The Way We Were

During L.A.'s rise and fall of integration two brothers world's collide. Who will survive between blood and culture?

This is a fact-based fictional story based on true events about the coming of age and escapism of urban youth during the 1980's.

Punctuated by the short-lived spread of recently embraced integration efforts with first generation busing (Permits with Transportation) recipients, an ever increasing and unharnessed presence of Black youth beyond the inner-city's borders was felt. The story centers around the growth, survival, rivalry and love between two brothers Val and Cid Ridgeway. They find themselves both lured, engulfed and trapped between two worlds of L.A.’s new and developing alternative music and dance scene, and the incessant spread of the crack-cocaine epidemic and L.A.'s rapidly spreading gangland.

In the West Adams district of west L.A, Val finds escape through alternative music, dance and fellowship among a few like minds. With the sweeping current of British ska, Pop, reggae, hip-hop and punk rock making its debut compounded by an integrated school experience, Val takes notice and see’s this as an alternative to what he’s otherwise known all his life.

The diversity of sound and dance causes some static among some locals but most formidably his older brother, Cid. But among a few, it is seen as an outlet exclusive to those who lend an ear.
Flying by the seat of their pants, Val and his crew play by their own rules, making a way against the grain for themselves.

Val is also drawn to the dancehalls where he meets the love of his life. His heart-throb wonder lust is also caught in the wave of the music scene as a member of one of the many local dance groups (The Good Girls, The Untouchables, The Groovers, The Romeo's, Stoney Boys, etc). Joyceline Marray (Joy) who is not only an exception to the rule, but a rebel against all authority that mimics conformity. She would soon be faced with a decision that will change her life forever.

Cid, the elder brother by 3 years, is a jack of all trades, a natural resource to many and talent in his own right who remains in a state of mourning even after several years following the tragic death of their father. He unfortunately gravitates to the underworld of gangland, territorial rights and deviant behavior.

Cid takes note that the era and the trends around him are rapidly changing the mood, dress and style in which local city kids relate. Cid is often trying to be the replacement father figure of his younger brother and man of the house over his mother resulting in circular conflict with both.

With the advent of President Clinton’s new draconian policies waging war on both drugs, crime and poverty compounded by LAPD's Chief, Darryl Gates “Operation Hammer” as a response to city-wide crime leading up to the Westwood shooting in 1988, his world drives him to a point of engaging in activity that ultimately causes their two worlds to collide.

  • Rome Mubarak
    The Way We Were
  • Rome Mubarak
    The Introspect
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay, Treatment
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Cannes Screenplay Competition 2019
    Paris, France
    Best Treatment Category
  • Peachtree Village International Film Festival 2019
    Atlanta, GA.
    October 26, 2019
    Second Place Winner
Writer Biography - Rome Mubarak, Rome Mubarak

Born and raised in South-central Los Angeles, I have had an extraordinary life as an African American male transcending stereotypes by being exposed to the world and its different mediums by living abroad, owning International real estate and seeing my own country and her people's from the outside looking in.
Film and photography have always been an integral part of my life since childhood. Conveying life's magic as a member of my high school's yearbook staff to present day as a re-entry graduate student at UCLA's Extension program. Presently on the Director's track, I also find myself wanting to study cinematography as well since that is my childhood background.
To date, with several completed screenplays to my name, I am eager to learn more and move forward in their development.

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Writer Statement

Short-term sacrifices make for long-term goals.