Jan Markowicz is a young American bomb maker and aspiring artist trying to escape from his involvement with a secular terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of American corporate power and globalization. He backs out of a Heathrow bombing plot when the photo of a mysterious woman awakens him to the futility of violence as a means of social change.
He takes refuge with a young slacker couple in London, the enigmatic Martin and enchanting Liisi, with whom he quickly develops a close bond. Jan then begins to use his former girl friend and chilling terrorist accomplice Rosalyn – or is she using him? – to get at Luinstra, the head of the terrorist gang.
As the plot unfolds, Jan becomes obsessed with meeting the woman in the photo, who turns out to be a local singer, while Martin sinks into paranoid delusions and Liisi prepares to go on a voyage to Burma to fulfill a vow she once made to her deceased father. Jan begins to paint portraits of the singer, while also planning and executing an attack on Luinstra’s hide out. In a moment of inspiration Jan tries to meet the singer, but it turns out Luinstra has other plans and the story comes to a riveting crescendo on Tower Bridge.
Set in 1993 in London, New York, and Tokyo, Inbetween is as much a psychological drama as it is a stylish thriller and intimate dialogue on the nature of love, obsession, and inner transformation. Inspired by earlier film successes Performance and The Crying Game, but with the raw energy of Naked, Inbetween portrays a dark underworld filled with hypocritical terrorist leaders and petty drug dealers against a dreamy, almost hallucinatory counter-world in which each character is locked in a universe of their own personal obsessions. Yet the message is life affirming, as Inbetween is ultimately about love and redemption in the face of violence and futility.
Inbetween was made into a multiple award-nominated full-length feature film in 2008 you can watch for free on Youtube or at www.inbetweenthefilm.com.
Late winter. London. Heathrow. A few grey-black clouds coughed out a few drops of rain; a few jets took off, a few landed. It was the kind of day that normally passes by unnoticed. Dreamy, ephemeral, almost unreal. Jan Markowicz sat on the edge of his hotel bed staring out the freshly cleaned window. He tightened his finger on the trigger of his gun. Then he stretched back painlessly on the bed and squinted his eyes. The evening sun focused its gaze on his pillow and in quiet response he focused his gaze away from it. He took off his white cotton shirt and tossed it on the bed beside him and turned to the mirror to examine the contours of his naked torso. Intricate muscle layers wrapped beneath tight folds of creased skin forming patterns across his chest with the elaborate symmetry of oriental lettering. This was a terrorist’s physique. This was his equipment. With it he could plant a bomb in the most highly guarded military installations before quietly disappearing behind the velvet membrane of a cold dark forest where nobody would ever catch him.
He picked up a copy of Melody Maker placed on top of the television across from his bed. Flipping through its pages he passed a picture of a rock singer in a full-page ad for her latest CD. He flipped back to look closer. He was immediately struck by the white-phosphorous glow of her delicate face. She was clearly Nordic. The mischievously slanted eyes and pale complexion said as much. The light curves pencilling up from the corners of her smile stirred new images inside him. The rustling of wind through dried grass, the gentle bending of frozen rivers, the warm touch of another’s skin, crumbling rooftops in the spring. He gazed into her dark marble eyes for a long instant before closing the pages of the tabloid. Such alien beauty was never meant to exist.
He tossed the tabloid on the floor and looked out the window, shivering at the thought of the bombing and what would happen to him if he backed down. Luinstra would certainly come after him. Jan looked at the wall and his insides froze and shattered in a single motion. The Dutchman was ruthless, cunning, almost mechanical. He spoke with sewing-machine precision through a pair of thin, motionless lips. Jan imagined his pock-marked face hanging whitely in front of him, the icy nozzle of a gun digging into the back of his neck.
He looked at the runway stretching out in the distance. An aircraft moved gracefully upwards at a speed that seemed to slow to keep it airborne - its soft grey underbelly reflecting shards of light from the low-lying sun off towards the control tower. But instead of the angry shrieking of its aluminum engines all he could hear was the imaginary ticking of the bomb he’d stashed beneath the bed a few hours earlier. He walked over to the mirror and put his shirt back on. Then he ruffled through the sheets of the bed until he found his wallet. Inside were the codified plans for the bombing. He took out a folded piece of paper with a series of numbers scribbled on the outside. Then he flattened it on the side table and held it up to the light.
The plot was so perfectly drawn. Like even the best suit of armor, Heathrow had its flaws, its seams. It was only a matter of divining them, unravelling them. A loose thread pulled is already a hole. All he had to do was set the explosives in the suitcase and send it on its way. He looked down at his hands - pink from the cold. He looked out the window at the strange heavy shapes assumed by the rumpled masses of fog hovering in the distance. He looked back at his hands and watched his fingers tremble over the smooth surface of the bomb’s cold putty. He felt what he’d felt all day. Sympathy.
Jan opened his suitcase and emptied its contents onto the bed in front of him. A fuse, a timer, and a small grey lump of putty. He picked the putty up and squeezed it in his left hand. It wasn’t as malleable as he thought it should be. He pinched it between his index finger and thumb and tossed it back onto the bed. It was a form of beauty few men had ever experienced. The beauty of pure destruction. Destruction as man’s final creative act. All the fire and chaos: perfect like rose petals and milk. Einzurstende Neubaten: the dismantling of new buildings. Destruction. The concept of violence. He stepped back from the bed and a strange nostalgia for explosives welled up inside him. After all, that was what had brought him here in the first place. Explosives. It was why he was here, and why he was anything at all. He undid the top button of his shirt and stepped over to the curtains. He unfurled them. Then he took the bomb and hid it securely in the inner pocket of his raincoat hanging on the chair beside him. He might need it later. Any weapon would help.