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Friday, April 16 • 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Screening: Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song

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Released 50 years ago, Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song opened the door not only for black filmmaking but for independent movies in general. Included in MoMA’s permanent collection and considered to be among the most significant features ever by an African-American filmmaker, Sweet Sweetback is a brutal and shocking story of survival and is credited as one of the first blaxploitation films.

Director/writer/producer/editor/composer Melvin Van Peebles stars as a black orphan raised in a brothel and groomed to be a sex show performer. Set up by his boss and two corrupt cops for a murder he didn’t commit, Sweetback escapes custody and is thrust into an increasingly hallucinogenic world of violence and bigotry where no one can be trusted, and the possibility of death lurks at every corner. Featuring a rousing score from a nascent Earth, Wind, & Fire, as well as surrealist visuals from stalwart genre cinematographer Robert Maxwell (THE CANDY SNATCHERS), Van Peebles creates an unforgettable study of perseverance in the face of racism.

In 2020, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was named to the National Film Registry.

Friday April 16, 2021 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT