During the opening night of the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama surprised the audience with their documentary Descendant.
During the Friday event, the couple introduced the film that Higher Ground Productions picked up after its premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and will release through Netflix later this year. In the film directed by Margaret Brown, descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to bring slaves from Africa to the United States, have a shared history as descendants of the ship. Marine archeologists recently confirmed the centuries-old open secret of the ship’s existence.
A brief introduction was given by Descendant executive producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson before the Obamas took the stage at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, Massachusetts. During her speech, Michelle expressed her support for all involved in the film, saying, “It spoke to us immediately.”
According to her, the movie serves as a reminder to young people of the importance of sharing personal information and community history. Michelle said that Descendant reminds us to share our stories with our young people. “We are the ones who have to lead. The tradition of keeping our pain silent cannot continue. We see in this film that our stories are what make us seen.”
Also speaking at the podium, Barack thanked Netflix, the project’s team, and festival founders Floyd and Stephanie Rance. In Promised Land, the author stressed the importance of stories, as well as identifying which stories are valid and which stories should be discounted.
Related: Obama appears at Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival for Netflix documentary “Descendant”
This festival and the work of the Rances have the ability to raise up stories that have too often been lost in the passage of time. Because we believe that everybody has a story to tell.”
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.