(director/writer: Margaret Brown; screenwriter: Kern Jackson; cinematographers: Justin Zweifach, Zac Manuel; editors: Michael Bloch, Geoffrey Richman; music: Ray Angry, Rhiannon Giddens, Dirk Powell; cast: Kamau Sadiki, Emmett Lewis, Vernetta Henson, Veda Tunstall; Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Margaret Brown/Kyle Martin/Essie Chambers; Netflix; 2022)
“An insightful investigation historical documentary.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An insightful investigation historical documentary directed by Margaret Brown (“The Great Invisible”/”The Order of Myths”) and co-written by her and Kern Jackson. It tells of the last slave ship, the Cltilda, to land in Alabama, in 1860, bringing 110 slaves. Info on this was affirmed by the author Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”, that was published in 2018. It verifies the testimony of Cudjoe Lewis, one of the last survivors, who was interviewed in 1927.
The ship’s remains are now in the hands of scientists, researchers, and historians, as more answers are expected about that event after research is completed.
What the documentary does really well is tell of the modern-day Africatown community (located outside of Mobile), and establish that its long-suppressed history is confirmed at last and that the money soon to come from tourism should go the right party–those who are eligible for slavery reparations over historical wrongs.
It played at the Sundance Film Festival
REVIEWED ON 11/4/2022 GRADE: B