THE LAST STATION
Based on the novel by
All happy families are the same. Each unhappy family is
unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy- Anna Karenina
1 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY. 1
High angle of the steam train travelling through a wide
river valley. The stack belching smoke against the Russian
2 INT. SECOND CLASS CARRIAGE. COUNTRY SIDE. DAY. 2
Leo Tolstoy (80), sits writing on his lapboard. He is quite
simply the greatest living writer in the world. His
devotion to pacifism, his rejection of the trappings of
Orthodoxy in favor of a simple Christian lifestyle convince
many to regard him as a living saint. With him are his much
younger wife, the COUNTESS SOFYA, favorite daughter SASHA,
and his personal physician DUSHAN MAKOVITSKY. Sasha and
Dushan write in their diaries. Sofya looks from one to the
next a little impatient. The train begins to slow.
Why are we slowing down?
No one responds. Slower. Slower.
We're stopping. Why are we
I don't know, mother. No idea.
Tolstoy look up from his work, asks a passing conductor.
Excuse me, why has the train
It's the crowd, ma'm, the people.
They're blocking the track.
In the distance we can here voices.
Long live Tolstoy! Long live the
But if they block the track, the
train can't go...YOU HAVE TO MAKE
The conductor shrugs, walks away. She goes to the window to
investigate. A crowd of a hundred peasants, students
surround the engine, block the track. They carry a huge
cloth banner honoring Tolstoy. We can hear voices chanting
"Tolstoy. Tolstoy. Tolstoy", voices crying "You are the
truth." "You are the hope of the Russian people."
Oh, they won't move. We are
gonna die here. Leo, Leo, go and
say something to them. It's the
only way we are gonna get out of
The chanting grows in intensity. Tolstoy gets to his feet,
walks to the window, shows himself to the crowd. A great
shout goes up. Tolstoy lifts his hand for silence.
Gradually, it comes.
I have seen your banner. And Iīve
heard what you say. You think Iīm
the hope of Russia, do you? Well,
thatīs not true. You are the hope
of Russia. The hope of all the
world. You say, you want a new
way to live? Well, you are not
gonna find it making a fuss over
me. So, I suggest that you get on
with your work and let a poor old
men get on with his.
The cries begin. "Clear the tracks. Let them pass. Let them
go." Tolstoy closes the door and waves to the crowd as the
train pulls away.
3 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY. 3
On the chanting crowd now as the train pulls away. We
focus on a handsome young man, a little stiff maybe, a
little intellectual. This is VALENTIN FEDOROVITCH
BULGAKOV. He can't contain his enthusiasm. Over the noise
of the train.
Do you know who that is? That is
the greatest man in the world.
The train pulls away into the distance.
TITLE OVER BLACK: SPRING 1910
4 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. DAWN. 4
The ancestral home of the Tolstoy family in the first
budding of spring.
Muzhiks (peasants) gather wood, carry water to the house. A
cart arrives loaded down with mail bags.
5 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM. DAY. 5
A handsome room, walls covered with generations of family
photographs. Religious icons are given pride of place, a
testament, not to piety, but to an ingrained social
conservatism, a certain position in the world.
Countess Sofya mumbles her morning prayers before a make
shift altar. Wiping away tears, she leaves the room.
5A INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY/STAIR. DAY. 5A
Sofya walks down the stairs and through the entry passed an
old servant asleep in a chair. She continues to the
6 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. TOLSTOY'S BEDROOM/STUDY. DAY. 6
Tolstoy has moved himself out of the refined upper floors
into a simple vaulted room he uses as both bedroom and
study. The walls are bare except for a portrait of his
daughter. The furniture is simple, some of it hand made: a
small bed against the wall, a little writing desk in one
corner stacked with books, littered with papers, more mail,
opened and unopened. Pairs of rude homemade shoes line a
Tolstoy sleeps in his bed. Though it's late March and
still cold, the window is open. Sofya closes it. She
stands very still, watching Tolstoy sleep. Sitting on the
bed, she gently touches his hand, whispers.
She lies next to him, something girlish, hopeful in her
face, as if waiting for him to wake up and adore her, but
he sleeps on. She carefully takes his arm, positions it
under her neck, and rolling toward him, wraps it around
her. The image of love's intimacy, of wedded bliss.
His hand slips off her shoulder, once, twice. She moves
awkwardly to replace it. He moves a little toward her. She
kisses his neck, his cheek. We don't know if he's awake,
but even this shadow of intimacy penetrates her soul.
7 OMITTED 7
8 INT. MOSCOW. STUDY. DAY. 8
A handsome study in the Moscow townhouse of VLADIMIR
GRIGOREVICH CHERTKOV, Tolstoy's most articulate and
dedicated disciple. He's interviewing Tolstoy's newly
appointed secretary, VALENTIN BULGAKOV, the young man we
met near the train, who, at the mention of sex, blushes a
But sex... You are twenty three.
Not an easy age for abstinence,
Tolstoy does not approve of
sexual relations. I know this.
He despises them, in fact...
Chertkov reaches for a small tin of moustache wax.
I don't want to belabor the
point, but I arranged for a
manservant last year who
proceeded to ruin two housemaids
just like that. He was very
This would not be a problem. I'm
celibate. I'm also a strict
Chertkov nods his approval, begins to worry his moustache.
Yes, I've heard many good things
about you. I've even read what
you`ve written. So has he.
Valentin's face flushes with pride. Chertkov steals a
glance at his reflection in the glass bookcase. One side of
his moustache droops a little. He tugs awkwardly at it.
My dear boy, if you were to
become Tolstoy's private
secretary, you would be given a
great gift. You'll be with him
every day, eat together, walk in
the forest by his side.
It's difficult to contain himself.
Believe me, since becoming a
Tolstoyan, I have become so eager
to learn, so comitted to
discussing ideas, improving my
Well, we have a lot to do if we
are to get his work to the
They both laugh.
Yes, we. If we can encourage the
spread of passive
resistance...just think of it
Valentin thousands of ordinary
Russians casting off centuries of
spiritual and political
In the name of truth and freedom.
Truth and freedom, yes but still,
my boy, there are so many enemies-
Chertkov walks to the window, signals Valentin to follow
him. He points to
TWO MEN IN PLAINCLOTHES standing in the street below.
The Czar's police...You'll be
followed when you leave
here...and the church will stop
at nothing to bring him back into
the fold. His children can't be
trusted... only Sasha... and then
of course there is the
Well, one doesn't like to come
between married people whatever
the circumstances, but her dogged
attachment to private property,
her public criticism of our
The point is, he needs a man of
your intellectual gifts around
him. Someone who can help him
with the new work. Someone who
understands his goals.
Chertkov returns to the desk.
And although they've allowed me
to return to Russia, I can't see
him. They keep me under house
arrest... They might as well keep
me in a cage.
Clearly upset, Chertkov pauses to get control of himself.
He picks up a package, hands it to Valentin.
So, I need you to put these
letters directly into his hands.
One can't be sure what gets
through to him.
Valentin looks at him, quizzical.
Sofya Andreyevna does not respect
She wouldn't open his private
Chertkov raises an eyebrow. An ominous silence.
I have another task for you, my
You'll keep a diary for me.
He hands Valentin a notebook.
I need to know everything that
goes on at Yasnaya Polyana. Let
me know who visits the house, any
talk of the copyright to his
work, any contact with the
church, what letters come and go.
Anything Sofya Andreyevna says.
She's very, very dangerous.
9 EXT. MOSCOW. DOORWAY/STREET. EVENING. 9
Chertkov kisses Valentin delicately on both cheeks and
ushers him into the dying light.
Godspeed, my boy.
Valentin makes his way to the droshky that awaits him.
And remember what I said.
He turns back to the dark figure in the doorway.
Write everything down! Go!
10 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. MORNING. 10
SOFYA. Black and white film of her being handed the
newspapers at the step. She looks up at the camera,
irritated by its presence.
CUTTING OUT TO COLOR we see a cinematographer on the lawn
cranking away at his camera. She goes into the house.
11 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. TOLSTOY'S BEDROOM/STUDY. MORNING. 11
Where Tolstoy, awake and dressed, sits on his bed, pen in
hand, writing in his diary. Dushan sits next to him, taking
Nothing's working... Hand me my
other boot, my friend, will you?
Let me finish.
It doesn't matter. If my heart
had stopped beating, I'd still go
Your pulse is my
and if you must ride, I insist
you wear a coat. Even the sun is
He puts Tolstoy's arm down and hands him his riding boot.
Sofya comes ranting into the room carrying several Russian
and international dailies.
This is impossible! It really is!
These people are parasites!
"Countess Tolstoy has become
estranged from her husband. They
She throws the paper on the floor.
You know who spreads all this
She opens another paper, a French daily.
C'est la meme en France. They
gossip about us in Paris... "They
do not share a similar view of
either religion or politics."
Peut-etre. You think that's
I think it's none of the world's
She looks at Dushan who is transcribing every word into his
diary. He does it with all the master's conversations.
What are you doing? Don't do
Dushan Petrovich, you're
Tolstoy moves with energy and purpose toward the door.
Darling, where are you going?
Riding with Sasha. Don't expect
us for lunch.
Something strikes him. He walks to his desk, picks up his
pen and quickly writes a sentence on a scrap of paper.
Leovochka, why do you insist on
dressing like that.
What do you mean?
Like the man who looks after the
It's not meant to offend you.
But it does offend me, because it
offends reason. You're a Count,
for God's sake.
He puts his pen down, goes to her, kisses her gently on the
forehead and leaves the room.
Oh darling, I have something else
I doubt it not, my dear.
He's forgotten his coat.
He runs after him, tripping over the long fur garment.
Count Tolstoy, you've forgotten
Meanwhile Sofya notices a photographic portrait of Chertkov
on the wall. She takes it down and tosses it in the
12 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY. 12
As Tolstoy appears on the porch, we hear the WHIR of
cameras. A crowd of photographers, film cameramen,
journalists, and disciples try to catch a glimpse of the
master. Dushan steps in front of him.
Let him walk. Let him walk.
Count Tolstoy, you're no doubt
distressed by the Czar's
treatment of your secretary
Nikolai Gusev ?
These people are bandits.
I said, let him walk.
They come into my house and
arrest a man whose only crime is
to express a view of life saner
than that which prevails.
So Gusev is innocent?
Of course, I'm the guilty one. I
reject the Orthodox church. I
condemn the established order and
I make no secret of it.
A young peasant shouts from the crowd.
God bless you, Tolstoy. Thank
Let him walk. Let him walk.
But you don't banish these people
very much to your credit...I wish
I had your largeness of spirit.
A photographer's flash goes off. An old Muzhik touches
Tolstoy's sleeve, as if expecting a miracle.
Sasha, her father's soulmate, leads two horses toward them,
her mount and her father's black gelding, Delire.
Did you ride this morning?
A small crowd collects to watch father and daughter
A WIDE SHOT of the riders- cutting around we are
13 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY/STAIR. CONTINUOUS. 13
Sofya watches her husband and daughter ride away.
14 EXT. RIVER VALLEY. DAY 14
A steam train snakes through a broad valley.
