‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Examines Race In America
Art and Experience: This week’s election results have spurred countless conversations about the state of the nation, particularly when it comes to race in America. While the country has already seen an African-American serve two terms in office, we’re hardly in a post-racial world, and the upcoming documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” boldly examines these issues.
Directed by Raoul Peck, the film, which won the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival, uses James Baldwin‘s unfinished novel of the same name as a jumping-off point to take a hard look at black history past and present. Here’s the official synopsis:
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of this manuscript.
Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
“I Am Not Your Negro” opens on February 3, 2017.