In Parallel to the Euphrates by Behnam Gilani | Script Revolution

In Parallel to the Euphrates

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17pp

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Logline: 
To save the Christian woman whom he is besotted with from becoming a sex slave, a disabled Muslim man must fight his way through the terrorists to protect and escort her to safety.
Synopsis/Details: 

Jihadi terrorists have taken over the surrounding towns and villages of Sinjar. Kurdish fighters who have defended and protected the Yazidis withdraw and leave the defenseless civilians behind without giving them any prior warning. Around fifty thousand of the Yazidis have escaped from the town before the terrorists reach and attack the city. Some other braver and luckier Yazidis flee to the nearby Mount Sinjar as soon as they become aware of the attack, unaware of they are soon going to face starvation and dehydration. The terrorist Jihadists attack and invade Sinjar and kill every Yazidi whom they see outdoors. They declared the Yazidis to be devil worshippers and immediately begin their forced conversion campaign. Al Allawi, the commander in charge of the attack, promotes Hadji Mazen, a psychopath and one of his craziest and wildest members to a lieutenant, and orders him to form a special unit by selecting a few of his meanest and the cruelest comrades to force the Yazidis to convert to Islam, swear allegiance or be killed otherwise. The forced conversion campaign begins. But the Yazidis refuse to convert. The terrorist’s campaign fails and, hence, the Jihadist’s terrifying crimes against the Yazidis begin to take place. They perpetrate genocide against the Yazidi, mass murder of their men and elderly women, but keep their boys, girls, and younger women alive so they would use them as sex slaves and sell them to the other Jihadi fighters later on. The Yazidis who are kept alive go through a lot. They become sex slaves. They are put on auction, tortured, and killed if they try to escape.

In the meanwhile, in Al Darrah, a target shooting club selects Sammy and Robert as parts of a team to represent the club and participate in a target shooting tournament held in Beijing/China. Amer prepares for his engagement ceremony in Al Darrah, which is equal to a wedding in Islamic traditions.

The terrorists advance towards Syria and cross the Iraqi/Syrian border, while some of their fighters remain in Sinjar to continue their crimes against women and children. They attack and invade cities, towns, and villages, beginning with Al Raqqa province in eastern Syria. They kill civilians and non-civilians, destroy buildings and artifacts and advance towards the country’s western provinces as their immediate objectives is to take control of an arms/ammunition storage facility located near a little industrial town called “Al Darrah”.

While the Jihadis advance towards the country’s western provinces and the arms/ammunition facility in Al Darrah, people of Al Darrah are living their daily lives without realizing how rapidly the terrorists are headed towards them. Of course, they think of escaping town and migrating to a safer city, but they are under the impression that they still have enough time to do so.

Sammy and Robert return from the target shooting tournament. Robert has won the first prize and Sammy the second. Everyone thinks of Amer’s engagement ceremony, which is going to take place in nine days. Also, Robert who should be looking for his missing brother in a military base near Al Darrah. The matter of migrating to a safe city is brought up and finalized during a family dinner. Sammy’s mother and relatives decided to start looking for an apartment to rent in Latakia, south Syria, just like all other Al Darrah residents who are little by little realizing they must go.

Sammy visits his late father’s grave in Al Darrah cemetery one day and sees Nelly for the first time. It is love at first sight. Sammy is besotted with Nelly. He finally has very strong feelings for a girl, without thinking of his disability as a disadvantage and drawback. He wants to know more about the young woman, as he is now thinking about her all the time. Thinking about how he can see and talk to her. Through his cousin Rana, Sammy finds out that Nelly crosses by his apartment almost every other day while she walks back home from a guitar lesson she attends at a friend’s place. So, using a binocular, Sammy stands by his apartment’s window every day at a particular hour, so he would see Nelly crossing. Sammy struggles to find the courage to speak with her and express how he feels about her. He decides to talk to her at Amer and Sara’s engagement ceremony because Nelly and Hanieh are both Sara’s childhood friends and classmates.

