I am not your Negro

Raoul Peck’s film “I am not your Negro”, centered by James Baldwin’s final, barely started writing project, is stunning. Nearly all the language in the film is archival recordings of Baldwin or readings from his notes and essays. The constant collage which interweaves recent events with historical sometimes seemed to me a weak substitute for more narrative coherence, but the wealth of portraiture–Baldwin, Medgar Evens, Malcom X and M L King–is deeply moving.  Baldwin’s rhetorical excellence, his compassion and his finesse in social and moral analysis are preserved–and his wonderful NYC accent. Some footage is taken from the Cambridge U “debate” between Baldwin and Buckley, which I had watched in its entirety on Utube the night before I saw the film. I had remembered Buckley as always being wrong, but I hadn’t remembered how swarmy and inane he was.

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