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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (30th Anniversary Special Edition)
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Melvin van plays Sweetback, a professional stud who works live sex shows, who is picked up by the cops to help them look as though they are working on a murder case. But when, the cops stop to rough up a revolutionary, Sweetback suddenly develops revolutionary ideas of his own and beats up the cops with his own handcuffs and goes on the run. That's essentially it, and what may seem boring, dated, disgusting and/or silly to most people, was some radical stuff back in 71. [...] It's radical enough now, you ain't ever seen a film like this! During his travels, Sweetback encounters all kinds of opposition (cops, biker gangs, posses etc), sees all kinds of places in the ghetto (baptist churches, rat-infested tenements, and finally the dessert)and is subjected to all kinds of experimental film making (colour tints, subjective shots, weird angles, freeze-frames etc.)
What makes this film so different and exciting for me, is that having obviously been made with private money and many, many miles away froma studio, it can and does push the politics and revolutionary rhetoric right in your face and believe me it does! It is little wonder that Huey Newton (supposedly) made this required viewing for the Black Panther Party and that within a short time films like Shaft, Superfly and their clones were filling the cinemas on 42nd Street.Read more ›
The content or message of `Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song' can be summarized in the following words you will see at the beginning of the film: "This film is dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters who had enough of the Man." Most probably before this film no film had ever tried to show a black character hitting and knocking out a white (and a white cop for that matter), and for better or worse, the way the film does it is amazingly raw and crude.
The Man is represented by several non-descriptive white cops who beat up a black. When star and director Melvin Van Peebles says he had enough, he (or his character) shows it by bludgeoning the cops senseless. The police (largely whites) are not competent enough to chase Sweetback, and he gets away very easily from them. By the conventional standard of narrative, the film is almost pointless, going on and on without showing where it is leading us. Occasionally we see Sweetback helped by some and betrayed by others (including blacks), or the strange episodes of Sweetback drinking the water in the mud.
It might look strange today that the film actually became a big hit in 1971, but it did. What distinguishes `Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song' from the films like `Shaft' and `Coffy' both commercial success, is the crudeness of its message and the techniques.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a unique film. It is short on dialogue and story and is not praise-worthy; however, if you are a collector of black cinema, you must have this. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Harold Armstrong
Great movie overall, some personal conflicts with the plot brings down its value for me (e.g. the way women are treated in the film)Published 4 months ago by Blake
This movie was interesting. It was okay and I will watch it again. He does live up to his name......Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
From my 1967-75 film blog (By all means follow me)
http://ianchampion-ianvoicing.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/blaxploitation-introduction. Read more