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Yesterday was a movie!!! We danced, we sang, we partied!!! It was a cultural phenomenon. Being present reaffirms the love I have for us as Black people. Bed-Stuyvesant was the only place to be. Fans came together to celebrate one of the greatest films ever, the 35th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, in Brooklyn.

"Do the Right Thing" is a drama film directed by Spike Lee and released in 1989. The narrative takes place over a sweltering summer day in the predominantly African American neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York. The plot revolves around the escalating racial tensions between the residents of the neighborhood and the Italian-American owners of a local pizzeria, Sal's Famous Pizzeria.

The film is set on a hot summer day and features an ensemble cast of characters who represent the diverse makeup of the neighborhood. Mookie (Spike Lee): A young African American man who works as a delivery boy at Sal's pizzeria. Sal (Danny Aiello): The Italian-American owner of the pizzeria, who has a complicated but generally positive relationship with the community. Pino (John Turturro): Sal's eldest son, who harbors racist attitudes towards the predominantly black clientele. Vito (Richard Edson): Sal's younger son, who is more tolerant and friendly towards Mookie and the other residents. Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn): A towering figure who carries a boombox blasting Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," symbolizing black pride and resistance. Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito): An activist who challenges Sal about the absence of black faces on the pizzeria's "Wall of Fame."

The heat of the day exacerbates existing tensions. Buggin' Out becomes upset that despite being in a black neighborhood, Sal's pizzeria only features photos of Italian celebrities on its wall. He demands that Sal include pictures of African American heroes, but Sal refuses, leading to a confrontation. As the day progresses, minor conflicts and grievances among the characters build up. The animosity between Pino and Mookie, the simmering frustrations of Radio Raheem and Buggin' Out, and the general unease of the community create a powder keg atmosphere. The tension erupts when Buggin' Out and Radio Raheem return to Sal's that evening, demanding changes to the Wall of Fame. An altercation ensues, leading to Sal smashing Radio Raheem's boombox. This incites a physical fight, drawing in a crowd.

The police arrive, and in the chaos, Radio Raheem is choked to death by an officer. The community is outraged, and the situation spirals out of control. In intense emotion and decision, Mookie throws a trash can through the pizzeria's window, inciting a riot that leads to the pizzeria being destroyed by fire. The following day, the neighborhood is in ruins. Mookie and Sal have a tense but reflective conversation. The film ends with contrasting quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X about violence and nonviolence, leaving viewers to ponder the complexities of the issues presented.

The film highlights the simmering racial tensions in urban America, illustrating how systemic issues and everyday prejudices can lead to explosive outcomes. The characters' actions and motivations are complex and multifaceted, challenging viewers to consider what "do the right thing" means in difficult circumstances. The film explores community pride, identity, and the clash between cultural values within a shared space. The tragic death of Radio Raheem at the hands of the police underscores the theme of police brutality and its devastating impact on the community.

"Do the Right Thing" is a powerful, thought-provoking film that uses its narrative and characters to explore critical social issues, making it a landmark in American cinema.


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