Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
With director Melvin Van Peebles in person
Moderated by Warrington Hudlin, President of the Black Filmmaker Foundation and Museum trustee
Dir. Melvin Van Peebles. 1971, 97 mins. Restored 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art. With Melvin Van Peebles. Melvin Van Peebles’s revolutionary cri de coeur—dedicated to “all of the black brothers and sisters who have had enough of The Man”—dropped like an X-rated bombshell on 1970s America and set off a wave of subversive black cinema. The writer/producer/director/composer stars as the eponymous, well-endowed sex show performer who fights back when he witnesses a pair of white cops beating up a Black Panther member, precipitating a wild, surreal flight through South Central Los Angeles. Brash, hallucinatory, and furiously angry, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is a visionary mash-up of DIY experimentation and radical politics. Queens World Film Festival is honoring Melvin Van Peebles with this year’s “Spirit of Queens” award. Following the screening, Warrington Hudlin, Museum trustee and president of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, will moderate a conversation with Van Peebles.