Skip to content

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (50th Anniversary)

Closing Night Co-presented by HMAAC

Nov 17, 2021, 08:00 PM Rooftop Cinema Club $25.00 Get Tickets

This program is preceded by a Live DJ Set at 7:00pm and is co-presented by Houston Museum of African American Culture.

A landmark of Black and American independent cinema that would send shock waves through the culture, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was Melvin Van Peebles’s second feature film, after he walked away from a contract with Columbia in order to make his next film on his own terms. Acting as producer, director, writer, composer, editor, and star, Van Peebles created the prototype for what Hollywood would eventually co-opt and make into the blaxploitation hero: a taciturn, perpetually blank-faced performer in a sex show, who, when he’s pushed too far by a pair of racist cops looking to frame him for a crime he didn’t commit, goes on the run through a lawless underground of bikers, revolutionaries, sex workers, and hippies in a kill-or-be-killed quest for liberation from white oppression. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’s incendiary politics are matched by Van Peebles’s revolutionary style, in which jagged jump cuts, kaleidoscopic superimpositions, and psychedelic sound design come together in a sustained howl of rage and defiance.

Country, Year United States, 1971
DirectorMelvin Van Peebles
WriterMelvin Van Peebles
CastMelvin Van Peebles, Hubert Scales, John Dullaghan, Simon Chuckster, Mario Van Peebles
ProducerJerry Gross, Melvin Van Peebles
Runtime97 MINS, SECS
Event TypeDJ Set, Film