I Am Not Your Negro Reviews
My only critique is that the film failed to inform on a few levels. For instance, as someone who had never heard of Medgar Evers, I had trouble understanding the gravity of his contributions and death. I felt at times one needed to be very well-educated in the source material to understand the impact of the documentary. That being said, maybe the obligation of being better informed falls on me.
This is hands down one of the best documentaries in the 2010s. 2016 was probably one of the best years for documentaries in a long while, and "I am Not Your Negro" certainly is part of the cream of the crop.
While I agree with the Academy's decision in selecting "The Story of O.J." as Best Documentary, "I am Not Your Negro" excels at the tying together the 1960s struggle for civil rights and the 2010s struggle to end police brutality. See clips online does not do this film justice.
Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room: White Comfort. This motif throughout the documentary is shining a light on who truly benefits from racial divisions, the powerful who only care about profits and their own security. James Baldwin doesn't absolve whites who oppress their fellow humans, but he articulates, mostly through Samuel L. Jackson, that he does not hate white people. He is not out "for blood", but rather calls for white people to truly inspect themselves, to be honest with themselves and to recognize, first and foremost, that there is a problem.
The ending was absolutely stunning and powerful, and I think if Mr. Baldwin were alive today to see his legacy through this lens, he would be proud.
Please see this film, challenge yourself, and see that we, and we only, can end these divisions.