1. EXT. TROPICAL FOREST. DAY
An eagle’s view, flying over the canopy of the Amazonian rain forest, through morning fog: an ocean of green foliage as far as the eye can see.
We are following a harpy eagle, plunging through the layer of chlorophyll, zigzagging past enormous branches laden with mosses, flowers and fruit. Our eagle soars once more into the sky, disclosing the magnificent, virgin panorama, apparently stretching to the ends of the earth.
Then a shock: we are flying over a forest giant as it falls to the ground, then a second, and a third. Further ahead, a napalm bomb falls from the sky and sets the forest aflame, spreading instantly through the under canopy, then another, turning the forest into an inferno of flames rising into the sky.
Hundreds of animals are fleeing from the blaze; amid the exodus, the agonised screams of a capuchin monkey holding her carbonised baby cut through the crackle of exploding timber. Another lies in agony, his groans echoing through the forest.
The naked, running feet of a human, skipping to avoid the burning vegetation, pauses beside the monkey. His hand holds a revolver, which fires a round into the animal’s head. The cries cease. Tenderly, the weather-worn, roughened hands, one of them gloved, lifts the smoking corpse and places it carefully in a large jute sack.
THE BOTANIST (OFF)
For twenty-five years, I have pursued every legal means to stop the pillage of the forest, but to no effect.
The jute sack on his shoulder, the man resumes running, his face still unseen, pistol in hand. Leaping through a curtain of flames, he disappears.
The sounds of forest fire and helicopter fade. The naked feet walk into a simply furnished cabin. The gun is placed on a shelf, next to a photo of a young man and a woman, taken outside the same forest cabin, with three young children.
THE BOTANIST (OFF)
When you have lost so many of those you love, what is there left to lose?
A patch of garden, at the back of the cabin. A hand - glove removed to show badly burnt skin, now healed - rises to pull on a string hanging from a reservoir of water hanging in a tree. A shower of water descends. The man is taking a shower, washing the smoke and ashes from his body. Beyond his legs, down which the water trickles, there are two graves with simple wooden crosses.
The hand of the man, once more gloved, turns on a number of switches; several small computer monitors spring to life, on one, a helicopter carrying the logo of MACKENZIE FOREST. On another, the face of Mackenzie talking at a news conference. On another, a still of the Court House.
THE BOTANIST (OFF)
There is still one bullet left in my revolver; in which direction should I fire
We hold on the three monitor images as fast, rhythmic, driving orchestral music takes us into the
2. EXT. TROPICAL FOREST. DAY
Several trucks laden with freshly-stripped trunks are pulled up outside a small village. Men are unloading from a van sacks of colza ready for planting. The van bears the slogan ’SOJA - FEEDS THE WORLD.’
The trucks, laden with massive trunks of timber, roar into life and drive off.
We follow the journey taken by the timber, from raw material to finished product:
- Stripping of branches
- Division into planks
- Treatment with anti-bacterial solution
- Loading into containers
- Cutting into circles, with a hole in the centre
Sitting on just such a beautiful hardwood toilet seat, an elegantly dressed man takes a generous helping of toilet paper.
END TITLE SEQUENCE
3. INT. COURT HOUSE CORRIDOR. DAY
The man emerges from the toilet, immaculate, and traverses the corridor of the Court House in New York. A roar from a large crowd outside the building makes him go to a window and look down at a jumble of TV outside broadcast vans, and police vehicles with flashing lights.
4. EXT. COURT HOUSE. DAY
A limousine with tinted windows stops in front of the steps, provoking a roar of anger from the crowd. The journalists and cameramen swarm around it. A banner in the crowd shows Mackenzie crudely drawn as a tree, legs severed by a chainsaw.
The caption reads MACKENZIE MURDERER OF THE FOREST
1ST JOURNALIST (speaking to camera)
This is the first time that a man according to critics responsible for the despoiling of vast tracts of forest will face justice in an American court, thanks to the actions of the radical pressure group Greenspace.
From the limousine emerges a man of around sixty, wearing a business suit with a cigar between his lips. He is noticeably shorter than the guards escorting him and his bad skin and posture suggest a man not at ease in his skin. He raises a beautiful ebony cane and brandishes it cheerfully at the crowd.
From the crowd, roaring in fury, are hurled projectiles which burst on contact with the limousine, drenching it with a viscous liquid. One activist is filling such a projectile from a can, marked ‘NAZIE POISON 1080 HIGHLY TOXIC’.
Protesters here are throwing a liquid, symbol of the 1080 neurotoxic chemical agent, used before by the Nazis, and that, according to ecologists Mackenzie’s company uses to kill the animals and plants of the forest.