Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

'Rated X by an all white jury' - Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song starts Melvin Van Peebles (father of Mario) as the eponymous hero Sweet Sweetback. This film tells the story of an African American man's flight from white oppression ... and when this guy runs, he really runs! It's like watching the love-child of Shaft and Forrest Gump as Sweet runs and runs and runs ... and runs some more. When Sweet's not running, he manages to find the time and energy to sleep with a number of beautiful women ('actresses' hand-picked by Van Peebles for the express purpose of him having unsimulated sex with them on screen - although the sex is real, none of the 'ins and outs' are shown, but Van Peebles did end up contracting an STD during the making of the film and successfully filed for compensation for his 'injury'!

Highly regarded by some critics as an early masterpiece in Black Cinema, I encourage you, unless you are a film student or rampant cinephile, you'd probably thank me for saying that you should give this self-indulgent waste of time (in the same sense that Brown Bunny was a self-indulgent piece of shit) a wide berth. There are so many much better examples of Black Cinema out there which don't try to be what they're not.

If you know what's good for you, you will run and run and run as quickly as you can in any direction, so long as it's away from anywhere this film is playing!

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