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trinidad+tobago film fest to feature 'I Am Not Your Negro'

LEGEND: Late author James Baldwin, the inspiration behind documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro'

THE LIVES of two great revolutionary thinkers and writers feature in this year’s trinidad+tobago film festival as part of its programme of panorama films (world cinema), announced today.

Among them is the much anticipated I Am Not Your Negro, by renowned Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, based on an unfinished manuscript by American civil rights activist and writer, James Baldwin.

Also set to screen at the festival, which runs from September 19-26, is Neruda - loosely based on a period in the life of Chilean poet and communist politician, Pablo Neruda.

In Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, the words of writer James Baldwin (read by Samuel L. Jackson), link the lives of three American civil rights activists — Martin Luther King Jr; Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, in a disturbingly topical indictment of racism and hatred in America.
The film takes as its starting point Baldwin’s manuscript, Remember This House, a moving, poetic and at times humorous memoir, that puts the spotlight on America’s history of irrational fear and denial of race inequality. Baldwin, who died in 1987, and whose disillusionment with the US led him to emigrate to Europe, saw America as steadfastly narrow-minded, with racism as the source of its emotional and moral poverty.

Neruda covers the (roughly) 13 months that the poet spent in hiding from political persecution, before escaping to Argentina. Pablo Neruda was a communist party politician in 1948, when then President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla betrayed his leftist roots and aligned himself with the USA’s war on communism. In an instant Neruda lost his high-powered allies and was forced into hiding. The fictitious police inspector, Óscar Peluchonneau, (Gael García Bernal) is dispatched to arrest him, and a thriller of sorts with a cat and mouse chase ensues. Far from being a traditional biography, this is a whimsical, quirky portrait of the poet, that celebrates his spirit and a momentous time in his life.

For the full line-up of panorama films click here.

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