Watch 'Unstoppable: A Conversation w/ Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks & Ossie Davis'

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 2, 2013 9:17 PM
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Titled Unstoppable: A Conversation With Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks and Ossie Davis, the documentary aired on the Black STARZ! network in early 2005, a week after Ossie Davis died.

It's an intimate, candid portrait of 3 of our most treasured film artists together for, as I said above, the only time, on screen, to discuss their extraordinary careers, including the myriad of issues they faced, their struggles and triumphs. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the only existing filmed interview with these 3 legends, together, in the same room, at the same time. 

But even if it's not the only one, this one is still very much worth watching/listening to. There are a lot of years, experience and wisdom to learn from here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire hour-long portrait, learning quite a few things about each of them that I wasn't aware of previously. For example, I didn't know that Gordon Parks almost directed a movie based on the life of Alexander Pushkin. As he says, the project was practically all set to go, but then there was a regime change at the time, at the company that was backing the film, and the whole thing eventually fell apart.

Ossie Davis also says that a dream project of his was to make a Puskin film, as well as one on Toussaint Louverture.

As an aside, you might recall that Jeffrey Wright very recently said that his dream project would be to star as Puskin in a biopic. 

Also featured in the documentary are commentary contributions from Reginald Hudlin, Julie Dash, Ruby Dee, Nelson George, and  Mario Van Peebles.

Warrington Hudlin moderates the conversation.

It doesn't appear to be available on any home video format currently; although it was probably released at some point (I couldn't determine that with certainty), because a YouTube user recently uploaded the entire documentary to that video sharing website, so they must own a hard copy of it. I did send them a message asking what their source was, but no response yet.

Regardless, the entire 64-minute doc is on YouTube, and embedded below in 5 parts, so check it out:

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  • Reelblack | April 4, 2013 1:22 AMReply

    Great share. I remember seeing this a while ago, either at Urbanworld or Denver Pan African. I'm 99% sure this was never commercially available but I'm glad someone taped it and decided to share. MA great piece of history.

  • ThankYouSoMuch! | April 3, 2013 7:05 AMReply

    Much appreciated!

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