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"Twenty Lashes" is a Semi-Finalist in the Stage32 1st Annual Diversity Springboard Screenwriting Contest and a Quarter Finalist in the 6th Annual Feature Screenwriting Contest. Thank you Stage32!!
A Black businesswoman from NYC travels into the path of Hurricane Katrina searching for her missing husband just as a Klansman enters an all-Black backwater-juke-joint to initiate a provocative debate over what the South would be like had the Confederacy won the war. Then all hell breaks loose.
After receiving an anonymous package from her home town containing a horrifying Polaroid of her missing husband, Monique, a beautiful, well-to-do African American businesswoman from New York City travels into the path of Hurricane Katrina to unravel the mystery.
As the hurricane bears down on the Louisiana coast, Monique arrives at the Gaston Sheriff’s Office. There she shows the Polaroid to a childhood friend, Curtis--a local Cajun now on the force. The photo reveals a burning cross illuminating a handsome, trim, black man in his late forties hanging by the neck--dead. Next to him stand Antoine, a rough and battered middle age white man and numerous others--all wearing the traditional garments of the Ku Klux Klan.
We zoom into Antoine’s eyes and suddenly they are alive. He drives alone down an old dirt road running through an ancient shanty-town built on a remote plantation. He stops at Reggie’s Juke Joint, a cypress shack adorned with farm implements and, with hood-and-robe in hand, enters the all-black bar.
There he taunts the vigilant patrons with the truth about slavery and the Confederacy. As the debate (and the storm) intensifies, Antoine decides to recount a story. When he was ten-years-old, he nearly whipped an elderly Black man to death. He gave him twenty lashes. This is more than the patrons can bear. As the outer bands of Katrina assail the tiny hamlet, someone grabs a whip. Another a rope, and all hell breaks loose. As the Sheriff, Monique and Curtis arrive, all is revealed and nothing is as it seems.
Dedicated to the memory of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie, who had the courage to shine light upon the despicable truth.
First Prize Winner/Best of the Festival in the Festival of Media Arts, Las Vegas, NV.
"[This] story is the "Crash" of race movies." -Script Pipeline
"This is a strong, passionate, and timely script... deftly handling its complex themes, plots, and subject matter." -Scriptapalooza