Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
DIRECTOR: MELVIN VAN PEEBLES
CAST: MELVIN VAN PEEBLES, SIMON CHUCKSTER, HUBERT SCALES
The tagline proclaimed “RATED X BY AN ALL-WHITE JURY,” and if anything the movie itself is more confrontational, right from the opening scene of a preadolescent Sweetback being deflowered. Grown into a strapping adult gigolo (Van Peebles, wearing all of the hats here), Sweetback becomes a fugitive after intervening in an incident of police brutality, the desperation of his flight underscored by camerawork and editing that convey pure chaos, as though it were timed to self-destruct.
Print courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art and Melvin Van Peebles. Restored with funding from The Film Foundation/Hollywood Foreign Press Association.