Premiering at this year’s SXSW festival, “Little Potato” centers around the Seattle-based artist Wes Hurley and the obstacles he faced as a gay man growing up in Russia. Including an interview with his mother, “Little Potato” focuses on a mother and son wanting to find a better life for themselves outside the confines of an oppressive Russian regime.
In this short doc, Hurley opens up about the confusion he felt when he began fantasizing about men while in Russia. He thought he was alone. In the film, Hurley’s mother states that “no one talked about gay people back then, that they didn’t exist.”
American films ended up being the family’s saving grace. With exposure to American cinema, Mrs. Hurley saw a prosperous opportunity for her and her son. Hurley’s mother became a mail-order bride for American men; unfortunately, she endured similar mistreatment to what she faced in Russia once she arrived in the states, but nothing was worse than the possibility of being deported back to Russia.
In America, Wes Hurley discovered that he was not alone in being gay, that there was a vocal, present, and proud community that he could identify with that was fighting for equal rights and liberties.
In our exclusive clip from the short doc, Wes and his mother discuss their love for American film. Check it out below.