Genre: Drama, Feature Presentation
Pitch: Forrest Gump meets Fried Green Tomatoes
Logline: The year is 1961. Claire is a 19 year old freshman at Wellington College in upstate New York. One night returning from the library a man steps out from the shadows and grabs her. He takes her into the basement of the dorm where she is raped. No words are spoken and she never sees his face. She does not try to resist. When it is over he steps back and without a word walks out. She is afraid to tell anyone about it.
A few months later she finds out she is pregnant. She confides in her best friend Marcie who tells her that she should go home to her parents for help. Claire’s parents are rigid fundamentalist Christians. When she goes home and tells them she is rebuked and told “they want nothing to do with her their whore daughter”. Talk goes on around the campus that Claire is pregnant and that one of the professors is the father. There is nothing left for her here.
Claire decides to take out on her own. She wants no help. She ends up at a women’s shelter in Indianapolis where she has the child. She names the child Ragland after a 16th century writer. She decides not to keep the child and the baby is handed over to the state for custody. Claire wants to forget everything and start her life over again. A few days later she boards a bus with all her shame and guilt and goes to St. Louis.
Ragland is quickly adopted by a couple from Canton, Ohio. The Schultz’s love Ragland like he is their own. He has everything a child needs and above all lots of love. One night a terrible car accident kills both the parents. Ragland is 8 years old. He is put up for adoption again. This goes on for another 12 years, in and out of families but never finding security, love or a home. At 16 he decides that he can take care of himself and like his mother did he takes off on the road to find his fortune. Somewhere in there he gets the nick name “Rags” and that sticks with him the rest of his life.
Claire’s life follows the events of the 60’s. The Kennedy Assassination. The Beatles, Haight Ashbury, LSD and the summer of love, Berkley, Nixon and the Vietnam War. She plays in a rock band. She gets into drugs. She is married twice and through it all never finds the love she needs to complete herself. So she keeps running. Her life’s journeys take her to Australia, Vietnam, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Nova Scotia and finally to a nursing home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Rags bounces around all over the country, never able to settle down. He tries diesel school, he tries relationships, he tries construction, he tries dope dealing and he tries crime which lands him at the Tennessee State Prison. During his sentence Rags finds his redemption. He serves 7 years and when he is released he comes out as a certified nursing technician. The warden helps gets him a job at a nursing facility in Memphis. Rags loves helping and taking care of people. This is how he tries to make up for all the terrible things he had done in his life. He meets a new arrival at the home. She is a 68 year woman who has grown hardened and full of hate. She has come here to die. Her name is Claire.
Rags takes a special interest in the old woman. Over time he breaks thru her hard as diamonds’ attitude and they become closer. She tells him that she once knew someone named Ragland but it was a long, long time ago. Eventually the truth comes out. They are mother and son.
Through this miracle of redemption Claire is given back her son and Rags is given back his mother. They are now complete in each other. They both find the love that was always missing in their lives.