Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song 
Putting black cinema on the map and ushering in the legendary Blaxploitation genre of the 1970s, Melvin Van Peebles's SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG is a thrilling work of entertainment as well as a historically and ideologically significant essay on the issue of race. The film tells the story of Sweetback (Van Peebles); an apolitical black sex performer who becomes a reluctant picaresque hero when he kills the two white policemen who brutalised a young prisoner for racist reasons. On the run to Mexico, Sweetback encounters all manner of provocatively stereotypical characters, including a shower-capped ghetto thug who won't help him, a hypocritical Baptist preacher, and, of course, a host of women who can't get enough of his supercharged sexuality. Working overtime as producer, editor, and co-composer (along with Earth, Wind and Fire), Van Peebles delivers a work that is the true definition of an independent film. Incorporating striking cinematic techniques into his production - including split screens, freeze-frames, and use of film negatives - he single-handedly created a new cinematic genre, proving that true innovation comes from individual human spirit, not assembly-line studio efforts.