Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
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Produced, directed, written, scored by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles, this landmark "blaxploitation" film was as controversial as it was popular for its then X-rated story of one African-American man's triumph over the Man. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as well as violence, evading the police manhunt by any means necessary. As Sweetback runs… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The first black director to break into commercial cinema, Van Peebles obviously feels deeply about black oppression. But he has chosen, paradoxically, to make the kinds of unrealistic films for which blacks have justly criticized white film-makers."
‑ Michael Kerbel, Village Voice
"Totally uncompromising and grindingly repetitive, the film nevertheless accumulates a kind of hallucinatory groove, with unexpected shafts of bizarre humour and vigorous, experimental new wave direction."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A landmark in Black filmmaking in the U.S., this angry, extravagant, loud, belligerent movie reaches a high pitch early on and stays there."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Melvin van Peebles' blaxploitation 'classic' still doesn't fare well by either artistic standards or simple good taste, but any student of the genre is well advised to check it out."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Most of the many vignettes are absorbing in themselves, notably an encounter with a white motorcycle gang."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Instead of dramatizing injustice, Van Peebles merchandizes it."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Even 30-odd years on, the picture still has more than a whiff of rebellion about it."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"It is style, glamour, and even virtuosic direction (in the inclusive use of so many familiar techniques) that paves Sweetback's value as a timepiece - its lasting, testimonial contribution is its position as the first of its kind."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"A shrewd and powerful mix of commercial ingredients and ideological intent."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"However you slice it, the original movie just isn't very good."
‑ Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
""Song" broke ground for minorities, not for filmmaking"
‑ Christian Toto, Washington Times
"a revolutionary movie not because it's about one man's defiance, but because it put front-and-center black issues that had never been dealt with before"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
More reviews for Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song on Rotten Tomatoes