Spike Lee Mixes Footage of George Floyd With ‘Do the Right Thing’
In response to the ongoing protests around the country against police brutality, Spike Lee has made a new film called Will History Stop Repeating Itself? The short combines news footage from the deaths of George Floyd and Eric Garner, with clips from Lee’s famous 1989 film Do the Right Thing.
The film was first played on CNN. When Lee shared it on Twitter, he added the caption “3 Brothers-Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd.” Watch the video below:
Do the Right Thing is now more than 30 years old, and sadly just as relevant as ever. In the film, tensions rise between the black and white residents and merchants in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn on a hot summer day. When a verbal fight turns violent, the police arrive. One officer refuses to release Radio Raheem from a choke hold and ultimately kills him. The scene is far too similar to the recent real-life events chronicled in Lee’s short.
In 2014, Garner died after an NYPD officer put him in a choke hold and refused to release him. Floyd died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer held him down by pressing his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and now faces charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Just a few weeks earlier, Lee made another powerful short film about New York City and its spirit of resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Both of these films made me cry for very different reasons. If you’ve never seen it, Do the Right Thing is available for rent on various online platforms. Tragically, there couldn’t be a better time to watch it.