Steel Toes (2007) - full transcript

Rage and intolerance collide with compassion Academy-Award nominated David Strathairn portrays Danny Dunkleman, a Jewish liberal humanist, and the court-appointed lawyer representing Mike Downey, a Neo-Nazi Skinhead on trial for the racially motivated murder of an East Indian immigrant. Steel Toes takes us into the intense and fiery relationship that develops between these two men as they explore their emotional and intellectual differences. Steel Toes is a provocative exploration of the inescapable and insidious presence of racial and religious intolerance in our society. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
♪ Seems like nothing's going fine ♪

- What are you laughing at?

♪ All time ♪

♪ Can't go any longer ♪

♪ They pushed me on the wall ♪

♪ I'm being unproductive ♪

♪ Won't go too far ♪

- How'd you
like that concert?

♪ Tension rising, they are coming ♪

♪ Blank sheet terrorizing ♪

♪ What's next, sorry, but I'm stuck ♪

♪ I know I'm having problems, no luck ♪

♪ Losing all my power ♪

♪ Waiting to be stronger ♪

♪ Meet my holy savior ♪

♪ I am having many doubts ♪

♪ 'Cause I can't see, no way out ♪

♪ Tension rising, they are coming ♪

- I'm sorry, sorry--

- The fuck you doing?
- I did not see you there.

- You stupid fucking Paki!

Now I'm gonna smell like
Indian food for a month!

- I'm sorry.


Please, I meant no--

- No!

- You ruined my fucking night?!

Fucking bitch!

- Mike!

Stop it!

- Hi.

- You going to meet that skinhead?

- Yeah, I'm gonna go see what's what.

Don't sleep past your ride.

- Okay.

- Thank you, Peter.

How many legal aid
lawyers have you met with?

- What do you mean?


- How many before me?

- In my life?

- I'm going to indulge in a
little colloquial language

for a moment here.

Don't get fucking smart with me.

It's just a little personal
commentary, do you understand?

- Is that a yes or a no?

- Yes?

- No way am I doing this.

- What did I do?

I don't want to hear you say "."

The court's not going to like that.

- What would you like to hear?

- I'd like to hear you say,

"I understand you were making a little

"off-the-record personal commentary."

- I understand that you're making a little

off-the-record personal commentary.

- Mr. Dunkleman.

- Mr. Dunkleman, sir.

- You being smart?

- No, sir.

- Don't call me sir.

- Okay.

- Do you know what kind
of name Dunkleman is?

- I know it's not Irish.

- Exactly, it's not
Irish, not in the least.

It's a Jewish name, which makes me--

- A person with a Jewish name.

- Right.

- You're a Jew.

- That's not what I said.

- Well, what are you, then?

- What difference does it make to you?

- I'd like to know where I stand.

- All right.

If they sent you a legal
aid lawyer who's Jewish,

how would you feel about that?

- That works fine for me.

You know what, it actually
works out pretty great

if you think of it.

You any good?

- No, I failed everything.

I failed my entrance exams, the bars.

That's why I'm working as a lawyer.

I'm totally incompetent.

- I like your sense of humor.

- That's great.

- You know, I don't mind if you're Jewish,

if that's what you're wondering about.

- Thank you, thank you so much.

I'll wire my parents.

Better yet, I'll wire Moses,

ask him to tell God they're
lightening up down here.

You're a little prick, aren't you?

- So your parents, they're Jewish?

- Fuck you, sport.

- You're really, really annoyed.

- I don't like skinheads.

I don't like neo-Nazis,

and I'm not particularly fond of tattoos.

I think the crime you're
charged with is ugly,

so I'm not much inclined to like you.

- You think I want you to like me?

- Get someone
else assigned to your case

if you'd like.

- You think I expect you to like me?

I don't expect anyone to like me.

For your knowledge, for the
record, I did the crime.

Yeah, I did it, okay?

But for the record, I
was heavily intoxicated.

- Did the police test your blood?

- No, but I think it was pretty obvious

when they picked me up.

- Well, what did you drink?

- A lot of scotch,
and about three or four pints.

- So you were quite inebriated.

- Yeah, I was
pissed out of my skull.

- Anything else?

- No.

- Where did the drinking take place?

- At a concert.

- Which was?

- By a band called HURC.

- Well, that's something
to do with Hercules?

What kind of name is Herc?

- No, no, it actually,

it stands for Holy
Useful Racial Cleansing.

It's a pun.

- Actually, it's an acronym.

It says here you were wearing steel-toed,

black leather combat boots.

Is that right?

- Yes.

- It also alleges that you
kicked the victim 30-odd times

while wearing those boots.

Is that right?

- Yeah.

- Why were you wearing
those particular boots?

- Steel-toed combats?

It's because it's part of
a recognizable uniform,

Mr. Dunkleman.

- Do me a favor, just don't say my name.

- All right.

- Would you mind reading this to me?

- "The victim suffered
heavy internal hemorrhaging

"and structural damage to the spine,

"which would have made walking
again difficult, at best.

"The attack is characterized as prolonged.

"The examining physicians
feel it must have lasted

"one or two minutes.

"He lost sight in one eye as well.

"He died three weeks after the incident

"from related internal hemorrhaging."

- Anyway, Mike, what I'd like to know,

to get an idea of how you
might present in trial,

is how do you feel about this?

- Can I ask you something?

- Sure, are you
going to answer my question?

- Yeah, no, I'm going to.

Just wanted to say you
don't look like a Jew.

Well, neither do you.

You don't look like a Jew.

- That's 'cause I'm not a Jew.

- You're kidding.

That's funny 'cause you
don't look like one.

- Okay, knock it off.

- Are you going to hurt me if I don't?

- Knock it off.

- Okay, Jewboy, whatever you say.

- Cut that fucking shit out!

- How do you feel about what happened?!

- Stupid fucking Paki!

We don't need fucking Muslims
on this planet anyway.

Fucking sand nigger!

And fuck you!

- I think that's going to
need a little going over.

I believe the gentleman

was from India to begin with.
- Yeah?

Fuck India!

- How do you think...

