“THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD”
Caribbean Film Series at BAMcinématek
April 11 // 7:30pm
Damani Baker’s intimate family portrait of his stalwart mother who moves her family to Grenada to fight for social justice and Black life, and encounters an invasion by the United States. Q&A with the director following the film.
“The House on Coco Road” is an intimate portrait of Fannie Haughton, an activist and teacher who moves her children from Oakland, California to participate in the Grenada Revolution only to find her family in harms way of a U.S. military invasion.
In 1982, prominent political activist Angela Davis, her family, and Baker’s mother, visited Grenada to witness the Revolution, led by the charismatic and newly enshrined prime minister Maurice Bishop. The next year, Haughton was offered a position in the Ministry of Education, and so she uprooted her children and they left their Oakland home to move to the burgeoning utopia. Her son, the film’s director Damani Baker remarked, “I’d never seen her happier.” But with Bishop’s assassination and the United States invasion that followed, the dream of what Baker explains as, “a population of African descent taking control of their destinies,” was more than deferred, it was mortared – and Baker lived through it.
In search for his mother’s untold and unfinished story, they both returned to Grenada in 1999 to begin shooting this documentary, and in the process, shared the experience of living through Bishop’s own coup and the invasion, in a very personal, yet universal way. “The House on Coco Road” allows us to see interviews with Bishop’s mother and sister, hear radio recordings his mother made before and during the invasion, and see images of a Grenada, otherwise lost to us.
Featuring an original score from singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, and co-produced by actor & activist Danny Glover (“The Color Purple”), Baker’s search for historical and emotional truth will confirm his mother’s place in American history.
Co-presented by the Caribbean Film Academy, BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, “The House on Coco Road” will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30pm. The short film “Passage” by award-winning director Kareem Mortimer (“Children of God” – 2010) precedes the film. For more information go to http://www.bam.org/film/2017/t
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