Screening Event: Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Director: Melvin Van Peebles
United States, 1971, 97min
Format: Digital
Festival Year: 2016
Category: Feature Narrative

Cast:  Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales


After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male sex performer goes on the run from “the man” with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.


Melvin Van Peebles was born on August 21, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), Panther (1995) and Last Action Hero (1993). Melvin has been nominated for three Tony Awards: in 1972, as Best Book (Musical) and Best Score, as both Composer and Lyricist, for “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death;” and in 1973, as Best Book (Musical) for “Don’t Play Us Cheap.”