Search This Blog

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

An unfinished manuscript by the American writer James Baldwin (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) reflects on racism in America while reminiscing not only on his own life but his friendships with slain African American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. I'm often leery of documentaries because their film makers have an agenda (which is perfectly fine) but too often manipulate images to suit their agenda or set up situations that will accommodate their viewpoint (don't get me started on Michael Moore!). Raoul Peck's powerful documentary stands out because the words are those of Baldwin, not the film maker and the images are irrefutable (no re-enactments here), disturbing as they are. In 2017, as we see the last stand of a white patriarchal power trying to turn the clock back, Raoul Peck's film is more relevant than ever. My only quibble is minor and that is that some of the movie clips used are out of context and make no sense. I mean is Doris Day swooning over Rock Hudson really the face of racism? But stuff like that constitutes seconds and what Peck has done bringing Baldwin's powerful and unfettered words makes us realize that we're stepping backward. Highly recommended.  

No comments:

Post a Comment