Little Potato: From Soviet Nightmares to American Dreams

We all have stories. Our stories. Where we come from. Who we are. Where we are going, or want to go.  The challenges our lives might present. Depending on where we live, and what restrictions that culture presents. Some live in unheeded, unaware privilege. Others, as the saying goes, not so much.


When Wes Hurley and his mother arrived in Seattle twenty years ago, the doors were thrown open to think and feel and act in different ways than what life had presented in Vladivostok. It’s the largest city on the eastern shores of Russia. Large, maybe yes, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful. But the city itself, Wes tells me, is provincial and backward.

He describes Vladivostok as a mean, hopeless kind of place with the feeling that nothing is going to get better. Add to that, he is a young gay boy. He and mother Elena, immerse themselves in pirated American movies. And thus, a plan is hatched to move to America. And so is born a documentary Wes co-directed with Nathan Miller, that recently won the Documentary Short Award at SXSW 2017, among the many accolades.




Here’s is my conversation with Wes. His beautiful takeaway is to scream from the rooftops “LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!!!!!”


Plan on seeing it at the Portland Queer Film Festival 9/29-10-4 at Cinema 21. I would post a trailer to both his documentary and the fabulous short Rusakla, which will also be showing at the festival. (It hasn’t gone live yet). But for now, catch up with and enjoy the web series that began this whole, magical trip. CAPITOL HILL. Here’s the most recent. From there, catch up to the rest.



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A skipping stone from Portland, to Michigan, New York City, and back to Portland. It was theatre and dance worlds in Manhattan. And here in Portland, total immersion into the radio broadcasting world, more dance, theatre, art and endless music.

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