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BaadAsssss Cinema

Isaac Julien
2002
56 mins Colour DVD

BaadAsssss Cinema

Isaac Julien's documentary examines the short-lived, but deeply influential, flourishing of commercial Black independent filmmaking in the early 1970s which became known as 'blaxploitation'.

Filled with fragments and contributions from luminaries of the time, including actors Pam Grier and Fred Williamson, directors Melvin Van Peebles and Gordon Parks Jr., contemporary fans Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson, and critics like bell hooks, the documentary sets the films of the period in their context and asks a series of questions. Did Seventies hits such as Sweet Sweetback's BaadAssss Song and Shaft provide 'revolutionary' or retrograde images of American blacks? Why was it that 'blaxploitation' films, having helped save a declining Hollywood, then became marginalised? Julien follows the genre from the very start up till Tarantino's homage Jackie Brown.

Can be obtained from Virgin Stores.

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