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A historical and passionate account with a variety of footage both entertaining and educational; some points are hard to accept which is why other reviews seem to debate the merit of this film, but it is obviously relevant and a vital look at the condition of the black and white american soul at stake today. If there is a future beyond the cataclysm of American institutional idealism -- through the fantasy and escapist wound then the formula is described more here than in anything else you can watch and Baldwin's aim is redemption for all. The cinematography is especially strong and the early American film and political references paint the picture one assumes Baldwin would have liked to tell while he was alive, however it is implied that he felt a share of the responsibility for the fates of Evers, X, and King whom the story focuses around -- written by Baldwin and narrated here by Samuel L. Jackson, "I am not your Negro" seemed a very hard story to tell, and a hard truth to accept the recent past of our glittering country's history as Baldwin witnessed it. The film takes Baldwin's un-published revelations and contextualizes them cleverly with film and culture spanning the past century and beyond.
28 people found this review helpful
In my recent life, living in a low income apartment building, I have had my life threatened 3 times. I can recall in my youth going to a public pool with a friend and gaining the contempt of the kids who started tormenting me with wet towel snaps and insults hurled with their spit. I marched for good Dr. King's ends and cried out, "Soul brothers!!" to a passing car only to be met with racist contempt. I was a bleeding heart liberal, horrified that blacks were getting such a raw deal. No more.
14 people found this review helpful
Baldwin is a national treasure and Peck has produced a fantastic elegy to his life and works. If you aren't familiar with this great American poet, this is an excellent introduction. It places him in the context of some of the most important struggles of the past century using some really excellent footage. It is also striking to see how degraded our public sphere has become that we have few speakers - white, black, or otherwise - as eloquent as Baldwin and few venues as willing to discuss these issues frankly as there were in the 60s. Well worth the time watching.
24 people found this review helpful