Mohammed and Hanka
by Eric Priezkalns
+44 7958 467273
(c) Eric Priezkalns 2011
Int. doha Hotel Bedroom - Night
Hanka, an attractive blonde, blue-eyed Bosnian woman in her
twenties, is having sex with Mohammed. He is an arab man of similar
age. The room is dark. Hanka is lying face up on the bed, looking
upwards, directly at the camera. She is passive, silent and motionless
except for being physically jerked as Mohammed thrusts into her. Hanka's
mouth is open. There is no emotion on her face. Mohammed is on top of
her, with his back to us. His movements are rough and dominating.
I love to
fuck you. You're so fucking beautiful. I love your
tight little pussy.
Ext. Grassy Field - Day
A pretty fourteen year old girl is having sex with a male
soldier in uniform. She is blonde with blue eyes. She lies face up
on the ground, gritting her teeth, with tears in her eyes. She sometimes
closes her eyes, sometimes looking upwards, around, everywhere except at the
soldier. She whimpers quietly, motionless except for being physically
jerked as the soldier thrusts into her. The solider is on top of her,
with his back to us. His movements are violent in their roughness.
Nabijem te na kurac
The girl looks up. A jet plane leaves a vapour trail in
the sky. We can faintly hear its engines between the breathing of the
INT. doha HOTEL BEDROOM - NIGHT
Hanka switches on the bedside light. She picks up her
clothes which are scattered around the floor and hastily puts them back
on. She was wearing a party dress. Mohammed is woken from his sleep
and he rolls over in bed to face towards Hanka.
You woke me.
My love, you always have to go so soon. Can't you stay
You always ask that. You know I can't. I have to
leave early tomorrow.
Go back to sleep.
Hanka walks to the mirror to check her make-up. We see
her in the mirror. Her finger traces the edge of her lipstick and we see
her blue eyes clearly. Mohammed turns again to keep facing her.
When will you be back?
I will be back on Monday. Monday night.
Mohammed reaches out his hand to grasp Hanka's. He
stretches himself across the bed to place an extravagant kiss on Hanka's
hand. She smiles at him and places her hand on his head.
Hurry back to me.
Hanka affectionately grips the back of Mohammed's head, her
fingers ruffling his hair. She pauses like that for a moment, looking at
You should go back to sleep.
She leaves, switching the light off as she exits the room.
EXT. GRASSY FIELD - DAY
The girl is embraced by her mother. Her mother is
wearing a headscarf, but you can see she is blonde, like her daughter. In
the field, the wildflowers are wafting in the breeze. The girl is no
longer crying; her tears have dried. Her mother holds her tightly and
gently rocking her from side to side as she does. The girl looks over her
mother's shoulder, but she's staring into space, not focused on anything.
Her mother is whispering into her ear. What she says is barely audible,
but we can make out the girl's name: Hanka. Her mother starts to hum a
tune. The sound is drowned out by the roaring sound of jets close
int. Doha Airport Terminal - Day
The sound of jets linger. Hanka is dressed in the
uniform of Qatar Airways' cabin crew. She is rushing because she is late,
and pulling a small smart wheely bag behind her. She catches up to her
asian colleague, Meng.
You're such a bad girl. You leave really early last
night, then you arrive really late this morning.
Hanka snorts dismissively at Meng, and shakes her head,
frowning as she does.
Int. the house of Mohammed's mother - Day
Mohammed adjusts his gutra. He sits with his mother,
Noora; there is a coffee pot sitting on the table between them. Around
the room there are pictures of his mother with her dead husband, and pictures
of them both with Mohammed, his brothers, and other family members.
(she gestures towards a photograph)
Your brother has such a beautiful family. His sons are
handsome, and so lively. They never take good pictures, because the boys
never stay still for long enough. This is the best photograph I
have. His wife is a very good match, and she has an education too.
I want you to have the same happiness as your brother.
Life is changing. This is the nature of things.
Life is changing, and it is changing for the better. I want to choose a
wife who will be right for me. A wife that will be good for me.
My son, I only want what is best for you. I can only
imagine the women you must have met whilst you were away. They bring
happiness, I am sure this is true. But the pleasure cannot last more than
a short time. They can bring pleasure, I understand that, but they are
not women you choose to marry. They are not right for you. Please
don't forget who you are.
I know who I am, now more than ever before. You must
You have been away for so long. It feels like I have
hardly seen you since you returned. You are always so busy, with your
work. And I know you must have a woman in your life. I know
this. I know you, you are my son. I know what is inside you.
Trust me; I want what is best for you.
You must trust me.
