A Farewell to Fools (2013) - full transcript

Once upon a time, during WWII, somewhere in Nazi occupied Romania, a night of comic misadventures ensues when a boy discovers a dead soldier. The German authorities demand that the perpetrator must be identified or the town leaders will be shot the following morning. In their desperation, led by Father Johanis (Harvey Keitel), their salvation seems to lie in convincing the town "fool", Ipu (GĂ©rard Depardieu), to agree to confess, and save them all with his sacrifice. The comedy and darker sides of human nature race toward the deadline where one cannot help but wonder who, in fact, is the actual "fool"?

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Let's play Napoleon.

- Yes, but you be the tsar.
- Oh!

Oh. It's broken.

That is the hole where
the bullet went through.

The bullet that you
have in your head.

How many times
do I have to tell you?

I don't remember anything!

I don't remember!

How many times do I
have to tell you that?

Napoleon, huh.

Go hide.

Oh, oh, oh, wait.

The teacher said that you
French were on this side.

These were your trenches, and the
Germans were attacking from there.

So you go that way?

Yes, go on. Go, go! Go, go, go.
Go, go. Go!

I am not afraid of winter!

I destroyed you...

with the power of my artillery!

And under the hooves
of my cavalry!

Let's ride!
Giddyap! Giddyap!

Not even the Cossacks
can defeat me,

Napoleon, the emperor
of the French!

This is where the war explodes!

We advance with fixed bayonets.

We attack their fortresses!

We'll sleep in the snow.

You are dead!

But a commander
cannot survive the shame...

of being caught
and made a prisoner.

So you say!

- Bang!
- Bang!

I smashed you at will
on every battlefield.

I dragged your flag
through the dust.

You are the tsar of Russia,

and you say, "Napoleon,
you have defeated me."

"But if you dare
invade my country..."

You want 'fahren'?

Ja, ja!

Schnell. Schnell.

Only here in the field, ja?
Ja, ja.

Yeah! Whoo-hoo-hoo!
Wah, wah, whoa!




Marcus! Marcus!
Over here! Marcus!

- What's wrong?
- Look!

What have you done?
You shot a German?


Don't you see that someone
slashed his throat?

You've got to help me
take him to the village.

Me? Why me?

I've nothing to do with this.

Nothing. A dead German.

I didn't see anything.

And you haven't seen me, right?


Hup! Hup!


What are you saying?

A German soldier
has been murdered?

Yes, his throat was slashed.


- By who?
- I don't know.

- I found him like that in the grass.
- Stop that noise!

- I don't believe him.
- I swear!

Go see what happened.

And as for you, young boy,

we'll see if you are lying.



Then it's true.
And you brought him here?

If not here, then where?

You should have left him where he was!
Let the Germans find him!

What the hell are you doing now?

- Where should we put him?
- Let me think. Let me think!

Take him to the German villa.
It's their problem.

And if they ask questions?

They will.
Of course they will.

What do we say?

That two idiots like you brought a
dead body that doesn't belong to us.

And in the meantime,
I'm investigating.

And cover his neck!

- At your command.
- Put his cap on too!

Come with me!

Come. Come.

What's he done now?

A tragedy, Father Johannis.
Tell him what happened.

I found a dead German.


He's been killed.

I found him in the field,

with his throat slashed.

Ipu. Now the Germans.
Great company!

You know what? I'll send you back
to the city, to your mother.

He says he was there
but didn't see anything.

Oh, my dear, my beloved nephew.

Come with me.
I'll take care of him.

- Latest news!
- Latest news!


Today, a German soldier
has been murdered.

If the murderer
does not turn himself in...

by 5:00 tomorrow morning,

we will execute...

the 10 most prominent...

authorities of this village!

Mr. Mayor, is there any higher
authority than you in this town?

Come, my dear.

On your knees.

My dear son, I love you,

and I suffer
when I see you in pain.

I want to help you.

And I will pray for
the salvation of your soul.

Tell me what happened to you.

What do you know,
and what aren't you telling us?

Nothing. I already told you.

Is it possible you don't
feel any remorse?

Confess it
and you'll feel better.

Let's talk about something
serious like the German soldier.

I don't know anything.


