Glad this film exists and got distributed everywhere. Only wish the filmmaker had been faithful to the lyrical prose of Baldwin. The narration clashes with the big choppy visual transitions. Out of nowhere text in all caps appears on the screen. Needed better editing especially integrating archival footage.
Engaging w/ a movie can sometimes be an analog for engaging w/ yr conscience. There are few more worthy reasons to make a documentary (or an essay film, which is more properly what this is). Peck's film is built out of and around two Baldwins: one of them is inarguably one of the finest writers of the 20th century; the other is a public intellectual of implacable style, wielding immense gravitas.
There's usually the irony that those who need to see a 'dangerous' cinema, are the ones least likely to see it. A dangerous cinema tells you things you didn't want to know or admit. Mostly we have comfort cinema because people perceive their lives to be difficult, and don't want to deal with those nagging questions in the back of their mind. We want superheros and good vs evil. Narcotize me before I start to think.
Gentle and Brutal. As and introduction to James Baldwin (person and work) and an invaluable piece of history class, this is an astounding film. And now it is more relevant than never. Not only in america, but worldwide, for indiginous people, refugees, and all the people who have been sistematically oppressed for centuries.
A great and meaningful documentary featuring the ideas and words of a brilliant mind, James Baldwin. I've read some people write that this is too didactic or aesthetically inferior, I disagree. Even if that were to be true, sometimes it is better to spell something out crudely and expository rather than elaborately pontificate on nothing at all. This is an essential film and a fine introduction for Baldwin newcomers.
Interesante filme que da parte de la militancia de James Baldwin, un autor y académico tan elemental e importante para la defensa de la comunidad negra, aunque el menos conocido de los líderes la década del 60. El documental se remonta a esa temporada, a fin de dialogar por momentos con la actualidad. Los resultados no son muy optimistas. Baldwin parece ser fruto de una desesperanza y parte del filme responde a eso.
D'un livre qui n'a jamais été écrit, Peck fait un documentaire uppercut sur la ségrégation raciale. En observant le parcours de 4 héros des droits civiques américains, sublimés par la précision entomologique de la langue de James Baldwin, le documentaire se révèle aussi brutal que l'est le pouvoir blanc dont il révèle toute la crasse cruauté. Puissant.
I applaud this initiative to bring to life the unpublished work of Baldwin, of whom I admittedly hadn't heard going in. And while the addition of contemporary footage to accompany his words speaks volumes to the ongoing nature of these struggles, I found the pacing and structure lend themselves a lot less to cinema than the intended medium. It still works fine as an art film, less so as a documentary.
I think Baldwin may be the great intellectual for the Obama years, despite not living to see his presidency. I found him to be, like most liberals, too blind to the class aspects of race. Which both Malcom X and MLK changed towards the end of their lives. The best stuff in the film is the archive footage, especially the scene with Baldwin chewing the professor out. The advanced course, after OJ: Made in America.