1492: Conquest of Paradise

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE

On screen the words: GRANADA - SPAIN - 1500

SANCHEZ
Your Majesty would wish to know the
true facts concerning the island of
Hispanola, our first settlement in
the New World, and the activities
there of your servant, Christopher
Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea,
Governor of that Island. You will
remember with what hopes and
promises he beguiled us -- the truth
is that he now presides over a state
of chaos, degradation and madness
beyond imagining.

SANCHEZ punctuates each word carefully.

SANCHEZ
From the beginning, Columbus proved
himself incapable of managing the
affairs of the island. He appointed
his brothers to important positions,
at once injuring the pride and
dignity of the nobles who had gone
with him. He promised to build a
city, the City of Isabel, named
after Your Majesty. What he
actually built was nothing but a
collection of huts, and that in the
wrong place, for all of it was
easily swept away by rain and mud.
Is that not so, Brother Buyl?

The PRIEST nods.

BROTHER BUYL
Yes, Your Honor.

SANCHEZ
He promised gold. Not finding the
easy quantities he promised,
Columbus commanded each Indian to
pay an annual tribute. Most being
unable to, they were barbarously
punished, against the express wish
of Your Christian Majesties...

ISABEL lowers her eyes.

SANCHEZ
Since provocation and injustice
never ceases, many of the Indians
have fled to the forests, or have
begun to slay the Christians.

ISABEL looks over at BROTHER BUYL.

ISABEL
Could it be so?

BROTHER BUYL
Yes, Your Majesty.

SANCHEZ
But there is worse. From the
beginning, he forced the nobles to
undergo physical labor, treating
them equally with the Indians, all
of them reduced to slavery. When
the nobleman Adrian de Moxica
protested against such treatment...
(he pauses)
... he was executed.
(pause)
Is that not true also, Brother
Buyl?

BROTHER BUYL
Yes, Your Honor. It is all true.
All of it. I saw it with my own
eyes.

SANCHEZ
He has lost control. His great
arrogance has led him into
depravity. He encourages our
soldiers to marry the native women.
He promised a paradise, but he has
made a hell full of all its horrors.

Silence.

ISABEL
Is that the man I knew, Treasurer
Sanchez?

SANCHEZ
Yes, Your Majesty.



INTERIOR HUT - ISLAND - DAY

COLUMBUS is stretched on a bed,
sweating heavily in fever, clearly delirious. Insects
crawl over his face, he makes no effort to swat them away.
There is a dripping sound of water.

FERNANDO
Of all the words my Father wrote and
there were many, I remember these
the most. "Nothing that results
from human progress is achieved with
unanimous consent..."

Rain is falling into the room over documents spread on a
table. COLUMBUS stands up and moves to the table. Some
of the walls have been blackened with smoke and flames. A
lizard scuttles into the shadows.

FERNANDO
"And those who are enlightened
before the others are condemned to
purse that light in spite of
others..."

COLUMBUS stares down at the documents, moving them away
from the rain drips. He stares out by the window, and we
see:

A devastated landscape. Flooded roads, half-destroyed
huts, broken trees... A dog picks its way through the mud.

FERNANDO
There was a time when the New World
didn't exist...


EXT. OCEAN - DAY

A vast stretch of ocean. It fills the screen. Unbroken,
infinite, luminous, mysterious -- it stretches away,
meeting and blending with the sky in pale ribbons of pearl
and misty light.

FERNANDO
... The sun set in the west on an
ocean where no man had dared to
venture. And beyond that,
infinity...

Pulling back, we discover:

A TEN-YEAR-OLD BOY and a strongly built man in his middle
thirties, are riding a mule. The MAN'S weather-beaten
face frames unusually bright eyes.

On the screen these words: ANDALUSIA, 1491

COLUMBUS AND HIS SON are following a windthrashed path at
the top of the hill. COLUMBUS hums a song, and FERNANDO
looks up at him in adoration.

FERNANDO
Once I asked my Father where he
wanted to go. And he replied: "I
want to travel all over the seas. I
want to get behind the weather..."

FERNANDO laughs. He then starts to hum along with his
FATHER.


appoint- mianować, powołać
barbarously- barbarzyńsko, w barbarzyński sposób
beguile- oczarowac, mamic, omamić
condemned- skazany
consent- zgoda, ugoda
depravity- deprawacja, demoralizacja
devastated- zniszczony, spustoszony
dignity- godność
enlightened- oświecony, światły
hum- nucić
luminous- świecący, świetlisty
noble- arystokrata
scuttle- biec szybko małymi kroczkami
slay- zabijać, zgładzić
stretch- rozciągać się
swat- pacnąć, palnąć, trzasnąć
sweep away- zmieść, zniszczyć
unanimous- jednogłośny, jednomyślny
undergo- przechodzić, poddawać się czemuś, doświadczać
venture- podejmować ryzyko
weather-beaten- sponiewierany przez burze, podniszczony
windthrashed- smagany wiatrem

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