It’s been a quarter of a century since “Do The Right Thing,” and yet the film’s themes could not be more current, particularly in light of the events unfolding this week in Ferguson, Missouri. To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, Spike Lee teamed up with Beats Music for a short documentary on the film (via Variety).
“Do The Right Thing 25 Year Anniversary: A Beats Music Experience” is comprised of two halves. The first focuses on the trio of Lee, Danny Aiello and production designer Wynn Thomas walking around the film's iconic Bed-Stuy block —Stuyvesant Ave. between Lexington and Quincy Aves.— revealing some interesting details about production alongside some quick interviews with current residents and a few members of the film’s cast. The latter half takes place at a block party Lee hosted in June with special guests including Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Wesley Snipes and a surprise performance by Public Enemy. Although we wish the first half of the documentary was longer, it’s still worth a look even if just to catch up with some of the cast members and see Lee and Aiello’s rapport.
It was only a couple of weeks ago when Lee released a video that placed the footage of 43-year-old Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold by NYPD officers alongside Radio Raheem’s eerily similar death at the end of “Do The Right Thing.” Yesterday, Lee posted pictures to Instagram (via NY Daily News) of two banners meant as tributes to both Garner and Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American 18-year old whose death at the hands of police has ignited civil unrest in Ferguson. Both banners are hanging in front of Lee’s Fort Greene-based production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and feature the two men frozen in time with their last words beneath them. It’s a powerful and simple tribute that grants the two men the dignity they were denied in the last moments of their life. Check them out below, along with the “Do The Right Thing” documentary. And if you missed it, you can read our essay about "Do The Right Thing" right here.