What kind of defense am I going to concoct

for someone like yourself?

- What do you mean, someone like myself?

- For someone who seems
to feel no remorse,

who isn't in the least, well,

who seems to be apparently--
- I feel remorse.

Do you think I wanted to kill the guy?

Do you think I was trying to kill the guy?

You know what I think
you're trying to ask,

is "How can anyone, let alone I,

"defend a white
supremacist skinhead punk?"

Is that right?

- For the moment, let's assume
you're dead on the money.

- I don't want to be tried
as any one of those things.

- Because those are my
ideas, if you follow me.

They're completely separate
from who I am as a person,

an individual on trial
for an act, an assault.

- You will be very lucky

to be convicted of manslaughter,

much more likely second-degree murder.

I'd look for mitigating
circumstances if I were you.

- I want to be on trial for what I did.

Are you following me on that?

- No.

- I don't want to be tried as a skinhead

because then they're trying
the movement and not me.

- The movement?

- Yeah, yeah, the movement.

It's a youth movement.
- Listen, Mike,

a lot of your bullshit makes
me very hot under the collar.

I'm not sure that makes me the best person

to argue your case.

Maybe there are lawyers in your movement

who could put forward your
case more sympathetically.

- No, no, no, look, look.

All I'm asking is that I be
tried and not the ideology

of the skinhead movement.
- The Crown Attorney

will prosecute you however he or she can.

And I would be in the unenviable
position of defending you.

- You know what?

I think you're all right.

I think you're a good guy.

- Well, I frankly don't
think very much of you.

I'm inclined to think that you're a shit.

- It's all right.

It's okay because you're
still gonna help me.

- Am I?

- Yes.

- What makes you so certain?

- Type of person you are.

- Which is?

- Liberal thinker.

Checks and balances, and
everybody deserves a fair trial,

blah, blah, blah, blah.

Is it wrong?

Is it a wrong way to think?

- Faced with someone like you.

- What type of person am I?

- Let me ask you something.

Did you have a little
checklist, an agenda for today?



Where are we?

- You tell me, Danny
Dunkleman, where are we?

- I don't know.

I don't know.

- Can I trust you?

- I can be trusted to perform
my duties as an attorney.

- If I need to talk
to someone, can I call you?

- If you need anything in
the way of legal counsel

and it can't wait, you can call my office.

I am going to represent you.

I'm going to take you through
the preliminary hearing.

- Yeah, I know.

- After that, we'll see.

- "We'll see"?

- Yeah.

One step at a time.

- Thank you.


- What?

- Why are you
agreeing to represent me?

- For the preliminary hearing?

I don't know.

I guess it's a big challenge.

- A big challenge?

- Yeah, well, it's not
your eye color, sweetheart.

I think you're an intelligent kid,

and on some level, I find
it difficult to believe

this was a premeditated act.

Maybe a jury would feel the same way.

I'll be in touch.

Just keep your mouth
shut and your head down.

- Okay, boss.

- Do you have a reason
for wanting me on this?

- Like I said, you're a
humanist, liberal Jew,

so you got to do your very best.

That's right, yes.

Of course, I forgot.


- In an ideal world,
I'd have you eliminated.

In this world, I need
you more than anyone.

- Quiet!


We'll set a date for
the sentencing hearing

as soon as possible.

- Yes, you give them a chance.

- Even the Arabs who want us dead?

- Especially the Arabs.

- They want us dead.

- That's why I said especially them.

You've got to take good care
of people that want you dead.

- Where does it say that?

- Where does it say anything different?

- "Hashem will bring might to his nation."

- It's the job of the mighty

to look after the weak, the diseased...

- Sounds like Jesus talk.

- He didn't live in a vacuum.

- Even when they say they want you dead?

- What else?

You going to kill them?

You going to nuke them?

If you do, you're worse than they are

because they only talked
about it, and you did it.

- Doesn't sound right.

It sounds soft.

- Soft?

It's the hardest kind of right there is.

Otherwise, the killing won't stop.

Somebody has to stop the killing,

and that's you and that's me.

"Thou shalt not kill."

It's the basis of our entire civilization.

- Okay, okay.

- Don't "okay" me.

You're not using your head.

- I know, Dad.

"You might as well have
stewing beef in there."

- Or gefilte fish.

- Or matzo ball soup.

- My god.

- I am at presently
mostly immobilized in hospital.

The brain injury which I have been caused,

together with my back,
disallows me to walk

or move in a regular fashion.

I cannot stand, nor can I properly sit.

In general, I have the appearance

of a man mauled by an animal.

- Hey, boss!

- That was fucking disgusting.

- You didn't like that?

- Made me look like a
hack, cheap, stupid hack.

- How did I do that?
- I won't have that.

Don't play stupid.

- You didn't like the skins being there?

- 10 pair, 20 combat
boots in the courtroom

with me and my client.

"Murder in the first degree,

"and for motivation, ladies and gentlemen,

"turn your heads to the
assholes in the peanut gallery."

- I didn't invite nobody.

They came.
- You didn't invite nobody

means you invited somebody.

You're playing at being stupid.

- I didn't ask
them to be there, okay?

- You've got a crew in the courtroom,

and I'm supposed to stand
up there straight-faced,

tell the room that the crime
was not racially motivated.

- You can tell them whatever
you want to tell them.

- No, I can't, and I won't.

We do this better, smarter, cleaner,

or I don't do it at all.

Where did you go to school?

- Mixed.

- Where was the last
place you were in school?

- Montreal High School.

- Okay.

Grade what?

- Grade 10, mostly, some subjects.

Other grades, higher.

- So don't play stupid.

I know you're not.

I can't separate out your views
from those of the skinheads

when they are sitting there like a crew.

- It's open to the public.

- You smiled at them.

- They're my friends.

- Do you have any idea

what kind of time you're
looking at if we don't perform

some kind of amazing tap dancing routine?

- Yeah, yeah, a lot of time.

- You could be
looking at more time

than you have lived so far.

Got it?

- Longer than I've lived?

- Before parole.

After that, I can guarantee you

you won't know how to live anymore.

