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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

I Am Not Your Negro Review

Director: Raoul Peck

A stunning and impressive recount of James Baldwin short and unfinished 30-page manuscript "Remember This House" of not just Black American history but of America in it's entirety, telling the story of racism, segregation and oppression in young and growing America.

James Baldwin was a great incredible American novelist, essayist social critic who featured heavily on national television shows and gave lectures during the Civil Right Movement of the 60s. He was a man that openly spoke about taboo intricacies such as racism, sexism, social and class division and political activism.

Whilst being an author of many novels and book-length essays, this Oscar-nominated documentary reads solely from "Remember This House" where he reminisces about Medger Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. offering his opinions and relationships with each, some in great, personal detail. He give us a grand perspective of how someone like themselves immediately felt upon hearing the tragic new of each assassination.

The film is superbly put together, spliced with real archived footage of Baldwin on talks show and giving lectures, using an interesting choice of films from Hollywood's history to help illustrate Baldwin's ideology. Something I would not have thought about previously that now gives a more profound insight into those films starring Sidney Poitier, becoming a rising star in a changing America and how it helped shape the world we live in today.

Samuel L. Jackson eloquently reads the manuscript in poetic form, as it was written, showing Baldwin's brilliance and intellect as a writer. Jackson's voices is almost unrecognisable, thinking that would be never be possible, having such a distinctive voice but his reading is incredibly smoothing.

It's an astonishing, powerful and enriching documentary that truly honours such a brilliant mind of the 20th Century and is a superb testament to Peck's documenting and his incredible research team. A good documentary should always be an education and this is precise example of that.

Running Time: 9

The Cast: 10

Performance: 10

Direction: 10

Story: 10

Script: 10

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes!

86% 9/10

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