Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: The Brother From Another Planet (1984)

From director John Sayles comes this sci-fi interpretation of slavery. We meet the honest and polite “Brother” (Joe Morton) who looks like an ordinary African American man apart from the fact he is mute and has three large toes on each foot.

Upon arrival in Ellis Island, the Brother displays psychic powers, being able to hear the experiences of the immigrants that came before him. The Brother also has telekinetic powers but, unable to speak, he struggles to express himself and adjust to his new surroundings, including a stint in the Job Corps at a video arcade in Manhattan.

He is chased by two white Men in Black (David Strathairn and director Sayles himself); Sayles’s twist on the Men in Black concept is that instead of government agents trying to cover up alien activity, Sayles’ Men in Black are also aliens, out to re-capture The Brother and other escaped slaves and bring them back to their home planet.

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