nora’s review published on Letterboxd:
LOVED this. it's basically the inverse of MICKEY ONE: where MICKEY is the transplantation of french new wave aesthetics into a hollywood movie, here the multi-hyphenate (truly, read his wikipedia, this guy did everything) melvin van peebles brings the Black american experience into what is essentially a french new wave film. van peebles honed his craft in france, at the cinematheque, and it's so technically centered in the nouvelle vague tradition that when THREE DAY PASS was shown in the U.S., it won an award at the san francisco film festival as a french entry.
it's such an excellent film, particularly in the ways it explores the cultural differences in racism between france and the US. the whole film is also imbued with charm through the way van peebles uses music, POV shots, and elements of experimental editing.
seriously, anyone interested in tracking the interaction between french and american films in the 60s (or truly just anyone who likes french new wave films) should be watching this film.