Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TIFF Talk 2016: Kyisha, "I Am Not Your Negro"

Name: Kyisha from Toronto

The Film: I Am Not Your Negro (USA, France, Belgium, Switzerland)

What's it about?

It's a documentary about the life of novelist James Baldwin and his impact and continued impact on the anti-Black racism conversation in North America and the world.

Did you like it?

I really liked the film. I was impressed that you can do a documentary without talking heads. It was very poetic and experimental; which I think matched the essence of James Baldwin. I thought it was interesting how much Europe supported [his social and political views] when he was alive, and then to learn in the Q&A that the film was mostly financed by European investors (France, Belgium and Switzerland). Unfortunately, the US didn't support his ideas much back then nor did they support this film much now. Although there was also anti-Black racism where Baldwin lived in Europe, he was supported more as a person there than in the states.

Not very much has changed when it comes to race relations in North America. There are a lot of clear parallels that we can draw from what was happening back then and what is happening now. You hope that things will change and films about anti-Black racism will stop being relevant, but unfortunately, it's still very very relevant.

Follow Kyisha on Instagram.

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