In his incendiary new film essay, Raoul Peck takes the words of the late writer and social activist James Baldwin, who wanted the lives of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and Medgar Evers “to bang up against each other”, and stylishly laces them with archival footage and an array of film excerpts. The result is a multi-layered but concise chronicle of black activism during the civil rights movement. The eerily prophetic aspects of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House come to life through narration by Samuel L. Jackson. Peck simultaneously explores his love-hate relationship with Hollywood, illustrating the correlation between the history of cinema and America’s race struggle. Few recent documentaries have blended righteous anger with intellectual rigour so deftly.
I Am Not Your Negro | Directed by Raoul Peck(USA 2017), with text by James Baldwin. Starts March 30
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