Sunday, July 15

Special Engagements ArchiveStaff Picks (past events)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

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The Late Show: New Restoration!

Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15

(1971) dir Melvin Van Peebles w/Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales [97 min; DCP]
Considered to be among the most significant features ever by an African-American filmmaker, SWEET SWEETBACK is a brutal and shocking story of survival and is credited as one of the first blaxploitation films. Legendary director/writer/producer/editor/composer Melvin Van Peebles stars as a black orphan raised in a brothel and groomed to be a sex show performer. Set up by his boss and two corrupt cops for a murder he didn’t commit, Sweetback escapes custody and is thrust into an increasingly hallucinogenic world of violence and bigotry where no one can be trusted, and the possibility of death lurks at every corner… Featuring a rousing score from a nascent Earth, Wind, & Fire, Van Peebles creates an unforgettable study of perseverance in the face of racism. Staff Pick: Cardinal, Cara

Film courtesy of Xenon Pictures, Vinegar Syndrome and the American Genre Film Archive

★★★★½ “A cinematic fusillade melding gonzo humor and guerrilla filmmaking tactics, Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is at once an intellectual enterprise and a communal rallying cry.” – Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

“For a while, Van Peebles’ ragged magnum opus of rage was the most successful indie of all time, and tapped into cultural vein as well as a creative wellspring. It’s a revolutionary movie in more ways than one.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

“This sulphurous nightmare of racial paranoia and revenge eclipses even ‘Reservoir Dogs’ in evoking a world of infinite seaminess, injustice and cruelty.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times


Buy Tickets:

Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

Friday 7/13
at 9:30 PM
Saturday 7/14
at 9:30 PM
Sunday 7/15
at 9:30 PM

Brattle passes accepted. Special, Usher, and Producer members may reserve seats here.