I Am Not Your Negro

A fascinating, Academy Award-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck about the life and times of writer, critic and activist James Baldwin, based partly on his unfinished manuscript Remember This House. The film gets to grips with Baldwin’s life (at least the mainly public-facing side of it), and observations on and role within the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, occasionally underscoring his words with modern footage of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It’s a powerful piece that is put together very well by Peck and his editor Alexandra Strauss, who weave in archive news depicting racism towards black people, racist TV and film footage and Baldwin’s 1960s TV interviews, conducted with largely clueless white hosts who are sadly struggling to understand what all the noise is about. A suitably restrained and low key Samuel L Jackson narrates. (****)