Story of a Three Day Pass, The: Melvin Van Pebbles Restored Feature

by Melvin Van Peebles

The 4K IndieCollect Restoration starts at Film Forum in New York and Laemmle Noho in Los Angeles on May 7!


The movie is being released theatrically by Janus Films with a Criterion Collection boxed set of Melvin Van Peebles movies to follow. More info about the release here.

The film tells the story of a Black American soldier (Harry Baird), who wins a promotion and a 3-day leave while stationed in Paris. But his idyllic weekend with the lovely Miriam (played by Nicole Berger, star of Shoot the Piano Player) is marred by racism.

In the wake of a continued assault on Black people in this country, the film is perhaps more resonant today than it was in 1968.

We hope that you will join us — either in the theatre or at home — to watch this treasure of Black cinema come back to life on the big screen!


About the Restoration


The original film elements were found by the IndieCollect team during our inventory of Melvin Van Peebles’ personal archive in 2018, and we undertook the restoration in collaboration with Melvin’s sons, Max and Mario Van Peebles, with the assistance of Gloria Jarecki. To create the restoration, the IndieCollect team used a 5K Kinetta Archival Scanner to digitally capture the 35mm Interpositive of the American version and combined it with elements scanned from the French version. Color grading and restoration were completed in-house by Oskar Miarka, and the titles were recreated by Cameron Haffner.

Sandra Schulberg translated the French dialogue and new English subtitles were created. The restoration was showcased at the 2020 Lumiere Film Festival in the Cannes Classics section.






Note from Sandra Schulberg…

IFP comrade Warrington Hudlin suggested that Melvin Van Peebles and his family might need IndieCollect’s help to assess film and sound materials Melvin was holding in his NY apartment and storage units. Having known and admired Melvin since we showed Sweet Sweetback at the 1979 IFP sidebar to the New York Film Festival, it was a privilege to be asked. Getting to know Mario and Max and Gloria in the process has been a pleasure. But the best part for me was getting to see Melvin again. Melvin, your indie spirit will never die. You inspire me still and always.

Right: Warrington Hudlin guest-hosting the “Midday” show on WNYC in 2018 to talk about restoration of Black movies including Nationtime and The Story of a Three Day Pass. (Photo by Sandra Schulberg.)