Small town West Texas football comes to Brooklyn when high school quarterback America "Ricky" Brown journeys to New York City to confront the demons that haunt him at home: the death of his brother and the pressure to succeed on the gridiron. In Brooklyn, Ricky looks up his brother's old teammate John Cross, who has grown alienated from his Texas roots and become a priest. Cross is plagued by his own demons, including a crisis of faith that has led him to engage in a relationship with a woman. He must own up to his lack of faith and determine whether his future lies in the Church or outside it. As they struggle with their problems, these two seemingly different people come to realize that neither of them can completely leave the dusty Texas football fields behind. But before Ricky can come to terms with his own issues, his high school coaches track him down at Cross' apartment, forcing the riveting conclusion. Karen Black is marvelous as Ricky's mother, while Natasha Lyonne provides able support as Vera, a woman Ricky meets in Brooklyn. America Brown is a movie about how the past will never be behind us until we confront what troubles us, about trying to fit in and not knowing how.
Director's Statement Collapse
The story America Brown was born out of the essence of its main character, America Brown. Over the course of its four years in development, the story assumed four different structures and roughly 15 different drafts. I was looking for a story in which I could convey to an audience my own view that we're all searching for a home within ourselves, and that more often than not, we need to leave home in order to find it. Perspective is a driving theme in my own life. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger; and sometimes we need perspective to know we're not dead, that life, despite its desperate disappointments, is a gift to be cherished. I feel privileged to have worked with so many talented people, all with the expressed purpose of turning my words into moving pictures. Ryan Kwanten plays America. He is one of the most remarkable and inspiring people I've ever come across. He is the living embodiment of America Brown. I believe this journey has brought Ryan (an Australian) and I (an Englishman) that much closer to "home."
About the Director(s)Collapse
Born in London, Paul Black studied psychology and economics at McGill University in Montréal and also lived in Toronto, Barcelona, and London before taking up residence in New York City. Though he has had no formal training as a filmmaker, Black wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning short film Please! as well as the feature-length America Brown, both of which were independently financed.