SOLOMON KING (1974)

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November 12 only

Belinda Burton-Watts (widow of director Sal Watts and also appearing in the film) in person for Q&A after the film, moderated by Jonathan Marlow.

Newly restored! “Don’t you suckers know the days of Uncle Remus and Old Black Joe are gone?,” barks ex-CIA operative/ex-Green Beret/nightclub owner Solomon King to a group of Black gang members at the Sugar Hill Club, in actor/director/writer Sal Watts’s long-lost Black urban crime/action film.   SOLOMON KING was shot independently in Oakland, CA in 1973 with a cast of mostly non-professional Black actors, a killer soul-funk soundtrack and incredible clothes from Watts’s own Mr. Sal’s Fashion stores.   In the vein of SHAFT, the film stars Watts as an African American version of James Bond/Matt Helm, seducing beautiful nightclub singers and beating the crap out of the henchmen of an oil-obsessed Middle Eastern ruler.  Produced on a shoestring budget and shot on location in many of the businesses Watts owned, the film is a priceless document of early Seventies Black culture, music and fashion in Oakland – and a powerful metaphor for Black empowerment, with Solomon turning the tables on every duplicitous Establishment character he encounters.

Directed by Jack Bomay and Sal Watts, 1974.  With “Little Jamie” Watts, Claudio Russo, Samaki Bennett, Tito Fuentes, Belinda B. Burton. Runtime, 85 min.



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