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Women, Sport, and Film - Spring 2005
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Ne Me Quitte Pas

Meagan Hume

Meagan Hume
March 20, 2005
Women Sports and Film

Ne Me Quitte Pas

I have chosen to answer question topic number three with a screen play. The film should be shot as an independent film. It should be low budget and incredibly artsy. The reasoning behind this has much to do with target audience. The subject matter is definitely not mainstream and therefore the independent genre would lend itself best to this film. I have chosen to portray an impoverished young woman with much talent as a ballet dancer and her trials and tribulations in getting to a specific competition. I decided to make the young woman a lesbian because I hope by 2010, we will be able to make movies with gay/lesbian characters without having their entire identity consumed by one minute aspect. I chose the background of dance because I feel that it lends itself well to the independent film genre. It requires intense physicality while remaining artistic and expressive. The tragedy seen in this screenplay is truly an attempt to demonstrate realism with a message of hope. "Ne me quitte pas" translates to "Do Not Leave Me".

For this screenplay, we will focus on Ingrid Desrosier. She is a vivacious and troubled nineteen-year-old. Ingrid is passionate about ballet dancing and she is training very hard for the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Ingrid is beautiful (I imagine Julia Styles) with a slight Quebecois accent. Growing up in the slums of Montreal was difficult for Ingrid, especially because her father left her to an alcoholic mother at age eight. A sense of abandonment has followed her. Ingrid's mother does not believe in her dream to become a ballet dancer and is constantly drunk. There are a lot of pertinent flashbacks to her abusive childhood throughout the movie.

We open with scenes of Ingrid dancing with ferocity. She is very determined and training hard. We meet her coach, a Baryshnikov-type with an ego to match. Simon is older and very gruff. Simon should be played by Gerard Depardieu. He is lamenting his fall from the top of the ballet world and therefore is aggressive and hateful towards his students. In the class, we can tell that he has some strange infatuation with Ingrid. He touches her perhaps a little too often. He drinks quite a bit. The audience should disdain him. One night, he tells Ingrid that she must stay after class in order to work some more on her piece. After some dancing, he kisses her and touches her inappropriately. This scene does not have to be graphic in order to emphasize how uncomfortable and awful this makes Ingrid feel.

Ingrid confides in her best friend, Dylan. Dylan is a brilliant scrawny boy. He should be completely likeable and fairly attractive, but not so attractive that he is arrogant. Dylan insists that Ingrid find another teacher—he is outraged that anyone has treated her this way. There is a seedy underbelly to this story. In order to make a living, Dylan and Ingrid work at a restaurant in Old Montreal and being in the restaurant scene usually involves a fair amount of cocaine abuse. These two are no exception. Despite her commitment to ballet, Ingrid cannot resist the temptation to escape her life through cocaine.

Ingrid attends one last class with Simon. He is particularly harsh towards her because she rebuffed him the previous night. Thankfully, he has a guest instructor, named Irina. I imagine Irina to be played by Portia deRossi. Irina has just finished an amazing career in Russia. She had to stop dancing due to a very bad knee. Right away, Irina notices Ingrid's talent. At the end of the class, Ingrid tells Simon that she can no longer take lessons from him and he proceeds to beat her. She stumbles out onto the dark street, bleeding and disoriented. Irina has not gone far and notices Ingrid's pain. Ingrid blacks out and wakes up a few hours later in the hospital, Irina at her side. In this scene, Irina gets the details of the night and makes sure Simon is arrested for what he has done. In addition, Irina is very insistent that Ingrid become her student.

Irina is a very tough instructor. She makes Ingrid repeat every phrase, every movement, over and over again. While Ingrid is clearly vexed by the abuse from Irina, she understands that Irina is helping her immensely. One night, after Ingrid's mother is abusive and angry, Ingrid seeks out Irina because she cannot find Dylan. Irina takes her in and they begin to talk. One thing leads to another and soon it is morning and the two are obviously intimately involved. Despite their budding love for one another, Irina does not lighten up on Ingrid during practice time. Ingrid moves out of her house and into Irina's house and her mother effectively drops from the storyline, aside from the flashbacks to childhood.

As the competition draws near and Ingrid is practicing almost twelve hours a day, she must quit working at the restaurant. Dylan confesses that he misses her and is offended that Ingrid would rather be with Irina in her spare time than hang out with him. For old time's sake, they ingest cocaine at his house. Dylan then reveals his deep love for Ingrid. Ingrid is forced to tell him why she has been with Irina so often. While Dylan is hurt, he is incredibly understanding, thus emphasizing his likeability.

The time for the big dance competition has arrived. In Bulgaria, Ingrid takes first place and gains worldwide ballet notoriety. She is asked to dance in several important ballets all over the world. Sadly, she cannot take Irina with her, as she is still struggling to make ends meet. Irina and Ingrid come to a point wherein they realize that they should no longer be together, but the relationship ends amicably.

Ingrid arrives back in Montreal and is catching up with Dylan. Sadly, in the few months that Ingrid has been gone, Dylan has begun to use cocaine excessively. He is convinced that he can drive home, despite how strung out he is. When Ingrid attempts to stop him from driving home, he does not listen. Ingrid gets into the passenger's seat and they proceed to fight as Dylan drives. He is not paying attention and runs into a telephone pole. Everything fades. We are lost in a recollection, the final flashback, of Ingrid's when she is eight years old. Until this point, we are unsure as to when her father left exactly, although it has been alluded to. A very clear image of her father and Ingrid dancing in a ballet recital onstage is shown. Quickly, we hear her father telling Ingrid that she must always dance, no matter what. And then he is gone forever. All we hear is an eight year old Ingrid crying "Daddy? Daddy?" Ingrid awakes in the hospital and realizes that not only is Dylan dead, but her right leg has been amputated from the knee downwards. We leave Ingrid alone, in the hospital, sobbing heavily.

One year later, Ingrid once again is dancing. She has opened a ballet school for troubled youngsters. Ingrid uses a prosthesis and is still very famous in the world of ballet.

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