Following its win at the Sundance Film Festival for U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision, the worldwide rights to Descendant have been acquired by Netflix.
Per a press release: “Descendant follows members of Africatown, a small community in Alabama, as they share their personal stories and community history as descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to illegally transport human beings as cargo from Africa to America.”
The film is produced by Participant and will be presented by Higher Ground, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company.
“I have been humbled and honored to spend four years with the residents of Africatown as they seek justice and reconciliation for what happened in 1860, and what is still happening today,” director Margaret Brown said in a statement. “I am excited that through Netflix and Higher Ground’s global reach, audiences around the world will learn this powerful history.”
As states across the country enact laws to restrict access to teaching Black History, it’s never been more important for these stories to be told.
Imagine being so wrapped up in preventing some nonexistent guilt, that you don’t want the stories of these descendants tracing their history to be told?
After everything this country has done to Black people, the least it could do is to allow our history to be told in its full unvarnished, unfiltered truth.
“The ship’s existence, a centuries-old open secret, is confirmed by a team of marine archeologists. The film explores implications of the Clotilda’s discovery for the descendants, who grapple with their heritage while claiming the power to shape their own destinies,” per the official synopsis.
Higher Ground is also producing Netflix children’s series Ada Twist, Scientist, We the People and Waffles + Mochi.
Descendant is the tenth film in Participant and Netflix’s collaboration, and will be part of Participant’s “ongoing impact work dedicated to advancing both social and racial justice.”