Drama about an aged scholar (Tim Roth) who grows younger after being struck by lightning, allowing him a chance to finish his life's work - a study of ancient languages.
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This film contains some scenes of a sexual nature
Sometimes I admit to myself that it is possible I will never
be able to finish my life's work.
My one and only book.
And that in the end, without her...
..there will be nothing.
I will die alone.
What are you doing here, Dominic?
I have a migraine. I thought a walk might help.
In your pyjamas on Christmas Eve?
Don't catch cold. Look.
At the first opportunity I will...
What will you do at the first opportunity?
The first opportunity I have -
I have saved -
I will open the blue envelope.
Not here, in Piatra Neamt, where everyone knows me,
but somewhere far away.
Universul. War clouds over Romania.
'Call for some help.'
'Who knows what sins he has committed that God would strike
on Easter Sunday?'
'They say whoever dies during Easter goes straight to heaven.'
I wish - You know what I mean.
I will love you until the day I die.
Your eyes seem intact,
but I don't know if he is blind or not.
I don't even know if he is conscious.
If he hears or if he understands what he hears.
If you understand what I say,
squeeze my finger.
I'm Dr Roman Stanciulescu.
I'm here to help you.
We wish to find out your age.
For every ten years, squeeze my finger once.
70 years old.
70. I would have thought less.
Well, in this larval state,
it is hard to estimate.
'I've never met anyone like you.
You want to know absolutely everything.'
Laura, try to imagine conceiving a passion for something,
having one desire and dedicating your life to it and then failing.
I'm 26, I have no accomplishments.
I've made no discoveries, I am a failure.
Do you have a wife?
Do you want us to inform your nephew about your condition?
Let us know the first letter of your name.
I am going to say the alphabet.
He doesn't live in Bucharest.
He has only one relative, a distant one.
He has no wife.
He will accept any test,
no matter how dangerous or painful
to verify whether the optic nerve was damaged.
That is interesting.
-How old did he say he was?
He is hiding his age.
He is a young man in the prime of his life.
< What did you think about the lecture?
< Professor Matei is getting senile.
He told us the same thing three or four times.
< I didn't notice, I was asleep.
Is it true?
Such extremes, Dominic.
You yourself told me about Chandrakirti.
The concept of tetralimologic, the four possibilities.
What you say is so, or it is not so.
It is also so and not so combined.
Or it is neither so nor not so combined.
I have never told you this, but after Chavannes' lecture in Paris,
I waited to see him.
I was hoping that he would accept me as a student.
He told me that if I did not master Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan
and Japanese, I would never become a great Orientalist.
But didn't you tell him you wanted to study only the Chinese language?
I did. When I told him I had been studying Chinese for six months,
six hours a day, he stepped up to the blackboard and wrote 20 characters.
He asked me to pronounce them one by one and then translate the passage.
In order to master Chinese, one must have the memory of a Mandarin.
A memory of a Mandarin.
I remember hearing about another case, a priest hit by lightning,
burned over his whole body.
He survived many years afterwards.
He was left blind and mute, bizarre memories also probably.
Don't talk so loud. Maybe he can hear you.
I want him to hear me.
Let's see how he'll react. Maybe he isn't mute at all.
No... not... mute!
Try to pronounce any word, anything.
Your teeth, they're barely holding.
Call the dentist right now and see if the X-rays are ready.
-Romania may be forced to negotiate with Hitler.
France is abandoning us to the Nazis.
His X-rays have come in.
You really should take a look at them.
The roots are healthy, but they are being pushed up by new ones.
We feel you are out of danger.
Only now do you begin to become an interesting case.
You understand why, don't you?
The way the lightning struck you,
you have to have been killed on the spot,
or else to have died of asphyxiation.
At best, you would be left paralysed...
..mute or blind.
You are lucky, I'll give you that.
We had ordered a set of dentures to allow you to eat and, above all,
to speak normally.
But, the X-rays show that a new set of teeth are ready to appear.
Yes, it is simply impossible.
And yet, the X-rays are clear.
You are getting new teeth.
This is no longer a case of a living dead man, but of something else.
What exactly... we still don't know.
Your recovery is amazing.
I don't want to tire you out.
Get some rest, I'll be back tomorrow.
News stories and feature articles are starting to appear
in different papers.
The majority of them, absurd, ridiculous.
What are you doing?
But you must help us understand this.
