Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.
People's Choice Documentary Award-winner at Toronto, Oscar-nominated and a box office success in the US, I Am Not Your Negro takes as its starting point notes for a book Baldwin intended to write about the lives and assassinations of his friends Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers. That unwritten book finds life in this remarkable film which melds Baldwin's unpublished writing (powerfully narrated by Jackson), archival footage of his eloquent analysis of the times, and contemporary Black Lives Matter protests. Haitian Peck (Lumumba; Moloch Tropical, SFF 2010) is a stridently political filmmaker and here his profound and poetic cine-essay is, as The New York Times describes it, "life-altering".
Transcendent … Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro is the rare movie that might be called a spiritual documentary. – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
It is a striking work of storytelling. By assembling the scattered images and historical clips suggested by Baldwin's writing, I Am Not Your Negro is a cinematic séance, and one of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made. – Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian
Festival guest: Hébert Peck
Talk: After the screening on Tuesday 13 June is Extended Q&A: I Am Not Your Negro, starting at 2.30pm
RAOUL PECK has directed TV dramas, features and documentary films. His films The Man by the Shore (1993) and Lumumba (2000) both competed at Cannes. Moloch Tropical (2009) and Murder in Pacot (2014) both screened at Berlin and Toronto. He served as jury member at Cannes in 2012, and at Berlinale in 2002. In 2001, the Human Rights Watch Organisation awarded him the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award. Sydney Film Festival is also screening Peck's The Young Karl Marx.