Magnolia Pictures Acquires Raoul Peck’s ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

Distributor lands North American rights to documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, “Remember This House”

Last Updated: September 15, 2016 @ 1:23 PM

Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, “Remember This House.”

“Remember This House” is considered one of the great incomplete works of American literature, in which Baldwin attempted to recount the lives and successive assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The author’s notes and the unfinished manuscript were entrusted to filmmaker Peck by the Baldwin estate.

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, “I Am Not Your Negro” turns the 30 pages of “Remember This House” that Baldwin wrote before his passing in 1987 into an American epic of murders, martyrs, politics and race, per the official description. While steeped in the stories of the struggles for racial and economic equality in the ’50s and ’60s, “I Am Not Your Negro” also takes a look at how America’s collective past has shaped our attitudes about race in the present.

“I Am Not Your Negro’ is a masterful work of art from a filmmaker that we’ve long admired,” Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, said. “Raoul has taken the incandescent writings of James Baldwin and crafted a profound and indelible statement that couldn’t be more timely or powerful.”

“James Baldwin has clearly become intellectually and politically unsurpassable — in fact, a visionary,” added Peck. “Ironically and tragically, he is becoming more so by the day. It is truly a pleasure to partner with such a great team to re-introduce James Baldwin to the American audience.”

“We’re extremely proud to support Raoul Peck’s vision,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “His extraordinary interpretation of James Baldwin’s work is as relevant and urgent as Baldwin’s clarion voice.”

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia co-EVP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with ICM Partners and Del Shaw on behalf of the filmmakers.

Wide House is representing international rights. ARTE France is a major financer of the film.