EISENSTEIN IN MEXICO
A New Play by the author of Sixteen Words For Water Billy Marshall Stoneking Copyright 1999 William Stoneking C/- PO Box 1321 Woodstock, New York 12498 U.S.A. (in Australia) PO Box 160 Balmain, NSW 2041 Australia Or e-mail: billy@stoneking.zzn.com E I S E N S T E I N I N M E X I C O A Background Following the success of Battleship Potemkin and a lengthy European lecture
tour, the internationally famous Soviet film director, Sergei Eisenstein, made
his way to California where he had been invited by Paramount Pictures to
make a "big Hollywood movie". Unfortunately, the films Eisenstein wanted to
make didn’t interest the studio; and those that did, Eisenstein didn’t
want to make. After six, frustrating months, Hollywood and Eisenstein
parted company.

Despite the fact he had been abroad for more than a year, Eisenstein felt no
urgency to return to Russia. Encouraged by his friend, Charlie Chaplin, and
inspired by a life-long passion for all things Mexican, he sought the
support of the American novelist, Upton Sinclair, and his millionaire wife,
to bankroll the making of an epic film about Mexico. The sixty-year-
old socialist and champion of lost causes was more than willing. Here was a
perfect opportunity for expressing solidarity with his fellow workers,
while publicizing his own commitment to "the cause". Sinclair’s wife, Mary
Craig, also recognized her chance (perhaps her last chance} to make some
kind of mark on the world.

Given a budget of twenty-five thousand dollars - and this at the height of the
Great Depression! - Eisenstein assured the Sinclairs he would finish the
film in three months using no more than twenty-five-thousand feet of stock.
However, artistic, moral and political pressures intervened, and by
the time an "almost-bankrupt" Sinclair forced him to abandon the project in
February, 1932, he had shot more than two-hundred-and-thirty-thousand
feet of film at a cost of more than one-hundred-thousand dollars.

The making and unmaking of Sergei Eisenstein (and his unfinished epic,
Que Viva Mexico!) is the subject of this play.




CAST OF CHARACTERS Sergei M. Eisenstein: The Soviet film director. Aged 50. Eduard Tisse: Eisenstein's cameraman. Aged 30 (except Act II where he appears as a 50-year-old man). Grigori ("Grisha") Alexandrov: Eisenstein's assistant director and co-writer. Aged 30. (except in Act II where he appears as a 50-year-old man) Upton Sinclair: 60-year-old American novelist/ muckraker/socialist. Mary Craig Sinclair: Upton Sinclair's wife. Aged 40. Hunter S. Kimbrough: Mary Craig's alcoholic brother, ex- banker, and business manager of Eisenstein's Mexican film. Mid-30s. Chabela Villasenor: Painter/actor/activist. A Mexican woman in her late 20s. Highly educated. Don Venus: An Indian peasant, hermaphrodite, retablo painter. Ageless. The play is in two acts. The setting is Eisenstein's Moscow bedroom, transformed by memory and dream. The time: February 1948. ACT ONE

SETTING:                  Eisenstein's bedroom: a place of  light and    
                          shadow into which Mexico – or, rather, the 
                          memory of Mexico - leaks: adobe arches, 
                          broken railings, a crumbling staircase – a 
                          scene of decay and neglect.

AT RISE:                  BLACKOUT. A  violin, slightly out of tune, 
                          can be heard. Stage lights up.  A masked Indian 
                          peasant (DON VENUS) enters.  HE threads his 
                          way in and out of the arches, plays a few bars,
                          pauses, then plays some more, as if conjuring
                          spirits.  

                          SERGEI EISENSTEIN, clothed in a red-white-
                          and-blue dressing gown descends the stairs. HE
                          pauses, listens… slowly turns and catches a
                          glimpse of DON VENUS as HE disappears into
                          the shadows. EISENSTEIN goes to investigate,
                          but is distracted by something or someone in the
                          audience. HE moves downstage...


                                EISENSTEIN
		Totya?
			(Louder)
		Totya!

			(EDWARD TISSE and GRIGORI  
			["Grisha"] ALEXANDROV enter. 
			TISSE lugs a battered camera case 
			covered with decals - Paris, Berlin,
			London, Zurich. ALEXANDROV 
			totes a large, wooden tripod)
    
                                ALEXANDROV
		So, here you are! Just as I thought. The man
             himself. 

                                EISENSTEIN
		Is it time?

                                ALEXANDROV
		Past time! 

                                TISSE	
		We have been looking everywhere. 

                                ALEXANDROV
		From now on we keep together. No more wandering.

                                TISSE
		Already he was composing the headlines –
             "EISENSTEIN DEFECTS... MOSCOW IN UPROAR."

                                EISENSTEIN
		Eduard, please! Not so loud. 

                                TISSE
		Sorry. I keep forgetting. 
			(Conspiratorially to ALEXANDROV)
		The free world.

                                ALEXANDROV
			(Finger to lips)
		Shhh.

                                EISENSTEIN
             Did you see him?

                                TISSE
             Who?

                                EISENSTEIN
             Someone has been following me.

                                ALEXANDROV
             Someone from the press.

                                EISENSTEIN
             Or secret police.

                                ALEXANDROV
             No. Too obvious.

                                TISSE
             That’s how they do it!

                                ALEXANDROV
             Do what?

                                TISSE
             Hide. They hide by not hiding. 
 
                                ALEXANDROV
             So you know about the Checka, do you,
             Eduard?

                                TISSE
             What's to know! It seems logical.

                                ALEXANDROV
             Six months in Hollywood and your brain
             has gone soft. 

                                TISSE
             I was not the one who got heat stroke!

                                ALEXANDROV
             Human beings were not made for this much sun.
 
                                EISENSTEIN
             Listen!

                         (They listen... long enough 
                         for EISENSTEIN to notice their 
                         appearance)

                                EISENSTEIN (Continued)
             My god! Look at you! Both of you. You haven’t
             aged a day.

                                ALEXANDROV
             Looking for you keeps us young. 

                                TISSE
             We should disappear more often.

                                ALEXANDROV
             Perhaps we could work our way back to when
             we were not yet born.

                                EISENSTEIN
             What’s going on? Tell the truth. How do
             I look? 

		                  	ALEXANDROV
		How does he look?

				        TISSE
		A little pale.

				        EISENSTEIN
		Pale?
	
			         	TISSE
		Sleepy. But the eyes... the eyes are clear.

		         		ALEXANDROV
		Don’t flatter him. He was the one who
                wanted to stay up all night.
                                                                    
                               	EISENSTEIN
		For a moment I almost thought… 
			(Looks round)
		Where are we? 

				ALEXANDROV
		What does it look like?
	             			                           		                        TISSE
		We are at the train station, Sergei. We
                are going on the train.

			        EISENSTEIN
		What train? Where?	

				ALEXANDROV
		I know where I wish we were going.

				TISSE
		Unfortunately, that one does not stop here.

				EISENSTEIN
		        (Squinting at something
                        in the distance)
		What does it mean... Platform 5?
				
		                ALEXANDROV
		Platform 5 goes to Portland.
			
				EISENSTEIN
		Portland?

				ALEXANDROV
		If you want to go to Portland, you stand
                here.
		
			(EISENSTEIN glances 
                        left, and right)

				EISENSTEIN
		A popular destination. 
			(Beat)
		And if I stand over there?

		       		ALEXANDROV
		There are no tracks over there.

                       		EISENSTEIN
		Good, Grisha.
			(Patting him on the cheek)
		Very good. 
			(HE moves away, taking
                        in his surroundings)
                                                        	
				TISSE
			(To ALEXANDROV)
		Too much excitement. You know what he’s like.

                       		ALEXANDROV
		I know what he used to be like. 

                       		TISSE
		He’s tired. 

		         	ALEXANDROV
		I don’t think so.

				TISSE
		Give him a day; he’ll be back to his
                old self.

                       	 	ALEXANDROV
		No. He has changed. He forgets.

         			TISSE
		He has more to remember.

				ALEXANDROV
		Now I see why they call it a "going-away"
                party.  
                                                                  	
                       		EISENSTEIN
			(Turning)
		What party?

				ALEXANDROV
		You don’t remember. 

				EISENSTEIN
		I remember everything, Especially the women,
                Grisha. 
                  	 (To TISSE)
                Every time I tried talking to one, you
                came and took her away.

				ALEXANDROV
		I was protecting you. Never have I seen
                such decadence.

				EISENSTEIN
		Is that why you were having such a good time!

				ALEXANDROV
		I was being sociable.
                            		      	
				EISENSTEIN
		Ah! The sociable socialist. You give new
                meaning to the word "party", my friend.

				TISSE
			(To EISENSTEIN)
		All night you talked of nothing but Mexico.
                To anyone who would listen.

				EISENSTEIN
		Mexico?

                       		ALEXANDROV
		Today, Mexico; tomorrow, Siberia. 

               			TISSE
		You were like a man possessed. 

                      		ALEXANDROV
		You called Mr Kimbrough a pig.

				TISSE
		A bourgeois pig.

           			EISENSTEIN
		Next time I'll tell him what I really think. 
	
				ALEXANDROV
		Next time they will put the Blue Shirts on
                to us; and I don't mean clothes. 

				EISENSTEIN
		Have I done something wrong?

                       		ALEXANDROV
		Da!  You have seen. You have tasted. You
                have touched.

                      		EISENSTEIN
		No, Grisha! You have touched.  

                       		ALEXANDROV
		Shaking hands with Rin-Tin-Tin is touching.  
	                                            		
				TISSE
		At least we are working for socialists.

                       		ALEXANDROV
			(Disdainfully)
		Socialists!

				EISENSTEIN
		There are socialists in America, Grisha.

                       		ALEXANDROV
		With heated swimming pools.

           			EISENSTEIN
		Where they swim is of no concern, so long
                as their hearts are in the right place.
                                                       
				ALEXANDROV
		It's what swims round inside the General-
                Secretary’s head! I tell you, Hollywood is 
                nothing compared to the private tinsel 
                town Comrade Stalin has constructed for 
                himself. One is defenseless against that 
                kind of imagination.