We have to know more about you, who you are, what your profession is.
What is your real age?
Please co-operate a little more.
Were you so stubborn when you were young?
What is this you insist on writing?
I have almost finished with antiquity, the Middle Ages
and the most exciting part, the origins.
The origins of language.
But when will you finish it?
He needs ten lifetimes to do it all.
The origins of language, human consciousness,
even the idea of time itself.
This will call for years of research.
What with the inexperience of our provincial librarians...
I am terribly sorry, Professor.
I have an appointment. I really must run.
He is brilliant. Brilliant, but...
Laura, I am so sorry.
I completely forgot.
We have to talk.
It is very important for both of us and I can't hide it any longer.
Of course. It's snowing, shall we go to the Cafe Select?
No. And please don't interrupt.
It's not what you think.
I feel that you are not mine,
that you are never here with me,
that you live in another time.
I'm not thinking of your research,
which in spite of what you believe, does interest me.
I wanted to help you with that,
but you keep yourself shut away in an alien world, one I can't enter.
So, for my sake and yours, we should break our engagement and separate.
No. Laura, no.
We are still young.
We both love life.
You will have more time for your research.
Use the letter.
'Tell the professor what he wants to know.
Tell him you need a new identity.'
All right, you can go, I will be here all afternoon.
I understand that you are willing to speak to me candidly.
You don't have to make a great effort.
The words you cannot pronounce, you can write.
My name... is Dominic Matei.
On January 8th, I reached the age of 70.
I am a teacher at Piatra Neamt.
I live on Strada Pieskopie at No 18.
It is my house.
It contains a library of some...
which I have willed to the Lycee.
You are 70 years old?
If you require further proof,
I can tell you the titles of the books on my desk or any other -
There is an album of photographs somewhere?
More precisely, with pictures of you when you were young.
And some clothing?
I implore you to be very discreet.
Agents from the Secret Service will never believe I am past 70
and therefore will never believe I am who I say I am.
Of course. We'll be very careful.
Anything can happen if you're interrogated by them.
I won't let that happen.
It is true, though, these are difficult times in Romania.
I came here with the intention of committing suicide.
I had saved an envelope with enough strychnine in it
to end my empty life.
..could you find me a fictitious identity?
That is not a problem.
When your beard comes off,
you will look like a man of 35 or 40 at most.
You're handsome without the beard.
I have your jacket.
If you like, you can take me to the movie sometime.
The sleeves are too short and the tie is no good.
They look like an old man's clothes.
Go with him.
I have seen that car before.
Last night, in my dream.
Some people might say it is a bad omen.
I am not superstitious.
They are waiting for us.
Thank you, Doctor.
There's wild roses somewhere.
I want you to note down all that passes through your mind.
All the books you have read, all the languages you know,
everything, all the memories, no matter how insignificant.
If you are not in the mood to write, or if you have too much to say,
use this device.
German, I'm sorry to say.
A wire recorder.
How do I operate this?
'How do I operate this?'
My memory is unbelievable.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(MUTTERS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
I have a surprise for you.
Soon you will receive all the things from your home in Piatra Neamt.
Your reference books, dictionaries, personal belongings.
The watch she gave me.
I have brought your family album.
The one with your pictures from Lycee and the university.
What are you thinking?
What kind of memories?
What kind of associations?
When I look at that photograph...
I sense the heat... that morning.
The fragrance of the oleander.
Soap on her skin.
She married someone else.
A year later, she died in childbirth.
It was awful.
It is a kind of amnesia with lateral effects.
It seems useless because we don't know yet what to do with it,
with this fantastic recovery of memory.
Soon it will be learned that someone,
an old man of unknown origin was struck by lightning
and after ten weeks appeared perfectly healthy and young again.
Let's hope the rest will not be found out.
The anterior posterior diameter, 19 centimetres.
The height of the face, 12 centimetres.
And the length of the nose, six centimetres.
I warned you there would be a sort of international consultation.
They had to see first hand,
they could not believe the reports I published in La Presse Medicale.
I wasn't expecting such questions.
Especially since I was still in a hospital
and I had no way of confirming or ruling out sexual possibilities.
In your notebooks, you speak of erotic dreams.
Are you sure they were dreams?
I don't know.
But if I have confused erotic dreams with real experiences,
my life is far more interesting than I had imagined.
Good, revalue this information.
But in the case of the young lady in room six, my friend...
