DFT @ Home | The Story of a Three Day Pass (restored)
(France/1968—directed by Melvin Van Peebles)
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, 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 novels in French, one of which, La permission, would be the basis for his stylistically innovative, 1968 feature debut, The Story of a Three Day Pass. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a three-day leave from base 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?
Channeling the brash exuberance of the French New Wave, Van Peebles explores the psychology of an interracial relationship while providing a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race, all in a film that is playful, sarcastic, and wryly subversive, and that laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would unleash just three years later with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. New 4K restoration, created in consultation with Mario Van Peebles. In English and French with English subtitles. (87 minutes)
“A New Wave classic and one of the great American films of the era.” –Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Full of bold directorial choices… Melvin Van Peebles is a pioneer of 1970s American cinema, and when it comes to technique, Van Peebles is fearless. The Story of a Three Day Pass reverberated far beyond one soldier’s weekend off.” –Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times
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