Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated film deals in part with James Baldwin's relationship with King; debut comes amid furor over Trump racist comments
Raoul Peck's acclaimed documentary I Am Not Your Negro will make its debut on the PBS program Independent Lens Monday night, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The film, which earned an Oscar nomination a year ago, is based on an unfinished book by James Baldwin which dealt with the author's relationship with King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. It made more than $7 mil. at the box office in North America during its theatrical release in 2017.
The story of the Negro in America is the story of America, and it is not a pretty story.
I Am Not Your Negro will be available for streaming on Tuesday, the day after its PBS debut.
The film will always be relevant, but it comes at a particularly timely moment given the outrage over comments made by President Trump last week, when he reportedly told members of Congress meeting with him about immigration that African nations were "shitholes." At that White House meeting he also reportedly questioned why people from Haiti should be allowed into the U.S. (Trump has denied making the "shithole" comment and on Sunday told members of the media "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you.”).
I Am Not Your Negro is a searing study of racism in America and how the refusal of whites to confront that racist legacy has left the country tragically compromised from a moral point of view.
Nonfictionfilm.com spoke last year with the film's director (a native, incidentally, of Haiti), his brother Hébert, who produced the film, and fellow producer Rémi Grellety. Click below to see our piece.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.