Lorenzo approaches.

          LORENZO
Now, let’s get you back to your hole you fucking rat.

INT – DARKENED OFFICE - NIGHT

Sorenson drops a file onto the table in front of Volk.

          SORENSON
Some information I dug up on Hasan. I don’t have access to your classified files, so maybe you already have this info, but I figured I’d share it just in case.

          VOLK
I’ll take a look at it.

          SORENSON
How’s he doing?

          VOLK
He had a hissy fit when we turned on the monitor last night. Started throwing pillows, ripping the sheets on his bed...

          SORENSON
Do I need to get more robes?

          VOLK
He only ripped the one. We still have the backups. Plus we can always put him back in his prison fatigues. They're not so easy to rip.

          SORENSON
Maybe, if we have to. All right let’s get to it.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Hasan is lying on his back on the cot. As the door starts to open he jumps off.

He slowly steps to the back of the cell as he complains.

          HASAN        
No! No! Get him away! Take me to my old cell! I will not talk to this man...

And at that instant Zane steps further into the cell and sprays Hasan in the eyes with something.

Hasan instantly reacts hiding his face in his chest and starts coughing.

          SORENSON
What the hell? What was that?

          ZANE
Pepper spray. It’s delicious on burritos, but a pain in the eyes.

          SORENSON
Sergeant... You’re quite the humanitarian.

          ZANE
It’s in my blood.

          SORENSON
     (coughing)
And now in my eyes. Please don’t spray that again. We are in a very small enclosed space.

          ZANE
Its either this or he’ll be yelling your ears off.

          SORENSON
I’d rather he yell my ears off, then you spray my eyes out.

          ZANE
All right... boss.

And with a head nod towards Lorenzo, both men step out.

Sorenson looks up at Hasan who is frantically rubbing his face and eyes.

Sorenson waits patiently.

Hasan finally stops and looks at Sorenson with squinty bloodshot red eyes.

A moment later he turns his back to Sorenson.

Sorenson reclines on Hasan’s cot. 

Hasan stands frozen with his back to Sorenson.

Sorenson is comofortably lounging on the cot staring at Hasan’s back.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane steps in with two cups of coffee.

He hands one to Volk.

          ZANE
Are you kidding me? They haven’t moved an inch. It’s been an hour.

          VOLK
Nope. Neither have moved at all.

          ZANE
At least Sorenson was smart enough to sit. Hasan’s gon'a be tired pretty soon.

          VOLK
He’s growing on you, isn’t he?

          ZANE
What? The hippie? Please?

          VOLK
You can’t deny, he did good yesterday.

          ZANE
I certainly can deny it.

          VOLK
Well do you?

          ZANE
Ehhh... it’s only one day. Let’s see what he does over the next few months.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Sorenson finally rises and sits on the back end of the bed right behind Hasan.

          SORENSON
Fine. Since you are in no mood to talk, I’ll talk. I already know everything about you, so there is no reason for you to say anything.
     (beat)
Your parents are Saudi billionaires. As a kid you spent your summers in the Hamptons. You grew up as American, in fact, more American than most Americans. You even attended Harvard, than something happened. At twenty-two you dropped off the radar, and never again returned to the United States. 
     (beat)
Well, I did some digging, and I know why.

Sorenson leans in as if he is about to divulge a major secret.
SORENSON
Annabel Johnson.

Hasan’s face starts fluttering at the sound of the name.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane is watching Hasan on the surveillance monitor. Hasan is facing the camera.

          ZANE
What the...

BACKGROUND; Hasan’s reaction is clear on the monitor

{INSERT; On monitor:
          SORENSON
My sources tell me you were in love with this girl. You tried everything to get her, but she turned you down. She did not care about your wealth. She was not impressed. A few months later, you disappear. Drop out of school, and the next we hear of you... your fighting the Russians out of caves in Afghanistan.                 }

          VOLK
What in the hell is this?

          ZANE
What the fuck is he talking about?

Both men look stunned and dumfounded. 

Volk quickly grabs the file Sorenson dropped next to the monitor, and starts flipping through it.

INT. WHITE ROOM - DAY

          SORENSON
Could it really be this pathetic?  Did you really become a terrorist because you had your heartbroken by a blonde American girl?

Sorenson gets up.

He slowly steps up behind Hasan.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk and Zane are frantically looking through the file, ignoring the monitor.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Sorenson takes another step directly behind Hasan.

          SORENSON
All this hell, because you couldn’t have a little American pussy.

Hasan explodes. He spins violently into Sorenson, knocking him back.

Sorenson falls backwards onto the cot with Hasan on top.

Hasan flails wildly trying to punch Sorenson.

He is clearly not a fighter.

Sorenson seems more skilled, and easily deflects the blows.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane looks up at the monitor and sees Hasan on top of Sorenson. 

          ZANE
Fucking hell!

He violently shoves his half of the file into Volk’s hands, and storms out.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

The door swings open, and Lorenzo flies in. 

He quickly grabs Hasan in a headlock.

He lifts and pulls Hasan off Sorenson.

INT. CONCRETE HALL - NIGHT

Zane is running like a madman.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Zane storms in.

          ZANE
You alright professor?

          SORENSON
I’m fine, I’m fine. He did not hurt me.

Zane quickly turns to Hasan and arches his right fist back.

          SORENSON
Sergeant Zane don’t! Please don’t. I’m OK. I’m fine.

          ZANE
You sure?

Sorenson’s back on his feet adjusting himself.

          SORENSON
Positive. Please, Corporal Lorenzo let him go.

Lorenzo gently lets him go.

Hasan immediately lunges for Sorenson, but Sorenson grabs him by both arms.

Lorenzo jumps from behind and grabs Hasan in a headlock again.

          ZANE
Professor leave! It’s time I take care of this.

          SORENSON
I’m sorry sergeant but no. I intentionally made him angry. I want him to be mad. He is justified in attacking me.

          ZANE
What? How can you excuse this piece of shit...

          SORENSON
Sergeant! Just work with me on this. I have my reasons.

          ZANE
Yes sir, Professor.

          SORENSON
Thank you.
     (beat)   
Lorenzo, are you OK holding him.

          LORENZO
I can hold him all day long.

          SORENSON
Fine, but not too tight. I’m not here to torture him even though that’s what he expects.
     (beat)
Right? Isn’t that why I’m here? And now I proved it to you, no?

Suddenly Volk’s voice draws everyone to turn to the door.

          VOLK
Sorenson. I need to talk to you in private, and it needs to happen now.

SORENSON
Right now? 

          VOLK
Now!

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk is flipping through the file Sorenson brought. 

He looks up.

          VOLK
What is this? Where the hell did you get this?

          SORENSON
It's my research.

          VOLK
The girl? Is she real, or some kind of...

          SORENSON
Oh, she’s absolutely real. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you never knew of her.

Volk stares silently at Sorenson for a moment.

          VOLK
The CIA has been digging this animal’s past for decades, you understand? For decades, but we never came across this information. So how did you?

          SORENSON
Did you interview all his former college mates? 

          VOLK
Of course. But that was thirty years ago. Many never even remembered him. And certainly none mentioned this mysterious blond.

          SORENSON
That’s because you asked the wrong questions.

          VOLK
What are you talking about?

          SORENSON
I’ll tell you, but we need to go back to his cell.

          VOLK
What? No.

          SORENSON
I want him to hear what I have to say.

          VOLK
I don’t understand.

          SORENSON
The answer to your question is also something Hasan has to hear. It’s the whole reason I brought her up.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Hasan is sitting on the cot staring at the wall.

Zane, arms folded, is hovering over him like a sentinel.

The door unlocks. Lorenzo enters.

          LORENZO
Professor Sorenson is coming back in. You don’t have a choice. You can sit there quietly, or I can grab you in a headlock again.

Hasan has no reaction.

Lorenzo takes a position opposite Zane, now flanking Hasan. 

Sorenson steps in followed by Volk.

          ZANE
What’s going on Colonel?

          VOLK
I’m not sure, but apparently it has to do with the mysterious Annabelle Johnson.

Everyone at once turn to Hasan.

Hasan is trapped, surrounded, but no reaction from him.

          VOLK
So why is it that the CIA never new about this girlfriend?

          SORENSON
Because he never met this girl.

          VOLK
Wait, what?

          SORENSON
You guys asked the wrong questions. You asked his classmates about his girlfriends, but he had none, other than a few girls willing to sleep with him because of his money. He never learned how to interact with western girls. So the only girls willing to give him the time of day were girls that did not mind being... “bought” by his wealth. So I’m sure you heard about those girls, but this girl was different.

          VOLK
O... K...?