..that woman was imposed on us by the Secret Service.
What young lady in room six?
(FRENCH MUSIC PLAYS)
Have we met somewhere before?
Of course we have met before.
Several times, in fact.
I am impressed. You are very discreet.
Most recently last night in room six.
Your room is next door.
It had to happen like this.
For you to be confused with others.
For people to think you can't distinguish dream from reality.'
Who is taking care of me?
'Do you think all you've gone through is due to chance?'
Who is watching out for me?
'It doesn't matter now. You'll find out later.
Besides, you've guessed some of it already.'
'Why haven't you told the professor about... certain dreams like this?'
'If you know someone else exists,
why have you never referred to it?'
I must not think, I must not think I must not think of anything.
I must not think, I must not think of anything.
(I must not think, I must not think of anything.)
You learn more quickly, more profoundly in sleep.
You told the professor that in sleep
you continued your studies of the daytime,
little by little you discovered you had mastered Chinese.'
'Just as later, you discovered you had mastered other languages.'
Beginning to understand what's happening to me.
The enormous concentration of electricity
that exploded directly above me
regenerated me and...
..amplified fabulously all my mental faculties.
But this electrical discharge also made possible the emergence
of new personalities, sort of double.
The formula of the double is correct and useful.'
'But don't be in a hurry to tell the professor.'
What can I say?
The man was about to cross the street.
He was 70 or 80 years old.
The young lady in room six disappeared two days ago.
Your companion of a night, or several.
I'm afraid it was several.
She recorded all your conversations and transmitted them to the Gestapo.
When she asked you questions in Russian, Polish or German,
you replied without difficulty in all those languages.
It is probable that after listening to the recordings,
someone high up in the Reich decided to kidnap you.
You have become the most valuable human specimen existing today
on the face of the Earth.
Come, have your chicken.
All the medical schools in the world would like to study you.
As a sort of guinea pig?
We are doing all we can to prevent that.
Professor. In your office, you must come.
We are disturbed over your level of co-operation, Professor.
As you see, your government has instructed you to relinquish
the patient and all relevant files to our custody.
I am sorry. I cannot comply with this.
I will not turn over the patient himself as his doctor.
His condition won't allow transfer at this time.
I will return with a German doctor.
You're behaving as you should,
in order to create the necessary confusion.'
..always answers the questions I am ready to ask,
like a true guardian angel.
'That's a correct and useful formula.'
Are there others?
'Along with angels and guardian angels there are powers.
Archangels, seraphim, cherubim...
Intermediary beings par excellence.'
Intermediary between consciousness and unconsciousness?
But also between nature and man,
man and the divine,
reason and Eros.
Feminine and masculine,
darkness and light, matter and spirit.'
So it has come back to my old passion again,
the philosophy of religion.
You will always come back to that.'
I can't believe in the objective reality of the person
with whom I am conversing.
I can only think of him as my double.
'In a sense, that is what he is.
That doesn't mean he doesn't exist in an objective way, independently.'
I'd like to be convinced, but...
'In metaphysical controversies empirical proofs lose their value.
Wouldn't you enjoy receiving a few fresh roses?
Picked from the garden.'
I have always liked roses.
'Well, where would you like me to put them?'
Not in the vase, at any rate.
One right here.
In my hand.
As I am holding it now, open.
And another on my knee.
'The third rose, where do you want me to put the third rose?'
Things are more serious than we thought.
We know now why the Gestapo will try anything,
anything in order to get their hands on you.
Among the intimates of Goebbels,
there is an enigmatic and unambiguous person,
a certain Dr Josef Rudolf.
Dr Rudolf believes that electrocution by a current
of at least a million volts could produce a radical mutation
of the human species.
Word of this experiment has reached the ear of Adolf Hitler,
who has become personally interested in your case.
They want us to lend you to them for a period of time.
God help me.
We are running out of time.
1941, May 7th.
Dominic Matei, dictation.
The documents in the Geneva safety deposit box summarise my life,
which was profoundly changed in the spring of 1938
in front of the Gare de Nord railroad station in Bucharest.
My first experiences were described and analysed
by Professor Roman Stanciulescu in reports
which were confiscated by the Nazis.
The war rages around me.
I am a fugitive in neutral Switzerland,
encircled by the Axis powers.
My Romanian homeland has made a pact with the devil, Adolf Hitler.
