'I Am Not Your Negro' Director Raoul Peck Was "Just the Messenger" for Author James Baldwin | Documentary Oscar Roundtable

"The starting point of the movie are the words of a person, a great author, James Baldwin."

"My job was to put myself in the background," said I am Not Your Negro director Raoul Peck during The Hollywood Reporter's Documentary Oscar Roundtable.

"I knew those words since I was 15 years old. I knew how powerful they are. I knew that Baldwin is also a very controversial personality, and for me it was not about that, it was about his words and how important and impactful those words are today. I didn't want any talking heads, I didn't want anybody to interpret him, to speak for him. I wanted to be inside his head," said Peck.

"I never did a documentary like this, to rely only on those words and give them life, to find the right footage, find the right image," said Peck.

More roundtables featuring actors and actresses, screenwriters, songwriters, directors, composers and producers will continue throughout February in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting Jan. 15 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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