          SORENSON
Let me put it this way. Think back to when you were twenty. Every man and woman on earth falls in love at that age. It’s biology, no matter what culture. It happens to everyone, but the question is; does it get fulfilled? For many of us it doesn’t. It didn’t in my case. Sometimes we fall for someone who is out of our reach, but we deal with it. I did. It was painful, but I moved on, because my culture gave me the freedom to do so.
     (beat)
But Hasan here, he was raised a rich spoiled brat. He got everything handed to him on a silver platter. No one ever said no to him, because he was surrounded by servants. And then he comes to America, and he is treated like an average Joe. Worse yet, women here have an attitude. Back home, women aren’t much more than slaves, but here, women ridiculed him, talked back to him, and even refused him. The ones that didn’t refuse him, only used him for his money.
     (beat)
And then one day, he saw a girl from a far, and his heart started to flutter. He fell in love at first sight. He wanted her more than anything in the world. More even than his religion, but he was scared, so he sent his personal servant to impress this girl with his wealth. But this girl, I’ve met her, she is humble, so not only did she refuse, but was offended when he tried to entice her with his money. She shot him down, and shut him out.

          ZANE
Sorenson, are kidding me? Are you seriously suggesting this guy put together a terrorist organization because a girl turned him down?
    
          SORENSON
Yes, that's what I'm telling you.

          ZANE
You're insane. You're a bigger lunatic than I thought.

          SORENSON
This was only one factor. Mix in his religion, his social awkwardness, being a foreigner in our culture, the absence of love from his parents, add all that, and at a pivotal age, the incident with the girl became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          ZANE
I still don’t buy it.

          SORENSON
Have you ever read Shakespeare? Or listened to a song? Talked to someone who is depressed? The thing in the end that we are all hurt by most... is love. It is the desire that can only be fulfilled by the embrace of another human being, but only when given willfully. Think about that. Love can never be taken by force, it can only be given. All he wanted was for that pretty blonde girl to return the love he felt for her. Remember falling in love, and how powerful that desire is? Now imagine that your “Annabel Johnson” turned you down because of who you are.

          ZANE
You're just giving him excuses.

          SORENSON
The truth is the truth, but it should never be a justification. Annabel Johnson broke his heart. But what turned him into a monster was growing up in a culture where natural love is forbidden. Where parents never say “I love you” to their children. Where you are not allowed to fall in love with the girl of your dreams, instead you have to accept the girl that is handed to you, wrapped up in a cloth. He never felt love, then in America he saw everyone else living it, but he couldn’t. There is no love in arranged marriages, only comfort. Comfort is good, but it certainly is not love. All his life he was denied the most powerful thing that we all crave. Now he is punishing humanity for what he never could have.
    
          VOLK
I’m sorry Professor but you've lost me. Blaming his terrorism on a broken heart... well, it's...

          ZANE
Don’t hold back Colonel, it's stupid.

          SORENSON
Zane, you have a daughter. What is the greatest thing about your daughter?

          ZANE
Everything?

          SORENSON
Everything because you love everything about her. The key word is love. Hasan is as human as we are. The same love you feel for your daughter, he felt for his children, and maybe even his wives, but he never learned how to express it. He never learned how to live in love. And nothing in this universe is one sided. Love is great and powerful, but it is only one side of the coin, its other side... is hate. And when you are denied one, all you have left is the other. Unfortunately for Hasan, love was denied to him in all forms. His culture denied it, America denied it, so in the end all he had left... was hate.

Hasan stuck in the middle, is still staring at the wall unmoved. 

But his eyes are glazed with painful emotion.

INT. WHITE CELL – NIGHT

INSERT: Images of animals, nature, and color on the screen all to the sound of David Attenborough’s soothing voice.

Continue the PUSH IN; on Hasan on his back on the cot watching TV.

INT. DARENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson is talking to Volk.

          SORENSON
Has he had any human interaction since I was last here?

          VOLK
Not much. We had to subdue him last Tuesday when he tried to tear up his cell again.

          SORENSON
Yeah, I saw that in the daily's. So what’s your overall impression?

          VOLK
First week he refused to watch anything, but after Tuesday's blowup, he’s been pretty good watching them all.

          SORENSON
That’s good, that’s really good.

          VOLK
But the biggest change has been in the last couple of days. He started crying, I mean really crying. I’m a bit concerned he might be suicidal.

INT. WHITE ROOM – DAY

Sorenson is sitting on the back of the cot.

Hasan is sitting in his usual place, towards the front, staring at the wall.

          SORENSON
From day one I told you that I’m here to talk to you. That’s my experiment. Nothing weird, nothing strange, nothing like you see in the movies. Just you and me sitting on this cot, talking. But so far, I’ve been the one doing the talking, while you are slowly losing your mind, fighting, screaming, getting restrained.
     (beat)
You said you are not an idiot.  That you understand my game. Well then play the game... and beat me.

          HASAN
Why do you bother me? It was peaceful... you not being here.

          SORENSON
It’s only been a few weeks, but this will last for years. They were going to put you to death, but I convinced them that you are more valuable alive. If you are assuming that they are going to put you to death soon, and execution will rescue you from me, it’s not going to happen.

          HASAN
You do not control the American government. They do as they please.

          SORENSON
Ah, so you still think you are going to die.

Sorenson stands up and looks at the surveillance camera.

          SORENSON
Sergeant Zane! Can you please step in.

The door opens. Zane and Lorenzo step in.

Sorenson is again seated near Hasan.

          ZANE
Everything all right?

          SORENSON
When’s the scheduled execution for our friend here?

          ZANE
I don’t know. You’re the one who pushed it back, indefinitely from what I understand.

          SORENSON
Are you sure?

          ZANE
What the hell kind of question is that? You’re the one screwing things on their head around here. Are you screwing with me now?

          SORENSON
My apologies. I just needed to confirm it. Thank you.

Following Lorenzo, Zane slams the door as he exists.

          SORENSON
You can be your usual suspicious self and believe this was all a little act staged for your benefit. But think of it this way. You know Sergeant Zane pretty well by now. How good of an actor is he?

Hasan is becoming visibly upset again. 

He starts chanting.

          HASAN
Alhamdulillah, Allahu-Akbar, Alhamdulillah, Allahu-Akbar,
Alhamdulillah, Allahu-Akbar,
Alhamdulillah, Allahu-Akbar,
...

INT. DARKENED OFFICE - NIGHT

Zane walks in and steps up to Volk.

          ZAME
Did you see that?

          VOLK
Yeah?

          ZANE
What hell was that about?

          VOLK
Just watch.

INT. WHITE ROOM – DAY

Hasan suddenly turns to Sorenson.

          HASAN
You want to talk. I’ll talk. You know what I was chanting? I was thanking Alah, because he has revealed you to me.

          SORENSON
Has he?

          HASAN
You did fool me. For a moment I did believe you. I believed that you were honest and you wanted to learn from me. I did actually believe you. I almost, I almost was even going to say that to you today, but Allah has reveled the truth. I know who you really are.

          SORENSON 
Who am I?

          HASAN
Satan! You are Satan, and you tricked me, but Allah has saved me.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane gives Volk; “not impressed look”.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          HASAN
You put me in this room. You show me those beautiful programs. And yes the world is beautiful because Allah made it so. And you tried to use that to trick me, to manipulate me. To make me think you are an honest man. That you are better than the soldiers, but you are not. You are worse. The soldiers tortured me. They ridiculed me. They hit me, but they never truly hurt me. But you, with your evil deception, you have brought me to tears. You have hurt my soul, more than since...

          SORENSON
Since who?

          HASAN
You are evil. You are here to poison my soul. I was better off in the concrete hole with the soldiers burning cigarettes in my eyes. They were mean, but you... you are evil.

INT. DARENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson walks in.

Volk and Zane are waiting, unimpressed.

          ZANE
Wow. You really dropped the ball on that one didn’t you Sorenson?

          SORENSON
It would appear so, wouldn’t it?

          ZANE
Ha, appear. Admit it, if you’re intellectual ego isn't too big. You fucked up. He likes me, more than he likes you. How do you like them coconuts?

With a smile and a pat on his shoulder;

          SORENSON
You are an interesting character Zane.

          ZANE
And I know what I’m doing.

          SORENSON
Since your ego is even bigger than mine, I’ll let you have this one. I admit. He did catch me off guard with that twist, but I’m not surprised. I was walking a fine line. 

          ZANE
You mean a string, and it snapped.

FADE IN;

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Continue PUSH IN on Hasan; He is laying on his back staring at the monitor. 

INTERCUT; Images of nature, space, and history playing on the TV.

FADE OUT;

INT. INTEROGATION ROOM - NIGHT

Hasan is in his chair, light in his face.

Zane is sitting across from him, hunched forward, lighting a cigarette. He takes a puff, then lifts up the cigarette, and then his eyebrows; “want a puff?”

