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, was acquired by film collective ARRAY, launching it with a national screening tour on June 6th that included stops in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, and Portland, in advance of its June 30th Netflix debut in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
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.
“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 in a previous press statement. “We’re excited to share this piece of American history and activism with an international film audience.”
The film continues to travel with upcoming stops set for Chicago, IL (06/30, Black Cinema House) and New York (07/07-07/08, Maysles Documentary Center). For the rest of the country, it premieres on Netflix today.
Check out the trailer and poster below: