Anyway, I wanted to make sure that I get some reviews of the films I've seen because what's the point of going to a film festival if you can't talk about what you've seen - right? But instead of reviewing all the films I've seen, I decided just to highlight my favorites - which is why I won't be talking about Robert Townsends' The Hive. This way, I can cut down on my writing time here (lazy) and not trash anyone...ahem Robert...in the process.
So here is my first favorite ABFF film: Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story
Produced and Directed by Regina Griffin (with a co-producer credit to Charles Williams), Brown Babies tells the story of biracial, bi-cultural, illegitimate children unwanted by enemy nations. Postwar occupation German's forgotten collateral damaged.
This documentary is pretty awesome. Not just for the subject matter of these forgotten illegitimate children of German white women and Word War II African American soldiers but for introducing us to a forgotten piece of black history in the form of Mabel Grammer, a black socialite and black press journalist, who single-handedly spurred an international adoption program between the brown babies of Germany and American Black families. Griffin, the film's director, was at the screening and said that she was inspired to do this documentary after reading a book called Mixed Blessings, (which I cannot find online nor do I remember the author's name however she was in the film as well) about a woman, who had been adopted from Germany by an American Black family and years later, went back to be reunited with her German birth mother.
What I appreciate most about this documentary was that it was honest and didn't worry about aggrandizing - or in the instance of the German mothers, demonizing - the subject matters. For example, many of the Germany women abandoned their brown children but there were some, who were forced to relinquish their children by either their families or by the German government itself. Also, Grammer's adoption program wasn't without scandal itself including placing the children in very precarious family situations in America. However, as Griffin said, her intentions were in the right place, which is basically the message I got from the film. I also left thinking about other places in the world where there might be little forgotten brown babies running around including Vietnam, Cambodian and maybe even Afghanistan and Iraq....hmmn, makes you think
Anyway, Griffin said that Brown Babies currently does not have distribution but she is hoping to yield one from this festival. In the meantime, check out the trailer on the movie's website by clicking here.