Currently free to watch on Prime Video, do not miss the opportunity to watch the documentary “I am not your negro” by James Baldwin. It conjures up the period of history in 1960s America when the Civil Rights movement was at its height. James Baldwin is an excellent communicator, debater, writer, playwright and commentator – and he asks questions still relevant today, about how America thinks about itself.
Throughout the hour and a half, multiple awardwinning documentary, James Baldwin is mesmerising whether on film/TV recordings of the time or when his words are read by Samuel L Jackson. As a friend of many others actively engaged in marches and demonstrations and speeches (which he was also) he is an important eye witness to key events of his time. His words have been deftly placed together with news footage and photographs, to create a memorable documentary. Baldwin was one of the few people in the room at a key meeting with Bobby Kennedy, then the Attorney-General and therefore actively involved in the confrontations between the races – who around that time prophesied that in 40 years’ time there might be a black President. This was a startling comment at the time – but Bobby Kennedy was right – although just 7 years out in his prediction.
What is it like to make a film from a single person’s words?
Here is Raoul Peck, the director, giving his answer: