Since making its world premiere at the 2016 LA Film Festival, and playing in film festivals worldwide, director Damani Baker’s “The House on Coco Road,” an intimate portrait of his mother and their lives amidst the early 1980’s Grenada Revolution, finally made its way to Brooklyn, home to the largest population of Caribbean people outside of the home region, via the quarterly Caribbean Film Series.
In 1982, prominent political activist Angela Davis, her family, and Baker’s mother Fannie Haughton, visited the small Caribbean nation of Grenada to witness the Grenada 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. 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.
Today ARRAY has announced its acquisition of “The House on Coco Road” – the film distribution collective’s 16th feature film.
ARRAY has acquired distribution rights for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand territories, and will debut the film on Netflix on June 30 which will be accompanied by a nationwide (US) semi-theatrical tour.
“Filmmaker Damani Baker’s cinematic journey into the heart of women-led political movements and his mother’s pursuit of liberty for her children at all costs is immensely inspiring,” explained ARRAY’s Executive Director Tilane Jones. “We’re excited to share this piece of American history and activism with an international film audience.”
The announcement was made by ARRAY Founder Ava DuVernay.
The deal was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of ARRAY.