Watch Do the Right Thing
- 2 hr
Do the Right Thing, directed and written by Spike Lee and released in 1989, follows a hot summer day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The film features a diverse cast of characters, including pizza shop owner Sal (played by Danny Aiello), his sons Pino (John Turturro) and Vito (Richard Edson), Mookie (Spike Lee) who is a delivery man for Sal's pizza shop, and various residents of the neighborhood. Throughout the day, tensions rise between the African American and Italian American communities, culminating in a violent confrontation at the pizza shop. The movie explores themes of racial tension, police brutality, gentrification, and the power dynamics between ethnic groups. At the heart of the conflict is the question of who has the power and control in the neighborhood. Sal's pizza shop has been a fixture in the community for years and he is seen as someone who has done right by the people. However, tensions rise when Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), a young man in the community, calls out Sal for only having pictures of Italian Americans on his wall and not African Americans. Sal, feeling attacked and threatened, refuses to change the pictures and in a heated argument, demands that Buggin' Out leave his establishment. Another key character in the movie is Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), a young black man who walks around blasting music from a boombox. His presence is juxtaposed with the Greek chorus of three older men, played by Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Samuel L. Jackson, who provide commentary on the events happening throughout the day. As tensions continue to simmer, a police officer (Edson) arrives and tries to diffuse the situation. However, his presence only fans the flames and a tragic event occurs that sets off the explosive climax of the movie. At its core, Do the Right Thing is about the complexities of race relations and the struggle for power and control in a diverse community. It explores how even small actions and comments can have huge consequences and how the actions of individuals can have a ripple effect on an entire community. The film also features an iconic soundtrack, with songs by Public Enemy, Stevie Wonder, and many others. It was critically acclaimed at the time of its release and is considered a masterpiece of American cinema, still relevant and impactful today.