It may soon be under siege.
I've lost contact with my dear friend, Professor Stanciulescu,
which could mean he has been killed.
I live in fear, dreading what awaits in the alleyways,
eluding capture by my wits, moving from hotel to rooming house,
always working on my book.
November 30th, 1941.
Zurich. Dominic Matei.
I have explained in Portfolio B how I instinctually found the talent
to preserve myself, living like a secret agent.
I discovered abilities to forge documents,
change addresses and prepare disguises.
Shortly before he disappeared,
Professor Stanciulescu arranged a bank account for me in Geneva,
under the name of William Pederson.
Now, without him, these funds will be depleted.
Good morning, Mr Pederson.
I will have to find other means.
February 20th, 1942.
I must face the undeniable and chilling truth that I am a mutant.
Like a character in a science-fiction novel,
I am a strange superman of the future.
I have access to knowledge unavailable to mankind,
powers I don't fully understand.
Despite this, I try to behave as an ordinary intellectual,
working to complete my book,
documenting the origin of language and human consciousness.
I began to realise that with any text I had before me,
if I wanted to know the content, I simply... knew it.
Lake Campione, October 23rd, 1942.
I found I could augment my income
winning just enough not to arouse suspicion.
Nothing is as it seems.
I am the proof of that.
I trust no-one.
These were taken at the clinic of Dr Stanciulescu in 1938.
To think, ten months ago, on January 8th, you turned 74 years old.
You're trying to look older too.
Those glasses aren't even prescription.
I still don't know with whom I have the pleasure to be speaking.
Ted Jones Junior, I'm a correspondent for Life magazine.
Switzerland is entirely surrounded by the Axis powers.
I am cashing out, thank you.
I'm on special assignment for the US.
I really think you're confusing me with someone else.
We can protect your identity completely.
I have a very powerful organisation behind me.
I know I can be of some service to you.
We can pay you or we can make some arrangements for you,
anything that might help you.
Your English is perfect, but you're not saying anything.
I am afraid I must remain neutral in all of this.
If you will excuse me.
If someone were to tell me that there exist among us authentic magicians,
Saints, sorcerers or anyone endowed with miraculous powers,
I would believe them.
In a certain sense, what you say is true.
You have attained the freedom to accept or reject these new conditions
to use them to finish your life's work... or not.
Have you decided?
To use them for good?
Or for evil?
Have you decided?
Despite my precautions,
I was afraid I would inadvertently give myself away,
conversing with professors and colleagues at the University.
I knew more than any of them
and understood things they never even suspected existed.
I know you are a good friend of the Romanian Professor Stanciulescu.
I am very sorry. I heard he died in a plane crash, an accident.
We can talk about this when my friend gets here.
I told him to come at 9pm.
The director of an important foundation.
He is Swiss.
You know, I do have a name.
Would you like to know it?
'He knows who you are.'
Hello, I am Dr Monroe.
Head of the foundation investigating materials of Professor Stanciulescu.
I am afraid I have no idea to what you are referring.
The belief that youth and life can be prolonged in any way
other than by the purely biochemical ones.
You do know what I am referring to.
No, I'm sorry.
Methods proposed by the Nazi, Dr Rudolf,
electrocution by means of a million or more volts.
Fortunately, I believe that method was never tried.
But our informants said that Professor Stanciulescu had worked
with a case of rejuvenation induced by a bolt of lightning.
We know who you are, Mr Dominic Matei.
I have a prior engagement.
I really must run. I am terribly sorry.
Perhaps we could have dinner later tonight.
What do we do with time?
That question, what do we do with time,
expresses the supreme ambiguity of the human condition.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
An opportunity has been given to us.
We, the human race.
You and I both know what is coming.
But, unlike the others,
I am trying to find a meaning to this impending catastrophe.
Think of me as the last European optimist.
This can be our life's work.
There are a few of us who, since 1938, have known that you exist.
The fact that you appeared all of a sudden
means that you have a special mission
and that you possess means of knowledge much superior
to those available to us.
You are gravely mistaken.
What is indispensable to a truly human existence?
For instance, the occidental artistic treasury.
Music and poetry.
But also a part of classic philosophy and above all,
Post historic manual has been allergic to science
for at least one or two centuries.
No, always science.
Science above all.
I am surprised that you -
Dominic, don't believe anything he says.
Come, Dominic, join me in this work.
