Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'I Am Not Your Negro' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Daniel looks at Disney's beautifully melancholy classic ‘The Rescuers’ on the latest episode of Ink & Paint - listen now!x
review, I Am Not Your Negro, I, Am, Not, Your, Negro, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Dick Cavett, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Shumerria Harris, Raoul Peck, Documentary film rating

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

★★★★

A POWERFUL PROFILE OF THREE INFLUENTIAL MEN

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
26th June 2017

"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time."

Based on African-American writer James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript 'Remember This House', the documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history.

James Baldwin was born in 1924 and raised in Harlem. Disillusioned and frustrated by the treatment of blacks in post-World War II America, he moved to Paris, but returned to the U.S. in 1957 to do what he could to help in the intensifying struggle for civil rights. Baldwin, although a literary giant and a close friend of many leading activists, rarely appeared at events and mass rallies, and declined membership in parties or groups such as the NAACP, Panthers and SNCC. Although he was homosexual, he rarely focused on the issue of gay rights, which would have been on the outermost fringes of the activist movement in those decades.

WATCH: 'I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO'
WATCH HUNDREDS OF UNIQUE FILMS
SWITCH
WATCH

Haitian-born director Raoul Peck ('The Man by the Shore', 'The Young Karl Marx') received privileged access to the Baldwin archives because the family admired his work on the 1990 political thriller 'Lumumba: Death of a Prophet' and the 2000 award winning drama on the same subject, 'Lumumba'. Using narration from Samuel L. Jackson ('Kong: Skull Island', 'The Hateful Eight') to embody the spirit of Baldwin in the potent narration, the film's structure utilises rare videos and photos as well as personal writings of Baldwin, and at the same time aligning them with contemporary issues of police brutality and race relations. We see Baldwin on screen periodically throughout the movie in archival footage from his speeches, academic lectures and appearances on TV talk shows. Much of the history referenced in the film is illustrated through news footage from the 1960s and many of the points made by Baldwin and/or Peck are made through depictions of blacks and whites in movies and TV shows and commercials. This creates a mesmerising awareness of the continuity in the struggle for civil rights. The images used in conjunction with Baldwin's writing are evocative, making Baldwin's work seem like a living, breathing document.

'I Am Not Your Negro' digs into the unhealed wound of racism, prejudice and oppression unapologetically and forces us to take a hard look at what oozes out.

Intelligent editing by Sam Pollard builds a meaningful cultural bridge between the 1960s and our current decade. The soundtrack, which opens with Buddy Guy's 'Damn Right I Got the Blues' and concludes with Kendrick Lamar's 'The Blacker the Berry' in the closing credits, is fantastic.

Baldwin's words are incredibly powerful, and it was the right choice to frame the film around his writing, while also adding enough visual material and recontextualisation to update it for today and to make it into an actual film, not just a glorified audiobook. This is more than simply the story of a man looking at three men who inspired him and whose deaths caused him intense pain. 'I Am Not Your Negro' digs into the unhealed wound of racism, prejudice and oppression unapologetically and forces us to take a hard look at what oozes out.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 14/09/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 33m
CAST: Samuel L. Jackson
James Baldwin
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King
Medgar Evers
Dick Cavett
Ray Charles
Harry Belafonte
Shumerria Harris
DIRECTOR: Raoul Peck
WRITERS: James Baldwin
Raoul Peck
PRODUCERS: Rémi Grellety
Hébert Peck
Raoul Peck
www.iamnotyournegrofilm.com
jamesbaldwinmovie
IAmNotYourNegro
IAmNotYourNegro
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'I Am Not Your Negro' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Shudder Horror Bundle - Prepare for shivers down your spine!
TRENDINGWIN SHUDDER HORROR BUNDLEPrepare for shivers down your spine!
Spencer - A beautifully strange and deeply moving fable of the People's Princess
TRENDINGSPENCERA beautifully strange and deeply moving fable of the People's Princess
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Limbo - A witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
TRENDINGLIMBOA witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
Europa! Europa - The scoop on Australia's newest film festival
TRENDINGEUROPA! EUROPAThe scoop on Australia's newest film festival
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Shepherd - A true story through an unflinching lens
TRENDINGTHE SHEPHERDA true story through an unflinching lens
Kuessipan - Coming of age story in an Innu community
TRENDINGKUESSIPANComing of age story in an Innu community
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
Scream - A satisfying and wickedly fun return to Woodsboro
TRENDINGSCREAMA satisfying and wickedly fun return to Woodsboro
House of Gucci - Haus of Gaga and home of bad Italian accents
TRENDINGHOUSE OF GUCCIHaus of Gaga and home of bad Italian accents
The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
TRENDINGTHE EYES OF TAMMY FAYEGrab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
The Fox and the Hound - Celebrating 40 years since Disney's saddest tail
TRENDINGTHE FOX AND THE HOUNDCelebrating 40 years since Disney's saddest tail
Long Story Short - The short story is this movie's mediocre
TRENDINGLONG STORY SHORTThe short story is this movie's mediocre
Yuli - Dancing on a knife's edge
TRENDINGYULIDancing on a knife's edge
A Clockwork Orange - 45 years of the old ultra-violence
TRENDINGA CLOCKWORK ORANGE45 years of the old ultra-violence
Encanto - Family matters derail the latest from Disney Animation
TRENDINGENCANTOFamily matters derail the latest from Disney Animation
King Richard - Biopic on Williams sisters is a crowd-pleasing volley
TRENDINGKING RICHARDBiopic on Williams sisters is a crowd-pleasing volley
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
© 2011 - 2022 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!