L E   F I F A
L E   F I F A
Naissance d'un héros noir au cinéma

Naissance d’un héros noir au cinéma

Martine Delumeau, Catherine Bernstein

France | 2021 | 52 min
French, English |
Subtitles: French
Sex, guerrilla, and emancipation… take center stage in this documentary! Melvin Van Peebles, who passed away in 2021, revolutionized the portrayal of Black individuals on screen with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.

Detroit, March 31, 1971. A young, black crowd gathers outside the Grand Circus cinema, an unusual turnout for an independently produced X‑rated film with the peculiar title Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Astonished and delighted, the audience discovers a black hero in rebellion against a racist America. Employed in a brothel in the Watts ghetto of Los Angeles, Sweetback has gone off the grid after defending a Black Panther and knocking out the police who attacked him. The theme of the film is: you bled my mom and dad, but you won’t get me,” calmly summarizes Melvin Van Peebles. The director is no stranger to such bold endeavors. After a successful exile in France, he returned to the United States to direct Watermelon Man, a sardonic comedy narrating the adventures of a white man who wakes up in a black body and finds it no worse off. A progressive ending seamlessly integrated into the final edit, right under the nose of the studios.
Director Martine Delumeau, Catherine Bernstein
Production Pop’ Films, 13 Prods, ARTE France

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Martine Delumeau

Catherine Bernstein

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