Edges of the Lord (2001) - full transcript

Polish 12 year-young city Jew Romek gets a crash-course in Catholicsim from his daddy ('stay hanging by your arms till your prayers are perfect') so he can be sent away and escape deportation (Auschwitz?) hiding in the country where the clergy found a host, Gniecio's simple peasant family, posing as their city relative. Gniecio's eldest son Vladek proves rather tyrannical but no brighter then gullible junior Tollo, who takes a role play in catechism class to 'become' a Last Supper character, in his case Jesus, to the extreme, even training for a crucifixion from a tree. Neighbor Batylin and his wife are executed by the Nazis when their illegally kept pig is found. Kluba plays a dirty trick when Gniecio tries to sell his in the city; his son is as problematic for the boys, who meanwhile play involving a single girl-playmate, Maria, who takes Romek in when he's stupidly thrown out by his widowed host by mistake. The horror of war itself suddenly shows its ugly head again, big time and in weird ways with unforeseen consequences...

I was 11 when I came to realize

how dangerous it was
to be a Jew.

My father called me
to his study one day

and said, in order to survive,
we had to separate.

Papa then began to pound the
Catholic prayers into my head

so that I would pretend to be
a Catholic,

assuring me that God
would understand.

But when he began to put me
in the closet,

my mother and father
began to argue,

and once I heard him cry.

Does the Holy Communion really
taste like blood and flesh?

Hail Marys.

Can't let go until you finish.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary...

Mother of God, pray for us now
and at our deaths later.

No, that's not it.

You need to be strong.

I brought the potatoes.

I can't lift my arms.

Don't make me do it anymore.


Max, he's here.

You told me
he was coming on Thursday.

He wants to take him right away.

What happened?

Professor, if you want me
to take the boy,

it has to happen now.

Wait, wait, wait.

There's no time.

It has to be now.

But he's not ready.

He has nothing packed.

Professor, yes or no?

Do you have the baptismal


The priest arranged them
for all three of you.


Sara, bring him here!


Go, get him some clothes,

He is not going anywhere!

Let go now!

Papa! No!

No! No!

- No! Mama, no!
- Go, Romek.

Romek, you have to go now.

I don't want to go.

Papa, please, let me stay!

- Romek.
- Let me stay!



Boy, get down.

Papa! Papa!

Let me stay!







What do you carry in your cart?


Arrest him!

He must be stopped!

Jew! Jew!

It's him.


Let's go.

On your way.

Hyah! Hyah!

Praise the Lord.

So, this is the boy.



Oh, no.

Father, she's driving me crazy.

You must talk to her.

She's telling me again I stink.

Then maybe it's time
to jump in the river.

But I can't swim.

Find a shallow spot.

As we approached the village,

Mr. Lipa said that the Germans
love to kill and eat a lot.

They took from the Poles almost
all the cows, goats, and peeps.

Vladek, open the gate.

- Hello, neighbor.
- Hello.

You have a visitor?

Yes. This is my wife's
cousin's son.

They lost their house
in a bombing.

He's going to stay with us
for a few months.

What nice, noble features.

He looks like a precious
music box.

Vladek, faster!


I'm glad Mr. Lipa
was such a good liar.

He said, "You're part
of my family from Krakow now."

His name is Romek.

Vladek, say grace.

Bless... Bless us...

Bless us for these...

For these, uh...

Bless us for...

Why don't you make him say it?


You say it.

Bless us, O Lord,
for these, thy gifts,

which we are about to receive,

from thy bounty,
through Christ, our Lord.


Vladek, I want you
to go to the quarry

and wash the cart
for Sunday Mass.

Papa, can I show him the pig?


Can I show him the pig?

After the meal.

Romek, come.

Listen, boy, don't tell anyone
about this pig.


You understand?

It wasn't very smart

for Mr. Lipa to hide a pig
and a Jew in the same house.

If the Germans find out
about the pig...



He's going to get us all killed.

It's just for a few months.

Vladek, not a word of this
to Tolo.

For hiding a pig
from the Germans,

there was a penalty of death.


Tolo, come here!



No, Vladek, no!

No, stop it!

No, Vladek!

Stop it, Vladek!


Pyra, leave him alone.


- Stop it!
- Pyra!

My mother said
that the world was upside down.

Two plus two equaled seven
or even one hundred,

but never four.

Right answers were dangerous.

And so were the kids.

Especially Maria,
Vladek's girlfriend.

