"April 20, 1988 Interscope Communications, Inc. has reached an understanding with General Foods to fully sponsor a two hour television production of the EVA KOVACS STORY. General Foods has agreed to pay for   development of a script, the production costs for the movie, and half of the advertising budget."

                                                                                                                        Barbara Gunning
                                                                                                                        Vice-president, Television


eva kovacs story

Theme Music
Composer Ray Ellis
First debuted in Universal Amphitheater, Hollywood




THE HEART REMEMBERS

treatment sample


C. 08/28/07/# 1224009

“The story is told through the eyes of Eva Kovacs, a twelve year old girl, whose testament to the pain and suffering of her refugee family is reminiscent of   “The Diary of Anne Frank" and  
“A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.”

                                                                          Louis Garfinkle
                                                                                                        Original writer of the Deer Hunter



“The words we most want to
say are difficult to find…
    Their journey begins far, far
 away… in the heart…”    

 

Part   1

It's a perfectly peaceful July evening.  Only frogs and crickets break the silence as the earth whispers its tiny life in the breath of that end of the day.  ISABELLA de VARGA, an iron fisted aristocrat is sitting on the veranda of her villa. Caressing her granddaughter ALEXA, she is enjoying the smell of the fertile reverend lake below, when her gaze suddenly shifts. 

She stands up; something is not right.  The skies fill with a peculiar luminosity.  Pigeons and doves flutter out of her attic.  Wild geese fly screaming and whirling up into the air.  She has never seen such flights before the circling, the plummeting and then the final disappearance into a darkening sky. 

In the prophetic shadows of the clouds, fishing bombers hang in a distance and crawl like black serpents with slow monotone rumbling.  Aroused by the noise, horses in the pastures arch their foreheads toward the sky, farmers grip their reins and stare up with fear sweeping across their faces. 

Isabella too watches, transfixed, as a long train of B-17 bombers dart out of the clouds, thundering their engines descend with a defending roar: then she hears the merciless whistle of bombs.

The time is l944 and bombs fall down on the Hungarian countryside like constant thunderclaps.  It’s the middle of World War II, and the bloody terror is sweeping the little village of Lake Balaton, and over Isabella’s beautiful lakefront home.

A pregnant   ELISABETH KOVACS, is racing through a wheatfield, fleeing from an onslaught of American bombers dropping their deadly cargo.  One near explosion throws her to the ground rupturing the embryonic sack.  A family servant MARISKA, bolts through the burning field and helps Elisabeth make it toward home.

 Isabella, fearing for her pregnant daughter's life, hastens from the villa’s cellar leaving behind her granddaughterFrantically she flies out the door running through the smoke and terrorized villagers, searching for her child.  She sees Mariska's arms wailing for help. Moment's later Elisabeth collapses in her mother’s arms.

In the cellar Elisabeth is struggling with intense labor.  Isabella and Marisaka await the worst.  The baby is two months early.  Elisabeth's husband STEFAN, is in the army and is currently listed as missing in action.

In the downpour of bombs that shatter the summer night, a loud cry lifts up in a breath of hope above the death and destruction… it is EVA, a tiny premature newborn, who is not afraid to proclaim her arrival upon the whack of Mariska’s mighty peasant hand…

On the warfront, near the Ukrainian border, unaware of his wife’s predicament, soldier STEFAN KOVACS, saves a mother and daughter being raped by bare assed Russian soldiers.   He kills the Russians, then cuts the rope of the wailing father hanging by his wrists from a beam.

One Russian soldier, barely alive, feebly aims his pistol and fires.  Stefan falls to the ground.

While Stefan spends the winter of ‘44’ recuperating from his wound, virtually isolated from the outside world, Elisabeth is convinced he is dead.  When she hears that the Russian soldiers are raping the women, Elisabeth escapes from the village, with little Alexa tied onto her back and baby Eva in her arms. 

A recuperated but disabled Stefan finds his wife and children in a freezing freight train near the Austrian/Hungarian border.  He is not persuaded by his wife’s plan to leave their families and homeland.  Besides, there is a legitimate fear for the safety and health of his baby daughter Eva.  She is small and weak.  In the brutal cold, the chances of her frail body enduring the escape are less then nil.  But Elisabeth is stubborn.  Torn between his homeland and his wife, Stefan finally relents for the sake of Eva, but only, if she leaves the baby behind.  The war will end soon and they can return for her, Isabella tells them.  Then, she wrenches baby Eva from her daughters' grasp.  So, while Elisabeth, Stefan and young Alexa go toward freedom and the safety of Austria, Isabella carries baby Eva back to the family’s palatial home.