Don't think you are fooling me.

I will be watching you.

Johannis! Come quick. The
situation is getting worse. Come!

Hey, come here!

Is he dead?

Alex, is he dead-dead?


Good-bye, motorcycle.

But look.

I took this to play with.
Now we've got a real one.

No, Alex. It's loaded.

Yes. It's better.

It's better to hide it here, huh?

Yes. Then we'll hide it with the
other guns when we go fishing.

Yes, yes, yes, so you say.
Today we go fishing. Wait!

What's that?

No, no.
That is here from old time.

What? It's a real gramophone!
Can we play it?


Shh! It's fragile.

Don't break it.

- Are you hungry?
- Yes.

You want some more?

But you never told me about it.

You never asked me.

Soldier Th?odore, 11th
regiment bataillon des Grenadiers!


I surrender.

Ha, ha!
This time I win.

- You didn't scare me.
- Ow!

Are you crazy?
It hurts me!

Ha, ha, ha.

Nothing broken, I don't think.

It's hot here.

Let's go fishing.

Grab the gear.

Today we'll catch him.

Do you think his time has come?

Ipu, Ipu! Ipu!

- Ipu!
- Boom! Boom, boom!

The gun goes to
"Bang! Bang! Bang!"

The cannon goes to
"Boom! Boom!"

So say "bang!"

- Oh! Bang! Bang! Bang!
- Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!


Alex! Shh!

Come on here, because otherwise
the fish will see you.


Take that.


Give me the box.
Give me the box.

Open it.


The message is clear enough.

All the authorities.

Gentlemen, I can say it now.
I'm just a simple doctor.

How can I be considered
an authority?

- I'm sure that must be a mistake.
- Me too.

I understand the mayor, but I'm a notary.
I'm a nobody.

Be quiet!

We don't want to
discuss it again.

Well, did you find him?

I found the German soldier's

which should lead us
to the murderer.

But if he doesn't turn himself
in by 5:00 tomorrow morning,

where am I supposed to find him?

So we have to pay for it.

Maybe our families too.

Do they count the wives?

Of course. You are a
member of the authorities.

You married one.

There are 10 seats
they want to fill.

Let's not waste our time
counting to 10.

We must find the murderer.

We cannot allow ourselves to be
executed because of some nutcase.

By the way, what about Ipu?

He was with me all morning
cutting wood.

That's too bad.

Ipu would have been perfect.

Alex! It's him!

Here it is!
Come on! Alex!

That's him. Come on!
It's the monster!

Pull him out.
Come on, kill him!

Pull him out.
Come on!

Kill him! Don't let him go!
Hang on to him!

Don't let him go!

Thank you.


In memory of the soldier
Friedrich. God forgive him!

Soldat Friedrich!

Oy! Give me a piece too!
I have debts at the pub.

I always give you a part!

Of course.
I'm your wife.


The best part of the fish.
The tail!

Now, I never forget you!


Here we are.
Finally, our fishermen!

Welcome back!

I have the fish.
I have the colosse fish!

- He gave it to the Germans
in honor of Friedrich.

With his head we can
make a delicious soup.

I hope so.

We are a lot of people tonight.
We'll have a big party.

What? You're going to have
a party for the dead German?

It's not for the dead German.
It's for Ipu.

- Theodore.
- I mean, Theodore.

Who, me?
For what?

Theodore, it's your birthday!

I don't have a birthday.

I was never born.

Then you are born today.

Make a note. Theodore was
born on the 13th of August.

On the 13th?
It will bring bad luck.

No. To me the 13th is a
beautiful day to be born on.

Thank you.
Thank you.

I will make a soup that will be
enough for everyone.

Thank you.
Thank you.

No, no, no, no.
Wait a minute.

The little boy is right.
The 13th is an unlucky day.

That's the way it is, Doctor.
We can't wait until tomorrow.

- Hey! We haven't got the turkey yet!
- Oh, my goodness!

Alex, you go!
I know you like that.

Pick the biggest one!

I'll get you.

Shame on you! Look at the
way you cut off his head.

You'd make
a wonderful executioner.

Go wash yourself.
And take your new suit.

- Careful!
- Sorry.

What are you doing?

