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Working Title​: The Magic Lantern

Genre​: Historical Drama

Length​: Feature, 119 pages

Full Script​: https://www.scribd.com/document/433783447/The-Magic-Lantern

Logline​: In 1989 American graduate student Steven Walsh arrives in communist


Czechoslovakia as a Fulbright Scholar. While he is working on his assignment the students of
Prague rise up to overthrow the totalitarian regime. At first concerned only with his work, Steven
becomes drawn into a nation's struggle for freedom.

Synopsis​: Though not noted in the script, this story can be divided into eight parts:

The Visiting Scholar​ - Steven arrives in Prague in 1989 to work at Charles University as a
replacement for another Fulbright Scholar. He meets with his faculty sponsors; with Czech
students he is assigned to mentor; with Regina, advisor to the foreign residents and communist
party member; and with other foreign residents including Lena from the University of Bonn.

The Bridge​ - Steven has difficulty adapting to life in a communist country. He does not know the
language, and he suspects that Regina is really an agent of the secret police sent to report on
the foreign residents. His students want to know what is happening elsewhere in the world.
Lena urges Steven to join them for an evening at the ​Lanterna Magika​ theater. After the show,
alone together on the Legion Bridge, Steven and Lena fall in love.

The Lost Spring​ - Steven and Lena witness an East German couple fleeing to the West German
embassy, then take their Trabant car for a ride in the country. Steven’s Czech students tell him
how the freedoms of the Prague Spring in 1968 were crushed by the Soviet invasion.

The Wall​ - The foreign residents learn about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Steven and Lena travel
to Berlin together to witness the opening. They bring back fresh fruit and uncensored news.

The Ribbon​ - Anna, one of the Czech students, reveals that she belongs to a dissident student
organization called The Ribbon. A ceremony to honor Czech students murdered by the Nazis
becomes an anti-government demonstration through the center of Prague. Steven joins the
march, which is brutally suppressed by the communist police, and escapes through the streets.

The Stage​ - Uprising turns to revolution as Vaclav Havel speaks to mass rallies in Wenceslas
Square. Steven works with the students in proofing English language press releases. He also
keeps a U.S. Embassy official updated on what is happening. Steven and his colleagues end
up working at revolutionary headquarters, the ​Lanterna Magika​. The government falls, the
people rejoice, but the country is not yet free of the communist regime.

The Bells​ - A nationwide strike forces the communist regime to hand over all power to Havel’s
revolutionary committee. Back at the university Steven asks Lena to come home with him to
America for the holidays. It is then revealed that Lena is really Vera, an agent of the Czech
secret police. Before being led away Lena tells of the role of the police and of Gorbachev in
bringing down the hardline government. Steven is shocked at losing Lena.

The Souvenir​ - Steven, over his heartbreak, joins the other foreign residents in toasting a new
year and a new world. He testifies as a character witness for Regina at a tribunal held because
of her former communist party membership. The Soviet Army leaves Czechoslovakia. His year
in Prague over, Steven says goodbye to his colleagues. On the plane flying home he discovers
a forgotten photo of Lena in his wallet.