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The Film List Project #17: Do The Right Thing

I don't think I can do this movie justice, but here we go.

This week, I watched Spike Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing. I'm going to be honest. I was a little nervous to write about this film, especially because of recent events in the news. Even though this is something I've always wanted to see, I waited to watch for a very long time.

It was worth the wait. Do the Right Thing is one of the most thought-provoking movies I've ever seen. I was completely immersed in the world within this block of Brooklyn from the first second. From the minute Samuel L. Jackson starts describing the boiling hot weather, you feel it.

As the heat radiates, so does the tension between everyone. The anger the characters feel toward one another is captivating, confusing, and frightening. Films like this that are fueled by emotion instead of a tired narrative become timeless. That's why this film still feels fresh over 25 years later.

The emotions and hatred depicted in this film still exist. The events that take place in the film mirror those in the news now. Has progress been made at all?

This is another one of those movies I would have loved to have seen with an audience. I'd be curious to see people's reaction to the violence captured in this film. Would they react differently to the film than the events they've seen in the news? Would they feel more sympathy for these fictional characters? Why?

Films like Do the Right Thing are put out into the world in order to provoke thought, to educate, to make people feel something. Is violence really the answer, or does it just create more tension? Aren't we all just people trying to get by? Do we really have that little in common?

I don't think I'll be able to watch this for a very long time. I think I'll have to mull it over for a while. Nevertheless, the film will be in my head forever. This is the kind of film I want to make. My subject matter may be different, but I still want to depict lasting emotion, bring people together, and provoke changing thought.

I'll see you next week.

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