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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Sanctuary Moderators: bert
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  Author    Sanctuary  (currently 943 views)
Posted: March 27th, 2010, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Sanctuary by Valerie Valdez - Short, Drama - A desperate German architect, ordered to design the gas chambers, battles his conscience, the Gestapo and a powerful Archbishop to save his pregnant Jewish lover.  30 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: March 28th, 2010, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Staten Island, New York
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Hi Valerie,

Well, you clearly have a play here instead of a screenplay.  I'm still fairly new to the screenplay genre, so I don't really know anything about plays, but I do know what I like, and I can say with all honesty, that I thought this was a terrific story.  Well paced, well written, and everything that goes with it.

WWII and everything that went on during that time is a mine field for dramatists, and I think you were succesful in adding a new wrinkle to that here.

When I began reading this, I wanted to heap righteous indignation upon the "church", what with their haughty and dismissve attitude toward Emil in your first few pages.  However, as I read on, I realized that they (meaning Santos and Raphael) to a certain extent, were just as much victims of their surroundings as Emil and Anna (I emphasis "to a certain an extent").  While I think it is fair to criticize the Church for their actions during this time, I think you have done a terrific job of blurring the issue.  Not making it black and white, but rather gray.  Anna's refusal at first to be baptized adds to this "grey matter".

Couple of thoughts below.

Great Line:

No, sir. I am a German and a Catholic. I wear this uniform but
it does not make me a soldier.
I am an Italian but this uniform does make me a priest. Do you
agree Father Santos?

He eyes
focus on Emil and clasps
his hands behind him.) - S/B "His" eyes focus, I believe.

Terrific line:

I am not Catholic.
Would you like to be?
No thank you, Your Excellency.
Perhaps in another war.

As the Archbishop's assistant, I have many contacts. You left
this behind. - Perhaps, "you left THESE behind".  Assuming there is more than one blueprint.

Lieutenant Steiner? Emil Steiner? - great job upping the ante here.

Anna seems, a little too naivee for me in the beginning (that changes as the end).  But here, she is naivee at best, stupid, at worst.  I think I might try and add another dimension to her to make her a bit more "worldly".  

(Steps in front to protect
Touch her and I will kill you. I'll burn in hell for your murder,
but it will be worth it. - How bout, "I'll burn in hell for it, but, by God, I'll do it."  I dunno, not a big deal.

I couldn't that but why? - S/B I couldn't DO that - I believe.

(Santos, Emil and Anna
rush off SL. Slowly Raphael
starts to takes off his
robe and shirt to reveal a
Jewish yellow star painted
on his chest. He falls on
his knees and crosses
himself.) -  I was a little confused by this at the end.  Can you explain?  Perhaps better to just have him drop to his knees in prayer.

Overall, great job, and good luck.


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Posted: March 29th, 2010, 3:27am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Craig, I thought it meant that Raphael had converted to Catholism as a boy, meaning that the pressure to convert started long before the war.

Anna's character does need some more dimension to it.  She seems more like a plot device than a human being.

Good history lesson and great story.  Just one little rewrite is needed.  The ending is a bit confusing.

Good work for the most part.  Richard
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