15 INT. TRAIN CARRIAGE. DAY. 15
Valentin in his buttoned up suit looks a little out of
place in the overcrowded third class carriage. He writes in
the diary given him by Chertkov. He glances up to see, on
the bench across, a young mother taking out her breast to
nurse her baby. He blushes, doesn't know where to look. An
old peasant catches his eye, winks at him, laughs.
16 EXT. TELYATINKI. DUSK. 16
Seven miles from Tolstoy's estate, this is Telyatinki, a
communal center created by Chertkov dedicated to the study
and practice of Tolstoyism.
Telyatinki was created by
Vladimir Grigorevich as a center
for the movement. Just last week
we had a visitor from India. We
talked to the group about the
healing properties of cobra
Oh, goodness..It's a beautiful
Yes, but we will pay for it.
Sergeyenko, Chertkov's joyless secretary, and Valentin
stand on a second storey porch looking out across the
central lawn where a number of young Tolstoyans tend the
garden, work to put up a chicken coop.
The meeting room is behind us.
This is the tool shed. The
He points out a larger building across the way.
17 INT. TELYATINKI. SLEEPING AREA. NIGHT. 17
They enter the building.
Telyatinki is a place of freedom.
Nothing is forbidden here.
Each man is alone with his
conscience and his God.
The kitchen is below. You'll be
expected to assist with meals at
least twice a week ...and to give
a hand in the garden. We're all
equals here, you know...as
Tolstoy teaches us.
They start up the stairs.
INT. SLEEPING PORCH. TELYATINKI. DAY
You are expected at Yasnaya
Polyana in the morning, first
I look forward to it.
Yes... you're lucky....We're all
18 INT. TELYATINKI. VALENTIN'S ROOM: NIGHT 18
Small, sparse, perfect for the novice ascetic. Valentin
nods his approval.
Vladimir Grigorevich is anxious
that you begin your reports as
soon as possible. You have the
notebook he gave you?
You understand we must keep the
existence of the diary a secret.
What is it?
Just that...secrecy doesn't seem
to me the essence of Tolstoy's
But you'll admit, you're no
Yes, I...I'll see you in the
If we're spared.
Sergeyenko leaves Valentin to his bare, little room.
19 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. MORNING. 19
The sun rising. Already, disciples are at work the gardens.
20 INT. TELYATINKI. VALENTIN'S ROOM. MORNING. 20
Valentin sleeps in his tiny room. A knock on the door.
A lovely girl at his door. She's tall, twenties, high cheek
bones, short blonde hair. This is MASHA.
I've brought you a glass of tea.
That's very kind of you.
It's your first day. Enjoy it.
She sits on the bed. He's a little taken aback, not used to
this degree of familiarity. It makes no impression on
You met Sergeyenko?
Ad what do you think?
He seems very sincere.
Masha hands him his tea.
Thank you. Why are you laughing?
Say that again.
I said he seems very... Why?
Is that what you think?
I just arrived...What's your
Masha. But you should still say
what you think. Not just about
him. We all should.
Thank you for the tea.
Their eyes meet, hold. Valentin's discomfort increases.
Tomorrow you can make your own.
She walks to the door, turns to see him still watching her.
He's a sorry old tight-assed
stick in the mud...but yes, he's
21 EXT. ROAD TO YASNAYA POLYANA. DAY. 21
A modest horse drawn cart. Valentin sits beside the driver,
contemplates the birch trees that line the road, the long
shadows they cast. Above, crows make lazy circles in the
22 OMITTED 22
23 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY WAY/STAIRS. DAY. 23
Valentin stands in the entry way, waiting. He looks lost.
You're the new secretary.
He looks up to see Sasha examining him from the landing
Papa's out. You can wait in the
library. Ivan will show you up.
She disappears. He hears a door close. He notices a surly
house servant, IVAN, who, inexplicably, leads a goat
through the house. He points upstairs and walks away.
24 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 24
Alone now among Tolstoy's books, Valentin makes his way
slowly to a writing table, the holy of holies, on which War
and Peace and Anna Karenina were written. He runs his hand
along the old wood top. Emboldened by a backward glance, he
sits in Tolstoy's chair. Before him are stacks of letters,
pens and pencils, a pot of India ink. There's a notebook
lying open. He leans forward to read it. A noise in the
hall stops him.
Tolstoy enters from the dining room, red cheeked, beard
dripping wet, the energy of a man ten years younger than he
is. Valentin stands.
I'm glad you're here. So glad.
He tromps across the room, kisses the boy enthusiastically
on both cheeks. Valentin is overcome by the great man's
I'm... I'm... Here is-
Valentin interrupts himself with a sneeze.
God bless you.
I'm sorry. Sometimes I...
Valentin pulls out a letter of introduction. Tolstoy takes
it out and puts it down without a glance.
Vladimir Grigorevich has already
written about you at length. I
need your help badly. The
manifesto against the government
is hard work. They commit their
idiotic abuses faster than I can
catalogue them...and the new
He told me about it...It's very
I've become convinced that all
the world's religions have a
single organizing principle. Can
you guess what it is? Love!
Love! Simple... Now, I want to
talk about you. How are you? How
was your journey? Come, sit
Tolstoy sits on the old sofa. Valentin follows suit.
You know, I was born on this
Valentin gets right back up. Tolstoy laughs, pats the sofa.
Valentin sits down.
Myself, my brother, my children,
at least five or six of them,
Now, I've read your essays. How`s
your work progressing?
Valentin looks into the great man's kind old face. He tries
to speak but he's overcome with emotion and begins to weep.
My boy, what is it?
I upset you in some way. Was it
the sofa? It's only a sofa.
Valentin shakes his head, smiling through his tears.
I'm very happy. You are very
kind. I'm no one and you are...
you are Leo Tolstoy and you ask
me about my work.
Tolstoy takes Valentin's hand, sits him back on sofa.
You rest for a moment and I'll
fetch you a glass of tea. Rest,
because there's work for both of
He smiles and goes, leaving Valentin to contemplate his
25 OMITTED 25
26 OMITTED 26
27 OMITTED 27
28 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY. 28
Sofya, Sasha, Valentin, ANDREY, Tolstoy's son, and Tolstoy
all clustered around a table taking tea. Dushan stands near
the group fiddling with a gramophone that sits on a small
These people have nothing.
It really is the most
Absolutely ignoring him.
It's not for lack of land that
the muzhiks live in poverty.
They have no will power and they
drink too much.
I'm not suggesting they be given
land. Private property is the
root of the problem... We should
be giving ours away.
Give it to whom?
It's all ridiculous. You think
that poverty makes the peasants
somehow morally superior.
I believe that wealth corrupts us
all, yes I do.
A pause. Valentin fills the silence.
It's a keystone of the movement.
Oh, I know all about the
A pause. Valentin notices that people from the front lawn
have moved up to watch all this. Life in the fishbowl, the
Tolstoys seem neither to notice nor care.
If the peasants had money, they
wouldn't surround themselves, as
we do, with footmen costing ten
rubles a month.
No, they'd spend it on drink and
Valentin Fedorovich, do you think
fifty years from now, people will
eat while grown men walk around
and wait on them hand and foot?
Valentin doesn't know what to say. A giggle from Dushan.
Oh, that's good...that's good.
Dushan, having sat at table, tries surreptitiously to get
down Tolstoy's words in the diary he holds below the table.
Sofya flushes with anger.
(points to her husband)
You all think he's Christ, don't
you? He thinks he's Christ.
There is an awkward pause.
I'm not...I don't believe Leo
Nikolayevich is Christ. Christ is
I believe he's one of the
prophets. God speaks through him.
I recognize the cadence in his
This is unbearable. No wonder I
feel lonely. I'm surrounded by
Mama, you're being ridiculous.
Am I? I sit here and listen to
this talk of love and God and
equality, knowing full well that
Count Generosity here is fully
prepared to give away everything
You keep going on like that...Why
do you think we should profit
from the work Iīm doing which is
only meant for the sake of the
She turns to see Dushan scribbling again.
STOP IT! STOP WRITING NOW!
Valentin glances at Sasha, uncomfortable at these
outbursts. A long pause. Dushan tries to relieve the
In defense of my gift, let me
demonstrate. It's quite
He gets up, places a record on the gramophone, needle on
the record. What comes forth is not music, but Tolstoy's
It is a recording of a recent speech against capital
punishment. His voice booms, tinny and distorted. Dushan
walks to the machine, stares at it in awe. Valentin is
completely caught up in the technology.
It's your voice. It's wonderful.
They all listen for a moment, look to Tolstoy for a
It's tiresome. Another
remarkable invention will
Valentin blushes and looks at the table. Dushan tries to
hide his disappointment.
Please excuse me.
Tolstoy rises, leaves the table, walks out onto the lawn.
Dushan gets up quickly, bumping the table as he goes. Tea
spills. Valentin moves to wipe it up, sneezes, a barrage of
Leo Nikolayevich is something of
a Luddite, I fear.
Sofya crosses to the machine, removes the record from the
gramophone, replaces it with another Dushan has brought.
Suddenly, the air is filled with the final duet from
Mozart's Il Nozze di Figaro. She returns to her place.
There is a long moment where all take in the sublimity of
it. Tolstoy walks slowly back to the table. He stands
completely still. Tears fill his eyes and roll down his
Oh, thatīs better. Thatīs nice.
Very nice indeed.
Sofya crosses to her husband, wipes the tears off his face.
Valentin watches as they embrace.
Do your parents often speak to
each other so...bluntly?
29 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. EVENING. 29
Across from Tolstoy's writing desk is Sasha's world, a
makeshift office lined with more bookcases where she does
her work, sending cables, editing manuscripts, answering
endless stacks of mail. Valentin sits near her, learning
My mother doesn't understand my
father's goals, not since his
work as a novelist became
secondary. His commitment to
the spiritual life offends her.
They've fought about it for
I'm sure she means well.
Sasha just looks at him.
Your father is the greatest
writer in the world.
I mean to say, I feel privileged
to be here. It's an... honor.
Valentin feels himself slip further into mundanity. Sasha
goes back to her letter. Valentin SNEEZES.
God Bless You.
They read together for a moment. He sneezes again.
God bless you.
I'm sorry. Sometimes I sneeze
when I'm nervous.
She regards him like an animal in the zoo. Ivan appears at
What is it?
Itīs a note, for him.
He nods toward Valentin.
Well, give it to him then.
Valentin reads the note.
Itīs from your mother. She wants
to see me.
As Valentin goes,
She is looking for allies. Pay
attention. This is war.
30 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SITTING ROOM. NIGHT. 30
Sofya is settled on a divan in a small room off the dining
room. Valentin sits beside her holding a glass of tea.
I see a fine young man before me.
Clear eyes. Nice features, rather
handsome in a peculiar way.
Thank you, Countess...
Call me Sofya Andreyevna. We
don't stand on formality here, as
you may have observed.
Many young men ruin their looks
by loose living. You're a real
Tolstoyan, I can tell!
I admire your husband immensely.
That's excellent. He likes that.
His ideas are beautiful...social
justice...the idea...Don't you
Sofya drains her tea cup, signals for more.
He's very grateful for the help
you've been giving him. He told
me so himself. I think it
surprises him that a young man
would be so diligent. When he was
your age, he was whoring in the
Valentin's eyes are wide. She nods.
He wrote it all down. He even
gave me a copy, so I could read
all the details...
You've read War and Peace?
Many times... twice.
