7.8/10
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60 user 169 critic

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 17 February 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director:

Raoul Peck

Writers:

James Baldwin (writings), Raoul Peck (scenario)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Narration (voice)
James Baldwin ... Himself (archive footage)
Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage)
Malcolm X ... Himself (archive footage)
Medgar Evers Medgar Evers ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Harry Belafonte ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul Weiss Paul Weiss ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Cavett ... Himself (archive footage)
H. Rap Brown H. Rap Brown ... Himself - Black Panther Party (archive footage)
Bob Dylan ... Himself (archive footage)
Leander Perez Leander Perez ... Himself - White Citizens Council (archive footage)
Sidney Poitier ... Various Roles (archive footage)
Ray Charles ... Himself (archive footage)
Doris Day ... Various Roles (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most important civil rights documentary of our time. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing violent images, thematic material, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook | Instagram | See more »

Country:

Switzerland | France | Belgium | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Remember This House See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$686,378, 5 February 2017

Gross USA:

$7,123,919

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,345,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript of 30 pages for a novel which has never before been released to the public. The film, in a way, "finishes" this work by incorporating other interviews and writings by Baldwin and expanding on the themes through archival footage See more »

Quotes

James Baldwin: I can't be a pessimist, because I'm alive. To be a pessimist means you have agreed that human life is an academic matter, so I'm forced to be an optimist. I am forced to believe that we can survive whatever we must survive.
James Baldwin: But the Negro in this country... the future of the Negro in this country... is precisely as bright or as dark as the future of the country. It is entirely up to the American people and not representatives. It is entirely up to the American people whether or not they are ...
See more »

Connections

Features Elephant (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blacker The Berry
Performed by Kendrick Lamar
Written by Agent Sasco, Kendrick Lamar, Zale Epstein, Eskeerdo (as Alexander Izquierdo), Brent Kolatalo, Stephen Kozmeniuk, Keith Lewis, Boi-1da (as Matthew Samuels)
Published by WB Music Corp, OBO Itself , Hard Working Folks Inc ., Top Dawg Music (Lamar)
Administrated by Warner/Chappell Music Belgium N.V. 1damentional Publishing LLC/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
1daniable Publishing, 24 Diamond Music, c/o Tenyor Music. Kenobi Songs Publishing / Whiskey Valentine Publishing / BMG Platinum Songs
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
Z Jewgurnaut Music
(p) 2015 Aftermath/Interscope (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Courtesy of Universal Music Vision
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thought Provoking
5 February 2017 | by alexrclaytonSee all my reviews

This is a pastiche film that blends archival footage and photographs with old Hollywood movie clips and a running dialogue of Baldwin's words from the few seeds of a book idea he only started. It never seamlessly all fits together in a satisfying manner, but most of what Baldwin spoke of all those years ago, unfortunately, still rings true today.

An important film to be sure, but it didn't really tell me almost anything I didn't already know, although I would guess I am in the minority here. As the great Frederick Douglass stated long ago, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will." That is true whether one is on the 'wrong' side of the color line, the socioeconomic line, the political line or the gender line.

Considering the limited source material and what the director was trying to (ostensibly) achieve, it was well put-together technically, but even at 1:35 it felt a little long. Still, Baldwin's words remain powerful, and seeing him and hearing them all these years later reminds us of the old saw, "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it."


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