Burning Ghost (2019) - full transcript

In the streets of Paris, Juste collects the last memory of people only him can see, before helping them into the afterlife. Juste is a ghost. But one day Agathe recognizes him. She knew him when he was alive.


BURNING GHOST

Hey, you down there !

Hey, guys, wait !

Fuck !

- What's the matter ?
- It's okay.

Hello.

Hello.

You don't look so good.

No, I'm not sure what's happening.

Where have you come from ?

I was by the lake.

By the lake ?

Wait... I'll be right back.

You can't stay here.

Come on, I'll show you where to wait.

Wait for what ?

Someone will come and see to you.

What's that in your pocket ?

Just this.

I'll take care of it, don't worry.

It's all I can do.

Come on, it'll be fine.

Come on.

How do you feel, Mr. Gérane ?

My name's Juste.

Juste, then.

So... how do you feel ?

Not too good.

I was told
you don't really want to talk.

We need to get to know you,
so we can move on.

Tell me something about yourself.

Something that happened to you.

A memory.

I don't know.

As I told the last person,

nothing interesting springs to mind.

Everything's interesting to me.

Anything you can tell me.

I was fine before.

I mean, there was nothing wrong,
nothing special.

Nothing in particular ?

No, I was like everybody else.

Before what ?

Before what happened to me.

That's why I'm here, right ?

So tell me how it happened.

Like I told you... I don't remember.

I just want to be normal,
like before, and get out of here.

Get back to normal...

So that's the way to go.

Get back to normal...

Meaning what ?

I'm scared of having this problem again.

What exactly are you afraid of, Juste ?

Of being invisible.

Invisible ?

Everyone says not to worry
but nothing's happening, so...

Do you have some form of treatment ?

Will you be handling it,
or someone else ?

You realize this is
all a bit muddled, Juste.

Let me make a suggestion.

Let's see if you agree.

I'm going to suggest
that we work together.

Work ?

That's right.

Work.

Many years later

If I were dead...

I guess I'd know.

No one remembers being born, though.

So...

What do you want from me ?

Not much.

A memory,

something that happened to you.

It's weird.

Since this morning,
my mind's been blank.

Things escape me.

There's just an old story.

Maybe you should take your jacket off,

so you're more comfortable.

When I was young...

one day...

we were on our way back from school.

To get home...

we had to go through some woods.

As we walked along, we saw a burrow.

It was wide, deep and dark inside.

We continued on our way.

Suddenly we were beside a jujube tree.

It's a wild fruit tree.

Fruit lay on the ground all around it.

My friend Abdoulaye
ventured beneath the tree...

while we waited.

Suddenly we heard him yell,

then when we turned around,

we saw this big snake.

A really big snake,
had him by the waist.

He was struggling and yelling for help

but we couldn't do anything.

We realized the snake
was heading for the burrow.

We sped ahead to block off
the entrance.

We quickly collected some branches

and bits of wood lying around.

When it got there,
it saw a small opening.

Suddenly it hurled him into the burrow,

then followed him in.

The sound of Abdoulaye's cries
became more distant

until we could no longer hear them.

Since that day,
there has been no trace of him.

That's how he left us.

Are you alright, sir ?

Yes.

I see the little boy...

and I see you too.

You're with him now.

Abdoulaye ?

Do you recognize me ?

I do like the color, though.
It's pretty, isn't it ?

It is pretty.

Hi.

Hi.

Should I drop by later ?

No, stay.

You're up bright and early.

Not quite.

Not too wide, my top is slim.

The modern Muslim look !

It has to be pretty.

The people who make the patterns
don't care how it looks.

Try it on, inside out.

We'll see if we can take it in a little.

Okay.

You alright ?

Here, I brought you this.

Leave it on the counter,
pay yourself from the register.

Isn't that a bit much ?

Hey, it's a cool jacket.

Have you seen the size ? Seriously.

Jaurès.

Are you looking for me ?

Sorry... yes.

Well... not really.

Are you Guillaume ?

I thought you were someone else.

Someone I haven't seen for ages,
who just vanished.

I'm sorry, you couldn't care less.

It doesn't matter.

Even the voice, it's amazing.

Anyway, he'd be much older than you,

so you couldn't be.

Do I look familiar ?

I mean, you've never seen me before ?

No.

Sorry I followed you.

It's really rude to follow people
in the street.

Goodbye.

