MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — “Surviving Clotilda” made its debut on Thursday at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, as it tells a piece of Mobile’s history.
Marketing Communications Vice President for the City of Mobile Emily Gonzalez was one of the few who got to see the film during its premiere. Gonzalez says it was heartbreaking, yet humbling.
“It takes the story and it turns it into an experience,” Gonzalez said. “It’s the story of horror and it becomes hope.”
“Surviving Clotilda” tells the story of 110 enslaved Africans who were brought to what is now known as Mobile Bay — five decades after it was made illegal to import slaves.
Those slaves created, what is known today as Africatown.
“It tells the story of the Clotilda journey,” Gonzalez said. “From the backstory of two of the captives Kujo Lewis and Gracie and what their experiences were from living in their villages to being captured to living in the boat, to being split up.”
Visit Mobile members, Clotilda Descendants Association, as well as SCAD students, were the first to watch the film. Soon, the film will be able to be seen right here in Mobile. Tours will also be available not too far Clotilda was found in 2018.
“This film will show at GulfQuest National Maritime Museum,” Gonzalez said. “You’ll watch the entire film. Then you’ll walk out the back doors and get on a boat and hear other stories and continuing stories as you go up the river and back.”
Gonzalez says this film is what the country needs right now.
“Resiliency, and the hope, and the truth — it’s what the country needs right now. And I think by sharing this story and being honest about it continues to feed us all and bond and heal us all from the horrors of our past.”
Gonzalez said the film will be shown at the Heritage House Museum next year.