The Interpreter (2005)
Silvia Broome: Everyone who loses somebody wants revenge on someone, on God if they can't find anyone else. But in Africa, in Matobo, the Ku believe that the only way to end grief is to save a life. If someone is murdered, a year of mourning ends with a ritual that we call the Drowning Man Trial. There's an all-night party beside a river. At dawn, the killer is put in a boat. He's taken out on the water and he's dropped. He's bound so that he can't swim. The family of the dead then has to make a choice. They can let him drown or they can swim out and save him. The Ku believe that if the family lets the killer drown, they'll have justice but spend the rest of their lives in mourning. But if they save him, if they admit that life isn't always just... that very act can take away their sorrow.
Zuwanie: [reading from the dedication of a book he wrote decades earlier] THE GUNFIRE AROUND us makes it hard to hear. But the human voice is different from other sounds. It can be heard over noises that bury everything else. Even when it's not shouting. Even when it's just a whisper. Even the lowest whisper can be heard - -over armies... when it's telling the truth.
Silvia Broome: Any leads?
Tobin Keller: Maybe one. Come on down to Mexico.
[hands her a picture of a rally, her face can be seen among the crowd]
Tobin Keller: Is that you? Can you tell me what somebody like you, who uses the word "diplomacy", like she's chastising me, is doing at a rebel rally?
Silvia Broome: A peace rally.
Tobin Keller: I don't want to do this again!
Silvia Broome: That's exactly what it is. What I am doing is listening.
Tobin Keller: After that, after you listen.
Silvia Broome: You're asking the wrong question.
Tobin Keller: I'm asking you the question you don't want to answer.
Silvia Broome: Why would somebody take a picture and type the names of everyone in it on the back. This is a death list. The question you should be asking is "who gave me this?" and "why?"
Silvia Broome: Listen, I'm scared, and my protector is some one who doesn't believe me.
Tobin Keller: You don't look scared...
Silvia Broome: People handle fear in different ways, Mr. Keller. It turns some people into stand up comedians. You don't know me at all. Maybe I should talk to someone else about assigning someone to look after me who's better suited to the job.
Tobin Keller: My job is not to look after you, it's to look after the man who's been threatened, if there was a threat. My job, as it concerns you, is to investigate you.
Silvia Broome: So you're not here to offer me any protection whatsoever?
Tobin Keller: No, Ma'am.
Silvia Broome: [handing him back his card] And we were getting along so well.
Silvia Broome: Do you think I'm making it up? Why would I report a threat I didn't hear?
Tobin Keller: People do.
Silvia Broome: I don't.
Tobin Keller: Some people like attention.
Silvia Broome: I don't!
Tobin Keller: Maybe you don't want Zuwanie at the U.N.
Silvia Broome: I didn't make it up.
Tobin Keller: How do you feel about him?
Silvia Broome: I don't care for him.
Tobin Keller: Wouldn't mind if he were dead?
Silvia Broome: I wouldn't mind if he were gone.
Tobin Keller: Same thing.
Silvia Broome: No, it isn't. If I interpreted gone as dead I'd be out of a job, if dead and gone were the same thing there'd be no UN.
Tobin Keller: Your profession is playing with words Ms. Broome.
Silvia Broome: I don't play with words.
Tobin Keller: You're doing it right now.
Silvia Broome: No, you are. If I wanted him dead, I wouldn't have reported it. I would sit back and let it happen. That's not what I want, that's not why I'm here.
Tobin Keller: You think that not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth.
Woman on Bus: [calling after Gamba after he leaves the bomb on the bus] Hey! Guy forgot his lunch.
Doug: [the bus explodes] Oh, man.
Silvia Broome: What do you do when you can't sleep?
Tobin Keller: I stay awake
Dot Woods: [working security during a lap dance in a strip club] Ma'am, ma'am, excuse me, please don't touch the Prime Minister. I need you to step back, please.
Tobin Keller: I'd rather make the mistake of believing her, than the bigger one of not.
Silvia Broome: We're "kepéla". It means standing on opposite sides of the river.
Tobin Keller: You've got to give me a reason to get to the other side.
Silvia Broome: [to Secret Service Agent Keller] I'll be honest with you - I don't know how honest I can be with you.
Dot Woods: Secret Service.
UN Security Guard: Just a moment please.
Dot Woods: We're with Foreign Dignitary Protection. It's a branch of the United States government
Tobin Keller: Dot.
UN Security Guard: You're not in the United States, this is international territory. I need you to wait for an escort.
