Mario Van Peebles’ second film after his 1991 hit New Jack City, this bold revisionist Western journeys to the American Frontier for a star-studded tale of a group of African American soldiers on the run with stolen gold.
Set in 1898, a squadron of Black soldiers ‘liberate’ a cache of gold from the battlefront in Cuba at the end of the Spanish-American War, before travelling to the American West to take revenge on the man that lynched their leader’s father many years before.
There, they meet oppressed townspeople needing help, pulling their outlaw gang into battle with a ruthless enemy.
Reveling in the cinematic history of the Wild West and featuring a plethora of impressive action, Van Peebles’ second film is an exuberant take on the genre, absorbing the influence of both Blaxploitation and Spaghetti Westerns while pointedly writing Black cowboys back into history, bringing them in from the margins of the genre to take centre stage.
For Posse, Van Peebles assembled an all-star cast of Black actors including himself, Isaac Hayes, Pam Grier, Big Daddy Kane, Sidewalk Stories director Charles Lane, and his father, the legendary director Melvin Van Peebles.
Also featuring Billy Zane, Stephen Baldwin, Blair Underwood, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, and the great Woody Strode as the film’s narrator, Posse is wonderful rediscovery, not least because Van Peebles will be making a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the film, Outlaw Posse, next year.