Hasan frowns harshly in response.

Zane nods confirming the negative. 

Zane takes another puff. 

He starts coughing, chocking on the smoke.

He looks at the cigarette with a displeased frown.

ZANE
I hate cigarettes.

He flicks the cigarette away with obvious disdain.

          ZANE     
I can’t understand why people smoke that shit.

He then looks up at Hasan and stares through him for a moment.
          ZANE
Well isn’t this nice. We’re back.  I heard you missed me.

          HASAN
I do not miss your cruelty.

          ZANE
Me? You have me confused with Sorenson.

          HASAN
You are the cruel one, because you are stupid. The Professor, he is evil, because he is smart.

          ZANE
Hmmmm, well that hurts my feelings. I did not know you felt that way about me.

          HASAN
You are stupid and cruel.

          ZANE
Hmm.
     (beat)
See now you’re making me think. If I’m cruel because I am stupid, and Sorenson is evil because he is smart... than what does that make you? Evil, or stupid?
     (long beat)
Well? If you became a terrorist because you are cruel, then you must be stupid. But if you became a terrorist because you are smart, then you must be evil.
     (long beat)
So which is it? Are you stupid, or are you evil?

          HASAN
You are working together. This is all a trick.

          ZANE
You just now figured that out?    (beat)
Boy, you really are stupid. I was really hoping you were evil, but... according to your own theory, you're not smart enough.

Hasan's face cringes with impotent frustration.

INT. WHITE ROOM - DAY

Hasan is pacing back and forth.

The monitor comes on.  David Attenborough’s soothing voice starts narrating another nature documentary.

          HASAN
No! Nooo! Stop! Turn it off!

Hasan looses it, goes nuts. 

Starts tearing at his sheets. 

Starts smashing at the Lexan protecting the monitor.

          HASAN
I can’t take this any more. Kill me! Kill me!

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Volk and Sorenson are watching the action on the monitor.

          VOLK
There he goes again. I’d better send the men in.

          SORENSON
Not yet. Let him exhaust himself.

          VOLK
You sure? 

Sorenson nods.

          VOLK
Its not working is it?

          SORENSON
This was never going to be easy. I’ve never done anything on this scale before, and there is no blue print. It's going to work, but I have to thread carefully.

          VOLK
I don’t think letting him bash himself unconscious is being careful.

          SORENSON
No, what he needs is a break.

          VOLK
A break from what?

          SORENSON
From me. I need to step away for a while. Let what happen so far settle in, and give him a Koran.

          VOLK
Isn’t that going to make it worse?
         
          SORENSON
No, it should have the exact opposite effect. I’ve smashed his foundation. He needs something familiar, something he can hold on to.

          VOLK
And the documentaries?

          SORENSON
Those will continue on schedule. In fact, everything needs to go back on schedule. You can continue the interrogations. Give him the Koran, and take it away for short periods as punishment if needed.

          VOLK
For how long?

          SORENSON
I have no idea. I'll keep watch from a distance through your reports and the video feed. And when I think he is ready I will return.

          VOLK
Just like that.

          SORENSON
The mind is far more fragile than most of us are willing to admit. There is no time for hesitation. Action has to be instant.

FADE OUT;

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

MONTAGE: Hasan in his cot, staring at the ceiling, pacing, twisting and turning, doing his ritual prayers, INTERCUT with scenes of him relaxed on his bed watching TV.

INSERT: Images of nature, plants, animals, and snippets from various documentaries, including nature, but also ancient Greek history, and images of the universe and space.

The White Cell now looks older, worn out, and aged.

FADE IN;

INT. INTEROGATION ROOM – NIGHT

Hasan in his now dirtier more worn out robe is sitting in the chair.  Lorenzo and Zane are looming over him.

          ZANE
You haven’t spoken in a long time.
     (beat)
You don’t want to talk to me?
     (beat)
You miss Sorenson don’t you? But he’s abandoned you. This is the way it should be, just you and me. How do you like it?

          A VOICE
I don’t like it at all.

Startled, Zane jumps, turns around, and locks eyes with Sorenson.

          SORENSON
I’m back. Can you please take him to his cell.

          ZANE
Talk about the devil. Oh, wait, you really believe he is the devil. Are you excited? He’s-s... ba-ack...

Zane winks, but no reaction from Hasan.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson steps into the room. Volk was watching trough the two way mirror.

VOLK
So what do you think? It's been four months. Does he seem different?

          SORENSON
He seems calmer.

          VOLK
So calm he hasn't said a word in months.

          SORENSON
The human mind is a conundrum. He may not consciously admit it, but he actually wants me to talk to him. 

          VOLK
Why?

          SORENSON
I've made him question himself.

          VOLK
Or he may just be losing his marbles.

          SORENSON
No, he is just in transition.

          VOLK
Ok. What does that mean?

          SORENSON
My initial interaction with him was the planting of the seed. Then I had to go away, to give it time to germinate and grow, but now I have to graft the process if it is to bear fruit.

          VOLK
Huh?

          SORENSON
I crushed his belief in himself, and now I have to help him build a new one. The documentaries are the fill, especially now that most are about Greek philosophy and history. But there are no guarantees, either way, it's time to guide his thoughts to the ultimate end.

          VOLK
And you still think you will succeed?

          SORENSON
I wouldn't be here if I didn't.   

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

The white walls look more scruffy and old.

Hasan is sitting on the bed, looking down.

The door opens. 

Hasan casually glances up.

No expression upon seeing Sorenson.

Sorenson gently steps in.

Hasan looks back down.

          SORENSON
May I take a seat?

No response from Hasan. Sorenson seats in his usual spot.

Both men sit quietly.

Hasan continues looking down.

          SORENSON
So, is this you at your best?
     (beat)
Fine, I’m going to keep push your buttons, get you mad. You feel miserable, and the soldiers get a good laugh. You really want to do this for the next thirty years?

          HASAN
I knew you were no different than the soldiers.

          SORENSON
Go on.

          HASAN
You are intentionally trying to make me crazy. 

          SORENSON
I don’t know what you mean.

          HASAN
Yes you do. Everything, all of this, the tv programs. You are attacking my mind, you want me crazy.

          SORENSON
If I say, that's not true, will you believe me?
     (beat)
I won’t say it. But I’m curious, what I would gain driving you insane?

          HASAN
Punishment. You want to punish me for what I have done.

          SORENSON
How? You've already accepted your death. You knew you would be tortured. You know what Allah has planned for you in the afterlife. So then what exactly does it matter what I do?

          HASAN
Yes, what does it matter? So leave me!

          SORENSON
To you, but it does matter, to your people. You have an opportunity to use me. To have an impact outside of this cell.  Don’t believe me? Think about it yourself. You decide whether this is true or not.

Sorenson casually gets up and knocks on the cell door.

Lorenzo opens it and Sorenson steps out.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Zane turns to Volk. 

          ZANE
I don’t get this guy. What’s he really doing here?

          VOLK
His job.

Zane stares hard at Volk.

Then as if a light just went off in his head he goes off.

          ZANE
Son of a bitch! I’m an idiot. How the fuck did I not see this before?

          VOLK
See what?

          ZANE
You know don’t you?

          VOLK
Explain yourself soldier.

          ZANE
No! You explain yourself?

          VOLK
Is my civilian attire clouding your judgment? Are you forgetting who the ranking officer in this room is?

          ZANE
No sir! My apologies sir!
You know what fuck protocol. I know you, and I’m an idiot. I really thought he was here to keep us in line but he is not is he? There is something else going on here and you know?

          VOLK
Zane, do you understand the meaning of classified? In due time...

But the door opening interrupts the two men.

Sorenson steps in.

          SORENSON
Looks like my absence worked.

Zane takes an aggressive step forward.

          ZANE
Why the fuck are you here?

          VOLK
Sergeant! Do not cross the line.

          SORENSON
It’s ok.
I’m here for the same reason you are.
          ZANE
But there is something else going on.
          SORENSON
You already know.

          ZANE
No I don’t.

          SORENSON
Of course you do.

          ZANE
Don’t screw with me. I'm not Hasan.

          SORENSON
You heard me say it many times. It’s an experiment.

          ZANE
What kind of experiment?

          SORENSON
Sergeant Zane, is what I’m doing here classified or not?

Zane turns his head away displeased. 

          SORENSON
I did not make the rules. Like you I’m following orders. It has to be this way for now.

          VOLK
Satisfied?

          ZANE
No sir...
     (salutes sternly)
...yes sir.

...and heads out of the room.

Sorenson follows him with his eyes, confused.

          VOLK
He’ll be fine.

          SORENSON
I know. Like you said, he is a good soldier.