Take a napkin.
Hide it! God!


This is broken. Get a new
one for him, please.

It's 10:00.

Go and invite your friend, Uncle
Theodore, to come for dinner.

Ipu's name is Theodore.

Don't forget it.

And tell him that we all
are asking for him.

Father Johannis sent me.
The turkey is ready.

Now you really look like
a city boy. Hmm.

Let's go.

Here he is!

Uncle Theodore!
At last.

Nice to see you, Uncle Theodore!
Come, join us.

- The soup.
- Here's a napkin.


Mmm! Smells good.

- Sit down, Uncle Theodore.
- Oh, thank you.

- The honored guest sits at
the head of the table. - Oh.

- Now we can see that you are
part of the family. - Thank you.

So, best wishes!
Happy birthday!

- Happy birthday!
- Happy birthday!

- Happy birthday!
- Happy birthday!

- Cheers!
- You all say so!

The children can drink beer!

They'll pee in their beds.

Well, Theodore,

how long has it been since I
gave you the last checkup?


Well. Okay.

Give me a spoon.

Stick out your tongue.



Okay, stand up.

- Ah.
- Any pain?

It hurts a little bit.


Sit down, like that,

and breathe.

Okay, breathe harder.

Like this.

Let's see.

Oh, my God.

Is it serious?


We'll see. We'll see. Huh.

Let's sit down and eat.

As long as we can.

What do you think I have?


Wh...what do you think I have?

My God, you can't expect
to stay 20 years old forever.

Sooner or later,
the body breaks down.

Because of everything
you went through,

you're rotten inside.

We all know what kind
of a sinner you are.

Shh! Shut up!

I'll take the breast.

- Cheers!
- Oh.

- Here's to good health.
- Cheers.

- We sure need some.
- Cheers!



My dear friends,

dearest Uncle Theodore,

as you all know,

a German soldier was killed
in our village this morning.

Captain Braun came to visit me,

and we had a long discussion.

And he explained to me...

that he will not allow
such an action to go unpunished.

Actually, Captain Braun said,
if we, the authorities,

had not treated him so well,

he would have already
destroyed the village.

Captain Braun said a severe
punishment would serve as an example.

They have the right, don't they?

How can it be possible...

that in our calm
and peaceful village...

something so terrible
could happen?

I beg you.
I beg you.

Captain Braun wants the guilty
party by 5:00 tomorrow.

In the case
that the guilty person...

does not turn himself in
by 5:00,

all of us...
myself, my wife,

the doctor and his whole family,

the notary and his wife,

the mayor, Lieutenant Gossman...

we will all be executed.

Shot in front of city hall.

Go, show him Captain Braun's
letter of notice.

God protect us and be with us.

But none of you gentlemen cut
the Friedrich's throat.


- I believe that...
- You don't have to believe anything.

Let the man speak.

God, why do you put us
to the test?

Uncle Theodore,

you know everything
in this village.

You know everything
that has happened.

Nothing happens
without you knowing it.

You know everyone
and what they're capable of.

How could any one
of our villagers...

murder this poor soldier?

I don't know about this.

And even if I knew, do you expect
me to tell you who has killed him?

You want me to say,
"He's the one?"

And then I go fishing in peace?

And eating?
And sleeping?


Theodore doesn't do it.
So I say!

Here. Read it yourself!

Do you want them to kill all of
us for somebody else's crime?

To kill us?
Me too?

I'm pregnant!

I'm expecting a baby.
I want to live!

I want to feel my baby
sucking my breast!

I want to have this baby!
My baby!

My dear baby!

Do you want Miss Linda
to be without parents?

That this child become homeless,
like you,

dependent on the kindness
of strangers?

Maybe they'll even shoot them.

They are part of the family.

Maybe it's better.

That way they're not left
begging in the streets.

I'm pregnant. Pregnant!

And-And if someone says...

that he killed him?

And even if it's not true, hmm?

Captain Braun is looking
for a guilty party.

It would suffice for someone
to admit to the crime.

- So, Ipu.
- Theodore!

Sorry. Theodore.

You have something in mind?

Or someone?

Have you any more schnapps?

Yeah, sure.

