Rated 4.0 Mario Van Peebles finally makes a noteworthy contribution to cinematic history by playing his father, Melvin. Melvin was the director and star of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, which started the blaxploitation cinematic revolution in the ’70s. Mario’s film chronicles the hardships in making that movie. Studio refusals and fear led to Peebles financing the film on his own dime, and then came the fun of finding a distributor and screens to showcase his work. The film went on to be a major success but practically took the life and savings of its creator, even causing temporary blindness due to stress. The movie is a bit clunky in the beginning but, once it gets humming, is a hypnotic experience. Mario delivers his best performance yet, and considering the subject, that’s an appropriate achievement. Among the film’s revelations: Bill Cosby is one of the godfathers of blaxploitation films, and Earth, Wind and Fire basically got their start with Sweetback’s soundtrack.