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1908. Chief (Mario Van Peebles) returns from years of hiding in Mexico to claim stolen reparations gold hidden in the hills of Montana but is chased by Angel (William Mapother), whose rationale to the gold leaves a trail of dead bodies. Director’s Statement America’s race-ocracy seems to be making an ugly comeback with teacher censorship, legislative obstruction, and voting rights under renewed attack. Of course, during the turn of the century women of any color were not allowed to vote and men of color could be jailed and their homes burned just for exercising their right to vote or even own land. As our characters say in”Outlaw Posse”: “When the laws are unjust the just are outlaws!” That said, the Wild West was not only brutal, it was also multicultural with approximately one out of every three or four Cowboys being black. As such, I wasn’t drawn to the reductive, traditional, whitewashed westerns, and I didn’t want to make a black western that was “reactive” to those pictures either. I was excited by the idea of seeing all of us. This, in some ways, mirrors the colorful diversity I grew up with in my own crazy family. I wanted to tell a father-son story inspired by the Johnny Cash song, “a boy named Sue,“ and informed by my own experiences as both a son and a father. To keep it grounded, I tapped my own actor kid, Mandela, to play my on-screen son – much like my own father did with me in “Sweet Sweetback.” If America is a melting pot, then I wanted to cook this cinematic gumbo with laughter, love, and jalapeños. At the dawn of the century, we were all here -- and it will take all of us to fulfill the promise that we originally dreamed up. Yeah, it’s true: today many of us are divided. We don’t break bread together or feel safe making fun of ourselves. My old man used to say “It’s boring to just hang out with people who look, think, and vote like you,” but that’s where a lot of us are at. I’m still a pessimistic-optimist. We may not watch the same news, or even share the same facts, but my hope is that some of us can still have that illusive beer summit, where we bring our expectations down low and enjoy the same raucous ride through the wild wild West together. And who knows, maybe we’ll come out the other side a little less divided. –Mario Van Peebles

  • 1 hr 48 minChildren under 17 may not attend R-rated movies unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Children ages 6 and under are not allowed at R-rated movies after 6pm.
    R
  • Mar 1, 2024
  • Western

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Cast & Crew

  • Neal McDonoughActor

  • Whoopi GoldbergActor

  • William MapotherActor

  • Meadow WilliamsActor

  • Cedric The EntertainerActor

  • Cam GigandetActor

  • Edward James OlmosActor

  • John Carroll LynchActor

  • M. Emmet WalshActor

  • Mario van PeeblesActor