Do the Right Thing Analysis
Featured actors in the film include among others, Samuel L Jackson, Martin Lawrence, John Turturro as well as Spike Lee himself. Spike Lee uses the film to paint the picture on how race, social class and the individual or collective decisions that the film characters make have a profound impact on the manner in which people relate and interact with each other. It begins with the film characters waking up normally to start their day and then reaches its climax when a neighborhood riot is triggered by the death of an Africa-American man who goes by the name Radio Raheem. Radio Raheem met his death after he fought an older Italian American man named Sal who owned a restaurant at a neighborhood dominated by black Americans.
This film may have been released more than two decades ago, but with its social commentary on the effect that race and its cruelty is just as relevant today as it was in the late 80s when it was released. Buggin verbally attacks a white man who is a property owner, for running over his Air Jordans. Lee used this scene to show how much a character in the lower class is psychologically disturbed because he cannot compete with other people economically. This example shows the events of the culture industry since Buggin goes on to ahead and purchases the latest shoes and shies off from admitting that he was symbolically or literally run over by the person who was economically well off than he was.
The movie is set in a largely black American society but the two families that own business are either Korean American or Italian American. Thus, some of the black- Americans like and admire these characters because they are business owners while other feels hatred towards them for the same reason. This theory asserts that in a society where there are two different groups, the haves and the have-nots, the group that gets all the benefit are the, for instance, the owners of production. The industrial workers who only get low wages are denied the chance to access the various resources available to the powerful owners, Segal (2013). Marx said that the powerful bourgeoisie in the society use their authority and control the institutions for their own benefits.
Religion, according to Marx, serves as an opiate to the majority who need it to soothe their suffering and distress associated with the working class and shifts their attention to spiritual god, and life after death rather focus on the worldly things. Lee has applied a lot of concepts from this theory in the film for the quest to communicate his message to the target audience. Earlier discussions concerning race in the movie occur between Pino, a racist son of an Italian-American pizzeria owner and Mookie. Mookie is seen asking Pino to name some of his favorite celebrities, and Pina does not hesitate to respond with Prince, Eddie Murphy, and Magic Johnson. Mookie then says to Pino that he covertly would like to black but Pino does not agree with him and says that they are more than black.
Pino, therefore, uses the expression ‘they are more than black’ in an effort to justify his own opinions about racism. Another theme of racism in the movie is seen when the local minority group portrays their different view and thoughts concerning race dissimilarities. Allusions to such tragic and difficult happenings that were still apparent and fresh in the mind of the viewer added to the film’s power while at the same time driving the theme of racism. At one point, Mookie is involved in an argument with Sal and after the argument is over; both men leave but the camera still focused on the graffiti writings on the wall. The graffiti writings were a reminder to the viewer of the trail of Tawana Brown as well way to justify the fears that Mookie had about his sister, Jade.
Another case of use of illusion to portray racism is when the rioters chant the words “Howard Beach’’ to the police, suggesting that they are shifting act of killing the Italian-American onto the local hotel owner as a way of taking revenge. The law enforcers are unable to disperse the rioters and they seek help from the firefighters who were putting out the fire in the pizzeria, they abandon their mission to help the police. The conflict between the haves and have not overshadowed racial differences is also witnessed in the bunch of criminals. The violence caused by the social class differences come to a stop when a larger threat, the US army, comes in and tries to implement a draft.
However, no third power came along in order to unite the two classes, consequently leading to the burning down of the pizzeria that was owned by Sal. This incident can hence be seen as a way for which the people can bring economic and social equity to the community. Marxist perspective justifies these actions saying that they are inevitable in any community undergoing development. Lee film is both imaginative and daring. The film dynamically juxtaposes themes of non-violent and redemption social resistance, embodied in the picture of Martin Luther King Jr. , all personified the image of Malcolm. The main character played by Spike Lee, ends the movie quoting the words of the two iconic figures, though conflicting, but left ambiguous for idiosyncratic clarification, (Lynd, 2015).
Power within a culture is an idea that comes into play within the movies as well. In the opening minutes of the movie, a woman scantily dressed dances with offensive aggression to fight the power of the public enemy. Then Jade provided shelter to Mookie for a couple of days. As a character, she is seen as a well-spoken, calm and morally upright. Jade is seen as the woman who talks to Mookie, advising him on the best way to keep his job and telling him to stop relying on her most of the time. Her gentleness and naivety make her seek protection from men like Mookie. The photos of the famous African American cannot be pinned on the ‘wall of fame‘, as is shown in the film since this would be a gesture dispossessed of genuine value.
This means that the pictures will be displayed on that wall only the blacks’ society will learn that fighting the power using physical means and anger is detrimental rather than constructive. In conclusion, Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing informs the general public aware of the stereotypes as well as some of the intra-racism issues concerning the African American and the one dimensional portrayal of the women in the society people. it also seems to seem to borrow a lot from the ideology of the Yankee bootstrap individualism and ingenuity which the White people wanted for the Africa Americans, Morales, (2012). But Lee also promotes the idea of symbolic interaction for the benefits of individuals by exploiting their strengths. Some principles applied in the film are drawn from famous social concepts such as the conflict theory.
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