Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Right Thing '

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Right Thing '

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Racism is a prevalent issue that has plagued society for hundreds of years. In fact, racism and discrimination in the United States has been a major issue since the colonial era. Nonetheless, the Spike Lee directed film Do the Right Thing, released in 1989, explores the theme of racism in a masterfully juxtaposed and politically driven story about tensions between an Italian family and local Bedford-Stuyvesant residents on a hot summer day in hopes of illuminating New York City’s racial climate during the time. Analysis of the film reveals that police violence and animosity between races were at the forefront during this period, which relates to the social expectations theory and the accumulation of minimal effects theory.
In summary, Do the Right Thing is set in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on the hottest day of the summer, which is important to note because on days hotter than 95 degrees the homicide rate tends to increase. Opening with a notable dance routine to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” the tone of the film is set with the politically charged song, which is recurrently played throughout the movie. Spike Lee played the main protagonist, Mookie, a pizza delivery man living with his sister in Bedford Stuyvesant. The pizzeria he works for, “Sal’s Famous Pizzaria,” is run by Sal and his Italian-American family who had his business established for 25 years. However, tensions start to rise as Mookie’s friend Buggin’ Out confronts Sal about the lack of black faces on his Wall of Fame, which was decorated with famous Italian-Americans, since their business is located in a black neighborhood. This sparks a feud that leads Buggin’ Out to start a protest of Sal’s with Radio Raheem, a large black man who blasts Public Enemy on his...


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...sation again and society is on the path of creating the changes necessary to correct this injustice. The juxtaposition of these powerful messages were unique at the time, which revolutionized film in the U.S., but also specifically for the African-American community and their filmmakers.
Thus, Do the Right Thing is an exceptional, masterfully directed film that successfully portrays issues of racial tension and police brutality in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy during 1989. These themes have greatly impacted the social climate of America, as well as created much controversy for the film. With its crude depiction of African-Americans and its homage to issues that sparked political debate, it is clear that Do the Right Thing attests the accumulation of minimal effects theory and social expectations theory. Overall, this critically acclaimed movie is a must see.

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