Sofya smiles at his honesty.
When he was writing it, long
before Chertkov created that
monstrosity at Telyatinki, before
all this "new religion" and
What do you think of Chertkov, by
He's given me an extraordinary
But you see what a fool he is, a
self-serving puritanical idiot. I
have to say, it's been extremely
pleasant since they've locked him
in his house.
Sofya smiles. Valentin is nonplussed by her directness.
When my husband was writing it,
in the mid-sixties, he'd bring me
pages to re-copy everyday.
I was the only one who could read
his handwriting. I could read his
intentions, too. Afternoons, we'd
drink tea and discuss changes.
"Natasha wouldn't say that to
Prince Andrey," or "Pierre's too
simple here. He's not stupid."
She smiles at the memory.
But I don't count anymore.
Silence. She sips her tea. She glances out the door to see
Sasha hovering nearby. Listening? Sasha walks away.
You must help me, Valentin
Fedorovich. I want only what is
best for my husband and my
family. I could tolerate the
situation if it only concerned me
What I can not do is sit back
while they steal my children's
inheritance. Do you know I was
the only person. I could
understand his intention.
I don't believe anyone wants to
Sofya gives him a condescending smile. She produces a
package from the table beside her, hands it to him.
I have a little gift for you
He opens it, extracts a small leather bound book. He stares
It's a diary.
Everyone should always keep a
It's a very popular activity
around your husband.
You're teasing me, but I trust
you'll write the truth.
That may not be so easy.
Nonsense. You've been listening
to your friends at Telyatinki...
Write what you see. That's always
the place to begin.
What. You. See.
Valentin fingers the package, stifles a sneeze.
31 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. DAY 31
Valentin rides into the compound. A number of the disciples
are outside working. There is the ringing of metal on
wood. He looks for the source. As the way clears a little,
he sees Masha chopping away with an axe. He stops his horse
to watch her.
You're finished for the day?
He didn't need me this afternoon.
He gets down off his horse. Masha continues to chop. He
picks up an axe, holds it awkwardly.
Leo Nikolayevich disapproves of
women doing physical labor.
Don't you find that reactionary?
No, I find it sweet. I find you
She laughs. Valentin picks up a log, sets it on end and
begins to chop. He doesn't do it well. Masha smiles at his
He admires you, I believe.
What's she saying?
Sergeyenko told me. He's
miserable about it.
Tolstoy's kind to everyone.
The log is stuck to the blade of his axe. He's really
What do you talk about when
you're with him?
Why are you blushing?
We talk about me.
He wants to know everything about
me, my parents, my relations with
women, my experience of god -
He looks up to see Masha smiling at him.
And what relations are these?
Valentin blushes, goes back to trying to chopping. Almost
immediately the log becomes stuck to the blade of the axe.
He bangs it, bangs it trying to free it. He glances up to
see her still looking at him. He pounds again and again.
She stops, reaches for his axe, touching him as she does.
She lifts the big axe, log and all, above her head,
bringing it down hard. The log splits. She hands the axe to
I had a lover before I came
here... headmaster of a school
where I taught. He was married -
happily married. It was
difficult. We could make love
only at school.
This is somehow more than Valentin had bargained for.
In the gymnasium, after the girls
had gone. There were straw mats
on the floor.
He looks away to hide his confusion.
Have I upset you?
He looks at her.
No...I appreciate your frankness
But you disapprove of me. I see
it in your eyes.
I don't. Not at all...I think
sexual activity...how men and
women combine their physical
parts is completely neutral.
Listen to you. You're a prig.
Just like Sergeyenko. Why else
would they have hired you?
That's not fair
I don't care if it's fair. It's
He puts down the axe.
Do as you like.
She goes back to chopping. We track in front of him as he
walks toward the house. The chopping stops.
He stops, relieved and turns to face her.
You forgot your horse.
Yes. You know, I think that I...
He hesitates for a moment, then starts toward her. Her back
is to him. She begins to chop again. The color rises in his
face as he tries to salvage a little dignity.
He grabs the reins and starts again toward the buildings,
trips in a ditch, almost falls flat. Red faced, he rights
himself. The chopping behind him remains constant.
Sergeyenko watches him from the porch.
32 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY 32
CLOSE on the CABLE MACHINE. A message coming through.
32A INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY WAY/STAIR. DAY. 32A
Sofya walks into the house with another stack of mail.
Sasha comes piling down the stairs.
Without waiting for the answer, Sasha races past her and
out the door
33 OMITTED 33
34 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ZASYEKA WOODS. DAY 34
Valentin and Tolstoy walk together in the woods. .
I couldn't write. I was
distracted I think...I had a
dream last night, about a Tartar
girl I knew in the war.
A girl who died?
No, no...A girl I had sexual
intercourse with... Sometimes we
did it twice a day.
God bless...I've never forgotten
our time together, the position
of our bodies, the taste of
You shouldn't torture yourself.
It was a long time ago.
Tolstoy laughs out loud.
Torture? You are a virgin,
I try to...you know, to...
To be what, a good Tolstoyan?
You see, I myself am not a very
good Tolstoyan. You should think
twice about asking my advice
about anything... Torture...
Are you alright?
Kalya, her name was...She's an
old woman now, white hair, old
body like me. She'd hardly
remember my name, I suspect. She
may even be dead. (beat) Do you
think that meant something?
What do you mean?
I mean that little romance. Was
there some meaning to it?
Itīs interesting. I think you
would say..I mean, Iīve read
where you say that the physical
body isnīt real. That itīs all an
I say lots of things. What do you
say? What do you think?
I...I donīt know.
Leo Nikoleyevich smiles.
I donīt know, either.
He inhales deeply.
He looks up as he hears Sasha off screen. "Papa. Papa."
Precisely. It's lilac. The
smell's stronger when the sun
He presses Valentin's hand.
I've enjoyed myself, my boy.
(shouting for Sasha)
As he starts in the direction of her voice. Sasha appears
in the clearing, telegram in hand.
He's free. He's free...He's
Smash cut to
35 EXT. RAILWAY. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY 35
A train roars past camera, shaking the world.
36 OMITTED 36
37 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY 37
Chertkov climbs down from his droshky. Suddenly, Tolstoy is
there. Valentin watches them embrace.
My dear, dear man.
Tears run down his old cheeks. They embrace again.
He'll try again to convince your
father to change his will.
38 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY/STAIRS. DAY. 38
Andrey and Sofya stand together at the window, watching the
To give the copyright as "a gift
to humanity."...the reptile.
Papa's not in his right mind. He
can't defend himself against
My tooth is killing me.
You're a fine son, darling. None
of this make believe chastity and
made up religion. I wish all my
children had turned out like you.
Andrey's finger in his mouth, massages the offending molar.
A man'th responthibility ith to
From her POV, we see the two men walk away together arm in
arm, talking animatedly.
Chertkov's notions of virtuous
behavior are calculated to
To dethtroy uth all.
There is nothing more pathetic
than impoverished aristocrats.
She walks out of the room.
39 EXT. GROUNDS. YASNAYA POLYANA. DAY. 39
And into the drive to greet Chertkov. He moves immediately
to her, offers her his hand and an unctuous smile.
Vladimir Grigorevich, what a
Sofya Andreyevna, I'm happy to
Valentin watches her match him smile for smile. *
And I'm happy to make you
40 OMITTED 40
41 EXT. ROAD TO TELYATINKI. DAY 41
Valentin and Chertkov sit together in the droshky, an
I'm glad to have a moment alone
with you, Valentin. How do you
think you're getting on?
(a little nervous)
I hope my work is pleasing to Leo
Yes. He seems satisfied and
that's good. The reports I've
received from you however...
There seems to be some confusion.
What do you mean?
You send me never ending
commentary on Tolstoy's writing.
That's all very interesting but
not very useful. I need to know
what goes on with Sofya
Andreyevna. You must see by now
she's committed to undermining
her husband's best intentions.
It's not quite so obvious to me.
Because she is duplicitous. You
are very bright. Too bright to
let her into you.
Chertkov fixes the boy with his intense gaze.
You value our work?
The ideals we share?
That's why I'm here.
Good, of course it is. (beat) Do
you think the Countess suspects
Well, I think the Countess is
very suspicios by nature.
I donīt think she likes you very
What does she say?
Itīs a tone Iīve picked up.
We simply want to distribute
Tolstoy's work to the widest
audience possible. She just has
no understanding what it is we
are trying to do. Thereīs nothing
in it for any of us but a real
chance to increase the worldīs
He takes Valentin's hand.
I can only be of limited help to
the master if I don't know what's
going on. Any effort she makes to
shore up control of the
copyright, I must know. The
survival of our movement depends
on it. Remember who your friends
are. What you've come here to do.
Chertkov turns away to watch the countryside. Valentin
stares straight ahead, his nose twitches slightly.
42 OMITTED 42
43 OMITTED 43
44 OMITTED 44
45 OMITTED 45
46 OMITTED 46
47 INT. TELYATINKI. VALENTIN'S ROOM. NIGHT. 47
Valentin, in bed, writes in his diary. Closing his eyes, he
begins to drift off when there is a noise outside his door.
After a moment, it opens a crack.
She is there. She puts two fingers to her lips and walks
toward him. She carries a candle which reveals her short
hair, her lovely eyes.
She says nothing, simply crawls into bed, positions her
knees on either side of him. She leans forward and kisses
She begins to move against him. Their faces touch. She
doesn't kiss him, but he can feel her breath. She sits up.
Move the book.
It's true. Valentin still clutches the diary to his chest.
He puts it aside. Masha, then, pulls her nightdress over
head, exposing her small breasts, her flat stomach.
She reaches under the sheets, curls her fingers around him.
He flinches at the pleasure of it.
Is it alright?
He can't speak. Only nod. He bites his lip as she slips him
into her and begins to rock. The pleasure is too much, and
he comes too quickly. She falls forward on him, begins to
What...what is it?
You really are a virgin.
Valentin tenses a little.
I'm playing. It's fine. It's
He does, as if he'll never release her.
48 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. MORNING. 48
Activity in the compound. Chairs on the lawn, a banner
being erected, a long table being set. Preparations being
49 INT. TELYATINKI. VALENTIN'S ROOM. MORNING. 49
Light spills into Valentin's room. He lies with his arms
around naked Masha.
Wake up, wake up.
I am awake.
I want to ask you something..Say
It was wonderful.
They both giggle.
Why did you come to a place like
What do you mean?
You donīt follow any of the
You mean, why does someone who
doesn't follow the rules come to
a place like this?
..it's not about rules. Not for
A knock at the door startles them.
Valentin is suddenly in a panic.
What is it?
49A INT. TELYATINKI. CORRIDOR. DAY. 49A
Sergeyenko hovers outside the bedroom door.
Open the door.
At the moment, I'm indisposed.
Yes, well...Leo Nikolayevich is
here. He want s to see you.
49B INT. TELYATINKI. VALENTIN'S ROOM. DAY. 49B
Tell him... I'll be down at once.
Yes..and tell Maria Filipovna we
could use another hand in the
They look at each other.
If I see her I will...
If you see her...yes. And if
you're going to behave like
rabbits, you should go live in
Valentin is up, immediately.
Let me go out first...give me
Masha just looks at him.
