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How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It)

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Released 2007

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Movie Summary

Director:
Keely Christian
Released:
2007
Rating:
Not Available
How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It) is a documentary chronicling the life and career of African-American filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Most well known for his very revolutionary 1970 film Sweet Sweetback's Baadaaass Song, Melvin Van Peebles has quietly carved out a legendary career and become one of the most influential African-American artists of the 20th century. When the widespread media did not have the kind of art he liked, Van Peeples did it himself, forging a daring and markedly different kind of product. Joe Angio's unique documentary attempts to encapsulate the career of this eccentric figure, from his move to France, where he penned five French language novels, and back to America, where he began a career as a director. Angio chronicles the many jobs and accomplishments of Van Peeples himself, from film director to broadway musical director, to pioneer musician, to Air Force pilot, to unlikely and notable success as a Wall Street trader. Via archival footage and interviews with the like of Spike Lee, Gil Scott-Heron, and son Mario Van Peebles, the life of this eccentric and groundbreaking personality is summed up in a box on the screen, if that's even possible.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Lively interviews from a wide range of people, a wealth of excerpted footage stretching over decades, and a story packed with legend are served up by helmer Joe Angio with a verve ...

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The film chronicles an astonishing career...Mr. Van Peebles is that rarest of modern creatures: a free man.

  • 63

    New York Daily News Elizabeth Weitzman

    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. When you want to kn...

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    Categories

    Documentary

    Themes

    Biography, African-American Heritage