THE PROFESSOR [Scene runs from
12:14 to 15:24, track 3]
[The film opens with an older man in captivity taming two
dogs. The man is Dr. Ethan Powell, formerly a professor of anthropology.
We then see that Dr. Powell being transported in shackles through
an airport. An alarm upsets him and he attacks the men escorting
him. He continues to attack airport security guards until he
sees a young woman, his daughter, watching him and abruptly
In this scene we meet the young doctor who will evaluate
this man, Dr. Theo Caulder. Caulder's mentor enters his classroom
and finds "'Lost Man' Guilty of Slaughter" written
on the board. Caulder is at the back of the room.]
CAULDER: It's what the Rwandan papers called it.
CAULDER: It's not like any other case, Ben, ever.
BEN: You're three hours early.
CAULDER: It's an amazing opportunity. Amazing.
BEN: I have a class in here in 15 minutes you know.
CAULDER: But you're going to want to hear this, Ben.
BEN: Tell me.
CAULDER: He killed two park rangers and injured three others
with a wooden club.
BEN: He was studying the animals there, right?
CAULDER: Not anymore. They said "he walked among them,"
part of the animal group. It's just possible, Ben, that he was
living with the mountain gorillas for nearly two years - with
them. [He reads] Noted anthropologist and primatologist Ethan
Powell was reported missing in October 1994. Lost for nearly
two years, then found. But when they tried to contact Ethan,
he turned on them, like an animal, they say. They put him in
an African prison for a year. They say he hasn't spoken a word
since his arrest.
BEN: So what do we have here? Lives with the animals, takes
on their behavior, becomes one. How does that happen?
CAULDER: Exactly. How?
BEN: They want a thirty day evaluation, followed by an evaluation
by the judge. I'll give him a day to rest, then I'll see him
CAULDER: Ben, there is something I want to ask you for.
BEN: What is it?
CAULDER: Ethan Powell. The evaluation. I want it.
BEN: You don't have nearly enough experience for a case like
this. You know that, don't you? Why should I give it to you?
CAULDER: Important issues here Ben.
BEN: Yes. One of them is your career, right? I mean, a case
like this is all about career, and you've been thinking about
that. It'd be a leap for you.
CAULDER: What if I can get him to speak?
BEN: Get Powell to speak? Ah. You mustn't confuse a mute murderer
with little Annie Beldon and her Pope fantasy or Rondelli the
flasher or any of those.
CAULDER: What if I can?
BEN: Then you write a best-seller about it. Am I right?
CAULDER: I'm ready for this. Ben.
BEN: Do you have a title yet? For the best-seller.
BEN: What is it, tell me.
CAULDER: Is that a yes?
INTERVIEW AT HARMONY BAY [Scene
32:53 to 38:08, track 7]
[Scene occurs at a correctional facility, Harmony Bay. We
do not know if Professor Ethan Powell has full comprehension
any longer. His mental life at first appeared to be in part
extinguished; but, in an earlier interview, Dr. Caulder determined
that Powell was heavily medicated. Caulder, Dr. Murray (the
resident doctor at the facility), two guards, and Powell are
all present in the interview room.]
CAULDER: Dr. Theo Caulder. Second interview with patient, Dr.
Ethan Powell. How are we today, Dr. Powell?
MURRAY: Dr. Powell is unresponsive.
CAULDER: I'm going to ask you to identify certain objects,
Doctor. You can speak or write down your answer. What is this
a picture of, Doctor?
[Guards move papers in front of Powell.]
MURRAY: The patient makes no sign that he can understand.
CAULDER: And this? And this? And this? What is this picture
Can you write it down? And this? And this? What is this picture
of? And this?
[Theo shows Powell pictures of a dog, a guerilla, his own
home, and a photo of the hut he stayed in Africa, and finally
a picture his daughter. Powell, breaks the frame of the final
photo. The guards react by tackling Powell.]
CAULDER: Hey, leave him alone! Leave him alone!
GUARD: [To Caulder] I told you not to do that! Keep
CAULDER: Leave the patient!
