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I Am Not Your Negro

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Switzerland, France, Belgium · 2017
Rated R · 1h 33m
Director Raoul Peck
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King
Genre Documentary, History

Working from the text of James Baldwin’s unfinished final literary project "Remember This House," director Raoul Peck explores the incredible lives of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Baldwin's own. The result is a striking portrait of what it means to be black in the United States.

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What are people saying?

Hannah Benson Profile picture for Hannah Benson

I am a huge Baldwin fan so loved getting to hear bits of his unfinished project "Remember This House." Raoul Peck does a great job placing Baldwin within the larger context of the Civil Rights Movement. Samuel L. Jackson uses a less recognizable side of his voice, emphasizing Baldwin's style.

What are critics saying?


The Guardian by Jordan Hoffman

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.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

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.

88 by Matt Zoller Seitz

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.


The Film Stage by Michael Snydel

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.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

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.


Village Voice by Odie Henderson

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.

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