Would you mind telling me your name ?

My name's Juste.

Juste.
A name you don't forget !

I'm Agathe.

Goodbye, Juste.

"Juste..."

"A name you don't forget."

What is this place ?

It's my burrow.

You live here ?

Pretty much, yes.

You really like tea !

You wanted to see where a guy like me
hangs out ?

No... I just wanted to know you better.

Well, this is it.

My whole life is here.

There's not much to see.

No...

I'm sorry...

That's really not why I came.

It's the boy you look like...

Can I tell you about him ?

Well, around 10 years ago,

when I was 20...

I went away with a few college friends
to Turkey.

It was summer vacation.

We took the ferry to Izmir.

Am I boring you ?

No, not at all.

Anyway...

In the early hours, we ran into a boy.

He was traveling alone, backpacking.

Not ravaged. Good-looking.

So we made room for him in our cabin...

and later, in our hotel room.

It ended up with five of us

sleeping in a pile
across our mattresses.

Then one night,
towards the end of the vacation,

I was between Guillaume and Fred...

Or maybe Fred was next to Guillaume.

There was a tangle of bodies...

Maybe we were messing around
or something.

Anyway my hand drew closer
to another hand...

or maybe it was my foot
to another foot...

I knew it was Guillaume
when I touched his hair.

He had really beautiful, curly hair.

Anyway we touched.

We kissed.

Not shyly either,
there was no holding back,

with tongues and everything.

It was something real, beautiful.

I was discovering everything at once.

It was sexual and emotional, it was...

I wanted him to make love to me,
there and then.

I was offering myself to him,

I wanted him to see me, all of me.

I was ready... to do anything, actually.

And then nothing.

Nothing.

The following day, his things had gone.

We never saw him again.

Later, at home,
I received a postcard, from Istanbul.

No return address.

Other postcards followed.

He said he was thinking about me.

I believed it, he was thinking about me.

Then one day, they stopped.

I don't know.

Sorry, I don't know why
I'm telling you all this.

I'll go.

Excuse me.

But why ? Stay !

Stay.

Call me.

It's my motor scooter, it's baffling.

You live locally ?

No, in Puteaux.

What's my scooter doing here ?

Maybe you were going home.

Probably, yes.

I don't know... I can't remember.

I lived in a remote cabin in the Alps.

I used to come in the summertime

but one time, I was snowed in.

Really snowed in.

The cabin stood on a kind of headland.

There was a gorge and a wood.

It was an extraordinary place.

My God, it was here !

These are the woods.

The cabin is right there.

Hello.

Hello, Juste.

Nice jacket !

It isn't very warm.

It suits you.

You're looking well.

Yeah, I'm fine.

That's good.

Say...

Next time you bring me someone,
I'd like to see you.

We'll go to my office.

Alright.

Where are you taking me ?

It's a shortcut.

Do you know Isbergues ?

It's in the North.

I figured it was.

Isbergues, not iceberg !

I grew up there, with my grandparents.
They called us the Italians.

I didn't speak a word of French
at first.

How long have you been living
in a squat ?

Do you mind ?

I was surprised.

And before that ?

Before what ?

I don't know. Before.

When you were a kid, with your parents.

It's ages ago, I don't remember.

Is it serious, doc ?

I don't know. Yes, kind of.

Maybe tomorrow
you'll have forgotten me.

Then we'll stick together,
stay in the present.

I'm thirsty.

There's a drinking fountain...

I want a beer.

- Do you know them ?
- No.

Right, I just wanted to dedicate a song
to my darling cousin !

Vodka !

Thanks.

Ridiculous, isn't it ?

What is ?

Us... it's a bit ridiculous.

Don't you think ?

Me, getting carried away with you.

Doesn't it scare you ?

No.

Good. Forget I said anything.

I get the feeling I'm a bit...

out of it, as if...

As if I'd been drinking.

This might sound weird but...

Say you missed out on something
in the past,

something important,

and you could go back in time

and experience it again,

this time saying the right things,
making the right moves,

and it changed your life.

Would you do it if it were possible ?

Changed my life ?

Yes.

I can smell burning.

You had your foot on the exhaust !

Wait... your shoe's all out of shape.

Sure it's not too hot ?

No, it's fine.

Shit !

I have to relieve the babysitter.

Iris's big sister.

I mean the big sister of
my daughter Iris's friend.

