Tribute GIFF: John SaylesKP

The Brother from Another Planet


John Sayle’s humorous science fiction film made with a very low budget of 350,000 dollars.
One day, a space alien crash-lands his ship on Ellis Island, close to Harlem in New York City. Other than his three-toed feet, he resembles a black human man. He cannot talk but manages to blend in with the people he encounters. He displays the ability to heal the wounds of himself and others, as well as fix machines, by holding his hand over the affected area. With this ability, he lands a job and secures housing in Harlem. His smooth transition begins to become shaky when two other white man-looking aliens from his home planet come to New York to return him home.
With satirical language of the SF genre, Sayles tells the story of the immigrant generation of African Americans who tried so hard to settle in Harlem but were treated as aliens due to racial prejudice. The Ellis Island where the alien crashes onto is now listed as an UNESCO heritage site for serving as the nation’s major immigration station in the past. Joe Morton plays the main character and doesn’t speak a word for the entire film. It sometimes feels like a silent picture and seeing his great performance is delightful as well.

1985 Sundance Film Festival
Beginning with ///Return of the Secaucus 7/// (1979) the films of John Sayles have been integral to the development of Independent Film in the United States. His films depict a world very different from the version offered by Hollywood. Sayles career as a storyteller began with his fiction which brought Sayles to the attention of legendary Director/Producer Roger Corman. One of his films ///Passion Fish/// (1992) won Sayles his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Sayles continues to work for hire on features and television series.
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