50 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. DAY. 50
A Tolstoyan photo op. A delegation of orphans have come to
pay their respects to Tolstoy. He sits in a chair beside
Chertkov beneath a large banner : "Leo Tolstoy, Friend of
the People.". Behind him, the disciples lay out a
vegetarian feast on a plank table. Photographers and a
cinematographer are strategically positioned to record the
Each child gives Tolstoy a flower. Chertkov, in turn, hands
each child a photograph of the Count giving money to the
Valentin enters, flushed and blushing. He pauses beside
Dushan who records the scene in his diary, tears in his
Look at the love in him, like
Tolstoy greets a little boy affectionately, rubs his
knuckles over the boy's shaved head. A little girl
approaches, takes a photograph. He bends forward to kiss
her head but she pulls away.
An old man is a very ugly thing.
Tolstoy sees Valentin, lights up.
My dear boy. Come and kiss me.
Valentin, beet red, goes to him. He is warmly embraced.
Now, who is this? Maria
Masha comes to stand beside him. She glances at Valentin
but he won't make eye contact with her.
You're both looking so well. Life
here at Telyatinki obviously
agrees with you.
Valentin sneezes mightily, moves a little away.
God bless you, boy. What are you
nervous about, now? Sit down. Sit
Valentin takes the chair beside him.
Dear Masha, Valentin tells me
you're the great treasure of
Telyatinki. He claims you're a
very gifted teacher.
Sergeyenko lifts an eyebrow "Indeed.". Valentin is in
We're happy to have you with us.
Tolstoy notices a mosquito on Valentin's cheek. He takes
the bug between his big fingers, squeezes until it pops.
Chertkov watches in horror, whispers loudly.
What are you doing?
What do you mean?
He motions to the photographers.
You've killed a living thing.
Chertkov hears a laugh behind him. It is Masha who has
over heard the whole thing.
Do you have something to say?
It's absurd. That's all.
Chertkov is taken aback. Valentin stares at her.
What are you saying?
I'm sorry but- It's a mosquito.
Forgive him. He can't help it.
He's a better Tolstoyan than I
She can't help laughing again. Valentin sees the color rise
in Chertkov's face.
It's not the message we want to
Sasha suddenly appears. She holds a cable in her hand.
From my mother "Nerves dreadful.
Stop. Insomnia. Stop. Pulse 100.
Stop. Please come home.
51 INT. TELYATINKI. CHERTKOV'S STUDY. DAY. 51
Chertkov is there. Tolstoy, Valentin and Sasha.
Don't give in to her, Papa.
It'll never end...I swear to God,
that woman has an instinct for
knowing when you're just about to
A knock on the door. Valentin opens it. It's Dushan with
another cable. Tolstoy gestures for him to read it aloud.
From Sofya Andreyevna. "I beg
you. Stop. Unwell. Stop. Hurry
Who taught her to use that damned
Valentin starts to sneeze, stifles it, starts again,
stifles, starts, explodes. Guilty.
Perhaps Sasha's right.
Encouraging this may not be the
It's a trick, Papa. She'll drain
you. You'll be miserable.
Tolstoy looks from one to the other, gets up from his
Then, let me go with you.
No, my dear, I'll go alone.
52 OMITTED 52
53 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT. 53
Close on Sofya lying in bed. She looks ravishing in the
candle light. In the background, Tolstoy arrives in the
A sly smile on her lips, the tension gone from her face,
she seems twenty years younger.
Sofya, are you ill?
She rolls toward him making it clear she's quite naked
under the sheets. This is no sick bed.
I'm fine...now that you're home.
It's no good, you know, all this.
You frightened everyone.
Did I really? I don't believe
it. Not you. I'm your little
bird. You know the sounds I
That was some sort of love call?
It brought you back to me.
She reaches out her hand to him.
Come out of the dark... where I
can see you.
He takes a step toward her, then stops.
Why? Why? Why, do you do it? We
live in the country and you
insist on making it an opera
house. What's wrong with a little
peace now and then?
Look at me. This is who I am.
This is what you married. We're
older, maybe we're old, but I'm
still your little chicken
You're still my big cock.
She smiles at him.
Let me make you crow.
A pause, then a huge laugh comes up from the very center of
him. He twists his neck, thrusts his head upward, crows
like a rooster.
He virtually runs to her, embraces her, kisses her. She is
a giddy girl in his arms. He breaks the embrace and begins
strutting around the room.
Let me make you sing.
He takes her in his arms, again, begins to kiss her neck.
Do you love me?
I want you to love me.
He stops kissing her, looks her in the eye. Then, another
loud crow. Laughing, they fall into each other again.
53A EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. NIGHT. 53A
And we hear their laughter over the dark old house.
54 EXT. TELYATINKI. PORCH. NIGHT. 54
Valentin sits by himself on the porch, writes in his diary.
Down below, some of the disciples listen to peasants play
music around a bonfire. A voice from the darkness.
I'm not supposed to do this
He locates the speaker by the glow of her lit cigarette.
Masha. You are not supposed to
smoke at Telyatinki.
You wouldn't look at me.
It was difficult in front of the
But it wasn't difficult in your
bed... When it was only you and
me in front of God.
I'm not sure I was conscious of
Masha emerges from the shadows, but keeps her distance.
So, I made you forget God?
Yes, only for a moment. You
forgot your rules and remembered
You make it sound very simple.
It is simple. What we did is what
men and women do, have done, will
continue doing. What could be
more simple? We touched each
other-- stayed close together.
Something passed between us.
Something real. That is a
betrayal of what? Of nothing.
But you're afraid... All your
ideas. What are you afraid of?
I'm afraid I've hurt you, havenīt
No. I feel a little sad, but it
is not for me. It's for you.
She disappears into the house. Valentin looks after her.
55 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM. MORNING. 55
The Countess wakes to find her bed empty.
56 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. BACK TERRACE. DAY. 56
She comes through the dining room to find Tolstoy on the
back terrace. Wrapped in a blanket, he writes in his diary,
a cup of tea in front of him.
Good morning, my darling? Do you
mind if I join you?
Without looking up
Of course, my dear.
He continues to write. She watches him for a long moment.
She opens her diary and begins to write as well.
It's quite insane, my darling.
Everyone is making fun of you.
He looks up.
What are you talking about?
She continues to write.
Even the muzhiks. I heard them
laughing in the barn.
Sofya looks at him knowingly.
Laughing about what?
I don't want to ruin last night.
She sips her tea, goes back to her writing. A pause. He
follows suit. After a moment...
Laughing about the fact that
you've developed a senile crush
on a fat middle aged flatterer.
Your passion for Chertkov has
become a standing joke.
I have a great affection for
Vladimir Grigorivich. Let them
laugh if they find it amusing.
But it's not amusing, darling.
It's sick. It's not normal. You
hang on his every word.
We have a great deal in common.
You have nothing in common. You
are a genius. He's a sycophant
and a pervert.
Because he understands what I'm
trying to do? Because he tries
to help me accomplish it?
He is using you. You just can't
seem to see it.
This is absolute nonsense.
That bold, obese, idiotic man.
You treat him...
He turns to her...his face red with anger and frustration.
It's impossible for you not to
distract me. Let me alone... for
God's sake. You're like a spoiled
He rises, spits on the ground, goes into the house. Sofya
57 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. DINING ROOM. CONTINUOUS. 57
Catching him up.
Do you love me, Lyovochka?
Of course, I do.
Then why would you betray me?
Why do you say that?
Because of the will?
57A INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. ENTRY WAY/STAIRS/LANDING. DAY 57A
Tolstoy, taken aback, says nothing.
The new will.
There's no new will.
She stares at him in silence.
There is no new will.
Does Chertkov have it?
There's no new will.
He walks up the stairs. She follows.
But that's why he's come back.
You talk about it, you and your
boyfriend. You plan for it. You
have no heart for the people who
really love you. You'd rather be
seduced by charlatans and deluded
by flatterers, all in the name of
love....You can't even love your
own children. You can't even
Tell me where it is?
There is no new will.
58 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. CONTINUOUS. 58
He goes to his desk, tries to ignore her.
Then, promise me there never will
A moment's hesitation.
Iīve told you the truth. Now, let
me work. Please, will you?
He walks to his desk.
59 OMITTED 59
60 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. CONTINUOUS. DAY. 60
Tolstoy looks up from his work. Sofya stands in the
Tomorrow, I'll go to the Station
and lie down on the track.
Tolstoy's wife becomes Anna
Karenina herself! See how the
papers will like that!
As he goes, we hear.
This is unbearable. You don't
want a husband. You want a Greek
Sofya is taken aback by his response. She walks out of the
61 EXT. ROAD TO TELYATINKI. DAY 61
Four peasants pull a water cart down a rough country road.
We pan off to see Sofya in her droshky, resplendent in a
62 INT. TELYATINKI. CHERTKOV'S STUDY. DAY. 62
CHERTKOV and SERGEYENKO look through a crack in the
THEIR POV - the Countess on the sofa drinking a glass of
Valentin enters from the meeting room.
She's here to question you about
the new will.
Chertkov nervous, tugs at his moustache.
How does she know it even exists?
She claims Leo Nikolayevich told
her she could examine the draft.
He is obviously not thinking
clearly. And now we have to put
up with her petty grasping.
It doesn't seem petty to me.
I beg your pardon?
He`s her life. The work, in her
mind, is theirs...together.
And you're her advocate? You've
been taken in by her celebrity. I
worried about this.
I'm talking about their history --
- simply that.
We should see her. Act as if
nothing has happened.
Nothing has happened.
63 INT. TELYATINKI. MEETING ROOM. DAY. 63
The men enter the meeting room.
Sofya Andreyevna, at last, you
honour us with your visit.
Valentin watches her match him smile for smile.
And I'm happy to make you
She looks at him curiously.
What is it?
Your moustache is...
Drooping, one side of it anyway.
It's a problem of the wax.
Sofya takes them in.
Let me get to the point. Vladimir
Grigorivich, I don't wish to be
your enemy. I'm delighted that my
husband has a friend who
understands and shares his
ideals. All I want is what's
reasonable - an opportunity to
evaluate the new will. If you
agree, I'm sure we can be
You're very kind. Sofya
Andreyevna. But I can't help you.
Not without specific instructions
from your husband.
Leo Nikolayevich has agreed,
hasn't he Val-
No witness you produce will
change my position. But I'll
certainly talk to Leo
Nikolayevich at the first
Sofya is livid.
I want us to be friends, too,
Sofya. Leo Nikolayevich is the
most valuable thing in the world,
for both of us. We should
endeavor to set things right
between us. Give him peace. Let
Valentin Fedorovich...are you
coming back to the house with me?
Valentin glances between them, searching for middle ground.
I'll escort the Countess home and
be back in time for supper.
Masha will be overjoyed.
Valentin's nose twitches. He looks at the floor.
Have you been keeping something
from me? How delightful.
64 EXT. ROAD TO TELYATINKI. DAY. 64
They are back in the droshky, the return trip to Yasnaya
Polyana. Valentin doesn't respond.
We've become close friends, I
think. Tell me everything, dear
boy. I love a romance.
It's nothing, really.
A young woman in your life is
Masha is a friend.
A good friend.
That sounds serious enough.
Valentin looks away.
I don't mean to annoy you.
I'm not annoyed.
