Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  108 min.
Release Date: June 25, 2004
DVD: September 14, 2004

Current rating: Rating: 3.68
based on 351 votes and 3 reviews
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Cast: Mario Van Peebles, Joy Bryant, T.K. Carter, Terry Crews, Ossie Davis, David Alan Grier, Nia Long, Paul Rodriguez, Saul Rubinek, Vincent Schiavelli, Khleo Thomas, Rainn Wilson


Director Melvin Van Peebles stunned the world with his debut feature. Filmed in France and selected as the French entry in the San Francisco Film Festival, Melvin's film was awarded the top prize. In 1968, for a black man to walk up to the podium and accept the top festival award for a film he had to go abroad to make was big news.

Melvin was determined to push Hollywood boundaries with the groundbreaking, controversial, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Turned down by every major studio, Melvin was forced to self-finance. Despite the fact that initially only two U.S. theaters would play his film, Sweetback became the top-grossing independent hit of 1971, spawning a decade of similar studio fare such as Shaft , Superfly and Foxy Brown . Melvin had brought the hood to Hollywood.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Studio: Mongrel Media
Producer(s): Mario Van Peebles
Screenplay: Mario Van Peebles, Dnnis Haggerty
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  • 5 stars "Brilliant, rousing, and engrossing. Fantastic!"
  • 5 stars "Mario Van Peebles writes, directs, and stars as his father, filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles in this chronicle of the making of Melvin's revolutionary film SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAAD ASSSSS SONG. Engrossing and inspirational. One of the best ever movies about filmmaking."