“We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.”

Writer and director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April, Dan in Real Life) presents a rounded, empathetic, and insightful look at the experiences of 24 New Yorkers as they struggle with the many crises of the spring and summer of 2020. Among the challenges are the unsettling early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, the anger unleashed by the Black Lives Matter movement, and the divisiveness of the upcoming 2020 elections.

The Same Storm moves fluidly from one story to another giving us a panoramic glimpse of a city under lockdown and its citizens frightened about the future. The first vignette deals with the grief and anxiety of a black middle-aged woman (Noma Dumezweni) who has just learned on the phone that her husband is in critical condition; the male nurse (Raul Castillo) at the hospital doesn’t know how much more to tell her.

The tensions of the conflicted times fuel family troubles. One of these involves the hyper-emotional son (Jim Ha) whose refusal to take his meds sends his distraught mother (Sandra Oh) back to her alcohol addiction. Another heated battle takes place between a black cop (K. Todd Freeman) and his daughter (Moses Ingran) over her decision to march in a demonstration. The most dramatic episode reveals the explosive political differences between a mother (Rosemarie DeWitt), a teacher (Alison Pill), and three conservatives.

Watching this drama we see and feel the seeds of division which keep people apart even at times when they most need to feel connected.