The Book of Joel WGAE1230381
This is a story about survival under the harshest of circumstances told with some humor and heart. The mini-series follows Joel Levy from a boy in New Orleans during the Jazz Age to manhood during the radical 1930’s in New York City. As a boy, Joel is raised by a black woman in a black neighborhood while his mother works as a caterer for fancy hotels and brothels in Vieux Carre. His father is a heavy drinker who organizes for the Wobblies. The family has to leave after a violent strike.
They settle in the lower east side of New York City. At the age of 12, Joel is abandoned by both of his parents in the midst of the Depression. They were the only family that he had. The rest of this story explores Joel’s resourcefulness as he comes of age during the labor movement in the garment district and discovers his cultural roots. He must also choose between two women who represent two paths America might take at that time. The story reflects a time in our history that was harder than now, a time when people chose to pull together.
The script, based on a family member, has been thoroughly researched, especially with the help of the ILGWU library at Cornell University.
In the Country of My Heart WGA1852171
Set in the very near future, In The Country Of My Heart is a feature length script that follows Sam Halpern, a New York sportswriter to Istanbul. His assignment is to cover the World Cup, but before he leaves, Sam is approached by someone and asked to help with the escape of a journalist/poet who was thought dead but is supposedly still being held prisoner. Sam’s priorities are drinking, gambling, and women, so he politely declines the offer. However, once in Turkey, he meets a very special woman and discovers a society festering with turmoil and a ruling class that won’t tolerate dissent, something he can’t seem to dodge.
His coverage of a sporting event turns into an odyssey in a land gripped by fear, and this journey becomes an inquiry into the meaning of his own life. Part suspense, part mystery, at the core of this script is a love story about two very lost people trying to find a way back home.