Do you want a foreign woman? I wish your father was
here to talk with you now. He would know what to say. You want a
wife that will always make you proud, and will always bring you comfort.
The pleasure of these other women cannot last. But I know there is
nothing I can say to persuade you. Please talk to your brothers.
They all have fine wives. Listen to them; they will help you to make the
Int. Passenger Jet Cabin
Hanka is in business class, handing out headphones. She
hands the last one to an attractive middle-aged European man.
You know I'm dry already.
(places a finger on his glass)
I'd love a top up, so long as I'm not causing you trouble.
You would like some more champagne, sir?
That's right. You have to take advantage of every
I'll be right back.
Hanka takes the glass and turns to walk down the aisle to the
galley. The passenger's eyes follow her movements, focusing on her
Meng is in the galley, and Hanka has to squeeze past her to
get to the champagne.
Why are you here? Is there nobody interesting on your
Yes there is. Didn't you see him? A gorgeous big
black man. Such muscles.
Meng laughs as she holds up her arm in a strongman pose.
Maybe he'll be my early birthday present. And are there
any treats for you, on your side?
No. And if there was, you'd make me swap sides.
INT. the car of Mohammed's brother - day
Mohammed's eldest brother, Abdullah, is driving them both to
You are my one and only, most special youngest brother.
Only you could decide such a thing.
Our mother should be pleased. She's a muslim, she's
beautiful, she has travelled, she is cosmpolitan. She is perfect for me.
She is different, but different is not the same as
better. It just seems to be better. I know these foreign girls as
well as you. They cannot be trusted. She's not a citizen, and she's
not an Arab. That's going to cause problems, you know that, don't you?
She's a muslim. That is enough for me and it should be
enough for anyone. Father would be happy. He had ideas about the
future. Didn't he always tell us about learning new things?
Learning! Learning is not touching. It is not
kissing. It is not marrying and it is not having children.
I have the feeling we could be talking about this the whole
way to Zikreet.
And maybe longer than that.
Come on, brother. Let's no be so serious. Tonight
is a night to enjoy ourselves.
int. european hotel bedroom - day
Henka enters the bedroom. She is still in
uniform. She throws her bag on to the bed, and takes a look at the view
out of the window. The day is turning to twilight. As she looks out
of the window, she pulls out her phone and calls Mohammed, with one touch on
her speed dial.
My love, have you arrived already?
Yes, it's still daylight here. What are you doing?
I'm with Abdullah. We're driving up to Zikreet.
Zikreet again? It seems like you go there more and more
I didn't realize how much I missed it whilst I was
away. But there's something I miss much more, when she is away.
I'm going to be with men tonight. Men and only
men. But I would exchange all the men in the world to have you back here.
I only left this morning. And I'll be back very soon.
Hanka's colleagues are knocking at the door of her room.
airline colleague (o.s.)
Hello! Are you ready?
(loud, to colleagues)
I'll meet you downstairs in ten minutes.
I need to go now. We're going out to eat - it's Meng's
Have fun, my flower.
I will. And you too. See you soon. Bye.
ext. zikreet, outside a bedouin tent -
Mohammed hangs up. He is standing, alone, under the
starry desert sky. In the distance, his older brother has left the tent
and is walking towards him. Mohammed turns back to the tent, and seeing
his brother, he starts to walk back.
Brother, who are you talking to? Don't stay out here
alone for so long. Come back and join us.
You know they all like to hear your ridiculous theories on
how to make everything better.
I am finished. I was talking to my beautiful woman.
Her again? This is a night for the company of men, not
women! This woman must be something special. Will she really make
Yes, of course.
Though our poor mother will not be happy. But no man
can keep his mother entirely happy. I have tried and I have not been
successful, and my wife has not been successful either. If you can make
yourself happy, and also please your wife, that is hard enough.
Abdullah puts his arm around Mohammed and guides him back to
int. European Bar - night
Hanka is out with her colleagues from the airline. They
are in a large and noisy bar. To be heard, people either shout or lean in
close to the person they are talking to. Hanka looks a little ill at
ease, though she is dressed up appropriately to fit in with a stylish
crowd. Hanka and Meng are a little to one side of the remainder of their
group. Two local men are flirting with Meng. One of the men
persuades Meng to join him on the dancefloor. She happily walks off with
him, leaving Hanka with the other local man, Felipe. He moves close to
Hanka, talking to her. They are so close that his lips almost touch her
ear. We cannot hear what he says. From Hanka's reaction, she is not
interested in what he says. He speaks several times, and she just
gestures or shrugs her shoulders in a polite but non-committal way, but without
Some strangers push past Hanka. As a result, there is
now more distance between her and her group of colleagues. Felipe, leans
in close, and we focus on his lips, speaking into Hanka's ear.