GUARD: Do not cross this line!
CAULDER: Back away from my patient. Back away from the patient!
GUARD: Okay, Doctor. It's your ass.
CAULDER: Your silence says, ''Yes, I'm still an animal--a wild,
dangerous animal. You can beat me, you can cage me. I'm not
human any more. I have nothing to say--''not to some shrink
across the table, not to any guard, not even to her.'' But she
still wants her father. She wants you back. What do you say
to that? What do you say to her?
[Murray and Caulder remain silent at the Doctor's first
POWELL: Have I made your fucking day?
CAULDER: Do you wanna die? Is that what you want?
MURRAY: Uh, the patient is not responding.
CAULDER: [To Murray] Quiet. [To Caulder] I'll
take that as a no. Do you want to stay here forever? Or do you
want to go home? Africa? Here? You want to go back here? If
I cut your medication, will you take me there with you?
MURRAY: You can't cut the medication.
CAULDER: [To Murray] Shut up!
MURRAY: I will not be yelled at by some yuppie res--
CAULDER: Dr. Murray! I don't know you very well, but I have
the feeling that you are a tired, incompetent bag of shit who
has found a place to hide. You overmedicate these men, and you
turn your back when they're tortured. If I'm wrong, I deeply
CAULDER: [Turns back to Powell] If I cut your medication,
help you remember, will you take me with you?
POWELL: Can you follow me?
CAULDER: Yes. Yes, I'll follow.
WALKING AMONG THEM [Scene runs from
47:20 to 55:05, track 10]
[Caulder and Powell are alone for an interview. Powell is
flashing back to his time in Africa and telling Caulder about
POWELL: There he was--the silver back, their leader. I'd been
observing this group for months but had never been this close.
So close, so magnificent. It was terrifying, and wonderful.
[Powell is taking pictures of the gorillas.]
I thought my presence was making them nervous, but it wasn't
that, it was the machine--the camera--that didn't belong. So
I stopped using it, and it was then I began to see them, for
the first time. I wondered if they missed me when I left for
the night-- this man who watched them outside their circle.
Did they think of me? I thought of them, and I missed them.
I liked them. I even needed them. Each day they seemed to allow
me to step closer. I was excited by my slow journey toward them.
I felt privileged. I felt, in a way, as if l was coming back
to something, I had lost long ago and I was only now remembering.
[The gorillas surround Powell. They aren't threatening,
but rather they are including him in their group.]
Suddenly, just like that, it happened. I was no longer outside
the group. For the first time, I was among them. I never missed
a day. I walked miles from my camp to find them. And stayed
with them longer and longer, before I'd pull my self away to
go back to camp every night.
[We see Powell choose to spend the night with them, rather
than return to his camp. The animals seem to adopt him.]
In there, deep in those forests, away from everything you know,
everything you've ever been taught, by school or book or song
or rhyme, you find peace, uh, a, kinship, harmony, even safety.
You'll find more danger in one day in any city in the world,
than you will ever find in those forests. Do you understand
[Caulder looks confused.]
POWELL: Ah, mixed up. You're all mixed up. I want to go back
to my cell now.
CAULDER: Wait. Okay, okay.
CAULDER: Wait. Wait. Please. What's the playing card for?
CAULDER: Control of you? By whom?
POWELL: By you-takers.
CAULDER: Takers? Explain that.
POWELL: I want to go to my cell now.
CAULDER: The session's not over.
POWELL: Until you say so?
POWELL: The taker.
CAULDER: You're free to go.
POWELL: Am I? And you? Are you free?
[Powell is led out by a guard. Caulder watches him go.]
CONTROL [Scene runs from
59:50 to 1:03:48, track 11]
CAULDER: Dr. Theo Caulder, continuing interview with Dr. Ethan
Powell. I've further reduced your Haldol. Have you felt the
effects of that?
POWELL: Yeah. Thank you.
CAULDER: In our last session, we discovered why you left your
normal routine of study, and began to travel with the gorillas,
staying with them even at night. Our next subject to cover is
the reason for-
[Powell pulls a piece of duct tape off the chair. He is
amused by it and shows Caulder.]
