A Netflix Documentary About The Community Formed By People On The Last Slave Ship To America

One of the interviewees in “Descendant” observes that the film’s subject has “never been in history books,” and unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of an important piece of American history being buried as such. In recent years, everything from HBO’s “Watchmen” to Amir “Questlove” Thompson’s Oscar-winning documentary, “Summer of Soul” have brought attention to stories that almost passed out of knowledge. Another one of the interviewees in “Descendant” says, “I don’t want the momentum of the story” to just be focused on the ship, and as the trailer goes on, we see how the historic site of Africatown is now surrounded by “heavy industry” and threatened by factory chemicals.

Here’s the official synopsis of “Descendant” from the Netflix media site:

Documentary filmmaker Margaret Brown (“The Order of Myths”, “The Great Invisible”) returns to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama to document the search for and historic discovery of The Clotilda, the last known ship to arrive in the United States, illegally carrying enslaved Africans. After a century of secrecy and speculation, the 2019 discovery of the ship turns attention toward the descendant community of Africatown and presents a moving portrait of a community actively grappling with and fighting to preserve their heritage while examining what justice looks like today.

“Descendant” hits Netflix on October 21. The movie will also be in select U.S. theaters on the same day.

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