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 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 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.Written by
The word "negro" is used 78 times in the film. See more »
Someone once said to me that the people in general cannot bear very much reality. He meant by this that they prefer fantasy to a truthful recreation of their experience. People have quite enough reality to bear, by simply getting through their lives, raising their children, dealing with the eternal conundrums of birth, taxes, and death.
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I've been on a roll lately with my movie choices. I've seen one delight after another and I get to add this movie to the list.
I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary based upon the writings of James Baldwin in which the essence is Black-White race relations in the U.S. James was an eloquent writer and speaker so I may be doing him a disservice by summarizing the documentary as such. He'd probably say it was a lot more than that--and it was. In it we got an ode to Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. These three iconic figures of the Civil Rights era were all killed within five years of each other and none lived to the age of 40.
There was a lot of riveting and provocative imagery in this documentary and it certainly will not appeal to a lot of people. There are some ugly truths about the American past that we all want to move on from but we'd do well not to forget.
I loved the film. If for no other reason than being treated to seeing and hearing James Baldwin speak. He was a brilliant and eloquent speaker and I had no clue. One thing mentioned was how Malcolm X, MLK and James Baldwin all had different view points and different approaches to the problems of Black people in America. They all spoke a truth as they had different backgrounds and different outlooks. But what is undeniable is that they all had the uplifting of their people in mind and all three personalities were invaluable to the African American cause.
This is a documentary that is going to disturb you and wake you up out of your reverie. The film is replete with historical footage and photos as well as recent footage--there are clips as recent as present day Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump--so you can't just relegate the picture to "old news" or "stuff from the past". It is relevant and as James Baldwin alluded to: it is a problem that has to be fixed because the survival of the country depends upon it.
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