The movie ?Clockers' hit the theatres in 1995. The director, Spike Lee, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 20th 1957. His mother, a schoolteacher and father, a jazz musician, raised him in Brooklyn, New York City. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta before attending a graduate film program at the Tisch School of Arts. It is interesting to see that his movies often deal with urban and social issues. For instance, School Daze (1988) mainly took place in a "historically black school" whereas Do the Right Thing (the next year) was about racial issues in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Spike Lee is not only a talented director but has also produced different movies and is often eager to express his political views. The layout of the movie ?Clockers' is mostly in a black neighborhood of New York City where almost everyone that lives there is African American. The other ethnic groups are mostly outsiders and do not really belong to the studied community where the police inspectors are mainly white and the employers are Asian or Latin Americans.
[...] One can consider that the argument of deconcentration is omnipresent in the movie but giving an appropriate education to young people could also be done in the ghetto by improving public schools or the social rewards related to studies. Why would those youth study hard if they can earn much more by selling drugs like their friends? Sending poor people in other neighborhoods would not be enough. The government and its policymaking partners must fight racial discriminations, fight drug dealing since this activity largely contributes to the negative environment, and provide jobs and opportunities to young people who live in the ghetto. [...]
[...] According to Edward Goetz, one, even the federal government anymore, contests that in many cities public housing has been systematically placed in the poorest neighborhoods and in neighborhoods with the highest percentage of minority residents.” This description seems to fit the ghetto described by Spike Lee. In concentrating the public housing in one or a few places, the government has, during the implementation of the urban renewal program, contributed to the creation of difficult situations. Concentrating poor people in the same areas without giving them opportunities to have a decent life and to take part in mass-consumption society forces them to find new ways of life and to establish a different system of norms and values. [...]
[...] According to Charles Murray, “outside of school, the rules of the game argued against the proposition that hard work pays off [ ] the most conspicuous local success stories were drug dealers, pimps and fences.” Spike Lee's movie presents a similar situation through the portrayal of the two Dunham brothers. Strike is presented as the who does not do anything, except executing the orders of his Rodney Little, a dangerous “entrepreneur.” He does not see his family any more, even though he still lives in the neighborhood. [...]
[...] André participates to the life of the community by organizing a judo or gymnastics club for children. He even asks Strike to provide him the necessary mattresses. Victor's mother is also an honest woman. She has experienced many difficulties and her child is in jail but she refuses Strike's dirty money, even though it is the only way for her to enable Victor to go out. The story ends very badly since another crime is perpetrated but it would be unfair to say that it is desperate and that everything is negative in the description of the area. [...]
[...] According to me, Spike Lee managed to show the complexity of the social relationships and the various difficulties experienced by the characters without completely blaming a specific character or community. Even Strike may appear as a guy who deserves attention and support. Bibliography -Edward G. Goetz, Clearing the Way, Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America, The Urban Institute Press, Washington D.C -Michael B. Teitz and Karen Chapple, Causes of Inner-City Poverty: Eight Hypotheses in Search of Reality,” Cityscape -Robert A. [...]
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