                       		EISENSTEIN
		This time we will do it right. 

				ALEXANDROV
		If we do not go home soon, soon it will 
                be too late to go anywhere at all. We have 
                become like strangers to our own country.

				EISENSTEIN
		Faint-heartedness does not become you, Grisha.

				ALEXANDROV
		Neither does death.		

				EISENSTEIN
		A man must finish what he has started.

                       		ALEXANDROV
		If he knows what he is aiming for.

                       		EISENSTEIN
		For truth, Grisha. For truth.
                                                        		
				ALEXANDROV
		We might as well kill ourselves now.

		           	EISENSTEIN
		No! This time, when they see what we 
                have made...

		        	TISSE
		If we miss the train I will kill you 
                both myself. Come Sergei, where are your 
                things?

                       		EISENSTEIN
		Wait! Let me look. Let me remember.
           		(Gazes out at the audience)
	
                       		ALEXANDROV
			(to Tisse)
		Yesterday, all he could think of was leaving. 
                And now, already he is homesick! For Los 
                Angeles, no less!

                     		EISENSTEIN
		Imagine!  Five hundred women marching through 
                an endless cactus desert... the peasant soldiers 
                dragging their wounded... Life and death, my 
                friends, life and death. A mural to dance 
                in the dark.

                       		ALEXANDROV
		I thought we were making a travelogue.

                       		TISSE
		He is preparing himself.

                       		ALEXANDROV
		Terrific.

                       		TISSE
		Sergei, please! The train... it will 
                not wait forever. Come, Grisha, we 
                must hurry.
	
                                ALEXANDROV
		Ya. Ya, I’m coming. 
		
				TISSE
		To Mexico!
			
			(TISSE and ALEXANDROV 
                        exit)

                              	EISENSTEIN
		For all those whom life has cheated... open 
                the electric paradise!

			(Sound of steam whistle. 
                        Flashing red lights. 
                        EISENSTEIN exits.) 

		        (Lights flashing. UPTON 
                        SINCLAIR and MARY CRAIG 
                        enter, followed by
                        HUNTER KIMBROUGH carrying 
                        a suitcase)

				MARY CRAIG
		Did we tell him not to drink the water?

				SINCLAIR
		Five times.

				MARY CRAIG
		I hope he was listening.  
			
				SINCLAIR
		I’m sure he heard every word.
		 
				MARY CRAIG
		The look on his face! He looked just like 
                a child goin’ to a birthday party. I hope 
                we’ve done the right thing. 

                               	SINCLAIR
		The man's a genius, mother. And he’s all ours.

                               	MARY CRAIG
		Never trust a genius, Upton.

   	                        SINCLAIR
		You trusted me.

                             	MARY CRAIG
		I married you!
	                                                       
		        	SINCLAIR
		Yes.

                               	MARY CRAIG
		Such an idealist.

                              	SINCLAIR
		With both feet firmly on the ground.

                               	MARY CRAIG
		And your precious head in the clouds.

                               	SINCLAIR
		It’s a dream come true.
                                                                    	
				MARY CRAIG
		Your dream.

                               	SINCLAIR
		Our dream.  I couldn’t have done it 
                without you.

                             	 MARY CRAIG
		I wouldn’t have let you.

                              	SINCLAIR
		Listen to that, Hunter!  She’s already 
                beginning to sound like a movie mogul. 

			        MARY CRAIG
                Oh, Upton!

		         	SINCLAIR
                It’s true! I can almost see it now.
			(Framing the words)
		"Mary Craig Sinclair..."  in ten foot 
                letters.

	              		MARY CRAIG
		I’ll be famous!

                               	SINCLAIR
		Indeed you will. The woman who sent Sergei 
                Eisenstein to put his ear to the heartbeat 
                of Mexico.
	                                                                     	
				MARY CRAIG
		Let’s hope he knows how many throbs I can 
                afford.
                        (to KIMBROUGH)
                Are you ready, baby?
	
                                KIMBROUGH
		How I look ready?

				MARY CRAIG
		You’re gonna be just fine. I wouldn’t have
                asked if I didn't think you could do it.

		         	KIMBROUGH
		I don’t know a thing about makin’ movies.

				MARY CRAIG
		We've already been through that. We’re not 
                asking you to make it.

				SINCLAIR
		We just want you to keep an eye on things 
                for us.

				MARY CRAIG
		It’s only for two or three months. If 
                there’d been anyone else...  
    
                               	KIMBROUGH
		Why don't you do it.
                                                             	
				MARY CRAIG
		Hunter, be sensible! Why, with my allergies 
                like mine, I’d be dead within a week. Besides, 
                I have commitments. 

				KIMBROUGH
		So did I!
                                                                    	
				MARY CRAIG
		And what commitments are those?

                               	KIMBROUGH
		How’m I s'pose to find a job if I'm in 
                Mexico?

                              	MARY CRAIG
                Baby, you have a job! I'm giving you one.
                Anyway, a change’ll do you good.

		         	KIMBROUGH
		That's what you said when you invited me to 
                move in with you an’ Mr  Sinclair.			
                                
	                     	MARY CRAIG
		Responsibility builds character! 

				SINCLAIR
		A young man ought get out and see something 
                of the world.

				MARY CRAIG
		Such a sensitive child.

				KIMBROUGH
		I’m not a child.

				MARY CRAIG
		Course you are! You’re my baby brother.
			
                              	SINCLAIR
		Think of it as an adventure, Hunter. It 
                might very well be the opportunity of a 
                lifetime.

                             	KIMBROUGH
		Yeah, Mexico.

				MARY CRAIG	
		What’s that s’pose to mean? Have you been
                behaving yourself?

				KIMBROUGH
		What?

				MARY CRAIG
		You heard me. How long’s it been now since you had a drink?
			
						KIMBROUGH
			What’s a drink?

						MARY CRAIG
			Listen to him, father! You know what I'm talking about.

                                                              	SINCLAIR
			I'm sure we needn’t lecture the boy. 

   		                                       	KIMBROUGH
			Do I look like a drunkard?

						SINCLAIR
			The Russians are teetotallers.

                                                               	MARY CRAIG
			It’s not the Russians I'm worried about.

						KIMBROUGH
			What do you want me to say?
		
						MARY CRAIG
			I want you to promise me.

                                                                     	KIMBROUGH
			Promise what?

						MARY CRAIG
			Say, “I’ll never touch a drink as long as I’m in Mexico.”   

                                                                     	KIMBROUGH
			Sister, please.
                                                         
          	MARY CRAIG
			Swear it! 

						KIMBROUGH
			People are watchin’.

						MARY CRAIG
			I don’t care. I wanna hear it!

						KIMBROUGH
			I’m gonna miss the train.
		
						MARY CRAIG
			We got time. I wanna hear it. C’mon, Hunter. Say it!  
Say  “I’ll never touch a drink as long as I’m in Mexico.”
                                                                   
			 			KIMBROUGH
			All right, all right then…  I’ll-never-touch-a-drink-as-long-as-
			I’m-in-Mexico.  Happy?
                                   
		                            		MARY CRAIG
			C’mon. Come to mama.
				(Puts her arms round him)
			You’re gonna be just fine.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Never met a young man yet who didn’t like Mexico.

						KIMBROUGH
			Lemme go now, sister. The train’s gonna leave.

						MARY CRAIG
			You keep in touch.  And make sure you keep those boys 
on the straight-and-narrow. You’re the boss. Okay?

			KIMBROUGH
Yeah, yeah, I know.

			MARY CRAIG
We’re depending on you.		

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
Let him go now, mother.

(MARY CRAIG kisses him on
the cheek. SINCLAIR shakes his
hand)

		SINCLAIR
Take care of yourself.

KIMBROUGH
I better go.
	
(KIMBROUGH hurries off)

MARY CRAIG
(calling out)
And telegram me when you arrive!

	(The red lights fade… the train
steams off.  MARY CRAIG and
SINCLAIR wave)

		SINCLAIR	
			I’d say this calls for a celebration. I’ll give Doug and 
Mary a ring…  and Chaplin.

                                                                   	MARY CRAIG
			Don’t you dare! I’ve had enough of that dreadful little man 
			to last me a lifetime. We’ll just keep it to the three of us.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Good idea.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Let’s try Henry's. I feel like cheese soufflé. 

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I’ll phone for reservations.
                                                              
			 			MARY CRAIG
			We’ll make a night of it. 
				(Taking SINCLAIR'S arm)
			Come along then, Hunt. We have to dress for dinner.
				(SINCLAIR and MARY CRAIG 
				exit)
.		
				(KIMBROUGH pulls a whisky 
				flask from his pocket; swigs)

				(Sound of airplane engine - it grows
				louder. KIMBROUGH takes another 
			drink, slips the flask into his pocket 
				and hurries off)
	
				(The sound of the engine rises to 
				a crescendo, then stops. Silence)

				(EISENSTEIN comes forward. HE
				picks up the streamer, gazes at it. 
				The sound of a violin can be heard.
				HE drops the streamer and looks
round, trying to discover where the
music is coming from)

				(KIMBROUGH re-enters, dressed 
				in linen trousers and a cotton shirt. 
				The music stops)

						KIMBROUGH
			Yesterday’s rushes are already in Los Angeles, if that’s what 
			you’re lookin’ for.

						EISENSTEIN
				(Looking up)
			Another three thousand feet we don’t get to see.

                                                                     	KIMBROUGH
			It pleases me to see you’ve started filmin’ again. Helluva day 
			to be on th’ job, though. Must be a hunnerd degrees in th’ 
			shade. Still, I guess it’s as good a place as any to set out a 
			depression. Reminds me o’ Natchez after th’ war. You been
to Natchez? Lovely town. Quite stately. My mother was 
from Natchez.
				(Daubs forehead with damp
				handkerchief)
			Most artistic woman I ever knew. Runs in th’ family. Her side. 
			Always thought I’d end up a painter.
		
                     					EISENSTEIN
			She must be missing you.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I don’t think so. She’s dead.

						EISENSTEIN
			Oh.  I’m sorry.

