Identity Crisis

Director: Melvin Van Peebles
Screenwriters: Mario Van Peebles

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


A famous French fashion designer is murdered by poison at the same moment that a black rap performer falls off a window ledge. Reincarnated in the youthful singer’s body, the designer convinces his Yuppie son of his true identity, and the two set off in pursuit of the killers.

Shot on the streets and in the nightclubs of New York, Identity Crisis is less overtly political and more of an action comedy than any other Van Peebles film. It sends up the kinky and comic aspects of gay bars, mud-wrestling clubs, rap concerts and a hodgepodge assortment of New York City hip characters. The film was made as the result of the desire that son Mario and father Melvin had to work with each other. It played at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, where it received good reviews.

Friday, January 28, 10:15 a.m.
Holiday Village Cinema II

Sunday, January 21, 5:30 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema I


— Betsy McLane

Screening Details

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