I Am Not Your Negro
|I Am Not Your Negro|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Raoul Peck|
Remember This House|
by James Baldwin
|Narrated by||Samuel L. Jackson|
|Music by||Alexei Aigui|
|Edited by||Alexandra Strauss|
|Box office||$7.7 million|
I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.
This 93-minute feature documentary is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and is entirely inspired by James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, a collection of notes and letters written by Baldwin in the mid-1970s. The memoir recounts the lives of his close friends and civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.
The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award in the documentary category. Shortly after, Magnolia Pictures and Amazon Studios acquired distribution rights to the film. It was released for an Oscar-qualifying run on December 9, 2016, before re-opening on February 3, 2017.
I Am Not Your Negro grossed $7,089,174 in the United States as of May 11, 2017. The film industry website IndieWire attributed, in part, the financial success of the movie to the release shortly before the announcement of Academy Award nominees, opening in an unusually high number of cities, and in non-traditional movie theaters that would generate a word of mouth following.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 98% based on 180 reviews, with an average rating of 8.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "I Am Not Your Negro offers an incendiary snapshot of James Baldwin's crucial observations on American race relations—and a sobering reminder of how far we've yet to go." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 95 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". The film received low user-generated ratings upon its release on IMDb and Metacritic, leading to accusations of vote brigading.
Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal said, "the film is unsparing as history and enthralling as biography. It's an evocation of a passionate soul in a tumultuous era, a film that uses Baldwin’s spoken words, and his notes for an unfinished book, to illuminate the struggle for civil rights."
Awards and nominations
I Am Not Your Negro was nominated for scores of international awards and won over a dozen, including the following:
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Academy Awards||February 26, 2017||Best Documentary Feature||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||December 21, 2016||Best Documentary||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Alexandra Strauss||Nominated|
|Austin Film Critics Association Awards||December 28, 2016||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Black Film Critics Circle||December 20, 2016||Special Mention||I Am Not Your Negro||Won|
|Australian Film Critics Association||March 13, 2018||Best Documentary Film (Local or International)||I Am Not Your Negro||Won|
|Black Reel Awards||February 16, 2017||Best Feature Documentary||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||February 18, 2018||Best Documentary||Raoul Peck||Won|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|52nd Chicago International Film Festival||October 21, 2016||Audience Choice Award – Best Documentary Feature||Raoul Peck||Won|
|Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US||January 11, 2017||Cinema Eye Audience Choice Prize||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking||Rémi Grellety||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Direction||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Editing||Alexandra Strauss||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score||Alexei Aigui||Nominated|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards||December 13, 2016||Best Documentary Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Diversity in Media Awards||September 15, 2017||Movie of the Year Award||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||December 21, 2016||Best Documentary Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||November 28, 2016||Audience Award||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Hamptons International Film Festival||Audience Award – Best Documentary||Raoul Peck||Won|
|Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution – Best Film||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||February 27, 2016||Best Documentary Feature||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|IndieWire Critics Poll||December 19, 2016||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||3rd Place|
|Best Editing||Alexandra Strauss||9th Place|
|International Documentary Association||Creative Recognition Award – Best Writing||Raoul Peck||Won|
|IDA Award for Best Feature||Rémi Grellety||Nominated|
|Video Source Award||Raoul Peck||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||December 4, 2016||Best Documentary Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Won|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||May 7, 2017||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Awards||February 11, 2017||Outstanding Documentary – Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|National Society of Film Critics Awards||January 7, 2016||Best Non-Fiction Film||Raoul Peck||Runner-up|
|North Carolina Film Critics Association||January 2, 2017||Best Documentary Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society||January 3, 2017||Best Documentary Film||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|Philadelphia Film Festival||October 30, 2016||Audience Award – Best Feature||Raoul Peck||Won|
|Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature||Raoul Peck||Won|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||December 11, 2016||Best Documentary Film||Raoul Peck||Won|
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||December 18, 2016||Best Documentary Feature||I Am Not Your Negro||Won|
|41st Toronto International Film Festival||September 18, 2016||People's Choice Award – Documentary||Raoul Peck||Won|
|Village Voice Film Poll||December 21, 2016||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||3rd Place|
(Tied with No Home Movie)
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||December 4, 2016||Best Documentary||I Am Not Your Negro||Nominated|
|International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights||March 18, 2017||Gilda Vieira de Mello Award||I Am Not Your Negro||Won|
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- "Trapped in a Burning House: A Review of "I Am Not Your Negro"". Truthout. July 30, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Young, Deborah (September 20, 2016). "‘I Am Not Your Negro’: Film Review | TIFF 2016". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Scott, A.O. "Review: 'I Am Not Your Negro' Will Make You Rethink Race". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- Knight, Chris (September 18, 2016). "La La Land wins the People's Choice Award at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Lodderhose, Diana (September 15, 2016). "Magnolia Picks Up Raoul Peck's 'I Am Not Your Negro' — Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- McNary, Dave (January 5, 2017). "'I Am Not Your Negro' Trailer: James Baldwin Describes Race Relations in America (Watch)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Hipes, Patrick (November 22, 2016). "'I Am Not Your Negro' Early Run Set In Awards-Season Ramp-Up". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- "I Am Not Your Negro (2017)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- Winfrey, Graham (April 7, 2017). "'I Am Not Your Negro': How Magnolia Pictures Launched a Smash Hit at the Box Office". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- "I Am Not Your Negro (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "I Am Not Your Negro". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- Flock, Elizabeth (February 7, 2017). "Is 'I Am Not Your Negro' the latest victim of online 'vote brigading'?". PBS NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Morgenstern, Joe (February 2, 2017). "'I Am Not Your Negro' Review: Brilliant Notes on a Native Son". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
- "The 2018 AFCA Awards". Australian Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.