						KIMBROUGH
			Happens to th’ best of us. Hell, I didn’t find out ‘til  nearly 
a month after th’ funeral. No one tells me a damn thing.


                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			How upsetting.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I was her favorite. Went all gawmy when I ended up in th’ 
			bank. Said I was wastin’ my talents. Prob’ly still be there, too, 
			if th’ stock market hadn’t gone bust. Guess I’ll just have to 
			settle for bein’ a film producer now.

                                                      		EISENSTEIN
			Such freedom.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Land o’ opportunity.

						EISENSTEIN
			So I’ve been told.

						KIMBROUGH
			You look a mite pale.  Upset stomach? I had mine yesterday. 
			Damn inquest. Fancy pickin’ up a loaded gun like that.
                                                                  
	EISENSTEIN
			It was an accident.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Then again, it might just be th’ food.
				(Pulls out his flask)

						EISENSTEIN
			It was a terrible mistake.

						KIMBROUGH
			I’m more of a steak an’ eggs man, myself. Maybe you oughta 
			be takin’ somethin’ for it.
				(Takes a swig)


                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Like you.

				(Pause)



                                                                   	KIMBROUGH
			Some people drink to forget. Me… I drink to remember.
			Which reminds me… I believe you promised my sister a 
script.
 
						EISENSTEIN
			I gave you my outline.

						KIMBROUGH
			You gave me an envelope with a halfa dozen sentences 
scratched on it. 

						EISENSTEIN
A script is of no use to me, Mr Kimbrough. It is the images 
that tell me what to do.
	
                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
Yeah, well, my sister keeps lookin’ at th’ pictures, only th’ 
pictures never add up to anything. Th’ more she looks, th' less 
she sees.
                                                                  	
						EISENSTEIN
			That is because she is looking at rushes!

						KIMBROUGH
			Well then, they must be goin’ too fast for her. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Nothing has changed, Mr Kimbrough. The film is still 
in six parts: prologue, epilogue and four novellas.

						KIMBROUGH
			Sex, bullfights an’ revolution. Everything a man could 
want. Everything except a story. When do we get a story,
Mr Eisenstein?

						EISENSTEIN
			Not yet.
				
						KIMBROUGH
			The story of Not Yet… that oughta keep ‘em in their seats.

						EISENSTEIN
			It will all become clear in good time.

						KIMBROUGH
You said that last month, and the month before that.
(Beat)
I wouldn’t take my sister’s generosity for granted. She is 
a much more complicated woman than you could ever 
imagine. Oh,  I've seen her genuinely outraged at th’ plight of 
th’ poor, an’ more than a little indignant on behalf of th’ hungry, 
but don’t think that means she wants ‘em livin’ next door. 
No suh. Lost causes an’ dirty hands do not sit down together 
at my sister’s table.

	EISENSTEIN
The story will come when it is ready.

KIMBROUGH
All I’m lookin’ for is something’ uncomplicated. You know… 
boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again. I don’t much
care, long as it keeps Mary off my back. I don’t need that kind 
of aggravation, an’ neither do you.

						EISENSTEIN
Boy meets girl?

KIMBROUGH
Why not! Why not somethin’ simple? A poor Mexican boy in 
search of his fortune. Only findin’ it nearly damn well kills him. Fires, floods, earthquakes. Just when it looks like everything’s gonna turn out all right - hot damn! - robbed by a pack o’ revolutionaries! Loses everything. Everything but th’ girl, which 
is all he really wanted to begin with. I reckon we can do what we like, long as we give ‘em a happy endin’.

                                                                   	EISENSTEIN
				(Unimpressed)
			Breathtaking.

						KIMBROUGH
You like it?
		
						EISENSTEIN
You ought to be more careful about mixing your drinks.

						KIMBROUGH
Okay, forget th’ revolutionaries. What about th’ rest of it?

                                      			EISENSTEIN
When I need your help I will ask for it.

	(Pause)
		       
						KIMBROUGH
			I can be a very good friend, but I make an even better enemy.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
I’m sure comrade Alexandrov and I manage quite well on 
our own.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			So I’ve noticed. All that breathless whisperin’ behind closed 
doors.  I almost wish I understood Russian.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			I didn’t realize we were keeping you up.

					       	KIMBROUGH
			Must be kinda hard, bein’ so far from home, lackin’ any semblance
			of association with th’ gentler sex.

					       	EISENSTEIN
			You seem to manage.

				                  	KIMBROUGH
			I am reclusive by nature.

					       	EISENSTEIN
	  		One whore at a time, you mean.

				                  	KIMBROUGH
			I like women.

				                  	EISENSTEIN
			So you keep reminding yourself.

						KIMBROUGH
			Least I never killed anybody. Hell,   you lost more people 
filmin’ th’ fall of the Winter Palace than what was killed 
when th’ damn thing actually happened. Though I guess 



			KIMBROUGH (Continued)
one would expect that sort o’ thing from someone  who has 
so dedicated himself to th’ idea of social realism. I s’pose 
we ought to count ourselves lucky.


EISENSTEIN
You enjoy this don’t you?

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
I have a greater fondness for cribbage, but yes, under th’ circumstances, this’ll do.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Stick to your job, Mr Kimbrough.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
I intend to. 	 

						EISENSTEIN
Mr Sinclair promised there would be no interference.

						KIMBROUGH
Mr Sinclair!  Mr Sinclair isn't here! We're in Mexico, remember? 
I give th’ orders an’ you follow ‘em. An’ spare me th’ crap about how th’ damn thing writes itself. I’m not interested in spontaneity. Hell, where I come from a man could get himself arrested for 
spontaneity.

					       	EISENSTEIN
			To be so bold and to know so little.

						KIMBROUGH
			What you an’ your boyfriends do in th’ wee hours of th’ 
Mexican night is of no concern to me; but from Monday to 
Friday between sunrise an’ sunset, your red ass belongs to th’ 
company, an’ th’ company wants a goddamned script. Now 
either you write one, or I’ll do it myself.

EISENSTEIN
Those aren’t alternatives.

KIMBROUGH
The alternative is I tell my sister to take her money elsewhere. 

		EISENSTEIN
What do you take me for?

		KIMBROUGH
You! Why, you’re one o’ them filthy, misguided, communist, 
Jew queers I’ve heard so much about. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Don’t push it, Mr Kimbrough.
	
						KIMBROUGH
			You think you got nothin’ to lose.

						EISENSTEIN
			I have everything to lose.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Yeah. I know. That’s what makes it so interestin’. I look 
			forward to readin’ th’ script.
				(HE exits)

				(Stage lights fade)

				(Several bars of solo violin can 
				be heard. DON VENUS - masked – 
enters. 	HE moves downstage, stops
playing and peers at the audience; 
lifting his hand as if protecting his 
				eyes from the sun)

(EISENSTEIN approaches)


						EISENSTEIN
			You! 

				(DON VENUS is unsure that 
HE is the one being addressed)

						EISENSTEIN (Continued)
			What’re you doing here?





						DON VENUS
				(Lifts mask)
			Senor?	

						EISENSTEIN
			Why are you here?
 		
						DON VENUS
			Someone was calling.

						EISENSTEIN
			You are following me.  Why?

						DON VENUS
			You think I am following you, but maybe it is you who 
have been following me. 

						EISENSTEIN
			And who is “me”?

						DON VENUS
			A peasant. 

						EISENSTEIN
			A thief, more likely.

						DON VENUS
			Si, senor. We are all thieves in Mexico. Today, to have me 
			inside your box is four pesos, in a nice way.
				(Holds out his hand)

						EISENSTEIN
			But you are not in my picture.

						DON VENUS
			Si, senor. In every scene. Sometimes like this, sometimes 
like that - I laugh. I pray. I lie in hammocks. What side do 
you like best? This side?
				(Turning his head)
			Or this?
				(Turns the other way)
			I think this side.



						EISENSTEIN
			No.

						DON VENUS
			No! What! This side?
				(Turning the other way)

						EISENSTEIN
			No, you’re not in my picture. I would’ve noticed.

						DON VENUS
			Ah! To act without being noticed! It is not so easy, senor. 				
						EISENSTEIN
			Who are you? 

						DON VENUS
			You like me?

						EISENSTEIN
				(Looking more closely)
			What are you?	

						DON VENUS
			Doña Venustiana Luisa Obregon de San Antonio… to my 
			mother. But only when she is angry. To my friends, I am Don 
			Venus. Don Venus, for love. 

						EISENSTEIN
			A woman’s and a man’s name?  			
				
						DON VENUS
				(Crosses himself)
			For that we would need more heaven than one telling 
could stand. 

			DON VENUS (Continued)
				(Beat)
			You are American, yes?

						EISENSTEIN
			Russian.



						DON VENUS
			Ah! Communista. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Well…

						DON VENUS
			Que bueno! 

						EISENSTEIN
			And you?

						DON VENUS
				(Shrugs)
			If the fiesta of bullets was to come again…  but why talk 
of death? If a man is lost, a piece of string serves better than
a rifle.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			You speak very good English for a peasant. 
                                                      
			       			DON VENUS
			Si. A blessing…  and a curse.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Are you from this village?

                                                                    	DON VENUS
			Whichever village has need of me, senor. I paint retablos.

.  						EISENSTEIN
			Retablos?

						DON VENUS
			Miracles. Paintings of miracles. I made one for the Garcia 
			only this morning. It is easy if one paints without trying.
			I can show you if you like.

						EISENSTEIN
			Show me what?

						DON VENUS
			What is in front of the eyes and cannot be seen. There is no 
			end to miracles, senor. You have need of a painting?

						EISENSTEIN
			No. A painting, no. But a miracle…very much.

						DON VENUS
			So you have come to the right man. Or woman, if you prefer. 	
So much to see! So much to hear! But first… the fiesta! And
			then… Memories of the Future! Come! Let us drink some
			pulque and forget our troubles. You have pesos? Good!
			Follow me. If the Future is closed, there is always the Reform
 			of Paradise. Come. I will show you everything.
				(HE moves off. EISENSTEIN 
				follows; they exit)
		

				(KIMBROUGH enters - script in one
				hand,  bottle of whisky in the other. 
				HE sits down, peruses the script)

				(CHABELA VILLASENOR enters.
				KIMBROUGH looks up as SHE 
				moves towards the bed, reaches out 
				and gently caresses the sheets)

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			“His Highness” isn’t here, if that’s who you’re lookin’ for.   
		
