The Fast Shadow (A movie script)

The Fast Shadow (A movie script)

The Fast Shadow (A movie script)


This is a screenplay of a short film by Kyabchen Dedrol. Kyabchen Dedrol is one of the best young writers in Tibet, and a leading figure of the “third generation”, a generation defined both by their age and their thoughts and views which are distinct from the older generation’s. His writings are published in many literary magazines inside Tibet and have also been translated into other languages. He is the co-founder of Chodmey website.

The Fast Shadow (A movie script)
By Kyabchen Dedrol

Main actor: A sad looking young man wearing tattered clothing with disordered hair
Ordinary actors: Boss, a nomadic woman, student, gamblers, monks, students

Note: Except the scenes at the beginning of the movie, other scenes are all from the actual movie.

The main actor holds a piece of paper (he holds the paper in the rest of the scenes) and walks forward with purpose but his steps are not so stable. Only half of his figure is on camera. The background is some buildings and streets but they are not so clear.

The main actor opens the door of an office and gently comes in but he has an anxious expression on his face. In the office, a man wearing a neat western suit with a tie says with a loud voice, “Hi young man! As the saying goes, ‘Eat one shoulder of meat at a time, and drink a bottle of liquor at a time,’ we two should have a fine chat. Then I will see how I can help you.” The main actor sits on a chair in the corner of the room and hands the paper to the man and says, “Have you seen him? His name is Tashi.” The man talks a lot but the scene is now captured from a distance and there is no sound.

As the main actor enters another door, there is a nomadic woman wearing a loose robe is crushing empty boxes and stacking them together. Beside her, there is a naked baby with a runny nose. The main actor feels uneasy but he shows her the paper and asks, “Have you ever seen the person on this paper? His name is Tashi.” The nomadic woman says, “No, no” and turns back to continue her work.

As the main actor nervously pushes open another door, there are a bunch of men playing mahjong in heavy cigarette smoke and making a lot of noise, but as they notice the door open, they all look at him. When he sighs and asks, “Have you seen this man?”, someone points to a man who is playing mahjong (a man with long hair wearing jeans and a Tibetan style shirt) and says, “Is that him?”, and everyone breaks into laughter.

Then again, as he enters another door, a monk is preaching Buddhism to a Chinese woman, a Tibetan businessman and another monk. As he asks the monk, “Have you seen this man?”, the monk asks the Chinese woman next to him in Chinese, “Can you please do my compatriot a favor? Please put a trace for information on Weibo blog.” The Chinese woman politely says, “I will send out the information on Master’s blog. Master has the most fans.”

As he enters a house which doesn’t have a door but only a door curtain, inside there are three students. One student is lying on the bed and watching a movie on a computer, and another is smoking and listening to music through an earphone. Another student is playing darts. And yet another one is sleeping and snorting in the bed. There are a few empty liquor bottles beside him. As he asks the students, “Hello everyone! Have you seen this man?”, the student playing darts throws a dart at him and the other student suddenly wakes up.

There is a laptop computer on top of his desk, and he has fallen asleep in front of it. There is a knock on the door and his wife says in the living room, “My dear, you are here. What has your mother been busy with?” Then a little girl comes into his study and says, “My elder brother asked if you have translated this into English.” She put the paper there and ran out.

He turns on the laptop and reviews the unfinished poem. This is what he has written:
The Fast Shadow
After the sun disappears, you also disappear.
The fast shadow behind is attached to the body.
Inside the shadow, although there might be some attachment or plan,
at the moment when it passes in front of my eyes,
it seems there is nothing, and having nothing also seems like having something.
There is no burden that is heavier than something that is empty.
Since then, as the wind that blows away my soul

As he thinks of how to wrap up the poem, he notices the paper brought by the girl and sees what is written on the paper, ” All the degradation of the world is rooted by ignorance” (By Tsonkapa). He immediately wraps up the poem and starts translating it into English, and the scene ends.

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