To honor James Baldwin’s 90th birthday and the 25th anniversary of this award-winning 16mm documentary, a dedicated crew repaired and restored the damaged original film. Blending intimate interviews, eloquent public speeches, and private glimpses of Baldwin, the film explores what it means to be black, impoverished, gifted, and gay in a world that has yet to understand that “all men are brothers.” Baldwin’s passionate plea for equality and an end to prejudice and injustice is just as relevant today as it was when the film first appeared. With Maya Angelou, William Styron, Ishmael Reed, and Bobby Short.
Director’s Statement: Karen Thorsen
This film has turned me into a conduit for something far greater than anything I could do or say on my own. It did so back in the late ‘80s when I was first working with Baldwin; it’s doing so now, 25 years after our film was completed. Driven by Baldwin’s 90th birthday, recent current events and an urgent need for social change, I’ve put other film projects on hold and launched “Conversations with Jimmy.” A series of community-based collaborations, this nationwide initiative uses our new “digital Baldwin” to spark town-wide discussions about diversity, discrimination, and the meaning of brotherhood. The mission: to engage diverse communities, inspire dialogue despite differences, encourage citizen activists — and ensure that Baldwin’s message is heard and debated by those who need it most.
Film Restoration & Digital Re-Mastering Made Possible by:
The Ford Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Maysles Documentary Center, Stan & Joanne Marder, and Goldcrest Post