Above and Below is a rough and rhythmic roller coaster ride seating five survivors in their daily hustle through an apocalyptic world. A journey of challenges and beauty in uncomfortable places: Rick & Cindy, Godfather Lalo in the flood channels deep down under the shiny strip of Sin City. Dave in the dry and lonesome Californian desert and April in simulation for a Mars mission in the Utah desert. Through the hustle, the pain and the laughs, we are whisked away to an unfamiliar world, yet quickly discover the souls we encounter are perhaps not that different from our own.
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Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He does so by buying heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. Based on a true story.
Olive, an average high school student, sees her below-the-radar existence turn around overnight once she decides to use the school’s gossip grapevine to advance her social standing. Now her classmates are turning against her and the school board is becoming concerned, including her favorite teacher and the distracted guidance counselor. With the support of her hilariously idiosyncratic parents and a little help from a long-time crush, Olive attempts to take on her notorious new identity and crush the rumor mill once and for all.
Alma’s family has been producing quality olive oil in the Baix Maestrat area of Spain’s Castellón for generations. Yet changing pressures in the industry have made their traditional practices economically untenable, and the family is now in the mass-production poultry business. Alma’s grandfather has not spoken in years. Sadness envelopes him, and he no longer wants to eat. His sons—Alma’s father and uncle—are impatient with him, but Alma understands her grandfather. She realizes he has been grieving for a thousand-year-old olive tree that the family has uprooted and sold to pay some debts. (A sadly common reality in Castellón at present.) Unable to bear the idea that her grandfather could die without seeing this terrible wrong corrected, Alma undertakes a quixotic mission to locate the tree and return it to the family orchard, so that her grandfather may have peace in his final days.
There are three stories of women and men: in “A Time for Love” set in 1966, a soldier searches for a young woman he met one afternoon playing pool; “A Time for Freedom,” set in a bordello in 1911, revolves around a singer’s longing to escape her surroundings; in “A Time for Youth” set in 2005 Taipei, a triangle in which a singer has an affair with a photographer while her partner suffers is dramatized. In the first two stories, letters are crucial to the outcome; in the third, it’s cell-phone calls, text messages, and a computer file. Over the years between the tales, as sexual intimacy becomes more likely and words more free, communication recedes.
Gwendolyn Shepherd is a normal 16-year-old, but her family holds a secret: A time-travel gene is expressed in the clan inherited, but not every member of the family is blessed with. Everyone is certain that Gwen’s cousin Charlotte has the gene. However, someday Gwendolyn suddenly finds herself in London at the end of the 19th century and realizes that it her, who was born a time traveler. While she is not very enthusiastic about it she will do everything possible to solve the ancient mysteries of the red ruby.