          VOLK
Done for the day?

          SORENSON
Not yet. Hasan needs a few hours to think, and I need lunch. We'll continue later.

INT. WHITE CELL – DAY

Sorenson and Hasan are each in their usual spots.

          SORENSON
I only have one wish in life right now. That one day, you would start the conversation instead of always it being me.

          HASAN
Than let me out...
     (beat)
...and I’ll take you to my country and give you Aladdin’s lamp.

          SORENSON
     (smiling)
Nice. Now isn’t that better than being frustrated all the time?
     (beat)
You know what my definition of life is?

          HASAN
I don't care.

          SORENSON
Laughter. Think about it. Why do you do anything... why did you do what you did?
     (beat)
Because you were unhappy, and we all want to be happy.

          HASAN
I'm unhappy because you don't shut up.

          SORENSON
Ok, so if I stop talking will you start laughing?

          HASAN
I will laugh when you die.

          SORENSON
I plan to live a long life.

          HASAN
Good for you.

          SORENSON
Yes it is good for me, because I laugh all the time. Tell me when you were free did you laugh every day?
     (beat)
Do you think you will laugh in paradise?

          HASAN
You are a jerk.

          SORENSON
Explain that to me.

          HASAN
There is nothing to explain.

          SORENSON
Of course there is. Is there laughter in paradise?

Looking up at Sorenson with intense eyes.

          HASAN
Paradise is perfect. No one is ever sad and yes, everybody laughs.

          SORENSON
Why?

          HASAN
Why do you bother me with such stupid questions?

          SORENSON
No seriously, why do people in paradise laugh?

          HASAN
Because they do not suffer. Because they have everything.  Because they are not hungry.  Because they don't have to listen to you.

          SORENSON
Because they are happy.

          HASAN
Yes.

          SORENSON
But on Earth happiness is not possible? 
     (beat)
Well? Is happiness possible on Earth?

          HASAN
Not when your evil government is killing my people.

          SORENSON 
Before that happened were your people happy?

          HASAN
Get out.

          SORENSON
You know I'm not leaving... no ever. You are stuck with me until you are eighty. But lets talk about laughter.
     (beat)
You know what makes us sad? Anything that prevents us from being able to laugh. Think about that. You can tell me I’m wrong if you truly believe I’m wrong.

Sorenson awaits a response from Hasan but none comes.

          SORENSON
But I know I’m not wrong. In the end we all want the paradise you described. You decided that you can only have that after you die. I know for a fact you are wrong. We can have that, right here on Earth, while we live. That is why we have families. What is better in life than being with the people you love, around a great meal, laughing, over a good story?
     (beat)
Am I wrong?

          HASAN
     (angry)
You come here to remind me of these things... all things I can never have! You killed my family yet you say you are not here to punish me?

          SORENSON
We are here because we are both guilty. We invaded your land, and you killed kids at an amusement park. Both of us have taken laughter away from people. Now you can take my words personally as an attack on you, and be mad for the next thirty years, or...
     (beat)
...you can understand me. Understand that I want laughter for everyone left on this Earth, especially in your country.
     (beat)
Can you imagine your people free, and full of laughter?
     (beat)
Can you imagine that?

Out of the blue Hasan starts howling like a child, crying.

Sorenson watches unmoved.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

BACROUND; On the monitor Sorenson is leaving Hasan's cell.

Zane and Volk give each other a look.

          ZANE
Holly crap! Did Hasan just break?

          VOLK
He is crying.

          ZANE
Son of a bitch! I never made him cry.

          VOLK
I think the Professor might be better than you at this.

Zane gives Volk a hard disapproving look.

The door opens and Sorenson walks in.

Zane steps out past him without a word.

          VOLK
Interesting work Professor.  I think you got to him. 

          SORENSON
Maybe. You know there's one thing that's been bugging me.

          VOLK
What's that?

          SORENSON
How did his wives and children die?

          VOLK
You've read the files. You know as much as I do.

          SORENSON
No, I don't think I do. The files only reference that his two wives and five children are dead, but no mention on how they died.

          VOLK
What difference does it make?

          SORENSON
All the difference in the world. Did he use his family as a shield or not? Did he see them die? Why were they shot? Two of the kids were toddlers.

          VOLK
I don't know.

          SORENSON
Colonel Volk, you've been more than cooperative and for that I am grateful, but you have a higher clearance level than I do, and I know there is more to this story. For my plan to work this is something I need to know.

          VOLK
Then I'll ask you the same thing I asked Zane. Do you know what classified means?

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

CLANK! A noise lights up the scene. 

It's the heavy door lock, as the door to the white cell opens inward. 

Sorenson walks in. 

He takes a seat in his usual spot at the end of the end of the bed. 

Hasan adjusts and looks down at him without getting up.

          SORENSON
I need to ask you a very personal and difficult question? One that might really upset you.

          HASAN
     (incredulous)
You are joking right?

          SORENSON
No, this question is much harder than anything I have asked you before.

Hasan rises up on his seat next to Sorenson. 

          HASAN
What brilliant western nonsense do you have for me now?

          SORENSON
I'm very serious when I say this, and I'm really-really sorry about what I am going to ask you, but I have to ask you.
     (beat)
     (frowning confused)
In fact I'm going to ask you permission to let me ask you this question? 

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Volk is staring at the monitor. 

Zane walks in with two cups of coffee.

          ZANE
What's going on in there?

          VOLK
I don't know. The Professor's got something up his sleeve.


INT. WHITE CEL - DAY

Sorenson gives Hasan a long serious look.

          HASAN
     (dismissively)
Fine, you have permission.

          SORENSON
I really am sorry to have to ask you this, but it is important that I know.
     (beat)

          HASAN
Ok. Ask.

          SORENSON
I need to know... how did your wifes and children die?

Hasan's face tells it all. For a moment his shock and horror seem like he is about to attack, but instead he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Volk's eyes bug out at the monitor.

          VOLK
What the fuck is he doing? Get in there and stop this.

          ZANE
Yes sir.

Zane bolts out of the room.

INT. WHITE CEL - DAY

With renewed strength from rage Hasan speaks.

          HASAN
They were killed in front of my eyes.

          SORENSON
Intentionally?

          HASAN
Of course intentionally! We were all captured. We were surrounded. I was in my bedroom when your soldiers brought them all to me.  They put the gun to my wife's forehead and killed her.  And then they did the same to all of them.

          SORENSON
Even the children?

          HASAN
Of course!

          SORENSON
Oh my God. That is inexcusable. I'm sorry I didn't know...

But the door slamming open interrupts Sorenson.

Zane and Lorenzo rush in.

          ZANE
That's it, you're done! Get the fuck out of this cell!

          SORENSON
Sergeant stand down.

          ZANE
You do not give me orders civilian!

          SORENSON
Corporal Lorenzo, you are more sensible. You know I have a right to be here.

          LORENZO
I'm following my orders sir.

          ZANE
Sorenson, you are done. Don't make me force you out.

          SORENSON
Sergeant are you forgetting chain of command?

          ZANE
You are not part of that chain. Come on, Volk wants to see you.

          SORENSON
Fine.

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Sorenson is escorted into the room by Zane and Lorenzo.

          VOLK
What the hell was that?

          SORENSON
No, what the hell do you think you are doing?

          VOLK
I told you classified is classified.

          SORENSON
I was not reading a classified file. I was questioning the subject. Do we need to go over the agreement? Nowhere in it are there any restrictions on what I can ask. So what is your justification for this?

          VOLK
My job is to maintain confidentiality. I'll need to clear this with higher up brass before we can continue.

          SORENSON
Fine. And since Hasan is spilling his beans make sure you clear me the file as well, to make sure that what he is saying matches reality. 

          VOLK
It will take time.

          SORENSON
Time we got.

FADE TO BLACK;

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

MONTAGE; Images of space, history, animals, science on Hasan's TV.

PUSH IN; Hasan laying on his back watching the documentaries.

FADE OUT;

INT. INTEROGATION ROOM - NIGHT

Hasan has the bright light in his face.

Zane is sitting in front of Hasan with his phone in his hand.

          ZANE
Week five, and still no Professor. I think he gave up on you, but I haven't. In fact I have something for you.

He lifts up his phone and shows him a picture.

          ZANE
That is my five year old daughter. Alive and well, and happy. You should see her laugh. She never stops. She is such a happy child.

Hasan cringes in heartfelt distress.

          HASAN
You are not cruel, you are pure evil.

          ZANE
Yet God has saved me and my daughter, not yours.

          HASAN
No, Allah has saved them from your evil world and taken them home. I will see them again.

          ZANE
Oh, so then our military are God's angels? We did you a favor? Cool. 

Hasan is fuming. He looks ready to blow.

