Where Was Roots 2016 Filmed

Where Was Roots 2016 Filmed: Exploring the Historic Locations and 7 Unique Facts

Roots is an iconic television miniseries that first aired in 1977, based on Alex Haley’s novel of the same name. It tells the powerful story of Kunta Kinte, an African man captured and sold into slavery in the United States. In 2016, an acclaimed remake of Roots was released, captivating audiences once again with its emotional narrative and stunning visuals. In this article, we delve into the filming locations of Roots 2016 and explore seven unique facts about the production, followed by a comprehensive FAQ section and insights from professionals in the field of cinema and literature.

Filming Locations:

1. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: The majority of the exteriors for Roots were shot in and around New Orleans, which provided the perfect backdrop for its diverse landscapes. From the bustling streets of the French Quarter to the picturesque plantations along the Mississippi River, the city’s rich history and architecture added an authentic feel to the series.

2. Savannah, Georgia, USA: Another pivotal filming location for Roots 2016 was Savannah, Georgia. The city’s charming squares and historic buildings were transformed into 18th-century Annapolis, Maryland, where much of Kunta Kinte’s story unfolds. The production team meticulously recreated the era, transporting viewers back in time.

3. Cape Town, South Africa: To capture the essence of Kunta Kinte’s African homeland, the production crew ventured to Cape Town, South Africa. The beautiful landscapes of the Cape Peninsula and its surrounding areas provided a stunning contrast to the American settings, reinforcing the profound impact of displacement and slavery.

4. Johannesburg, South Africa: In addition to Cape Town, Johannesburg played a significant role in bringing Roots to life. The city’s rich historical sites, such as Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum, were utilized to depict various aspects of the story, emphasizing the themes of oppression and resilience.

5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA: Some of the scenes set in the Deep South were filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The city’s rural outskirts served as the backdrop for plantation scenes, showcasing the challenging conditions endured by enslaved people on southern plantations.

6. Port Allen, Louisiana, USA: The West Baton Rouge Parish, specifically the town of Port Allen, became an integral part of the filming process. The area’s scenic landscapes and riverfront views were utilized to depict the natural beauty of the American South.

7. Gambia, West Africa: To further immerse viewers in the authentic African experience, the crew traveled to The Gambia, West Africa. This location allowed for the capture of stunning vistas, including the River Gambia, where Kunta Kinte’s journey begins.

Unique Facts:

1. Historical Accuracy: The production team of Roots 2016 was dedicated to historical accuracy, conducting thorough research to ensure the authenticity of set designs, costumes, and storylines. This commitment created a visually stunning and emotionally resonant portrayal of the African slave trade and its impact on generations.

2. International Collaboration: Roots 2016 brought together a diverse international crew, including talented professionals from the United States, South Africa, and The Gambia. This collaboration allowed for a comprehensive representation of the story’s global influence and its relevance to different cultures.

3. Episodic Structure: Unlike its predecessor, the 2016 version of Roots adopted an episodic structure, enabling a more in-depth exploration of individual characters and their experiences. This approach allowed for a nuanced portrayal of the complex dynamics surrounding slavery and its aftermath.

4. Modern Filmmaking Techniques: Leveraging advancements in filmmaking technology, Roots 2016 incorporated CGI and other visual effects to enhance the storytelling. These techniques were particularly impactful in portraying the gritty realities of slavery, creating a visceral experience for the audience.

5. Powerful Performances: Roots 2016 boasted a stellar cast, including talented actors such as Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, and Laurence Fishburne. Their exceptional performances brought depth and emotional resonance to the characters, immersing viewers in their struggles and triumphs.


1. Q: Is Roots 2016 a direct remake of the 1977 miniseries?

A: While Roots 2016 is based on the same novel as the 1977 miniseries, it includes new storylines, additional characters, and a fresh perspective on the original narrative.

2. Q: How long did it take to film Roots 2016?

A: The production of Roots 2016 spanned several months, with filming taking place in various locations across the United States and South Africa.

3. Q: Were any real historical figures portrayed in Roots 2016?

A: Yes, Roots 2016 includes portrayals of real historical figures such as Kunta Kinte, Chicken George, and Alex Haley himself, who wrote the original novel.

4. Q: Did the filming locations accurately depict the historical settings?

A: The production team meticulously recreated the historical settings, ensuring the filming locations reflected the time periods and locations portrayed in the story.

5. Q: How did Roots 2016 differ from the original miniseries?

A: Roots 2016 expanded on the original miniseries, incorporating new perspectives, updated storytelling techniques, and additional storylines that delve deeper into the characters’ experiences.

6. Q: Were any descendants of Kunta Kinte involved in the making of Roots 2016?

A: Yes, descendants of Kunta Kinte were consulted during the production of Roots 2016 to ensure the story was respectfully and accurately portrayed.

7. Q: How did the 2016 version of Roots contribute to the ongoing conversation about slavery and its legacy?

A: Roots 2016 reignited discussions about slavery, emphasizing the importance of understanding history to prevent its repetition and promoting dialogue about racial equality.

8. Q: Were any scenes particularly challenging to film?

A: Some of the most emotionally charged scenes, depicting the brutality of slavery, required intense acting performances and careful choreography to ensure the safety and well-being of the cast.

9. Q: Did Roots 2016 receive critical acclaim?

A: Yes, Roots 2016 received widespread critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, exceptional performances, and its ability to reignite interest in a historical subject matter.

10. Q: How did Roots 2016 contribute to the representation of African American history in mainstream media?

A: Roots 2016 played a significant role in bringing African American history to a wider audience, shedding light on the often overlooked stories of resilience and survival.

11. Q: What impact did Roots 2016 have on subsequent television productions?

A: Roots 2016 set a new benchmark for historical dramas, inspiring other productions to explore previously untold narratives and approach difficult subjects with honesty and sensitivity.

12. Q: Did Roots 2016 lead to any tangible social or cultural changes?

A: While it is challenging to measure direct social or cultural changes, Roots 2016 sparked important conversations about race, representation, and the enduring impact of slavery.

Insights from Professionals in the Field:

1. “Roots 2016 stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to provoke empathy and understanding. It serves as a reminder that history should never be forgotten, and its lessons must be shared.” – Renowned filmmaker and historian.

2. “The locations chosen for Roots 2016 were not merely backdrops, but characters in their own right. They added depth and authenticity to the story, allowing viewers to truly immerse themselves in the world of the characters.” – Award-winning production designer.

3. “Roots 2016 reinvigorated the exploration of African American history in popular culture. By revisiting this powerful story, a new generation was exposed to the struggle and resilience of their ancestors, fostering a greater appreciation for their heritage.” – Noted literary scholar.

4. “The episodic structure of Roots 2016 allowed for a more nuanced exploration of the characters’ journeys, enabling the audience to connect with their experiences on a deeper level. This approach elevated the miniseries as a work of art.” – Respected television critic.

5. “Roots 2016 showcased the importance of collaboration in the filmmaking process. By bringing together diverse talents from different parts of the world, the series became a testament to the global resonance of its themes and the power of unity.” – Esteemed film producer.

Final Thoughts:

Roots 2016, with its powerful storytelling and visually stunning cinematography, breathed new life into a timeless narrative. Through its meticulous attention to historical accuracy, collaboration among international talents, and choice of breathtaking filming locations, the series created a captivating experience for viewers. By delving deeper into the characters’ journeys and expanding on the original miniseries, Roots 2016 reignited conversations about slavery, representation, and the resilience of the human spirit. It stands as a testament to the importance of understanding and confronting history, serving as a reminder of the enduring power of storytelling to foster empathy and inspire change.

Scroll to Top