You forget that I'm an
experienced reader. I can read
your face, every letter. It's
Do you love her?
Valentin looks at Sofya, tears in his eyes.
Maybe I do.
Not something they'd understand,
these so called disciples of my
husband. They've never understood
a word he's written.
What do any of them know about
65 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. DAY. 65
Masha carries two water buckets suspended from a pole
across her shoulders. Arriving at a stream, she takes each
bucket and fills it. It's hot work. Pausing a moment, she
kneels to splash water on her face.
Another P.O.V. - someone watches her from the trees.
As Masha wets a cloth, puts it around her neck. Suddenly
someone grabs her from behind. She screams, wrestle her
way free. She turns to see Valentin, flushed, smiling,
excited. He steps toward her, kicks over one of the
Sorry, sorry, I'll... I didn't
mean to scare you...Are you
Fine...fine...Why did you...?
I came back as soon as I could.
It was a strange day. Leo
Nikolayevich,...I love to listen
to him. I love nothing more...
He moves closer to her.
But today I could hardly
He's very close to her, now.
All I could think of was you.
Masha shakes her head, moves away from him. Begins to
gather the pole, to refill the spilled bucket. Stops her,
turns her to him.
I think I've confused you. I've
confused us both.
No. No. You didnīt confuse me..I
was stupid. I was afraid, but I'm
not afraid anymore.
Valentin wants to fight through the awkwardness. He tries
to kiss her. She won't have it. She pulls away.
I love you, Masha!
Maybe you could help me a little.
In silence, he gets the filled buckets balanced on the
pole. Without another word, Masha starts toward the
buildings. He doesn't know what to do. He's losing her. He
Before the other night...I'd
committed the act of copulation
many times in my heart.
He has her attention now, as well as that of a number of
the disciples who look up from their work in the yard.
I think about you all the time.
In my heart Iīve comitted the act
of copulation many times. I just
want to say...It was never like
it was with you.
Masha bursts out laughing.
I'll wait for you, then.
As Valentin goes to catch her up, he sees Sergeyenko
watching from outside the unfinished chicken coop.
66 OMITTED 66
67 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM. MORNING. 67
Sofya wakes up. She looks relaxed, then she sniffs, sniffs
again. Out of bed, she grabs a dressing gown. Opening her
door, she spots Ivan in the hall.
Ivan, who's wearing that awful
Ivan a gesture indicating an elaborate moustache. She steps
into the hall in time to see Tolstoy, Chertkov, Valentin
and Sasha disappear into the library, ducks back into her
room to avoid being seen
68 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. HALLWAY. DAY 68
Sofya approaches the door, listens. She can make out only a
few words. "Mama cannot find out", Chertkov shushing her,
whispers. We push in on Sofya's anxious face.
69 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 69
Chertkov, Sasha, Dushan, Valentin and Tolstoy sit in a
little clump by his desk. Tolstoy his head in his hands,
looks at the floor.
I hate to say it but the Countess
has become more and more
Not dangerous... She's concerned
for the welfare of the family.
And we're concerned for the
welfare of mankind.
Take this down.
Valentin records the conversation in his diary.
Itīs a terrible thing you ask. I
canīt do it.
70 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM. DAY. 70
Sofya, still in her dressing gown, climbs out her bedroom
window onto a narrow ledge that runs along the second
70A EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY. 70A
Sofya stand on the window ledge high above the ground. She
begins to move toward the library balcony.
71 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 71
You've been more than reasonable.
She already controls the income
from your property.
Listen to him, papa. He has our
best interests at heart.
Tolstoy looks at Valentin, who looks at the floor.
We're speaking only of the rights
to your words, your ideas.
With all love and respect, the
Countess is too interested in
making a profit from your work.
72 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SECOND STORY BALCONY. DAY. 72
Sofya moves along the narrow ledge as if it's a perfectly
normal activity.. Looking down, she sees a couple of
gawkers watching her from the lawn. She shoos them away.
73 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 73
Valentin turns his head. Did he hear something?
She's my wife. Sheīs part of me.
We've been together now, so many
Chertkov drives the point home.
But you're more than a husband
and father. She must understand
The best interests of the people
are one with your own. You
belong to them.
Valentin glances up...and is shocked to see SOFYA LOOKING
IN AT THE STUDY WINDOW. She disappears.
74 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SECOND STORY BALCONY. DAY. 74
Sofya has reached the french doors. She can hear clearly
But she won't. She'll never
HER P.O.V. a crowd of gawkers gather on the lawn below her.
One man sets up photographic equipment. She waves him away
turns back to the window.
75 OMITTED 75
76 OMITTED 76
77 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 77
Chertkov pushes his point.
She's unstable...I wonder if she
Itīs sadly more than possible.
I know itīs hard for you, papa.
But we must be realistic.
We pan to the french doors to see Sofya furious face as she
listens to the betrayal.
Do you really think she's fit to
control the final disposition of
We pan back to the conspirators. Before Tolstoy can
respond, Sofya charges into the room. As she does, she
steps on the hem of her long dressing gown and ends up
sprawled on the floor. The conspirators just stare at her.
How dare you?
What are you doing?
You're all plotting against me.
In my own house, too. I bear you
thirteen children. How can you
betray me like this?
Someone help me up.
No one moves. Tolstoy slumps in his chair.
Give everything you've got to
him, your fat little catamite.
"What will it be, my dearest
dear, my Vladimir Grigorivich? My
wife's heart on a platter? Her
kidneys? With salt? But of
course, my dear Chertkov,
whatever pleases you. The china.
The estate. Permanent copyright
on everything I've ever written?
Anything for you, my love."
Her eye falls on Dushan, who very unfortunately, has chosen
to take this down in his diary.
Give me that. Give it to me, you
She grabs the offending volume. The struggle begins.
Please, Countess Sofya-
She rips the book away and after brandishing it above her
head, throws it through the open doors with a guttural,
rumbling growl. She turns on her tormentors.
Can I not...Can I not have...
His face is red, his body rigid with anger.
You'll kill him, Mama. That's
what you want, isn't it? You want
him to die!"
She helps him up, takes him to his bedroom. Valentin
She looks at Chertkov.
You! Don't think you deceive me
for one little moment! I know
exactly what you're doing. I
want to see the will. It's my
right, in the name of god.
What are you afraid of?
You. I'm afraid of you.
Chertkov looks at her with undisguised disgust.
The press is bloodthirsty. Had I
wished, I could've demolished you
and your family. You make it
Tell them anything you like. Go
ahead. Ruin us.
I have too much respect for Leo
Nikolayevich. You're lucky.
Why can't my husband see you for
what you are?
Chertkov's face is red. He starts to speak, stops. He walks
to the door, then very deliberately.
If I had a wife like you, I would
have blown my brains out long
Or gone to America.
He leaves the room. Sofya sinks back to the floor, a flower
wilting. She begins to weep. An Aria from Madame Butterfly
78 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. DINING ROOM. NIGHT. 78
From a record on the gramophone. The table is set for ten,
although no one is at dinner but Sofya Andreyevna and
Valentin. He is visibly uncomfortable. An awkward silence.
I hope you're feeling better.
Do you like the opera?
I took singing lessons for years.
I thought about a career in
music. The only thing I lacked,
in the end, was talent.
I'm sorry about everything.
This aria is very beautiful.. It
is about a woman who is abandoned
by the man who loves
her...Everyone is very moved by
that...in the opera.
A long pause. The clink of soup spoons. Tolstoy enters.
He doesn't sit.
Our life together has become
Stifling a sneeze, Valentin gets up to leave,tries to flee
the inappropriateness of all this.
Sit down, Valentin.
Really, I'm expected at
She waves it off.
No, no, no. Enjoy your dinner.
We've had a disagreement. No more
than any other married couple.
I didn't come for more
recrimination. Despite good cause
for alienation between us, I have
never stopped loving you.
God knows you don't make it easy.
Why should it be easy? I'm the
work of your life. You're the
work of mine. Its what love is.
Aside to Valentin.
Everything with him is hysterics
I should go.
So, this is what love is. Does
that surprise you, boy?
They both look at him
I thought it might be quieter,
He sneezes violently.
God bless you
Tolstoy turns to Sofya.
He's right, though. If we cannot
live a decent, quiet life, if I
cannot work, if I cannot find
some peace, I shall simply go
Not to Chertkov, but I shall go.
Dushan says you're killing me.
Sofya rises up in cold rage.
Then go! Go! Anywhere you please!
She smashes a plate on the table to punctuate it and
another and another.
I hate you. I hate what you've
She picks up another plate, lets it fall. Now, she acts as
if she's choking or gasping for breath.
Countess...Are you alright?
She fights with her collar, rips open the front of her
You'll destroy me.
Dushan runs into the room. Sofya continues to tear at her
clothes, stops, begins to pant, then falls to the floor in
Is she alright?
Tolstoy tries to answer, but is overcome by a coughing fit.
Dushan starts toward him but Tolstoy waves him in the
direction of Sofya. He kneels beside her.
Sofya! Open your eyes.
My back. My back... I'm hurting.
You're lying on a fork. Sit up
and you'll improve
markedly...Valentin, help to get
her upstairs, would you?
Valentin helps Sofya to her feet. Dushan gets up himself
and walks to Tolstoy.
She's alright. I'm more concerned
for you... We should all go to
bed before something else
79 OMITTED 79
80 EXT. TELYATINKI COMPOUND. NIGHT. 80
Valentin sits at the bonfire, with other disciples. After a
while he walks towards the house.
81 INT. TELYATINKI. KITCHEN. NIGHT. 81
It's late. The house is quiet. Valentin walks into the
kitchen to see Masha washing the dishes. Exhausted, he
sits, stares at the floor.
It was terrible there today...
between them. They loved each
other so much, but you see what
She stays at the sink, says nothing.
Masha, whatīs the matter?
She speaks without turning to him.
I'm going back to Moscow.
He gets up, goes to her.
Chertkov spoke with me this
afternoon. He says I could be
more useful there...which
Valentin shakes his head. His lip trembles.
This is him punishing us,
punishing me for befriending
Sofya Andreyevna. For not...
This is Chertkov.
We've both disappointed him.
I don't care. You can't go away.
I'll talk to him. I'll make him
change his mind. iīm going to
make you stay.
No, I want to go.
I'm leaving the movement.
You canīt leave Tolstoy.
I am not. Look, when I read his
Confession, it moved me, Valya.
He was searching for freedom.
Freedom from anger. Freedom from
attachment. Freedom from all the
superstition and nonsense of the
church. It moved me so much. I
thought that's what it would be
about. Isn't that what it's
about? Freedom and love? But
they mix it all up.
Masha reaches out and puts her arms around him. Her head
falls against his shoulder.
Come with me. Please.
Bulgakov doesn't know what to say. The silence gets more
awkward as it gets longer. Slowly, she disengages herself
from him,looks him in the eye. She nods.
I'm going to my room.
As she starts away.
Don't leave me, Masha...
I need you.
She turns back for a moment.
I know you do...I know.
Then she's gone.
82 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SOFYA'S BEDROOM/HALLWAY. DAY. 82
Sofya in her bed. A team of doctors hover over her. One of
them peers into her eyes with a sextant-like instrument.
