Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK distribution rights to Raoul Peck’s, I Am Not Your Negro, the feature documentary based on James Baldwin’s notes for an unfinished novel ‘Remember This House’, widely considered to be one of the great uncompleted works in American literature. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival which this year screened a record 57 feature documentaries, I Am Not Your Negro was named winner of the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and with unprecedented access to James Baldwin’s original work, award-winning filmmaker Raoul Peck (Murder in Pacot, Moloch Tropical, Sometimes in April, Lumumba), has completed the cinematic version of the book Baldwin never wrote – a radical narration about race in America that tracks the lives and assassinations of Baldwin’s friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. Whilst it is partly anchored in the struggle for equality in the 50s and 60s, I Am Not Your Negro is about what it means to be black in America today.
By confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassinations of these three men we uncover a larger narrative of America’s historical and current denial and irrational relationship with race. This ‘history of violence’ is also told through the long simplified narrative that Hollywood recounts as a story between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ or ‘right and wrong’, reflects our current racial precariousness. I Am Not Your Negro is also the autopsy of the American racial imagery and iconography.
Director and producer Raoul Peck says, “James Baldwin has clearly become intellectually and politically unsurpassable – in fact, a visionary. Ironically and tragically, he is becoming more so by the day. His words are as timely in the US as in the rest of the Western world and in the UK. It is truly a pleasure to partner with such a great team to re-introduce James Baldwin to the English audience.”
Ellie Gibbons, Acquisitions and Development Manager for Altitude says, “Altitude is extremely proud to be releasing I Am Not Your Negro in the UK. Peck’s feature is fiercely powerful and vital in light of current pressures in the US and will undoubtedly resonate strongly with UK audiences.”
I Am Not Your Negro is produced by Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck and Hébert Peck.
Read TBB’s A Reflection on Haitian Filmmaker, Raoul Peck’s Visit to the BFI here