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That unwritten book finds life in this remarkable film which melds Baldwin’s unpublished writing (powerfully narrated by Jackson), archival footage of his eloquent analysis of the times, and contemporary Black Lives Matter protests.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".
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. – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
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