ALLEN REPORT: RETRACING TRANSNATIONAL AFRICAN METHODISM
A documentary written, directed and co-produced by Alanna Lockward
Cinematography by Peyi Guzmán
Music by Jorge Lockward and African Methodist Episcopal Churches (AME) on location
Edited by Karim López
Additionaly Cinematography by Lanchel Brutus, William Córdova, Alanna Lockward, Tatiana Magloire
Winner of the production award Fonprocine 2013 of the Dominican Republic Film Commission (DGCINE)
Shot on location in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Germany, Namibia and the United States
Behind the scenes images:
As the first Dominican-Haitian documentary co-production, this film retraces the liberation legacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in five different locations united by common narratives related to struggles against enslavement and apartheid. It tells this story in three different languages (English, French, Spanish) in the voices of 19 interviewees. The AME Mother Bethel Church was founded by Bishop Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794, as the first protestant church ministered exclusively by former enslaved people. It became a legally incorporated denomination in 1816. Upon the request of the Haitian government, The AME sent 6,000 individuals to the island of Saint-Domingue between 1824-1826, two decades after this first Black Republic in the world came into being. The Haitian Revolution is an integral part of the history of the AME in the island and it is also crucial to note that Richard Allen was deeply involved in the logistics of this immigration, the most important one of the XIX Century in Dominican history.
In 1946, Marcus Witbooi, a descendant of anti-colonial Namibian national hero, Hendrik Witbooi, deserted the German Rhenish Mission and affiliated his congregation to the AME inspired by the historical liberation narratives and practices of this church. Later, AME members were instrumental in the liberation and independence of Namibia from South Africa.
The role of African Methodism in the Caribbean and the African continent is approached from the perspective of decolonial theory, presenting South-South narratives of liberation in the voices of its own protagonist.
This reflection is extremely valuable since until today neither the AME in Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Namibia has a physical archive where church members and historians could consult their amazing legacies. The oral archive perspective of this film is meant to motivate Africana and international experts on Protestant church histories, among others, to join forces with the AME Connectional Church in providing a safe place for these histories to be preserved in a dynamic way.
Director’s aunt, Anilda Lockward de Brito, holds the book of ancestor, George Augustus Lockward Stamers, “Historia del Protestantismo en Dominicana”.
Please click here to enjoy our “behind the scenes” album!
African Methodist Episcopal Church 16th District
Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University
Department of English and American Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin