"The White Rose"
Director: Shana Furlow

Script: 11 Jan 2006


Germany 1935

A diffuse mid-day afternoon in a cozy German village. A brick street winds its way between old Bavarian buildings long since converted to cafes and bakeries.

A dozen petite tables topped with white linen rest outside a cafe. Patrons sit in the soft light eating and talking. An attractive woman, JUTTA (40s) richly dressed, sits near a family of four, watching with a loose grin as they eat their meal.

A young man, KRISTOF (20s), in an apron sweeps quietly between tables. He notices Jutta watching the family. He steals a look towards another woman, JULIA (50s), the wife of the owner, who watches Jutta from the corner of the cafe. They share a delicate nod.


The cafe can just be seen in the distance, through a tunnel which leads to the center of the town. The sound of children laughing ricochets off the tunnel's brick walls.

A father, ARTHUR (mid to late 30s) walks with his three young children. His oldest child is a boy, HELMUT (12), who has the defiant air a boy restless to grow up. He walks ahead of the rest of his family.

The youngest child, ILSE (5), is a joyous little girl who is eager for attention and fun. She has no filter and simply reacts with the world around her.

The middle child, EVA (9), holds her father's hand. She clearly adores her father.

Eva and Arthur walk hand in hand behind Helmut and Ilse. Eva experiments with swinging her arm to move her father's arm. She and her father laugh at her game.

Arthur notices a small cart of books outside a bookseller's store. He stops and examines the titles. Ilse picks up a book and pretends to read it. Arthur finds a book and eagerly begins flipping through it.

Eva takes out a small package from a purse and unwraps it. Ilse watches with anticipation as Eva reveals five large caramels. Eva delicately places one in her mouth.


Can I have one?

Helmut looks at his sisters. He stands at the other end of the tunnel, close to the cafe.

Eva holds out her candy to her sister who eagerly places the entire candy in her mouth. Ilse is busy mumbling with her mouth full.

A quick smattering of laughter coming from the cafe steals Eva's attention.


A couple of bystanders linger in front of the cafe.

Jutta's leaning over the family's table, speaking to the father. Her lilting tones can just be heard if not understood by Eva.

Jutta's manner is easy, fluid.


Helmut suddenly walks into Eva's view of the cafe. He reaches for one of Eva's caramels.

Eva pulls them away.


Let me have one.


You have to say please.

Helmut stands silently.

Eva smiles mischievously at her sister and slowly holds out her caramels to her brother.

Helmut reaches again but this time Eva runs with the package, a giggling Ilse follows. Helmut gives chase, following Ilse and Eva as they run near the cafe.

Eva notices Jutta taking the man's hat from his head. The man pretends not to notice and simply continues eating.


Eva, Helmut! Come here please.

Eva runs back to where Arthur stands reading. They circle him.


Poppy, Eva's not sharing.

Arthur kneels down to face his children.


Eva, give Helmut a caramel.


But Poppy, he only gave us one-



Ilse finally arrives at Arthur out of breath.


He didn't say please!



Eva carefully unfolds the package.


There's only one...

A boom of laughter comes from the growing crowd that surrounds the cafe. Eva, Helmut and Arthur turn toward the cafe.


Now there are a half a dozen spectators watching as Jutta slowly unfolds the crease in the man's hat.



The man pretends to not notice.



He methodically continues eating. People laugh.



There's only five.

Arthur steps forward to get a better look at the scene and then remembers that the book is still in his hands. He searches for the right place to return the book on the cart.


Is that right?

Eva and Helmut still watch the cafe. Suddenly, Helmut turns back to Eva and pops two caramels in his mouth. Eva looks down at her dwindling supply of candy.

Arthur searches the cart for another book. He finds one and begins flipping through it.

Helmut smiles, turns and dashes off toward the cafe.


What do you say?


Thaaank youuuuu.


Now there's only three.

Eva quickly folds up her package and dashes to the cafe. Ilse runs after her.

Arthur turns just as Helmut reaches the cafe.



Arthur replaces the book then walks toward the cafe.