Silvia Broome: I walked away from Africa with nothing. No brother, no family, no lover, nothing... Just a belief that words and compassion are the better way. Even if it's slower than a gun.
Silvia Broome: [When Silvia has been hooked up to the polygraph machine] When will I know the results?
Tobin Keller: Straight away. You know when you're lying don't you?
Tobin Keller: You lose somebody, you lose somebody. I don't wanna lose two somebodies.
Dot Woods: [to Toban as she notices explosives are attached to the light switch after she nearly turned on the light] Now that's just rude.
Simon Broome: She wouldn't tell me her husband's name. She wouldn't even write it.
Silvia Broome: What was her name?
Tobin Keller: Laurie. Keller. Killed in an auto accident in Santa Fe. Twenty-three days ago.
[Sylvia says something in Ku]
Tobin Keller: Rest in peace?
Silvia Broome: Close enough.
Silvia Broome: Do you know that the leading cause of death for beavers is falling trees?
Tobin Keller: But not just dead. Dead in front of the delegates of a hundred and ninety one countries, and every news service with a camera. Dead in front of the world.
Jonathan Williams: Nobody needs to be that dead.
Silvia Broome: Peace, security and freedom are not finite commodities like land, oil or gold, which one state can acquire at another's expense.
Tour Guide: While there are now one hundred and ninety one nations represented, one hundred and forty more than there were in nineteen forty five, you'll only be required to learn the word "peace" in the six languages spoken on the General Assembly floor.
Roland: What is that?
Silvia Broome: Come on, Roland, it's my flutes and stuff. I have a lesson tonight. Don't make me drag it down just to drag it back up.
Roland: I let you do this, I'm gonna get coats and hats and yogi mats...
Asian Interpreter: Ladies and gentlemen, the situation in Matobo has now become critical. With Ajene Xola in hiding and Kuman-Kuman in exile, Edmond Zuwanie has few domestic obstacles to his policy of ethnic cleansing. The Security Council must therefore press for his immediate referral to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Jonathan Williams: Which language?
Silvia Broome: The Matoban Ambassador. He'll be speaking Ku.
Silvia Broome: Ku?
Jonathan Williams: You speak the language, don't you?
American Ambassador Davis: Let's be clear, Mr. Ambassador. The United States may not recognize the I.C.C. as a legitimate court, but we certainly do not condone the methods President Zuwanie uses against his own people.
Silvia Broome: [translating from Ku] Dr. Zuwanie is an educator. He is... our teacher. But his opponents engage in evermore ferocious acts. The partisans of both Kuman-Kuman and Ajene Xola have become... terrorists.
American Ambassador Davis: The French proposal is a diplomatic headache for both of us.
Silvia Broome: I heard something today. I don't know if I can say... If I'm permitted to. It was in a closed...
Police Chief Lee Wu: You are permitted. In fact, you're obligated, as you were last night when you didn't.
Silvia Broome: I think they were talking about Edmond Zuwanie. He's planning to come here to address the G.A.
Tobin Keller: Do you think you can identify the voice you heard if you heard it again?
Silvia Broome: Well, I'd say yes, if it were... It was almost a whisper. Whispers disguise the quality of a voice. You, I imagine, study faces. You know, I'm not really a dignitary.
Tobin Keller: I know. How'd you happen to be up there after hours?
Silvia Broome: We had an evacuation. I'd left some things in the sound booth. I had to go back for them.
Tobin Keller: And at that moment, there happened to be a couple fellas talking about an assassination in a language that you and maybe eight other people understand, in a room full of microphones.
Jay Pettigrew: Are you sure you're ready to come back?
Tobin Keller: I'm better working.
Jay Pettigrew: We got a credible threat?
Tobin Keller: We should assume so.
Jay Pettigrew: As popular as we are in the rest of the world these days, the last thing we can afford is to have some foreign leader get popped on our soil, particularly a guy like this that we don't like. So state wants you to know, N.S.A., C.I.A., F.B.I., whatever you need to keep this maniac's heart beating till he makes his speech and gets the hell out, it's yours.
Nils Lud: So, what do we make of this Interpreter? Is she making it up? Is she imagining things?
Nils Lud: Nils Lud. Dr Zuwanie's head of security. I thought since you were in a question-answering mood, I might ask one or two. Might I ask where you stand now politically, Miss Broome?
Silvia Broome: I'm for peace and quiet, Mr. Lud. It's why I came to the U.N. Quiet diplomacy.
Nils Lud: With respect, you only interpret.
Silvia Broome: Countries have gone to war because they've misinterpreted one another.
