Film Analysis - FILM ANALYSIS 1 Film Analysis Do the Right...

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FILM ANALYSIS 1 Film Analysis – Do the Right Thing Terrance McKnight Teachers College – Columbia University
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FILM ANALYSIS 2 Film Analysis – Do the Right Thing The film Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, followed a few days in the lives of the members of an ethnically diverse neighborhood in late-1980s Brooklyn, New York. Like many neighborhoods in America at that time, racial tension amongst the residents of the neighborhood was high. For instance, one African-American resident, Raheem, always walked around with a radio, publicly playing “Fight the Power”, which was a song that discussed revolting against the institutionalized norms in the United States; these norms, and the establishment, were both represented and embodied in White Americans, based on this viewpoint. Raheem had confrontations with both Latino and Italian-American residents of the neighborhood, mainly due to his intrusive manner of conveying his message. During an encounter at the local pizzeria, Raheem asked Sal, the pizzeria owner and an immigrant Italian, why there were no Black celebrities on the Wall of Fame of the pizzeria; he felt as if the celebrities chosen should reflect the history and ethnic make-up of the neighborhood, which was primarily African-American. The owner explained that the celebrities chosen (all native Italians or Italian-Americans) were done so to pay homage to his homeland, not as a putdown of any other people. Sal then asked that the radio, blasting “Fight the Power”, be turned down in his restaurant. Raheem refused, stating that people in America have a right to listen to their music how they please; then he demanded that there be Black celebrities put on the wall. Sal disagreed and refused to honor the request, and Raheem departed. Later that day, Raheem returned to the pizzeria, and once again demanded that there be pictures of Black celebrities added to the Wall of Fame; this time, there was a noticeable increased tone of agitation in his speech. Sal did not acknowledge the request, instead choosing to insist that the radio, again playing “Fight the Power,” be turned down; the volume was
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FILM ANALYSIS 3 subsequently increased. The owner took a bat and destroyed the radio, causing Raheem to attack him. The police were called; in the midst of quelling the melee that had ensued, the police killed Raheem. All of the non-White residents of the neighborhood, angered by the killing of their neighbor, looted and burned down the pizzeria. The next day, the daily activity of the neighborhood continued; unchanged by the senseless violence of the day before.
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