A Brother's Kiss

Institute History

  • 1995 January Screenwriters Lab


This is the story of Lex. We meet him in a fleabag Spanish Harlem hotel. He's strung out and wired and waiting for someone. The someone is his kid brother, Mickey, a cop. The tension between the two is evident. It is the elder brother's birthday, and for the first time, Mickey has forgotten.

Lex seems to be, not for the first time, in trouble. He tells Mickey that he killed someone, but has he? What ensues is a series of scenes that sometimes comically jump back and forth in time to sensitively explore the complexities of sibling love, rivalry, dependency and anguish. Suggestions are offered as to why one grew up to be a dope fiend and the other a cop—reasons not entirely simple.

As Lex desperately searches for answers, we learn about his intensely loving, funny and complicated mother, his wife, his several lovers, his love for his child, his introduction to crime, drugs, and how being from the last white family living on east 109th Street in Spanish Harlem helped define the person he has become.

We met Lex on his twenty-seventh birthday—the last day of his life. As the story spirals toward tragedy, we come to know him, to care for him and to wish his life could have been different.


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