Alternating between the past in Northern California's East Bay area and the present in Israel, ASTONISHED LIVES
follows the journey of a recently widowed Jewish American man in his late 40's.
Mourning his beloved wife Madeleine, Lenny travels to Israel for the first time, struggling to find a way to cope with the loss of his mate of twenty years who succumbed to cancer.
Traumatized, Lenny battles insomnia and grief, medicating with anti-depressants. Once in Israel, he hits the road,
traveling between Tel Aviv/Yafo and Jerusalem, and to Safed, as well as visiting Ramallah, and Jericho, on the West Bank.
On his improvised route, he has memorable encounters with an aged Holocaust survivor living on a kibbutz, a seductive French woman who may be suffering from a case of 'The Jerusalem Syndrome', and a synagogue member who presses Lenny into service for what turns out to be an unorthodox event in Safed.
Then, back in Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Lenny runs into someone truly alluring. Zarah is a feisty thirty-something Palestinian
working as a cabaret singer. She and Lenny fall into an enchanted charged affair, which - despite some prejudice
they endure as a couple - provides a mostly romantic and sensual counterpoint to the darker memories which inform the end of Lenny's relationship with his late wife, which still haunt him.
Guiltily, Lenny is living two lives: one foot in the present, and another in the past, and that tension threatens to destroy his chances of enjoying a future.
Finally, due to his escalating relationship with Zarah, Lenny comes closer to confronting his demons, although he has
to survive a near fatal incident in Jericho, and come to a painful reckoning on top of the mountainside at Masada.
Ultimately, despite more disappointment and heartbreak, Lenny is able to peacefully transcend the trauma of loss, and begins to heal, and to find some solace and faith in a new positive vision of getting on with his life.
Combining black humor and stark pathos, pain and eros, interpersonal intimacy with wider socio-political perspectives, ASTONISHED LIVES is a suspenseful character based drama which offers engaging personalities, situations and settings and promises to be an evocative entertainment experience for adult audiences worldwide.