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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

1971 / 97min / 35mm

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.

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is screening as part of Metrograph A to Z, a collection of films we think everybody should see. Click here for more info.