Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by
It is a striking work of storytelling. By assembling the scattered images and historical clips suggested by Baldwin’s writing, I Am Not Your Negro is a cinematic séance, and one of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made.
Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro is the rare movie that might be called a spiritual documentary.
Village Voice
Readers of Baldwin’s work already know that it’s as timely and relevant today as it was when he wrote it decades ago. I Am Not Your Negro powerfully highlights this point for today.
Masterfully addressing the American racial divide, past and present, director Raoul Peck’s six-years-in-the-making documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, is a galvanizing, ominous film, thrumming with a sense of history repeating itself.
What makes I Am Not Your Negro a mesmerizing cinematic experience, smart, thoughtful and disturbing, goes well beyond words.
Peck has made one of this year’s finest documentaries. At once pulsing with anger and yearning for compassion, it’s an examination of past and present America as a cycle where the backdrop has changed and particulars have remained the same.
While the subject matter is difficult, the documentary itself is easy to watch and exciting to grapple with. Its biggest strengths are Jackson’s voice and Baldwin’s commentary, which combine to create a distinctively world-weary tone.
It is a searing and topical indictment of racial prejudice and hatred in America that makes for uneasy viewing and is not easily forgotten.
Baldwin’s insights originate from 1979, but they still speak volumes, and Peck makes their observations sting.
Baldwin's voice as a writer comes through powerfully anyway. It was wise to have Jackson read Baldwin's words plainly in his own voice, rather than attempt an impersonation.

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