How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company
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How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company
Melvin Van Peebles created a new style of African-American filmmaking in 1971, when on a shoestring budget he made Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, a violent action picture about a sex-show stud on the run from the police that below the surface served as a call for revolution in the black community. But Sweet Sweetback was hardly Van Peebles' first or only bold achievement in the arts. After brief careers piloting cable cars in San Francisco and flying fighter planes in the Korean War, Van Peebles moved to Paris, where he wrote five novels, became a regular contributor to an… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"... enlightening doc ..."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"This documentary about the pioneering black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles is nearly as mischevious and fascinating as its subject."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"A phenomenal outline of [Melvin Van Peeble's] prolific and varied life."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Cinematical
"[Van Peebles] could surely survive a more critical and complete look at his extraordinary life and times."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"Angio's film is an excellent introduction, but it won't be long before you realize that his subject is too complex to be contained in a single admiring tribute."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Melvin Van Peebles gets the idolatrous treatment in this documentary by first-time director Joe Angio."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"The first film to fully encompass Van Peebles' long, varied and impressive career."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"The 72-year-old Melvin remains fascinating as an artist, self-promoter, and success story."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"How to Eat is finally nostalgic, albeit less so for Van Peebles, who at 73 remains active on multiple artistic fronts, than for a lost era when brash individualism and radical politics seemed to go hand in hand."
‑ Joshua Land, Village Voice
"Frisky, enthralling and inspiring."
‑ Gene Seymour, Newsday
"A warts and all bio-pic which chronicles the life of a brash Renaissance Man who, frustrated by racism in America, abandoned the U.S. for France at an early age to pursue an assortment of artistic endeavors overseas."
‑ Kam Williams, BlackFilm.com
"... offers a solid overview of the pioneering African-American filmmaker's wide-ranging career."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company on Rotten Tomatoes