Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death Creator Focus of Documentary IFC Debut | Playbill

News Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death Creator Focus of Documentary IFC Debut
"How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)," a documentary centering on the life of Melvin Van Peebles, will debut on IFC Feb. 15.

The Joe Agio-directed film — seen at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival — makes its way to the small screen for a premiere on IFC Feb. 15 at 9 PM ET in celebration of Black History Month. Check your local listings. The creator of the 1971 musical Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death — which saw a revival recently at the Classical Theatre of Harlem — is the focus of the documentary. Spike Lee and Mario Van Peebles (Melvin's son) are interviewed in the "unabashed portrait" of Van Peebles. Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Mitchell and Peebles himself are also featured.

The film takes a look at the eventful life of the "young black kid from Chicago [who] ended up making one of the most controversial movies in American history," as materials explain. "But the story hardly ends there. The documentary playfully traces Van Peebles’s path from atom-bomb–ferrying Air Force pilot; to self-taught French novelist; to proto-rap singer; to Wall Street options trader — a remarkable, rollicking journey that helps to explain where 'Sweet Sweetback' actually got his song."

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