[first lines] Narrator:
Once upon a time... a long, long time ago... there was a mystical city, Tar. And at that time all the cities were intact and flourishing, because the final war had not yet begun. When the great catastrophe occurred, all the cities crumbled... except Tar. Tar still exists. If you know where to look for it, you will find it. And when you get there you will be presented with wine and water and play with a gramophone. When you get there, you will help harvest grapes and you will pick up scorpions hidden under white rocks. When you get there... you will know eternity. You'll see a bird that drinks one drop of water from the ocean every hundred years. When you get there, you'll understand life and you'll become a cat, phoenix, swan, elephant, baby and an old man. You'll be alone and accompanied. You'll love and be loved, sharing the same space... and yours will be the seal of seals. As you approach the future, you'll find... Ecstasy. It will overwhelm you and never abandon you.
[first title card] Title Card: First Chant: The Tree Sought Refuge In The Leaf Fando's Father: Let's play. Okay, I'm a famous pianist. Young Fando: If you're a famous pianist, and I cut off your arm... then what will you do? Fando's Father: I'll become a famous painter. Young Fando: And if I cut off the other one, what will you do? Fando's Father: I'll become a famous dancer. Young Fando: And if I cut off your legs, then what? Fando's Father: Then I'll become a famous singer. Young Fando: And if I cut off your head, then what? Fando's Father: Once dead, my skin will become a beautiful drum. Young Fando: What if I burn the drum? Fando's Father: I will become a cloud and take on any shape. Young Fando: And if the cloud dissolves, what then? Fando's Father: I will become rain and produce a harvest of wars! Young Fando: You win. I'm going to miss you when you're gone. Fando's Father: If you ever feel too lonely... search for the magical city of Tar. Lis: [singing] To Tar... To Tar... / So close and yet so far. Young Lis: The tree disguised itself as a leaf, the house as a door and the city as a house. The same scene over and over. Lis: We're here. [pause] Lis: To advance a mile, we only have to take a step. If Tar doesn't exist, we can invent it. Fando: Everything seems so difficult, but you always have an answer. Lis: No, not always. Sometimes I pretend to have one. Fando: But this isn't a game, Lis. Lis: Yes, Fando. I know it's no game. Fando: [looks around] Is this the way to Tar? Pope: [stares closely into Fando's eyes] If you think it is, then it is. Fando: [takes another look] This *is* the way to Tar! Fando: Look at the flowers, Lis. Lis: I don't see any, Fando. Fando: [becoming angry] It doesn't matter. Look at them! Lis: But there aren't any. [begins sobbing] Fando: Don't cry. I told you to look at the damn flowers! Lis: Yes, Fando. I'm sorry. Fando: [picks her up] What a crybaby! Lis: [pause] It's beautiful here with all the flowers and trees.