How does the number 7,299 days sound?



Wonder what music will sound like then.

- Yeah, I get the picture.

- I wonder how it would
feel to be a 40-year-old man

who knows nothing but prison.

You'll never get laid again

without a couple of
hundred bucks to spare.

- Yeah, that's a lot of time.

Because you're not a juvenile anymore,

and this isn't a little scrap

at the Montreal High School Dance.

- Wait, you saw about that?

- Your juvenile record, yeah.

Quite a career you've built.

- That guy pushed me.

- Yeah, well, he was black.

- Yeah, yeah, he was.

And they got gangs.

- And he got stitches, Mike.

You know, there's always going
to be someone pushing you,

high school, whatever.

- Where did you go to school?

- McGill Law, near where my parents,

at one point in the past, lived.

I brought you a dossier.

See this?

This is a dossier.

I had to get special permission
for you to have this.

- What's that thing for?

- This is your briefcase,
your version of a briefcase.

They wouldn't let you have one like mine,

the steel in the hinges, in
the snaps, and the side guides.

Apparently, they don't
want you to have steel.

- Weapons, right?

- Yeah, whatever.

- They make weapons from
anything inside here--

- Listen, I don't want to hear about it.

I want you to concentrate on this.

- What's this for, what do I need it for?

- Every document I have, you have.

Every piece of paper,
transcripts, statements of import,

and everything from your juvenile career.

Look through it carefully,
and don't miss a thing.

- Wait, Danny, Danny,
where you going with this?

- This is your casebook.

You're gonna need it.

- For what?

- Because you are going to
be involved in this trial.

Very involved, or I will walk.

- I'm gonna be involved in this trial?

- Yes, one way or another, so wake up.

- That's your job.

- I'll worry about my
job and how to do it,

and I'll tell you what your job is.

- Danny, the courtroom?

They got me.

They got a lot.

The Crown, what is he?



You, you, you're Jewish.

The magistrate.

- Magistrate?

He's Irish, from a very old

Montreal Black Irish clan of
lawyers, three generations.

- He looks like a Jew.

- Never can be too sure about
the dark-haired ones, right?

- Whatever, this is your world.

This is multiracial Montreal.

- The word is multicultural.

- That's newspeak, multicultural.

- Guard!

- Wait. Wait, wait, wait.

- Guard!

- Don't, wait, don't go.

Don't go.

- Why not?

So, you've noticed there's a few

Jewish lawyers in the system.

- Yeah, there's just a few.

- Tell me something, Mike,

what were you doing when you were 12?

- When I was 12?

I was playing street hockey mostly,

with my friends, with tennis balls.

What did you do?

- I used that case every
day, almost every day,

after school and weekends.

It had all my papers in it.

- For what?

- I was learning how to read

and do a little writing.

- At 12?

- Torah study.

I was learning how to read

one of the world's more ancient languages,

how to pray certain prayers

and songs--
- So you think that makes you

better than me.

- You're in jail, Mike.

I'm visiting.

You hurt someone
deliberately, and he died.

You're in a stinking mess,

and it's going to take
work and study and energy

on your part to get out of it.

- Maybe I can try it,

I don't know where you're
going with this though.

- You pick the direction.

Review the material, review your record,

read everything carefully,

and then you tell me
what's the right way to go.

- Tell you, this is your job, okay?

What am I gonna come up with?

You're the lawyer.

- Yeah, I'm the kike lawyer

you have to play street hockey with now.

If we're not a team, we both go down.

- I want to think about this.

- What's that on your arm?

You get into a scrape?

- It's a symbol.
- What is it?

- Nothing
yet, it's not finished.

- Why don't you just tattoo
guilty across your forehead?

- I was bored.

- Well, now you've got
some reading material.

There's about 250 pages there

related directly or indirectly to you.

- My point of view?

That we're losing Canada,

that we're losing our English,
Canadian, white way of life,

which is something that
I want to hold on to,

which is completely separate

from what I did in the alley.
- It's not separate, Mike.

- If multiracial societies worked,

they wouldn't have to sell it to us

for tax dollars for millions a year.

Millions of immigrants a year arrive

and are being born in our country.

- All right, maybe that's your angle.

Now, think about it.

You want to get up there
and say you resent the hell

out of what's happening to this country

and that's what made you do it?

Okay, but I am gonna want a precise,

logical, cogent argument from you.

You okay with those words?

- I understand what you're saying.

But this is completely--

- I don't want to hear about it.

Read all this material carefully.

I'm not meeting with you
again until you've done that,

not until you come up
with a plan of attack.

- What if I can't, what
if I don't do what--

- You can.

You will.
- What if I don't want to?

- All right.

If I take a walk, someone
else will be in my seat.

You want me to play hack to your idiot?

Don't want to use your head?

Might as well have stewing
beef in there, then.

- Stewing beef?

What do you mean?

- If you don't do anything
and I don't do anything,

this is how it goes: I make
$7,000 from handling you badly.

You go to prison for a very long time.

I take 18% of my 7,000

and I put it into an RRSP
or a retirement fund,

which guarantees me that when you get out,

I'm playing golf
somewhere nice in Florida.

- I get the picture.

- No.

No, no.

No, I want you to know and hear

what a kike lawyer does with his money.

You might learn something.

I buy a cigar for $30 from the
Socialist Republic of Cuba.

I smoke it one lazy afternoon.

I take a couple hundred off the top

and I take my wife to a restaurant

that you could only ever look into.

We laugh, get along famously.

I take my wife home from the
restaurant and we make love,

while you are fending
off advances from men.

Are you getting a clearer picture?

- Yeah, thank you.

Thank you very much.

- We don't want anyone saying
there was a conspiracy,

that you didn't get a
good crack at the bat.

Worst case scenario,

they declare you a dangerous offender

and you never ever get out.

You never have anyone
to tell a dirty joke to,

play cards with,

or play husband and wife with.
- All right, all right!

All right!

Talk, talk, talk, talk!

You talk too much!


- Yeah, well, you're gonna have to do

a lot of talking yourself.

- I'll look at the papers.

