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Thunderings

 

This script follows the lives of 5 youngsters, 3 Latino, one African American and one white, living at the Lazarus Community, a settlement house on 6th street and Avenue C, on the Lower East Side. Run by an Irish immigrant who’s a Byzantine priest from a 6 story brick building in the 1970’s. Father Roland Hayes is offered a dream of moving to a house and land donated by a wealthy Anglo woman, Mrs. Daily, who’s followed the exploits of Father Roland and the Lazarus Community, in Daily News stories from her Glenhaven, Connecticut home.

 

We follow these youngsters from tenement rooftops, and garbage covered rat infested streets, their run-in with the police, and tender moments with Basillo, a blind dark skin Dominican running a newspaper stand, employing Alex while guiding him to a better life. Having to earn more than the news stand provides we see Alex and some of the boys interact with drug dealers living on the Upper East Side, on Park Avenue and suburban New Jersey. They meet in parked cars on the street of the Lower East Side, getting the product that is the mainstay of their spending money. Money, in Alex’s case, that helps with his mother’s rent and food.

 

Painting a picture of a life filled with starts, stops, drugs, parties, adventures and most of all hope, Father Roland and his charges battle the bigotry and fear of Glenhaven’s residents. Whipping up the hysteria Rodney, the Real Estate broker who has his eye on the Daily property for development of a Eli Lilly research facility, hires local muscle to keep them from ever stepping foot on the land. Calling a special meeting of the towns’ council to change the zoning of the Daily property, Rodney attempts to head off the donation while he stokes the fires of fear causing this suburban town to explode with terror and anxiety anticipating the new neighbors and the perceived troubles they will bring.

 

While the goons go about setting fire to the Daily house, Ethel, an ex IRA member, and Father Roland’s right hand, stops them cold, with the help of the Almighty, saving the day and the dream.

 

The Lazarus Community and the towns’ people together begin a new day of life without fear.

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