Saturday, March 24, 2018

I Am Not Your Negro: Reviews from the 2018 Curaçao Film Festival #CIFFR

Everything you've heard about this film is wrong. Okay, not wrong, just not... enough. There are no words to describe the power here, the tragedy, the desperate reaching for hope in the face of all the futility. This is, quite simply, the greatest documentary you will ever see. It will touch you—change you—in ways you didn't even think possible.

Woven from James Baldwin's unfinished novel, Remember This House, given voice in the sober tones of Samuel L. Jackson, and given flesh and blood by director Raoul Peck's extraordinary talent, this is not just an eloquent portrait of Baldwin or of his own story, but of the story of race in the United States—right up to the present day, and beyond.

The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story.

Coming on the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, all the focus on racial injustice for decades and centuries—and happening today, still—this couldn't be a more timely film. 

Although Curaçao is far, far from the racial inequality so prevalent in the U.S., there is still quite a bit of it; in different shapes, in different tones, but still there. (Here.) One of the things that angers me the most is hearing white (or white-ish) people saying, "This whole slavery thing, man—just get over it!" For years I've struggled with a response for that—a response not just appropriate but effective—and I never managed to come up with anything satisfying. Now, finally, I can give them a rather condescending smile and say, "Have you seen I Am Not Your Negro?"

I am not a nigger. I am a man. But if you think I am, it means you need it. And you've got to find out why.


  1. Hi Guilie - thank you for putting this so succinctly ... and very effectively. I missed it when it came out in England ... so I shall make a plan to see it here. Excellent put - yes sadly racial injustice is still around us ... Hilary

  2. This is already on my list of things I want to see.


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