Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 3,235
Produced, directed, written, scored by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles, this landmark "blaxploitation" film was as controversial as it was popular for its then X-rated story of one African-American man's triumph over the Man. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as
Jan 1, 1971 Wide
Jan 14, 2003
The first black director to break into commercial cinema, Van Peebles obviously feels deeply about black oppression. But he has chosen, paradoxically, to make the kinds of unrealistic films for which blacks have justly criticized white film-makers.
A shrewd and powerful mix of commercial ingredients and ideological intent.
Totally uncompromising and grindingly repetitive, the film nevertheless accumulates a kind of hallucinatory groove, with unexpected shafts of bizarre humour and vigorous, experimental new wave direction.
A landmark in Black filmmaking in the U.S., this angry, extravagant, loud, belligerent movie reaches a high pitch early on and stays there.
Even 30-odd years on, the picture still has more than a whiff of rebellion about it.
Melvin van Peebles' blaxploitation 'classic' still doesn't fare well by either artistic standards or simple good taste, but any student of the genre is well advised to check it out.
It is style, glamour, and even virtuosic direction (in the inclusive use of so many familiar techniques) that paves Sweetback's value as a timepiece - its lasting, testimonial contribution is its position as the first of its kind.
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January 24, 2010:Life Is Still Sweet for Melvin Van Peebles
Nearly 40 years after he brought "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" to the screen, 77-year-old...