Do the Right Thing Film Arguement
Film Argument: Do The Right Thing Spike Lee effectively brings awareness to tension among racial groups - Do the Right Thing Film Arguement introduction. Racism and police brutality are two of the main points focused on in Do The Right Thing. Lee promotes pride in one’s race and above all interracial tolerance. This movie stirred up a lot of controversy but also made Americans think about where we stood as a nation. Racism was and still is very prominent but it has been less discussed. The movie stirred up emotions and displayed views that did and still do exist among races today.
According to Corliss, “Not since the Black Panthers… has there been such a virulent outbreak of radical chic”(62) Do The Right Thing is accurate non-biased depiction of society as a whole in the 80’s. According to Crouch, the film has a “fascist aesthetic” (74) . Fascists are defined as having a radical nationalist ideology which Lee does don’t display. He does however display the ills of a racist community. By depicting each race as being racist and having a flawed way of thinking, he does not necessarily put one race in the position of being right.
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What he does do is show inter-ethnic hostility from a black New Yorker which is the side he is naturally familiar with. Lee succeeds in his attempt to be the voice of the black community. The use of violence is necessary in getting the point of racial tension across. A worst case scenario is implemented to effectively show how if not addressed, the issue of racism could become worse and ultimately lead to our demise as a country. The character Radio Raheem was killed by the police during a riot that involved all members of the community.
Radio Raheem represents the black community in the struggle against the government. The police officer choked him with a guard stick which symbolizes how black people were lynched when there was no legislation preventing or punishing racial discrimination. His death was caused by resisting submission to a more powerful force rather it be the government or the white community. Quotes concerning violence from Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X conclude the movie. The camera angles put the viewer in the speaker’s position by giving the audience an ubiquitous presence.
We the audience see things as they are happening as if we were there. The viewer is put in the camera man’s position and create intrigue. The emphasized scenes are usually extreme closeups when an individual’s facial expression is the main focus. Donaldson notices Lee’s use of non-conventional cinematography: “Zooming in, from a long shot, in turn, on four separate characters, Lee has each one break the fourth wall and spout off a litany of racial generalizations”(103).
The character’s views and opinions regarding other racial groups in their soliloquy are flawed. These scenes are following an interaction between the groups and demonstrate each point of view adequately. The angles and positioning are not center framed when the actor is talking to the camera in order to demonstrate that he speaker’s opinion is not correct. Lee’s obscure style used throughout the movie gives the scenes more emphasis. The camera angles accompany a flawed way of racist thinking that most individuals recognize.
Spike Lee uses stereotypical characterization and dialogue to effectively relay the message of social injustice. The use of dialogue, camera angles and characterization came together wonderfully and got the message across while keeping the audience interested. The underlying message of the movie is very complex, meticulous and well thought out. Everything ties together wonderfully and creates an aesthetically appealing movie. Prejudice amongst races was the main point and it was displayed through hostile interactions between the racial groups.
For the most part, people of the same race stuck together and simply tolerated individuals outside their race but this movie shows that in order to live prosperous the barriers must be broken down and you have to embrace cultural differences in the community. Although we free country our minds are still chained to the way things used to be. If race and ethnic differences are eliminated we are all the same and are fighting against an upper class that most of us are a minority to. Spike Lee is a great director for making such a controversial movie that is also aesthetically appealing. ———————– 3