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The Story of the Three Day Pass (Advised 15)

03 Sep
05 Sep 2021

Directed by

Melvin Van Peebles

The Story of the Three Day Pass (Cert. TBC)

Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy and romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself French and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La Permission, which would become his stylistically innovative feature debut The Story Of A Three Day Pass. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a promotion and a three-day leave and heads to Paris, where he finds whirlwind romance with a white Parisian woman  (Nicole Berger)—but what happens to their love when his furlough is over?
Channelling the brash exuberance of the French New Wave, Van Peebles commentates on France’s attitudes about race at the time and laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would unleash just a few years later with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.
Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project with support from the BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery.