Sunday, March 6, 2016

804. Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing
Directed by Spike Lee

This is one of those movies that I feel like I should judge on a different scale than I usually do.  I can't honestly say I enjoyed it, but it is powerful and, unfortunately, still relevant today (especially the police brutality bits).

In a predominantly black neighborhood, Mookie is a pizza delivery man who works for Sal, an Italian American.  Sal is...well, he is pretty racist, but at the very least is less racist than his son Pino.  On the hottest day of the summer, Mookie's friend Buggin' Out decides to protest Sal's Wall of Fame, which only displays pictures of Italian Americans.  Tensions escalate to tragic proportions and the film ends with a quote from both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

I don't think I have been to a family run Italian restaurant that didn't have its walls covered in pictures of Italians.  Buggin' Out was such an asshole; in fact, everyone in this film was kind of an asshole and really, that is what is great about this movie.  No one walks away blameless.  I was surprised by how even handed and mature this was.  I suppose I was expecting a movie that radiated anger, instead of profound sadness. A lot of white people seem to think because they don't consciously hate black people or use the word "nigger" that they can enjoy their white privilege in peace.  In this film, Lee forces us to confront the fact that there is a lot more to resolving racial conflicts than just being friendlier to each other.

I am really struggling with this review so I will end it by hiding behind a Jon Stewart quote I like: "We have made enormous progress in teaching people that racism is bad.  Where we seemed to have dropped the ball is in teaching people what racism actually is."  So in conclusion, if you don't like this movie, you are racist.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The word "fuck" is used 240 times.


  1. Excellent review, as usual. I hope that this movie made people think and continues to make people think, but I don't hold out much hope for them understanding. Well done, and yes, I agree with you-sad.

  2. "I can't honestly say I enjoyed it" Me neither but I guess that if we, white people, did; then the movie would not be doing its job - i.e. to make us think about our privileges.

    Excellent review. I will probably take some ideas from it for my post. I hope you don't mind.

    1. Exactly. I find a lot of white men don't want to admit they have privilege (I mostly find this out on dates, because I know how to do flirty banter). At first, I thought it was just an American thing, like Americans want to think they work hard for everything and nothing was handed to them. Now I am realizing it's the denial of privilege that allows it continue.

      I'm glad you liked it and can't wait to read your post!