- And you'll start by putting together

a brilliant defense strategy.

- I'll do...



- Let me show you a little
something about this dossier.

This belonged to my dad.


He brought it here before
the Second World War,

time you seem to have indicated
some passing interest in.

This is nice, old world,
full process work.

Hand stitching, see?

Just a needle and thread.

- And you're giving me this?

- I'm lending it to you.

I want your brain out of neutral.

I want you engaging life on some level.

- Do my best.

- You'll have to do better
than that, much, much better.


- Hey, Danny.

What's it like outside?

- It's getting cooler.

- It's not me.

That's not me.

Take that, you Jew piece of shit.

- Mike!

Stop it!

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, oi,
oi, oi, oi, oi, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Hey, hey, hey, hey,
hey, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi.

Oi, oi, oi.

Damn fucking shit!

Shit, shit, shit, shit!

- Here it is.

Not bad?
- Very nice.

- No, I don't, that's ridiculous.

Home at last.

Super Liberal returns to his
form as a mere mortal Jew.

- Nice to see you too, Sam.
- Sam, don't start.

- What?

He started.

Danny's busy constructing
a landmark defense

for a kid who kicked a
hardworking immigrant

to death in an alleyway.

- Well, we almost made it to
dessert without any shop talk.

- Almost.

Let me guess,

we're having you to dinner.

Yes, well,

you had us to dinner.

I'm sorry,

I really apologize.

- It's okay, Danny.

I'm just teasing.

Dinner was wonderful.

- Good, I'm glad.

I have a witness.

He could only see me after six today,

so I thought we'd meet for 15, 20 minutes,

but then an hour or something later--

- No, three, three hours
and something later.

- A witness now?

- Well, kid
deserves a fair hearing.

- What witness?

- He's a key person at the
Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

He's gonna testify on the indoctrination

of kids as skinheads.

Some wine, please?
- Indoctrination no less.

- Yeah, that's what they call it

when you get brainwashed.

- What do they call what happened to you?

- Sam.

- Well, it's called being late.

I apologize.

No apologies necessary.

Of course it's accepted.

I do not accept it.

- Sam.
- I will speak for myself.

I gave Danny a case he couldn't fumble,

get a little media buzz,

and he's turning it into
some kind of watershed.

- Well, if you feel that way,
Sam, you feel free to leave.

Yeah, you just get the fuck out.

- Danny.
- Come on, Danny,

he's just, you know, it's Sam.

He's up to his old tricks.

- Just playing around, Danny.

Same as always.

- Get out.

See, he's leaving.
- My god.

- We haven't even had dessert yet.

Come on, you guys, stop
acting like two macho Jews,

and let's have the cake!
- Sam!

- Have you forgotten who you are?

- What are you talking about?

- What your family went through?

What mine went through?

Try not to forget.

- Sam, I don't forget anything.

- Yeah?

Well, whatever you do, come
out smelling roses, okay?

Do good, and I can get you a partnership.

Make a mess, and you're out on your ass.

- Okay, excuse me.
- No joke.

- Took me three hours to
make this meshuggener cake.

Danny's mother insisted on talking me

through it over the phone.

I thought I was gonna kill her.

So, okay, fellas, you
sit down, you shut up,

and you be nice, or
you'll have hell to pay.


- Yeah.

- What a gorgeous cake.
- Knife.

- Yeah.

- Three hours.

Believe it?
- So beautiful.

I don't, I don't.

Three hours on the phone
with your mother-in-law?

- Danny!

- How you doing?

- God.
- What's up?

- The fuck?

- Mike, what's the matter?

What's up?

- Are you annoyed with me?

- Well, I'm annoyed, but--

- With me?

You didn't take my calls.

- Only this last week.

- I've got no one to talk to in here.

What are you annoyed about?

- Mike, what do you need?

- I've been think, I'm
thinking, I've been thinking.

- Okay. Okay, good.

Good, good, that's good.

You read all the documents that I--

- Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, I've read them over
almost practically every day.

- And?

- I don't know.

I don't know.

- How many times do I have to
come down here and walk you

through all this shit?
- I don't know how

or where to start with it all.

- Got to start somewhere.

What have you got??

- I haven't got anything.

I don't have anything.

- You don't have anything?


- Essentially, yeah, that's right.

- You've read everything?
- I've read it all, yeah.

- Well, everything you need in order to...

What did you call me down here for, then?

- I need to get some
ideas of how to start.

- I'm not giving you ideas, Mike.

Your ideas are what
we're dealing with here.

Your thoughts.
- But I needed to talk to you

to see what you thought.

- Well, for the moment, it's
irrelevant what I think.

- You can suggest.

- You just called me down here

to yank my chain, didn't you?

- I want your help.

- You know, I expected a little bit more.

I thought maybe you would have, shit.

- What?!
- You have been sitting here

for a very long time, four months.

That's an eternity for someone your age,

and you have no fresh fucking thoughts.

What are you, a moron?

God damn it!

- You're really, really annoyed.

Why are you so annoyed?

- It's a hell of a day.

It's a day in the city
and it's getting to me.

You know, and I told you not to call me

unless you had something new to say.

- You're not making it easy for me.

- Hey, it's not supposed to be easy.

- You're not
supposed to make it hard.

- All right, all right, all right.

What are you gonna do?


- When do you think, now.

You've got 90 days left to
come up with a strategy.

- How can it just be me?

How come you're not doing your job?

- I do my job.

I do it every day,

at the expense of my home
and family where necessary.

I already have my degree.

We're not testing my abilities
or thought processes.

- Okay, I know, I know that.

- How can you have read this and...

- And what? What?
- How can you have read

all this material and not even come up

with a little, tiny idea
to start, a place to start.

- Because people say I'm stupid.

You said, "moron."

- I'm sorry, yes, I did,

but, you know, you're acting like one.

- I'm just too stupid.

- Cut the self-piteous,
dying baby seal crap.

- Okay, all right.

I will.

- All right.

I've got a little time left.

I've got to meet somebody,
but what do you want to do?

It's your time, paid for already
in my little agenda book.

- For starters, I hear
nothing from my skins.