I don't want her to gossip.
Wait here for me ?

Yes.

Taxi... Taxi !

Hey, asshole !

Fuck.

Does this thing work ?

Excuse me ?

I warn you, they fleeced me.
I haven't got a cent.

The docs fleeced me.

So does this thing work ?

It isn't mine.

Who cares ?
It'll only take an hour.

Drop me at the station, no one'll know.

I'm sick of their fish faces.

They clean everything with vinegar.

I can't, I'm waiting for a friend.
Tomorrow.

Help me out with a note, then.

I've got no money.

Look !

I haven't got any.

Tomorrow, then ?

Excuse me ?

I can't right now.

Stick around here, then tomorrow...

- Alright ?
- Yeah.

- Everything okay ?
- Fine.

Are you coming ?

More... more...

Keep going... keep going...

I don't ever want it to stop.

Keep going, my love, please.

With your fingers...

Keep going... more...

more...

Shit.

Juste ?

Juste ?

I have to go to school... Fuck !

Cut it out, Juste,
I don't want Iris to see you.

What's up ? You're all hyper.

Agathe ?

We have to go, honey, we're late,
my alarm clock didn't go off.

Have you been awake for long ?

Yeah, I was playing in my head.

You came into my room ?

Yes, you were asleep.

And... is that all ?

Yes.

Take your nightdress off.

Can I ride Cannelle tomorrow ?

Ride who ?

Cannelle, the pony.

You'll have to see with Nonna.

Now hurry,
we'll eat a croissant on the way.

Agathe ?

- You haven't seen anyone ?
- No one.

Agathe ?

Where the fuck are you ?
You're doing it on purpose !

Agathe ?

It isn't funny, I'm not amused.

Agathe ?

What are you doing here ?

You try going out, it's freezing.

You'll notice I know how to be discreet.

I didn't wake you up.

But you can't stay here.

I'm not bothering anyone.

Now if you don't mind,
I'll stay here awhile.

No, you're coming with me.

Say...

Fix the TV for me.

It isn't working,
I've been trying for a while.

Why won't it work ?

Don't make me drag you out.

Very funny.

What's up, why all the banging ?

Can you see anything ?

Like what ?

You don't notice anything ?
Get Bailo.

Why ? What are you on about ?

Call her, you'll see.

Look...

you'd better come in.

You live in that jacket !

That blind's too noisy !

You promised me an electric one.
I can't work it.

- No hello ?
- What ?

Aren't you saying hello ?

Who to ?

I don't mean me, I mean our guest.

What guest ?

But... you don't see anything ?

I don't see anything.
Only how untidy this is.

I woke up this way.

I was at Agathe's... and now...

A girl ?

Where did you leave my medication ?

In the cupboard.

Are you meant to avoid sex ?

Not as far as I know.

Me and Bailo... we've enjoyed it.

Sometimes, we still...

There must be something else.

Kramarz came to see me the other day.

She wants to see me
next time I take her someone.

There was this old guy

outside Agathe's place.

I should have taken him through
but I left him there.

So that's it.

It's a punishment.

Have you ever had one ?

No, in my case...

I must have slipped through the net.

I mean...

when I met Bailo, I quit the job.

I stopped taking people to Kramarz.

I laid low.

So this second interview...

if you argue, she sends you through ?

Very likely.

What if I just say: no comment.

She's glad I work for her, right ?

You're trying to outsmart her ?

It's the last judgment, kid.

But nothing much has happened yet
with Agathe.

So... I could tell her that.

Anyway I have to see her,
take her someone.

What if you don't come back ?

I'll come back.

Not a word about me.
Promise.

So, no hug ?

No, I'm not big on hugging.

Sir, I want to talk to you.
Open the door, please.

Oh, it's you.

Only I heard a noise, so...

Oh, right.

With all the comings and goings...

Have a nice day.

Yeah, hi.

No, I'm home now.

Oh ? No, my voice is normal.

Remember to put the yellow book
in her satchel.

I'm collecting her tomorrow,

that's what we agreed.

Yes, we did.
Remember, you're leaving tomorrow.

So I'll go.

But when ?

No, it isn't...

Maybe she shouldn't see
the three of us together.

Yes, I'd love to, but not now.

Yeah.

Alright, take care.

Same here.

Take care.

Hello ?

Yes ?

Yes, I'm her granddaughter.

A cat ? On her head ?

