Analysis Of Do The Right Thing

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Did I Do The Right Thing By Watching This Film? The 1989 film, Do The Right Thing, produced by Spike Lee, is one of the most controversial films ever created. This film takes place within 24-hours in a hot Brooklyn neighborhood. The neighborhood is mostly a black neighborhood, with shops owned by a Korean couple and an Italian family. The Italian pizza pub, Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, has been on the street for years. He has watched all the neighborhood children grow into adults, and they all continue to eat at Sal’s. This was until trouble started in the neighborhood and people started to boycott the famous pizzeria over the all white people pictures on the wall. Throughout this entire movie, I found myself bored, uncomfortable, and confused.…show more content…
Dickerson, the cinematographer, won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography for this film. He was given this award for his ability to make it look like the same, excruciatingly hot day, even though it was filmed over a course of seven weeks with differing weather. From the character’s outfits to filming at the exact same time every day, he convinced the audience that it was the same blistering hot day. After I learned this, it made me rethink my view of his cinematography as a whole. While the angles might have been awkward, Dickerson did an impressive job persuading us it was within one 24-hour…show more content…
The film’s greatest strength was its ability to not force opinions, but compels viewers to form their own views. The point of the movie was to not persuade the audience, but let the audience think about what they thought was truly the right thing to do. Often this film would mention Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, but would never declare a “better” approach. Smiley, a man with a severe stutter, makes a comment saying, “This is Malcolm X and this is Martin Luther King. They are dead, but we still have to fight against hate”. No characters within the film say which approach (violence or nonviolence) is better to fighting the hate, but all just agree it needs to be fought. In Roger Ebert’s review of this film, he summed up exactly how this movie handled the controversy. He wrote, “Since Lee does not tell you what to think about it, and deliberately provides surprising twists for some of the characters this movie is more open-minded than most. It requires you to decide what you think about it”. I think that is really smart of Spike Lee to not suggest who exactly did the right or wrong thing. I think it is important to leave it up to the viewer to interpret. For instance at the end of the movie Smiley stands over the burnt down “Wall of Fame” in Sal’s Pizzeria and pins a Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr pictures on the wall who both tackled racism in different ways. King chose nonviolence as seen through his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “Nonviolent direct action
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