No one's called me, no one's--

- Your skins?

Who are they?

Your boys in boots?

They're a tribe of ill-educated,

white trash, sons of bitches
who have as their strictly

avowed purpose--
- Be careful what you say.

- The annihilation of
the memory of a people

who have already been killed once,

who want to shit on the
graves of my ancestors,

yeah, who would prefer to wipe out my race

for nothing more than blood sport

because they are too stupid

to make a go of it for themselves

in the best possible
part of the entire world!

- What the fuck happened to you today?!

- Shut up, listen to me.

This could be your last
stop, Mike, right here.

So are you gonna get your head in gear

and build a sharp, fully
functioning defense, or not?

Do you have trouble

understanding me?
- No!

No to the last question.

Yes, I'm totally with you.

- I don't want to be made
a fool of in court again.

- All right!

- Do you know what's gonna
happen to you in there?

They're gonna take you apart,

your head, your emotions,

your soul, your history.

They stamp around in those things, Mike.

They take kicks at your thinking.

They try to figure out
who you may one day be.

Did you ever hear about what
the Romans did with birds?

- No.

- They pulled them apart,

looked at their guts to
determine their future.

- That's sickening.

- Yeah, and the court
is gonna take you apart,

and you can't break, you cannot waiver

from whatever defense you construct.

And they will not stop simply
because you admit guilt.

You've got 90 days left.

You've wasted 120 so far.

- All right.

Okay. Okay.

- Mike, listen.

You're gonna have to
get into your feelings,

and that's not simple.

And you're gonna have to
recognize an honest emotion

if it jumps up and bites you in the ass.

- I still have feelings.

- Well, that's a good starting place.

- Man, I like you.

Think you're a smart guy.

- Yeah, well, I feel like hitting you.

- You do?

- Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, I feel like punching you

and knocking sense,
beating logic into you.

- Well, why don't you?

- What?

What, hit you?

No, come on, don't be silly.

- Yeah.

Yeah, hit me, Danny.

Come on, it'll get rid of the feeling.

Hit me, Danny.
- Mike, I'm not gonna hit you.

- Come on, hit me.

I want you to hit me.
- I'm not doing this.

- Hit me, Danny.

I want you to hit me.

- I'm not going to.

- Even a liberal can throw
a punch now and then, Danny.

Come on, up and at it.

Hit me.

- No.

- A real Jew would love to hit me.

What are you, a wannabe?

Are you wannabe Jew?

Is that it? Right?

You fucking wannabe.

- Mike.
- Six million?

You liar, bunch of liars.

- Sit down, Mike.

- Why?!

- I said sit down, now, Mike.

- I want to know why.

- If I started hitting you,
I might not be able to stop.

- Now you know how it feels.

That's my starting place.

- Christ.

I'm all right.


Hey, come on.


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.
- It's clean.

- What?

- Your window's clean.

- Yeah.

I'm sorry, I--

- No, it's okay.

- Here.
- It's on the house.

- It's on the house?

- Super liberal.

- What is it, you too
with the Super Liberal.

What is that?

What is this?

- Danny, a little humor
is possible, you know?

- Well, this isn't funny.

- You're losing it, you know?

I'm getting to be fed up with this one.

- Anna, it's almost finished.

It's just this, then the
hearing, and it's done.

- Well, that's good

'cause I'm really quite sick of this case.

- What, I'm not supposed
to take care of my client?

I'm not supposed to do my job?

- Yeah.

That's good.
- Hey.

Could you turn that down?

Anna, please?

Just turn it down a little bit?

Will you turn the music down, please?

Are you gonna turn it down or what?

- This
cloth, filled with my father.

You could practically ring him out of it

into a tub of cold water.

The oil of my father's
skin, the back of his neck,

almost 60 years against this cloth.

His smell.

His smell throughout it.

Almonds is how he smelled.

Black stripes.

How do you make such a pattern?

At the edges, both edges,

loose-tied together with
the tiniest of knots,

tied by Father's 13-year-old
fingers, he told me.

At the corners, reinforced,

a material that looks like
pieces of a parachute,

though it's not.

I asked more than once.

Through these four corners,

eight thick strands through each,

tied into five ornate double knots.

10 knots per corner, from eight strands.

Days of knotting, days of tying.

10 knots.

"That ye may remember and
do all my commandments,

"to affect the mending of
that which was shattered,

"and to be holy unto your God."

- You're late.

- Couldn't get a razor.

Who's that for?

You expecting someone here?

- Possibly.

- Who?

- It's a Passover tradition.

You set an extra place, a glass.

Let's get started.

You've got your dossier.

- Yeah.
- You ready for this?

- You know, I'm sick of it.

I'm sick to death.

I confessed to everything.

I mean, what more do they want from me?

- We'll see.

- What, they want me to
sign a piece of paper

which says I'm no good, that
I'm a waste to the system?

- I don't think that's what

they're after, Mike.
- That's what I am

right now to them, wasted person,

waste of a body.
- Lighten up on the self-pity.

- It's like a rack I'm on.

They keep turning the
wheel a little bit more.

- Well, this is a very fine needle

we're trying to thread here.

It's only gonna work if
you stay with me, okay?

Okay, to get into the spirit of things,

please state your name.

- Michael Downey.

- So everyone can hear you?

- Michael Downey.

- My name is Michael Downey.

- My name is Michael Downey.

- You may be seated.

Good morning, Mr. Downey.

- What do I say?

- Try "good morning," Mike.

- Okay, start over.

- Mike.

- Good morning.

- How long have
you been incarcerated

on this charge?

- Six, going on seven months now.

- And you have been where?

- Administrative segregation, City Jail.

- Any family or friends
in the courtroom today?

- Yeah, I think my mom

is gonna come and--
- Mike, straight answer.

And speak up.

- My mother is here.

And Jill, Jill Healey, my fiancee.

- You're engaged.

- Yes.

I hope to be married.

- At some point in the future.

- Yes, when I get out.

- Looking forward to a better future.

- Yes, I'd like to live a good life.

- Do you think it's right
that you can look forward

to a future?