And Robal and Pyra.

Hey, look!
Vladek's cousin! He's a spy.

Get him!

He's too pretty.

Let's hang him.

Come on, you guys.

Let him go.

Hey, hey, hey.

Where is Romek?


In pig house.


Vladek put him there.

Go and get him in here.


Stop it.

You two better get along.

You understand?

Answer me!

You sleep together tonight.

My brother knows how
to break noses, you know.

Vladek, show him.

Show him.

If Papa hadn't stopped me,
you would have gotten this.

You are dead.


Come sleep in my bed.

She's having
her nightmare again.

Shut up.

She works so hard
during the day,

and it all comes back
to her at night.

Tolo is so stupid.

I would like this one there.

She's a pretty little peach.

On Sunday, I went to a church
for the first time in my life.

I was scared.

I knew all the other children
would be there.

'Cause when you really
look at the group

that Jesus surrounded
himself with,

they were all human mongrels.


We are all lucky to be alive.

Everybody here who goes to the
toilet every day for one minute

should be happy.

But can you smile
like this little child?


All I ever hear from you

are grunts and groans
and complaints,

but somehow, you survive
another day to fill your mouth

with the food
your wife is feeding you.

How can you be so ungrateful?

How can you be so unkind to God?

Today, I'm starting
catechism classes

for all those lost souls
who, because of the war,

haven't had
their First Communion yet.

Vladek, Pyra.

Maria, Romek,
and you, too, Tolo.

I want you all
at the first class

this afternoon after the Mass.

Be there, or you're dead.

Now, what is the Holy Communion?

A wafer.

Tolo thinks it's a wafer.

Vladek, what do you think?


It is the feast of the Body
and Blood of Christ.

Exactly, Romek.

Hey! Jesus!

Who's got a knife?



You little fools.

You think it's wine
I'm drinking at the altar

every Sunday at Holy Communion?


It's the Blood of Christ.

And is not a wafer.

It's Christ's Flesh.

Can I have my knife back?

Father, Father!

The Germans came
to Batylin's field.

They're looking for pigs!

Don't shoot!

Don't shoot!

That's good, good.



More fire here.

That's it.

Officer, please,
take the pigs and forgive them.

Catch me these pigs.


Catch me these pigs.

For every pig you catch,
you save one life.

Now you're a pig-catcher.

I'll give you one minute
for each one.

Ah, da, da.


Now, you still have one minute.

Come on.

Come on.

Why did Maria run away?

She saw her parents
being killed like that.

Now she acts weird sometimes.

Did you go to the trains?

None of your business.

Go to sleep.

What trains?

I can't tell you.

Why not?

Vladek told me not to.

The day after
the killing in the fields,

I saw the priest in the barn.

I think he was arguing
with God.

Hey, Tolo!


You ever see your cousin
before he came here?


Why aren't you
with your parents, boy?

Our house was bombed
by the Germans a few weeks ago,

and my parents...

Ah, yeah.

And my mother got hurt,

and she is staying
with other relatives

who are taking care of her.

You should be
with your family, boy.

One day, the priest
gave us a game to play.

I think that's where Tolo
began to get his strange ideas.

I want you to play
a little game.

Vladek, take these sticks.

The names of the Apostles
are written on them.

There are lots.

Pick two apostles each.

Learn about them.

Become them.

And study this book.

It has pictures.

You almost caught
those pigs, Father.

What did you say?

You almost caught them.

We saw you.

And you.
Get lost.

Jesus didn't play with girls.

Go to hell, Vladek.

I'm not going anywhere.

Hey, Vladek,
there is a blank stick.

We can put Jesus in there.

The priest didn't say
to do Jesus.

You can't have apostles
without Jesus.

I want that Jesus stick.

Give me that blank Jesus stick!

Okay, fine.

The blank one is Jesus.
Fair enough?

Okay, everybody draws
at the same time.

Close your eyes.

Close them.

Okay, here we go.
No peeking.

Hey, give that back!

Na, na, na, na, na, na.

Na, na, na, na, na-na.

Na, na, na, na, na-na.

She got Judas!

The traitor!

You can keep it.

But who got Jesus?

I did.

I should get it.

Give me that.

- No.
- Fine.

You have to hang
on the cross, then.


At night
when it's cold and dark.

It's okay.

But Vladek can't throw me
in the water,

and he can't hit me anymore.

I'm Jesus.

Tolo asked me why
Jesus wanted to be crucified.

