I Am Not Your Negro | Salt Lake City Weekly

I Am Not Your Negro

Rated PG-13 95 minutes 2017

★★★★★ ★★★★★
So sprawling is director Raoul Peck’s subject matter—nothing less than the history of black people in America—that his uniquely sprawling approach is easy to justify. The ostensible framework is the text written by author James Baldwin (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson) as the preliminary notes for a work on the lives of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and Malcom X, and Peck sets those brilliant, incendiary words to fascinating archival footage exploring everything from the civil rights movement to portrayals of African-Americans in the media. Yet he also includes terrific footage of Baldwin himself, in appearances on TV talk shows and at lectures, delivering the same scathing perspective in an uncompromising voice. Most compelling of all, Peck incorporates images from more contemporary events like controversial police violence against African-Americans, making it horrifyingly clear how little has changed in the decades since Baldwin wrote. The combination is a generally thrilling documentary creation that feels like living history, a warning shouted to us by Baldwin from beyond the grave that “the story of the Negro in America is the story of America; it is not a pretty story.”

Film Credits

Official Site: www.magpictures.com/iamnotyournegro

Director: Raoul Peck

Writer: James Baldwin

Producer: Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck and Hébert Peck

Cast: Samuel Jackson

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I Am Not Your Negro

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