          HASAN
Where is the Professor?
    
          ZANE
Wow. Are you serious? Are you telling me you actually want him back? The devil?

          HASAN
You are the devil. I can't stand you any longer. I will explode.

          ZANE
In your pants? You got diarrhea?

Hasan is shaking with rage.

          HASAN
Where is the Professor? Or did you kill him too?

          ZANE
As much as I would like to shoot that nerd, no. Sorry. We don't go around killing people just because we don't like them. That's what you do. Right?
     (beat)
Actually, I'll tell you a little secret. I've never killed anyone.
     (beat)
Ha, look at your face. You can't even comprehend that concept, but it is true. I know that I'm being cruel to you, but that's because you murdered 3000 children... you fucking asshole! And you want me to be nice to you? I'm glad I never killed anyone, and I hope I never do, but that doesn't mean I am not going to punish you for killing three... thousand... children...  asshole!
     (with a nudge to Lorenzo)
Let's get him the fuck out of here before I start beating the shit out of this... asshole.

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Sorenson and Volk are watching through the glass. Sorenson has a file in his hands.

Zane and Lorenzo place a bag over Hasan's head before they walk him out.

          SORENSON
Sometimes I'm not sure if Zane is hurting or helping this project. 

          VOLK
It's not his fault. You're not letting him in. That's the main reason he resents you.

          SORENSON
Not yet, but we're getting close, I can feel it. And with the new information in this file, I have more to work with now.

          VOLK
You still believe in this project?

          SORENSON
Even more than before.
Oh, I almost forgot. One of the daily's motioned that he requested to watch the same documentary several times. Which one?

          VOLK
The one about the lions.

          SORENSON
Oh wow!

          VOLK
Is that important?

          SORENSON
Not particularly. It is to me though. It's one I've watched many times myself.

          VOLK
This thing with the documentaries I just don't get. You were very specific with the list you gave us. The order in which to show them, how many times, now you started changing it. I don’t get it, why?

          SORENSON
Because the documentaries are in fact the key, not me.

          VOLK
Ok, you're going to have to explain that one.

          SORENSON
One of the reasons extremists like him, do what they do, is because they don’t understand the natural world. This earth is very complicated, and most people don’t have a clue why the sky is blue, or water wet, etc. Right?

          VOLK
Sure I guess.

          SORENSON
So I had to give him that knowledge, but how do you force someone who doesn't want to, to learn. You can't. That's why I arranged the documentaries as I did. From them he is learning philosophy, psychology, physics, evolution, things he would normally reject.

          VOLK
So it is not about keeping his mind calm with nature and color.

          SORENSON
That's a side effect, and very useful. But the most important factor is the information he is getting from them. Imagine what he would do if I tired to teach him about evolution.

          VOLK
I see your point.

          SORENSON
The documentaries are both an escape, but also important information. My words on the other hand are not information. My role is to break his old emotional habits. His habit of hate based on bad information.

          VOLK     
A two prong attack. 

          SORENSON
Sure, but that’s the way we all work. We all naturally resist things that are new, that force us out of our comfort zone. His comfort zone is hate and revenge, but I want him to see that in the world there is also love and acceptance.

          VOLK
It still sounds too absurd. How could this man ever love or accept?

Sorenson responds with a nod of his brows.

INT. WHITE CEL - DAY

Hasan is laying in his cot.

Sorenson steps in.

Hasan looks away completely ignoring Sorenson.

Sorenson takes his usual sitting position.

          SORENSON
I want to talk about your wives and kids.

          HASAN
No, I refuse. I will kick and scream and tear this cell apart if you force me to talk about them.

          SORENSON
Are we not past that yet?

          HASAN
No.

          SORENSON
Fine. Then I want to talk about Zimbo.

Hasan lifts up, and gives Sorenson a coy look.

          HASAN
Why?

          SORENSON
Why not?

Hasan gets up and seats next to Sorenson.

          HASAN
This is why I hate you. This is why my people hate all your people.

          SORENSON
Because of Zimbo?

          HASAN
See, you do it and you don't even know you are doing it.

          SORENSON
Do what?

          HASAN
You are manipulative. You are always manipulating. You're whole race is a race of manipulators. You can't even have a simple conversation without being manipulative somehow.

          SORENSON
I still don't understand where you are going with that.

          HASAN
Your stupid documentaries. I know they are not for resting my mind. They are for manipulation. You are trying to change the way I think.

          SORENSON
Look around. Where are you?
     (beat)
Seriously where are you?

          HASAN
Ok, what's your point?

          SORENSON
If I was in your prison would you treat me this horribly?

Shaking his head in disdain.

          HASAN
Ok, ok I admit. We torture the body, but you torture the mind. You think that makes you better?

          SORENSON
And when the body is tortured the mind doesn't suffer?

Hasan rolls his eyes.

          SORENSON
You keep saying that I'm manipulative, that I'm evil. Well how about you? Did you not manipulate those young men into blowing themselves up? Why didn't you put a vest on and blow yourself up?
     (beat)
I don't want to talk about this now. I want to talk about Zimbo. Can we talk about Zimbo?

          HASAN
What about Zimbo?

          SORENSON
I heard it's your favorite documentary.

          HASAN
Maybe, so what.

          SORENSON
I find it interesting because it is also my favorite. I first saw it when I was in college and I was never able to forget it. And you know why?

Hasan shakes his head feigning disinterest.

          SORENSON
Because at first I wanted to be just like Zimbo, until... well you know.
     (beat)
Why do you like it?

Hasan turns away and acts uninterested in the conversation.

          SORENSON
Fine. I'll tell you why I like it.
     (beat)
The beginning, I hated it. The way that bigger pride of Lions killed Zimbo's family made me sick to my stomach. Then when little Zimbo was hiding in the grass, watching that male lion tear his brother apart, I wanted to smash the TV. But the big males left, and Zimbo was alive, but alone. A half grown cub, all alone in the African savannah, how would he survive? I was even angry at the documentary makers for not rescuing him. From Zimbo's point of view, they were like God. They had the power to intervene, to rescue him, but they did nothing. They stood faraway and filmed, while his family was killed. I was certain he would die, but little Zimbo was tough. He survived eating rats and porcupines, and over the next year he grew big and his true nature, the lion in him, came out.
     (beat)
Remember when he caught his first gazelle? Even though an animal, you could see the joy in his eyes. Over the next year he grew even bigger, and took down water buffalo, zebra, and even fought off that pack of hyenas, killing the matriarch by outsmarting her. I was stunned by his power and what he had become. That's when I decided that in life I wanted to be just like Zimbo. Now look into my eyes and tell me that you didn't feel pride, that you didn't say, “Zimbo and I are the same”.

Hasan resists responding, then looks away.

          SORENSON
From that day on Zimbo really was the king of the jungle, but he was still alone. He had no pride, no females. I don’t know if lions feel love, but they must. Just like us it is love that drives them, and he came across that pride with eight females, what did he do?
     (beat)
He attacked the Alpha male of that Pride. Why? Because he wanted to have what that male had. It’s what drives a lion, and it is what drives us. So he attacked that alpha male because Zimbo wanted to be king, and he was confident. It took him less than a minute to defeat the other male, and then he went for the females, but they rejected him. So he grabbed the closet one by the back of the head an jumped on top, and he started mating her right then and there. He was King, but the King was interrupted. The alpha male returned. You tell me what happened next.

Hasan rolls his eyes.

          HASAN
Why? You are doing well on your own.

          SORENSON
Look into my eyes and tell me you would not have done the same? Zimbo jumped off the female and started chasing the male. The male ran, but he did not look scared, and when he was far enough from the females he stopped, and turned around. Zimbo did not hesitate, he attacked without thinking. He was so confident, but what happened?

          HASAN
I'm not five years old.

          SORENSON
Come on what happened? You've seen it not several times.

          HASAN
     (shaking head)
There was another lion.

          SORENSON
That’s right. This was a pride with two alpha males, and now the other one was back. Zimbo, blinded by his confidence and anger attacked. But the other lion was an even bigger King of the Jungle. He tore Zimbo to shreds. When that documentary was done I cried. I cried for Zimbo, but also for the unfairness of the world. Poor Zimbo, just when he thought he was finally king of beasts, he met someone stronger. That documentary tore my soul to pieces. It broke me. I was young, 21 and I could not believe how cruel this world could be. But I also realized that no matter how strong you are, there is always someone stronger. And when you rely on violence, you are guaranteed to die by that violence. 

Hasan suddenly becomes very emotional again.

He starts fidgeting. He looks like he might have another breakdown.

Sorenson just stares, watching Hasan like he would a study animal in an experiment.

Hasan suddenly looks up and hard at Sorenson.

          HASAN
You are winning.

