Raoul Peck ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ on Solely Using James Baldwin’s Words
“I Am Not Your Negro” (Magnolia), Raoul Peck’s acclaimed documentary on author James Baldwin, opened extremely well this weekend to achieve an elevated position among this year’s Oscar Documentary Features. It also defied the usual strategy for specialized releases, documentary or otherwise, with a wider that usual first week opening.
It joins the Iranian “The Salesman” as a perfectly timed late-stage release. Asghar Faradi’s film expanded in its second weekend to about the same number of theaters showing “Negro.” They stand out as fresh blood in a period when multiple longer running Oscar nominees are still thriving, including a rare trifecta of three Best Picture nominees in the Top Ten: “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land” and “Lion.”
The first two Sundance 2017 films debuted theatrically, both with near-term home viewing prospects. Barbara Kopple’s “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” (on YouTube Red this Wednesday) and “Oklahoma City” (on PBS Tuesday night) opened in New York and Los Angeles for review attention and film award qualification.
Listen to an interview of the director in NPR Fresh Air