						CHABELA
			When will he be back?

.						KIMBROUGH
			That’s th’ sixty-four dollar question. Who’s askin'?

						CHABELA
			I am Chabela. Chabela Villasenor.

						KIMBROUGH
				(Tosses the script aside)
			I don’t believe we’ve met.

						CHABELA
			Si, senor. You came and watched when the horses 
trampled the heads of the peasants.



						KIMBROUGH
			A heart-warmin’ spectacle. Shame we don’t have a few 
more scenes like that; my sister might make some of her 
money back.

						CHABELA
			Where can I find Senor Eisenstein?

						KIMBROUGH
			He expectin’ you, is he?

						CHABELA
			No.

						KIMBROUGH
			Well then, your chances are improved. Only time I see 
him is when he's not expectin' me.
				
						CHABELA
			You know where he has gone?

						KIMBROUGH
			Lemme see now. I believe he said somethin’ about goin’
to a fiesta. Or was it a funeral?  I was kinda toyin’ with th’ 
idea of goin’ to th’ funeral myself. Maybe you’d like to join 
me?

						CHABELA
			The funeral was last week.


						KIMBROUGH
			Last week! Huh! ’Nuther social opportunity missed. I 
imagine he filmed it, yeah? Th’ boy’s resourceful, I'll give 
‘im that. Last time somethin’ like this happened, he talked 
Mr Sinclair into three more months an’ an extra ten 
thousand dollars. An’ th’ goddamned victim lived!
				(Beat)
			Good turn-out?
			
						CHABELA
			Everyone but you, senor.



						KIMBROUGH
			I’m sure I wasn’t missed. So whadda you wanna see him for?

						CHABELA
			It is about Senor Balderas.

						KIMBROUGH
			Who?

						CHABELA
			The charro in your picture.

						KIMBROUGH
			Oh! Th’ one who likes to play with guns. 
	
						CHABELA
			He did not mean to hurt anyone.

						KIMBROUGH
			No, he just picked up one of th’ Russians revolvers an’ put 
a hole th’ size of a fifty-cent piece through the forehead of 
our leadin’ lady. Shame we didn’t get that on film.

						CHABELA
			She was his sister!
		
						KIMBROUGH
				(Beat, impressed)
			Killed his sister, did he!

						CHABELA
			It was an accident. If not for the picture, it would never 
have happened. 
		
						KIMBROUGH
			I didn’t tell him to pull th’ trigger. Hell, it wasn't even his
scene!

						CHABELA
			He makes jokes. He shows off. It was like the gun he 
had been using in the movie.

						KIMBROUGH
			I wonder.

						CHABELA
I am worried for him, senor. 

						KIMBROUGH
			I’m sure th’ police’ll sort it out.

						CHABELA
			The police do not care. 

						KIMBROUGH
			An’ neither do I. An’ if it’s money he’s lookin’ for he can 
forget about it. Everybody signed th’ paper relievin’ us of 
all responsibility. I'm sure his name's there. Shall I check?

						CHABELA
			It is not about a piece of paper.
		
						KIMBROUGH
			You find me offensive. I can see it in your eyes.
			
						CHABELA
			Each of us has his way of killing fleas.

						KIMBROUGH
			You don't look like you been scratchin'.

                                                                    	CHABELA
There is no end to my fleas. It is Mexico, remember. So 
close to the United States and so far away from God.

						KIMBROUGH
			An’ here I was thinkin’ Mississippi was bad.

						CHABELA
			Why do you come, senor?

						KIMBROUGH
			Lemme see, now…  for my health?

						CHABELA
			What do you think you will find? Fame? Money? What 
brings men like you to my country? Why do you come? 


		
						KIMBROUGH
			Why? Why for art, my dear, for th’ undeniable value of art, 
			“knowin’ that th’ obscurity of th’ night only serves to reveal th’
			brilliance of th’ stars”.  For a price, that is, for a price.

						CHABELA
			Knowing nothing of the cost.

						KIMBROUGH
			Kinda strange, ain’t it, how th’ public loves ya one day
and hangs ya th’ next.  Oh, I know how fashionable it is to 
be all lyric an’ mystic 	an’ avidly hymnal about the th’ Indian. 
Thirty years ago, th’ same people were killin’ ‘em for sport. 
	(Beat) 
			You think I disrespect th’ dead, but you’re wrong. I love th’ 
			dead. Some o’ my best friends are dead. It’s th’ live ones 
			who give me th’ trouble. What’re you starin’ at? You want 
			me to say I'm sorry?
				
						CHABELA
			No, senor. Being sorry changes nothing.

						KIMBROUGH
			Stop playin’ stupid. I went to th’ inquest! I heard what they 
			said. When th’ judge found out we were makin’ pictures with 
			people shootin’ each other, he said he had a whole jailful o’ 
			men jus’ waitin’ to be shot; all we had to do was come an’ get 
			‘em. You think one less peon’s gonna make any difference? 
			C’mon,  we’re doin’ you people a favor puttin’ money in th’ 
			damn place.

						CHABELA
			And if we are very lucky we can become just like you.

						KIMBROUGH
Bein’ poor don't make people better.

CHABELA
No. It makes them worse. 

						KIMBROUGH
Clean up your own backyard before you start jumpin’ on 
mine.
	

						CHABELA
We are your backyard, senor.
	 			(SHE exits)
		                                                                  
						KIMBROUGH
			Goddamn Mexicans!  
				(Picks up script and exits)


				(Stage lights fade. Convolutions of 
				light play upon the walls. Shadows 
				change shape. Time passes. An hour.
				A week)

				(TISSE enters, carrying his camera. 
				ALEXANDROV follows, lugging 
				the tripod. Stage lights up)
                                                              
						TISSE
			Da, I know. I know, Grisha. But what can we do? When 
it rains, the roads are too muddy. And when it is dry, it 
is too hot to move.
                                                                              			                               
                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			At least in Russia, we knew what we had to do and why. 
			Here, we do nothing but waste our time. Gods, funerals, 
			bare-breasted women! Does that sound like the party line?

                                                                    	TISSE
			There was also a revolution in Mexico.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			It is not revolution Sergei is interested in. The death of 
the girl was an omen. Make no mistake. Nothing good 
can come of it. 

						TISSE
			You should’ve known better than to leave your pistol 
lying around like that. 
	
						ALEXANDROV
			How was I to know! 



						TISSE
			You can't do things like that in Mexico. 
				
						ALEXANDROV
			It was chaffing me.

			TISSE
			And now it chaffs all of us.

						ALEXANDROV
			We should've gone back to Russia months ago. He has 
become a victim of his own dreams. One could almost
believe he was planning to stay here forever. 

                                                                    	TISSE
			Bite your tongue!

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			He would not be the first.

                                                                    	TISSE
			He is not a deserter. 

						ALEXANDROV
			Nor is he homesick.

						TISSE
			What you see is dedication, not disloyalty.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			His dedication is to making masterpieces. Only this time, 
when he is done, there will be no masterpiece at all, and 
we will all be done!

                                                                    	TISSE
			We should be helping him.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			I'm trying to.

                                                                    	TISSE
			Not by making accusations.


                                                             
						ALEXANDROV
			The man I knew does not sit all night on top of the Pyramid 
of the Moon, talking to the Great Bear. Nor does he visit art
galleries at midnight with the lights out. Mexico has bewitched
him. We should've gone back to Moscow when we had the 
chance.

                                                                    	TISSE
			And we will. When we have finished.


                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			If Sergei Mikhailovich realised how suspicious it looks…
                                                                    
                                                                    	TISSE
			Shhh!  He is coming.

				(EISENSTEIN enters, a viewing lens
round his neck. HE pushes a full-scale 
human skeleton on a stand)
                          		  	
						EISENSTEIN
			What do you think?  He lives at the medical school. They 
said I could borrow him for the epilogue. Or perhaps 
he is a she. Somehow the distinction seems unimportant.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			So this is what our future looks like.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			One day we shall be as peaceful, eh?
. 
                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			Sooner rather than later.

						EISENSTEIN
			Peasants understand these things. 

						ALEXANDROV
			Peasants will not help us finish the movie.





						TISSE
			Grisha!
		
						EISENSTEIN
			Peasants are what this movie is about.

						ALEXANDROV
			No. Something has happened. Something is different.
		
						EISENSTEIN
			Everything is different. It is Mexico. 	

						ALEXANDROV
			So now we have to be what we are not.

						EISENSTEIN	
			When I was a child, my nurse taught me to be at home with 
			simple people. Close to the earth, where things grow and die. 
			Not walled up and lost in polite society, like the world 
			my parents lived in. Mama used to worry her eyes were too 
			small; and me, I hated myself because my forehead was too 
			big. It is only now, in Mexico, I realize it doesn't matter. 
			Peasants have no fear. Even when they laugh at me I can 
			tell they wish me no harm.

                                                          		ALEXANDROV
			I wish you no harm.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Sometimes one must trust in darkness.

						ALEXANDROV
			And what of the light? The Revolution gave us light.

						 EISENSTEIN
			So now we have a chance to see if we can create outside the
			Revolution, to see if it is possible to even exist outside of it.  

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			A picture about Mexico is not worth dying for. What have we 
			done for the workers today? What did we do yesterday? We 
			stay in comfortable hotels. We eat the best food. We live like 
			kings. Ten months in Mexico. This was not what we planned.


                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Plans change.
                                                  
	                   				ALEXANDROV
			Why can you never be satisfied?

