Sunday, June 22, 2008

Human Rights Watch International Film Festival 2008: Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North

Beginning with home movie footage of an Independence Day parade in Bristol, Rhode Island—the longest running in the U.S., so director Katrina Browne explains in voiceover—“Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” explores, through a very personal lens, the sordid tale of the slave trade in the pious American north. In addition to being a first-time filmmaker, Browne is also a descendant of the prominent, revered DeWolf clan: New England royalty who amassed a fortune through the blood, sweat and tears of the estimated 10,000 Africans they tore from their homeland, the biggest traders in American history. After sending letters to 200 relatives with an invitation to join her on her quest to retrace the steps of the “triangle trade” from Rhode Island to Ghana to Cuba, Browne and nine of her kin (including active church members and an Episcopal priest) set off on their own truth and reconciliation journey.

To read the rest of my review visit The House Next Door.

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