Fate and Faith by Max Hechtman | Script Revolution

Fate and Faith

A boy loses his father to a 9/11-related illness, leading to the loss of his friends. Through the help of new friends, he tries to get his life back on track.



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Based On: 
true life events

Brenden, a 14-year-old African American, goes with his mother to visit his father in the hospital in New York City. The father, approximately 50 years in age, has a terminal illness that resulted from the chemicals caused by the debris and destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and is trying his best to survive his current state. He tells Brenden that he is special and will do many good things in his life, such as getting into a great college and being accepted in a world where race and color don’t affect the way he is treated by his peers. The next morning at home, Brenden’s mother abruptly interrupts Brenden’s sleep and announces that his father is dead. Brenden becomes heart-broken at the news. The funeral takes place a few days later, and as everyone leaves the cemetery, specific family members who care for the now mother-son duo come up to share their condolences. The only ones who don’t are Brenden’s large majority of friends, making him think something is going on with the way they’re starting to perceive him.

The next day at school, this feeling comes true when during english class, a friend of his, Tyler, a popular 13-year-old white athlete, whispers something negative about Brenden’s father to a classmate next to him. Brenden, still emotional from the events of his father’s death, overhears this and gets into a verbal, then physical fight with Tyler, causing a rampage in the class. Brenden is sent to the principal, where Brenden explains his feelings and belief of why his friends are starting to stray from him. The principal listens to Brenden and responds that he understands that in times like these, people change and move on and because people are afraid of the topic of death, they want to hide that fear. When Brenden returns home, he tells his mother everything and she comforts him.

A few days past and Brenden meets in the school cafe, Brenda, a white 14-year-old, who tells him that she faced the passing of her own mother, but didn’t give up in working hard and believing that her mother is watching down on her right now, seeing the good that she is doing for her friends and family. This inspires Brenden to do the same thing. During the next week, Brenden tries to ignore Tyler’s joking and works hard, paying attention to the class. He studies his homework at home and prepares for an English test. The film ends when Brenden receives back his test with an A marked on it, complete with a note from the English teacher: Your Dad would have been very proud of you. Great job! Brenden smiles for the first time since the last time he saw his father and turns to the window to look at the sunny sky, knowing in his mind that his father is looking down on him proudly.

Submitted: October 21, 2018
Last Updated: October 23, 2018

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The Writer: Max Hechtman

MAX HECHTMAN , a graduate of the Film and Media Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) , NYC, is a Long Island and New York-based filmmaker. His narrative and documentary work has received recognition at various film festivals nationally. His goal is to use the art of film to bring attention to issues that challenge his and other generations, through subject matter and stories that are relatable and impact our lives. In addition to filmmaking, he has been working as a professional video editor for the past five years. He hopes to continue his work in production and post-production and pursue film projects, including short and feature-length narratives and documentaries that... Go to bio

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