Leo Waters is an idealist architect from the suburbs whose designs for public housing projects have garnered him great acclaim. Tonya Neeley is a pragmatic activist from the projects who is determined to have the decaying, gang-ridden homes torn down.
Leo is unable to separate the current ills of the public housing efforts from the great ideals from which they were born. He can see only the blueprints; he’s blind to the cracks in the plaster. And his denial is mirrored in his personal life.
Leo fails to connect with his closeted son, Martin, who has returned home after dropping out of school. He is unaware that Daddy's little girl, his dutiful daughter Christina, is confused by her burgeoning sexuality and is acting out this confusion by hitchhiking rides with father figures, late into the night. And he is completely oblivious to the deeper implications of his wife Corinne’s fixation with the city’s decaying environment.
Unlike Leo, Tonya is all too aware that her intelligent teenage daughter Cammie could become just another inner city statistic. Tonya allows Cammie to live with her boyfriend’s wealthy family and attend a better school. But their distance isolates mother and daughter, and further buries Cammie’s unexpressed grief for the death of her brother.
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