Potato Dreams of America


Director: Wes Hurley
2021 | USA | 95m
GENRE: Camp | Comedy | Coming Out | Experimental | Gay | Immigration/Exile | Music/Music Videos | Parenting/Family | Queer | Trans Women/Transfeminine | Transgender | Youth (18 & Under)
SECTION: Drive-Ins | Narrative Features

A wonderful blend of camp, melodrama, and earnest coming-of-age fable, this is the charmingly wild tale of young Potato, a sensitive, closeted kid in the splintering Soviet Union whose only joy is watching pirated Hollywood movies on a black-and-white TV. Struggling to survive and fed up with her work as a prison doctor, his single mother Lena decides to become a mail-order bride. When an eccentric suitor proposes, Lena and Potato set sail for America on a strange new adventure.

Expanding on his award-winning short documentary Little Potato (Frameline41), Potato Dreams of America is based on writer-director Wes Hurley’s own unbelievable childhood. He strikes a wonderfully flamboyant, hyper-stylized tone as he utilizes sitcom tropes and brashly displays the influence of queer directors like Gregg Araki, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Derek Jarman. The casting is equally as colorful: Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett appears as a fey Jesus Christ, while Lea DeLaria portrays Potato’s brassy grandmother and Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) is Lena’s secretive husband.


Buying Note: This is an in-person screening for Tue, Jun 15 at the FORT MASON FLIX Drive-In. For streaming tickets, please click here. Price is per car, not per person.


San Francisco Sketchfest, LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ+ Youth, San Francisco Film Festival, San Francisco Independent Film Festival