Parents' Guide to

Brother Future

By S. K. List, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

A moving story of slavery and freedom.

Movie NR 1991 116 minutes
Brother Future Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 9+

A Great Message on Many Levels

I am a teacher who uses this during Black History Month. It teaches about slavery, but more importantly about the importance of reading and education. It also teaches about giving of oneself without an expectation of reward.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 17+
I teach 11th and 12th grade at a Ill. Hs. We have found this movie to be instrumental.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Few youngsters will be able to resist the trick of time that whisks the hip, feckless T.J. out of the present and into slavery. They'll readily identify with him when the movie capitalizes on the time switch: T.J. briefly parodies Robin Leach with an ironic "Lifestyles of the Rich and Racist" bit, and he helps his friend Josiah woo another slave, Caroline, by writing an impromptu rap.

But kids will also embrace the deeper story here as T.J.'s hip-hop style fails him. Brother Future proves its worth in the touching relationships T.J. establishes with his fellow slaves. Held in cruel captivity, his memories of modern-day independence grow all the more precious. "Slavery is a psyche, a mind-game," he tells Josiah. "They want you to think you're not as good as them so they can work you to death." In the end, T.J. rises to the challenge, overcoming his self-interest to help Josiah and Caroline escape. Throughout the film the hardships of slavery are conveyed in a way young viewers and their families can easily absorb.

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