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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Can You Dig It?
“Shaft’s his name. Shaft’s his game.” The first two entries in the genre-defining Blaxploitation series made John Shaft—embodied with legendary swagger by Richard Roundtree—one of the most iconic characters in all of genre cinema, a supremely suave New York City private eye who gave audiences a long-overdue Black action hero as tough and cool as any the screen had ever seen. Directed by Gordon Parks, the original SHAFT films not only featured some of the funkiest music and fashion of the 1970s, they were also instrumental in shifting attitudes toward race in Hollywood both in front of and behind the camera.