Sammy is sleepless one night. He goes to the balcony to take some fresh air when he hears a moaning sound and men speaking in English and in the American accent below his building. Al, Freddy, and Tom are three Americans. Al and Freddy were with a group who had the mission to rescue Tom back in Iraq. But they were ambushed and chased by the kidnappers and the other terrorists after they rescued him. Other rescue team members were killed back in Iraq. Al, Freddy, and Tom escaped the terrorists and headed up towards Syria as they could not go back to their base. Terrorists had the whole area under control by the time they got away from the terrorists chasing them. Sammy goes downstairs and checks the alleyway below his building. He notices that one of the three Americans, Tom, is badly injured. The three Americans are hiding between two vehicles and Sammy realizes that they need help. He provides them with shelter, food, and medicines. Sammy and the three American soldiers become very close friends during the time they stay at Sammy’s basement hiding. With the help of Rana, Sammy’s cousin who is a nurse, Tom recovers and soon finds out that Sammy loves target shooting and he’s passionate about modifying and developing an old rifle. Tom notices Sammy puts his headphones on every day at a particular hour and listens to a piece of classical music while machining a part of his old rifle. Being a highly trained security forces specialist and professional sniper himself, Tom begins teaching Sammy formulas of how to target and shoot long-distance targets with military precision/grade sniper rifles. Sammy learns very fast, but he has no military rifle to practice, except for the one he’s modifying. Sammy needs to help his American friends to get to a base in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. So, he makes arrangements, gives his American friends a cell-phone, and helps them escape. Robert and Sammy attend a ceremony that is held to award Sammy as a disabled target shooting champion, the pride of Al Darrah. This is when Christian Robert meets Muslim Hanieh for the first time and falls in love with her.

This is Amer’s engagement ceremony day. Amer is in his specially prepared groom suit and Sara is wearing a wedding gown. On the day of the ceremony, while guests are all dressed up and headed towards the engagement party, Jihadi terrorists arrive and attack at Al Darrah. All hell breaks loose. They gather almost all the remaining Al Darrah residents in the town’s main square quickly and execute everyone including Amer and his parents. The terrorists want to keep Sara to satisfy their sexual needs with her. But she throws herself under a tank. She joins her love, Amer, by committing suicide before any of them can touch her. They kill Amer’s parents in the wildest and most humiliating way. The terrorists also find out that Nelly, the most beautiful girl in the town, and probably the province, lives in Al Darrah. So, they begin looking for her to arrest her and to take her to the terrorist’s commander. But Nelly who is attending a guitar lesson hides at her instructor’s home waiting to hear from her father (Daniel). Those ruthless Jihadis end everyone’s lives (including Sammy’s mother who has been masking Hanieh until the last moment she lived) at the town’s square. Hanieh finds an opportunity to escape the crowd before the mass execution initiated. She climbs up a small shopping center’s roof and jumps roof to roof and gets as far as possible from the terrorists.

While the mass execution happens at the town’s main square, Sammy is at home and has his headphones on, as usual, listening to a piece of classical music while machining the last part of his old rifle, completing the final work on it. He’s unaware of what is going on outside. The terrorists are not aware of Sammy’s existence because he lives at the far end of the town and is the only five-story building in the town. Nelly is attending a guitar class at the far end of the town too when she receives a phone call from her father who instructs her to remain hidden. Daniel (Nelly’s dad) tells her he is going to pick her up, so they would escape the town using an unused dirt road he knows. Nelly’s father wants her to run to them as soon as she hears his truck crossing by the house she’s at. Daniel who has also been hiding and keeping his other family members safe and hidden till now manages to get them to his truck after surviving a quite intense situation.
But the other people who have been also hiding till now, notice Daniel’s truck moving, and they all run towards the truck and throw themselves on the back of his truck, so they’ll escape along with Daniel. With loads of people at the back of his truck, Daniel drives towards the location Nelly is at. He picks Nelly and tries to escape using the dirt road he knows. But the terrorists notice a trace of dust on the air and go after Daniel’s truck. Nelly is at the back of her father’s vehicle, looking at the terrorist truck chasing them when her father drives over a road bump. Nelly gets tossed out of the truck. Now, if her father stops and waits for his daughter to climb back onto the truck, the terrorists would catch up, and everyone, except his beautiful daughter, will die because they would surely keep her alive. If he drives away, his daughter gets captured and raped to death. He decides to drive away and save all the others by sacrificing only one person’s life, his daughter’s. People riding on Daniel’s truck are terrified and screaming. They are yelling at him and telling him to drive away faster and escape. But it is too late. The terrorists realize he is trying to escape. So, they open fire and kill every single one in the truck, while Nelly is laid on the dirt road and witnesses his family getting killed. Nelly goes in shock.

