It really is no wonder that the story of Cain and Abel is placed so close to the start of the Bible’s take on the history of mankind. Or that a story about a stolen birthright is used as the plot point on which the history of a people turns. Family troubles, with their building blocks of jealousy, resentment and intrigues, have been with us forever.
And this story is about all of that.
Even the principals involved, Peter and Paul, have biblical names. And what happened - to them and by them - in the heart of California’s great agricultural valley could be a tale straight from the Old Testament.
It was producer Vince Sturla who told me about it…asked me if I’d read Steinbeck’s East of Eden. And, sure enough, we discovered, it’s something like that classic novel, too - even shares the same grand stage.
There were victims, of course. The trusted farm manager, Roberto (Think Joseph, whose services were so useful to the Pharaoh) was killed, his family left to struggle without him.
And there are the Moores, the generations-long farming family, at the heart of the tragic tale.
We felt for both families. One, a widow and her children - short of money, but with a bumper crop of love for each other. And the other family, in possession of land of great value, but struggling to find peace with each other.