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Do the Right Thing (1989)

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USA | 125 min. | R | 35mm | Spike Lee

In his highly prescient 1989 film, Spike Lee documents the mounting racial tension of a single Brooklyn block.

"The film as a whole charts the accumulation of small racial incidents that eventually explode into violence - a seemingly plotless succession of events that is actually tightly and purposefully constructed. Significantly, the three black characters who play the most substantial roles in precipitating the conflict. Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito), Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), and Smiley (Roger Guenveur Smith) are all outcasts from the black community. Each one has a semilegitimate gripe, however, and each one has been goaded to some extent by Sal (Danny Aiello), the owner of the local pizzeria, by his racist son, or by both. But it's part of the brilliance of Lee's script that one can't summarize what leads up to and intensifies the violence without recounting practically everything that happens in the film." -Jonathan Rosenbaum.


Will be followed by a talk back with the UW Multicultural Student Center.

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