From the sixth floor ?

Yeah... Sure, I'll come right over.

Thanks.

I'm looking for Madame Di Marzo.

I'm so sorry.

Her heart gave way.

Can I see her ?

Has something happened ?

Happened to me ?

Is that thing me ?

It's me.

I must ask you to leave now, ma'am.

So soon ?

If you don't mind.

So I stay here till the end of eternity ?

No, you have to leave here first.

Dressed like this ?

No one will see.

Even so...

Wait there.

I have to stay here ?

As you please.

No, I'd rather sit... in this chair.

Would you like tea ?

Yes, please.

I'm glad it's you taking me there.

Me too.

Shall we ?

Alright.

I remember one time with my father.

He was very old, I was very little.

We were walking,

together,
along a pathway behind our house.

There was the pathway...

and down below was the sea.

My father was old,

I knew very well
he wouldn't be around for long.

I said to him: "Dad, do you know
what heaven is like ?"

"Do you know ?"

He looked at me with his lovely smile

behind his big mustache

and he said:
"I'm going to tell you a story."

He told me about his own father,

who was from Sicily.

At that time, Sicily was occupied
by the King of Spain.

My grandfather was a Republican.

He was arrested

and was to face the firing squad.

Then my grandmother had an idea.

She asked to see my grandfather

one last time in prison.

She went to see him and told him
everything had been arranged.

She had been to see the gunsmith
and had given him money

to replace the bullets
with blank cartridges.

She told him he was to play dead
when the soldiers fired.

And my grandfather believed her.

From that moment on,
he was no longer afraid.

He went to the execution
with a light heart

and smiled to his wife
when he spotted her in the crowd.

My father said,

"See, that must be what heaven is like.

"The moment you're no longer
afraid of death,"

"when you know it won't happen."

It wasn't really the explanation
I was expecting.

So as not to disappoint me,
he added,

"Hope is the last thing to die."

I didn't know whether
that tale was true

or whether he'd made it up,
or read it somewhere.

Nevertheless the story reassured me.

Wait two minutes for me, please.

I think it's that tea you gave me !

Hello, Madame Di Marzo.

Hello, ma'am.

I've arrived, haven't I ?

Yes.
You're kind of home, aren't you ?

Yes, this is how it was in the past.

I was expecting to see
some familiar faces,

to meet people who departed
before me.

Do you mind if I talk to Juste first ?

You can borrow him.

Thanks.

Wait for me.

Now where were we, Juste ?

I think I understood the message
you sent me.

What did you understand ?

I think I know why

you brought me back among the living.

To remind me about what's important.

You know,
the things in life that matter.

Is that what's happened ?

Not really, it's just a start.

I want to hear all about it.

Very good, Juste.

Very good.

Actually, what I really want is to live.

For longer.

You're not the only one.

Your sewing friend
has benefited from an oversight

but that can't be the norm.

It's for Agathe.

So she and I can go further together.

Further ? How so ?

She thinks I just walked out.

So... what do we do ?

So what do we do ?
You're priceless, Juste !

I'm not sure that would be
a good thing.

I need to talk to you.

Who do you think you are ?

I have to be available
for you to talk to me ?

Go away.

I can explain.

Explain what ?

That you left ? So I noticed.

You think you can turn up
and I'll jump into your arms ?

I'm too old for that.

I didn't leave you, not this time.

But I did the first time.

First time ?
What are you talking about ?

I don't know why I left.

I didn't feel worthy at the time.
I was young.

Juste, I don't know...

I honestly don't understand.

I've just buried my grandma.
I'm tired, I'm sad !

But I guess you don't understand,
way up there over people's heads.

Now beat it ! Leave me alone.

I was there when she died.

In the hospital.

We spoke, she went peacefully.

You're crazy.

Fucking leave me alone !

I was at your place the night before.

Close to you,
but you couldn't see me.

Your hairpin fell out.

Remember ?

I blew on your neck.

We made love in the night.

I'm no longer of your world, Agathe.

But I'm back...
I was given another chance.

You're the first girl...

the first in my life.

The first one I kissed.

Stay away from me.

You scare me.

Right, I'm going to bed.

Okay, I'll finish up.

Yeah... I'll edit out the kangaroos,
they're badly shot.

We don't care about kangaroos.

It was at the zoo.

Of course you don't remember.

Dad...

Don't stand there, sit down.

