Updated: Oct 9, 2020
I just re-watched Spike Lee’s angry classic from 1989 and it is just as riveting today as it was 30+ years ago. Replace the film’s heat wave in NY with COVID-19 and we sadly have a similar story to what we are currently living through.
How the hell did Spike Lee capture racism, the urgency to vote (final lines by Samuel L Jackson in the film), mocking Donald Trump (occurs during a blink and you miss it scene in Sal’s Pizza), sneaker culture and most importantly Black Lives Matter before it was a movement?
The Malcom X quote over the end credits fully captures the anger Spike felt in 1989, which is very much alive today in 2020…
“I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self- defense, I call it intelligence.”—Malcolm X
It is available to rent for $3.99 on Amazon, Apple and Google.