Certainly, I wish
there would be a hero...

that would sacrifice
himself for everyone.

God would take much
consideration of him.

Are you trying to say
that God...

would let him go to heaven?

To say the least.

And can you guarantee that?

I would say numerous prayers
in his memory.

How many prayers?
Every morning...

and every evening?

365 multiplied by two!

731 per year.

For complete absolution,
it's more than enough.

That's as far as the soul
is concerned.

For myself, as the mayor,

I propose to rename
City Hall Square...

"Theodore Square."

Our civic hero.

I can already see it

in marble.

What do you mean
"Theodore Square?"

He has nothing to do with it!
He never said that he did it.

If he didn't say it yet,
don't worry, he will say it now!

He won't let this chance
pass him by.

Right, Ipu?

What have you done in your life?

You're..., you're a nobody.

If it was not for our village,

you would have been dead
30 years ago.

We pulled you out
of a pile of dead bodies.

My father said, "This Frenchman
is still breathing."

Do you remember?

I, I don't remember.

But we do!

We gave you a second life.

Anyway, now I can tell you,

even in this life,
you don't have much time left.

Your liver is mushy,
your lungs...

Well, I don't think you will
make it to your next birthday.

Then it's worth dying
for a noble cause.

So you can save us... all.

- But why should he be the one...
- You shut up.

He's going to save you too.
And me too.

Today, on my birthday,

I will celebrate my funeral?

But you don't know
what kind of funeral.

You know what kind of ceremony
we will put on for you?

- No.
- Well, he is right.

A funeral like this
never happened in this village.

So tell him, Father.

Can you imagine
a solemn ceremony...

sung by a choir
of all the villagers?

Everybody will be there.

The whole village!

All the veterans
from World War I...

will be holding their flags
in your honor.

In honor of your war, Theodore.

Think of it... A band will
play whatever you wish!

Soldier Th?odore 11th
bataillon des Grenadiers!

And then flowers!

- Roses, irises.
- Orchids!

Hang on!
Where will we get orchids?

Fine, orchids, lilies.

The French flag on your casket.

And speaking of casket,

it'll be of expensive wood.

Which wood would you
prefer, Theodore?

With a cross five feet tall...

No, no, no!
Six feet tall!

Made of white marble.

Black marble.
It's more expensive.

And on the cross,
carved in golden letters,

anything that you wish, Ipu.

And we will call the best
sculptor from the city...

to make a relief of your face.

A relief of what?

Your face will be carved
on the gravestone.

Nobody else has that, Theodore.

As you looked
when you were young.

How did I look when I was young?




Oh, God!

Never mind.
Never mind.

Uh, Alex, bring him
another glass, quick.

And all around the grave
will be a little golden fence.

Yes, that's right.

So the goats can't jump over
and eat your flowers.

Can you feel him?

Even he will bring you
flowers every day.

And you will be happy.

No. I don't believe it.

I don't believe it!

I don't believe it.

But it is nice to hear
these words from you.

Ipu! You know
how that upsets me.

We have the notary.

Do you have your seal
of approval?


Write everything down.

Statement between Theodore,

known as Theodore the French,

and our peaceful community...

signed in the presence
of the members...

No, no, no, no, no, no.

I want it with the all fingers.
Tack, tack.

I want it all fingers.

Go get the typewriter.

It's better with all fingers.


Send the notary's assistant to
the rectory with the typewriter.

- Immediately.
- Of course now!

731 solemn prayers.

Black marble.
I already said that.

And the band that will play
the French national anthem.

The square in Ipu's name.

Yes, Theodore.

What an honor
you have granted me.

Ladies and gentlemen,

it's true I haven't done
anything good with my life.


what happens when they kill you?

Nothing. First of all,
it doesn't hurt.

If they hang you, that hurts.

I have heard about a person
suffering for a long time.

He was struggling,

kicking his feet,
trying to touch the ground.

So don't tell me it's painless.

But no one is going to hang you.

They will shoot you, Ipu.
You know very well.

Did it hurt?

You see?

Oh. This... It's good.

Only if their hands are not
shaking with compassion.

The Germans have no compassion.

Oh, shut up, Tibi.
You're drunk.

They won't touch you, Ipu.
They wouldn't hurt an idiot.

