THE GRENADA INVASION (working title) is a feature-length documentary by filmmakers Daniel Junge and Greg Campbell about the only direct military action of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the only overt U.S. engagement during the Cold War — the 1983 invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada.It was a key moment in the Cold War, when the U.S. decisively — and controversially — thwarted Soviet and Cuban aims at expansion in Latin America, supposedly undertaken in the wake of a coup that threatened American citizens studying tropical medicine on the island.But the coup in Grenada and the military invasion it triggered was not the unexpected flare-up that Reagan made it out to be. In fact, it was the result of a long series of complicated multinational intrigues that had been building for years in the Caribbean. It’s a Cold War story set in the tropics — one of Cuban and Soviet maneuvering, CIA subterfuge and deep-state global politics. It’s also a story about a lifelong friendship that ends in tragedy — one that has never been fully told before.With unprecedented access to former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard — whose supporters overthrew the government of Coard’s lifelong best friend, Maurice Bishop, and executed him — THE GRENADA INVASION will be, at its core, the inside story of the revolution and invasion from Coard’s perspective.
But it is also the story of a friendship between two men whose love and trust of one another is ultimately turned against them. Coard and Bishop end up on opposite sides of a covert and controversial CIA plot meant to destabilize the country. Just as the Grenadian militia stood no chance against the might of the American military, neither could the friendship between Coard and Bishop withstand the sustained pressure of a CIA disruption program and the Machiavellian maneuvers of Cuban/Soviet interests.
In addition to Coard, the film will feature interviews with more than a dozen living members of the so-called “Grenada 17” who orchestrated the coup. It will also feature surviving members of Bishop’s government and eyewitnesses to his execution. These interviews will provide a counterbalance to Coard’s point of view and offer a layered recounting of events of the time from numerous perspectives.
Many questions remain to this day. How much of the island’s instability was due to the United States’ efforts to undermine its institutions? Were these activities illegal? What were Cuban and Soviet aspirations on the island? What was Bernard Coard’s role in the assassination of his lifelong friend? Where are the bodies of Bishop and the other victims? The answers play out in an intriguing tropical Cold War story that has never been fully told.