Don’t you *love* The Brother from Another Planet? I first saw this film as a child with my dad who is a John Sayles fan. Joe Morton’s performance moved me even then. The film has stuck with me all of these years and at the time of its release as a small-budget, independent film, it was a critical and cult success.
Morton plays a fugitive slave who has escaped slavery on this planet and crashed into Earth. His space ship crash lands in the Hudson Bay right near Ellis Island, the first landing place for so many European migrants leaving as refugees to arrive to start their new lives in New York. This Ellis Island migration and origin story is of course not the migration story of African Americans who were forced on board ships on the West Coast of Africa to arrive as slaves in the New World. The Brother is an incredibly sensitive man who cannot speak but has a healing and empathic touch. Music moves him and it seems to be a language with which he can commune.
How does this film pick up on themes that emerge in Space is the Place? How is it different? How does this film comment on race, class, and the rising drug crisis of the 1980s in cities?
Please feel free to provide your own original analysis of the film. I will chime in as I can during Week 5 of the course.