The girls line-up behind Helmut and several other adult bystanders who are watching from the street. Eva examines the other full tables: a handsome young couple, MARTA and HENRI; three young men, ALBERT and two friends; two thirty-something women; an older couple that watches blank-faced.

Jutta places the now misshapen hat back on the father's head. Ilse turns and smiles at Eva. Eva smiles back and then returns her attention to the family.

The Jewish father, JACOB (39), takes the hat from his head and places it beside his plate. He eats, speaks, and responds to Jutta's taunts calmly, with no feeling.

Jacob's wife, LIESEL (32), nervously watches her daughter, GRETCHEN (4) who looks confused and frightened by the attention. Next to Jacob sits the couples son, LEO (9). Leo sits utterly stone-faced like his father. His eyes are glued on Jacob's every movement.

Arthur reaches Eva and instantly takes in the scene.

Jutta gently taps the misshapen hat that rests next to Jacob's plate until it falls on the ground. Helmut laughs loudly with the crowd. Eva laughs. She looks up to see Arthur's reaction just as a round man beside Arthur says something to him. Eva can't hear the comment, but she notices that Arthur answers the man, then smiles and nods.

Assured, Eva turns back to watch.

Jacob continues to methodically eat. Several more people join the crowd. Liesel looks around at the growing crowd.

Jutta gently steps on the man's hat.


Jacob, please.


We paid for our meal.


Let's just go. The children are frightened.


I'm not.


We will finish our meal like human beings. I will not be chased away again. I've eaten here since I was a boy.

Jacob turns toward Jutta.


Since I was a boy.


And I've had to smell you people since I was a girl.

Laughter breaks over the crowd. A barely audible "Jew" can just be heard within the laughter.

Helmut laughs, which makes Ilse laugh hysterically. Eva watches Ilse grab her side, pretending to understand the crowd's joke. Eva laughs as well. Because Eva's looking away from the spectacle at her sister, she notices a movement out of the corner of her eye. The couple who owns the cafe, ARNE and JULIA, are arguing almost out of sight of the crowd. Eva watches their jerky movements, the tightness of their faces. Nobody seems to notice them but her.

Suddenly loud laughter washes over the crowd. Eva turns back to see Jutta now with the cafe employee's broom in her hand. She delicately sweeps up Jacob's chair as he eats. A few more passersby stop to watch.


I'm sweeping out the trash.

Jacob continues eating - rage sits just beneath the surface, but he doesn't betray it.

One of the three young men at a table slaps his friend's back and laughs. The young man then turns toward the owner who is still furtively speaking with his wife.

The owner notices the patron's attention and offers him a smile, a nod. Eva notices that the owner's whole demeanor suddenly changes when the young man is watching him.

CLOSE ON Eva watching Julia as she turns away from the crowd to face the wall. Eva senses her pain at this spectacle. Eva's confused by these conflicting messages. Another blast of laughter.

Eva turns to see Jutta's broom sweeping up Jacob's leg.

Eva looks up at Arthur, now unsure how to feel. Arthur is still casually chatting with the short middle-aged man beside him.

Arthur notices Eva's eyes upon him and glances down. He puts a comforting hand on the back of his daughter's head before looking away to respond to another of the man's comments.

Eva is comforted by her father's calm enjoyment. She looks back to scene. The sweeping continues. Ilse and Helmut's laughter infects Eva and she begins to truly giggle and enjoy herself too.

Jutta sweeps the table top and a glass tips over. Liesel stands suddenly.


No more Jacob, no more!

Liesel picks up her tiny daughter, who is now beginning to whimper.

Liesel reaches for Leo's hand but he won't move. He clings to the table.


Leo... Leo!

Jutta begins sweeping across Jacob's back.

Liesel pulls at her son while holding her young daughter. Leo grips the table fiercely. Liesel looks to Jacob for help.



Jacob continues methodically eating.

Liesel's little girl begins softly crying. Liesel stares a long moment at her son, then turns and flees through the crowd. Eva follows the pair through the crowd.

Eva's moved by the overwhelming sadness on the woman's face. She now feels something is wrong.

Eva turns back to the scene. Jutta's broom moves to Jacob's arm and shoulders. Her siblings are still laughing, as are most observers. Eva scans the other tables; for the first time she realizes that not everyone is laughing.

