Spike Lee isn’t just your everyday Knicks fan, he’s also one of the most talented filmmakers we have. The art Spike Lee is able to produce is truly one of a kind––enabling himself to tell what history cannot while still being able to transcend himself as an artist.
In his new work with Netflix, Da 5 Bloods, he gives audiences a new look at the immortality of the Vietnam War.
In the film, we see a multitude of powerful moments. However, what struck the most was when the five young African-American soldiers were listening to the radio in the jungle of Vietnam and heard about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Not in the hands of a Viet Cong, but by a white racist’s bullet.
At the end of that broadcast, the enemy propagandist asks a question to American soldiers, specifically the African-Americans: “Black American soldiers, what are you fighting for?”
Lee has always fought for the rights of the African-Americans. This project with Netflix isn’t different by any means. In a recent interview, he said: “African-Americans have fought for this country from the very beginning.”
“For me, as a filmmaker, I love [to make the] audiences decide. To this day, people will stop me on the street and ask – and not just in New York City, all over the world – ‘Spike, who did the right thing?’ And I tell them, ‘You tell me.’”
“I show Milton L Olive the third at 18 years old, the first African-American to be awarded the Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. I show Crispus Attucks, the first American, not just a black person, the first American to die for the US in the Boston Massacre in the American Revolution.”
“When you have corrupt presidents and corrupt politicians who put money over people, people continue to suffer. When you have politicians and a president who says let’s open the country, let’s get the economy going against what all the scientists are saying – those are people who get on bended knee and pray before the altar of the almighty dollar.
“They put money before human beings, so if people got to die, that’s the price to do with business. And that’s very sad.”