"This was my first exposure to Van Peebles and I wish this dvd were much longer as I found his comments insightful,interesting and slyly amusing. Bring an open mind and you will begin to see and make connections you never considered before. He's respectful of the people who made careers as a black actor in Hollywood while still pointing out the broad assumptions underlying the roles and the changes from decade to decade. I checked this film out becuase of Spike Lee's comment about it on the Bamboozled dvd. Like Spike, MVP doesn't apologize for not suger coating how he sees things. And his views are fascinating, if difficult.I consider this a must see dvd for anyone interested in film history, black cinema, or a different look at the Lethal Weapon series. MVP talks about how there was a moment when he saw past the film on the screen and into the broader view of the films taken together as a whole. After viewing this dvd I had quite a bit to think about. I wish I had seen this film before Bamboozled as it is a great prequel to the message of the Spike Lee film. My hope is that these two together lead to more extensive studies of the topic - perhaps a joint project with MVP, Spike Lee and other interested actors/directors. If you're even thinking about ordering this dvd - do it. It's less costly than a large pizza and much more filling."
Much Props to Melvin Van Peebles
firstname.lastname@example.org | usa | 05/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"everything He said Hit Home ten fold.the History of Black Actors&Actress's out in Hollywood hasn't always been given the best possible showing.this Documentary pulls no punches&just deals the Cards the way they were dealt from start to finish.I wish this was longer because when you are watching History you want to keep on learning.Brother Melvin VAn Peebles is truly a Pioneer&One of the Most Versatile Creative Human Beings that has graced the Planet."
Good video for my class
Gerald Strothers | Cleveland Ohio | 03/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is one of two presentations that I show to my class every year following a discussion on stereotypes. This is a no BS presentation that shows how images have been maniupulated through the decades of film. I finally bought the DVD so it could be stopped and discussed. Since I teach African American History all year round instead of just during February, this video is one that I always have available. My suggestion is to also find a copy of the Bill Cosby video "Black History: Lost, Stolen, Strayed" if you can and show or watch right before this one."
In defense of classic African-American performers....
mantanfan | 06/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The reviewer who claims that "samboing" black performers of vintage Hollywood were not funny is both right and wrong. Some of them were not funny, but some of those African-American artists were very funny entertainers who were extremely talented even if they had to do some "samboing" to showcase their talents. Performers like Moreland and Rochester were nothing short of highly talented comedic geniuses. To claim that their comedy only caused their people to suffer ignores two extremely important facts: there was far more to their talent than just "samboing", and whites with blackened faces were already hurting blacks with racist "humor". Talented African-American artists like Moreland and Rochester subverted an already existing racist stereotype to open the door to real black performers, culture, and artistry. They stole the spotlight from racist whites with their comedic talent and worked clever non-racist humor into their performances thus paving the way for future African-American stars and comedians. Comedic subversive geniuses like Moreland and Rochester shouldn't be damned for their sacrifice and comedic talent. They should be appreciated for being damn funny, and honored for helping to change the face of American comedy forever."
Coffy6 | Trenton, NJ United States | 02/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very informative DVD. Melvin Van Peebles is a master of entertainment. He gives a very informative and accurate overview of the history of Black Cinema. I recommend this DVD to anyone who is interested in exploring the true roots of African-Americans in film. We have come a long way from Step N Fetchit!!!"