I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

A terrifying and confronting journey into the American and Western psyche.

The entire film is structured around 30 pages the iconic intellectual James Baldwin had written of his unfinished manuscript ‘Remember This House’, chronicling the lives of three great African American figures who were all murdered over the course of the 1960s, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther KingJr and Malcolm X. Masterfully intertwining, excerpts of the manuscript read by Samuel L. Jackson, footage of speeches by James Baldwin, images of racially motivated violence and horror, with a number of clips from Classic Hollywood films. The experience or watch this film is akin to an assault on your preservatives, privileges and many of the narratives that surround race in America and more broadly the Western world. The film’s unrelenting power lies in the profound eloquent words of Baldwin that hit as both nuanced and incredibly relevant, and most particularly in the deconstruction of the American subconscious fear of the ‘other’. The most powerful section of the film inter spliced footage and a voice over from a 60’s US government film about the greatest of the American Dream with footage of unbelievable violence that has been perpetrated against the African American community. I cried. I soul searched. As an Australian I thought about my own blind privilege and the similar situation of our Indigenous population. If you are assuming this is another ‘issue’ documentary that explores the problems of race in America you would be mistaken. The film fundamentally alters the entire paradigm with which we have been talking and thinking about race itself. Fantasy, and narrative are revealed as more potent and powerful in shaping public perception and action than almost anything else. Hence the use of classic Hollywood movies, and television, the fiction of America and the West that has sunken deep into our collective subconscious. A great line Baldwin says is that the world is not white and never was, that the ‘negro’ was a construction of the white imagination, something we needed. This fantasy story that is etched in our minds keeps us numb and oblivious to reality. Great documentaries are not just about a person, time, place or issue they should ideally change our entire perception right here and now. The story isn’t over and is being played out today in the history of racism that is carried within each of us. Difficult the subject may be it is easy to watch due to the grace of the editing and the structure around the deaths of the 3 great Americans. This film is essential viewing. Who you are when you start this film will not be the same as when you finish it. 10/10


Top 10 Comic Book Movies

I’m going to get crucified for this list by the fan boys , but here is my revised Top 10 Comic Book movies list:

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
2. Akira (1988)
3. Superman (1978)
4. Batman Begins (2005)
5. Watchmen (2009)
6. Wonder Woman (2017)
7. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
8. The Avengers (2012)
9. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010)
10. Deadpool (2016)