          SORENSON
I'm not competing with you here.

          HASAN
It doesn't matter.

          SORENSON
From day one I've been trying to convince you that everything we do here matters.

          HASAN
No it doesn't, because I can never escape this cell.

          SORENSON
But your words can.

          HASAN        
What can my words do?

          SORENSON
What did Jesus' words do? What did the Buddha's words do? What did Mohammad's words do? Words can do a lot more than bombs.

          HASAN
Please leave. I can't do this.

          SORENSON
Yes you can, and you will. We both will.

Sorenson gets up and casually walks out.

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Zane turns to Volk.

          ZANE
What the hell was all that?

          VOLK
I don't know.

INT. DARK ROOM - LATER

Sorenson is sitting at the table watching the monitor.

INSERT: Hasan is laying on his cot staring at the ceiling.

Volk walks up with two box lunches and joins Sorenson.

          VOLK
How long you go'na watch him?

          SORENSON
From now on, nonstop.

          VOLK
You really think he is breaking.

          SORENSON
He's on the verge.

          VOLK
I have to admit, that was pretty impressive.
     (Sorenson nods)
How did you come up with all this?

Sorenson turns and gives Volk a deep look.

          SORENSON
Ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? 

          VOLK
Vaguely.

          SORENSON
It started with a bank robbery that ended in a five day hostage standoff. To the hostages it was a terrorist act, and after only five days, they started identifying with their aggressors, some even defended the robbers.

          VOLK
I'm not making the connection.

          SORENSON
I was born in a hospital not too far away while that was happening.

          VOLK
Wow.

          SORENSON
I was still a kid when I learned about the incident, and it was quite a shock that it happened so close, and on my birthday. I learned all I could about it, and that got me curious about human behavior. It's why I'm here today. 

          VOLK
And what's the connection?

          SORENSON
All terrorists suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. For a number of reasons, they've been brainwashed into doing things that no normal human being would do.

          VOLK
But who brainwashed Hasan? He is the master mind.

          SORENSON
His culture, his insecurities, his misdirected rage, the list goes on.

          VOLK
Annabelle Johnson?

          SORENSON
She is one symptom, but certainly not the cause. The core of his brainwashing is his inability to love, which leaves him only with hate.

          VOLK
So essentially you are laundering his mind, cleaning up the brainwashing.

          SORENSON
Exactly, and we are at a critical moment. Any misstep, if I flood him with too much emotion, I could wash his mind away completely.   

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Hasan is on the floor doing his prayer. 

The door opens and Sorenson steps in. 

          SORENSON
I'm sorry Hasan but you've been praying for hours. I need you to stop.

Hasan's prayers intensify.

          HASSAN
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik.

          SORENSON
God will not save you.

Hasan flies to his feet in a state of rage.

          HASAN
Get out!

But out of nowhere, Sorenson violently grabs Hasan by the shoulders and slams him backwards into his cot with force.

Hasan is staring up bugeyed in shock.

          SORENSON
No more bullshit! I'm tired of you acting like a five year old! From today you are going to start behaving like a man!

Hasan bolts to his feet and awkwardly attacks Sorenson without any strength.

The door flies open, Lorenzo jumps in and immediately grabs Hasan in a headlock.

          LORENZO
I got him professor.

Hasan struggles for a moment but quickly gives up.

The cell is quiet. Sorenson is staring into Hasan's eyes. 

Hasan is staring back, struggling to be defiant, but failing.

          SORENSON
Corporal, you can let him go.

          LORENZO
You sure sir?

          SORENSON
Yeah.

Lorenzo gently lets Hasan go.

Hasan does not react nor moves from the spot.

          SORENSON
I’m not a religious man, but I do believe in a greater power. I can’t say that I am convinced there is a paradise, but I certainly hope so. Now think about paradise. What kind of people do you think God wants there? Do you think he wants you? Do you think he wants a man who kills... in his paradise? How can paradise be paradise, if it's full of killers?
     (beat)
Don’t you get it? This life is a test. And the test is hard. God is testing your will. Your will to reject hate, violence, and to do the right thing in tough times? Do you really believe, with your bad attitude, you will see paradise?
     (beat)
Think! Don't listen to me, think!
     (beat)
You are a man and you build a house. Not any house, but the most beautiful house you can conceive. You work hard and when you're done, you are pleased. You're children immediately run in and love it, but they start fighting and one day they burn it down. Not by accident but intentionally. One son decides to burn his brother's bedroom because he hates his brother, and burns the whole house down. Now do you think that man would be pleased with his children? Do you?
     (beat)
God built this house, and now you want to burn my room down, because you hate me, and you are burning the whole world with your stupid hate.
     (beat)
You really think our father is pleased?

Sorenson nonchalantly walks out.

INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT

Zane walks in. Lorenzo is eating wile Volk is going through some paper work.

          ZANE
You done grubbing corporal?

          LORENZO
Almost.

          VOLK
Zane, did you just abandon your post?

          ZANE
Nothing's happening.
Plus Lorenzo is back on. Corporal?

          LORENZO
Yes sir.

Lorenzo finishing his food jumps to his feet and rushes out.
          ZANE
You know I can't just stand by that damned door. I've got to see what's going on in there.

          VOLK
Grab some popcorn, and watch paint dry because that's what they're doing.

          ZANE
     (as he pulls up a seat)
That again.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Hasan is sitting but staring ahead at the wall. 

Sorenson is reclining at the back of the cot.

          SORENSON
Let me tell you about my experiment.

          HASAN
I don’t want to do this.

          SORENSON
My goal is to make you realize that you are not like Zimbo. You are not an impulsive animal that needs revenge. You are a human being, intelligent, and civilized.

          HASAN
     (shouting)
And cursed! Locked up like an animal... for your stupid experiment! Why should I help you? Why? When you are done you will kill me! No! I will never help you!

          SORENSON
You are not Zimbo because Zimbo’s parents were killed. Your parents are alive, living in mansions in Paris, Dubai, and New York. I know you think you are like orphaned little Zimbo, but you are a fraud.

          HASAN
Get out. Please. Just leave me.
    
Hasan turns away.

Sorenson leans towards him, and punches Hasan hard in the shoulder.

Hasan stunned freezes and stares at Sorenson.

          SORENSON
No more. I told you, no more acting like a god damned five year old! Its over! You understand me? Today you decide. Is it going to get better or worse for you?

          HASAN
     (starting to cry)
How can it get better? How? You fucking idiot? I am going to die like a rat in a cage. Tell me how is that better?

          SORENSON
I've told you a million times.

          HASAN
I can’t do this.

          SORENSON
Yes you can. You’ve done much worse, and you knew it was wrong but you pushed yourself to do those things anyway. But now, now that you can do the right thing, you refuse?

          HASAN
Why? Why? I’m lost. I have nothing to gain from this.

          SORENSON
You have the whole world to gain. Eternal paradise.

Hasan looks up at Sorenson and with emotionally strained words;

          HASAN
You want me to like you. You want me to agree with you. I don’t want that.

          SORENSON
No, I want you to free yourself from your hate. That's all. Yet instead of that small sacrifice... you would rather make yourself suffer hell.

          HASAN
No...

          SORENSON
Yes. That’s exactly what you are doing. Right now, right there, in your chest, your heart feels like it is being squeezed.
     (beat)
You know how I know this? Because I’m human just like you. You are obsessed with being Muslim. But you are not Muslim, and I am not Christian. We are men... brothers, created by the same God. You are not unique in feeling fear. I have felt that tightness in my chest that feels like Satan’s claw trying to rip the heart out. Isn’t that what you are feeling right now?
     (beat)
Isn’t it?

          HASAN
Yes.

          SORENSON
Satan feeds on hate. Satan feeds on fear, and right now Satan really is squeezing your heart. He is sucking you dry because that’s all you have; fear and hate. That’s what I’m saying you should let go. Get rid of it. Get rid of it forever. Let him have it, and set your self free. Face the truth and set your soul free.

          HASAN
You are doing this to me. You are Satan.

          SORENSON
You are trying so hard to believe that, because it's convenient, but you can't, because it's not true.
     (beat)
Look at me. Look me in the eyes and tell me that it's true.

Hasan is squirming, crying, rubbing his face.

He straightens up. 

Rubs his eyes clean, and looks at Sorenson.

The two men stare at each other for a while.

          HASAN        
I... I... I don’t... I don’t know any more.

          SORENSON
Yes you do, but you don’t want to lose. It's human nature. Nobody likes to lose. You are afraid of many things, but right this moment you are afraid you are losing yourself. But that is not true. Anger is not what makes a man. The hate that is crushing your heart is not you. Losing your hate is not losing who you are.
     (beat)
You looked into my eyes. You know I’m not lying.

          HASAN
You... I...

