This pilot is the first episode of Forgiveness, a multi-episode teleplay that brings to life the next epic chapter in human history: what happens after we fail to prevent the disastrous consequences of climate change. Specifically, how will the next generation of young people react to its shattered world?
By the mid-2040s, the unbalanced climate system has drowned coastal cities, released plague from melting permafrost, killed millions through heat-induced famines and created vast streams of climate refugees. The United States has broken apart. The damage is irrevocable.
Surrounded by elders who perpetrated an avoidable crime, Generation A – Abandoned in the Anthropocene Era – responds in diverse ways. Some young people seek revenge. Some fall prey to denial or despair, others join utopian communities and still others find refuge in techno-fantasies of repairing the biosphere or traveling back in time to prevent climate calamity. Many, however, embrace the transformative act of forgiveness.
Specifically, Forgiveness is the story of Jessi Coatz, born in 2020. In the mid-2040s, after her father is killed at an eco-rally in WDC, Jessi abandons her career as a scientist and joins the Dark Curtain Society, a group devoted to forgiving those who denied or abetted climate change. Her zeal evolves into a quest to sky-write messages of forgiveness to every president since Bill Clinton. Most poignantly, Jessi seeks to forgive the 50th and last American president, Jonathan Pierce, whose rash order led to the death of her father.
Jessi’s unique tool is a solar-powered, skywriting hang glider.
The pilot episode of Forgiveness dramatizes Jessi’s tumultuous journey, from her childhood to her father’s tragic death. In episode two she begins to embrace forgiveness and reawakens to love. Her growing activism is punctuated by personal disasters in episode three, which leads to her epic forgiveness quest across the United States in episode four. Episode five dramatizes her boyfriend Aedan’s adventures at a utopian community in Newfoundland, and episode six tracks Jessi as she evades her sworn enemy, the coal baron Arne Bracken, and his killer hawk drone. In the end, her lone journey of forgiveness may provide redemption for us all.
Project Type:Television Script
Number of Pages:48
Country of Origin:United States
Vail Screenplay ContestEdwards, CO
September 24, 2021
Filmatic Screenplay AwardsLost Angeles, CA
July 21, 2021
Scriptapalooza TV Writing CompetitionLos Angeles, CA
February 14, 2020
Drama Inc. Screenplay CompetitionAtlanta Georgia
April 18, 2020
Hal LaCroix is the author of Journey Out of Darkness, a nonfiction book about American prisoners of war in WW II and their struggles to find peace and purpose after the war. A graduate of Boston College, he has worked as a reporter and columnist at newspapers around New England, as an environmental advocate for the Appalachian Mountain Club, as a writing instructor at Boston University, and as the communications manager for the Immune Disease Institute at Harvard Medical School. His writings about climate change, Mount Monadnock and hiking the Israel National Trail are at hallacroix.com.