POWELL: Hey, look. It fell off the chair.
CAULDER: Mm. Great. Our next subject to cover is the reason
POWELL: [Powell looks at some crayons Caulder brought with
him] Are these for me?
CAULDER: The reason for the attack on the rangers-
POWELL: No pencils?
CAULDER: These are safer.
POWELL: Oh, yeah.
POWELL: No pencils. Are you coming back to the gym today, Tabibu
[Powell calls Caulder by a Swahili nickname he's given him,
although at this point its meaning is not clear]
POWELL: Am I worth it? All the mess and blood?
CAULDER: I'm here to do an evaluation. That's what I do.
POWELL: Am I so interesting?
CAULDER: You lived as an animal for nearly two years. I'd say
you were interesting enough, sure.
POWELL: I lived as a man living with animals. I lived as humans
lived ten thousand years ago. Humans knew how to live in the
world then, before-
CAULDER: Before civilization?
POWELL: No, before you, Juha, and all your kind. Takers.
POWELL: Yeah, I was one of you. I believed in control.
CAULDER: Some control is necessary.
POWELL: Is it?
CAULDER: The gorillas, they let you stay with them, even at
night. You were becoming one of them.
POWELL: Are you listening? Are you listening to me?
POWELL: Not one of them. Not a gorilla. Don't you see? They
accepted a man. They reached across. They took me in as family.
They welcomed a human being among them. That's the miracle.
CAULDER: What about the family you left behind? What about
POWELL: We leave her outside of this.
POWELL: And my wife. Leave them out. You think I don't know.
I know what I was, what I lost, what I killed.
CAULDER: She's not dead. She wants to see you.
POWELL: She saw me at the airport. She saw what I am now. You
let me be dead to her. You change the subject, Juha, or walk
away from this. Which do you want?
CAULDER: For now, I want the forest. Take me there. In the
forest for all that time, did you ever miss the contact with
POWELL: No. They were there. I may not have seen them, but
I always knew they were there.
ILLUSIONS [Scene runs form 1:05:39
to , track 12]
[This scene is a continuation of the prior scene. Powell
has returned in flashback to the forest again. He tells Caulder
about how he became more and more comfortable in nature, and
more and more included in the gorillas' group]
CAULDER: If you were learning their ease-
POWELL: Their peace.
CAULDER: Their peace. Then why does this all end in murder?
POWELL: There were many murders.
POWELL: Yeah. There's a zoo not far from here where I studied--and
many years ago--and, uh, they needed a male gorilla, a wild
capture. And I did that. I helped capture him. I didn't even
know what murder was when I was you, Juha.
CAULDER: You know what murder I'm talking about. If you don't
talk to me about this, I can't help you.
POWELL: I don't want you to help me.
CAULDER: What do you want?
POWELL: I want you to listen.
CAULDER: And then what?
POWELL: Share it.
POWELL: Whoever you share with, the people you're close to.
Are there any?
CAULDER: Why don't you tell others?
POWELL: 'Cause I'm not for this world, not any more.
CAULDER: What world, then? In your memories, locked away in
your mind for the rest of your life? Is that all you want?
POWELL: No, I want to finish this.
CAULDER: Finish what?
POWELL: Telling you what I know.
CAULDER: What makes you think what you know is any different
than what other people know?
POWELL: I had different teachers.
CAULDER: Okay, okay.
CAULDER: So I'm supposed to, pass on your work.
POWELL: Yeah, for all it's worth.
CAULDER: What made you pick me?
POWELL: A look in your eye. You seemed to have half a brain.
CAULDER: Thank you. What look?
POWELL: That look--curious, searching, unsatisfied, slightly
CAULDER: Why didn't you pick your daughter?
POWELL: Leave it alone.
CAULDER: Why do you refuse to talk about her?
POWELL: Leave it.
CAULDER: She wants to see you. I say we talk about it.
POWELL: I was wrong about you, Juha.
CAULDER: Explain that.
POWELL: Tell them to open this door. You're not the one, Juha.