Uncle Theodore, my dear,

have a pancake.


will you be at my funeral,
Father Johannis?

You want another priest?

That would grieve me...

- No.
- Greatly.

Forgive me, but maybe
you'll be too busy.


How can you say such a
thing, dear Theodore?

We will be there to celebrate
your heroic gesture.

You will have
the best sermon ever!

Uh, I want to see it.

How can you see it?

You will be...

I'm saying that I want
to see it now!

It cannot be done!

Let's have a rehearsal,
Father Johannis.

It's sacrilegious.

It can be done!
It can be done!

Everyone into the church!

Let's go!
Ipu, you go ahead.


This is for Friedrich.

Friedrich. Do you mean?

Wake up, everyone!

What's happening?
Into the church!

What for?
Father Johannis asks.

Wake up, everyone! I don't
have time to explain.

Everyone go to the church!
What's happening here?

- You too!
- Everybody, wake up!

Yes, my whole family.
Put your shoes on.

Whoop! What's your
name, little boy?

Schnaps for Friedrich.

Come on. Shh. Shh.

Ja. Friedrich.


Good. We can begin.

Together with all...
Wait, wait.

The flag.
Where is the flag?

The flag.

No! No, wrong...

No. The other flag.

Our flag.


You don't have a French flag?

No? No.


Together with the souls of the
righteous that have passed,

almighty God,

may the soul of our dear
friend rest in peace.

He has left us to go to a
sacred place of illumination...

where there is no suffering.

Dear brothers, today
we are gathered together...

in front of the remains
of Uncle Theodore,

who was one of our most beloved
and respected citizens,

one of the most valiant heroes
of our village,

someone who has
sacrificed himself...

so that all of us may live,

someone whose noble gesture
has prevented our village...

from being destroyed
by fire and sword.

He has sacrificed himself
like a lamb...

so others may live...

and our village may prosper.

Have you gone crazy? He's
just pretending to be dead.

Welcome our son in your kingdom,

where all the wretched
may come to rest.

God, it was such
a wonderful service.

Yes. Father Johannis was great.


This place is very good for a hero.

Under the wall is not
a good place for a hero.

The sun never reaches here.


There! There!

This is a place for a hero.





There's the place.

There. There. There.

Under that big tree, this is
the right place for a hero.


Start digging here.

Hey, what are you doing? You want
to lay a crazy man next to my wife?

- That is my spot.
- Shh, shh, shh, shh.

Be quiet.


Ipu. What?

Damn it.
I told you... Theodore.

This stone is temporary.

You don't want to be buried
without a stone.

And this is the fence
around your monument.

We agreed that it will
be made of gold.

By tomorrow morning
it will be ready.

Gold plated!
Yes, gold plated.


I want to do it for real.


Oh, yeah. Ah.


I am ready.

Is it a hero's farewell?

Throw down some dirt.


And flowers.

Oh. It's beautiful.

It's beautiful.

Oh, it's beautiful.


It's beautiful.

It's beautiful.

Flowers. Beautiful.


It's beautiful.


So, do you like it?

Do you accept?

Hold it.

Yes! So I say!

- Ah!
- He said it.

Bravo, Theodore. Bravo.
Thank you!

We still have time
for a glass of wine, huh?

We are done with me.

What about the others?

The others?
What do you mean?

I'm talking about my family.

You have a family?
Who are they?

My wife.

- What?
- Flora Toia.

Did you forget you legally
separated 23 years ago...

at the city hall, in court?

Yes! In court,
but not in my soul.

And there is also my daughter,
Tania, who is a bit simple.

And also my brother-in-law,

who came back an invalid
from the war.

Without me,
they will be left helpless.

If that's what's worrying you,

- we will take care of them, right?
- Yes!

I want to be sure of it.


How should we help them?

With money?

Land. Good land.


Let's talk about it.

There is not much to talk about.

No, here it is.

It's almost 5:00,

and the Germans will
be here to arrest you.

And I want it on paper,

From Father Johannis
I want the two fields...

next to the river
for my lady Flora.

But it's the best land
that we have.

- We bought it with all of our...
- Be quiet!

Start drawing up the contracts.