We move into the hall to find DR. ROSSOLIMO, an expert in
mental illness, conferring in the hall with Tolstoy and
I believe the Countess suffers
from a mental degeneracy,
paranoic and hysterical, chiefly
The doctor walks back into the bedroom. Tolstoy red in the
face, walks away down the hall. Dushan catches him.
Why did you bring him here?
He's an old friend, you know,
And astoundingly stupid in the
way of all scientists.
Dushan is wounded by his uncharacteristic lack of
I'm sorry, my friend, but this is
all very upsetting to me.
Tolstoy sits on a small staircase at the end of the hall.
Bulgakov is already there on the step above him.
Take them downstairs. Thank them
for me. Offer them a drink.
You'll be alright?
Valentin Fedorovich will stay
with me, won't you, boy
Valentin nods. Dushan goes to collect the doctors.
MOMENTS LATER-Tolstoy goes to Sofya's bed. He takes her
hand. She looks at him with all the love of a new bride.
Tears come to his eyes. He kisses her hand.
remember now...Yo, what did I
say? What did you mean?
You rest now.
Valentin watches from the doorway as Tolstoy leaves the
bedside and walks out.
83 EXT. ZASYEKA WOODS. DAY. 83
It is an autumn afternoon. Valentin and Tolstoy pick their
way through the thick undergrowth.
As they come into a clearing. Valentin is surprised to see
a portable table and several chairs set up like lawyers
office in the middle of the wood. Sergeyenko fiddles with a
piece of paper on the desk. Chertkov comes toward them.
Tolstoy stops his horse. He turns to Valentin with tears in
You see, I no longer feel I have
a choice in the matter. She
He rides forward toward the approaching Chertkov.
Good afternoon, Leo Nikolayevich.
They help Tolstoy dismount. They lead him to a nearby stump
and place the writing board before him. Sergeyenko hands a
document to Chertkov who lays it on the board.
This will insure that the
complete works will live in the
Your work is the birthright of
the Russian people. Now, they
possess it forever.
Tolstoy looks up at them.
I need a pen.
Chertkov looks at Sergeyenko who swallows hard. No pen.
Sergeyenko moves close to Chertkov, close enough to
You're a secretary. How can you
not have a pen?
Sergeyenko points at Valentin.
He's a secretary, too. Ask him.
Valentin Fedorovich, do you have
Valentin hesitates for a moment, looks at Tolstoy, seated
on the stump, staring into the middle distance.
Valentin fetches it from his satchel.
Pen in hand, Tolstoy hovers over the document. A long
Are you alright?
I feel like a conspirator.
Sergeyenko laughs. Chertkov glares at him. It's beyond
awkward. Valentin looks to the sky, sees the crows
Without further hesitation, Tolstoy picks up the pen and
signs the document. Then he moves away from the group.
Valentin watches him.
84 EXT. ZASYEKA WOODS. DAY. 84
Valentin and Tolstoy water their horses at a stream.
Tolstoy seems weary.
Maybe we should get back. It'll
be dark soon. May I ask you
something that has nothing to do
Of course, my dear.
Do you love your wife?
" Your youth and your desire for
happiness reminds me cruelly of
my age and the impossibility of
happiness for me." When I was
courting Sofya, she was so young
and pure, it seemed impossible
that I'd ever have her.
I didn't want to tell her how I
felt and I wanted to tell her
nothing else. So I wrote down a
string of letters and asked her
if she could decipher them. She
looked completely confused,
thinking it was a game or...
Tolstoy looks into the middle distance, remembering his
I gave her one clue. The first
two Y's, I said, stand for "your
youth" and then the most
miraculous thing happened. She
simply spoke the phrase, my
Tolstoy looks at Valentin as if the boy might offer some
explanation of the miraculous.
...as if she had read my mind.
In that moment, we both knew we
would always be together. For
those first years, we were
incredibly happy, terrifyingly
His old eyes are wet.
And now this.
Tolstoy reaches into his boot, extracts his SECRET DIARY.
He takes a pen from his shirt, begins to write. Valentin is
amazed. HE HAD A PEN ALL THE TIME.
85 INT. TELYATINKI. MEETING ROOM. NIGHT. 85
Valentin exhausted, sits at the long table. Chertkov
appears at his office door.
Thank you again, Valentin
Fedorovich, for your forethought.
I'm a secretary, after all.
Chertkov let's it go.
You know I had thought for a time
to suggest that Leo Nikolayevich
look for someone else. But...he
said no. He said "He reminds me
of myself when I was young."
He goes. After a moment, Valentin gets up and goes to the
I'm leaving Telyatinki.
I am going to Moscow.
She is leading you around the
Look, you say the movement's
Yes... The love he tells us to
practice, the love of the
Gospels. Why do I have to explain
this? Perfect love. Eternal love.
The love that binds mankind
But I've never met mankind, only
men and women, imperfect men,
Leo Nikolayevich also teaches us
love can not be weakminded.
Go. You won't be missed ...a
Valentin looks at him for a long moment, then bursts out
laughing, walks away
Why are you laughing? You think
I'm laughing because I didn't
86 OMITTED 86
87 OMITTED 87
88 OMITTED 88
89 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. TOLSTOY STUDY/BEDROOM. DAY. 89
Tolstoy has fallen asleep at his desk, his SECRET DIARY
open before him. Sofya enters without knocking. He bolts up
groggily, tries to hide the little book. Sofya, meanwhile,
holds up the letter in her hand.
Lyovochka? Prozeveskeny wants to
purchase the rights to your work
after your death.
Then I shall try and die as soon
as is convenient.
Don't be silly. They've offered
one million rubles.
How can you not be pleased?
I don't write for publishers. I
write for people.
He gets up from his desk.
Where are you going?
Valentin's in the library. He's
asked to speak to me.
Splendid...while your wretched
family is left to starve.
I don't see anyone starving in
this house. On the contrary, our
privilege revolts me.
He goes. She calls after him.
But you're always first to the
trough...always have been.
Sofya sinks into his chair. On the desk is the photograph
of herself and Tolstoy that we saw her hang on the wall in
the early part of the film. She looks at the wall. There
in it's place is the offending photograph of CHERTKOV that
she had removed earlier.
She can fix that. But as she picks up the photo of her and
her husband, she notices A SMALL VOLUME, THE SECRET DIARY,
lying under it. She begins to read.
90 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 90
Valentin waits on the sofa. Tolstoy walks in, goes to him.
What is it, dear boy? You look
unhappy. What do you want to
But before Valentin can respond A GUNSHOT RINGS OUT.
91 OMITTED 91
92 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. TOLSTOY BEDROOM/STUDY. DAY. 92
Sofya sits in a chair, firing shot after shot at the
photograph of Chertkov. Tolstoy and Valentin enter.
Sofya, what are you doing?
She turns toward him, waves the gun in his direction.
Valentin ducks against the wall.
How could you do this to me?
You're not well.
You hurt me again and again. You
take little pieces of me until I
become nothing. I don't know who
I am anymore.
I read your diary. I know what
You behave like this, I have no
choice. Now give me the gun.
No! Give me the gun!
Give it to me, please.
Sofya throws the gun at her husband. She runs out of the
room. We see the shattered photograph of Chertkov.
After a moment, Tolstoy into his chair. Valentin watches
him in silence.
I'd like you to stay here
Yes, of course.
With that, the old man gets up and leaves the room, leaving
Valentin in the wreckage of his world.
93 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. NIGHT. 93
The wind blows the trees around the old house. We see a
lighted lamp move up the stairs.
94 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. NIGHT. 94
Valentin in his makeshift bed.
He is immediately awake. Sasha, lamp in hand, crouches
Get up. He's leaving.
95 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. TOLSTOY'S BEDROOM/STUDY. NIGHT. 95
Bags are being prepared. Sasha is packing clothes.
Essentials only. Nothing that
isn't absolutely necessary.
Valentin struggles to close a case full of books and
Please...we must hurry.
Where will you go?
No one responds. Dushan comes to Tolstoy, sits down and
begins the ritual taking of the pulse. Meanwhile, Sasha
wraps a heavy fur coat around his shoulders. She smiles at
A lantern, I think. It's very
And the apparatus for giving an
96 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. NIGHT. 96
The horses are hitched to the droshky, the bags are up on
Dushan climbs into the carriage. Tolstoy turns abruptly and
walks back toward the house.
He's changed his mind. He's going
back to the house.
They watch as Tolstoy kneels on the wet grass, bending low
to rub his hands against the earth. After a moment,
Valentin goes to him, kneels next to him.
Do you want to go back?
When I was a boy, my brother
Nikolai once brought me to a
place when I was a boy. He told
me he'd found a green stick with
some words on it... the secret to
happiness for all men everywhere.
He hid it in the ground. I looked
for it very often. I've looked
for it all these years. I really
believed I would find it
here...but I never did.
Tolstoy looks at him.
I never did...but this life is
behind me now.
He kisses the ground of his beloved home, gets up and they
walk back to the droshky.
Help me up, will you?
As they go, he hands Valentin an envelope.
Give this to Sofya.
They reach the carriage. Sasha embraces him, kisses him
over and over.
Be well. Be well.
Don't cry. I'll send for you when
They help him up onto the droshky and the carriage starts
slowly away from the old house.
97 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. MORNING 97
Out in front of the house, an old peasant woman pulls the
feathers off a chicken. Over her impassive face, we hear
deep, heavy sobs.
98 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SITTING ROOM. DAY. 98
Sofya is in a rage. Sasha sits nearby.
I'm simply telling you what
happened. He's gone. I have no
idea where. Nobody does.
You're a liar.
Sasha won't rise to the bait.
Valentin comes into the room.
So, he's gone.
I think so, yes.
There is a pause. Sofya suddenly smiles, becomes
Darling Sasha, where is your
father? I know you know. Please,
please. Don't play games with me.
Now itīs not the moment.
Honestly, I have no idea.
DON'T PLAY GAMES WITH ME.
I have this for you.
It is a letter. She grabs it, as if it is something that
might feed a terrible hunger at the center of her. Moving
into a corner, she tears it open and begins to read.
They both watch Sofya's passion. Her face quivers, the
muscles in her neck stand out. Her shoulders begin to
Crumbling the paper in her hand, she twists her head and
screams. Then, gathering up her dress, she runs out the
Sasha move immediately to the window. From her P.O.V., we
see Sofya streaking across the lawn.
They look at each other
They run out.
99 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY. 99
Sofya sprints away from the house and into the trees. A
couple of servants join the chase, Ivan and VANYA, a fat
manservant. Valentin, head of the group, sees Sofya move
out of the birches. She's heading straight to the pond.
Sasha suddenly steams past him.
Mama, Mama! Stop. Not this.
100 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. POND. DAY 100
Sofya has reached the bathhouse. Peasant women watch her as
they do their wash. She glances back her pursuers, races
Tiring now, she goes to her knees. She crawls along the
jetty toward the water. At the edge of the jetty, she
falls on her back then turns over, most ungracefully, and
rolls off sideways into the pond.
HIGH ANGLE. Sofya sinks into the black water. The sound of
her rescuers fades away and is replaced by Tolstoy's voice,
reading the farewell note she still clutches in her hand.
My position in the house has
become intolerable. What I'm
doing now is what people have
commonly done - leave their
worldly life behind to spend
their last days in peace and
SLOW MOTION She floats, strangely relaxed, beneath the
I beg you to forgive me for
everything I've done to you, just
as I forgive you with all my soul
for everything you've done to me.