V.O….   ”We knew the penalty of disobedience from past history.   Hitler was evil,
             but then, Russia loomed up as an even greater danger!  Churchill had
                      misgivings as early as l943 of what was going to happen in Eastern Europe
                  after the war, and frequently pleaded with Roosevelt to prevent that area
            of the world from fighting its way out of the frying pan into the fire;
              to be liberated from Hitler only to be subjugated by Stalin.  But, when
              Roosevelt ignored Churchill’s warnings, it was  only a matter of time  
                   before the IRON CURTAIN descended upon half of Europe.  In the dark
            winter nights, refugees ran from their inevitable Russian oppressors. 
                Among them, my mother, father and one-and-half-year-old sister Alexa.
    Traces of their footsteps, were lost among the massive exodus .” 

Dwarfed by the colossal sprawl of a hostile landscape, Isabella tucks baby Eva inside her coat, and with her tiny figure silhouetting in the moonlight she labors through   the snow blanketed pastures.  Sometimes before dawn, an ox-driven wagon pulls alongside of her, stops, and motions for her to climb aboard. At sunrise a farmhouse appears.The driver, a tzigani  (gypsy,) announces it is as far as he can take them.  He is afraid for his family.   The infamous SS Colonel Adolph Eichmann is still on the prowl to oversee deportation of Jews and gypsies.  

Making her way on foot, Isabella stops in sudden fear.   A caravan of German trucks blocks their way.  Isabella quickly scrambles into a nearby culvert with Eva grasped tightly to her chest.  Isabella huddles for a moment, then she hears the familiar stomp of Nazi boots and the barking of viscious dogs.  Cautiously lifting her head, Isabella watches in horror as a squad of Waffen SS soldiers hurl the canvas covers off the trucks, revealing hundreds of Jews with yellow stars.  The SS herd the Jewish prisoners onto an ice-covered lake, and, after ushering them into position, the back of another truck reveal a tripod with a mounted sub-machine gun aimed directly at them.  The SS officer raises his hand, holds it there for a moment, then swiftly lets it drop; the gunner opens fire.  As the machine gun continues to hammer out a staccato requiem of genocide, bullet-ridden bodies drop from sight.

Suddenly it’s over.   The last Jew is dead.   A ghostly silence.  The soldiers return to their trucks.  The commander fishes out a sugar cube from his pocket and gives it to his dog, which gratefully licks his hand.  The regiment moves out.   Isabella remains still, even though every fiber of her being wants to scream, to cry, to do something against the wholeslaughter in front of her.   She cradles baby Eva to her chest hushing the child, whispering that the nightmare is over.

The Nazi trucks leave and Isabella rises carefully from her hiding place.  She starts for home again.  Her eyes stops for a brief instant on the obscene pile of sprawled out Jewish bodies.   As she starts away, she hears a faint voice crying.  Isabella turns back, searching for the source of the noise.  Peering closer to the mound of corpses, she realizes; the cry is coming from underneath the dead.  Isabella goes toward the sound and with great calm and remarkable composure, she finds one survivor of the carnage, a six-year old boy named, PAUL.   The boy has been shot in the arm, he is shaken and trembling, but something in his eyes sees hope in the reassuring face of Isabella.  She ties a shawl around his wound, removes the yellow star on his shirt that marks him a Jew, and helps him make the climb back to the road.

The Russians have sat up headquarters in the de Varga villa.  They are burning Isabella’s priceless furniture to roast a pig.  Isabella fights to reinstate her rightful home, gets clubbed, and is forced to take refuge in Mariska's small house.

 Finally, the war ends and the Soviet Army liberates, then occupies Hungary.  Isabella moves back into her home with Paul and Eva.

V.O….”The Russian soldiers were leaving, but not before looting my Grandmother’s
         villa. They  struggled down the verandah with her alabaster grand piano,
              while the rest of soldiers were chasing one of the exhausted pigs in the yard.
                They finally shot him dead,  and hurled it on top of a truck and over the white
                piano. The instrument, as if in revolt and agony emitted sounds so dissonant,
      that it almost sounded human and crying.The blood splattered over the
        talabaster skin of the dead music had spilled over the Red Flag that flew
victoriously on their trucks.”                                                                

In the spring of l946 the entire countryside reflected the indomitable spirit of the Phoenix. Overnight the village is revivified and exploded into a magnificent floral phantasmagoria.  The road leading up to the deVarga villa is dappled with myriad of lilac and acacia trees.  Like a mirage in the sea of flowers, two people and a toddler are coming up the hill.  With much relief, it is Elisabeth, Stefan and little Alexa in tow returning home for Eva.  However, the happy reunion is short lived.  When they try to take Eva out of the country, the Iron Curtain slams the borders shut, and the family is forbidden passage to Austria.  Now, the same iron rule has returned, only this time with the face of Joseph Stalin on it instead of Der Furher.