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thumbnail I am Not Your Negro (2016 USA)

Documentary, Event, Genre , trackback

Director: Raoul Peck
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte
Genre: Documentary
Minutes: 93 mins

Though its principal figure, the novelist, playwright and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, it would be hard 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 it a movie about James Baldwin would be to understate 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.

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