In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.Written by
The film was deemed Best Documentary by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, took home the People's Choice Award from the Toronto International Film Festival and won a creative recognition award from the International Documentary Association, to name a few. See more »
To watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality. We are cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly. These images are designed not to trouble, but to reassure. They also weaken our ability to deal with the world...
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The Jailhouse Blues
Lyrics and Music Written by Lightnin Hopkins (as Sam Hopkins)
Tradition Music Co.
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
Performed by Sam Collins (1927)
Courtesy of Yazoo Records/Shanachie Entertainment, Inc. See more »
This film should be required for every American. It is one of the most important films of our time. It is lyrical, profound, historic and of this moment. And, at the same time it is profoundly intimate. James Baldwin is right here with us, front and center, looking right at us, talking with us, imploring us to consider the urgent questions he raised 50 years ago that are as urgent today. Thank you Raoul Peck. This is a masterpiece. It is as poetic as it is a demand for white people to come to terms with how they have constructed blackness and what, indeed, this means about whiteness. Peck includes one of Baldwin's most famous statements on this in the film: "What white people have to do, is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a n*#!er in the first place. Because I'm not a n*#!er. I'm a man, but if you think I'm a n*#!er, it means you need it. . . . If I'm not a n*#!er here and you invented him — you, the white people, invented him — then you've got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it's able to ask that question." This is it. Our future depends on it. Baldwin cannot say it more clearly.
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