He is Dr Josef Rudolf, Hitler's most dedicated scientist.
If you actually knew him, if you had ever been with him in his presence.
If I could describe it to you.
(You will meet him soon enough.)
The Gestapo had Stanciulescu killed and Rudolf was the one -
You have no choice in the matter.
Forgive me, please forgive me.
'It is true what he says.
You really have no choice in the matter.'
(GUNSHOTS / BOMBS)
20th August at 10:31am.
I have decided to stop making notes in English
and instead to use an artificial language of my own invention.
What is the best way up to the top?
'Is it Laura?'
She is afraid of curvy roads.
I really don't think you should go on.
There's a storm coming in.
We're used to mountain storms.
Anyway, we can't wait.
Our vacation will be over in a few days.
Maybe I can help.
What is your name?
'With her you use your real name.'
I can only guess what happened.
When the big storm broke out they were probably on the road
that runs under the mountain wall where most of the lightning struck.
I am afraid they could have been buried in a rockslide
or a close strike of lightning can cause a heart-attack.
You know, I can always go in a taxi by myself.
If I need help, I'll call from the first service station.
I don't think they could have had time to reach the shelter.
They could have taken refuge in one of the crevices in the wall.
There's their car.
There is a woman over here.
She is dead.
Are you all right?
'How can it be?'
(SINGING IN SANSKRIT)
(SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
She has had a shock.
She is suffering from amnesia.
What language is that? What is she speaking?
An Indian language, I think.
Her papers identify her as Veronica Buller, aged 25.
Occupation, schoolteacher, living in Lischtal Canton Bal Kan Pang.
You are the only one who can calm her and speak her language, Mr...
..Ordrecour. I am a student of linguistics.
What can you tell us, Mr Ordrecour?
The young woman believes she is living in north-eastern India,
14 centuries ago.
She feels that she has spent several months in a cave meditating.
This is where she was when a big storm broke out
and she saw lightning strike above her on the mountain.
Many large rocks were dislodged, blocking the mouth of the cave.
Is that all?
She asserts her name is Rupini.
Daughter of Nagapata,
descended from one of the first families to convert to Buddhism.
She became a disciple of the philosopher, Chandrakirti,
which is why she was in the cave, copying down his works.
Would you mind if I discussed this a moment with my colleagues?
Not at all.
We will invite some doctors from Zurich, Basel and Geneva
to come to see her.
If I might make a suggestion...
Perhaps some experts from the Oriental Institute in Rome
might be necessary.
Necessary for what?
To confirm if what she is saying is fact.
Professor Tucci, it is an honour.
Before we begin, who wrote the telegram that included
some of the particulars?
I did, Professor.
You're a Sanskritist?
But I have an interest in Oriental Studies.
I came only because of your report.
We have had some of her remarks translated into English.
The young woman's knowledge of philosophy and her master,
Chandrakirti, is convincing.
The discussion only became delicate whenever Rupini asked
what had happened to her, where she was
and why no-one understood her.
What did you tell her, Professor?
Actually, it is not a dream, I told her.
But it takes part in the illusionary nature of dreaming
because it is the future.
Now, time is par excellence unreal.
I don't believe I convinced her, but fortunately she is enthusiastic
about logic and dialectics and that is what we discussed.
I would suggest a journey to India, more precisely,
to the province of Uttar Pradesh,
to the caves where Rupini claims to have meditated.
I should think the Oriental Institute of Rome,
of which I am President, would sponsor the expedition.
Young man, I think you should accompany us to India.
I'd be delighted.
It's been understood that she will be put into a deep sleep
before leaving clinic and will continue to sleep
until we reach the vicinity of the caves.
We are very close to the frontier of Nepal.
According to Rupini's account,
this is where we will find the cave where she would meditate.
We are very fortunate in having a Pandit
familiar with the Madhyamik philosophy.
He will be at her side when she awakens.
Everyone hide themselves.
Stay back, hide yourself.
Are you all right?
Just be still.
(CHANTING IN SANSKRIT)
I don't think you'll be needing me...
for a while.
She is awake.
But she has not opened her eyes.
Didn't we ask directions off you today?
"My name is Laura.
"I speak three languages, German, French and English."
"Have you ever tried to learn any oriental language?"
"Have you ever read anything about India or Indian culture?"
"Some popular books."
"The Jungle Book."
"Have you ever heard the name, Rupini?"
