Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Film Recommendation - 'Story Of A Three-Day Pass'

For those who think that Melvin Van Peebles didn't exist before Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song... he made 2 feature films before that seminal work. This is one of them.

I plan to review a bunch of films in the upcoming weeks, including this one. So, see it before that glorious day comes when I post my critique! It'll make for a worthwhile experience.

The film is called Story Of A Three-Day Pass, Van Peebles's very first feature film from 1968, and, as I just found out today after hanging out with this guy for part of my afternoon, it was the first feature-length film (on record) directed by an African American since Oscar Micheaux's last effort in 1948, The Betrayal. So, from 1948 to 1968, a 20-year gap, there wasn't a single feature-length, fictional narrative film (on record) with an African American at the helm. William Greaves was working prior to '68, but he only dabbled in documentaries.

The story goes... at the time, Van Peebles couldn't get work in the film industry in the USA, so, like many other African American artists did in those days, he went to Europe (France specifically), and directed his first feature (aka Story Of A Three-Day Pass) in France, with French money. Cue critical acclaim (both abroad and in the USA) and, eventually, he landed a job in Hollywood, and then he made his first and only studio film in 1970, titled, Watermelon Man, which I'll profile later.

Here's the trailer for Story Of A Three-Day Pass (it's incomplete, but there's enough there to give you some idea of what it's like). Check out the DVD info HERE:


  1. Invisible Woman said...

    saw it.

    hated it.

    just mho

  2. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    As someone who doesn't quite get all the fuss about Mr Van Peebles, I must say this at least looks like it could be interesting.

    Of course, if it's just about a well-hung negro demonstrating his sexual prowess, particularly with the white chicks, getting double-crossed, becoming an outlaw and getting back at the man... Then I guess you can at least tell us which genre it works better in - French New Wave or Blaxploitation.

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