BRUMEa Synopsis Contributed by Peter Coyote
A mysterious and malignant haze has colonized the city’s atmosphere. Plants are dying and the birds are gone. Numerous suicides are taking place throughout the city and the government has assumed ubiquitous and paternal powers. Soothing music is played through loudspeakers at night. Troubled people are consigned to healing centers, and an acute sense of watchfulness permeates the society.
On a once luxuriant apartment deck garden, four people struggle for normalcy, not only within the parameters of the impending environmental disaster, but with the vagaries of their own human nature.
Matilda is a doctor struggling to arrest premature childhood deaths with a vaccine that works sporadically but is all that is available. Matilda’s estranged husband, Teddy, a lawyer, is fighting her in court on behalf of parents who do not want their children subjected to the often deadly side-effects of this uncertain medication. Between them too, a corrosive feud festers. Teddy has always wanted a child of his own and resents Matilda’s dedication of her energy to other people’s children. This has led to betrayal and the fracture of their marriage.
Their neighbors and best friends, Phil, a detective charged with keeping a close- eye on potential suicides, and his wife, Jo, are deeply enmeshed in the lives of their friends. A secret within their marriage will upend their small, microcosmic community. No matter the weather, the most tempestuous climate of all is the human heart.