I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck

France - United States, 2016 / 95 min / English OV with French subtitles / Documentary

The Civil Rights Movement and the reality of African Americans in the US.

Told entirely in the words of James Baldwin (one of the leaders and  most outspoken writer of the civil rights movement), using both footage of personal appearances and the text of his final unfinished book project – read by Samuel L. Jackson –, director Raoul Peck's “I Am Not Your Negro” touches on the tragic deaths of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers to bring powerful clarity to how the image (and reality) of African Americans in the United States is fabricated and enforced today.

After the tragic events of Ferguson, Sanford and New York and in light of the Black Lives Matter Movement, “I Am Not Your Negro” feels like a necessary film to understand how much has been done and how much still needs to happen in order for the African American community to be an integral part of the American population. James Baldwin’s beautiful and powerful words transcend the left-right divide to warn us of the horrors we've ignored and the horrors that might be ahead.

Selection - Youth Jury

Sat 04/03 17:00 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR sub. Public
Wed 08/03 21:30 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR sub. Public
Sun 12/03 19:00 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR sub. Public

“This is the kind of vividly intelligent documentary that will shine brightly. For viewers who have never heard Baldwin speak, his voice will forever hence carry the warm, self-assured ring of Samuel L. Jackson, who memorably reads his first-person letters here as well as other texts by the writer. They are supplemented by several television interviews and become the commentary on a stream of images (or caricatures) of black men and women in popular culture. Posters, ads and a particularly rich selection of period movies force the viewer to evaluate and draw conclusions about the country’s irrational fear and denial of race.(..) America’s history of racism, violence, exploitation and injustice comes through with chilling clarity. Baldwin also returns time and again to gay rights, another of the great themes in his writing and the subject of a thick FBI file on his activities in the '60s. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, 09/20/2016


“If you watch “I Am Not Your Negro,” you’ll spend a kaleidoscopic and transporting 90 minutes living inside James Baldwin’s mind, coming thrillingly close to his existential perception of the hidden meaning of race in America. Raoul Peck has directed “I Am Not Your Negro” as a hypnotic collage — of public appearances and TV shows, rare glimpses of the Civil Rights era and its tumultuous aftermath, and clips of the Hollywood movies that helped to shape Baldwin’s imagination. It’s all held together by the incantatory flow of Baldwin’s words, culled from many different manuscripts, including the magnum opus about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. — all friends of his who were gunned down — that Baldwin had just begun to work on and had finished 30 pages of when he died. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 03/10/2016

  • Audience Award – Hamptons International Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Best Documentary Feature – Philadelphia Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • People's Choice Award Documentary – Toronto International Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Audience Choice Award Best Documentary Feature – Chicago International Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Samuel L. Jackson (english v.)
Raoul Peck, based upon the manuscrit of James Baldwin
Henry Adebonojo, Bill Ross, Turner Ross
David Gerain
Alexei Aigui
Velvet Film Inc (USA), Velvet Film (FR), Artémis Productions, Close Up Films
ARTE France, Independent Television Service (ITVS)
Wide House

Born in 1953 in Port-au-Prince, Raoul Peck is a director, scriptwriter and producer. After studying engineering and economy in Berlin, he started working as a journalist and photographer. He directed "The Man by the Shore“ (1993) about the Haitian dictator Papa Doc, selected in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival  and  “Lumumba” (2000) about Patrice Lumumba and his role in the independence of the Congo. Minister of Culture of Haiti from 1995 to 1997, he is presently presiding over the French national film school La Fémis.

  • 2017 - The Young Karl Marx
  • 2016 - I Am Not Your Negro (Documentary)
  • 2014 - Murder in Pacot
  • 2013 - Fatal Assistance (Documentary)
  • 2009 - Moloch Tropical
  • 2008 - L’école du Pouvoir (TV series)
  • 2006 - L’Affaire Villemin (TV series)
  • 2005 - Sometimes in April
  • 2001 - Profit and nothing but! (Documentary)
  • 2000 - Lumumba
  • 1997 - It’s all about love
  • 1994 - Desounen, Dialogue with Death (Documentary)
  • 1994 - Haiti, Silence of the Dogs (Documentary)
  • 1993 - The Man by the Shore
  • 1991 - Lumumba - Death of a Prophet (Documentary)
  • 1988 - Haitian Corner