From Vilna with Love by Warren Duncan | Script Revolution

From Vilna with Love



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Years after the Soviet invasion of Poland, a brother and sister track down the man who destroyed their family in an attempt to find some justice.
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Week three runner up of the Simply Scripts 2020 Writers Tournament.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

From Vilna With Love
Twenty-four years after the death of their parents in war-torn Germany, a brother and sister seek revenge on the man responsible.

In Warren Duncan's emotionally gut-wrenching and thought-provoking revenge tale, From Vilna With Love, we’re taken back in time to 1963, post-World War II Germany, where brother and sister, Tomasz and Lena drive through snow-covered landscapes in the middle of the night, eventually arriving at an isolated cottage deep into the forest. Why they’re here, we don’t know yet.

That’s when we flashback to 1939 – Tomasz and Lena, small children, play while their parents, Piotr and Nadia (both painters) sell their work at a local market in Vilna, Poland. A loving family, Tomasz in particular seems to be obsessed with his favorite toy, a miniature, red toy car. So much so that he even plays with it during dinner, to his father’s chagrin.

But, during what seems like a peaceful dinner with family, the impact of bombs in the distance throttle the small home.

In a later flashback, we’re taken to a church where the family, along with several other frightened Vilna residents, hide from Russian soldiers, who eventually make their way in. It’s there where Tomasz and Lena witness the execution of their father at the hands of soldier, Viktor Ivanov, a memory forever etched into the siblings’ memories, especially Tomasz, who tries to come to his father’s aid, dropping something on the ground.

Viktor ignores Piotr and points towards the object that fell from Tomasz’s hand.

(to a soldier)
What is that?

The soldier retrieves the object and hands it to Viktor, it’s the red toy car. Viktor laughs.

The time for being a child is over.

Back to present time at the isolated cottage, we find out that this is Viktor’s home. And it’s made abundantly clear why Tomasz and Lena are there when Tomasz knocks on the front door with a gun.

You’ll have to read for yourself to find out how this tale of revenge ends. But I will say that the ending might surprise you. I personally pictured this being filmed in black and white with the toy car being the only color we see in the story. Much like Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Schindler’s List, the red car’s purpose in this story (more specifically the color red) is so vital to the theme. But, in this story in particular, it’s especially vital to the theme of nature vs nurture – a child’s innocence taken away from them at the hands of a cruel, war-torn environment.

One of the more engaging shorts I’ve read in quite a while, this is a story meant to be seen on screen.

Review by Michael Kospiah
Submitted: August 1, 2020
Last Updated: August 4, 2020

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The Writer: Warren Duncan

I am an aspiring screenwriter and comic book writer from Australia. I have had multiple shorts produced as well as the first issue of my comic book series published. You can contact me at or check out my website using the link. Thanks for taking a look. Go to bio

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