						EISENSTEIN
			One has no choice. One creates or one dies.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			Always you want more. More and more and more…

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Yes! More. Much more! Because it is too easy to give up 
too soon. So many do. So many who are praised. The world 
is full of them. They make a parade of weakness because 
it answers this one's prejudice and that one's pride. As if 
a dash of red paint might save the day. But if one looks, 
there is nothing for the heart. Only sound and effects and counterfeit anguish which the galleries enshrine and the 
critics applaud, as if ambition were worth the death we all 
must find. The task of mediocrity is never short of hands, 
nor is there bravery in carelessness. Do you really think 
we have left Russia behind? No. Russia is our mother. It 
is because of her that I can see where I am. And maybe, 
if I have the skill, I can show Russia something of what I 
have seen, and Russia herself will be richer for it. One 
reaches down into the abyss and takes hold of an idea. If 
you are strong enough, then you must do what you can to 
reveal it. A revolution must build courage, so that people 
will dare to become. 
                                                           
		TISSE
			And if it breaks your heart?

	EISENSTEIN
			It is the broken hearts that make all the difference.

					        	ALEXANDROV	
			A heart that beats for the fulfilment of a Bolshevik aim can 
never be broken.

	(EISENSTEIN moves closer)	


		EISENSTEIN
Do you think I cannot see what is in front of my eyes? Do 
you think I have lost my mind? The film knows what it needs, 
and it will tell me so long as I do not lose my nerve. 

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
I hope you are right, Sergei. Or it will be our skeletons
dangling from a string. 
			
						TISSE
			So what is it today?  Markets or bullfights?

						EISENSTEIN
			Markets.

						ALEXANDROV
				(Resigned)
			Markets. Always markets.
				(HE exits, lugging tripod)

                                                                   	TISSE
			You shouldn't be so hard on him. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			If I were in his shoes I would feel the same way. Maybe 
that's why I scold him.

                                                                   	TISSE
			He likes to follow the rules.

						EISENSTEIN
			He worries too much about his reputation.

                                                                    	TISSE
			Because he does not have one. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Maybe Comrade Stalin will give him a medal.

                                                                   	TISSE
			Comrade Stalin is capable of anything. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Good thing he likes me.

						TISSE
			Da, yesterday… but tomorrow?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Then we will impose upon Mr Sinclair to use his influence.
                               
			TISSE
			If Comrade Stalin decides to think the worst, Mr Sinclair 
will be of little use to us, no matter how many Russians 
have read his novels.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			There is no victory in cowardice, Eduard.

                                                                    	TISSE
			What we do is dangerous.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Because we tell the truth?

                                                                    	TISSE
			Because we believe it can be told. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Truth easily told is seldom true.
   
                                                            	TISSE
			What do we know about the truth? Even when it 
stares us in the face we hardly believe it. Dreams. 
It is dreams we believe in.

						EISENSTEIN
			We are the heirs of a difficult age. Shall we refuse our 
inheritance? An artist does not live in his times but by 
his times. Perhaps the oppressors will sleep a little less 
comfortably in their beds because of what we dream.

                                                                    	TISSE
			In Moscow we were treated with respect. Here, we 
scratch for every cent and go away like criminals. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Stop torturing yourself.


						TISSE
			Who are these people, Sergei? Who are we working for? 
What kind of alliance is this that we are not even allowed 
to see our own rushes?
				
						EISENSTEIN
			The rushes belong to the insurance company, and the 
insurance company worries about the heat. Even the 
Mexicans have to wait. Three have gone to Los Angeles 
to make sure we haven't been filming starving children 
or secret revolutionary groups. Next thing you know, they'll 
be looking over my shoulder in the editing room!

			   			TISSE
			Not in Los Angeles, I hope!
			
						EISENSTEIN
Don't worry. Sinclair has promised to send everything to 
Moscow just as soon as we have returned. We shall not 
grow old in America.  
                                                       
						TISSE
			Maybe we should tell Comrade Stalin. He will be pleased. 
He always enjoyed his visits to your cutting room.

						EISENSTEIN
			I know. Last time he came with his own pair of scissors, 
and we lost thirty-five feet of Trotsky.

                                                                    	TISSE
			We lost all of Trotsky! 

						EISENSTEIN
			Except for his back!  

						TISSE
			If only we could lose Mr Kimbrough.

                                                           		EISENSTEIN
			We should take the scissors to him, eh?

                                                                    	TISSE
			To which part?


                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			To the part which is costing the most money. He believes 
Grisha and I have eyes for each other. 
                                                                                                                     
						TISSE
			He is not what he seems. 

EISENSTEIN
He would destroy me if I gave him the chance.
	
						TISSE
			I think we have come too far for him to stop us now. 

						EISENSTEIN
His sister can stop us.

						TISSE
			Why would she? Why now?

						EISENSTEIN 
The time. The money.

						TISSE
			No. They need you. If they stop you now they will
lose everything.

						EISENSTEIN
			And if they run out of money before we are done?

				(They move off)

						TISSE
			You don’t understand the capitalist mind, Sergei. So 
long as they believe they can make money they will 
spend money. And to protect the money they have 
already spent, they will spend more. Frightening… 
but logical.
	
						EISENSTEIN
			No wonder they are having a Depression! 
			
				(EISENSTEIN and TISSE exit)




				(DON VENUS enters. Drawn to
				the skeleton - empty eye sockets, 
				spindly fingers. HE presses his 
				ear against its chest, listening.
HE takes hold of its hand and 
“walks” with it to the other end of
the stage, listens again to its chest,
takes its pulse, then, hearing
someone coming, hurries behind it
to hide)

				(ALEXANDROV enters with 
				tripod.  HE stops, looks out at
the audience, then looks over 
his shoulder. TISSE enters,
				glances round, and indicates 
a location for the tripod. DON 
				VENUS watches from behind 
				the skeleton. TISSE places the 
				camera on the tripod and gazes 
				into the viewfinder. HE pans 
				slowly from left to right)
		
				(EISENSTEIN enters. HE moves 
				past TISSE, coming downstage to 
				gaze out over the audience)

                                                          		TISSE
			What do you see? 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Heroes. Nothing but heroes.  

						TISSE
				(To ALEXANDROV)
His love affair with the masses!

						EISENSTEIN
			One would kill for light like this in Russia.

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			And still it would be grey.


                                                                    	TISSE
			Except in Odessa.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			What was the boy's name? The one we used on the steps?
	
				(DON VENUS comes out from
				behind the skeleton)

                                                                  	TISSE
			You mean the little goal-keeper. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			We must have made two hundred takes. 

						TISSE
			And he never missed the cigarette packet once! 

						ALEXANDROV
			Da! A born-faller.

						TISSE
			Always in center frame.
                                                    	
                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
			I wonder if he knows how famous he's become.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Or if he'll ever be able to forgive us.
				(Noticing DON VENUS)
			Good god!  

						ALEXANDROV
			What.

						EISENSTEIN
			Don Venus!

						DON VENUS	
			Con su permiso, senor.  ("With your permission, sir.") 

						EISENSTEIN
			The old man. The one I have been telling you about! 

		
				(TISSE and ALEXANDROV look 
				toward the skeleton, then exchange 
				glances)

				(EISENSTEIN goes to DON VENUS
who reaches out his own hand and the
skeleton’s. They shake) 
				
						ALEXANDROV
				(To TISSE)
			You see! The longer we stay, the worse he gets. I tell 
you, there is something going on here. Some kind of 
brainwashing. I can smell it. 

	(DON VENUS drops the skeleton’s 
hand and taking EISENSTEIN’s
and by the fingertips, turns it over
and studies the back)
	
						TISSE			
Last night, I caught a whiff of pulque on his breath. 
					
						ALEXANDROV
			Maybe he's drunk. Or mad. 

						TISSE
			He never drinks. 

						ALEXANDROV
			Right. I vote for mad.

				(DON VENUS releases EISENSTEIN's
				hand, and presses his ear to EISENSTEIN’s
chest, listening to his heart)

						TISSE
			It doesn't make sense.

						ALEXANDROV
			Nothing makes sense. But don't tell him that. He'll think 
we're  crazy!

			TISSE
			He's been talking to an hermaphrodite.
			
						ALEXANDROV
			He's falling to pieces.
	
						TISSE
			It’s his eccentricity… always drawn to the exotic.

				(DON VENUS straightens and beams 
at EISENSTEIN)				

						ALEXANDROV
			To freaks, you mean. Hermaphrodites, indeed! And invisible
			to boot!
		
						EISENSTEIN
			I've been telling them about you. They thought I was making 
			you up.

						DON VENUS
			How not!

						EISENSTEIN
Comrades, the one who has been helping me. Don Venus.

				(They stare back)

						DON VENUS
			But they cannot see me, senor.

						EISENSTEIN
			What!

						DON VENUS
			Blind.

						TISSE
			Who are you talking to, Sergei?

						EISENSTEIN
				(To DON VENUS)
			You mean…

						ALEXANDROV
Something invisible, no doubt. 


						EISENSTEIN
			But he is here!

						DON VENUS
			Only for you, senor.

						TISSE
			Are you all right, comrade?

						ALEXANDROV
			Too much superstition. This is why we had Marx!

						EISENSTEIN
				(To DON VENUS)
			Why me?

						DON VENUS
			You had need of a guide. 
					
						TISSE
			What you see is not superstition… it’s imagination! 
								
						ALEXANDROV
			Stop encouraging him. 
			
						EISENSTEIN
			What am I becoming?

						DON VENUS
			Invisible.  Like me!
					
						ALEXANDROV
			Sergei, we have work to do! 

						TISSE
We will lose the light.

ALEXANDROV
C’mon, pull yourself together.

EISENSTEIN
			But…



						DON VENUS
			They wait for you. You must go.
				 
						EISENSTEIN
			When will I see you again?
	
						DON VENUS
			A man with desire has only to ask.
		                                                            
			        			EISENSTEIN
			But I need you.

						DON VENUS
			Yes, I know, but do not try to convince them. I come, 
senor.
				(DON VENUS exits)
			
				(A pause)		

						ALEXANDROV
			Is he gone?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Who?

						ALEXANDROV
			Your friend.   

						EISENSTEIN
			Do not look so suspicious, Grisha. Do you doubt me?						
						ALEXANDROV
			Only the method.

						EISENSTEIN
			There is no method.

