While James Baldwin is best known for his written works, he also had a compelling screen presence as the subject of multiple documentary films. Using previously unreleased video and audio recordings from the Sedat Pakay Collection at the Yale Film Archive, this essay argues that Baldwin’s appearances on film can provide unique insights into his lifelong process of identity formation. It looks closely at several key moments in the short documentary films “Meeting the Man” (1970), directed by Terence Dixon in Paris, and “From Another Place” (1973), directed by Sedat Pakay MFA ’68 in Istanbul, exploring themes of exile, race, and what it means to bear witness.
Stern, Madeleine W., ""The Language of Our Dreams": James Baldwin's Project of Identity Formation on Paper and Film" (2022). Kaplan Senior Essay Prize for Use of Library Special Collections. 26.
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