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James Baldwin: From Another Place

Presented by California Film Institute at Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael CA

Feb 04 2023
James Baldwin: From Another Place

James Baldwin: From Another Place

A program of three newly-restored documentary shorts about the legendary author, James Baldwin

Sat, 2/4 • 7:00

Special Program Intro on Saturday, February 4 by Anita Gail Jones

A program of three newly-restored documentary shorts about the legendary author

James Baldwin: From Another Place
A Cinema Conservancy Release

Set in Istanbul, the film opens with a surprisingly candid scene of Baldwin leisurely awakening in his bedroom. Sedat Pakay, a Turkish filmmaker who studied with Walker Evans, is known for his photographic portraits of famous artists and writers, Baldwin among them.

Here in Istanbul, Baldwin seems relatively relaxed, walking among crowds in a public park or on the city’s streets. The film offers us a self-reflective James Baldwin, one who fearlessly examines his most private thoughts and feelings.

Director Sedat Pakay  (Turkey, 1973) 12 min – Synopsis Courtesy Film Forum.
Preserved by the Yale Film Archive with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris 
Released by The Film Desk

Shot in Paris, a city in which Baldwin lived for nine years after leaving New York — a decision he has described “as a matter of life and death.” The early sequences find Baldwin uncooperative, even hostile to the British director and cameraman, clearly resenting their controlling role.

He brings them to the Bastille, whose significance he explains: “They tore down this prison… I am trying to tear a prison down too. When a white man tears down a prison, he is trying to liberate himself. When I tear down a prison, I am simply another savage. What you don’t understand is that you for me are my prison guard, you are my warden. I am battling you, not you Terry, but you the English, you the French.”

Director Terence Dixon  (UK/France, 1970) 26 min – Synopsis Courtesy Film Forum.
Picture and audio restoration by Mark Rance, Watchmaker Films, London.

Baldwin’s N*****
Released by Janus Films

Called “the Godfather of Black British filmmaking,” documentarian Horace Ové films Baldwin at the top of his game, in good spirits, joining his friend, comedian/activist Dick Gregory, at the West Indian Student Centre in London. Baldwin speaks movingly of the historical antecedents of his life and that of other Black Americans. – Synopsis Courtesy Film Forum.

Director Horace Ové  (UK 1968) 46 min

Restoration courtesy of the British Film Institute

Anita Gail Jones is a visual artist, professional storyteller and writer, born and raised in Albany, Georgia and lives in Northern California.

Anita’s debut novel, The Peach Seed, set in southwest Georgia, was a 2021 Top Ten Finalist in the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Retha Powers at Henry Holt & Company acquired World rights from  Steve Ross at Steve Ross Agency in a two-book deal.

Anita and her husband, Rob Roehrick, founded the Gaines-Jones Education Foundation, awarding need-based college scholarships to Black students in southwest Georgia and the San Francisco Bay Area in memory of her mother, sister, and father.


$12.50 – General
$9 – Senior • Youth • Matinée
$7 – CFI Members

Contact: 415-454-1222


    Official Website

Additional time info:


Sat, 2/4 • 7:00


Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

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