MEET MACKY & SELINA
ACTS OF REPARATION is told in the first-person plural. Throughout the film, viewers are guided by a conversation between two old friends. With different histories – the enslaver and the enslaved, the colonizer and the colonized – Macky and Selina are determined to figure out together what is possible to transform relationships, communities and this country. While their long friendship provides a backdrop of trust and candor, there are conversations they have never shared about how race and its history shape their relationship and their lives.
Genealogy nerds both, they set off on a journey that takes them south to reclaim and reckon with their roots. From kitchen tables to porches, lost cemeteries to discovered diaries, their journeys lead to unexpected opportunities...
Selina and Macky travel from Oakland, where Selina's family settled in the 1940’s, back to Monroe, Louisiana, for the reunion of her African American family. There we meet a sisterhood of great aunties who are keepers of the family history. As she listens to their stories and rummages with them through their archives, Selina pieces together the story of her people.
For Selina, recovering, preserving and sharing the truth of history is an act of reparation.
Along the way, she learns of a massive abandoned pink house where her great great aunt Fannie lived and worked as a domestic her entire adult life. Selina feels a strange tug to the place. She dreams of turning the house - which she lovingly refers to as The Pink House - into a cultural center celebrating Black history and nurturing Black entrepreneurs.
Macky's journey begins at his family plantation in Penfield, Georgia. When it is handed down to his generation, he sells his portion and gives the proceeds as an act of reparation to a local Black-led justice organization. Meanwhile, Macky meets historian Mamie Hillman who, since 1995, has been building an African American museum near Penfield. Together they discover a lost Black cemetery just over the wall from where Macky’s white ancestors are buried, and they begin to plan its repair.
On a cloudy fall day, Black and white community members, including students from Mercer University whose founders are buried in the white cemetery, gather at the lost graveyard to pull weeds, hoist logs and clear stones.
Like Selina, Macky does not engage in this repair solo. He asks his extended family to get involved, engaging in conversations with them every step of the way about the truth of history and the call to repair.
In Acts of Reparation, we see everyday Americans become the change they want to see in the world. Ultimately, the film invites viewers to ask: What does reparation mean to me?
MEET OUR TEAM
Emmy-nominated & Sundance award-winning documentary filmmaker. Founder, Auburn Media. Films include Love Free or Die (PBS), Hard Road Home (PBS), The Killer Within (Discovery), Questioning Faith (HBO), and Family Name (PBS). Has appeared widely in the press, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show & The New York Times. Media trained over 10,000 faith and justice leaders, including many of today’s most influential prophetic voices.
SELINA LEWIS DAVIDSON
Co-founded GreenHouse Pictures in 2003, a documentary production company that has produced more than 15 nationally broadcast documentaries, including the Emmy nominated Hard Road Home (director: Macky Alston) and Occupation: Dreamland (directors: Garrett Scott and Ian Olds), which was released theatrically and won the 2006 Independent Spirit Truer than
Worked in the fields of social justice, mental health and education for over 30 years. A clinical psychologist with a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a PhD from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, she is deeply committed to the intersecting goals of economic and racial justice, Abby has studied extensively in the areas of slavery and its living legacies as well as the many movements for civil rights.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Co-directed the Oscar-shortlisted and Emmy-nominated documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which tells the story of the water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and chronicles the work of Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger. Tony is a veteran cinematographer who has worked on some of the most celebrated projects for television and theatrical release.
NATASHA LIVIA MOTTOLA
Natasha Livia Mottola has been working in independent documentary since 2008. She was an Editor on THE FIRST STEP, Stanley Nelson’s Emmy winning MILES DAVIS, BIRTH OF THE COOL. She has collaborated as associate editor with Jennifer Fox on MY REINCARNATION and Abigail Disney on THE ARMOR OF LIGHT and is a proud member of ADE, NYWIFT and Blue-Collar Post Collective. She is a Brooklyn Urban Gardner, a past mentor at Reel Works and has collaborated on murals with Groundswell. She is committed to making an impact in the field by promoting mentorship in the Edit Room. As a first generation American, she is trilingual and proud of her Italian and Ecuadorian roots.
Won an Emmy in 1995 for the HBO film Sonny Liston: The Mysterious Life and Death of a Champion. He has collaborated with artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Dr. Dre, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Mary J. Blige and Eminem. He earned two more Emmy nominations for scoring sports-related HBO films and three Grammy nominations for co-writing the Blige No. 1 hit Family Affair and for his keyboard work on Nelly Furtado’s Whoa, Nelly! and Eve’s Scorpion.
San Francisco-based impact and engagement strategist, researcher, and educator focused on the intersection of media and social change. Campaigns for documentaries and organizations include: PFLAG, Teaching Tolerance, ACLU on issues including immigration, racial justice and worker advocacy. Produced independent shows for SF Community Access TV before joining Active Voice in 2008.
Melinda Weekes-Laidlow is a social change architect, master facilitator, ordained minister, and social entrepreneur. She is Founder/CEO of Beautiful Ventures, a narrative change social enterprise that influences popular culture, disrupts anti-blackness, and elevates perceptions of Black humanity. She is President of Weekes In Advance Enterprises, an organizational development firm, and was Managing Director at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, and Senior Consultant at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Melinda is a Graduate Professor of Management at Marlboro College, and holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New York University School of Law, and Harvard University Divinity School.
JULIA RHODES DAVIS
IMPACT & ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Julia Rhodes Davis is founder and principal of Rhodes Consulting, a values-driven firm that provides strategic engagement to advance systemic and structural change with foundations, organizations, and individuals. She is a veteran social change executive, policy advocate, and programmatic leader who has led several organizations and initiatives. Julia currently serves as board chair of vote.org, the largest digital nonpartisan voter engagement platform in the U.S. As a writer, she explores questions of identity, humanity, and how to lead a just life during this time of increasing social upheaval.
Atlanta-based associate producer at BET, Food Network, the Weather Channel, and a feature-length documentary on the Black Voters Matter Fund. Former fellow of the NBPC Incubator, Artemis co-produced the docu-series pilot Urban Food Chain and HBO award-winning short film, Kickin' Chicken, which tells the story of a young woman's struggle with addiction.
Has spent the past 18 years organizing for the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power, notably as the director of Resource Generation. Elspeth is a visual artist living in NYC and a graduate of Earlham College.