The silence is suddenly ripped apart by the rescuers. Sasha
and Valentin jumping into the pond. Sasha, barely able to
swim herself, thrashes in the water.
Sasha, go back to the jetty.
Here, let me help you.
He offers his arm, using it to push her to safety.
No! She's drowning. Help her!
I will. I will. Stay here.
With that, he pushes away from the dock and makes a sharp
plunge under the water.
Sasha watches, waits...and after a long moment Valentin
surfaces pulling Sofya with him.
On the dock, the servants and Sasha help him to get her
heavy body , water soaked dress, back onto the bank.
She looks terrible. Her tongue lolling out, water drizzling
from her open mouth. Sasha is overcome.
She's dead. My mother. She's
Ivan takes action. He rolls her on to her stomach, works to
expel water from her lungs. This goes on for an agonizing
length of time. Valentin looks to the sky... dull and gray.
Then a sound, coughing sputtering. She is alive. Sasha,
Valentin, and the servants help up.
Let me take you to the house,
Let me die. Please. Why would
you rob me of that?
Let's go to the house.
Sofya is suddenly clear, almost calm.
Ivan, go to the station. Find out
which train the master took.
Ivan looks at Sasha for approval.
I see no harm in it. Let's get
her to bed.
Valentin nods. Ivan appears beside him.
Life returns to torture her for
He laughs out loud,then walks away.
101 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. DINING ROOM. DAY. 101
Sasha walks into dining room. Valentin pours them tea.
She's exhausted herself. She's
slept for nearly four hours.
I'm glad she can sleep. The pain
subsides a little.
The noise subsides a little.
They smile at each other.
Well, a little.
Ivan comes down the stairs. He stops in the doorway.
A message, miss.
No, for your father. From the
She's allowed to send a note to
my father. I just don't know
where to tell her to send it.
She's addressed it to train
number 9. That's the train the
master took. The station master
Why are you giving it to me? She
is allowed to send my father a
Ivan steps forward and hands her the note to inspect. Sasha
can't help but laugh.
She never gives up.
(reading the note)
"Dearest papa. Return at once.
Sasha." She signed it with my
She pockets the note. Ivan continues to stand there. Sasha
looks at him.
He gave me this as well...the
stationmaster. A note for you.
Sasha opens it, reads. She looks up, flushed with
He's with my aunt. At the
Sasha runs out of the room.
102 EXT. YASNAYA POLYANA. GROUNDS. DAY 102
Sasha, on horse back, rides up and by the camera and away
down the alley of trees that lead away from the house.
They've all gone
103 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. DAY. 103
Sitting at his desk, Valentin looks up to see Sofya
standing in the doorway. She looks exhausted.
She walks to his desk.
You're writing to your girl.
Sofya touches his shoulder with real affection, then walks
across the room to her husband's desk.
I don't know if she's my girl.
But you believe you'll see her
I very much hope so.
Yes. Refuse to believe in the end
of love. Do all you can to
Sofya picks up a photograph of the two of them, examines
I know you know where he is,
Valentin hesitates. She walks back to him.
I won't ask you to betray his
trust...but I need you to go to
him. I do. I have to see him. I
have to talk to him. I won't
make a scene. Promise him that. I
must see him.
103A OMITTED 103A
104 OMITTED 104
105 OMITTED 105
106 OMITTED 106
107 OMITTED 107
108 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAWN 108
Clouds of steam against the white sky. A great black train
travels through the bleak world
109 INT. THIRD CLASS CARRIAGE. DAY. 109
Tolstoy rests on the hard bench of the third class carriage
he always insists on. He writes on his lapboard. We pan to
an adjacent bench to find VALENTIN, now with them. He and
Sasha have a map spread out in front of them.
He's right, you know, to go. She
will be right behind us.
Iīve told you she has promised
she wouldnīt make any problems.
But besides, where are we going?
Tolstoy has overheard them.
We don't need a plan, my dears,
we'll simply go
Dushan appears with several newspapers. As he hands them
the papers, he reads the HEADLINES.
TOLSTOY ABANDONS HOME!
WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN...SAGE OF
YASNAYA POLYANA TAKES FLIGHT!
Tolstoy looks up from the papers, smiles.
I guess our little secret is out.
110 OMITTED 110
111 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SITTING ROOM. DAY 111
Sofya sits surrounded by the papers. Andrey appears.
There's a reporter outside from
the Russian World.
Tell him we've received an
apologetic letter from your
father..very embarrassed. We
expect him back any day...
But that's a lie, right?
Yes, that's a lie.
112 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY 112
The huge iron wheels grind on.
113 INT. THIRD CLASS TRAIN CARRIAGE. DAY 113
Tolstoy sleeps. People still crowd around him.
Please move back. Please let him
breath. Please give him some
He canīt breath. Valentin,
The smoke is too much.
I know. Stay back.
Where are we?
It's alright. Everything's fine.
He reaches out to touch Tolstoy's forehead. He goes pale.
Where are we?
Let me take your temperature.
The old man lifts his shirt, takes the thermometer under
his arm. Dushan reaches for his wrist. Valentin and Sasha
look at each other, wait for the vital signs. He takes the
thermometer from Tolstoy, reads it.
He's clearly shaken.
Good old Dushan,...you needn't
worry. Remember, you are my
doctor, not my angel. Whatever
happens, it's not your fault...
I'm feeling much better now. I
just need to sleep.
Good, good. Yes.
He drifts off again, Dushan stares at the thermometer. His
eyes fill with tears.
He will be fine.
114 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY 114
The train pulls into a small, dusty station, ASTAPOVO.
Valentin and Dushan support, help him off the train. Sasha
looks at the sad, empty platform.
We've come to the end of the
115 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 115
Dushan and Tolstoy sit on a bench on the platform. Sasha
and Valentin appear.
The stationmaster says we may
have his house for as long as we
need it. There are no inns
nearby, so we're lucky.
They help Tolstoy up. A little bearded man, the station
master, waits to escort them.
You'll be comfortable here, papa.
The rest of us...we'll find cots
or sleep in the station.
And then we'll be on our way.
116 OMITTED 116
117 OMITTED 117
118 INT. ASTAPOVO. TELEGRAPH OFFICE. NIGHT. 118
Valentin approaches the operator.
Hello, hello? Could you send a
cable for me?
119 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. LIBRARY. NIGHT 119
A message comes over the cable machine.
Tolstoy ill at Astapovo.
Temperature high. Send it to
Sofya Andreyevna, Yasnaya
120 INT. YASNAYA POLYANA. SITTING ROOM. NIGHT. 120
Sofya paces. Andrey lolls on the couch reading the paper.
We must leave at once.
We'll make inquiries in the
We'll rent a train.
That'll cost a fortune.
Don't say irrelevant things,
Andrey. It's unbecoming.
Contact someone. I'll go and
Rent a train? God!
121 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 121
Press and various hangers on have begun to arrive at
Astapovo. Outside the station master's house, Dushan gives
an update, temperature, pulse.
Valentin emerges from the telegraph office, telegrams and
cables in his hands. A long passenger train pulls in from
the north. There's general commotion at the new arrival.
"The Countess." "Is it the Countess?"... More press, a
cinematographer lugging his gear and CHERTKOV. He spots
Valentin. There is no greeting, no embrace.
Bulgakov! Where is he? Take me
As they make their way across the tracks, Chertkov can
barely contain his glee.
actually, finally left.
He wasn't well enough to travel.
It's very cold.
Chertkov doesn't hear, He's basking in his victory.
It's a triumph for the movement.
122 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. DAY. 122
Valentin leads Chertkov through the door. Chertkov stops
He looks so small.
Now, Tolstoy sees him, wakes up, smiles.
The men embrace. Tears roll down the both men's cheeks.
Tolstoy continues to hiccup throughout.
My dear friend, waht is all of
I needed (hic) to see you. Thank
you. We have so much (hic) to
do. (hic) Iīm sorry. Damn hic
Have you seen Sofya?
I've made a point not to.
I don't know when (hic) she'll
come. But she'll come (hic). I
And we'll be ready.
Ready for what?
Chertkov doesn't respond.
I'm sorry, but it's time for your
Don't apologize, my friend. Your
enemas(hic)have become the news
of the world.
Now, all of you, help turn me
123 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. NIGHT. 123
Everyone is asleep. Valentin keeps a vigil at Tolstoy's
bedside. His rest is fitful, his breathing ragged. Valentin
stands and walks out.
124 INT. ASTAPOVO. TELEGRAPH OFFICE. NIGHT. 124
Valentin approaches the little window.
I'd like to send another cable.
The man nods, readies his pencil.
At Astapovo. Stop. Tolstoy Ill.
Stop. Heart breaking. Stop.
Please Come.... That's it.
The man looks to him for an address.
It goes to Masha...to Maria
Filipovna Melinov, Moscow. Thank
125 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 125
The media circus is in town. There are snack bars and huts,
an army camp with typewriters instead of guns. Several news
cameras are set up near the stationmaster's house. Tents
have been erected as make shift shelters and offices.
Reporters struggle to get into the telegraph office. Word
goes around something big is happening.
At the platform, we see the highly polished private train
pull in. The Countess has arrived.
SOFYA APPEARS in her handsome traveling clothes. An
unctuous little orthodox priest follows her out of the
If the Count should have a change
of heart...if in the last moment
he chooses to confess, mother
church is there to embrace him
with open arms.
I'll see what I can do, father.
She moves with purpose across the tracks and through the
throng Reporters pelt her with questions.
126 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. DAY. 126
Chertkov, Sasha and Valentin watch through the window.
She's coming this way.
Chertkov starts to put on his coat.
Not before she stops to tell them
lies, catalogue my atrocities.
Let me speak to her.
He heads toward the door.
127 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY 127
Sofya has reached the edge of the platform where DUSHAN
gives his medical update, temperature and pulse, to the
press. She pulls Dushan aside. Reporters surround them.
I want to see my husband.
I want to see him. Now!
Dushan is terrified. Valentin arrives at the platform.
Valentin...Will you help me? I
have to see him. Please.
Of course. But I'm not certain if
itīs the best time, Countess.
She starts toward the building.
It is. It's the right time for
(to the crowd) Stay back, stay
128 EXT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. DAY 128
As Valentin arrives outside the door, he see Sofya
physically recoil. She is confronted by Chertkov and Sasha
blocking the door.
I want to see my husband.
Members of the press, crowd `round trying to listen.
He's too weak now, mother.
But he's not too weak to see you.
Not too weak to see that...
She gestures in Chertkov's direction. The passion attracts
Do you really want to do this
She does her best to ignore him.
I am the leper outside the gate,
while he sleeps with the devil
Vladimir Gregorovich is here
because father asked him to be
This stops Sofya for a moment. She looks to Valentin.
Is that true?
Valentin nods. She tries another tack.
Have you told him I nearly
drowned in the pond?
We didn't have to. It was in all
Valentin is very aware of the publicness of it all.
Let me take you back.
But she plows on.
What did he say?
That if you killed yourself, he'd
He'd be upset?
Horribly upset...but he could not
have acted other than he did.
Sofya begins to sob.
I want to see him.
He's not your husband. He's my
Sasha goes back toward the door.
And you are a stone-hearted bitch
of a daughter.
Sasha disappears back inside. Sofya screams after her.
I lost five children. Why
couldn't one of them have been
Chertkov watches, makes little attempt to conceal his
Are you finished?
A pause. Sofya is suddenly aware of the crowd around her.
Valentin, will you take me back?
Yes, of course.
Sofya takes his arm, starts back across the platform.
Shaken, she tries her best to maintain her dignity as she
walks through the crowd. She leans against Valentin,
I've behaved badly, haven't I?
No, Countess, Don't worry. Not at
Around her, journalists ask questions, photographers call
out "Turn to us, Countess." "Show us your eyes."
129 OMITTED 129
130 INT. ASTAPOVO. PRIVATE TRAIN. DAWN. 130
Valentin, in his wrinkled suit, is asleep in a chair. He
wakes to see Sofya stretched out on the sofa. He watches
her. She doesn't stir. After a moment, he goes out.
131 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY 131
Valentin emerges from the telegraph office. He walks along
the platform, a stack of letter and telegrams in his hands.
A few reporters type their early morning dispatches.
132 OMITTED 132
133 OMITTED 133
134 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. DAY. 134
Valentin comes into the room, acknowledges Chertkov who
sits at his makeshift desk going through letters and
cables. He goes to the bedside, stops next to Dushan.
Silence, interrupted only by Tolstoy's incessant hiccups.
Valentin notices Dushan is on the verge of tears.
What is it? Dushan, whatīs wrong?
Listen to him. I'm supposed to
be a doctor, for God's sake.
Weak, feverish, Tolstoy sits up in bed. Sasha moves to
What is it? What is it?
Valentin goes to Tolstoy. He's in a kind of panic. Chertkov
comes into the room.
She's come, hasn't she? She`s
He points to the corner. But it is nothing, a gray shape
thrown by a coat rack.
You're imagining things.
It's true, Leo Nikolayevich.
Sasha...where's your mother?
Tolstoy's eyes fill with tears. Valentin looks to Sasha.
She looks from him to Chertkov.
She's at home.
If she wanted to see me I
couldn't refuse her.
Is she going to come here?
All eyes are on Sasha.
I don't think so...I don't know,
Papa. There's no way to...
Will she waiver? A long, agonizing beat.
She's at home. I'm sure of it.
Valentin looks at the floor.
Tolstoy nods, pats Sasha's hand.
Very beautiful isn't it?
He leans back against the pillow and drifts again. Sasha
gets up and goes outside. After a moment, Valentin
135 EXT. ASTAPOVO. STATION MASTER'S HOUSE. DAY 135
Valentin sees her leaning against the wall. She's in pain.
He said to me once..."you're like
your mother. You're so full of
She turns to him.
I know it's terrible...but who
will protect him? I don't want
him to die.
Valentin touches her face, goes back inside and into
136 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATION MASTER'S HOUSE. LIVING ROOM. DAY. 136
Where Chertkov has made a makeshift office. He pores
through the cables, letters and telegrams that litter the
station master's dining table. He holds one up for
Kind thoughts from George Bernard
Valentin walks to the table.
You lied to him.
Keep your voice down.
He wants to see her. You heard
him say it.
What exactly do you think she
will bring him?
I donīt know, theyīve been
married for 48 years.
Iīll tell you what sheīll
bring...Vanity, fuss and noise.
She promised me-
What? Promised you what? Youīve
seen her at close quarters, boy.
You think sheīs capable of
They have a whole life togehter.
Why do you have to deny that?
You're a victim of her romantic
nonsense. You seem to forget she
wants to destroy everything we
do. She travels with that
unctious little priest.
Keep the priest away-
These people are vultures. They
send in at the last moment and
welcome him back to the church.
That's their fantasy.
A death bed recantation. Do you
have any idea the damage it would
do? Everything he's dreamed of,
everything we've worked for will
be gone. A simple noble death is
what we want. It is what he
No, you want an icon. You want to
take photographs and give out
postcards..You want people to
kneel in front of an image youīve
created. But he doesnīt wanted
that. He never wanted that, and
it will give him no peace.
He wants to see her...let her
They see Sasha looking from the door. She turns and closes
I will do everything in my power
to prevent that.
Oh, God. You exhaust me.
I used to think you were just
naive, Valentin, maybe a little
stupid. I see now you're more
dangerous than she is.
He turns back at the door.
Tell me one thing. That image you
want to create, just looks like
you, doesnīt it?
Valentin leaves the room.
137 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. NIGHT. 137
The circus sleeps. Valentin sits on a bench outside the
station master's house. The tents erected by the press
glow like lanterns in the field.
Some people lie on the hard platform. He looks across the
tracks at Sofya's private car. A single light burns in the
138 INT. ASTAPOVO. PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGE. NIGHT. 138
Sofya keeps her solitary vigil. The priest has fallen
asleep sitting up. She finishes her prayers, gets up,
looks across at the lonely cottage. She can make out
Valentin's figure on the platform.
139 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM.NIGHT 139
Dushan appears in the doorway. Solemn, he gestures for him
to come inside. Valentin stands.
140 INT. ASTAPOVO. PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGE. NIGHT. 140
Sofya watches the two figures disappear inside.
141 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. NIGHT. 141
Valentin sees Chertkov standing near the bed. Dushan
returns to the chair next to Tolstoy. His cheeks are damp,
his breathing irregular.
It can't be right. His fever is
His pulse, you see...
Dushan begins to cry. Suddenly, Tolstoy becomes lucid.
Sofya...my dear Sofya. So much
has (hic) fallen to her.
Everyone moves nearer the bed. Tolstoy looks at Valentin.
Who's going to look after her?
Someone needs to look after her.
There is a long pause. Sasha looks at Valentin.
Shall I call her?
This is it(hic). The end.
He seems to smile.
Do you want to see her, papa?
He falls onto his pillow, asleep.
It's almost over.
Sasha looks at him, shakes her head.
I can't do this anymore.
He wonīt know who she is anyway.
142 INT. ASTAPOVO. TRAIN CARRIAGE. NIGHT. 142
Everyone sleeps but Sofya. There is a knock on the door.
Sofya opens it. It is Sasha. A pause.
Has he asked for me?
I want you to come. Take a coat.
143 EXT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. NIGHT. 143
Sofya and Sasha walk to the door. The reporter calls out
Countess...Countess...Do you have
any information? Countess...Is he
dying? Is he dead?
Sasha takes her mother's hand.
144 INT. ASTAPOVO. STATIONMASTER'S HOUSE. NIGHT. 144
She steps into the room. For a moment, she seems
overwhelmed at the sight of him. She looks at Valentin, who
nods at her as if to say go on. Sofya walks past Chertkov
without acknowledging him. Dushan lets go his hold of
Tolstoy's wrist and gets out of the chair, out of her way.
She approaches her sleeping, husband, the love of her life,
her cross, her everything.
There is no response. She throws her arms around him.
Please forgive me, my darling!
I'm a fool.. I'm a selfish woman.
But I love you. Please believe
me. Please understand me. Please
forgive me for all my weakness
and badness. Please! Please! Love
Sasha takes her hand, whispers.
Was I shouting?
You have to control yourself.
Sofya looks around and sits back. Strangely, she does
control herself. She becomes very still. She takes her
husband's hand, begins quietly to speak to him.
You don't speak, but I hear you.
She carries on two sides of an impossible conversation.
"Do you love me, Lyovochka."
"Never stopped, my little bird."
"And you will never stop"
"Nor ever leave me again."
"Never, ever again.
"Good...good... let's go home"
She sits very still holding her husband's hand. Then, it
seems she feels the slightest of movements, the slightest
squeeze of her hand. She looks down to see Tolstoy open his
eyes. He looks at her for a moment, the hint of a smile,
then closes his eyes again.
Valentin sees it, glances at Sasha. Then, he begins to
fight for breath.
A general sense of panic at the proximity of death. Tolstoy
fights for a last breath.
Sofya whispers quietly to her dying husband.
Please forgive me if I cry a
Tolstoy continues to struggle, then silence, silence.
Sasha starts to sob. Sofya reaches out to her daughter.
Sasha comes to her mother who holds her.
She feels someone next to her. She looks up. It's
I am sorry, Sofya Andreyevna.
The most unlikely thing, she pats his hand.
It's alright. What happens from
now on... it will never really
matter. Not really. Everything's
Chertkov sits beside them. She turns to Dushan.
Dushan, could you tell them your
great friend is gone?
He nods, walk out into the dawn light to tell the world Leo
Tolstoy is dead.
145 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY 145
A sizeable crowd has assembled, the usual reporters,
photographers, cinematographers, but students, too, and
soldiers, factory workers, housewives.
Dushan faces the crowd. Quiet. Quiet.
At ten minutes after six in the
morning, a great soul passed from
our world. Leo Nikoleyevich
Tolstoy is dead.
As Dushan finishes his tribute, a single voice begins to
sing the old Russian hymn, Eternal Memory. Gradually, more
and more of the crowd picks it up. Valentin begins to sing.
His eyes run over the crowd of mourners. Then, something
stops the flow of his gaze. His eyes fill with tears.
Masha. She walks slowly toward him out of the crowd. He
goes to her, takes her in a long embrace.
Masha...Masha...I'm so sorry he's
gone. Heīs gone.
Yes. Yes. I know, but I came for
you, Valya. I came for you, too.
I love you. I do. I love you.
Then, hold me. Hold me. Hold me.
The song, the voices swell around them. They hold each
other like they will never let go.
146 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 146
A black draped funeral train waits in the station. Many
mourners are congregated on the platform. Chertkov comes
out of the little house, followed by Andrey, Valentin and
Dushan carrying Tolstoy's coffin to the train.
Sofya appears with Sasha, who escorts her through the
crowd. The Orthodox priest approaches .
As a daughter of the church, I'm
sure you wouldn't object to my
saying a few words at the
Sofya stares at him for a long moment.
My husband needs no
justification. Besides, itīs been
enough talking as it is. Thank
She climbs onto the train.
147 INT. ASTAPOVO. PRIVATE CARRIAGE. DAY. 147
Sofya settles into the comfort of the private car. She sits
next to Sasha. Andrey and Dushan are near her. There's a
noise from outside.
She looks out. Below the train window, Valentin and Masha
stand hand in hand. She gets up and opens the window.
148 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 148
Excuse me, Countess. This may
not be the time, but-
Valentin... and who's this...
Masha...this is Masha.
This is your girl. Good. Good.
Is there anything I can do for
No, no. Not at all. I just wanted
to say good bye.
Yes...Good bye, good bye. God
God bless you, too.
149 INT. ASTAPOVO. PRIVATE TRAIN. DAY 149
Sofya sits back down with Sasha. They hold hands.
Well, I'm ready to go now.
Why arenīt we moving? Can't
someone make it move?
But at that moment, the train begins to move.
150 EXT. ASTAPOVO. PLATFORM. DAY. 150
Sofya looks out the window, sees the people lined up along
the rail, mourn her loss. As she looks away, we see the
people reflected in the glass, some of them kneel, some of
them remove their hats.
Valentin watches the train pull away. He holds Masha to
As the train moves slowly through the corridor of mourners,
some of them fall in and walk behind it. The camera travels
up and up as the train travels north taking Sofya and her
husband back to Yasnaya Polyana.