"This film is dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters who have had enough of the Man".
Melvin Van Peebles' Sweetback, is on the run. When he witnesses the brutal beating of a black revolutionary by (do I even need to say) WHITE cops, Sweetback administers a little street justice. Since the beating of (do I still need to say) WHITE cops is not something that the Man takes lightly, Sweetback is forced to take it on the lam, heading for Mexico. The way is not easy and he is forced to deal with hardship (police as incompetant as they are racist and biker gangs looking for good times)as he makes a dash for the border.
With today's culture, where The Man may be a little harder to identify (I guess that depends greatly on who you are and where you live since I am sure there are those today with whom the movie still resonates), I was a little disturbed by the open portrayal of stereotypes that I have spent years rejecting.
This was an interesting look at what could have been the Godfather of Blaxploitation films. Though often seeming stiff and roughly cut, it seems that the feeling had been edited for a deliberate artistic feel. The use of montages and spliced repetitive dialogue, while noticable is almost subliminal in it's affects.
"Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" is a certainly worthy of it's place in The Book, although I might argue that being there, it over-shadows the other genre films of the time. "Shaft" and "Superfly" making them easily removable.