Descendant (2022) Netflix Movie Review – A well-written and moving documentary
A well-written and emotional documentary
Descendant is a beautifully written and emotional documentary. it is a poignant and touching reminder to us that if don’t strive to make the past endure the past will disappear forever, or, even more importantly, be altered to create a false narrative.
The film is set in the tiny Alabaman town of Africatown The documentary explores the declining daughters and sons of the survivors of the Clotilda the only known slave ship that transported humans across Africa into the US illegally.
The ship is an eon-old undiscovered fact and the local community has stepped in the role of activists to claim some of their past. It’s an important film overall and is a wonderful illustration of why the persistence of history is essential.
For those who aren’t aware the trip in question was conducted in the year 1860 following the decision that it was illegal to transport human cargo. The slave owner Timothy Meaher ordered Clotilda’s captain William Foster to burn and drown the vessel in the Mobile River, getting rid of evidence after smuggling 110 souls onto US territory.
In the years since, this truth has been distorted, changed, and kept from the public. There has also been opposition from schools to teaching this (which will tell you all you should be aware of.)
Netflix’s Descendant is a show that shines a light on the actual incidents that took place and the lives and the homes people who lived in Africatown constructed for themselves and fight to keep it.
In the film, there are several interviews with residents as well as their opinions Perhaps no other scene illustrates the shifting fortunes of race and class better than the one that features the residents of Africatown that gathered for a meeting following Clotilda’s discovery.
Illustrations show the way in which men and women were on top of the boat, and Dr. Hiebert who is white I might add – describes the drawings by calling them “wonderful.” As the camera rotates to show the graves of the people in the crowd the images really summarize the different fortunes of both of these kinds of people.
Descendant is definitely worth a look and in many ways illustrates the importance of history as well as how important it is to ensure that the right voices are heard and that the right stories are told. The film explores the concept of denial of history. Hopefully, through the advent of platforms like Netflix and other streaming services, more people will be aware of this fascinating and intriguing tale.
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