						ALEXANDROV
			So it would seem.

						TISSE
So then, what’re we filming?



EISENSTEIN
			What is in front of the eyes… what is in front of the
eyes and cannot be seen. 

						ALEXANDROV
			That should speed things up.
				(Beat)
			And this was part of it, yes - what you have been looking for.

						EISENSTEIN
			Listening for, Grisha. Listening for!
				(HE turns)
			Come. There is a marriage.

						ALEXANDROV
			Terrific.
				
				(They exit)


				(KIMBROUGH enters, carrying 
				a portable adding machine. HE
				sets the adding machine on a table,
next to a pile of pen & ink drawings,
then turns, and saunters over to the 
skeleton. HE peers into the hollow 
eye sockets) 
				
				(EISENSTEIN enters, moves to 
				the table. HE pours through the
				stack of drawings; puts one aside,
				picks up another, studies it for a 
moment and tosses it into a waste 
basket. KIMBROUGH turns and 
watches as EISENSTEIN continues 
to discard and save individual 
drawings)
                                                           
						KIMBROUGH
Plannin' our next disappointment? 

						EISENSTEIN
Mr Kimbrough! I thought you were working in bed today!


						KIMBROUGH
I've been thinkin’.

						EISENSTEIN
So much for the soporific qualities of alcohol!

						KIMBROUGH
				(Picks up a drawing)
			What’re these?

						EISENSTEIN
			Drawings.
				
						KIMBROUGH
			Of what? 
				(Holds the drawing at arm's 
				length, closer, then farther 
				away;  turns it upside-down, 
				then back again)

						EISENSTEIN
			What does it look like?

						KIMBROUGH
			Christ! Is that what I think it is?

						EISENSTEIN
			Inspiration, Mr  Kimbrough.

                                                            	KIMBROUGH
			Looks more like fix-ation. 

						EISENSTEIN
			You find it offensive?
		
						KIMBROUGH
			I’m sure it has its uses. 

				(EISENSTEIN snatches it away)
                                                                     	
						KIMBROUGH (Continued) 
			I read th’ script. Helluva travelogue. Rape… murder. . .
sedition. 

			
						EISENSTEIN
			It’s not a travelogue, Mr Kimbrough.

						KIMBROUGH
No. More of a Biblical epic, ‘cept a Biblical epic woulda 
been cheaper. 
(Beat)
I brought you a present. It's an addin’ machine. I figgered you
might be needin’ it. It also divides and subtracts.

						EISENSTEIN
You mean, detracts.
(Beat)
And will it tell me how to compose my next shot, or whether
there is enough light? 	

						KIMBROUGH
My sister and Mr Sinclair were under th’ impression you 
weren’t gonna spend more than twenty-five thousand dollars. 
	                                                                   
						EISENSTEIN
			That was my estimate.


                               	     			KIMBROUGH
			Well, we seem to have whizzed right past your estimate 
some time ago.

						EISENSTEIN
			I have no control over the weather, Mr Kimbrough.

						KIMBROUGH
			Or th’ accidents, I gather. What I’m tryin’ to say is, my sister 
			wants a budget. An’ don't tell me you don’t know what I’m 
			talkin’ about. 
	
						EISENSTEIN
			Budgets are none of my business, not where I come from.
		
						KIMBROUGH	
			Well, you best make it your business, otherwise there isn't
gonna be any more picture.  	



						EISENSTEIN
			You do the budget, Mr Kimbrough. You are the one who
spends the money. 
	
						KIMBROUGH
Oh no!  I’m not takin’ th’ blame for that one. 

						EISENSTEIN
Then your sister will have to wait.

						KIMBROUGH
No, no… you don’t understand. There’s a Depression goin' 
on out there. People are jumpin’ out o’ buildin’s. Hard times 
are knockin’ at th' door. Hell, we got two or three investors 
who can’t even afford to pay their taxes.

						EISENSTEIN
If America had listened to Karl instead of Harpo, it would 
not be in this mess. 

						KIMBROUGH
			That’s your answer?
							EISENSTEIN
I make movies, not budgets. What do you expect! That I 
should make the sun shine twenty-four hours a day? That
I should know magically, without rushes, what every shot 
looks like? What kind of genius is this! It is not enough I
seize every opportunity that comes? What more do you
want! This picture has its own life. I cannot take it where 
it does not want to go. 
 
						KIMBROUGH
			You said twenty-five thousand. 

                       		                           	EISENSTEIN
I was passing on what someone told me.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			What someone told you! Who told you? 

						EISENSTEIN
			A man. A barber on Sunset Boulevard. An Italian.  


						KIMBROUGH
			My god.

						EISENSTEIN
He used to be in cowboy movies in Mexico. The director 
always  made him play the part of an Indian because he was 
Italian. He knew things. So I asked him how much to make 
a reasonable picture without sound or stars, and he said for 
twenty-thousand dollars he could do it himself with his eyes
closed. So I thought, well, for twenty-five thousand I ought 
to be able to make one with my eyes open.
                                                              
                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			You believed him.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Twenty-five thousand dollars is a lot of money.
                                                                    
						KIMBROUGH
			Yes, if you’re a barber! Jesus Christ! When I think of all th’ 
			competent film directors they could’ve had…  an’ they wind 
up with you!
	
						EISENSTEIN
			If competency was all they wanted, they should’ve asked
someone else. 

                                                                 	KIMBROUGH
			You were th’ one doin’ th’ askin’. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Is there nothing you believe in?

						KIMBROUGH
			Yeah, I believe in myself.

						EISENSTEIN
			A blind man.

						KIMBROUGH
			I see what I see.

						EISENSTEIN
			With 20/20 ambition.

						KIMBROUGH
			You're th' one tryin' to make a name for himself in Hollywood.

						EISENSTEIN
			I almost feel sorry for you.

						KIMBROUGH
You think you live on truth. But you’re wrong. There ain’t 
nothin’ there, nothin' but lies; illusion dressed up as ideology; treachery primped an’ promenaded in th’ name o’ social justice. You know what I’m talkin’ about. An’ you know I know. 
That's why you avoid me. 
				(Beat)
Y’know, at first, I just thought you were bein’ thorough, dottin’ 
th’  “i’s”,  crossin’ th’ “t’s” -  then I got to thinkin’, no, no, it’s th’
			climate - all this hellish heat an’ vile humidity  slows a man down.
			Then it occurred to me…  maybe you didn’t really think this was 
			such a bad place after all. Hell, maybe you liked it too much. But
			really, it’s a whole lot more simple than that, now isn’t it? I mean,
			correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’ve stepped into a situation 
			that’s caught you a bit out o’ your depth…

                                                                   
		 				EISENSTEIN
			What is this? A little something to brighten up your day?

                                                                   	KIMBROUGH
			You’re playin’ for time.

						EISENSTEIN
			You don’t know what you’re talking about.

						KIMBROUGH
			Why’re we still here, then? You don’t know how to finish 
this damn picture.  Or maybe you don’t wanna finish it

                        	                                    EISENSTEIN
			Go back to your adding machine.
                                                                    
		 				KIMBROUGH
			Must be awful, losin' your confidence like that.




                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			A film isn’t a piece of sausage. You cannot buy it by the 
pound and chop it up any way you like.

				(EISENSTEIN and KIMBROUGH 
				freeze. Looming up against the back
				wall, we see the shadows of UPTON 
				SINCLAIR and MARY CRAIG)
                                                           
	MARY CRAIG
				(Off-stage)
I knew I shoulda put my foot down. A real gentleman 
would never behave like this.

                                                             	SINCLAIR
				(Off-stage)
			Real gentlemen do not indulge in movies, mother. 

	MARY CRAIG
				(Off-stage)
			Oh please, anything but that. I am surrounded by clichés.
			
				(Unexpectedly, DON VENUS appears 
				under the arch. HE pauses, takes in the
				scene, then snaps his fingers. SINCLAIR 

				and MARY CRAIG step out of their 
				shadows into the room. They pause… )

                                                                   	SINCLAIR 
			Hunter! 
	
				(EISENSTEIN and KIMBROUGH
				resume normal motion)

						SINCLAIR (Continued)
			What’s all this noise?  Nothing insurmountable I hope.	

						KIMBROUGH
			He doesn’t listen to a word I say.

                                                               	EISENSTEIN
			Comrade, you must do something.


                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Whenever I ask him for a budget he laughs in my face.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			That’s not true!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			How many times has it been now?  I stopped countin’.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			He’s lying!

                  	                                     	SINCLAIR
			Gentlemen, please!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I'm jus’ some poor, uneducated niggah as far as he’s 
concerned.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Comrade, with all  respect…

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			I don’t think we need that kind of language, Hunter.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			All the time, he is making trouble.

						SINCLAIR
			Yes, well, we've had a few problems of our own.

						MARY CRAIG
			Ask him about the schedule, father.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			No, no, you don't understand. The man is a complete dunce. 
			He cannot be trusted. He knows absolutely nothing about 
			film-making, and even less about proletarian art! 
                                                                 
			    			SINCLAIR
			Hunter may be a young society fellow without revolutionary 
tendencies, Mr Eisenstein, but I’ve never known him to be untrustworthy.

                                                                
			     			EISENSTEIN
			The man is a racist. You heard what he said.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Last week he threw a fit `cos I told him he ate too much.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
At least I do not stay out all night, drinking and gambling and 
spending money that should be used on the film.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			What’s he talkin’ about, father?

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I’m not sure.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Never mind the kind words an’ consideration. No suh.  No 
			sense wastin’ your breath. 
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			You’re just a monkey with a monkey’s attitude to life.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Tell them about the card games…  and the women!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Money disappears through his fingers like steam.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Tell them where it goes!
                                                               
			    			KIMBROUGH
			Th’ man has no sense of th’ value of anything. Me, I’m just 
			an endless river o’ green.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Did somebody say something about drinking?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Talk to him!  He knows what he does.
                                                                 
			    			MARY CRAIG
			Hunter, have you been disgracing yourself?

                                                               
			      			KIMBROUGH
			He’d say almost anything t’save his neck.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Answer me! Have you been drinkin’?

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			What?

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			You heard what I said.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Mary, I swear…

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Tell me th’ truth, Hunter!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			You know I wouldn't do anything to embarrass you an’ 
Mr Sinclair.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Don’t lie to me!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I’m not lyin’ !  Yes, all right, I have th’ occasional drink,
I surely do. But only for altitude sickness.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Altitude sickness! Listen to him!
                                                                
			     			KIMBROUGH
			My heart skips a beat every time I take a breath. Sometimes 
			it’s so bad I can't sleep at night. It soothes me. 

                                                   		EISENSTEIN
			To the point of unconsciousness.
                                                                		
						MARY CRAIG
			Hush up, Mr Eisenstein!



                                                                  
			   			KIMBROUGH
			It’s th’ air, sister. A man can’t hardly think straight. I have a 
			prescription for it.
	
				(DON VENUS turns and exits)
		
                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			There, there…  you  poor  baby.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I’m sorry, Hunter. We didn’t realize. 

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			You don’t believe him, do you?

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			You watch y’self, boy!

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Mr Eisenstein, please!

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			But you can smell it on him!

                                                                  	MARY CRAIG
			I think we’ve had enough unpleasantness.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			The man is crazy!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I’d rather work with animals an’ small children.
				
						EISENSTEIN
			He is not what he seems, believe me. The last time we 
never saw him for five days!

						SINCLAIR
			All right, Mr Eisenstein, I think you’ve made your point.

						MARY CRAIG
			Don’t pay him any mind, child.



                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Modesty prevents me from telling you where we finally 
found him.
   
                                                                  	KIMBROUGH
			You keep your goddamn mouth shut!
                                                                   
			  			MARY CRAIG
			Hunter! 

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
That’s enough! Now I don't want to hear another word.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			But comrade…

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Please!

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Perhaps Mr Eisenstein's suffering from a bit of altitude 
sickness, himself.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Attitude sickness.
                                                                  
                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			You do look rather pale. Are you feeling all right?

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Maybe he ought to be in bed.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Oh, he’d love that.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
Comrade, your brother-in-law may have small faith in what 
I do, but you have always believed in me. Believe me now. 
The possibilities grow larger every day.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Expensive possibilities.



						SINCLAIR
			You assured me it wouldn’t cost a nickel over twenty-five 
			thousand dollars. You've already shot nearly six miles of 
			film.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			There are no rushes! Everything has to be shot ten, twenty,
			thirty times, to make sure it is not too light or too dark. We 
cannot 	re-shoot once we are back in Moscow.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I'm sure you have more than enough, Mr Eisenstein.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			We’ve spent nearly ninety thousand dollars.

                                                                 	EISENSTEIN
			A miscalculation. The rain…  the floods. . .

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Th’ killin’.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I understand the difficulties, but at the rate we’re going 
			there isn’t going to be any money left to edit the damn 
			thing!

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Upton!
                                                                 
                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			I’m sorry, mother. I don’t know how else to say it.
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			Let me put it to you this way: patience and honor and human
			kindness are no longer affordable luxuries. Bankruptcy’s 
			become a way of life. Do you have any idea how this makes 
			me feel? I have been a committed socialist most of my adult 				life. I’ve done what I could to redress the wrongs and expose 
			the injustices. Sacco and Vanzetti never had a truer friend or 
			a more dedicated defender. I believe in the underdog.  But I 
			live in a capitalist society, and when the banks take it upon 
			themselves to extend credit for money they don’t actually 
			possess there’s only one possible outcome. Everything falls 
			to pieces. We lose sight of our humanity. The chains of 

						SINCLAIR (Continued)
			oppression re-fasten themselves. Oh, I won’t say the stock 
			market crash horrified me. I expected it. I welcomed it. I 
			only wish it had come at a more opportune time. Sir, there’s 
			nothing I’d rather do than help you make this picture, but we
			can’t go on spending money like this. It’s not mine to spend.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Yes, I know. Papa also married a woman of independent
			means. 

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			What can I say? It seems to be my fate to live in the presence 
			of wealth that belongs to others.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			It must be very difficult for you.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Guess who his majesty went to for advice about th’ budget?
 
                                                                  	SINCLAIR
			Hunter, please …

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Some dago down on La Cienega.

	                                                   	EISENSTEIN
			A man of the people!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			A goddamned hairdresser!

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			Hunter, you know better than to use that sort o’ language.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			I'm tellin’ you, he got his budget from a barber.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			What!




		
                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Over a shave an’ a haircut, our legendary genius here asked 	
Luigi how much he thought it’d cost to make a picture down 
in Mexico. An’ what was it Luigi said?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			His name wasn't Luigi; and he was more than a barber. He 
was a philosopher!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Well, I guess that makes it all right.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			What’s he talkin’ about, father?

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Maybe you better sit down.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			No, I think I'll stand.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Now he doesn't know how to finish th’ damn thing.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Is this true?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Comrade, let me explain. . .

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Is that what happened?

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			P’raps I will sit down.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			You don’t understand. In Russia, everything was done 
for us.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Some genius.
                                                                   

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			We make pictures, not account books.

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			You never told me that.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			‘Nuther miscalculation.

                                                                    	MARY CRAIG
			I knew it. 

				(DON VENUS re-appears 
				under one of the arches. HE 
				leans against the arch. Using
				a small knife, HE slices off
				pieces of an apple which he 
				slowly eats as HE watches 
				and listens)

                                                                    	SINCLAIR
			Mr Eisenstein, do you have any idea what you’ve 
done?  I trusted you.

						MARY CRAIG
			A glorious dreamer, drawn to lost causes like a moth 
to a flame.

						SINCLAIR
				(Aside to MARY)
			It was the meat-packing bosses who were burned.

						MARY CRAIG
			Poor, forthright, psychologically obtuse Upton. You always 
see the best in people.
	
						SINCLAIR
			I’m going to have to give this some thought. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Four more weeks, comrade.




						KIMBROUGH
			You gotta be jokin’.

						EISENSTEIN
			If we stop now we will lose everything.
	
						SINCLAIR
			And if we keep going?
			
						KIMBROUGH
			I’d pull th’ plug on th’ whole thing. 
			
						MARY CRAIG
			How’m I s’pose to be a film producer without a film? 

						SINCLAIR
			You leave it to me. You’ll have your film. Now come 
along, mother. It’s going to be all right.				
(Takes her hand)

						EISENSTEIN
			You’ll make your money back. I promise. 

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			You hope.

						EISENSTEIN
			Please, believe me!  Mrs Sinclair! The last thing I want 
is to go back to Russia with an unfinished film. 

				(SINCLAIR and MARY CRAIG
				move off and exit)

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Th’ last thing you wanna do is go back, period.

				(Pause)

						EISENSTEIN
			And people wonder why we do not trust capitalism.

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
			Capitalism! Why, without capitalism, you wouldn't even be 
			here, boy!
                                                                     
						EISENSTEIN
			You must be a Libran.

						KIMBROUGH
			Don’t forget th’ budget. An’ a schedule. I’ll sleep much 
better with a schedule. 
				(KIMBROUGH exits)

				(DON VENUS spits out a mouthful 
				of apple, and comes forward)
					
						EISENSTEIN
			Sometimes I think the only reason you came was to lead 
me astray.

						DON VENUS
			You were already a stray when I met you. 
					
						EISENSTEIN
			When you met me I was making a film.

						DON VENUS
			And now?

						EISENSTEIN
			Now I am unable to finish. 

						DON VENUS
			Why should you!

						EISENSTEIN
			They will not let me go on forever.
		
						DON VENUS
			Forget about them.
				
						EISENSTEIN
			I need them. Without them, I am lost. 

						DON VENUS
			What do you know!  The future cries for you. 

						EISENSTEIN
			I think I must finish. 

						DON VENUS
			You think too much. You think finishing is everything. 
Like the ones watching in the dark. They only trust 
what is dead,  and even then they are not so sure. 
They want to believe that what is finished is safe. But 
to be finished is nothing. What is important 	is to escape. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Escape from what?

						DON VENUS
			The past, senor.

						EISENSTEIN
			You mean defect?

						DON VENUS
			Defect is when you choose to be a slave instead of what 
you are. The film is only to help you catch the fish.

						EISENSTEIN
			You talk in riddles, old man.
 		
						DON VENUS
			It is more than a film you are making, senor. And you
			are the fish.

						EISENSTEIN
			Why do you do this? You fill my head. You give me no 
rest. Where does it end?

						DON VENUS
			There is no end! 
					
				(Pause)

						EISENSTEIN
			So now we come to torment. 

						DON VENUS
Easy to find, but I do not think it will take you where 
you want to go.


			
						EISENSTEIN
				(Absently)
Platform five. 

						DON VENUS
As your guide, I do not suggest it.

						EISENSTEIN
			And what do you suggest?
			
				(DON VENUS throws his arms
				around EISENSTEIN, whose arms
				remain uncomfortably at his side. 
				HE releases his hold, and looks up 
				into EISENSTEIN's eyes)

						EISENSTEIN (Continued)
			Is that it?

						DON VENUS
				(Wagging his finger)
			The rest you will not believe. Not yet.
				(DON VENUS turns, distracted.
				HE stares at the audience)
Can you see them?

						EISENSTEIN
Yes.

						DON VENUS
It is better not to look. 
	(Beat)
I come.
				(HE moves off)
					
						EISENSTEIN
			Don Venus!

				(DON VENUS turns)

						EISENSTEIN
			What is to become of you… when I am done?



						DON VENUS
			Someone will have need of me. 

						EISENSTEIN
			What will you do?

						DON VENUS
			Rest.  And then…  another painting. 
	
				(CHABELA enters)
			
						CHABELA
			Maestro?

				(EISENSTEIN and DON VENUS
turn)
		
						CHABELA (Continued)
			They have arrested Senor Balderas. You must do
			something. They are saying that he murdered Rosa.  

						EISENSTEIN
			Who says?

						CHABELA
			The police. 
				
						EISENSTEIN
			This is ridiculous! He is innocent! 