"To save all the people,"
I told him.

I think he liked my answer.

Pound it.

Pound it hard!

No, I don't want to do it.


That hurts!

What are you doing?

What are you doing?

I know what they are doing.
They're playing Jesus games.

You know, you can do exercises
that will make it hurt less.

What exercises?

Well, you can put your hand
in a fire.

Or you can run naked
in the rain.

Or you can make a crown
of the rosebush

and wear it on your head.


Come here!

Stop it!
You're drunk!

Shut up!
You shut up!

I want to talk to my neighbor.


Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Neighbor, you know you
have to be very careful.

Germans everywhere.

Batylin kaput.

I know.


You are the most beautiful woman
in this entire village.

I'm sorry, my wife.

You, too, are very beautiful.

But in a different way, I mean.

Lucky devil.

Beautiful wife.

Beautiful farm.

Beautiful cousin.

Is that what you came here for?

It's time to go home.

Gniecio, you are not doing
something stupid

that could get us all killed.

Or are you?

Okay, let's go.

Father, Vladek says that Jesus
didn't play with girls.

Is that true?

Are you still
Vladek's girlfriend?


Did you ever kiss him?

You must be without sin when
you take your First Communion.


You know about Maria Magdalene?


Read about her.

Professor Pyra,
where was Jesus born?

In the Vatican.

Oh, so, he was Italian.

Yes, Father.



He was a Jew.

A Jew?


Get up.

I have an idea.

I will spend an hour in the barn
with my beloved.

Then when I come out,

you will play the villagers
and start to stone me.

Okay, ready?

No chance.

I wanted to scream for help.

But it was too late.

What are they doing?

They are lying naked
on top of each other.

That's awful.

Do you want to see me?

Can I see you?


Why not?


Did she show it to you?

I've seen it 20 times already.

And what did you do to stop me
from going into the barn?

You coward.

I'm through with you!

Soldier, Juden.

Soldier, Jew!

Vladek, are you crazy?
Stop it.

Let's go!


What did you say?



Where is the Jew?

I'm a Jude.

You are?

- Yes.
- No.

No, he is not.

He's joking.

Hans, hurry up.

I'm melting.


Tolo, take off your hat.

Take that hat off.

Take that hat off.

Old witch.

What did you say?


You haven't gotten
a good spanking in a long time.

I need it!

Gniecio, I think you better
talk to this boy.

Look what he's wearing
on his head.

Take the hat off.

Tolo, take the hat off.

Take it off.

Why are you doing this?

For a while, I set one stone
for each day that passed.

But time passed, and there
were more and more stones.

And no one came.

Tonight we are raising the pig.


It's getting too dangerous
to keep it.

Kluba will go with me.

Kluba's been snooping
around here for months.

He asked me to get rid of it.

He has found a buyer in town.


Come on, Romek.

All you have to do is push on
his belly with your hands.





She's having a big nightmare



Oh, no!

Oh, yes!


Oh, no!

Oh, yes!

Let's go.

I'll be back in the morning.

Mr. Lipa was like my father.

He would do anything
for his family.

Be careful.

I will.


Get up.

Get up!

Get up!

Get up.

Get up!

Feed your children!

- Mama, please stop!
- No!

Please stop!


I don't know what happened.

Gniecio left with the man
who bought the pig.

I waited for hours.

Then I went to look for him,

and some people told me
the Germans shot somebody.

I found him in a ditch.

Then I brought him here.

That's all I know.

What about money?

Where is the money?

I checked.

He didn't have any.

Get up.

Get up!

You stupid fool!

Get up!

Get up.

Get up.

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Just watch Tolo.

He loves you so much.

Tolo comforted his mother.

But he never cried.

Then, on the night
of the funeral,

he did something very odd.


Tolo, what are you doing?

- Tolo! Tolo, please!
- Get off me!

- Tolo!
- No!

Tolo, stop! Tolo!

Tolo, are you insane?

Leave me alone!

I have to do my Jesus exercises!

- Tolo!
- No!

Get off of me!

Stop these games.

Tolo! Tolo!

Tolo, you'll be sick again.

Romek, what's going on?

What did you do with him?

He was running in the rain.

Why did you let him?

I didn't.

- What?
- I went to get him.


I told you to watch out for him.

I did.

It was the only thing I asked
you to do in this house for me!

Get out!

- He didn't do it!
- Get out!

- It was me!
- I said get out!

It was me!

