Posted by Linda Rawlings
Written by Linda Rawlings
Screenplay, 102 pages (Drama, Adventure)
Viewed by: 14 Members
Uploaded: May 01, 2012
Latest Draft: Mar 12, 2013
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In the winter of 1968 two young men meet on the eve of their departure to foreign lands – John to serve in Vietnam and Theo to study at Oxford University. Having left the places and people they love behind both are bracing themselves for futures not of their own choosing – until they recognize that their own dreams lie in the path of the other.
It’s 1968 and Theo Cunningham doesn’t know where he belongs. There’s clearly no future for an 18yo white boy in South Africa especially not the only child of anti-apartheid parents nor in the traditional village they have called home for most his life. Theo is angry that the plan for him to go to college in Melbourne, and live with his one-and-only uncle, and has changed at the last minute. Having pulled a few strings, Theo’s Oxford-educated parents have secured a place for him at Lincoln College so he can follow in their footsteps.
To his mother Georgia’s despair Theo holds a rather romantic view of war built up over a childhood of holidays spent in Australia with her bachelor brother Chaz. Wounded and decorated in WW2 Chaz is quite the opposite of his sister who, in Theo’s opinion, is way too obsessed with her mission to research and preserve birth traditions across Africa. The set up of the African National Congress’s guerrilla arm doesn’t help the issue, or Theo’s alienation, either. When Chidi, his life-long ‘black-brother’ from the village signs up, Theo finds that his white skin means that he can't.
In Melbourne on route to Oxford, Theo pleads with his uncle to stick to their original plan. Keen to be in Georgia’s good books for a change Uncle Chaz has agreed for Melbourne to be Plan B in case Oxford doesn’t work out. Theo doubts it will.
Prior to his departure to Oxford Theo meets John Kurek, bright, reclusive and recently conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War. John reluctantly sees this fate as the only way out of his mind-numbing public service job. As a promise to his own uncle, John has agreed to visit Uncle Chaz to get some advice on army life. Sarah McNamara, John’s only friend and neighbour, has invited herself along. Sarah wants John to register as a conscientious objector. She reckons a few years in jail to read Camus and Sartre would be heaven for John. Theo says that would be his idea of hell! John argues that at least he’ll be paid to go to university afterward if he goes to Vietnam. Sarah says that’s if he makes it through.
Theo invites John and Sarah outside into Uncle Chaz’s wild expansive riverside garden. They wait while Theo goes back inside and returns with his old but current 10-year passport. He presents it to John along with an impassioned challenge to take control of his life and to change the course of their destiny.