- I think it's right.
- As compared to your victim,

who is dead?

His family?

Not so much a future right now.

- What am I supposed to say to that?

- What do you
have to say about that?

- I've been through a certain amount.

I don't like what I've done--
- Mike, don't go on too much.

Try to keep the answers concise, short.

- I was explaining.

- Yeah, I know, but we don't want

too much explaining from you
because it clouds things.

- Okay.

- What is this certain amount
that you have been through?

- Realizing what I've done is wrong.

- Mike, that's not gonna do anything.

- What's wrong with that?

- Well, the answer's
too short to begin with,

and you're not really saying anything.

- What happened to "concise"?

- Just answer the questions.

That's all you have to do.

- What was it again?

- What have you been through?

- I've been thinking.

I realize how wrong I was,

how I went off any kind of normal path.

My action was criminal and
it was influenced by society,

and it was influenced by my past.

It was influenced by--

- Mike, stop.

I told you before, don't
make excuses, okay?

Talk about what you feel,

what you're going to do,
what you want for the future.

- "Concise," more,
this, that, which is it?

What do you want?

- All of them.

- You're trying to piss me off, right?

- Maybe.

- It's...

- What?
- It's not working.

Do yourself a favor, son,
try to avoid ums and ahs.

Mouth sounds in general
make you sound stupid.

- Make me sound stupid?

- Yes, you, in particular,

sound stupid making stupid mouth sounds.

- You know what?

I'm not stupid.

- Really?

- You're not gonna get to me.

You're not gonna get me to respond.

- Just want to make sure.

All right.

Answer the question.

I'm sorry, Your Honor, my client seems

to have forgotten the question again.

What are you, stupid?


- It's not gonna be as bad as this.

- It's gonna be
a lot, lot worse, Mike.

- Just stop pushing me, okay?

- Do you consider yourself
to be white trash?

- They can't ask that.

- Are you white trash?

- I come from a working-class,
white upbringing.

- Is that white trash?

- No, it is not.

- What is white trash?

- It's what's called a derogatory term.

- And who does it describe?

- White people with no
school, who act badly.

- Are you white trash?

- No, I don't like think
of myself that way.

- Are you though?

You fit the description.
- No, I just said

that I'm not.

- What are you going
to do with your time in prison?

- Get whatever education I
can take from the system.

- Would you care to rephrase
your answer, Mr. Downey?

- I'm gonna take advantage

of the opportunities for education,

to finish high school to begin with,

and whatever else I can.

- Thank you.

- I'm gonna take what I can
get, like all good white trash.

- You know, Mike, one crack like that

and they're gonna throw
the fucking book at you.

You understand me?

Longest sentence possible,
25 years to parole.

- Who's getting angry?

- I'm allowed,
I'm not being assessed.

- Keep asking.

- Mike, we're hanging over
a ledge with this, you know?

- I know. I know.

And you could make a
really good reputation too.

- You think I am doing this for myself?!

- Okay, whatever, just keep
asking the questions, okay?

- We need to know, Mr. Downey,
the court needs to know

what was your intent while
you were kicking the victim.

- I was angry, I was out of control.

- Not your condition,
Mike, your intention.

What was it you were trying to do?

- I think at that time,
I was trying to get even.

- For what?

- I look at this man and I said to myself,

"This man's working at a burger joint.

"I can't even get a job at a burger joint,

"and this man's working at one?"

I think that I was blaming him

for what was wrong in my life.

- Do you still feel that way?

- No, no, I could probably get a job

doing what he was doing.

- All right, what else?

- Wasn't his fault.

What was wrong in my
life wasn't his fault.

- Were you trying to hurt him?

- Yes.
- Would you liked

to have killed him?

- No, no, absolutely not.

That wasn't my intention.

- Not even for a minute?
- No.

If I wanted to kill him, he
would have died right there.

- Mike, you can't say that.
- Yeah, well, it's the truth.

- I don't care if it's the truth or not.

You don't need to speculate
on what you might have done

had you felt differently.

Okay, you're doing all right,

but there's a couple of important
things we need to go over.

- What else?

- I'm gonna ask you directly,
while you are under oath,

how you can explain this crime.


- Wait, you told me not to explain.

- Yes, I, but I am asking
you directly to explain.

What do you have to say about this crime?

Mike, this is a vital part

of what I asked you to do, and you agreed.


- Yes.


Coming as I did, from my
particular background,

I had a feeling at that
time that as a white male,

I was getting a bad deal.

- How so?

- There's no hiring
incentive for white males,

not for the fire department,
not for the cops,

not for any of the traditional
jobs for my people.

- Go easy on talk like
"for my people," okay?

- In fact, if anything,

it is just the opposite
for the white male.

In those jobs and in many
others, in many other areas,

it's just the opposite.

Even if I go to school like my cousin did,

they can't hire a white male
to be a professor anymore,

and that's really, really discouraging.

In all of those jobs that I
mentioned, the opposite is true.

You have a case where everyone
else is considered first.

This, by-the-by, is in direct violation

of the Constitution of Canada.

Everyone else is encouraged

and given a chance over the white male,

who's left last.
- This is unbelievable, Mike.

I can't believe this.

These are excuses again,

and there is no excuse for what you did.

You need to present an argument.

- I'm giving you an argument.

- This is pathetic.

We've been over this material, Mike.

I want to hear something new.

- I had a feeling that there
were too many immigrants,

that immigrants were taking

over this country.
- No, no, no, no.

- It was my feeling

that the white male had completely lost

his pride--
- I don't want this shit.

- I felt--
- Mike, I don't want to hear

this watered-down
version of skin thoughts!

I'm asking you to tell us,

here in the court, why you killed someone,

how that happened and what you feel now.

- I--
- With everything

in this dossier, can't
you say anything else?!

- Like what, Danny?!

Okay, I said I killed him!

I said I was wrong!

What the hell else am I gonna say?!

You won't hear my defenses!

- Yeah, because they're
not good enough, Mike.

You've gotta go deeper, you've
gotta get down to sinew.

- I don't want to!

- Mike, you have to.

