AfroPoP Leads with 'Liberated Lives' and Narrative Filmmaking for 16th Season


Four new films – two documentary, two narrative – explore stories of redemption and hope beginning April 1.

For 16 seasons, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange has featured contemporary documentaries reflecting the spirit, ingenuity and resilience found among people across the African diaspora. Season 16 of the series, premiering on-air and streaming on YouTube starting April 1, includes its first ever feature-length narrative episodes: Supa Modo, in which a terminally-ill 9-year-old dreams of super powers; and Kati Kati, where a woman finds herself in a land of lost souls. Rounding out the season are documentary films Commuted, a Liberated Lives co-presentation with America ReFramed following the story of Danielle Metz, who's triple-life sentence was commuted after 23 years in prison, and Local, USA co-presentation Freedom Hill, a snapshot of a historically-Black community's reckoning with climate change.

Across these four episodes, explore dynamic stories by filmmakers from the United States and Kenya that go beyond the expected and celebrate the Black experience.

by Nailah Jefferson

In 1993, Danielle Metz was labeled a drug kingpin and sentenced to triple life in California, many miles away from New Orleans and her two children. Metz's sentence was commuted 23 years later. Now back home, she is stepping into a different reality. The film traces Metz's journey in confronting the wounds of incarceration, and to finding purpose, love and unification with her two grown children.

Supa Modo | April 8
by Likarion Wainaina

Jo, a witty 9-year-old terminally-ill girl, is taken back to her rural village of Maweni to live out the rest of her short life. Her only comfort during these dull times are her dreams of being a superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and entire community believe they can fulfill.

Kati Kati | April 15
by Mbithi Masya

When Kaleche wakes up in the middle of the wilderness, she has no idea why or how she got there. She makes her way to Kati Kati where she meets a motley crew living under the leadership of Thoma. As Kaleche strikes up a quick friendship with him, she discovers that Thoma is a very special person at this mysterious place: Kati Kati is inhabited by the souls of dead people waiting for redemption.

Freedom Hill | April 22
by Resita Cox

Princeville, NC sits atop wet, swampy land along the river. In the 1800s, the land was deemed uninhabitable by white people. After the Civil War, this indifference left it available for formerly enslaved Africans. Once called Freedom Hill, it was gradually established as an all-Black town. But the town has been inundated with flooding – and with each flood, a little more of the small town erodes. A co-presentation with Local, USA.

Watch season 16 of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange online, on YouTube and on the PBS app.

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