It's okay if you don't want to make smalltalk. Why do
people come to places where you have to shout as loud as you can, only to say
the smallest things? It makes no sense.
Hanka turns and, for the first time, makes real eye contact
You're right. It makes no sense.
So, you're in a noisy bar with your friends, where it makes
no sense to make smalltalk. If you don't want to make smalltalk, then
what do you want?
You should have said.
Felipe pulls out a packet of cigarettes from his top pocket.
int. inside the tent - night
Adbullah and Mohammed are sitting side by side. Some of
the other men are lying down, possibly asleep.
I think you've turned this country upside down, my
brother. At least, you would have, if instead of talking about your ideas
you had gone out tonight and made them reality.
The world is meant to be changed. To make a choice is
to make a change. Men make choices, or they are not men.
And it sounds like you're going to make man's choice, and a
change, at the same time.
You have not told me anything about this mysterious
At some time you will have to tell your family about this woman.
She is fair. She has blue eyes. I wanted this
woman since I first saw her.
And how did you meet this woman?
I met her when flying to university one time. She did
not know the town, so I offered to show her. She agreed, and...
I don't understand, if she's not a Qatari, why was she flying
from Qatar to a strange town?
Because that is what she does for a living.
She is an airline stewardess?
I think most of these men have slept with an airline
stewardess at some time. They say these girls have a different man in
every city they fly to. That is why they know how to please a man.
Mohammed is noticeably irritated by these last comments. Abdullah immediately changes his body language to placate him.
Don't listen to me, brother. I say things based on my
It means nothing.
ext. european Bar - Night
Hanka and Felipe, are outside the bar, smoking. The
rain is pouring, though it is still warm; they are sheltered under an
Vehicles drive by. The sound of the music faintly wafts from the bar.
I think this is the worst bar in town. I only come here
because my friend thinks it is a wonderful place to meet women. It's a
shame that on your one night in town your friends bring you here. There's
a dozen places within a short walk that are better than this dump.
Does that mean you're not interested in meeting women?
I'm interested in meeting women, that is only natural, but
not in meeting all women. I'm a man, but I have taste. I like to
meet women that I can talk to. Women who have opinions. So there's
no point trying to meet women like that in a place like this. Even if
they have an opinion, the chance of a conversation is none. I'm not
counting you, of course.
Of course. Though here we are, having a conversation.
Yes we are. Which is very much against the odds.
I only moved here from Bilbao earlier this year. And you are here for one
night. So the chances of our meeting here were very small.
My family never moved home their whole life. They never
left the country, not even for a holiday. Now I'm here for one
night. In a few days I'll be in another country, and next week a
Is it lonely, to always be in strange places?
Not really. I always have the rest of the crew to keep
Yes. Though being with them is against the odds
too. You don't pick the people you work with. By the looks of them,
they come from all over too. You're like strange birds, flying in
different directions, who land on the same rock in the middle of the sea.
You stay for a while, and then you fly off in your separate directions. I
don't think I could live like that. When I first moved here, I was
homesick, I admit it. I need to be surrounded by people I feel
comfortable with. I'm no bird.
Then what are you?
I don't know. A donkey perhaps. A beast of
burden, comfortable only with its feet on land, and used to a weight on its
You don't know me. How can you compare me to a
bird? We only just met. I bet you say that little speech, or some
version of it, to a different woman each weekend.
You're not the first, I admit, to hear me talk on such a
theme. But with my friend's choice of bars, I rarely get the chance to
have a conversation like this. Either the bird has been startled away by
the noise and flashing lights, or else I am the prey that is being hunted, and
I need to run away in order to save myself.
He offers her another cigarette, looking for a reason to keep
her outside and talking. She takes it.
You're very charming. But I have to warn you, I have an
Arab boyfriend, and they are very jealous.
So long as you are happy with him. To be truthful, I
was thinking I would leave early tonight. I like to hear myself talk, and
hopefully it is not too painful for you to listen to me share my thoughts, for
what they are worth. That is all. Since your friend, Meng, arrived,
I have not been needed for anything else.
You're very charming, but it won't work on me.
This is not work. This is pleasure. Why else
would people come to a place like this? Maybe they consider it a
To be inside there is a torture, I suppose. It is better to be out, under
Felipe gestures upwards. The sky is pitch black from
There is no sky.
That is where you are wrong. Of course there is
sky. The sky is always there. We just cannot see it right
now. Above the clouds, the stars still shine. Even during the day,
the stars still shine. It is just that sometimes we cannot see them.