For God's sake, you must
have something else to say!

- I could say that I'm sorry,

I could say that I'm very sorry

for what I did.
- Not good enough!

- I'm on a torture rack here, Danny.

- Mike, tell me why you killed him

and what was wrong with you.

- What's wrong with me?

- Yes!

What is wrong with you?!

- Ladies and gentlemen,
what's wrong with me?!

- Great. Great, Mike.

- What's wrong with me?!
- Okay, you little

son of a bitch, you're gonna
go to prison for 25 years,

you could spend 25 years

in administrative segregation.
- No, no, no, no.

- Mike, what the hell
happened in that alley?

- I said I killed him, all right?

I killed him by mistake!

- And what the fuck, if
anything, has it taught you?

- Zip!


Fuck all, asshole!

- You just lost it.

Nice going.

- I didn't lose it.

You know, I just got it.

- Sit down, Mike.

- Fuck you!

- Sit down, Mike.

All right--
- I am renouncing

my cooperation with the
forces of the Zionist

Occupational Government.
- All right,

just take it easy.

We went a little bit too far.

We'll just start over, okay?
- My name is Michael Downey.

I am a foot soldier in
the Great Aryan Resistance

to the forces of ZOG.

The ZOG has given me a so-called
Social Insurance Number

and I refuse to utter

that filthy number.
- Michael, stop this please.

Okay? Just stop it.

- I declare my undying membership

to the White Aryan Church of Jesus Christ,

our Lord the Redeemer.

I declare with furious white pride

that the Jew, Jews like
the man in this room,

are holding me, a true patriot, hostage.

- Michael, you are not

a hostage.
- I am a political prisoner

being tortured, and forced
to read from documents

that are not relevant to
my actions as a soldier.

It is my firm and ardent belief

that the Jews, who are
monitoring my every word,

controlling my every action,
are the slayers of Cain,

the slayers of Christ,
our Lord the Redeemer.

The Jew creatures,

the leaders of all the
lesser mixed gray races,

have instigated international communism

while, at the same time, control
the world banking system.

I declare my act of violence

to be not an act of hate,

but a sensible, compassionate
act of love and pride

for the great white race.

- God, no, no, no, no, no!
- The Jews

are the spawn of Satan,
descended of Cain--

And must head the list
of all inferior races

to be eliminated in order to
make a clean, unfilthy world

for the return of Christ,
our Lord the Redeemer.

The only way to stop the
murder is by killing.

The killing is perpetrated
first and foremost by the Jews,

so, first and foremost, the
Jews must be eliminated.

Then will come the inferior.

In this trial, I am as an
innocent lamb to the slaughter...

- Foot Soldier Downey!

Stand up straight!

- I will not cooperate
with the forces of ZOG!

- Soldier, I'm commanding
you to stand up straight!

- Yes, sir.

Standing up, sir.

- What seems to be the problem?

- Seven months in administrative seg, sir.

- You do not like
administrative segregation?

- No, it is making me lose all my mind.

- I'm trying to save you
from 25 years, Michael.

- 25 years!

- You have to sit at this table

and read this document.

- Who are you, sir?

- An officer!

- An officer of who?

- Of the queen's court.

- Yes, sir.

Sitting down, sir.

- Read the document.

- I don't think I can do that, sir.

- I happen to know for
a fact that you can.

- I've read it, sir!

- Not for me, you haven't!

- Why?!

- You may be required to do it in court.

- And if I don't?

- You will be held in contempt.

- I'll try, sir.

- No, you will do it.

- "I am, at present, mostly
immobilized in hospital.

"The injury which I have been
caused, together with my back,

"disallows me to walk or
move in a regular fashion.

"I cannot stand, nor can I properly sit.

"In general, I have the appearance

"of a man mauled by an animal.

- Lastly, I have difficulty
seeing from one eye,

and only hope for better.

I am still in hospital

in case of more complications
from the attack.

- "My wife and two children live now

"in some fear for their lives.

"They're not, at present, secure.

"It is my greatest hope
to regain wellness,

"that I may be of some
utility to my family

"and all the rest of society.

- I give thanks to all those
who have helped me so much

and pray for them that
they may be rewarded

for their efforts.

As for the young man who
so brutally attacked me

with no provocation whatever on my part--

- "I feel this young man
must be kept from society

"until a time when he
has a full rehabilitation

"and is again able to live

"in a society with many colors.

- In his Christian Bible,

it is Joseph who had a
cloak of many colors,

and that is what we find in life.

He may one day wish to pick
up that cloak for himself.

- "Finally, I wish to say to him

"that I bear him no grudge in any way.

"Though I'm not a martyr

"and take no pleasure
in this incapacitation,

"which is not of my doing,

"if I am destined to die"--

- Leaving behind this world,

as a Hindu, it is my great honor

to offer him my forgiveness

in a world where
forgiveness seldom exists.

- "I wish him only goodness,
comfort, and shade,

"in this most difficult walk
which he has embarked on"--

- Through the many harsh days and nights,

which can, at times, be life.

As well, I hope that he
finds a better road to walk.

In heaven, and heaven alone--

- "Can each be judged according
to his merits or demerits."

- Please.

- Holy fuck!

Holy fuck!

Holy fuck!

- I beg of you,

I beg of you,

please, please stop.

- He begged me!

He begged me to stop, but I didn't stop.

Holy fuck!


My God!

My God!

I didn't want to do it.

I didn't mean to do it!

- Michael.


- My God!

- Stand up.


- Can't do this.

I can't do this.
- Yes, you can.

Come on.
- I can't.

- Come here.
- Can't do this.

- I want you to sit at this table

and read the document again.

- The fuck are you doing to me?

- Just read it.

No whining, no crying, no puking.

- What are you trying to do to me?

- I'm taking you through the
eye of the needle, Michael.

You are the thread.

Now, once you go through
that eye, you can decide.

- Decide what?

- What part of the fabric you want to be,

because that's what it all is, Michael,

society, reality, time.

It's all about the threads of a cloth.

A divine cloth.

You want to be a lone thread?

Go ahead.

You want to rip at the fabric?

