Preston and the Black Madonna
Pilot for documentary feature film, 90 minutes
Filmed over the course of three years in a bankrupt Detroit and a war-torn Liberia struggling to reinvent itself, Swedish director Mats Hjelm (Black Nation, 2008) follows the trajectory of African-American entrepreneur Anthony Kojo Darden and his plans to help rebuild a new Liberia. Kojo first visits Liberia with the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church, aka the Shrine of the Black Madonna from Detroit, to help with their missionary work. In Monrovia, he meets Preston Papa Jackson, a former Liberian street kid turned into an ambitious social worker who is willing to fulfill Kojo’s plans, if only Kojo will let him.
Produced by Herrlander Pictures, Kojo’s personal journey to Africa is interspersed with the history of Black America, the Civil Rights movement and the history of Liberia as a symbol for Black freedom. Whilst being the site of one of the bloodiest civil wars in recent history, Liberia is now heavily dependent on foreign aid to get back on its feet. Will Kojo be able to make a difference there? Will Preston get the help he needs?
Director: Mats Hjelm
Producer: Claes Herrlander, Herrlander Pictures
Supported by The Swedish Film Institute,
Film Commissioner Cecilia Lidin