Following up his narrative drama Cassandro, Roger Ross Williams returned to the documentary realm for his second feature of the year with Stamped from the Beginning. Adapting Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book, the TIFF selection utilizes vivid animations and leading female scholars to explore the history of anti-Black racist ideas. Ahead of a Netflix release next month, the first trailer has now arrived.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams brings Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s New York Times bestseller to the screen with Stamped from the Beginning. Published in 2016, Dr. Kendi’s National Book Award winner chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Williams’ documentary adaptation uses an innovative animation process that blends live action with the art of the era to illuminate figures and moments both well-known and obscure, both historical and contemporary. Leading female academics and activists such as Dr. Angela Davis, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Dr. Jennifer L. Morgan, and Dr. Kendi guide viewers through a searing account of how racist tropes and imagery were developed and enshrined in American culture.”
Edward Frumpkin said in his review, “If your education was only gleaned from the American public school system, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks may be the only Black historical figures you know. The limited overview of the Civil Rights movement and slavery is at stake when schools, government, and other authoritative bodies whitewash dark annals of the country’s foundation in today’s direction of banning the passage of the past to future generations. Yet Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams inhibits America’s violent chapters, taboo portions, and past Presidents from being forgotten in his newest film, Stamped From the Beginning.”
See the trailer below.
Stamped from the Beginning opens in theaters on November 10 and on Netflix on November 20.