STORY OF A THREE DAY PASS (15)
Sat 16 Oct 2021 - Sun 17 Oct 2021
£8* Standard | £5* Student / Under 25s
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Dir. Melvin Van Peebles
87 mins | 1968 | USA
Harry Baird, Nicole Berger, Pierre Doris
Fresh from its UK premiere at Cinema Rediscovered in Bristol this summer, we are pleased to present the 1968 debut from Melvin Van Peebles.
This edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a promotion and a three-day leave from base by his casually racist commanding officer and heads to Paris, where he finds whirlwind romance with a white woman (Nicole Berger)—but what happens to their love when his furlough is over?
Melvin Van Peebles’s Channeling the brash exuberance of the French New Wave, Van Peebles creates an exploration of the psychology of an interracial relationship as well as a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race that is playful, sarcastic, and stingingly subversive by turns, and that laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would unleash just a few years later with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. This rarely seen picture is just waiting to be celebrated by a new generation in its new 4K restoration.