Filmwax Radio: The Immigration Films of “The House of Coco Road” and “From Nowhere”

On February 11th, 2017 Adam  Schartoff hosted the Filmwax Radio podcast in which Damani Baker (“Still Bill” 2009) and Matthew Newton (“Three Blind Mice” 2008) discuss their films which respectfully deal with the topic of immigration.

With Mister Baker, his film “The House of Coco Road” (2016) discusses the story of his mother, a black civil rights activist during the 1960’s, who went from Louisiana to California and eventually Grenada, all in the hopes of providing a better life for her family. The film is comprised of home video footage and interviews, specifically from people who were involved in the events and civil rights, like Angela Davis.

The film takes an interesting look at the Grenada Invasion during the 1980’s that President Reagan took, suggesting that instead of finding peace, the family the film focuses on ends up in a war zone type of situation (Schartoff and Baker 2017). Dealing with themes of immigration, civil rights, and acceptance, “The House of Coco Road” might be a film worth looking into in the coming months.

From Nowhere“,  Michael Newton’s film, tells the story of three immigrant young adults who are in the United States illegally. They are either going into college or going into the workforce. This film deals with young people attempting to make into the culture of the United States and are being helped by Americans who see their potential for achieving great things (Schartoff and Newton 2017).

It appears that immigration films are on the rise in both Hollywood, international, and independent circuit and depending on how the filmmakers deal with the subject, it could mean a possible solution to an ever growing problem in the Middle East. Perhaps finally, with the immersion of films such as these, we can become one step closer to a stable world. However, if such subjects are treated as political platforms of extremism or damnation of one particular argument instead of proposing a viable solution, then the films would be blowing hot air into a room full of explosives.

Work Cited

Schartoff, Adam, Damani Baker, and Michael Newton. “EP 391: Damani Baker and Michael Newton.” Audio blog post. Rooftop Films – Filmwax Radio. Rooftop Films, 11 Jan. 2017. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. <;.


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