Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Here's to you

SCENE in Charlie Wilson's War

INT.  Washington D.C. building - night.  1989.

The TV news is narrating the Soviets' retreat from Afghanistan.
"There was wild jubilation inside the country of Afghanistan..."

Watching the news report are Congressman Wilson and Joanne Herring Davis,

who greet each other with a kiss, along with other characters familiar to us from throughout this film -- the women who work in Wilson's congressional office (nicknamed "Charlie's angels"), Gust Avrakotos, weapons expert Mike Vickers, and others.

As the news report comes out of the TV, everybody at the little gathering is happy.

"The retreat of soviet military power from Afghanistan is complete.  The last of Russia's regular army invasion force is out.  Fear and uncertainty were mixed with joy today as the commander of Soviet troops followed the last of his men across the border.

CBS News-Moscow correspondent Barry Peterson begins our coverage."

Barry Petersen -- It was the last hurrah.  The final Soviet combat troops crossing the Friendship Bridge on the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.  The Soviet commander...

Joanne (to the congressman) -- Look what you did, Charlie.

Charlie Wilson goes, "Hey -- it's traditional to make a gesture toward the vanquished.  Gus, it's your honor."

Gust Avrakotos gives a rather rude toast, and Barry Petersen's news report continues, from the TV:

"...determined to show the world that the era of Soviet military intervention in other countries is now over."

EXT. - a concrete walkway outside the building - Night

Avrakotos and Wilson walk together; Charlie's carrying a glass o' whiskey; they pass by urban decorative trees in cement planters.  It's quieter outside -- they can hear the muffled sounds of celebration indoors.

Charlie -- Well, I told you.
Gust Avrakotos -- Told me what?
Charlie -- All we had to do was shoot down the helicopters.
Gust -- Listen, not for nothing, but do you know the story about the Zen master and the little boy?

Charlie -- Oh is this something from Nitsa the Greek witch of Aquilippa, Pennsylvania?
Gust -- Yeah, as a matter of fact, it is.

There was a little boy, and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse.  And everybody in the village says, "How wonderful!  The boy got a horse."  And the Zen master says, "We'll see."

Two years later the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg.  And everybody in the village says, "How terrible!"  And the Zen master says, "We'll see."

Then a war breaks out, and all the young men have to go off and fight, except the boy can't because of the leg injury.  And everybody in the village says, "How wonderful!"

Charlie Wilson -- And the Zen master says, "We'll see."

Gust -- So you get it.

Charlie (with an apologetic chuckle) -- No.

{Charlie Wilson's War.  A 2007 film.  Director:  Mike Nichols.  Screenwriter:  Aaron Sorkin.  Based on the book by George Crile}


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