"In an earlier existence, Veronica Buller had been Rupini.
"I would say for the vast majority of the orientalists,
"a clear example of the transmigration of the soul.
"Young man, your opinion?"
"As a neophyte orientalist,
"I can only cite some classical Indian conceptions from Upanishads
"It is precisely to punish us
"in the Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishad
"that one can find this belief for the first time.
"This is karma, isn't it?"
It is hard for me to believe that I ever existed before.
How did you say?
It absolutely doesn't make sense to me.
Maybe I was possessed by an evil spirit.
They never leave us alone.
It is all so confusing.
I am afraid I'm going crazy.
Hello, Veronica. Just an interview.
That's enough, let's go.
Just drive, anywhere.
I think we should get away.
I think we should go somewhere, be alone.
We should go somewhere beautiful, a Mediterranean island.
Dominic, that would make me very, very happy.
Look. That bird.
What kind of birds do they have in Malta?
That's a Maltese falcon.
It's fine, thank you.
Thanks very much.
Dominic, it is beautiful here.
Yes, it is.
When I first opened my eyes and saw you...
..I confess I was thinking...
"If I were three or four years older and...
"if he were to ask me to marry him...
"I would say yes."
Is it true?
I have always loved you.
(SPEAKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
'Do you understand it?'
I don't know this language.
'Why else did you have to know her?'
I've got you.
I've got you, darling.
I've got you, Laura.
I've got you.
I've got you, darling.
I've got you, Laura.
I love you, darling.
I love you.
(TAPE-RECORDING OF VERONICA'S FOREIGN SPEAKING)
Was that Rupini's voice?
She is moving back in time from Sanskrit to earlier languages.
That was Egyptian.
Perhaps you'll take us back to a time before history.
The origins of language,
which is where I have always wanted to go but never could.
It is helping me finish my work.
Good, I want to help you.
You know, I'm...
I'm 88 years old really.
If I added up all the years Rupini lived, I'd be older than you.
Then let's go dancing.
I don't think we'll be recognised,
even with our pictures in all those magazines.
Our pictures are still appearing.
Let me see.
What is the matter?
I feel tired all the time.
I don't understand why.
Something is happening inside me.
I can feel it.
'The para medium mystic excesses have exhausted her.'
No! Veronica! Don't!
I was so worried.
What is it?
It was a dream. (SOBS)
What was it?
I was somewhere beside a river and someone,
a stranger with a head like a dog was coming towards me.
In his hand he had...
Explain it to me!
I want to know what Rupini knows.
She knows things that we don't understand yet.
Don't ever leave me.
I'll never leave you.
Never leave you.
Don't ever leave me.
Never leave you.
The stranger in your dream was probably Shiva.
And in his hands a skull.
For Shiva is both creator and destroyer combined.
There is someone who looks like you spying on us.
I didn't notice anyone.
By the gate.
Come and look.
There's no one there.
Maybe I was mistaken.
You've been in the sun too long.
Let's go inside.
I am 88 years old really.
'She is in a hyper suggestive state.
'Tell her you love her.
'Tell her that you've always loved her.'
I love you.
I have always loved you.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
'That is Sumarien.'
No, it is Babylonian.
'After Egyptian and Babylonian,
'there followed probably a sample of Proto-Elamite and one of Sumarien.
'She is descending deeper and deeper into the past.'
How far back will she go?
'Your life's work will finally have what was missing.'
Every night for two weeks, Veronica went further back in time.
Through unknown languages...
..getting closer and closer...
..to the inarticulate moment of the beginning.
But at what cost?
Madame is not suffering from anything, anything at all.
Are you sure, Doctor?
I have prescribed a series of vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps it is a nervous condition
that precedes menopause in certain woman.
Just how old do you take her to be, Doctor?
Late forties, more or less.
She is 25.
Where have all the mirrors gone?
Bring one to me.
Veronica, you are not well.
Bring a mirror to me, Dominic, please.
Maybe that one.
I should have understood this from the beginning.
'One more regression and she will reach the Proto-language.
'Your life's work will be complete.
'You know I'm right.'
Come sit with me.
Come sit with me.
Veronica, I'm to blame for this.
No, it's me.
Listen to me and don't interrupt.
Listen to me.
If I continue to live with you, by autumn you will have perished.
I can't tell you more, but I assure you.
In reality, you haven't aged.