As he does every day, Sammy looks at the clock while he still has his headphones on, listening to the music, and machining the parts. He does not know what is happening outside. It is time for him to take his binocular, go to the window and see Nelly crossing. So, he takes his headphones off his ears, switches the machine off, and goes to the window. But he gets shocked. All he sees is corps and blood and people’s dead bodies laid on the streets and alleys of his town. Looking into his binocular, Sammy suddenly notices Daniel’s truck. He witnesses Jihadists open fire and kill everyone (Nelly’s dad, Daniel, her mother, her three little brothers, and everyone else at the back of the truck) while Nelly watches what unfolds. Sammy realizes that he has just finished modifying his old rifle. He now has a powerful sniper rifle. So, while the terrorists stop the vehicle, where Nelly lays on the ground, he assembles and loads his rifle, praying that it is going to operate as he hoped. One of the terrorists gets off and walks towards Nelly, raises his hand to touch her breasts when a faint gunshot is heard. Less than a second later, a bullet rips the terrorist’s face off and separates his jaw from his head before his hand reaches Nelly’s breast. Sammy kills all the other Jihadis who chased Daniel’s truck. This is where Sammy’s mission begins: to keep the girl he loves alive.

Robert who is out of the town to find information about his missing brother, returns in the meanwhile, calls Hanieh, finds out about her escape and everything else that is happening in the town. Robert finds Hanieh and calls Sammy to find out whether he’s alive. But Sammy tells him what happened to Nelly, gives Robert Nelly’s location and wants him to go to get Nelly and then get everyone to his apartment. Robert and Hanieh get shot by purging terrorist patrol bikers while Nelly hides in a ditch. Sammy shoots the bikers, but it is too late. Both Robert and Hanieh (in love with each other) are dead while holding hands. Sammy goes to Nelly to get her out of the ditch before the other terrorists patrols arrive. But Nelly is scared of the men and is in shock. Sammy can finally convince her to go with him. Sammy and Nelly mourn the death of their family members while Sammy prepares to get Nelly out of the town. Sammy promises Nelly not to touch her and to keep her alive without letting anyone lay a hand on her. He escorts Nelly towards the American military base he helped his American friends escape to. Terrorist commander, Al Allawi, sends team after team with orders to find Sammy and Nelly, to arrest and bring them to him. But using the rifle he has developed and modified himself, Sammy kills any terrorist team who gets close to him and Nelly. Sammy escorts Nelly towards the Turkish border using a path, in parallel to the Euphrates, while the whole platoon of terrorists is after Nelly and him. Nelly who was told about Sammy’s feelings towards her, ignores Sammy on the way. Because he is a man and a Muslim man after all. But Sammy does not mind Nelly’s behavior at all as he made a promise to keep her alive and unharmed until she’s in a safe zone. Sammy is near the American base at the Turkish border when he remembers he had given his American friends a cell-phone before he helped them get there. The number of terrorists who are chasing them is growing rapidly. They are getting closer and closer to Sammy and Nelly who are extremely exhausted now. Sammy calls Al, Freddy, and Tom and asks for their help. But Sammy gets shot a few times before his American friends arrive. The Americans can save Nelly while Sammy’s motionless body is laid on the desert ground. Now, Nelly realizes how much Sammy loved her. But it’s too late. All, Tom and Freddy kill Hadji Mazen, Samad, and Emad who have caught up with Sammy now. Sammy’s P.O.V and his eyes get shut. Fade out. Robert’s brother who has been a sexual slave of a high-ranking terrorist attacks him and attempts a suicide attack. He kills himself along with the high-ranking terrorist.

Sammy opens his eyes in a hospital and sees Nelly’s tears of joy. She’s staring at Sammy and holds his hand as soon as he opens his eyes. Sammy is confused. He looks away (flash-back) and remembers he saw Al Allawi and many others were shot while he was laying on the ground. He remembers that American rescue helicopters fired at the terrorist’s tanks and trucks. He remembers that an American doctor held his wrist and yelled: We have a pulse.

Submitted: August 15, 2020
Last Updated: December 2, 2020

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The Writer: Behnam Gilani

Born on February 4th, 1971. My first brush with the film and television industry took place during my formative teenage years. Filled by a burning desire to learn more about the intricacies of the movie business, I spent most of my summer vacations in the technical rooms of the National Iranian Television where a number of my favorite elder cousins used to work. And, when my mom landed a minor role in an experimental Tele-film, the passion for acting as well began to take hold. At the age of 21, I moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where I met Mr. Nicanor A. Odejar, a university professor, who played a significant role in developing my communication, writing, and business skills. I call... Go to bio

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