1 EXT. PLAYGROUND IN PARK - DAY 1
WIDE ANGLE VIEW:
A playground in Brooklyn. A winter sun
shines brightly. Stark trees and patchy grass.
A boy of about 10 years stands apart from a group of kids
In his hand he is holding a large piece of tree branch,
twirling it absently, with the thick end out, for his own
Another boy, with the support of the group, starts shouting
abuse at him. Though the words aren’t audible, it’s clear
that things are getting tense.
A verbal exchange is followed by some threatening gestures
on both sides. One boy shoves, the other shoves back.
It’s all pretty unremarkable until the first boy,
practically reflexively, strikes the second with the branch.
The wounded child is doubled over, his face in his hands.
The others crowd around him.
The boy who hit him also starts to take a step toward the
group of children. He seems distraught.
2 INT. LONGSTREET APARTMENT - DEN - DAY 2
A narrow room converted to a home office. Winter light
filters through the only window.
On a table against one wall there are some periodicals -
topical magazines about contemporary history and UNESCO
publications. There are also some assorted papers, a school
notebook, a few baubles and a laptop computer.
PENELOPE LONGSTREET is seated at the computer.
Her husband, MICHAEL, is standing by amiably, leaning over
and already prepared for the words which are to follow.
Also standing there, but a couple of steps back, are ALAN
and NANCY COWAN. They are dressed in business clothes. She
must have put her coat down somewhere, he has his on his
arm. They both stare at the screen.
It is clear from the start that these two couples are not
close. The prevailing mood is serious, cordial and tolerant.
PENELOPE reads out loud the words written on the screen:
“January 11, at 2:30 PM.”
(with a glance behind
her toward the
You’ll make your statement
separately, this is ours.
“...following a verbal dispute in
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Zachary Cowan,
age eleven and armed with a stick,
struck our son, Ethan Longstreet, in
the face. In addition to the
swelling and bruising of Ethan's
upper lip, this act also resulted in
two broken incisors, including nerve
damage to the right incisor."
Armed. You don't like armed? Michael,
what could we say? Carrying? Holding?
Carrying a stick, is that all right?
Carrying a stick.
PENELOPE enters the correction on the laptop.
She prints the single page and hands it to NANCY COWAN.
It's ironic, we always thought the
Brooklyn Bridge Park was safe.
Compared to Hillside.
Once the paper is in his wife’s hand, ALAN COWAN tries to
cut the meeting short, starts backing up toward the foyer.
They continue talking as all make their way progressively
toward the front door.
We always said, Brooklyn Bridge Park,
fine. Hillside, no way.
Only goes to show you. But hey, thank
you for coming. It's so much better
than getting caught up in that
Well we thank you. Really.
I don't think we have to thank each
other. At least some of us still have
a sense of community, right?
Though the kids haven't got that
notion straight yet. I mean our kid.
Right, our kid!
Nancy walks into the living room to retrieve her coat.
3 INT. LONGSTREET LIVING ROOM - DAY 3
The LONGSTREET’s living room is modest and homey. There’s
a partial view of the elevated subway. The furnishings
are improvised and disparate, with a few ethnic touches.
There is a large bookshelf.