Follow Me Home

Director: Peter Bratt
Screenwriters: Peter Bratt

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Overtly sociopolitical filmmaking is a dying genre in this country so Follow Me Home, besides being directed by a filmmaker whose origins are part Latino and part Native, is exceptional for a number of reasons. Part political allegory, part road trip, part biting satire, this film follows the trek of a foursome of American artists, all members of minorities—African-American, Chicano, Latino, and Native American—as they move literally and figuratively across the great American landscape.

As conceived by director Peter Bratt, this is a journey that takes place on numerous levels—spiritual, aesthetic, political, and individual—and becomes an encounter for both its protagonists and the viewer. Each of the four leads, later joined by a somewhat mysterious black woman they meet on the road, represents a kind of cross section of urban archetypes, but they are anything but stereotypes. The gang-banger, Chicano, tough-talking angry young man; the highly articulate black philosopher; the seemingly passive, yet intense and spiritually powerful, Native American; and the entrepreneurial Latino artist, part hustler and part visionary, are all on their way to Washington, D.C., to paint their mural on the side of the White House. Along the way, their interaction both with each other and with various white characters—a yuppie, bilingual businessman, the owner of a roadside restaurant, and finally a trio of American “patriots” playing Civil War games—presents an intriguing and provocative exploration of race, racism, and consciousness.

Clearly metaphorical, yet also compelling and powerful, Follow Me Home is an intelligent, at times deliberately calculated tale. Very strong performances by all the ensemble—Alfre Woodard, Benjamin Bratt, Jesse Borrego, Steve Reevis, and Calvin Levels—make this a memorable film debut.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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