- 1 hr 48 min
BAADASSSSS! is a movie that tells the story of how the legendary filmmaker, Melvin Van Peebles, overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to create the iconic Blaxploitation film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. The film is set in the early 1970s, at the height of racial tensions and civil unrest in America. Mario Van Peebles, Melvin's son, directs and stars in the film, playing his father as he navigates the cutthroat world of Hollywood and the treacherous landscape of America during that tumultuous time.
Van Peebles, a struggling director and actor in his own right, is desperate to find a way to finance his ambitious project. Frustrated with the lack of support and resources available to Black filmmakers, he turns to a group of investors that includes drug dealers, pimps, and other shady characters to raise the funds he needs to get his film made.
As production begins, it becomes clear that Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song will be unlike any other film that Hollywood has ever seen. The movie features a Black protagonist who is unapologetically sexual and violent, and it depicts the raw reality of life for African Americans in America, without any filters or apologies.
Despite the obstacles and setbacks that Van Peebles faces along the way, including being constantly threatened and harassed by the police, he perseveres and eventually manages to finish the film. And when Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is finally released, it becomes an instant sensation, breaking box office records and inspiring an entire generation of Black filmmakers.
The film is both a tribute to Melvin Van Peebles' groundbreaking work as a filmmaker and a celebration of the Black creative spirit in all its forms. Mario Van Peebles' performance is passionate and full of heart, and he is supported by an excellent cast that includes Nia Long, Joy Bryant, and Paul Rodriguez.
The cinematography is stunning, with the film capturing the gritty, low-budget look and feel of the Blaxploitation genre while still managing to convey the urgency and importance of the story being told. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, with original music by Earth, Wind & Fire that perfectly captures the energy and spirit of the film.
Overall, BAADASSSSS! is a powerful and inspiring film that will leave viewers feeling both moved and motivated. It is a testament to the resilience and creativity of the human spirit, and a tribute to the power of art to change the world.
BAADASSSSS! is a 2003 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 75.