Her eyes fall upon the Henri and Marta at a nearby table. Her face is tight and pale. The couple quietly plots their departure. She looks as if she's going to cry. She stands abruptly, her chair scrapes the ground. HENRI stands as well and throws money on the table with obvious irritation.

Marta's eyes stay locked on Leo's pained expression as she passes the table. Eva follows this woman's gaze to Leo.

For the first time, Eva really sees this little boy. His obvious pain utterly captures Eva's attention.

Jutta sweeps up Jacob's shoulder, neck and then the side of his face, but Jacob betrays no feeling. Jutta is clearly growing frustrated by Jacob's lack of response. She suddenly stops and walks behind Jacob toward Leo. Jutta sweeps the broom across the back of Leo's head. The child flinches. Eva flinches.

Jacob stands and violently grabs the broom from Jutta's hands. Albert and his two friends abruptly stand. Jacob turns to face them.

Everything turns still and quiet.

Jutta stands very still. A small smile flashes across her face - she's won.

Jacob drops the broom. The sound reverberates. Violence is in the air now. Eva watches as her brother Helmut eagerly moves closer to the scene. Leo dashes to his father's side. Leo grabs his father's hand. CLOSE ON Eva captivated by Leo and Jacob's grasp. A beat.

Albert inches toward Jacob. His movement is slow and intense.

Jacob shakes his son's grasp loose.


Run home now, Leo! Run home!

Leo grabs desperately for his father's hand again. Jacob pulls his hand away violently.



Leo's breathing is thick and labored. He runs to the edge of the gathered crowd and turns back to his father. Jacob watches after him.



Leo vanishes in the crowd.

Eva watches as Jacob turns back to the three young men facing him. They inch toward him threateningly.


It's time for you to leave, Jew.

A beat. Silence. Jacob shakes his head. Albert and his friends inch closer. Arthur grabs Eva's hand.


It's time to go.

Arthur suddenly notices that Helmut's only feet from Jacob. He picks Ilse up and pushes through the crowd.



Eva begins to follow Arthur through the crowd but is stopped by Jacob's voice.


I've eaten here since I was a boy.

Jacob spits.

Albert steps to Jacob. The young man looks nervous, uncertain. A beat. Eva is glued to the man's nervous expression.


Why didn't you just leave...?

Silence. Jacob raises his chin defiantly.

CLOSE ON Eva glued to the interaction.

Suddenly there is a violent movement as Albert throws an intensely punishing blow right to Jacob's face. Eva, overwhelmed by the violence, looks away to the left just before the punch lands.

She finds herself looking directly at Leo, who stands beside her watching this brutal blow land on his father's face. Leo turns toward Eva, overwhelmed by what he sees. His eyes are locked on Eva's, almost pleading. He breaths heavily.

There's a loud thump of another blow landing. The children lock eyes. Eva's expressions slowly morphs into a virtual mirror image of Leo's - one of utter horror.



Eva turns to see Arthur, Ilse, and Helmut approaching from her right.



Eva says this as though her father is going to do something. It's a pleading, helpless tone.

Eva looks at Leo.

Leo looks up helplessly at Arthur.

Arthur and Leo exchange a long look. There's fear on Arthur's face. Eva watches Leo.


Time to go.


But Poppy...

Arthur holds out his hand to Eva.



Eva stares at her father's outstretched hand. She turns back to Leo, but he is gone. When Eva turns back to Arthur, her expression is different, distant.

Eva stares at her father's hand a long moment before taking it. Arthur and Eva exit the crowd. Helmut walks ahead and Ilse wriggles out of Arthur's arms to chase after her brother. Eva and Arthur walk hand and hand in silence. CLOSE ON Eva. She looks calm and sad.

Eva turns and examines her father. Arthur turns and offers Eva a small smile. She doesn't smile back.


Ilse, stay with me.

Eva's eyes drift to their grasp.

CLOSE ON Eva and Arthur's grasp.

Eva looks straight ahead and then gently, deliberately pulls her hand loose from his. Arthur falls slightly behind Eva as they both continue walking through the square.

Eva walks on alone.

© Copyright 2006 - Shana Furlow