The moment I disappear from your life your youth and beauty will return.
Don't leave me, Dominic.
Please, don't leave me.
I was doomed to lose everything that I love.
But I would rather lose you young and beautiful,
the way you were and will be again, without me,
than to watch you perish in my arms.
You promised me you would never leave me.
I am... going to leave you.
If you leave me, I will die without you.
If, in a few months, you don't find yourself as you were last autumn,
I'll come back the minute I receive your telegram, I'll come back.
Three or four months, just wait.
Far away from me.
Don't leave me, please.
-The 3:10 train from Ploiesti will depart in five minutes.
The 3:10 train from Ploiesti will depart in five minutes.
Sign here, please.
On the second floor, room 19.
By the way, do you know if the Cafe Select still exists?
How could it not exist? It is an historic monument.
Have you heard of Professor Dominic Matei?
I was born here.
Then you know that he frequented Cafe Select
the whole time he was professor here in Piatra Neamt.
Here's your key.
Couldn't even lose their meaning in the absolute.
Being coincides with non being.
'Yes, but what no one dares to say
'is that in the horizon of these philosophies, atomic wars must be,
'if not justified, at least accepted.'
I reject that.
'The true meaning of nuclear catastrophe can only be this.
'The mutation of the human species and the arrival of the new man.'
Yes, but atomic wars will destroy populations, civilisations.
'That is the price to be paid.'
How can you even say that?
'The resulting electromagnetic pulse will create unlimited potential
'for post historic man.'
But it could go the other way and provoke a regression in the species.
'All that matters is knowledge and the perfection of the human being.'
So you're saying that the end justifies the means?
'There is no other way.'
Just as there was no other way for Veronica.
Just ageing and suffering and then death.
'There was no other way. That's why you've never finished your book.
'Why you will always be a failure.'
'Dominic, what have you done?
'Dominic, save me, save me, Dominic.
'Dominic, what have you done?
'(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)'
And the third rose.
(Where shall I put the third rose?)
(Where shall I put it?)
Is it you?
You have returned.
Dr Neculache, look.
He is back.
Dominic is here.
'In other words, the story begins all over again.
'I am dreaming.
'I am dreaming.
'When I wake up, it will seem like I have just begun to dream indeed.'
It's like the story of Zhuangzi and the Butterfly.
The story of Zhuangzi and the Butterfly?
A king was dreaming that he was a butterfly
that dreamed it was a king that dreamed it was a butterfly.
I know very well that I am dreaming
and in a minute or two I will wake up.
You are awake, Dominic.
But you are tired.
In fact, you look very tired.
Between December 20th, 1938 and this evening, many things have happened.
That is when it is happening.
This is December 20th, 1938.
I don't dare tell you what year we are really living in,
we who are outside this dream.
I know that if I were to make the effort, I would wake up.
You are not dreaming.
You are here with us, your friends.
You're at the Cafe Select.
This is what you imagine would happen.
When Dominic comes to his senses, when he recovers, you will see.
He will go straight to the Cafe Select.
But if I am not dreaming, then you would know about... Hiroshima.
Of the hydrogen bomb.
Of Neil Armstrong,
the astronaut who landed and walked on the moon.
Last summer in July.
It is true.
You have come back.
You look good.
Welcome, old friend.
It is like that story of the Chinese philosopher,
the one I told you about many times.
Which Chinese philosopher?
The name escapes me now.
The one with the butterfly.
It is too long to repeat.
I'll call for a sleigh to take you home.
I don't need a sleigh.
I'm going on foot.
The next time the problem arises, I shall know how to answer.
What problem, dear Dominic?
The problem which worries all of us.
Is it your teeth?
Should I lock up the door?
They guest in room 19 hasn't come back yet.
He went to the Cafe Select.
Yes, he came here.
He went into the back room.
No one was there, so he stayed only a few minutes
and left without saying good night.
He was holding his hand to his mouth.
-'And the third?
'Where do you want me to put the third rose?'
Romania, 1938. A 70-year-old professor of language and philosophy considers suicide as he is unable to complete his life's work on the origins of language and the love of his life is dead. But then he is struck by lightning. As he recovers, he starts to grow younger. He must now avoid the Nazis, who want to study and experiment on him. Some years later, he meets a young woman who has her own passage through a lightning storm. Not only does Dominic find love again, but her new abilities hold the key to his research. Is the sweetness of life finally at hand?