          SORENSON
You, and I, are the same. This is why from the start I knew I could talk to you. I am a stubborn man that likes to be in control just like you, and that has caused me many problems in life. I told you that I too failed with my first love, and it was because of my stubbornness. I was never the best looking guy, but I was smart. You tried to impress Annabel Johnson with your wealth. I tried to impress my friend Anika with my intelligence, but instead she went for the guy that was good looking. We stayed friends, but I was so angry... so angry.
     (beat)
I was convinced my intelligence was superior to looks, so one day, in a fit of anger I ended our friendship. I was so mad I yelled at her. I told her she was a whore. That I was too smart for her, and never wanted to see her again. Well guess what? Eventually she dumped that guy, and a few years later she got married to a guy, just like me... but not me. I tossed her out because of my rage. Had I been patient, had I let her make her mistakes with that pretty boy, had I been her friend, it would have been me. To this day I’ve never been married, and I've never met anyone like her.

          HASAN
I’m not like you.

          SORENSON
You're just like me. Like me, you caused your own suffering because you are obsessed with control. You're not mad at America because it is evil, you mad because they are in control and you are not. You are just as bad as they are. You hate them because they are killers. You're a killer.
     (beat)
And that's where we are different. I'm not, and I never will be a killer. I have the courage to solve my problems with my mind, not with bombs. Bombs only make more problems. How many times do I have to say... look around.
     (beat)
Have your bombs worked for you?

FADE OUT;

FADE IN;

Sorenson is pacing back and forth.

Hasan is sitting on the cot crying.

Sorenson takes a seat.

He runs his fingers trough his hair in frustration.

          SORENSON
I hate this as much as you do. I don't like your negative energy. I don't like your anger. I don't like your hate, but I will never give up. Even if it takes thirty years. I'll come here every week, and have this same conversation, over, and over, and over, and over again.
     (beat)
I will never give up.

Hasan is cringing, crying.

He starts squeezing his face, rubbing his eyes.

          HASAN
What the hell do you want me to do? What do you want? I can't do anything.

          SORENSON
I want you to understand that what you did was wrong.

Hasan starts crying out lout like a child.

          HASAN
No. Noooo...

          SORENSON
Until you can say to the world that what you did was wrong. Until you say that Islam is better than violence, that Islam is better than petty hate. When you admit that Islam can be a power of peace, that is when... this, will end.

          HASAN
What will end? You will never let me free.

          SORENSON
Hasan look at me.

No response.

Sorenson slaps Hasan in the head startling him sober.

          SORENSON
Look at me God damned! Your body can't be free but your mind can. All your life your body was out there, free, but your mind was trapped in fear and hate. Today you can change that. Yes, your body is trapped in this prison, but your mind, your mind can be as free as you choose it to be.
     (beat)
Don't listen to me, think! Listen to your heart, and listen to God, and what do they tell you?
     (beat)
Look at your life. Look at what you have endured. Yet you have learned nothing.
     (beat)
Can God not talk to you in this cell? Listen, than ask God how does a prophet become a prophet. By walking the streets? By being mad because he is in prison cell? Or by listening, and speaking the truth.
     (beat)
Think! What if your whole life was preparation, for this moment. For you to realize that everything that has been done... what you have endured, and have done was wrong. And now you have the opportunity to do what is right.
     (beat)
Think!

Sorenson gets up and knocks on the door to exit.

INT. DARKENED OFFICE - NIGHT

Zane is sitting with his feet up on the table looking at his phone.

Lorenzo is reading a book.

INSERT: Hasan is laying on his cot.

He casually gets up.

He looks up at the surveillance camera.

He looks back forward at the wall.

He slowly stands.

He suddenly bows throwing himself forward smashing his head into the door of the cell.

He groggily gets up and smashes his head into the door again.

Zane is still fiddling with the phone.

Lorenzo looks up from his book.

          LORENZO
Holly shit!

Lorenzo jumps form his seat.

Zane follows Lorenzo's lead as he turns to the monitor.

INSERT: On the monitor Hasan is banging his head against the door.

          ZANE
Go! Go!

Both men rush out of the room.

INT. CONCRETE HALL - NIGHT

Lorenzo and Zane are running at full speed.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

The door slams open knocking Hasan back.

Lorenzo and Zane rush in.

        LORENZO
We got you.

        ZANE
You're not killing yourself today.

Hasan struggles against the men. 

Tries to fight them.

He is no challenge.

          HASAN
Let me die... demons!

          LORENZO
You're not getting off that easy.

          HASAN
I want to die.

          ZANE
Not happening.

Lorenzo grabs Hasan in a headlock.

          LORENZO
Relax buddy, relax.

Zane grabs Hasan by the chin and turns Hasan's face to him.

          ZANE
Wa'na cigarette?

Hasan growls as he struggles in Lorenzo's arms, but he is too weak.

INT. DARK OFFICE - NIGHT

Sorenson dressed in a suit walks in. Approaches Volk.

          SORENSON
I was at an important conference in Brussels. Sorry I could not get in quicker.

          VOLK
We have it under control.

          SORENSON
Have you used any sedatives?

          VOLK
No.

          SORENSON
Has he tried it again?

          VOLK
Only once today, but he hasn't eaten in three days.

          SORENSON
Ok, I'll talk to him.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Sorenson steps into the cell.

Hasan is on the bed with a blank stare at the ceiling. His forehead and face are bruised.

Sorenson takes his usual seat.

          SORENSON
So I have failed.
I thought I could get to you. I thought I could help you see the truth, but I failed.
     (beat)
The truth is, you failed. I gave you more credit than you deserve. I thought you were smarter, stronger, but you are weak and stupid. You would rather commit suicide, a sin, and go to hell and suffer worse for eternity, than do the right and honest thing.

Hasan suddenly coughs violently jumping up on his seat in bed. He starts growling like he is in extreme physical pain.

He pulls his knees into his chest and starts rocking back and forth.

Sorenson pulls out a candy bar and places it next to him.

          SORENSON
Eat this. Half the pain you are feeling is from hunger.
     (beat)
And remember, I can do this for the next thirty years. If you don't want to eat, fine, we'll put you on an IV drip.

FADE OUT;

MONTAGE; Hasan rocking back and fourth. Eating the candy bar. Whipping his face.

INT. - WHITE CELL - DAY

Hasan is sitting on he bed with his arms wrapped around his knees. He looks like he has calmed down. Sorenson is opposite him calmly waiting.

          HASAN
You’ve ruined me. 

          SORENSON
You did that to yourself long before I arrived on the scene.

          HASAN
You know what I mean. I don’t have a choice any more. Before I was certain. I believed. I knew what was waiting for me.

          SORENSON
Your faith gave you freedom.

          HASAN
Yes it did.

          SORENSON
But that freedom came at the highest cost possible. Your death.  That doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

          HASAN
But it’s what I had. Now I’m in here. And now I have to feel guilty for what I have done.

          SORENSON
Do you?

          HASAN
     (trembling)
Yes.

INT. DARK OFFICE - NIGHT

Zane's eyes pop out of his head. He stares dumbfounded at Volk.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

          SORENSON
Then fix it. 

          HASAN
What?

          SORENSON
Fix it.

          HASAN
Fix what?

          SORENSON
Your guilt. You killed a lot of people. But you can also save more.

          HASAN
No I can't?

          SORENSON
Of course you can. We live in a different world today than when the Koran was written. You understand both, the old world and the new. Isn’t it time that Islam join the modern world? You don't need to protect Islam from the modern world. God can handle the modern world. God created the modern world. You should understand that by now, but you refuse to accept reality. That’s the conflict you are feeling.
Can you not see the obvious?
    
          HASAN
I... I just... I...

          SORENSON
See, you know the truth but you don't want to accept it. You have followers. People in your homeland want to believe that you are their hero, their salvation, but you're here. Why has God brought you here? Why has he brought us together? Why?
     (beat)
Maybe he wanted you to see another possibility. Or maybe I’m so smart, so much smarter than you, such a good manipulator that I am making all this up and tricking you. Which makes more sense to you?

Hasan takes a deep long breath.

          HASAN
What are you saying to me?

          SORENSON
What I have been saying to you from day one. That you and I can talk. That we can learn, that we can understand. You have lived your whole life by a set of beliefs. Beliefs that were right and true a thousand years ago, but do they work in the modern world? Abraham was a great prophet. Moses, Jesus, and of course Muhammad, were all great, but were prophets of their time. They lived in a different age, with different needs. Do you think the time of prophets is over? Look at the world we live in. Look at the people and how they see you. You have only made it half way. 

FADE OUT;

INT. DARKENED OFFICE – NIGHT

Sorenson walks in.

