I Am Not Your Negro

Out Now On-Demand

Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished - a radical narration about race in America, through the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X, using only the writer's original words. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.


Directed by

Documentary, Historical


Rating: M Mature themes, violence and coarse language

USA, France


Aaron Yap


I Am Not Your Negro is poetic, inspiring, haunting, and absolutely necessary. Constructed from the unfinished text of James Baldwin’s manuscript “Remember This House”, Raoul Peck’s film stitches together a visual tapestry worthy of the late Civil Rights activist’s writings. It’s not only the story of the African-American in America, but America itself — as stirring and powerful a document of black/white race-relations as Ezra Edelman’s gargantuan, equally vital opus O.J.: Made in America.

While a huge bulk of I Am Not Your Negro reaches into the past, don’t be mistaken, it’s a searingly, alarmingly present work. It resonates sharply against the current climate of hate that’s been emboldened by the white supremacy of Trump’s “presidency”, the misguided plight of the #AllLivesMatter movement and the bile of anti-“social justice warrior” trolls.

Baldwin’s words, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson with hypnotic, gravelly calm, have a way of burrowing into the recesses of your mind with their fiery, profound eloquence. “To look around the United States today is enough to make prophets and angels weep,” Baldwin writes. “This is not the land of the free; it is only very unwillingly and sporadically the home of the brave.” Absorbed along with the breathtaking variety of archival material Peck has assembled, they form a foundation for the best kind of crash course in race history: contextual, ruminative, relevant, unforgettable. For those unfamiliar with Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro will motivate you to seek him out, and one would hope, get off your ass to do something about racism.

Hollywood Reporter


It is a searing and topical indictment of racial prejudice and hatred in America that makes for uneasy viewing and is not easily forgotten.

Time Out New York


A galvanizing, ominous film, thrumming with a sense of history repeating itself.

Variety (USA)


The rare movie that might be called a spiritual documentary.

FilmInk (Australia)


An astonishingly powerful and profoundly affecting documentary…

The Guardian (UK)


It is a striking work of storytelling.



This is Baldwin at his most polemical, but beneath his rage you can discern a groping for unity.

New York Times


You would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)


Impassioned, urgent and admirable on pretty much every level it aims for and occupies.

Great and thought provoking

I watched this on a plane in July and it was very powerful. Great use of archival footage to match the voiceover narrative by James Baldwin, who gives an insight into what life was like as African Americans fought for equal human rights. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, beyond the 30 pages he drafted. The film is all the more powerful now that Trump has taken office and America is seeing a return to old values, and the Black Lives Matter is rising up to say 'No don't shoot us again, don't treat us like it's the 60s'