Romek, don't go!

Don't go!
Mama, stop him!

Oh, my baby, you are going to be
sick again.

Piss on you!

Piss on you all!

What happened?

Did Vladek do something to you?

They threw me out.

Who's that?

Don't worry.

She can hardly see.

Come here, boy.


City boy.

Lie next to me.

You are so wet.

I felt safe with Maria.

Look at me.

I liked how she smelled
like strawberries.

It reminded me of my mother.

Vladek is coming.

It's okay.

I will talk to him.

What do you want?

I want to talk to Romek.

Romek isn't here.


Tolo is very sick.

He wants you to come back.

He wants all the kids to come.

He asked especially for you!




Mama, go away.


Please, Mama.


I'm sorry.

I have a plan,
and all of you are in it.

On that special night...

What special night?

One night, I'm going to hang
on the tree.

All night.

And I am going to make them all
come back.



Who, Tolo?


And yours.

And yours, too, Romek.

And we all have to take
a bath together.

Get baptized.

Get baptized together
to get ready.

Say yes, everybody.

Yes, Tolo.

Yes, Tolo.

Yes, Tolo.

I'm not putting my head in it.

You have to.

You promised Tolo.

Please stand on the side.

Please do it.

Thank you.

Could you lean down?

I have to kiss you.

Oh, no.

Because you shiver...

in this holy river
and you might get cold,

listen to me

and remember that you all
put your heads in the bucket,

and now you have to follow me.

I'm going to suffer for you.

But I'm going to
make things better.

You did a good job.

Vladek, come here.

It's Robal.

He has been to the trains again.

I knew to avoid Kluba,

but how could I stay away
from his sons?

Well, well, well,
Mr. "Very Late Apostle."

I'm not playing these games

Robal says they're stupid!


What are you going to do?
Stop the war?

You promised.


Make my tooth grow back.

Make my tooth grow back now!

Come up the ladder.

Close your eyes.

Evil demon that stop
tooth growth, go away!



He can't do shit.

Teeth should be easy.

You did that on purpose,
you little dwarf.

If you go, you can't come back.

I'm leaving!

Robal was right.

Bunch of kids.

And a girl.

And a sissy here playing Jesus.



Don't go!

I love you!

Stop right now!

Don't touch me.

You are not Jesus.

And you should be
on those trains.

Romek, head!

My nose!

- Pyra!
- My nose!


- My nose!
- Pyra!


Pyra, don't go!

My nose!

My nose is broken!


My nose!


My nose is broken!

I had to go for myself.

People were whispering

the Jews were going
in one direction only.

Did your father jump after you?


Who's that?


Is that you?

There's nobody there.

You went to the trains.

Were they jumping tonight?


I told you.

I told you I don't know
what happened.

Really don't know what happened.

Gniecio sold the pig to the man.

I... I saw...

The man in town said
Gniecio never sold him the pig.

He's a liar!

He said another man
sold him the pig.

A man with a big moustache,
like you.

What are you going to do?

Rat on me?

To who?

That boy across the road.

How much money
did you make on that?

Get out of here.
Get out.

- How long have you been there?
- Kluba knows about me.

What is he going to do?

Probably nothing.

What's going to happen to me?

Don't worry about him.

Let me show you something.

What are these?

Holy hosts.

You want some?


Don't worry.

They aren't hosts yet.

They are just the edges.

I never bless the edges.

Are we blessed,
or are we just the edges?

We are all scraps, Romek.

And we are all blessed the same.

But not all the people.



His wife.

Vladek's father.

Maria's parents.

I went to the trains last night.

My parents aren't coming back
for me, are they?

Probably not.

What will you do with me
if my parents don't come back?

They will come back.

What if they get a sickness
or die in the war?

You can stay here.

Take those nice shoes off.

Okay, you can look.

What are you doing?

Follow me.

Come on, all the way.

What now?

Okay, I promise you

I will love you always,
and I don't love Vladek.

And I'm so glad you came
to our village.

And I'm glad they
didn't hang you.

And I like your nose
and your hair and your skin.

Now you promise.

Don't let go.


I promise I'll work hard to buy
you lots and lots of perfume,

and I'll always be
your boyfriend.

I mean, husband.

I always wanted to marry
a city boy.

My hands!


Tolo took the part of asking
God to bring our parents back

very seriously.

I don't know why
we didn't stop him.


I want to be alone.



I'm hanging.

Hey, dwarf in the tree!


