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Entries in I Am Not Your Negro (2)

Tuesday
Jan242017

Doc Corner: The Non-Fiction Class of 2016

This year’s Oscar race for Best Documentary Feature was a fiercely competitive one. With the strength of the 15-wide finalists list, quite frankly, it would have been hard to give us a truly bad line-up. We particularly weep for the omissions of Cameraperson, Tower, Zero Days and Weiner, but personal grouching aside about a couple of the nominees, this year’s batch is quite something. We have three films about race (one with queer undertones), a foreign language title, and the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award.

The nominees are:

• Fire at Sea (Gianfranco Rosi, Donatella Palermo)
• I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, Hébert Peck)
• O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, Caroline Waterlow)
• Life, Animated (Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman)
• 13th (Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, Howard Barish)

We will be looking at the documentary short nominees later (I have one title left to watch, which is proving difficult!), but now we're going to hypothesize how the doc feature nominees did it. Let us break down the imaginary math…

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan032017

Doc Corner: 'I Am Not Your Negro' is a Towering Achievement

In Doc Corner, Glenn Dunks looks at current, future and past documentaries of note...

With new year resolutions no doubt already a distant memory (it's been three days!), it’s probably time to remember that it is really hard for people to change. And I don't just mean quitting smoking. We can try all we want, but even those of us who consider ourselves ‘progressive’ probably can’t say with any real confidence that we're not set in our ways; the same person deep inside that we were a decade ago. And even if that isn’t the case, as hard as it is to change just ourselves, just think how much harder it is to change the larger mass. And with a new President about to be inaugurated on the back of violent, blatant racism, it is sadly even more pertinent to remember this.

Now, these are not necessarily ideas that are at the forefront of Raoul Peck’s superb I Am Not Your Negro, but as it was with 13th, 10 Bullets, 3 ½ Minutes, O.J.: Made in America and many other documentaries about race, it is a recurring theme that bubbles to the surface as if by default. The more we think things are changing, the more they sadly stay the same. A film about race in the 1950s and 1960s is, sadly and inevitably, a film about race in the modern age for we are doomed to repeat the sins of the past no matter what we do...

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