CROOKLYN
1994, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

Starring Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo and featuring a standout performance from Zelda Harris as the film’s 9-year-old narrator, CROOKLYN is a beautifully textured look at growing up right and wrong in black America. The emotional flip side to the more explosive DO THE RIGHT THING, the film (co-written with sister Joie and brother Cinque) is Lee’s most heartfelt (and surprisingly sentimental) film: a semiautobiographical portrait of the Carmichael family in Brooklyn in the early 1970s.


DO THE RIGHT THING
1989, Universal, 120 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s “magnifying glass under the hot sun” masterpiece (and one of the most controversial American films of its day), DO THE RIGHT THING is also deceptively simple. The story revolves around the comings and goings at Sal’s Famous Pizzeria on the hottest summer day in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Shot with an almost all-black crew, the film stars Lee as the hyperactive Mookie, with terrific support from Danny Aiello as Sal, Ossie Davis as Da Mayor, Giancarlo Esposito as Buggin’ Out and John Turturro as Pino. The film also features then-newcomer Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee, Bill Nunn and Joie Lee. With music by Public Enemy.


BLACKKKLANSMAN
2018, Focus Features, 135 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

This incredible true story of an American hero offers an unflinching examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today’s tumultuous world. As the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is viewed with open hostility by the department’s rank and file. Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community through a dangerous mission: Infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth soon finds himself invited into its inner circle, even cultivating a relationship with Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace). With the help of colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) - who poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of the hate group - Stallworth works to take down the organization, whose real aim is to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. The Grand Prix winner at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.


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