          ZANE
Have you gone off the reservation?  You’re telling this guy he’s a god damned prophet? You realize he is demented enough to believe that.

          SORENSON
That’s what I’m banking on.

          ZANE
Wha-wha, wait, what?

          SORENSON
You asked and now here is your answer. This is why I’m here? This was my goal from the start.

          ZANE
To make him a prophet?

          SORENSON
No. To clear his mind, to make him see that he can be a prophet. A prophet of peace.

          ZANE
What?
You knew this?

          VOLK
Not the prophet part, but the goal was to turn him.

          ZANE
To turn a terrorist into a Prophet?

          SORENSON
No, to prevent a terrorist from inevitably becoming a prophet.

          ZANE
You're making me dizzy.

          SORENSON
Let's say Hasan got killed on that assault on his compound.

          ZANE
It's what I would have done.

          SORENSON
One hundred years from now his followers would invent stories that he really did not die, but ascended into heaven. He would be worshiped as a prophet. A prophet that uses violence to get his way. Why not make him a good prophet?

          VOLK
I'm sorry but that does sound crazy. I would not have signed on had you mentioned that part.

          SORENSON
But is it? If Hasan starts spreading a message of peace, instead of hate, it could end all terrorism.

          ZANE     
Yeah, you are insane.

          SORENSON
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. For every terrorist you kill ten new ones replace him. How's that working for you?
     (beat)
But what if the world's greatest terrorist sees the error of his ways, and denounces violence? What effect would that have?

          ZANE
So this is what all this is about?

          SORENSON
Yes.

          ZANE
It's not going to work.

INT. DARKNED OFFICE - NIGHT

INSERT; Hasan sits up on his bed.

He looks up at the surveillance camera.

          HASAN
Is the Professor here? I want to talk to him.

Zane looks over to Lorenzo surprised. 

Leans forward and grabs a microphone off the table next to the monitor.
          ZANE
What do you want?

          HASAN
To talk.

          ZANE
He will be here later today.

          HASAN
I will wait.

          LORENZO
Wow, what the hell was that?

          ZANE
I don't know.

INT. WHITE CELL - DAY

Sorenson walks into the cell. 

Hasan is sitting up waiting.

Sorenson takes his usual seat.

          HASAN
I can’t stop thinking about what you said last time. 

          SORENSON
And?

          HASAN
Every part of me is certain you are lying, you’re manipulating me. 

          SORENSON
Ok.

          HASAN
Ok?

          SORENSON
Yeah, ok, what difference does it make what I say. If I deny it you’ll be more suspicious.

          HASAN
I want to believe you.

          SORENSON
Lets say that I’m lying, and I'm manipulating you to renounce being a terrorist, and to get you to spread a peaceful Islamic message. How exactly have I harmed you by doing this?

          HASAN
I haven't figured it out yet. It just... if feels like you are manipulating me.

          SORENSON
Hasan, but of course I have been. It's called learning. Be it the Koran or a physics book, it changes the way you see the world. Learning "manipulates" your view. Now the question is, am I teaching you something wrong, or am I teaching you something right?

          HASAN
Oh my God. It feels... I'm a Muslim. I will always be a Muslim. You are telling me my religion is wrong. I can't accept that.

          SORENSON
No, you're religion is not wrong, you're wrong. You are wrong using religion to kill children, and your own people. The suicide bombers, did you not manipulate them into committing suicide? You lied to those boys to commit a sin. Is that you being true to Islam?

          HASAN
Oh my god!  Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka. I don't know if I can do this. 

          SORENSON
Look, I'm sorry. I can see you are struggling. You are starting to feel the truth, and you are realizing you made a giant mistake. Maybe one so great, that if is better to hate yourself than to admit it, but it is not true.  You have to admit the truth.

          HASAN
I, I, I....

          SORENSON
You feel like you are about to go mad don’t you?

          HASAN
If you are right. If this is the truth, then...

          SORENSON
Then what?

          HASAN
Then... then why am I shaking? Why do I feel like a traitor. I do not want to betray...

          SORENSON
Habit.

          HASAN
What?

          SORENSON
Habit. When we are stuck with one idea our entire lives it becomes a habit, but when that idea cracks, most of us crack with it. The old idea does not want to let go. It tries to sabotage with doubts, and it all depends on the strength of the person. The weak fall apart with the broken idea, the strong, suffer for a while, but they come out from the other side, strong... what Zimbo thought he was, but the real deal. True kings of their world. So you are going to have some difficult times ahead, but if you are willing to work with me... You know, this was my purpose here from the start. To break down that old habit, and open up a truly free and open space of communication.  What do you think? Are you willing to do the right thing, not for me, but what is right by God, what is good in this world? Are you willing?

          HASAN
Oh my god! Look at my hands I’m shaking, but...  but I... I can’t deny what I now understand. And I can’t deny that you are a good man. You were honest with me from the start. You told me from the first day you are not my friend, but you will talk to me, and...

          SORENSON
This is it. This is all I ever wanted from the beginning. To talk. To have intelligent conversations and solve our differences peacefully. That's all I want, but I can't force you to do that. You have to be willing. If you are willing, than today is the first day.

With a deep breath and clear nodding in agreement;

          HASAN
I... I am willing.

FADE OUT.

INSERT; BLACK SCREEN TEXT “One Year Later.”

FADE IN;

INT. - TAVIS SMILEY SET - DAY

Commotion. Makeup artists, sound guy, and people milling around Hasan.

He is sitting in the interview chair.

Tavis Smiley introduces the show.

          TAVIS
As most of you know, Hasan bin Hadin was captured two years ago and sentenced to death by a military tribunal. We were never told an exact date for his execution, but according to sources it should already have happened, but it has not. And today we will find out why. Not from the military but from our guest. Folks... hold on to your chairs, because you will be shocked when you see who our guest is today. I'm shocked that he is sitting right here in front of me. And here he is, none other than Hasan bin Hadin himself.
     (beat)
Hasan, what is going on here? Why are you on my show, and not dead?

          HASAN
I’m here because... for a long time, I did horrible things. For a long time I was so driven by hate, that I saw the world in black and white. I did not realize that the real world was full of color.

          TAVIS
Wait-wait-wait let me get this straight. Are you saying that you renounce what you did?

          HASAN
Yes?

          TAVIS
And you renounce your religion?

          HASAN
No, absolutely not. I am a Muslim today, and I will always be a Muslim in the future, but I was not a Muslim in the past.

          TAVIS
I don’t understand.

          HASAN
I lied to young men to commit suicide. To blow themselves up and kill children and families. That is not Islam.

          TAVIS
So you are saying that what you did before was wrong.

          HASAN
Absolutely.

          TAVIS
But you will have to explain this. We hear the epithet that “Islam is a religion of Peace” but then right afterwards we hear death to America, death to infidels. How is what you say different?

          HASAN
I'm saying that Islam is not about killing, it is about living.

          TAVIS
But people, especially in your part of the world, will say that you were tortured, even brainwashed to say these things.

          HASAN
Yes of course they will say that.

          TAVIS
Were you?

          HASAN
Of course.

          TAVIS
Of course?

          HASAN
Yes. After I was captured, I was the most hated man in the world. Probably still am. The soldiers that held me had a very difficult time controlling themselves. They beat me, they tortured me.

          TAVIS
And that changed your mind?

          HASAN
No of course not?

          TAVIS
Ok, I’m confused.

          HASAN
While I was tortured, it only strengthened my belief that I was right, that Americans were evil, so I was convinced I had done the right thing.

          TAVIS
But what changed you?

          HASAN
When you kill people, inside, in your heart, sometimes buried deep, you know what you did is wrong.  

          TAVIS
So you knew what you did was wrong?

          HASAN
Not at first, I was too angry. But now I know that violence is the coward’s tool. Whether that be America, or Jihadists. War only creates more war. Peace is the only thing that can destroy war.  If America attacks than America is the terrorist, and the only way to stop it is by peaceful resistance. 

          TAVIS
Do you accept that what you did in the past was terrorism? That you were a terrorist?

          HASAN
Yes, of course. I was drunk with hate, and I killed out of spite. Yet Allah's voice, that little voice was always there. I pretended I could not hear it, but it finally broke through. Now I hear it clearly, and I understand that all my suffering was my test; a test that I failed.

          TAVIS
You failed your test? I don't understand?

          HASAN
This life is a test. To pass this test and enter paradise, you must prove to Allah your will to be good. I failed because I gave in to Satan's anger. Killing is Satan's way. But now I’m on the road to fulfilling my test, and I want all my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to open their eyes, and see the truth for themselves. I want them open their ears and listen to that little voice that one can hardly hear, because that is the voice of God. And the voice of God will always guide you into the clarity of peace, never into the horror of war.

FADE OUT;

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