Music by ©
Philip de Souza
- Music starts:
Depeche Mode’s - Uselink, ULTRA,
Dissolve into the sleep-rich face of
the Man opening his eyes in bed; his arm
going over instantly and landing on the
alarm clock just in time for it to emit
a small ‘chirp’. Now he sits at the side
of his bed in a posture familiar to any
workhorse of the present. He is in his
late twenties to mid thirties, single
and still healthy but clearly drained
and ambiguous as to what drives him on
to work so incessantly.
Now he faces the bathroom mirror and
stares into his eyes while the shower
heats-up beside him.
“One day I’ll have that house in the
10.5 seconds into music -
Steam rolls over the glass as we
dissolve into another bathroom, this
time the Woman’s.
A wet, white towel is hanging on the
shower-beam. From nowhere, a lovely head
of damp, brown hair comes flying across
our sight as she whips it all back.
Facing the mirror, her hand comes up to
wipe it clean of fog, revealing her face
as she ties her hair back tightly,
apparently in a hurry.
She is a young (mid to late twenties),
single, no-nonsense, go-getting
power-dresser of a businesswoman, and
she is late. Following her through her
lovely country house as she grabs her
coat, keys, bag, and heads out the door,
we see that she is also quite
Crane shot gliding down towards her
from outside as she makes her way to
her vehicle (housing construction
resuming fervently in the near
Morning sun is glaring into her
impatient face after she rounds the
hood, reaches the door, and makes to
enter the vehicle.
Now it’s glaring into ours, blindingly,
from its reflection on her front window
as we blend into our final person’s
- 21 seconds -
Accelerated time-lapse footage of the
sun rising in the sky and chasing away
the shadows of a forest of pine,
juniper, maple and ash to reveal a small
cluster of American Indian teepees
nestled in the nook of a breathtaking,
mountainous wilderness (Mt. Zion
National Park, Utah). For just a
split second, we see a cluster of
futuristic, semi-transparent, hexagonal
dome structures replacing the teepees in
our view like an accidental splice into
the frequency of some parallel reality;
now gone as quickly as it appeared.
- 24 seconds -
We see the top of one of these tents
from inside -first person and looking
up- the tip of the tent skin’s
luminosity is growing and we hear
children playing outside.
- 27 seconds -
Now we see the occupants from above.
Long, brown hair covers the face of the
Indian’s wife as she lies on her side
next to her husband. He is lying on his
back and looking up at us with the face
of a man at total peace with his
Apparently, we couldn’t have come at a
better time, and slowly he begins to
smile. He turns to his wife.
- 31 seconds -
Cut to the bustling streets of a major
megatropolis like New York or Chicago.
We see the Man exiting his apartment
building. He is dressed the same as any
decently waged businessman or banker.
Slamming the door, a group of pigeons
are startled into the air as he
fastidiously begins making his way to
the metro station through all the
traffic, smog, and noise. Pollution
litters the street and the Man’s pace
appears to be increasing.
Approaching his favorite part of the
journey, the canal, his face and body
lightens when he sees its resident pair
of beautiful, white swans swimming along
Now he sees all the garbage and motor
oil that is spread over the water,
seething. At this, he turns his gaze,
picks up his pace, and tries to
make-light both his stare, and the very
objects which he stares at.
“Countryside, countryside, breathe.”
- 42 seconds -
Money drops into the hand of a beggar
lying on the corner. Large, red letters
scribbled across a piece of cardboard
propped-up against his chest read, “Bail
Listlessly he stares, his head held
askance towards the sky.
Turning sharply into the station ’s
entrance now, the man slams into a woman
holding a collection pot and wearing a
placard depicting a frightened baby
orangutan from the scorched jungles of
Borneo, staring back up at us. Beneath
the picture is a caption imploring us to
help save the rain forests. Her
collection pot goes flying.
Apologizing profusely, he retrieves her
collection pot and turns immediately
away from her simple, thankful face as
if in anticipation of what might come
next. We see her looking after him as he
comes barreling towards us and the
escalators, glancing quickly down at his
watch but reading nothing.
