The Republic
215 min ● Variable digital ● B&W ● Mono ● English ● USA ● 2017

A confederation of aging libertarians open their borders to the wealthy young widow of a traitor in order to survive winter.

Written by ROBIN SCHAVOIR
Directed and edited by JAMES N. KIENITZ WILKINS
Sound engineered by EUGENE WASSERMAN

Narrator/Linda Schaller - NOUR MOBARAK
Gavin Cook - ANTHONY AROYA
Benoit Goubeaux - STEPHEN BRADBURY
Matthew Nash - GREG STEINBRUNER
Jeffrey Dipple - THEODORE BOULOUKOS
Kelly Maycumber - JEFF FELD
Richard Chase - J. DIXON BYRNE
Timothy Ko - DAVID BONFIM
William Coughlin - JAMES N. KIENITZ WILKINS
Executioner - MARK BARNETT
Jane Otis - MELODY BATES
Julia Pinberry - SOPHIE TRAUB
Brad Taylor - EAMON MONAGHAN
Brandon - BRANDON D’AUGUSTINE
Milo & Dave - EUGENE WASSERMAN


Synopsis

In the fringes of rural America, a group of libertarian men maintain a lifestyle based on free will, self-reliance, and contractual obligation. They live in a network of autonomous homes, cabins and trailers linked in space through their common belief in a sovereign State. The aging and aged men trade goods, hold hearings to review contracts between them, raise animals and grow crops, carefully regulate their health, and sometimes experiment with new technologies to prolong their isolated lives. To these men, it is a utopia.

Act I

Winter is approaching. William has failed to fulfill two crucial contracts: fixing Benoit’s roof and providing firewood. There’s a rumor he’s moved to town and married a local woman, Linda. Gavin take on William’s contracts while the issue is sorted out. Gavin contracts with the Statesmen to convert their allotment of Benoit’s tobacco crop into healthier e-cigarettes. The Statesmen continue to use rent money from Jane’s yoga classes to begrudgingly pay property tax—their only acknowledgement of U.S. currency. One day, Linda arrives to drop off William’s possessions, since they’re divorcing. When she learns of William’s wood debt, she offers Gavin money. The Statesmen proceed with a “Warrant of Mutual Protection” which outlines how William’s delinquency is as an act of violence against them. Benoit refuses to sign on, but he suffers an injury and must sign to be rescued. The Statesmen hire the Executioner, a retired Blackwater operative living in the mountains.

Act II

The execution of William is framed as a hunting accident. Gavin unsuccessfully tries to return Linda's money. Unbeknown to her, it was offered to Executioner to kill her husband, but he refused payment in exchange for citizenship. Gavin teaches Linda about his lifestyle, and they begin a relationship. Meanwhile, he struggles to perfect his e-cigarettes. A tableaux vivant troupe performs at the annual gathering. The Executioner is invited and propositioned for labor contracts by different Statesmen. He reveals he may have a sickness, alienating himself from the older men who avoid illness above all else. Linda gets publicly drunk and unruly.

Act III

Winter arrives and Linda hasn’t been around for a month. Gavin teaches the Executioner philosophy in exchange for the Executioner taking over his labor contracts. Linda returns and announces she’s donated her house and wealth to charity. Gavin allows her to live with him and proposes a contract of marriage, which she rejects because he refuses to account for property. Jane announces she’s moving, and will no longer rent the lodge.

Act IV

The Executioner and Linda begin a cautious friendship. She learns Gavin will be put on trial for allegedly using her money to purchase e-cigarettes because he couldn’t make his deadline. Executioner offers William’s former cabin as a communal space for the trial, and moves back to the woods. Gavin is cleared of the crime of using U.S. currency, but Benoit realizes Gavin is lying when he claims he used water to make the devices. Knowing water cannot dilute nicotine, Benoit accuses Gavin of using no nicotine at all. He reminds Gavin that if he fails to deliver legal product, he will be in breach of contract. Meanwhile, Executioner confesses to Linda that he killed her husband and should be held responsible. Linda insists that he’s not responsible because he was hired. Linda decides she can no longer be with Gavin and leaves him.

Act V

Gavin delivers by deadline, but cuts off contact with the others. When a blizzard hits, he’s spotted in the woods, acting crazy. Matthew is sick and suspects that Gavin poisoned them with faulty e-cigarettes. Benoit suggests the flu, secretly knowing the devices contain no nicotine and they are experiencing withdrawal. Benoit contracts with Linda to convince the men of this, so they’ll remain smokers. In exchange, he agrees not to tell about Linda’s hidden pregnancy. Gavin is found dead from an apparent suicide. Linda settles into her new home, William’s former cabin. Here and there, Executioner returns to attend to his contracts, including the long delayed repair of Benoit’s roof.


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- Read the illustrated screenplay here


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