Nothing But a Man
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Nothing But a Man
A landmark independent film, Nothing but a Man is the first dramatic story featuring a largely black cast created for an integrated audience (the work of black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux was intended for audiences who patronized black-only theaters). White filmmakers Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young traveled through the South in 1962 in search of ideas for a fiction feature set during the growing turbulence of the civil rights era. Their story, based in Alabama but shot in southern New Jersey, is only tangentially related to the movement toward equality. Duff, an itinerant black… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"So astute about the economic and racial politics of the Jim Crow South, and particularly about the trauma suffered by black men struggling for respectability, that it's hard to believe it was made by two white guys ..."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice
"[Roemer] and his collaborators create images and sounds, characters and situations, that embody the title's existential affirmation."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"In addition to its marvellous performances and perspicacious treatment of difficult themes, Nothing But a Man is a technical triumph."
‑ Ashley Clark, Little White Lies
"Roemer had little more than his wits and good intentions to work with, and that DIY attitude makes the movie reverberate like a blues chord."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Boston Phoenix
"The title almost suggests manhood as something trifling. The film, however, confirms it's a mighty hard ideal to reach."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"A sincere, intelligent, and effectively acted independent feature."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"As a political statement, it's wholly implicit, without a hint of the soapbox."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"It can't be overstated just how Nothing But a Man is militantly tone-deaf to the Hollywood muzak of race relations."
‑ Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine
"Its historical import as a peripheral civil-rights document can't be understated."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"The performances are so fresh and natural - yet so subtle and delicately judged. The direction is superb in its control and the cinematography creates a gripping docu-realist vision."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"One of the best black films ever made."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It is difficult to fathom the long obscurity of this sincere, compassionate film."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
More reviews for Nothing But a Man on Rotten Tomatoes