- 52 seconds -
Cut to a smog-laden view of our
tower-peaked horizon in the distance
above a freeway packed with cars
flooding towards it.
Now we’re in a bumper-to-bumper car jam
in the crowded, bustling streets of the
city. We see the shaking tail pipes of
several makes of cars and trucks
sputtering their fumes into the air.
Madness and automaton: quick shots of a
homeless man coughing, crowds jostling,
cyclists wearing breathing masks, and
another charity collector being swamped
by a swarming, apathetic work force.
The Woman, now stuck in this traffic, is
lighting-up a cigarette and looking at a
roadside billboard from her vehicle. On
it is an extraordinarily beautiful
country house with a real estate logo
blended into the country. Across it are
“AFFORDABLE FINANCING FOR YOUR DREAMS!”
With the blasé satisfaction of someone
who believes herself to already be in
possession of everything she could
possibly want, save time, the Woman
rolls down her window.
It is hot outside and, as if in
confirmation, over her radio we’ve been
hearing (since the 52-second mark) the
voice of a beleaguered caller on a radio
show. He says there's no way to stop the
streams and ground water from becoming
contaminated from the toxins in the
gulf, and that "all it will take is for
the weather to keep heating the water
until the next hurrica-"...
- 59.5 seconds -
The Woman has turned the radio off.
Oil droplets drip, drip, drip, in rapid
succession, from the tip of another
shaking tail pipe.
- 62 seconds -
Moccasined feet make their way along a
dust-packed piece of earth; just walking
along, strong and steadily. Dust can be
seen flying from around them. Our view
begins to rise, taking-in the teepees in
the receding background with the
children following a few paces behind
the Indian, still running and playing
with each other.
We see his face. His eyes are
steadfastly fixed on a point directly
behind our position, looking right
through us the way musicians do so often
while they play. He is sharpening a long
stick into a spear with his knife even
though he carries a finely crafted
stone-headed spear strapped to his back
His expression remains largely
indiscernible, possibly threatening.
Cut to a wide external view of a
frenzied downtown metro/subway station.
We see the Man exiting the station and
making his way to a large building only
a couple of steps away. Following him
into and through the lobby, he goes
hopping into an empty elevator as the
doors slide shut. Fingers press one of
the floors at the top and we see his
face again as he finally relaxes
somewhat. The journey has left him quite
Quick shot of elevator shaft / metallic
/ cables bring it rising up
- 81 seconds -
Towards the end of section 3.0 and
into the beginning of 3.1, we hear the
following from the Indian:
“White man works his whole life just so
one day he can go fish.”
The Woman is pulling into a large,
multi-story, parking garage.
In quick succession now, with tires
screeching and engine roaring, we see
her car come flying round and up the
ramps a total of one, two, three times
We see her up close as she exits and
slams the door.
- 90 seconds -
The sound this makes reverberates as we
spin up and around her to reveal her
shock at suddenly finding herself, and
her vehicle, alone – on a blackened
expanse of oil-soaked beach stretching
as far as the eye can see. Her arm flies
up to cover her nose from the fumes, as
if the lumps of death strewn about her
feet weren't enough, on their own, to
cause such an immediate and physical
Now we see the Man standing to
attention as the elevator reaches his
floor with a ‘bing’. The doors slide
open as he steps out towards us and
freezes in his tracks.
Again we spin around and away to reveal
that he is now standing on a vast
mountain range of garbage and junk.
In the near distance we can see the
stubs and smoke that remain of a rain
forest turned refuse dump. We’re flying
faster through the smoke now. The fires
still burn in the sweeping distance.
- The reverberation of the car door
comes to a halt with another slam /
thud. Music ends. -
- Slowly we begin to hear the
sound of running water -
A beautiful riverbank where the Indian
is handing his son the spear he just
carved before us.
They appear to be dancing over the
“We just go fish.”
Fade in of the words, “Alternatives
One or two seconds pass, then the
letters begin to gently fly about and
reposition themselves in front of us,
ultimately forming, “SleepingNatives.org”.
Special Thanks to JD
Fanger, Depeche Mode, and Mute Records
Artwork by Ted
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