You're ridiculous to look at those clouds and talk about
Yes, I am ridiculous. That much is also true. But
you, of all people, should also know it is true that the stars still
shine. Don't you live half of your life above the clouds?
INT. INSIDE THE TENT - NIGHT
Mohammed is sleeping. He wakes with a start.
Abdullah is standing above him.
Come on brother, let's leave. I would like to spend
tomorrow with my wife and sons.
Mohammed is drowsy, but he nods his agreement and gets to his
feet. They walk quietly out of the tent, careful not to disturb the
INT. EUROPEAN HOTEL BEDROOM - night
Felipe and Hanka are in bed. Hanka is lying face
up. Felipe is above her. They are kissing.
How are you, my...
(kisses, whilst thinking of what to say)
swift, my starling
You talk too much.
She gets a firm hold of Felipe and flips him over, reversing
their positions. Hanka laughs. Felipe opens his mouth as if to
speak, then pauses instead. Hanka looks him right in the eye and they are
poised, motionless, for a few moments. Then they recommence kissing.
int. Jewellery store - day
Mohammed is choosing an engagement ring, with the help of the
shop assistant. Mohammed is dressed in western clothes. He selects
a gold ring, topped with diamonds and sapphires.
That's a beautiful ring.
The gold will go with her hair, and the sapphire with her
INT. EUROPEAN HOTEL BEDROOM - DAY
It is morning and Hanka is getting ready to leave. She
has her uniform on and is putting the last of her things into her bag.
Felipe is lying face down in bed. He stirs and turns over.
You're nearly ready to leave.
Felipe sits up in bed.
I have to go. I have a plane to catch.
I won't see you again, will I?
No. No you won't.
She leans over and briefly kisses him goodbye. Then she
leaves. Felipe contines to sit up in bed and looks at the bedroom door
even after she closes it behind her.
EXT. GRASSY FIELD - DAY
The thirteen year old Hanka is embraced by her mother. The breeze stirs the long grass and the wild flowers. Her mother has her mouth pressed close to Hanka's ear. She sings a sevdalinka (traditional Bosniak folk song) called 'Zapjevala sojka ptica'. The lyrics translate as follows:
Nightingale began to sing, thinking the dawn has come,
thinking the dawn has come.
Wake up, Fato. Wake up, my darling. Prepare the
gifts. Prepare the gifts.
I'm young and poor. I don't have gifts. I don't have gifts.
INT. DOHA AIRPORT TERMINAL - night
We continue to hear the song sung by Hanka's mother.
Hanka is walking back through the terminal, pulling her wheely bag behind her,
with Meng walking at her side. She looks tired but relaxed. Hanka
and Meng are chatting, but we do not hear what they say.
Hanka's Mother (V.O.)
If you are young and poor, why are you getting married, why
are you getting married?
My old mother married me off. I didn't even know.
I didn't even know.
When they handed me the gowns I thought it was Eid, I thought it was Eid.
As Hanka and Meng clear immigration, they see Mohammed is
By love, my darling, I have something to ask you.
Hanka looks at Meng, who looks back at her. Neither of
them know what to make of the situation. Hanka gestures that Meng should
go on without her.
I wasn't expecting you here. It's so late.
My darling. You're so beautiful. You have eyes
like the sky and hair like the sun. I don't want you to go away
again. I want you to be here with me, forever.
He shows her the ring. She puts her hand to the box,
and closes it.
My dear Mohammed. Now is not the time. I'm
sorry. I'm just so tired. Let's talk tomorrow. Let's talk
Mohammed doesn't know what to say. His face shows a mix
of surprise and confusion. Hanka stands, looking at Mohammed, for what
feels like a long time. She raises her hand to her face. She then
turns and hurries to catch up to Meng.
We'll talk tomorrow.
int. darkened room - day
Mohammed is alone. He picks up the telephone and dials
a number from a piece of paper he holds in his hand.
Hello. Yes, I want to complain about one of your
girls. She's being staying out overnight. Staying out with men.
Her name? Let me spell it for you. H-A-N...
ext. airline offices
Meng is waiting outside. She is standing a little
around the corner, well out of sight from anyone working in the building.
Hanka comes out and for a moment she just pauses and stands still. There
is the sound of a jet plane passing overhead. Hanka sees Meng and walks
around to her.
That's it. I have to leave. They've given me
today to pack my bags. Tomorrow I go.
I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.
Hanka puts her arm on Meng's shoulder, comforting her.
It's okay. There's no need to cry. I'm free
now. Free, like a bird.