The Physician (2013)
Ibn Sina: Because there is nothing to be afraid of.Death is merely a threshold we must all cross... into the silence, after the final heartbeat... drifting away with our final exhalation... into eternal peace...
Ibn Sina: This is the burden every physician must learn to bear. You can't look upon death as the enemy.
Rob Cole: Than what? A friend?
Ibn Sina: [looking to the sky] I've calculated the orbits of all these stars and planets. Filled volumes with calculations. I have barely scratched the real secrets of creation.
Rob Cole: Isn't it frustrating there's so much you don't know?
Ibn Sina: No. It fills me with awe. How pale and tedious would this world be without mystery.
Rob Cole: I don't want to treat warts all my life. I don't want to pull teeth and sell horse piss as a miracle tonic. I want to learn how to cure cataracts, side sickness and all other diseases.
Ibn Sina: What is it like?
Rob Cole: Inside?
Ibn Sina: [nods]
Rob Cole: It is both... beautiful... and frightening.
Ibn Sina: Go on.
Rob Cole: I saw the heart!
Ibn Sina: Describe it.
Rob Cole: It has two chambers with an impassable wall in between.
Ibn Sina: So how does the blood get from one side to the other?
Rob Cole: By way of the lungs, I think.
Ibn Sina: So all our theories of human circulation would be... wrong.
Rob Cole: Master, nothing is as it is in the books! Nothing!
Rebecca: In my fever, I dreamt that we were man and wife. We had children... Four!
Rob Cole: Did we roam around in a barber's car?
Rebecca: [smiles] No, we lived in a great city. Where you built a Madraza!
Rob Cole: All by myself?
Rebecca: I helped.
Rob Cole: May the Lord have mercy upon me! Bless me in my long and dangerous journey. Let not the waves engulf me nor sea monsters devour me. Let not bandits slit my throat, or wolves eat me alive. Let me not starve or get lost in the dark woods or cold mountains. And please let Jesus forgive me that I shall deny my faith and soil myself with sin to serve your creation and glory.
Title Card: In the Dark Ages, the art of healing developed in the Roman era has been widely forgotten in Europe. There are no doctors, no hospitals, only traveling barbers with poor knowledge. At the same time on the other side of world, medical science is prospering.
Barber: [performing for a crowd] Back and forth, up and down, left to right, for more than one hundred years. But nowhere have I had the pleasure of looking out upon a crowd with prettier girls than here in your wonderful Rough Dovender. Why do I specially like it here because... I always lay me best eggs here.
Barber: [starts imitating a chicken, then produces an egg]
Barber: If you don't like the looks of me, you shouldn't have fallen off your broomstick, hag.
Barber: You're talking about Jesus Christ our Savior. He ain't no bloody Jew!
Rob Cole: [looking at Ispahan on a world map] How long would it take me to get there?
Jew in Caravan: Over a year. First you will have to go the south coast of England, then you cross the Channel, then you walk through France, and take a sailboat along the coast of Africa. Then you arrive in Egypt. And here... you will be killed.
Rob Cole: Why?
Jew in Caravan: From this point, the Muslim world begins. Arabia, Persia... But Christians have been banished from everywhere, only we Jews are tolerated. My condolences. You worship the wrong God.
Rob Cole: May the Lord have mercy upon me. Bless me in my long and dangerous journey. Let not the waves engulf me, nor sea monsters devour me. Let not bandits slit my throat, or wolves eat me alive. Let me not starve or get lost in the dark woods or cold mountains. And please let Jesus forgive me. That I shall deny my faith and soil myself with sin. To serve your creation and glory.
Ibn Sina: You seem more interested in medicine than my other patients.
Rob Cole: I've come to be a student of Ibn Sina.
Ibn Sina: Have you now?
Rob Cole: I've been told he's the greatest healer in all the world.
Ibn Sina: No he's not that great. Quite ordinary, really.
Rob Cole: Do you know him?
Ibn Sina: A little better each day.
Rob Cole: Up in time for class, Karim. What's wrong? Did your father realize there is more to studying than just buying books?
Karim: One cannot be up in time for class if one never went to bed.
Rob Cole: Wake the pharmacist! Fetch my bag! Run...
Despina: Where is he going?
Ibn Sina: To save your life.
Rob Cole: The plague doesn't care if you're rich or poor, common man or nobleman or head of state. But it's reached Ispahan. No wall, however thick, will stop it.
Shah Ala ad Daula: Are you threatening me, Englishman?
Rob Cole: Not a threat, my lord. A promise.
Rob Cole: They're going to die!
Ibn Sina: We will fight for each and every life. Do you hear me? Each and every one.
Rob Cole: You have all these virgins waiting for you. How many was it again?
Karim: Some say 99, some say 20. What about yours?
Rob Cole: None.
Karim: None? Then what's the point in dying?
Mirdin: God gives us life, and God takes it back.
Rob Cole: Why does he always take more than he gives?
Karim: My father believed feelings and emotions were beneath a true ruler. When I was a child, to drive them from my heart, he would take me to witness executions. I watched condemned men beg for their lives. I watched the swarms of flies feasting on twitching corpses. But then, over time, I became used to the sight, the smell, and the screams. In time I felt nothing. My father had succeeded in turning death into a subject of objective study.
Karim: And now I am the Shah, ruler of all we see. The king of feeling nothing.
Rob Cole: When the plague came, you were as helpless as a beach is to the advance of the sea. The tide washed over us and dragged our people away, and we could do nothing to stop it.
Ibn Sina: You ask of medicine what only Allah can perform. Or Yahweh.
Rob Cole: Do you never doubt your calling?
Ibn Sina: Every morning and every evening. In between I work too hard to think about it.
Quasim: Would you do me a favor? When I am gone, take my corpse to the tower and leave it for the birds.
Rob Cole: You don't want to be buried or cremated?
Quasim: We Zoroastrians leave our bodies to the vultures. They cleanse our souls of earthly remains.
Rob Cole: What about resurrection?
Quasim: Muslims, Jews, Christians, doubt the immortality of the soul. They want to take their bones with them, just in case.
Rob Cole: So you care nothing for your body?
Quasim: Why should God worry about the house, when he can have the fruit inside?
Shah Ala ad Daula: [smoking opium] Only the road of excess can lead to the palace of wisdom.
Rob Cole: [after surgery] My lord, to stand any chance of survival, you must rest.
Shah Ala ad Daula: The hour of my demise is already waiting. Thanks to you, the angel of death will not find me in bed like a simpering old man, but on the battlefield like a king.
Rob Cole: I already miss him.
Rebecca: No. No one is dead. As long as we all remember them, his spirit will live on. But it is in your hands to keep it alive.
Rob Cole: How can I do that?
Rebecca: Be a great physician.
Barber: What's wrong? Nobody's sick in this dump anymore?
Young Boy: All the sick are at the hospital.
Barber: The what?
Young Boy: The hospital. Built by the physician from the Orient.
Barber: What physician from the orient?
Young Boy: Physician Cole!
Young Boy: Him, his wife, and a bunch of Jews. They can cure anything.
Barber: Brat! Here.
Barber: Lead the way. Tell me about it!
Young Boy: I went for a fever. You get a soft bed to lie in, hot meals, and magic medicine. Someone's playing music.
Barber: And then what?
Young Boy: Physician Cole comes to see you every evening. And if you ask, he juggles for you and tells you amazing stories. With lions, and horses with big humps on their back. And falcons that can break a man's skull with its beak.
Barber: And his wife, what is... what's she like?
Young Boy: Delicious.
Barber: What do you know? What are you, nine?
Young Boy: I'm ten!
[they walk off talking]