How did you get up there?

You're so skinny.

No food, huh?

No food.

What do you want?

Hey, Robal, how are the sheep?

Everybody knows.

What sheep?

Baa, baa.

Sheep are better than girls.

You better shut up.

Stop it, everybody.

Baa, baa.


Shut that little slut up.

Get out of here.

You know, Vladek,
if you dwarfs weren't so busy

playing games with each other,
you could make some money.

Piss on you.

You're so stupid,
just like your father.

Let go of me, you bastard!

Come on, let's get out of here.

We are going home.

Vladek, what are you doing?

Don't touch it!

Don't untie me!

Tolo, stop it.

We are going home.


Don't untie me!

You promised!

You put your head in the bucket!


Now Papa is never coming back.

You killed him, Vladek.



You're here!

Have you seen Moshe?

He jumped first.

I lost him.

We have to find him!



Bring him!


Can you walk?

Hurry up!

Hurry up!


Where are you going?

What do you want?

You'll tell your story
at the police station. Come on.

- We don't have any money.
- We have no money.

No money?


If he sees us, he'll kill us.

Then what about gold or jewelry?

You have that?

Vladek, slow down.


Kluba killed your father.


I overheard Kluba
arguing with the priest.

The priest went to town
and found out

it was Kluba who sold the pig.

Your mother's?

Somebody's mother's.

Hey, city boy, what did
you mean by what you said?

"Somebody's mother"?

Are you spying on me?

Come on, Romek.
Let's go.

Stop it, stop it!

What do you know, Jew boy?


Robal, stop it!

Robal, stop it!
Stop it!

Robal, you idiot!

Shut up, you little whore!

Let's throw him in.




What are you doing, Robal?

Get lost.

Get lost!



I... Maria...



Be careful, son.

You have your mother
to take care of.

And Tolo.

And Romek.

Your father would be
proud of you.


Let's go.

Are you coming?

Take your shoes off.

Put your head down.
Put your head down!

Hey, Robal!

You're not going to shoot.

Stuff that in his mouth.

Shut him up!

We have no father.
Your father will have no son.

Vladek, no!

That was for you, Papa.

Vladek, give me the gun.

Hands up!

Romek, run!

Don't move!

Wait, wait!


The boy is robbing the Jews.

Pick it up later.

Come here.

Come, come.


How much money
did you make tonight?


Look at me.

Good job, Colonel.

Would you like to go for a ride?




Stop here!

I've got to show you something.
Just wait.

Come here.

Come with me.

Listen, now.

When I say, "Go,"

you do the same thing you did
in the forest, all right?

Come with me.

I've never seen anything
like this in my life.

Look at the boy.

Romek! Romek!


Now watch.

Take the coat off.


And the vest.

And the vest.

Good boy, huh?

Take your shoes off.

Take your shoes off!

Come here.
Come here.

- Officer!
- Faster!

Officer, listen to me, please!

- Please! I'm a Pole!
- Shut up!

I'm not a Jew!

Let me go!


He's got something there.

Oh, beautiful.

Good boy.

- Shut up!
- Let me go!

I'm not a Jew!

I'm a Pole!

Hey, what's going on there?

I'm not a Jew!
I'm a Pole!

He's a Pole.

- Bring him here!
- I know him.

You know him?

- Yes, he's a Pole.
- I'm not a Jew!

I'm not a Jew!

I'm a Pole!
I'm not!

I'm not a Jew!

- How do you know him?
- He was helping me.


In the forest.

- In the forest?
- Yes.

Let's see.

Pull down your pants.

Pull down your pants.

Come here.


I'm sorry, Colonel.

I'm so sorry.

Keep up the good work and so on.

Pull up your pants.

- Tolo!
- Stop him!

- What do you think you're doing?
- I know the blond boy.

- That boy?
- Yes. Tolo!

That's my brother!

Come here.


Do you know this boy?

Tell me.
Do you know him?


That boy says
he is your brother.

Is he?





Do you want to go with him?

- Do you want to go with him?
- No!

So shut up!

That's my brother!

- No!
- No!

- No! No! No! Vladek!
- Tolo! Tolo!

- Tolo!
- No!

This is the Lamb of God,

who washes away
the sins of the world.

Happy are those
who he calls to His supper.

Corpus Christi.


Corpus Christi.


Corpus Christi.



Corpus Christi.


I will never forget Tolo.

Nor the kindness of those who
helped me to remain who I am.