Just some thoughts I had from conversation about Spike Lee handling spaces that are not his home New York City. From Chi-Raq to Levees, there is always critique of Lee when handling places that do not resemble his Brooklyn upbringing.
This article is old, but discusses am upcoming documentary on racial politics (assumingly) in Brazil that Lee is directin at the moment. It is set to release this year. I was wondering about people’s thoughts on how Spike Lee treats other places and, if yes, how does that treatmwnt further a particular directorial agenda?
Inside Man was Spike Lee’s blockbuster (now in the critically acclaimed section on Netflix), and one that didn’t seem specifically FUBU. He very successfully put two black people as leads in the film without it becoming a “black movie”, though I would argue that Denzel has surpassed (for the most part) being just a black guy. And since the movie was about a bank heist, and the story focused exclusively on that while highlighting a typically diverse New York, he was further able to get away with this. I liked the movie, and enjoyed seeing it to its conclusion. Despite a little predictability, a.k.a Washington’s character ending up with the ring he needed, I thought it was well done. This was the first movie I had seen Spike Lee talk about a different political issue, i.e. the Holocaust and the people who benefited wrongly from it, and I thought that was also well done. The only part where I saw a little peek of what I see in some of his other movies was the scene where the guy in the turban is treated very poorly and assumed to have a bomb, and is then refused his turban. Even after he is searched, he isn’t given it back. Why? Spike Lee leaves us, (or maybe just me, I don’t know), this Easter egg and it stayed with me to the end.