Have at it.
- What the fuck?

I don't know what you're
talking about anymore.

- You want to believe
that I'm your ZOG rep?

That's your choice.

You want to stick with
your fucking hatred?

Go ahead.

God knows we've all
got some measure in us.

- I still have some good in me.

I know I still have some small good.

- I don't doubt it.

- You doubt it, I know you doubt it.

I don't even know where the hell I am.

You don't know who the fuck I am.

You don't know who I am.
- I know exactly

who you are, Michael.

You are Michael Downey.

- Jesus Christ.

What am I supposed to do now?

- Read the document, like a
grownup with a full voice.

Everyone is going to want to hear you.

You're in your 20s.

You're not a boy anymore.

- All right.

- "I am, at present, mostly
immobilized in hospital.

"The injury which I have been
caused, together with my back,

"disallows me to walk, or
move in a regular fashion.

"I cannot stand, nor can I properly sit.

"In general, I have the appearance

"of a man mauled by an animal.

"Lastly, I have difficulty
seeing from one eye,

"and only hope for better.

"I am still in intensive care

"in case of more
complications from the attack.

"My wife and two children live now

"in some fear for their lives.

"They are not, at present, secure.

"It is my greatest hope
to regain wellness,

"that I may be of some
utility to my family"...

- Anna, please. Don't.


- I present a very particular problem

to this court and to this society.

If you ignore this problem
or you try to deal with it

simply by incarceration, it won't go away.

It'll only get worse.

I ask for the tools of rehabilitation

to be made available to me.

If you, the court, or the
people of this society,

turn a blind eye to this problem,

not only will it not go away,
it'll get forever worse.

It'll break the back of your society.

I've admitted my guilt,

and I don't ask you to
excuse it or forgive it.

I ask you to simply see this
problem as not only mine,

but as somehow slightly yours,

and that something be done about it.

The hand of hatred, the foot, the weapon,

will not be defeated
simply with equal force,

but, only and forever, always,

with the intelligence that some of you

have had the good
fortune through your days

to come into possession of.

That's all.

And thank you very much
for listening to me.

- Danny, do
you have a statement?

How do you feel about the verdict?

- There's a need for
tolerance in this society.

- No questions, please.

Let's go. Let's go.

Excuse us, please.

Thank you.

Thank you. Come on.

- I know now it's not tolerance,

but love, actual love.

- Some of our viewers might find it odd

to hear that coming from
you, convicted murderer.

Could you elaborate on that?

- It's not enough to tolerate.

- Some observers have charged
that your recanting your views

is a conversion of convenience.

What do you say to that?

- That's not the case.

My speaking out could get me killed.

- Others have charged that you
spoke out against skinheadism

for your own purposes or
to demonstrate contrition.

- No, I'm in jail.

I knew I'd be in jail.

Not required to be contrite.

- On an anti-racist coalition website,

you're described as a former skinhead.

Is that correct?

- Yes, it is, as is the description.

I prefer to think of myself
more as a former normal person

who went down a very bad, very wrong road.

- How do you spend your time in jail?

- I read a lot of history
to reeducate myself,

to de-educate myself from what I believed.

I see a psychologist to improve myself.

I also do AA.

And I sit in the sun
whenever I get the chance

to bleach out my tattoos.

- It would seem to many

that you've come out of this rather well.

Your sentence is more in line
with a manslaughter charge

than with a racially motivated
murder, a hate crime.

- Yes.

- To what do you attribute

this stunning reversal of fortunes?

Would you say it's your
lawyer, Danny Dunkleman?

- Absolutely.

Danny reached me, he changed my path.

I had to ask myself, "If
this man, Daniel, Danny,

"if this man is willing to help me,

"how could he possibly
be a spawn of Satan?"

Danny took an interest in
me, gave me another chance,

as did my victim with
what he said on my behalf.

- Can you honestly say that
you won't be a risk to society

once you are released?

- In prison, I'll be no harm to anyone.

One day, I'll get out.

I'll be set free.

I think and I dream of that day.

I haven't been able to
reach you for months.

- I haven't been
reachable for months,

deliberately so.

- What happened to you?

- I was promoted at work.

I'm a full partner.

- You're talented.

- The media attention we
got solidified my career,

it put me in whole other league.

My wife left me.

- She did?

- Yeah.

- Why?

- She was tired of me.

- That's tough.

What was her name?

- Anna.

- I'm sorry.

- It's not your fault.

- Didn't think that...

Did you think that it was my fault?

- I blamed you, I blamed
everyone, and I blamed myself.

It's no use.

I was in bed for two months.

Fell to pieces.

- And now?

- Now?

Walking around in a stupor.

- You know, you can't do anything with it.

- What do you mean?

- It'll take a long time.

- And then?

- Eventually, over the course of time,

you forgive yourself to some small extent.

Start to find pleasure in small things.

- I still can't work.

This is the first thing
I've done in two months.

- And you still have your job?

- Yeah, they want my
name on the letterhead.

- I've made some changes.

- Yeah, my secretary
summarized your letters.

- You couldn't read my letters.

- Well, Mike, I look at
what I've done with you,

and you could be back on
the street in three years.

I find myself staring into
this dark, debilitating riddle,

beaten up by the meaning of everything.

I find a taste in my mouth that's,

well, I don't even want to know.

I try to pray, and instead
I find myself hating you.

- What about your ideas?

Your eye of the needle.

- The dossier.

- You can't have it back.

It's actually got my
grade 11 homework in it.

- No, it's yours.

I want you to have it, Michael.

- Thank you, Daniel.

I've learned one thing.

I hope

and I hope

and I hope.

- These
seven threads comprise a cloth,

spirit, light, time,

space, birth, death,

and the seventh thread,

which is the mystery of the universe.

This seventh thread is also
the opposite of spirit,

the opposite of light,
the opposite of time,

the opposite of space,
the opposite of birth,

the opposite of death.

The seven-threaded dimensional cloth,

which is the very fabric
of the unnameable.

The fabric extending out from
any point of our universe.

This movement, this animation,
this extension in the cloth

is the divine dance of eternity.