In I Am Not Your Negro, Samuel L. Jackson lends his voice to the words of American essayist James Baldwin. He does an outstanding job at capturing the tone and passion required, but it's the text itself, rather than the star uttering it, that's truly remarkable. Stepping through the state of race relations in the U.S. by focusing on the lives and deaths of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., every syllable spoken couldn't be more perceptive — or, even though they were written decades ago, still relevant today. It's little wonder that the film was nominated for best documentary at this year's Oscars, with director Raoul Peck matching the verbal content with an illuminating compilation of footage from the '50s and '60s.
The film comes to ACMI for a limited season after screenings at MIFF, Sydney Film Festival and Queensland Film Festival.