Tobin Keller: What are you not telling me?
Silvia Broome: What are you accusing me of?
Tobin Keller: How do you feel about Zuwanie, never mind "I don't care for him"?
Silvia Broome: I feel disappointment.
Tobin Keller: That's a lover's word. What about rage? Of all the people that I've looked into since this thing started, the one with the darkest Zuwanie history is you. It was his landmines that killed your...
Silvia Broome: Shh!
Tobin Keller: Who was that in the park?
Silvia Broome: It's personal.
Tobin Keller: No, no, no, no, no. We're past that. What's his name?
Silvia Broome: It's not your business.
Tobin Keller: Is he the one you e-mailed the night before you decided to report the threat? "Where are you? I'm worried about you. Write me"..."Please. I need to know you're Okay?". Worried why? Because he's involved? Is that him, here, now, in my country, making threats? That is my business.
Silvia Broome: You're wrong. It's got nothing to do with you.
Silvia Broome: Are you going to be there until morning?
Tobin Keller: It almost is morning. Yeah, I'll be here.
Charlie Russell: [on the phone] Shit! She just got on the bus with Kuman.
Tobin Keller: [on the phone] What the hell is she doing?
Tobin Keller: [on the phone] Guys, get with me here. We got a situation.
Tobin Keller: [on the phone] No. Just get off that bus. Get everybody off that bus right now!
Tobin Keller: [on the phone] Come on, guys. Talk to me. What's going on?
News Reporter: I'm standing here on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, where the scene behind me can only be described as unconscionable carnage...
Tobin Keller: What were you doing on that bus?
Silvia Broome: Thank you for bringing me home.
Tobin Keller: Hey. Hey! I lost a man today. A kid. How do you know Kuman?
Silvia Broome: I don't. I never met him before.
Tobin Keller: You're lying to me again.
Silvia Broome: I'm not lying. I went to him for help.
Tobin Keller: With what?
Silvia Broome: I can't tell you. Someone might get hurt.
Tobin Keller: "Someone might get hurt". There's a bus full of dead people! "Someone might get hurt?". Who? Someone you know? Someone who's mixed up in all this?
Tobin Keller: Xola's dead. Kuman's dead. Who do you work for?
Charlie Russell: Don't touch.
Tobin Keller: Those things'll kill you. Russell!
Jay Pettigrew: Keller? Go home and get some sleep.
Tobin Keller: I'm gonna stay here and wait for her.
Jay Pettigrew: Like hell you are. I need you awake tomorrow morning. Woods?
Dot Woods: Hold on.
Jay Pettigrew: Get him home.
Dot Woods: [to Tobin] They're not our family, and they're not our friends. You told me that.
Tobin Keller: He's here. He's in the building. I just saw him. Broadcast that description.
Kuman-Kuman: An almost-assassinated leader gets so much credibility, so he can stay in power and gets to stick around to enjoy it.
Silvia Broome: My brother... my brother was right. It takes too long, Tobin. I'm going home.
Tobin Keller: [to Sylvia] You can't do that. You cannot do that. How the hell am I supposed to protect you if I don't know where you are?
Silvia Broome: Hove Vambi... killed by land-mines. Alexander Mungoshi... Charles Kufomo... Ruth Kufomo... shot to death defending their home. Robert Chenjari... Benita Matkudzi... burned to death during a protest rally. Edgar Sakuro... Masumi Bamcha... John Enkumo... Yvon Enkumo...
G.A. President: Let the record show...
Silvia Broome: Steven Gawanda...
G.A. President: ...that the Security Council...
Silvia Broome: Solo Gawanda...
G.A. President: ...has unanimously commanded...
Silvia Broome: Steven Shamere...
G.A. President: ...that President Zuwanie of Matobo...
Silvia Broome: Stambuli Watiku... Esther Tikembu...
G.A. President: ...be tried at the lnternational Criminal Court in The Hague... for crimes against humanity.
Silvia Broome: Simon Broome... shot to death in a soccer stadium.
Silvia Broome: [to Edmund Zuwanie, pointing to an image of him as a child] That little boy was my country.
FBI Agent Lewis: We're on loan...
Dot Woods: Which means they have to be returned in the same condition, or we don't get our money back.
FBI Agent King: It's hard to remember that Edmond Zuwanie was once a good man. That's not unusual for these guys. They all begin as liberators and 20 minutes later they're as corrupt as the tyrants they've overthrown. He liberated the country from one of the most corrupt governments on earth. Gave the people hope, and he was a hero. They need another name for what he is now.