Three years sober, a father must deal with the reality that his son is transgender.
There are some things we just don’t talk about in polite company, right? Wrong.
If you’re a writer, nothing’s off limits. In fact it’s a part of the writer’s and filmmaker’s brief to shine the spotlight on difficult and taboo subjects, to challenge beliefs and stereotypes, expose rights and wrongs, educate, enlighten, and of course entertain.
We are proud to put under the spotlight the subject of gender dysphoria, more commonly known as: ‘transgender’. Put simply, transgender people believe they were born in the wrong body. Those affected are often sent on a painful and daunting road to self-discovery, and in the process stigmatized and held up to public ridicule.
Films such as: Boys Don’t Cry, Ma Vie En Rose, Tomboy, all examine the issue of gender confusion and identity from the point of view of the child. Writer Steven Clark takes a different approach with his aptly titled: Tempest Road, telling the story from the parents’ point of view.
For all intents and purposes, characters Ashley and Gary Broussard, a couple in their mid-thirties, represent ‘normal’ middle-class America. They enjoy a comfortable life – nice house, two cars parked in the garage… We assume they’re doing pretty well. When we meet them however, they’re midway through a heated argument, each of them doggedly trying to convince the other that they’re right and the other is wrong.
The point of contention? Their son Charlie, who believes: God messed up and made him a boy. Ashley is supportive of Charlie no matter what, in fact she’s aware of the potential and dire consequences a lack of acceptance could have on their child. Gary however, is having none of it. He’s embarrassed, worse still he claims Charlie is ruining their family. Charlie should be playing with basketballs and footballs not dresses and dolls. He’s a boy, that’s what God intended him to be. But Ashley thinks otherwise.
So, how does Gary cope? The only way he knows how, of course. The reformed alcoholic storms out of the house and heads straight for his local watering hole. Along the way he encounters a couple of people who may or may not inadvertently set him on the right path – one of them a rather attractive woman, the other a highway patrol cop.
Tempest Road is a thought provoking and intelligently told tale which avoids preaching and never veers into melodrama or histrionics. Instead it challenges beliefs on a delicate subject and poses questions to its audience, not the least of which is: Can acceptance, tolerance and love triumph over ignorance. Steven Clark also avoids a pat happily ever after denouement, instead offering us a final and satisfying message of hope.
Filmmakers: Take the right route to success with – Tempest Road.
Budget: Reasonable. A handful of locations – but as with most straightforward (hard hitting) drama, this is not a budget buster…
About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.
About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.