This Oscar-nominated documentary draws an astonishing, challenging and utterly contemporary examination of race in the United States entirely from the writings and interview footage of civil rights icon James Baldwin.
“Whatever you think about the past and future of what used to be called ‘race relations’ – white supremacy and the resistance to it, in plainer English – this movie will make you think again, and may even change your mind. Though its principal figure, the novelist, playwright and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history…To call I Am Not Your Negro a movie about James Baldwin would be to understate [director Raoul] Peck’s achievement. It’s more of a posthumous collaboration, an uncanny and thrilling communion between the filmmaker… and his subject. The voice-over narration (read by Samuel L. Jackson) is entirely drawn from Baldwin’s work. Much of it comes from notes and letters written in the mid-1970s, when Baldwin was somewhat reluctantly sketching out a book, never to be completed, about the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr…His published and unpublished words – some of the most powerful and penetrating ever assembled on the tortured subject of American identity – accompany images from old talk shows and news reports, from classic movies and from our own decidedly non-post-racial present.I Am Not Your Negro is a thrilling introduction to his work, a remedial course in American history, and an advanced seminar in racial politics – a concise, roughly 90-minute movie with the scope and impact of a 10-hour mini-series or a literary doorstop.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times“One of the 10 best films of the year.” -New York Times
People’s Choice Award, Toronto International Film Festival 2016
Nominated, Best Documentary, Academy Awards 2017
Panorama Audience Award, Berlin Film Festival 2017
Official Selection NZ International Film Festival 2017
Documentary Exempt 93mins / France, USA: in English/2016