Where'd you get the kitsch jacket ?

It was a gift.

You seem different today.

Not your usual self.

You've been more cheerful
in recent days.

In recent days ?

Yes, happier to see me,

for us to be talking together.

On the contrary...
I'm really happy to talk to you.

I worry for nothing.

I've become even more worried.

Can you imagine ?
Since you've been gone.

It's stupid,
nothing can happen to you now.

Maybe it's habit.

We worried about you so much
when you were alive.

We didn't often hear from you.

I know.

Your mother suspects something.

About what ?

A few days ago at bedtime,
she said, "I'll leave you both to it."

She smiled,

she doesn't ask questions.

I can see you're preoccupied.

Tell me.

I miss you.

I miss you terribly.

I know, Dad.

See you tomorrow, son.

Who's there ?

It's Juste.

- It's Juste.
- Sure ?

Yes, it's him.
Come and open the door.

Is that you ?

Yes, it's me.

Good job I heard you.
I'm not deaf like your pal.

Sorry I woke you up.

I'm tired, I won't stay to chat.
I'm off to sleep.

Is it you or am I daydreaming ?

Come here, let me check you out.

So you're back for good.

Allah has granted my wish.

You know I don't pray every day.

Sorry, I'm a bit damp.

It's fine.

You know what ?
This calls for a celebration !

Juste ?

Leave that, I'll see to it.

I know Alpha wouldn't let me
discuss this with you.

I've come in his sleep to talk to you.

You can't stay here, you have to leave.

You have misfortune in your body.

What's happening to you
could befall Alpha.

They could come for him at any time,

you know that as well as I do.

Don't worry, he...

Take something if you're cold

and be gone before he wakes up.

I want him at my side.

A man should be beside
the woman he loves.

Do you see ?

Does this mean it's over ?

It isn't over, Juste.

Other things await you.

Have I crossed to the other side ?

Yes, but calm down.

Where are we going ?

Nowhere, Juste, don't worry.

Leave him,
he'll accept it in due course.

Agathe ?

Agathe ?

Agathe ?

Excuse me.

Coming ?

Hurry up, he's going.

Where to ?

Who knows ? I'm not driving.

Did you just get here ?

Not exactly heaven
but you get used to it.

I know you.

I don't know where from
but I definitely know you.

What's your name ?

- Juste.
- Doesn't ring any bells.

Yet with a name like that...

We're lucky the young lady
hailed a cab,

they're hard to find at this hour.

What young lady ?

The one right next to you
we can't see.

Can't you feel the back of the seat
is warm ?

You come to sense the living eventually.

How do you know it's a woman ?

The driver held the door open for her.

You notice these things.

Anyway we don't have much choice.

I wonder where the lady's taking us ?

My place.

She's coming to my place.

That night, I'd gone to examine
the scene with colleagues.

You were at the bottom of the cliff
in the park.

Juste...

I start early this morning.

I don't have much time so
I'll just say things as they come.

I've never been very good at analyzing
what's happening to me.

It isn't my thing.

I can't act as if you weren't here,

as if you hadn't come back.

It sounds stupid but you've been
in my thoughts ever since Turkey,

somewhere in my hopes.

I can see that none of this is real,

that what we're living
doesn't really exist.

It's like a digression, a secret.

But what's real and true

are my feelings for you:

what I am when you're there,

as if I am infinite,
making up for lost time.

So for me you exist.

And even if though it seems crazy,

I want it to carry on,

as much as possible.

So appear to me again,

my beautiful dream, my beautiful lie.

I love you.

Is it you ?

Are you really here ?

Or is it my imagination ?

I'm imagining you, right ?

It's your mouth.
I know the taste.

Your skin too... your hair...

Unbelievable.

Agathe, tell me I'm not dreaming.

I so want it to be real.

It's the way it is.

It's nothing.

It changes nothing.

You're only in my mind ?

I'm alone ?

Going crazy ?

No, look, I'm here.

I'm here.

I'm with you.

Even if I'm dreaming,

I can see you, feel you.

You can still dream about me ?

Yes, I think so.

I'll wait for you to come.

Will you come ?

When you sleep, it's up to the dream.

You think so ?

I hope so.

I'm so afraid it will fade.

I'll be here.

Hold me.

Hold me tight.

Look !

That's us down there.

Yes...

It looks like it.

Close your eyes, so we're the same.

BURNING GHOST