TITLE: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
OR: The Meat Eaters
PREMISE: The plot of this film concerns 13-year-old Sita Gula, a member of a fundamentalist Muslim household in Afghanistan, learns English and begins to hang out with American soldiers. Not a good idea. There are several violent encounters with the Taliban. Sita might be a magical good luck charm or she might just be perceptive and smart leading the Americans out of danger.
GENRE: Military drama, War drama
MARKET: USA, International
WRITER: Alan Nafzger
OTHER INFORMATION: This is a compete and ready to shot screenplay.
The plot of this film concerns 13-year-old Sita Gula, a member of a fundamentalist Muslim household in Afghanistan, who, learns English after she stumbles into a cave abandoned by Taliban leaders. Inside the cave are radios and books on U.S. Army equipment and tactics. There is even an Xbox with all the soldier games. Sita falls in love with the soldier on the cover of the Call of Duty Box. There is a computer and “Rosetta Stone – English”. There are VCR tapes of CNN and C-SPAN. There is also a large stash of canned food. There is a solar panel cleverly hidden to power the cave.
Sita, like most other Afghani girls, is not allowed to attend school. Her father is so engrossed in the war he leaves Sita in the supervision of her 11-year-old brother, Vafa. Her brother does not actually supervise anything and every time her father leaves the home, Sita disappears up the mountain. Her younger brother has discovered a stash of pornography and of course he must take care of the animals (sheep). Sita brings her brother canned peaches each day and pacifies him. Vafa does not tell her father about his sister’s escapades.
Sita’s English language skills are discovered accidentally. U.S. Army soldiers come to the village. Her father hides but in listening distance. She isn’t aware of her father’s presence. Sita meets the man who she thinks is the soldier on the cover of the game box. He looks tough but in reality is relatively harmless; his unit is there to survey and test the well water.
Sita, in perfect English, tells Sgt. David “Mad Dog” Mueller about the water well and also that there aren’t any Taliban in the village and they are up in the mountains. She points to the mountains in the opposite direction. This is a lie, but Sita is only protecting her father. In the encounter, Sita stands very near the soldier and when he asks her to point on a map, their hands graze each other. Sita trembles.
The minute the soldiers disappear from the small village, her father smacks her in the back of the head. Instead of being happy the girl saved his life and sent the Americans on a wild goose chase, the father is enraged and continually beats her for several days. The younger brother isn’t beaten but is seriously scolded.
Several older men come to the village and they seem to be discussing Sita’s fate. She has no mother and the older men want her father to be free to fight. Obviously, the younger brother can not keep an eye on or control Sita.
Muslims believe that Jesus (called ‘Isa in Arabic) was the son of Mary, and was conceived without the intervention of a human father. And when she misses her period, she panics and thinks Sgt Mueller is the father. Remember, she doesn’t have a mother and her aunts have told her every lie possible to keep her chaste. She continues to play the scene in her mind were she brushed up against the American soldier.
After being questioned by her father, given her sudden understanding of English, the Americans are blamed for impregnating her. Sita is told she will be married the next day. Rather than undergo an arranged marriage, she escapes to Kandahar, along with Vafa, who suddenly begins to feel her protector.
Sita manages to save a group of soldiers from an ambush and she is adopted by them and given the name “Karma”. They feel she is good luck and of course she sees danger clearly and can warn them.
In Kandahar, she falls in with a jolly group of “meat eaters” who live together at the Ghazni FOB and hunt Taliban. Sita is drawn to one of the soldiers who has the same “U.S. Army” ring as Sgt. David Mueller. It is her idea to get information from this private, named Clyde Blake. But she becomes romantically involved with Clyde and the group of superstitious soldiers adopt Sita. They are mean and cold killers but have a soft side for the young girl.
There are several violent encounters with the Taliban. Sita might be a magical good luck charm or she might just be perceptive and smart leading them out of danger.
One night Sita admits to Clyde that she thinks she is pregnant. He is totally confused but wants to protect Sgt. Mueller, who he doesn’t even really know. Clyde offers to marry her, and says that later they can go find Mueller, and that she can leave them when they find him. Clyde is well into his 20s and Sita is a 13, but he is a gentleman and clearly Sita is nervous about her future. While totally unrealistic, his promises made Sita feel better.
When on a mission, everything goes awry. Vafa is captured by the Taliban, and Sita flees. Vafa father has left the war and is looking for him. He is not looking particularly for Sita. Luckily, Vafa is returned to his father.
Remembering one of her mother’s bedtime stories, she impulsively follows a white goat for a considerable distance and discovers Sgt. Mueller, who she believes is the father of her baby. He is with his civil engineering unit. They have a very long talk and Sita slowly realizes that Sgt Mueller isn’t all that interesting. Sgt Mueller’s “water recovery” group isn’t as hospitable to Sita. They are considerably less superstitious than the actual combat soldiers.
Finally, Sita, disillusioned about Sgt. Mueller, gets her period and decides to return to her home. But before she can return. She is captured by a group of Taliban who don’t know she is her father’s daughter. This group only know she is the traitor who has been helping the Americans. There is a huge debate about what to do about her.
This Taliban group is being monitored by drones. There is a huge debate about whether to use a drone to kill the group. Complicating things is her presence. It appears to some intelligence officers that she is being “guarded” and there is a legend about a soldier’s lucky charm. Other intelligence officers are arguing that she is part of the group. The U.S. commander balks at destroying the group in the hopes the woman leaves (escapes) the group.
The Taliban take Sita high in the mountains and she is to be executed. Sita’s father joins the group and considers killing the others to rescue his daughter. However, in the end, he is willing to go along with the execution.
Clyde and his unit come under a bit of bad luck and they pressure the commander to order them to look for Sita. They have orders to kill the entire group. Vafa joins the group of American soldiers and the start after Sita and the group of Taliban.
Together, Clyde and his unit climb the mountain, though they admit generally when they arrive they simply kill everyone and everything.
Just as Sita is about to be executed, Sita is rescued. Everyone is killed except Sita and her father. Her father is almost comatose descending the mountain; we get the impression his war is over.
Sita, Vafa and their father return to their home and the village. We see a group of soldiers drilling a new water well.