On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing is one of the most honest and disturbing films ever made on the subject of racism.
Set in the black neighbourhood of New York's Bedford-Stuyvesant on a very hot summer's day – you can almost feel the heat – the film introduces a series of characters, which though perhaps a touch larger than life, also seem to be very well observed. [...]
It's a serious film, but it throbs with life and energy.
Do the Right Thing is about racism, but it doesn't have any simple answers. It's a serious film, but it throbs with life and energy. It's often funny, but it's ultimately bleak. It's not a film to please everyone, perhaps because it is so honest, but it's a remarkable achievement and it should have won the Grand Prix at Cannes. Instead it won... nothing. I'm mad about that, and I'm also mad about the R-rating given the film by the film censors here, a rating given I believe solely on the basis of its language. Come you guys, are you kidding! Giving such a good film as this an R means really limiting its audience, it's a lousy, lousy decision. So, don't let the R-rating put you off, go see Do the Right Thing.
Margaret Pomeranz: I agree David. I also think it is very blind. [...] Particularly one that has a great deal of social value like this one. It's a hard film in a lot of ways, a black film in a lot of ways, it's full of bright colours, the heat does shimmer off. It's comic, and yet the seriousness of the message comes through nevertheless. It's to be recommended this one.
Watch 'Do the Right Thing'
Thursday 29 July, 8:30pm on NITV / NOTE: No catch-up at SBS On Demand
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito