SNF Parkway Virtual Theatre


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Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, 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 books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a promotion and a three-day leave from base by his casually racist commanding officer 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 creates an exploration of the psychology of an interracial relationship as well as a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race that is playful, sarcastic, and stingingly subversive by turns, and that laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would unleash just a few years later with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.

New 4K restoration by IndieCollect in consultation with Mario Van Peebles, with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    87 minutes
  • Language
    French & English with English subtitles
  • Country
  • Premiere
    1967 San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Rating
    Not Rated
  • Note
    Content Consideration:
  • Director
    Melvin Van Peebles
  • Screenwriter
    Melvin Van Peebles based on his novel "La Permission"
  • Producer
    Guy Belford
  • Cast
    Harry Baird, Nicole Berger
  • Cinematographer
    Michel Kelber
  • Editor
    Liliane Korb
  • Music
    Melvin Van Peebles