A Family’s Utopian Dreams Meet Grenada Invasion in ‘The House on Coco Road’

By Sameer Rao Jun 05, 2017

Filmmaker Damani Baker‘s ("Still Bill") activist and educator mother Fannie Haughton moved her family from Oakland to leftist-ruled Grenada in pursuit of Black liberation. Her hopes were dashed when the United States invaded the Caribbean nation in 1983. Baker chronicles his family’s flight and subsequent struggles in "The House on Coco Road." The documentary’s trailer was released today (June 5) via Ava DuVernay‘s Array distribution network. 

"Here’s our revolutionary government, right here in our own hemisphere,"* activist Fania Davis says of the ruling New Jewel Movement in the above trailer. "The next thing I knew, [your mother] was packing you all up," she tells an off-screen Baker. 

Davis and her sister Angela Davis feature alongside Haughton, one of their contemporaries, throughout the trailer. Their commentary is intercut with footage of President Ronald Reagan justifying the 1983 invasion with anti-communist Cold War rhetoric. "There is a freedom tide rising in our hemisphere," Reagan says over news clips of buildings burning and U.S. soldiers stopping and frisking the island’s Black residents.

"The House on Coco Road" will screen at theaters across the country starting tomorrow (June 6) before airing on Netflix on June 30. Genre-bending musician Meshell Ndegeocello composed the score. Visit the film’s website to find a screening near you.

*This post has been updated.