CAULDER: I'm not the one?
CAULDER: I'm not the one who cut your medication? I'm not the
one to say if you're competent for a hearing, a chance of getting
outta here? I'm the one, Ethan.
POWELL: Are you?
CAULDER: I'm the one.
POWELL: The one in control, huh?
[Powell attacks Caulder, places him in a headlock and places
the piece of duck tape across his mouth.]
POWELL: Who's in control?
POWELL: So who is in control, huh? Are you? Am I? The guards
outside? The Warden in his office? Yeah? Who's in control?
POWELL: Testing, testing, testing. One, two, three, four. Dr.
Ethan Powell, interviewing Dr. Theo Caulder. Now, this will
be a very simple test. Pass or fail, life or death. Ready, Juha?
Now, you write on this paper what I have taken from you. What
have you lost? Write it! Write it!
[Caulder writes, "Control" on the paper.]
POWELL: Wrong. You never had control. You only thought you
had it. An illusion, Tabibu Juha! And what do you control for
sure, huh? The volume on your stereo, the air conditioning in
your car? What else? What else? All right. Another chance. You
were nervous. Too much pressure. Try again. What have you lost?
What did I take? Write it. Write it!
POWELL: You're a fool, Juha.
[Caulder writes, "Freedom"]
POWELL: Ha! Did you think you were free? Where were you going
at : today? into the gym, right? in the morning, your wake-up
call. in the middle of the night when you wake up sweating,
with your heart pounding. What is it that has you all tied up,
Juha, tied up in little knots? Is it ambition? Yeah. You're
no mystery to me, boy. I used to be you. Okay. One last chance.
You think I won't do it? [ Chuckles ] What's one psychiatrist
less to the world? I'm already deep in the pit. So what can
they do to me? Last try. Get it right. What have you lost? What
did I take from you? Write it.
[Caulder writes, "Illusions"]
POWELL: Yeah. Congratulations. You're a student, after all.
And you've lost nothing but your illusions, and a little bit
A TRUE HISTORY [Scene runs
from 1:13:48 to 1:16:18, track 14]
[Powell has used his crayons to draw a pictorial account
of the history of mankind on his cell walls. Caulder has come
to the cell to speak with him.]
GUARD: Take your time, Doc.
CAULDER: What are you making here?
POWELL: The true history of mankind. It's a true history. No
fiction, no lie. Africa, two million years ago. Humans. Then
they moved. Migrated. Ten thousand years ago, civilization.
You. This is me? Yeah, and me too. Us. Takers.
CAULDER: Who are the blue people?
POWELL: They're tribal societies -- hunters, gatherers, planters.
They never killed more animals than they could use. They never
ploughed more land than they needed. They fought, but they never
waged war. Never exterminated. They had a place in the world.
And in the world, they were part of it. And they shared it.
We changed all that.
CAULDER: Now, what, are we supposed to change it back? What
are we supposed to do?
CAULDER: Move where?
POWELL: Out of my way.
CAULDER: What, are we supposed to unbuild the cities, wander
off into the jungle?
POWELL: A stupid, specious argument. You figure it out. I'm
CAULDER: You're a pain in the neck, Ethan.
POWELL: I know. Now get out. Dominion.
POWELL: We have only one thing to give up -- our dominion.
We don't own the world. We're not kings here, not gods. Can
we give that up? Too precious, all that control? Too tempting,
being a god?
GOLIATH [Scene runs from
1:28:28 to 1:32:00, track 16]
[Powell, Caulder and some guards are getting into a van.]
POWELL: Where are we going?
CAULDER: Fresh air, a ride in the country. You'll like it.
It's wilderness all the way. They're waiting for us.
POWELL: Who? What are you planning, Juha?
CAULDER: I'm not your "idiot" any more.
POWELL: You finally looked it up.
CAULDER: No. Your daughter told me.
GUARD: Watch your step.
[They arrive at the zoo. A zookeeper meets them.]
ZOOKEEPER: The gorillas are in the cage room now.
