Potato Dreams of America

LGBTQIA+/Drama, United States 2021

Not available in your country
"What would Jesus do?" - in the USSR in the mid-1980s? For children of the young school age of little Vasili, who is affectionately called "Potato" by his mother Lena, there are probably more obvious imaginary friends than the Son of God. Especially when this Jesus "comes across" as quite feminine and prefers to lounge around on the couch in front of the TV, asking Potato questions about the future. During the turbulent years of perestroika, things become increasingly uncomfortable for Potato and his mother Lena, a doctor who looks after the prisoners in a gulag and worries about Potato's future. Every day, mother and son take refuge in the fantasy world of films that tell of the great American dream. For Potato, who is discovering his homosexuality, the "Muscles from Brussles" turn out to be particularly stimulating: action star Jean-Claude van Damme. Soon the films were no longer enough of a safe haven for mother and son and they decided to emigrate to America. And with success: it is not long before Potato's mother meets a man from the USA "as a mail-order bride". The only problem is that the new US dad isn't the best when it comes to tolerance either, which doesn't exactly make Potato's coming out any easier. In his autobiographical, award-winning short documentary "Little Potato", director Wes Hurley tells the story of his own life, his escape to the USA and his mother's new partner. Hurley was born in Vladivostok and already knew he was gay when he was still a schoolboy in the Soviet Union. His drama is bursting with narrative ingenuity and is divided into two contrasting narrative sections: the USSR on one side and the USA on the other. As different as the different lives in these two parts of the world may feel, what they have in common is the feeling of exclusion that the young man experiences because of his homosexuality. Wes Hurley tells the story of a difficult double coming-out in a captivating and endearing way, both spatially and symbolically, and takes an excitingly innovative approach to the coming-of-age genre - supported by a splendid ensemble cast! "Aesthetically, the film oscillates between off-theatre and sitcom, Ed Wood, Woody Allen in his "Annie Hall" phase and Gregg Araki, between satire and melodrama and politically between quick-witted criticism of dogmas of all stripes and a strict emancipatory impulse in the guise of a theatrical sitcom with astonishing camp elements. In the end, Potato is tired of having to explain to every lover what his "sexy" accent is all about and decides to make a movie of his story instead. The film ends with the shooting of the movie." (Ulrich Kriest, in: Filmdienst)
97 min
HD
Starting at 16
Audio language:
English
Subtitles:
DutchGerman

Awards

Seattle Queer Film Festival 2021 Audiance Award - Narrative Feature Wes Hurley
NewFest in NY 2021 Lobende Erwähnung U.S. Narrative Feature
L.A. Outfest 2021 Outstanding Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature Wes Hurley

More information

Director:

Wes Hurley

Writer:

Wes Hurley

Cast:

Hersh Powers (Russian Potato)

Sera Barbieri (Russian Lena)

Tyler Bocock (American Potato)

Marya Sea Kaminski (American Lena)

Jonathan Bennett (Jesus Christ)

Lauren Tewes (Nina Ivanovna)

Dan Lauria (John)

Lea DeLaria (Tamara)

Sophia Mitri Schloss (Mandy)

Original title:

Potato Dreams of America

Original language:

English

Format:

16:9 HD, Color

Age rating:

Starting at 16

Audio language:

English

Subtitles:

DutchGerman