On the heels of a big boost from Michelle and Barack Obama, the Africatown documentary “Descendant” has a release date.
Variety announced that the film will be released on October 21 “on Netflix and in select theaters.” The news was also shared by director Margaret Brown.
“Descendant” tells the story of the final voyage of the slave ship Clotilda but focuses more on the Africatown community founded by the survivors of the voyage. Co-written by Brown and University of South Alabama professor Kern Jackson, it premiered in January at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. It won a Special Jury Prize for Creative Vision and was picked up by Netflix and the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground.
Last weekend, the Obamas made a surprise appearance at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival to introduce the documentary and its makers. Michelle Obama said the film was exactly the type of work she and her husband had hoped to promote when they formed their production company.
“When we screened this…we watched it and immediately thought, ‘This is why we’re doing Higher Ground,'” Michelle Obama said. we can’t follow this tradition of keeping our pain silent, because what this film shows us is that our stories are the power that makes us see.
It was not immediately clear how widespread the theatrical release would be, or whether it would include theaters in the mobile region.