Gil: I remember in the 1980s Tuli Kupferberg, the Fugs co-founder, cartoonist, all-around American anarchist and provocateur, put out a pamphlet he called "Child Pornography." It was page after page of black-and-white photos of child soldiers. As writers we've always been into the strange clash of violence and innocence (vio-cence?) of kid soldier culture, from clockers in Chicago to Kdogos in the Congo. Now we've got a project up and running that will help funnel all our passion about the subject into a screenplay, and rendered all the more interesting considering the news out of Colombia and Ecuador lately.
Right now we're calling it Child of God, after the Joni Mitchell lyric: I came upon a child of god/He was walking along the road/I asked him, Where are you going?/This he told me...
Treatment for a screenplay by Gil Reavill and Eric Saks
Adventure drama
Log line: After a ragtag crew of teenage soldiers take captive a wounded U.S. Army Reserve physician in South America, the doctor and the young warriors develop a complex but dangerous friendship.
Synopsis: Everett Fahey, 50, a middle-aged doctor conflicted about his role in the Army Reserve, joins an official humanitarian mission to northern Ecuador. He treats poor villagers but also CIA-funded mercenaries battling Colombian guerillas in the border territory. His risk-addicted behavior takes him ever deeper into the hot zone, where rival gangs of drug importers battle for turf.
In a blazing nighttime fire-fight, Fahey is wounded by a machete attack and left for dead. He regains consciousness as a prisoner of a teenage militia, none of the soldiers older than 15 years. His motor and speech capacity deeply impaired by the attack, Fahey is alternately tormented and nursed by Lorenzo, 15, the self-styled “Subcommandante” of the group. The orphaned Lorenzo is brilliant, Jesuit-educated, and he hides his adolescent neediness beneath a sardonic, macho exterior. Fahey slowly heals and his speech facility returns, while his relationship with Lorenzo and the other boy soldiers deepens.
As the CIA-funded mercenaries move in for the kill, Fahey must confront not only his conflicting allegiances but his own personal demons – to recognize the “child of god” within himself.