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Do The Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, is unquestionably a picture that not only resonates with the audience but also entertains them by highlighting the impact of social and racial inequities. In the film, it is implied that if the aforementioned concerns are not adequately addressed by those in authority, the minority who feel helpless may resort to extreme violence. It is also important to note that the film is realistic in its approach, in the sense that a melting pot of distinct ethnicities and cultures does not always imply that everyone will live happily ever after. Based on the setting of the film, it is rational to believe that the director was cognizant that in order to construct a movie from a social perspective, there was need for embracing the stereotypes for criticism. In one of the scenes, the police officers are patrolling around the neighborhood and captured wondering how they are “wasted.” It is apparent that the police officers identified the neighborhood with violence to an extent that they are disappointed to find it peaceful. Since the region is dominated by people of specific races, it is clear that the police officers do not respect them at all and perceive them as unruly based on where they come from.
Historically, Africa and the continents around it have often been characterized with violence. Many people in the western culture believe that the minority, especially the African Americans are always rowdy. Do The Right Thing expertly builds the theme of conflict slowly by concentrating on the ludicrousness of stereotypes such as the hyper active and agitated young man who is very pro black or the store owner from Asia with a thick accent. The movie confirms to the viewers that these issues relating to race still exist, even though, the characters do not confront them directly until the film ends. However, it is also imperative to add into the account that these issues are not solely with race, rather those who are in control. The combination of the two takes things to another level. The comic scenes such as the show down of boom box eventually confirm to be less about who has a better music and more about power. Besides, riots hardly form without years of feeling that the system that has been created to protect a group does not hold their best interests.
Concisely, Lee’s movie is not just a depiction of how the minority groups in the western culture have been stereotyped with conflict but also typical example of police brutality and racial identity. The director emphasizes on the ugliness and beauty that exists, not only in low income communities but also in individuals. The message passed in Do The Right Thing are both in the viewer’s face and left for interpretation. When watching the movie, the keen audience would notice that the director emphasizes on the fragility of the African diaspora with various races. Lee puts competition for power and survival, racial intolerance and stereotyping right in the face of the viewers; leaving it up to the audience to fathom the concept of racism and the bigger picture.
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