The Singing Tree – Script / Screenplay


A tree that grows through a broken window keeps a man tied to his sordid past.

A prank phone call causes civilian railway stationmaster Kurt Hellmann to panic and cause the deaths of 123 Jews en route to the camps. Then the Jewish girlfriend he is hiding is caught and executed by the Nazis. Sick of Nazi atrocities, Hellmann flees to the Amazon jungle. He changes his name and squats on an abandoned rubber plantation. But the memories of his sordid past gnaw at him and he longs for punishment. Then the body of a young Indian girl is found on his land. Redemption near, Hellmann offers his own life if he fails to find the girl’s murderer. Enter Ruth Goldman, a vibrant Jewish naturalist from New York City who might be on a butterfly-collecting mission — or she might be the Nazi hunter of Hellmann’s recurring nightmares. NOTE: The Singing Tree is based on Mr. Moss’s published novel that the New York Times called “a little gem.” All rights reserved.

Creative notes: When I read Peter Moss’s book of the same name, I was completely enamored with the story. I thought about it for 10 years and finally asked Mr. Moss if we could write the screenplay. It took a while but he finally agreed. In 2013 The Singing Tree was one of the 4 winners of the Moondance International Screenplay Competition.

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The Singing Tree ©

An Original Screenplay by Marilyn Pesola