7.8/10
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59 user 169 critic

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 17 February 2017 (USA)
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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 29 wins & 49 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:

In "Remember This House" Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished -a radical narration about race in America, through the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. using only the writer's original words. 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 word "negro" is used 78 times in the film. See more »

Quotes

James Baldwin: ...a journey is called that because you cannot know what you will discover on the journey, what you will do with what you find, or what you find will do to you.
See more »


Soundtracks

Just a Dream (On My Mind)
Written by Big Bill Broonzy (as W. Broonzy)
© Universal Music Corp.
Performed by Big Bill Broonzy
Originally Released 1939.
All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Eloquent and Angry Examination of the Racial Divide
29 June 2017 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

James Baldwin began a book called "Remember This House" but died before completing it. It intended to weave together the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers into a tapestry of the black American experience. In "I Am Not Your Negro," Samuel L. Jackson reads the finished portion of the manuscript, and filmmaker Raoul Peck sets the words to images from the Civil Rights Movement and the current Black Lives Matter movement. The result is a bracing and deservedly angry film that captures better than anything I've read or seen yet the reasons behind the frustration and outrage of American blacks.

There's a marvelous moment in the film when a philosophy professor challenges Baldwin on the Dick Cavett Show for his attitudes, and basically holds Baldwin (and by extension black people) responsible for the continuing racial divide. His message seems to be "you're the one making an issue out of this, not me." Baldwin's take down of him in eloquent words that I won't even begin to try to replicate captures the essence of the entire film and the black struggle for equality.

And Baldwin's criticism doesn't stop at racial issues. He also denounces American popular and material culture in general, accusing Americans of letting consumerism anesthetize them into a false sense of happiness and contentment that allows them to ignore all that is wrong with the American way of life.

This is a movie that made me furious at America for continuing to stick its head up its ass when it comes to the subject of race. Watching Baldwin's heartfelt distress over the Civil Rights Movement juxtaposed to recent images from the news made it crystal clear that America has not progressed as much as it would like to think it has.

Grade: A


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