Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Cinema, Dies at 89


Staff member
Melvin Van Peebles, the pioneering African-American auteur behind the 1970s films Watermelon Man and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, has died. He was 89.

Van Peebles, the father of actor-director Mario Van Peebles, died Tuesday night at his home in Manhattan. His family, The Criterion Collection and Janus Films announced his death in a statement.