There is no doubt in my mind that James Baldwin was one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, and I Am Not Your Negro serves as both a history lesson and an introduction to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.
Raoul Peck uses an unfinished, 30 page draft of Baldwin’s to envisage the book that he never completed, translating it into film form. Using a mixture of archive footage of Baldwin and footage depicting the civil rights movement, Peck weaves together a history of blackness in America from writer’s often poetic point of view.
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To say that Pablo Larraín has a talent for biographical filmmaking would be an understatement. What he does with the genre is much more interesting than a strict documentation of a person or a period in their life. In Neruda, Larraín’s film about the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda, he takes the skeleton of a biography and twists it into a detective story turned mythological tale; so spellbinding that it seems implausible that it could resemble anything close to the truth.
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I have spent a lot of time considering my childhood as a girl. In fact, thinking about it has been an integral part of working out my own identity, as well as where I fit in the world. Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s portrait of Turkish girlhood, is both culturally specific while remaining reminiscent of the lives of young women on a universal scale. As a result, this is not a tale of five orphans, this is a story about five incredibly strong girls.
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