Something I’ve often admired in Spike Lee’s films is the way he portrays Brooklyn. As somebody from Brooklyn, I find his depictions of Bed-Stuy to be beautiful. Crooklyn was my first Spike Lee joint. I remember watching it with my mother and siblings, and looking back, I think that my mother insisted on our watching it because it was relatable in many ways.
I couldn’t have been older than thirteen when I first saw the film, and so coming into this second screening, the only thing I really remembered was that it was about a girl growing up in Bed-Stuy, and that at some point she traveled down south. I’d forgotten most of the major plot points. However, in re-watching it, I remembered twelve-year-old me’s reactions to certain scenes, and realized that the ways in which I understood the film were vastly different than they are today. Something that completely went over my head was the comparison made between the north and south, and the importance of Troy’s hair as it changes through the film. I was more drawn to the funny scenes (such as the paint huffer scenes), or the fact that I could relate to growing up in a predominantly male house-hold with a very strong female figure at the helm. Back then, my brothers and I found it hilarious that many of Carolyn’s scenes from the first half of the film mirrored our mother’s discipline (“the Knicks got a job, you need an education boy. Ima throw this idiot box out the window…”). Now that I’ve seen the film a second time, it’s time to look back at my own childhood and analyze what that means.