Title: Dagga Park
Written by: Dan Gohsler
Type: Feature Film
Logline: After his brother's overdose, a musician moves back to Nigeria to kick his own drug addiction and to reclaim the self worth he had in the Peace Corps. There he meets a young man who has an extraordinary talent for basketball, he vows he is going to help the boy play college ball in the US.
Synopsis: Set Up- (2004) From underneath their bed a young Dakarai and Mosi listen as their parents are murdered. As the man exits the room the boys notice a long scar on his ankle up to his lower leg.
Graham attends his brother's funeral and places drum sticks in his coffin. He speaks to his mother who suffers from severe Alzheimer's and is unable to process the gravity of the situation or even recognize who he is. It is also discovered that Graham's father passed away within the last year. He punches his and his brother's drug dealer Sid for showing up.
Inciting Incident - Graham returns to his apartment. There is an eviction notice on the door and it is a disheveled mess with used syringes lying on his beside table. He cleans one of the syringes with a bottle of vodka and takes a last shot of his remaining heroin. He packs a bag and grabs his guitar. Graham shamefully goes to the same drug dealer to buy more heroin. He is told he will have to wait for the Sid's man to bring him more smack. Graham apologizes to Sid for hitting him and informs of him of his plan to move to Africa. After he gets his drugs Graham pawns his guitar and gets on a flight to Nigeria. He hides his drugs inside a stick of deodorant in his suitcase.
Progress in Act 1- Graham arrives in Zimbabwe but his luggage has been lost. He finds a cheap hotel and tries to convince himself that he does not need to get high. He quickly loses that battle and begins to walk the streets in search of heroin.
1st Turning Point- Graham goes to a park where he was told he could find drugs. He talks to a young kid who runs off to find the dealer. While waiting for the dealer to arrive he sees Dakarai playing basketball and is impressed. Graham buys a small portion of heroin hoping that this will be his final time.
Progress First Half of Act II- Dakarai goes home where we are introduce to his style of life. They are living relatively comfortably due Mosi's involvement in drug trades as well as other illegal activities. Mosi comes home and places his gun on the table. He criticizes Dakarai for studying and says that the only way to make it in this city is with a gun, not books. Mosi tells Dakarai that he didn't get him that gun so it could sit in his beside table. Dakarai passively takes this abuse and says that he wants to become a teacher. Mosi says it is pointless because he will only be teaching future gang bangers. In his hotel room Graham has finished the last of his heroin and is in the midst of an extremely painful withdraw.
Mid-point Major Event- After giving in Graham returns to the park and waits anxiously for hours for more heroin. Again, he sees Dakarai playing ball. After all the other players have left Dakarai continues to shoot around. Graham, to try and keep his mind occupied, goes and shoots around with him. Graham tells him that he played in high school but was derailed by a knee injury (which lead to his addiction to pain killer and subsequently heroin). He compliments him on his playing and asks if he ever thought of going to play in America. Dakarai says he has not and is doubtful of his own abilities. Graham says he is completely confident he could and says he will see what he can do to make it happen. He tells Dakarai to meet him there on Friday. The dealer arrives and Graham gets his heroin fearing that he has lost Dakarai's respect. Mosi is in an apartment his gang uses for drug trade and counting money when four men with hoods bust through the door and rob them. Mosi and his gang realize it's time they seek protection by associating themselves with one of the two major drug lords in the city.
Progress Second Half of Act II- Graham does research on how he could help Dakarai and discovers that there is a showcase for the countries best basketball players being held in a month. Graham contacts one of the showcase's representatives who tells him to send him a reel of Dakarai. Graham returns to the park on Friday and films Dakarai playing despite his reticence. Graham is invited back to Dakarai's house for dinner. There, he gets in a slight altercation with Mosi about what his intentions are. Mosi accuses Graham of being a self-righteous prick who thinks that because he is from America he is automatically better then them. Graham explains that he is only trying to help and that in the end it is Dakarai's decision. Graham sends the man his tape and is told that Dakarai is invited to the showcase. Dakarai says he does not want to go. Graham tells him of his brother and his own problems and attempts to convince him to go. Dakarai says he will go if Graham remains sober. After hearing what the withdraw process is like, Dakarai offers to let him stay at his house.
2nd Turning Point- With help from Dakarai, Graham makes it through the withdrawal process. With a week before the showcase Graham has stayed sober but Dakarai seriously sprains his ankle. He goes to the hospital and is given painkillers. Dakarai and Graham leave for the town in which the showcase is being held which is a day's bus ride away. While Dakarai is asleep Graham takes two of his pills. Mosi goes to Obasi to ask for protection. He is told of the war that is brewing and is made to promise that he will be on their side when the time comes. Mosi agrees. When he is done talking, the man puts his feet up on the desk. Mosi sees his scar and immediately realizes who he is. Despite having a sprained ankle Dakarai plays exceptionally well and impresses all of the scouts. One of the scouts informs Dakarai of another showcase being held which will be attended by NCAA scouts. While attempting to kill Obasi, Mosi is shot and killed by one of Obasi's men.
Progress in Act III- Dakarai and Graham return home only to find out about Mosi's death from one of Mosi's gang members. He tells them that Mosi told him that Obasi is the man that killed their parents. Distraught Dakarai says he is going to kill Lekan. Graham pleads with him to no avail. Dakarai takes his gun from his bedside table and storms out the door. Graham takes Dakarai's painkillers and is ready to snort them when he violently wipes them off the table.
Climax Turning Point- Dakarai waits outside the building where he was told Obasi could be found. He thinks of what he could be throwing away and decides to walk away. As he is turning the corner Obasi and three of his men walk out of the building. Five men get out of a car right next to Dakarai and open fire. After of a minute of gunfire the men get back in the car and speed away. Dakarai walks back to the building that Obasi exited to see what happened. Obasi, who has been shot multiple times, pleads for help. Dakarai offers none and watches him die.
Resolution- Graham receives a phone call that his bag has finally made it to the airport.
Cut to 2 years in the future. On ESPN a basketball analysis is raving about Dakarai and his NBA potential. Graham is lying dead with a needles sticking out from his arm.
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