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Analysis of do the right thing, spike lee (1989)

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The clash of communities and the African Americans' cause.
  3. The main theme of 'Do the Right Things'.
  4. The main tension between Buggin' Out and the Italian-American owners.
  5. The African Americans civil rights movement.
  6. The main issue and mystery of the film.
  7. Conclusion.

Do the Right Thing was released in May 1989 in Cannes. Spike Lee directed, produced and wrote the screenplay for the film. It tackles the subject of race relations by depicting the ethnic communities of the Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, where Spike Lee grew up. Spike Lee plays the role of the main character Mookie, who works at Sal's pizzeria and has a son with Tina. Although Lee wanted Robert De Niro, the role of Sal went to Danny Aiello. Do the Right Thing is a family and friends affair: he hired his girlfriend Rosie Perez (Tina), his sister Joie Lee (Jade), and his father Bill Lee, a jazz musician, who composed the film music. He also kept most of the actors from his previous film School Daze . He wrote the role of Smiley, a man with a mental handicap, for Roger G. Smith who absolutely wanted to star in the film. Spike Lee was nominated for Best Writing at the 1990 Academy Awards for this movie.

[...] Three years after Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee directed Malcolm X (1992), starring Denzel Washington in the role of the Black Nationalist. Malcolm X was much more violent in his words than Martin Luther King. While the leader of the American civil rights movement was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a peacemaker, promoting non-violence and equal treatment for different races, Malcolm X declared that non-violence was philosophy of the fool.? In Spike Lee's biopic, we see him rejecting a white woman who wants to join his movement. [...]


[...] One of the main themes of Do the Right Things with its manifold characters and their failure of communication is the clash of communities. The film is populated with many different characters each one a representative of a certain belief or state of mind - on different sides of the conflict. On the one side there is the uninhibited anger of Buggin Out and Radio Raheem. On the other side, there is Pino who ?detests this place like a sickness?. [...]

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