ZOOKEEPER: The old silverback's been with us the longest. You
remember him, Dr. Powell. He's the one you-
CAULDER: [To the zookeeper] I'm sorry. We need to be
alone in here.
CAULDER: [To the guard] The restraints? I'll put them
back on him before we leave.
GUARD: You understand if he comes out of that door without
CAULDER: I thought you'd feel safer here. I thought if you
were around them, you'd talk to me. Tell me about the violence,
about the killing.
POWELL: These are shadows of gorillas. Born in cages. Only
the old male- he was free once. Still alive, Goliath? I named
him that. I brought him here. This cage has broken him. Broken
his heart, broken his mind. Made him insane. I did that.
THE KILLINGS [Scene runs from
1:35:20 to 1:41:22]
[Powell has told Caulder of the gorillas, including a mother
and an old silverback, who looked after all the others, including
Powell. We see him again in the forest, playing with a young
gorilla. The group is suddenly attacked by men with guns. Powell
tries to defend the gorillas, hides the baby, and kills two
of the attackers. When he is finally subdued, he watches the
old male silverback die and weeps.]
CAULDER: Ethan? Ethan, what is it? What is it? What's wrong?
POWELL: It was me. They'd found my things. They'd been tracking
me. So I brought them. I brought the takers and death. Still
he [the dying old silverback gorilla] looks at me without blame.
CAULDER: Because you're not to blame, not for any of it. You
were just defending your family.
[Powell takes Caulder's pen and uses it to open the cage
CAULDER: Ethan, close it.
POWELL: He won't come out. You see? Even if he can. Not far
from here is a fence, and on the other side of that fence is
freedom, and he can smell it.
POWELL: He'll never try to get there, 'cause he's given up.
By now he thinks freedom is something he dreamed.
CAULDER: And you? Have you given up? Because we have a chance
to get you out of here now, a good chance. This is all I need
-- what you've told me. It's not just something you dreamed.
THE GAME [Scene runs from 1:49:52
to 1:54:00, track 19]
[Powell agrees to meet with his daughter and to prepare
himself for a judge's review of his competency. But, just before
that review, he is brutalized by the guards and once again shuts
down and refuses to speak to anyone.]
CAULDER: Okay, Ethan. You asked me a question once: "What
has you all tied up in knots when you wake up sweating in the
middle of the night?" You still want to know? I've been
thinking about it. I've been thinking about it a lot. It's not
the work. I love the work. I've always loved the work. It's
the game. The game, Ethan. And I was so good at it. I made sure
all the right people liked me.
At night, I'd do the checklist in my mind. Am I cool with Ben
Hillard? Am I cool with Dr. Josephson? Am I cool with all the
people who can help me? Am I cool with all the people who can
hurt me? Nobody thought I was weak or a loser. There was nobody
I was offending, nobody I loved.
That game, Ethan. But guess what? You taught me how to live
outside of the game. You taught me how to live. And you know
what scares me even more? That I am going back in. "Forgive
me, Ben. Put me back in the game. I'll make you like me again!
I'll do the work. I'll do all the work, just put me back in
And do you want to know -- you want to know the psychology
behind this? Now, pay attention, because I'm good at this. I'm
trying not to say goodbye to you. I'm trying not to say I'll
[Caulder is weeping now] I'm trying to forget you. Ethan
Powell, case closed. Case closed! Look at me.
[Caulder leaves. Powell has not looked at him. When he is
alone again, Powell removes a pen from his sleeve. It is the
pen he took from Caulder when they were visiting Goliath. He
begins chipping away at the hinges of the window bars. He is
planning to escape.]
NOT JUST A DREAM [Scene runs from
1:57:25 to the End]
[We watch Caulder drive home, and stand in the rain, while
we hear Powell's voice reading a note he left for Caulder.]
I'm sorry I'm not there to say good-bye. You were right. Freedom
is not just a dream. It's there on the other side of those fences
we build all by ourselves. Thank you for giving me hope and
for giving me back my daughter. And I thank you, Theo, for sharing
this journey with me.
Your friend, Ethan."
[Monkeys calling, Powell walks in the forest.]