						DON VENUS
			Not in Mexico.
				
						CHABELA
			No, senor. A poor man is never innocent. 

						EISENSTEIN
			But there has been no trial. 

						CHABELA
			They do not need a trial to lock him up, senor.

						DON VENUS
			Nor for the firing squad!

					CHABELA
			You must go to the judge. He is the only one who can 
help. Talk to him. He will listen. He believes you are
important. 

						DON VENUS
			He does not listen to peasants.

						EISENSTEIN
			He will listen to me. And he will hear the truth. 

						CHABELA
			The truth is not what he wants, senor.

						DON VENUS
			He wants to be like you.

						CHABELA
			He wants to have what you have. 	
				
						EISENSTEIN
			What I have?	
		
				(DON VENUS rubs his fingers
				together - hand-sign for money)
	
						CHABELA 
			It is a poor country, senor. My  people watch the way
Senor Kimbrough throws his money away in the cantina. 
They would like to throw money, too.  
	
						EISENSTEIN
			You mean…  bribe.

						CHABELA
			It will help him see true.
			
						EISENSTEIN
			Is the truth  so difficult to see?

						CHABELA
			It is Mexico, senor. Truth is whatever fills the belly. 
The rest is tomorrow’s hunger.


	(Pause)

						EISENSTEIN
			How much?

						DON VENUS
			Enough to show respect.

				(CHABELA shrugs) 

						EISENSTEIN
			I will speak to Mr Kimbrough.

						CHABELA
			No, maestro. He has no feeling.  Only you. You are the
only hope Senor Balderas has. If the judge likes you, or 
if he fears you, you may not have to pay. But you must 
go to him, senor. In the morning. 

						EISENSTEIN
			Yes. All right. Tomorrow!
				(Beat)
			Only tomorrow we have the Revolution.
				
						DON VENUS
			So, the revolution will have to wait.

						EISENSTEIN
			So the Revolution will have to wait. 
				(Beat)
			Do not fear, Chabela. I will help him. Everything will be 
			all right. I will go in the morning. 

						CHABELA
			You are a good man, senor. 
		
                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Not all of us are like Mr Kimbrough. 
                                                    
KIMBROUGH
				(Off-stage)
			Mr Eisenstein!  Mr Eisenstein, are you there?



						CHABELA
			He is coming, I must go.

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			No!

                                                                    	KIMBROUGH
				(Off-stage)
			I know you're there. Why don't you answer me?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
			Drunk again. Always drunk.

						KIMBROUGH
			Damn! Can’t you hear me?
                     			(HE enters)
                              	You deaf or what? I coulda done myself an injury.
				(Beat)
			Well, well, well… what’s she doin’ here? No, let me guess. 
				
						EISENSTEIN
			She has come to tell me about the trouble with Senor
Balderas.

						KIMBROUGH
			What about him?

						EISENSTEIN
			He has been imprisoned.

KIMBROUGH
I’ll pray for him.

						EISENSTEIN
And pay for him. He is our responsibility.
 
						KIMBROUGH
			Ours?

						EISENSTEIN
			Yes. He is one of my actors.

						KIMBROUGH
			Not anymore he isn’t.

						EISENSTEIN
			I hired him.

						KIMBROUGH
			An’ now he’s un-hired, ‘long with everybody else, her
included.

						DON VENUS
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			He has the moon in his head, senor.

						EISENSTEIN
			He has no head at all!

						KIMBROUGH
			What!

		                                     	CHABELA
			I should go.
				
						KIMBROUGH
			Good idea. Get yerself a real job. 

                                                                     	EISENSTEIN
				(Grabbing her arm)
Wait!
(To KIMBROUGH)
Why do you do this?
                                                            
   						KIMBROUGH
			Everything comes to an end sooner or later.

						EISENSTEIN
			Not until we have filmed the Revolution, it doesn’t!

						KIMBROUGH
			Well, I guess we’re just gonna have to dispense with th’ 
Revolution.

						EISENSTEIN
			Without the Revolution we have no ending.




KIMBROUGH
Wake up, boy! The Revolution’s come and gone. 

		EISENSTEIN
Why can’t you people let me finish in peace?

		KIMBROUGH
				(To CHABELA)
			He thinks I'm drunk. 

						EISENSTEIN
			You know what we have to do.

						KIMBROUGH
			I know what I have to do.
	
						EISENSTEIN
			Go back where you belong.

						KIMBROUGH
			Wild horses won’t stop me.
				
						EISENSTEIN
			Your sister will have her budget by the end of the month.

						KIMBROUGH
			P’raps I haven’t made myself clear. You’re fired. 
		
	                                     		DON VENUS
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			I think you have need of another miracle, senor. 

                                                              	EISENSTEIN
			I don’t think so.

		                                     	KIMBROUGH
			Thinkin’s got nothin’ to do with it. From now on, th’ only 
			thing my sister's puttin’ her money into is a safety deposit
			box.

						EISENSTEIN
			We will see about that. 



						KIMBROUGH
			Yeah, well, in the meantime I suggest you start packin’.

						DON VENUS
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			He must have stomach ache.   

						KIMBROUGH
			I ‘spect you'll be takin’ th’ Chevy. I’ve arranged transit 
visas for you an’ your friends… You got two weeks to
get to New York. I s’pose you can manage that, long as
you drive faster than you make movies. 
		
EISENSTEIN
			Thank you, Mr Kimbrough. Only I am not going anywhere.
Now, if you will excuse me…?

			KIMBROUGH
			Stubborn to th’ end. I imagine you could even get yourself 
			arrested if you tried.

						EISENSTEIN
			Another one of your projects, I suppose.

						KIMBROUGH
			My only project is getting’ the hell outta here… Don’t 
linger, Mr Eisenstein… it won’t do you any good.
	(To CHABELA)
G’day, Miss.
	(Exits)

			       	CHABELA
			What does he mean, senor? 

                                                                    EISENSTEIN
			It is nothing. Less than nothing. He blows up, we 
have Two weeks of peace. Tomorrow he will be 
drunk again.

                                                                    DON VENUS
			He is not well. 



	
                                                                    	CHABELA 
				(To EISENSTEIN)
			Maybe Mexico is not such a good place for you, senor.  

                                                                   	EISENSTEIN
			You doubt me?

                                                                     	CHABELA
			I watch you. The way you hide.

                                                                 	EISENSTEIN
			What do you know about hiding?

						DON VENUS
			I think I must go… there is a picture… 
				(Exits)
                                                             
	CHABELA
	 		The Spanish missionaries made their churches on top 
of our ancient temples. They hoped it would make it
easier for us to pray to their god. But we had our own 
gods, and we hid our sacred objects where they would 
never look, inside their Catholic altars. So when they
saw us there, they believed we were praying to the 
Cross…  but it was not so.  
				(Beat)
			When one is frightened, one hides.  

				(EISENSTEIN takes hold of  
				CHABELA's hand. A moment,
				interrupted by the arrival of 
				ALEXANDROV and TISSE)

                     	TISSE
Comrade! Comrade, we have trouble!
	
	EISENSTEIN
	Yes, yes, I know.

                                                               	TISSE
	You know?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
	Do not worry about it, Eduard.

                                                                   	ALEXANDROV
	We have no choice now.

                                 	                                   EISENSTEIN
	Pay him no mind. We have been through this a hundred 
	times. He is only trying to frighten us.

                                                                    	TISSE
	He has done a very good job of it.

		EISENSTEIN
	He has done nothing but interfere. A one hundred percent, 
	American idiot! I am finished taking orders from him.

                                                                    	TISSE
	Who?
                                              
		 EISENSTEIN
	Who!?  Who are you talking about?

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
	I think you’d better read this, comrade.
		(Holding out an envelope)

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
	What is it?

                                                                    	TISSE
	A cablegram.
                                                             
		EISENSTEIN
	From Sinclair?

                                                                    	ALEXANDROV
	Not from… to!  Read it.

		(Pause)
                                                                  
		EISENSTEIN
	No. You. You read it, Eduard.

                             		(TISSE takes the envelope, 
		extracts the cablegram)


                                                                    	TISSE
		(Reading slowly)
	“EISENSTEIN LOOSE HIS COMRADES
	CONFIDENCE IN SOVIET UNION    STOP    
	HE IS THOUGHT TO BE A 	DESERTER WHO
	BROKE WITH HIS COUNTRY    STOP   
	AM AFRAID THE PEOPLE HERE WILL HAVE 
	NO INTEREST IN HIM    STOP    AM VERY 
	SORRY BUT ALL ASSERT IT IS A FACT   STOP  
	WISH YOU TO BE WELL    STOP    MY 
	REGARDS    STOP…   STALIN” 

                 		ALEXANDROV
	One can almost feel the noose around the neck.

                                                              	EISENSTEIN
	I believe they are using firing squads these days.
                                                              
	     	ALEXANDROV
	You should not make jokes.

                                    	EISENSTEIN
	I did not intend it to be funny.

                                                                    	TISSE
	Boys, please! It will do no good to argue.

		EISENSTEIN
	You seem almost happy, Grisha.

                                      	ALEXANDROV
	We should have gone back months ago.
                                                               
	    	TISSE
	Sergei…

                                                                    EISENSTEIN
	No!

		(Pause)

                                 	                               ALEXANDROV
	I am going to pack.
		(HE exits)

		(Solo violin music fades up.
		TISSE presses the cablegram into 
		EISENSTEIN's hand, lingers, then 
		exits)

		CHABELA
	What does it mean… “loose confidence”?

                                                                    	EISENSTEIN
	I feel like dancing. Will you dance with me?
	
		(They dance: a waltz, round and 
		round. EISENSTEIN stumbles, 
		reaches up, grabs hold of his chest. 
		HE pushes CHABELA away)
                                                                 
		  	CHABELA
	Senor!  Senor, what is wrong!

		(HE staggers forward, turning to
		the audience, hand outstretched)

                                                                   	 CHABELA (Continued)
	Senor!  Please! Someone, help!
		
		EISENSTEIN
	Totya.
		(Louder)
	Totya!


		(BLACKOUT)

                                                	END ACT 1