How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It) (2005)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Melvin Van Peebles created a new style of African-American filmmaking in 1971, when on a shoestring budget he made Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, a violent action picture about a sex-show stud on the run from the police that below the surface served as a call for revolution in the black community. But Sweet Sweetback was hardly Van Peebles' first or only bold achievement in the arts. After brief careers piloting cable cars in San Francisco and flying fighter planes in the Korean War, Van … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Joe Angio
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 5, 2007

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Critic Reviews for How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (8)

[Van Peebles] could surely survive a more critical and complete look at his extraordinary life and times.

Full Review… | November 27, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

... enlightening doc ...

January 20, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic

Angio's film is an excellent introduction, but it won't be long before you realize that his subject is too complex to be contained in a single admiring tribute.

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
New York Daily News
Top Critic

This documentary about the pioneering black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles is nearly as mischevious and fascinating as its subject.

January 19, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Melvin Van Peebles gets the idolatrous treatment in this documentary by first-time director Joe Angio.

Full Review… | January 19, 2006
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Frisky, enthralling and inspiring.

Full Review… | January 19, 2006
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It)

Although many know him primarily through his work on film(notably the landmark "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song"), what the entertaining and illuminating documentary "How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company(And Enjoy It)"(perhaps the best title ever for a documentary) sets out to prove in fine style is that there is much more to Melvin Van Peebles than just that. As he is the epitome of the modern renaissance man, Van Peebles has also been a navigator for the air force, drove a trolley in San Francisco, a writer, a musician(although as one person puts it, he sings like a 'frog on crack'), a television commentator and, oh why not, a Wall Street trader. He came to filmmaking while living in France where as a writer he was able to get a part-time filmmaking license.(Which is so cool by the way.) And that led to Hollywood, followed by his greatest success with 'Sweetback' that as the documentary puts it, made it hip to be a revolutionary, unlike the movie's many imitators which simply did not get it.

Okay, there are some places where this documentary does not go very deep, but probably for the best, considering it would involve Van Peebles' personal life. And I would like to salute his stamina for his prolific love life which in reality probably did lead to more than its share of heartbreak. And sadly there is no mention of his son Mario's film "Baadasssss!" about his father's film, nor about Mario's very small and controversial part in said film.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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