As one of Hollywood's few Afro-American directors, Melvin Van Peebles was on the brink of clinching a three-picture deal with a major studio, but realising they would never back the Black Power film he was itching to make and Black America needed to see, Melvin broke out on his own. The result was Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, the story of an 'ordinary black street hustler' fighting back against the system and winning. Employing non-union crew and recruiting from the pornography industry in order to save money, Van Peebles' struggle to release the film is brought back to life in this powerful docudrama, directed by and starring his son Mario Van Peebles. Controversial at the time due to its sexual explicitness, graphic violence and for depicting the truth about state-sponsored racism, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song became the highest grossing independent film of 1971. Baadasssss!, Mario's affectionate depiction of his father's epic journey through artistic innovation, financial ruin and Hollywood blacklisting, includes engaging performances from a strong ensemble cast (Joy Bryant, Terry Crews, and veteran director Ossie Davis) and proves an inspiring lesson in both moviemaking and the power of self-belief.