Transfer of title...

in living trust.


Now, Mr. Mayor
and Mr. Doctor.

But we don't have any land.

Money. 40,000.

You pay half,
and the doctor pays half.

No, I have no money.

My daughter
is attending university.

Costs a lot of money.

But I'm going to school.

Stop complaining, all of you!

He's giving his life for us!

For my brother-in-law,
Filip, Mr. Notary,

a piece of land.

Wait! Why only one piece of
land from him and two from us?

My brother-in-law, Filip,
already owns one.

And the notary is the one who
poured me wine all night long.


So, where do you want
that piece of land to be?

You have your land
in only one place.

Close to the bridge.


Cheers. Signed 13th
of August, 1944.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I don't have any more relatives.

I'm sorry.

It's late.

Rest in peace.

God bless you.

As for me,

I'm going to get ready.

I'll be back...

to turn myself in
to the Germans.

I'll be back.

Uncle Theodore.

I'm coming with you.

This is not children's matters.

You go to bed right away.

You are dead!

But a commander
cannot survive the shame...

of being caught
and made a prisoner.

So you say!


It's 20 to 5:00.

You're all idiots.

Real idiots.

The fool fooled you.

He tore the documents
from our hands,

and we will never see him again.

Catch him if you can!

He will never come back!

Never come back!

That's enough!

Why are you hitting me,
you animal?

Who do you think you are?

You useless, useless bastard!

You are useless!

My dear lady.
Oh, go fuck yourself!

You drunk!

What did I say that was wrong?

That you've given the best land
in the village to that nutcase?

And now the Germans will come,

and they'll shoot us!

They will!

Oh, God.

The Germans.



Here comes Ipu!

He's back. I knew it.

You idiot.

The war is over!
We are free!

It's not true.

We are free!
What happened?

What wonderful news.

The Germans are all gone?

This is a real miracle.

- Not one is left?
- No.

They left the village?

Oh, my God!

Oh, my God!

Did you hear the news?

I thank you, my God.

Well done, Mr. Mayor.

Thank you for this blessing...

that we don't deserve.

We are just worms on this earth.

It's too wonderful.

They're all gone.

Look, they aren't going to shoot
you anymore, Uncle Theodore.

You don't have to die.

What do you mean?

They're all gone
without making any justice?

You are kept alive,
thanks to God!

And all our prayers.

So now you need to tear up
everything that was signed, right?

Oh, I'm hanging on to it.
I'm not tearing up nothing.

Oh, no, you don't.
It's not worth anything.

Me neither.

It's all legal,
with a notary's signature.

Oh, no, you don't.

It's not worth anything.
It's legal. It's legal.

It's not.

All these documents are legal.


Ipu, you make her
understand, please.


I'm back to Ipu now?

So you... you won't make a
monument for me anymore?


No monument.

And the square named after me?

And the prayer for a hero?

No, no, no!

It's not worth it anymore.
You are alive, Ipu.

It's not 5 0'clock yet.


I say...

it's worth something.

Where is he going now
with his gun?

Well, maybe he's gonna
shoot himself.

Stop him.
You have to stop him!

He's kidding.

No, he will.
He will do it.

Uncle Theodore, let's play.

Yes, for the last time.

You are Napoleon Bonaparte,
and you say...

"I am the tsar."

To hell with the tsar! To hell
with whoever fathered him.

Who cares about the tsar?

Who's going to remember that
stupid tsar and his followers?

Instead, everyone remembers
Napoleon... everyone in the world.

Now and forever, you are
Napoleon Bonaparte, and you say,

"I smashed you when and how I
wanted to on every battlefield."

"I dragged your flag in the
dust and trod all over it."

"All of you useless weaklings
have come together to defeat me."

"But my name will shine
throughout history,

a beacon for the French people,
who I love so much."

So I say!


A commander cannot
survive this shame...

of being made a prisoner.

Now you say "bang."

Come on. The gun goes
"bang." Say "bang."

Say "bang"!
Leave me alone!

What? You think these people
care if you die or not?

Look at them. They're not
thinking about you anymore.

So what do you want
to kill yourself for?



To me,

you're a real hero!

Real hero!

And I say thank you, soldier!