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

2006 • 84 minutes
2 reviews
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About this movie

Part icon, part iconoclast, Melvin Van Peebles is a prolific and multi-talented artist with a life story as fascinating as his work. Never deterred by rejection, Van Peebles made his name with one of the most controversial films ever made, the self-produced Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, which redefined independent cinema and single-handedly sparked the Blaxploitation era. But this award-winning documentary shows that the story doesn’t end there, playfully charting Van Peebles’s incredible journey from Air Force pilot to civil rights activist to French novelist to Wall Street trader—a remarkable, rollicking tale that reveals how Sweet Sweetback really got his song.
Full of rare archival footage and unforgettable backstage stories from Spike Lee, Mario Van Peebles, Gordon Parks and others, How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) is a provocative and humorous portrait of a man whose groundbreaking impact on art, politics and pop culture remains as relevant as ever.

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